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Topic # 79106 12-Mar-2011 16:23
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How legal are these? I am wanting to convert my standard Halogen Xenon bulbs over to some lovely HID Xenons.

Kits are more than easy to come by, but the question I have is what is the legality of these? I will not make modifications to my car if they arent legal, so don't go suggesting some backyard stuff ;)

My guess is that there are legal kits available, I just don't know where to get them and how to tell if they are legal.

[Moderator edit (MF): fixed typo in subject]

 





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  Reply # 447854 12-Mar-2011 17:23
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From the WOF test manual

"Note 8 A high-intensity discharge (HID or Xenon HID) conversion kit consists of an HID bulb with a high voltage power output or ‘ballast’ which fits into the original headlamp unit in place of the original bulb with no change to the headlamp lens, reflector or housing. It is illegal to fit an HID conversion kit to a vehicle as it brings the headlamp out of standards compliance by producing poor beam patterns and light that is far too bright to be safe. The bulbs can also produce light that is noticeably blue and not the required substantially white or amber colour. Vehicle and headlamp manufacturers do not permit this modification, and these kits cannot be LVV certified. It is permitted to replace a complete halogen headlamp unit with a complete HID headlamp unit."



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  Reply # 447855 12-Mar-2011 17:25
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Damn it, I came across an answer like that just a couple of minutes ago.

Problem is, replacing the whole housing isnt an option, since there isnt an HID one available.. :(
:(





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 447870 12-Mar-2011 18:18
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Why do you want HID? What purpose does it fulfill?

FYI here's the rules and regs:

http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rules/vehicle-lighting-2004-qa.html

If your vehicle was made in the last 30 years it's entirely likely that the factory-fit lighting rig is considered more than adequate for road use. Bright lights just piss everyone _else_ off without delivering a substantial benefit to the driver (when used on-road).

HID would not be the way to achieve improved lighting intended for off-road use, either... game, set, match?







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  Reply # 447871 12-Mar-2011 18:23
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I've been using HID's in the BMW Z4 (factory) I have been driving around, and have recently got a new car which does not have HID's. I have noticed a significant decrease in visibility and want to add HID's. Plain and simple.

I would like to know how you have come to the conclusion that HID's wouldn't be the appropriate option for improving visibility?





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  Reply # 447872 12-Mar-2011 18:29
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As I said, chances are your headlights are more than adequate if your car is of recent vintage.
Headlights + street lights + street markers & visibility enhancments = sufficient visibility to drive.

Bright lights piss off other motorists. Headlamp performance has always been a compromise (which is why the rules around alignment exist).
Retrofitting HIDs into light fittings not designed for them does lots of stupid things, including generating heat beyond what the chassis will readily dissipate by design (aka fire risk); casts light in ways that were not intended by the manufacturer of the reflectors (aka additional irritation to other motorists) and as noted, casts a notably blue light where the law requires amber or white to be the dominant colours.

Sorry you feel so hard done by, but the rest of us who frequently deal with road users whos headlights are illegally blinding, are grateful to those who don't take the whole vehicle lighting thing too far.

(Even the factory fit on several vehicles is a niusance, but the theory is that if theyre at factory spec then their operational parameters are at least covered by the safety specs the manufacturer had to meet...)






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  Reply # 447874 12-Mar-2011 18:40
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BlakJak: As I said, chances are your headlights are more than adequate if your car is of recent vintage.
Headlights + street lights + street markers & visibility enhancments = sufficient visibility to drive.

Bright lights piss off other motorists. Headlamp performance has always been a compromise (which is why the rules around alignment exist).
Retrofitting HIDs into light fittings not designed for them does lots of stupid things, including generating heat beyond what the chassis will readily dissipate by design (aka fire risk); casts light in ways that were not intended by the manufacturer of the reflectors (aka additional irritation to other motorists) and as noted, casts a notably blue light where the law requires amber or white to be the dominant colours.

Sorry you feel so hard done by, but the rest of us who frequently deal with road users whos headlights are illegally blinding, are grateful to those who don't take the whole vehicle lighting thing too far.

(Even the factory fit on several vehicles is a niusance, but the theory is that if theyre at factory spec then their operational parameters are at least covered by the safety specs the manufacturer had to meet...)



Firstly, I don't appreciate you talking to me as though I'm stupid.
If you read my first post, I have explicitly said LEGAL options ONLY.

Secondly, if you knew anything about HID's, you'd understand that not all HID's produce a blue light, it depends on the type you purchase. (Go take a look if you think I'm not informed).

Thirdly. I don't drive mainly in city centers, I live rurally, and by rural, I mean at least 30 minutes drive from the edge of town, where there are NO street lights.

I'M sorry that people who do illegal modifications to their vehicles pisses you off, but this isn't MY fault and I don't appreciate you taking the stance that I would be causing an irritation to other drivers - I am here asking for advise on a LEGAL way of doing things. If you don't like it, then don't post, if you don't like HID's, then get off the road.
And before you forget, >>I<< am one of those "other motorists" that deal with it as well.

Now if you have no other useful information pertaining to the thread, then I ask that you please leave it be.


EDIT: Now back on topic, I forgot to add that from what I've been reading, the HID bulbs could possibly produce less heat.. I'll do some more digging and post some info.





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  Reply # 447880 12-Mar-2011 18:56
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You asked about HID conversion, the answer was presented to you (that it's illegal) and you expressed dissapointment in this. So I wanted to know why you particularly wanted HID and you've (now) explained it. You've actually explained it relatively reasonably, compared to others who i've challenged on the same point elsewhere.

If you're routinely driving in out-of-town areas I imagine your high-beams get a good workout - wouldn't they solve your problems most of the time?

I've never owned a car newer than '96 and have never felt the need to improve my vehicles lighting beyond fitting some fog lights to a past vehicle (and subsequently discovered that they were actually illegal to use when it wasn't foggy, which didn't achieve what I wanted (which turned out to be driving lights)).

I might be a city dweller but I have had occasion to drive into rural areas at night; this includes the deep west of Auckland (SH16 & surrounds, plus the roads out to Piha etc); the Waikato between Hamilton and Auckland/WBOP and also forest / back roads (chasing Rally's etc). Never had a problem with my factory-fit lighting, with judicious use of high beam and driving 'to the conditions'.

Ultimately you're still only talking about driving on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h in built up areas and up-to-100km/h otherwise, and your factory-fit lights are no doubt considered adequate by whoever certified the vehicle safe to drive at night... I think perhaps you were spoilt by the Z4 and need to join the rest of us in the real world? ;-)

What're you driving that has such poor headlamp performance anyway?






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  Reply # 447882 12-Mar-2011 19:14
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I have been spoilt by the Z4's lights, absolutely. But that won't stop me from trying to get them on this car too! :P

The Z4 was on loan to me for a couple of years from my step dad, he has recently given me a Smart ForFour as my own car now. It's from 2004, so it is a relatively late model (the Z4 is from 2003).

Personally I feel the performance of the halogen is seriously lacking (and of course, it is since I am used to a different light). I'm just used to driving with a different light and would stay with what I'm used to.
You're quite right, the factory halogen lights are obviously considered up-to-spec, but it really comes down to me as the driver not wanting/not being used to them, and used to something else, which I liked.

I do a lot of night driving, so a set of decent headlights make a world of difference.





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