At present, there are three mainstream headlights for vehicles on the market, halogen lamps, HID xenon lamps and LED lamps. Besides there is the laser headlight. The current cost of laser headlight is too high, so it is not practical. The laser headlight can only be used for its own structural high beam, such as BMW i8, AUDI A8 / R8.
Halogen lamps are the mostly used of all car lamps at present, and they are also the bulbs that have been used for the longest time in the history of automobiles. But the halogen bulbs are dim lighting and easy to be broken / burned.
HID Xenon lights started from giant company PHILIPS, HELLA and BOSCH, back to 1990 to 1993 years. HID Xenon lights are about 2500 lumen to 4000 lumen, 4 to 6 times brighter than halogen lights. Many people say HID Xenon is too bright to glare at the opposite drivers, WRONG, because the central capsule of the xenon bulb which emits lighting is as small as the filament of the halogen bulb’s, the low beam will not make glare to opposite drivers, the lighting pattern is as standard as halogen bulb’s. But HID xenon kit is not cheap, not easy installation, have to drill a hole on the back cover of headlights for wiring connects the outside HID ballast with the inside xenon bulb sometimes.
Technically the HID xenon bulbs take 10-30 seconds to reach the 100% brightness, so the ahead and the opposite drivers may ignore your high / low beam flashing for warning or overtaking when the bulbs are turned off / cold state. Plus, it’s expensive due to the combination of ballasts and bulbs.
LED headlight bulbs were invented at 2008 year. It’s more and more popular in the recent years, it has been capturing more and more market share of the halogen bulbs and the HID xenon bulbs. LED headlight bulbs are high cost performance, compact size and high power, their lumen and lux are probably 5 to 8 times than halogen bulbs, the newest high power LED headlight bulbs can reach 4000 lumen to 6000 lumen. Technically it’s instant 100% lighting (halogen and HID xenon are not) which is a very big advantage. Plus, LED is cold light source which does not accelerate the aging of lampshade, reflector or projector. Actually auto LED headlight bulbs are dominating the bulb replacement of the automobile after market right now. The followings are BULBTEK hot sell LED headlight bulb series, XD35 D series, X9S high power series, X9 driver built-in series and X8-H7 PRO 1:1 halogen size series. Welcome to inquiry.
But more and more car LED headlight bulbs are using intelligent temperature control IC to prevent the bulbs or drivers (of bulbs) from burning. It’s good for the life span of bulbs and drivers (of bulbs), but it’s not good for the illumination due to the lighting would be dim, it’s dangerous for driving! The crazy thing for the newest high power LED headlight bulbs (so called 60W to 90W at start state) is engineer set up the intelligent temperature control IC activating at a very low temperature, it’s kind of cheating in my eyes.
What are the standard rules of European E-mark / ECE (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), American DOT (department of Transportation), NHTSA (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) and Chinese DOT relative to LED headlight bulbs?
1. European E-mark / ECE: only Halogen bulbs and HID bulbs are legal for replacement, LED headlight bulbs are illegal. EXCEPTION: PHILIPS and OSRAM already passed ECE / E-mark R112 in recent three years, the have homologation / permission from Germany, so they are Street legal / Road legal / On road in Europe now, TUV would give certificate when you replaced the PHILIPS / OSRAM bulbs which passed ECE / E-mark R112. Please check the below snapshots taken in OSRAM and LUMILEDS websites:
2. American DOT / NHTSA / FMVSS: only Halogen bulbs are legal for replacement, HID bulbs(except D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D7, D8, D9 and 9500?) and LED headlight bulbs are illegal.
The content of formal notification given to us (BULBTEK) by DOT staff in American auto show AAPEX and SEMA is as below:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified a large influx of HID/LED conversion kits for use in motor vehicle headlamps. These kits are considered replacement motor vehicle equipment and therefore are subject to the Replacement Equipment section of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108 Lamps, Reflective, Devices and Associated Equipment, 49 CFR § 571.108. HID/LED conversion kits do not meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 108 and therefore cannot be lawfully imported into the United States or sold in the United States. See 49 U.S.C § 30112 (a)(1).
