Retrofitting HID or LED Bulbs To Your Headlamps Can Get You In Trouble

It's not as simple as you think.

Cover image via Sidhiqul Akbar/Pexels & Eliel Frances Etruiste/Pexels

Retrofitting headlights with HID or LED bulbs in your car seems like the best option, considering how efficient and bright they are

Image via NAOEVO

Fancy HID and LED lamps may also be more appealing since they are commonly found on more expensive brands. Some drivers prefer these lamps because they can be ultra-bright, offering better visibility.

However, did you know that retrofitting headlights with HID or LEDs might get you into trouble?

They are actually straight-up illegal to retrofit

Image via Action News

These lights are excessively bright, and when installed in older, complex surface-reflector bowls designed for halogen units, they can be positioned too high, potentially blinding other road users.

In some cases, the light from a dipped beam can be as high and bright as a full beam, posing a danger to other drivers and is justifying its illegality.

According to the Road Transport Department (JPJ), action can be taken against vehicle owners with retrofitted HID lights under Rule 94 of the 1959 Motor Vehicle Rules (Construction and Use).

The housing of the original lights weren't designed for HID or LED bulbs

Halogen bulbs are commonly used in car headlights.

Image via AutoGuru

Instead, you can use improved, brighter halogen bulbs for better light performance. Major brands like Philips or Osram, to name a few, offer high-performing halogen headlight bulb replacements that are safe and legal in Malaysia. However, the colour temperature must not exceed 4,300K.

Can you upgrade your headlights by installing LED projectors?

LED Projector bulbs

Image via Car And Driver

LED projector bulbs differ from HID and typical LED bulbs. They contain a lens element that projects the light to a specific area in front of the car, meaning they do not require reflective housing to project bright light. This also prevents the risk of blinding drivers of oncoming cars.

While some may argue that properly installed LED projectors are completely fine on the road, they are still illegal and punishable by law, as the JPJ has imposed a blanket ban on all headlight conversions.

So, there you have it! It's better not to modify your headlamps and avoid potential headaches

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