FMVSS No. 108 requires, in part, that each replaceable light source be designed to conform to certain dimensional and electrical specifications. Thus, in order to use a replaceable light source in a replaceable bulb headlamp, a manufacturer must first have submitted certain information with respect to it (and its ballast if required), or it may use a light source (and ballast if required) if its specifications are already filed in Part 564. As of the date of this document, there are no LED replaceable light sources filed in Part 564. The HID replaceable sources filed in Part 564 are D1R, D1S, D2R, D2S, D3R, D3S, D4R, D4S, D5S, D7S, D8S, D9S and 9500. Please see the back for a list for all Part 564 light sources.
As the law requires that any motor vehicle replaceable light source offered for sale in the United States comply with the requirements of FMVSS No. 108 it is illegal to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, import, or introduce into interstate commerce any HID/LED kit that contains a replaceable light source whose base was modified or manufactured to be interchangeable with any regulated headlamp replaceable light source that incorporates a different light source design.
3. Chinese DOT: same as America, only Halogen bulbs are legal for replacement, HID bulbs and LED headlight bulbs are illegal.
It’s very easy to tell if the cars’ headlights are halogen or not by seeing the lightings are yellow color or not (halogen is only yellow color, to be precise 3000 Kelvin in color temperature). Why are there still so many people are using and selling HID xenon bulbs and LED headlight bulbs all over the world? In my opinion, because the CUSTOMS, ECE and DOT actually did not inspect or punish much. But Customs inspected HID / LED headlights and traffic polices punished drivers who installed HID / LED headlights still occasionally happened.
Then you may ask why the giant international companies (such as PHILIPS, OSRAM, HELLA) are still using HID and LED headlights kit or bulbs for original vehicle manufactures or selling these HID and LED headlight bulbs for after market? Let me try to answer this question:
1. HID and LED headlights kit or bulbs for original vehicle manufactures: this is special and specific situation. The car headlight kit must subject to the lighting pattern standard regulations of the target markets. I suppose these headlight kits must pass all those standards.
2. HID Xenon headlight bulbs for after market: it’s legal in Europe as long as the HID bulbs passed the E-mark-R112 standard. But it’s illegal in USA, Russia, Brazil and other countries. I take USA as example (Russia, Brazil and other countries are kind of mess), I did not remember I saw the PHILIPS / OSRAM / HELLA HID xenon bulbs sold in the American Autozone or Walmart chain supermarkets. Please let us(BULBTEK) know if you saw PHILIPS / OSRAM / HELLA HID xenon bulbs were legally sold in American big supermarkets or companies, I really wonder why they can pass the DOT / FMVSS regulations if they were legally sold in the “HID forbidden USA”, Perhaps giant companies are VIP guests with privilege to the committees and the national transportation relative departments. But as I knew lots of HID bulbs have been exporting to USA, Russia and Brazil from China, we don’t talk about it more due to it’s the grey / dark area as I already mentioned.
3. LED headlight bulbs for after market:
A. Europe: illegal. So they mark “Offroad” or “Fog lamp” on the box. EXCEPTION: PHILIPS and OSRAM already passed ECE / E-mark R112 in recent three years, the have homologation / permission from Germany, so they are Street legal / Road legal / On road in Europe now, TUV would give certificate when you replaced the PHILIPS / OSRAM bulbs which passed ECE / E-mark R112. Please check the below two links for more information:
B. USA: illegal. So they mark “Offroad” or “Fog lamp” on the box. I am not sure if the PHILIPS or OSRAM fixed up with American DOT / FVMSS-108 regulation or not yet.
C. China: illegal. I am not sure if the PHILIPS or OSRAM fixed up with Chinese DOT regulation or not either. Everyone just sells everywhere.
Anyway, we BULBTEK welcome you to the automotive new era of LED headlight bulbs.
Post time: Aug-23-2022