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Light is meanwhile (besides changes to the exhaust system) one of the most popular features to be found in the tuning scene and in general car design. Volkswagen, for example, relies on many different options and wants to offer customers one thing in particular - Variety and high standards! But Rolls-Royce also shows what is possible with the “Illuminated Fascia” dashboard in the 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost. With regard to the highlights of the vehicles, manufacturers are increasingly focusing on various lighting effects instead of metallic constructions in order to spice them up and individualize them. For this purpose, LED technology offers many lighting options!
The topic of autonomous driving is also becoming increasingly relevant in this context. Self-driving cars can, for example, be steered and guided via light signals. Pedestrians can also be recognized completely automatically. This is not only for driving comfort, but also for driving safety. In this context, Volkswagen uses e.g. B. an attractive light strip that can be found in the radiator grille (ID.3 and VW Golf GTI). Car manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche or BMW rely on a continuous strip of lights that is located at the rear.
BMW has started, others are following suit!
In addition, the car manufacturers are increasingly working to concentrate on the design of the main headlights and the tail lights. The declared aim is to ensure a high recognition value at night. This has already been tried in recent years with different daytime running lights and now the unique selling points are being explored more and more. By the way, there is more about headlights in our large overview "Headlights from halogen to LED to xenon - an indispensable companion"!
With the following jump labels (anchors) you can jump directly to the desired topic. With the note "Back to overview“, Which can be found next to each post, it then goes back to this overview!
Tuning fans are particularly interested in light games and individual lighting designs. But the legislature comes up with a large number of restrictions. The boundaries are to be viewed as narrow across the board, especially with regard to the color design. Our contribution to the topic Sidelights, tint sprays and Taillights glaze from ours Law wiki has dealt with it a little while ago. When it comes to light, there is a lot more to look out for. Reason enough for us to take another look at it more fully.
- Color design of the front: The color scheme must be adhered to. In this context, the legislature provides for strict requirements. In principle, it may only emit white light. Only the indicators may be yellow, the fog lights may be yellow or white. (Back to overview)
- Color design of the pages: Here too, the legislature provides for extremely strict requirements. Cars are only allowed to have yellow colors here. position lights are only intended for vehicles that are 6 meters long. (Back to overview)
- Color design in the rear area: The legislature does not allow free color design in the rear area either. The possible colors here are yellow, white and of course red (indicators, reversing lights, reflectors, taillights). (Back to overview)
Most tuning fans find these requirements very disadvantageous, as colorful LED lights on the side often look cool. But they are forbidden. One would like to avoid any irritation of the vehicle driver with the rules in road traffic. Because of this, the users have to adhere to them, otherwise they face fines up to Forced shutdowns. In addition, luminaires that are approved should always be installed in pairs at the same height. In this case, too, the maxim that you want to avoid irritating colors in traffic applies. In this context, the designs ex works are understandably also based on the strict building regulations. (Back to overview)
Those who strictly adhere to the color scheme must also ensure that the lights work properly. Because even with this requirement applies: It must be adhered to, otherwise restrictions may follow. For example, even if it sounds conclusive, drivers cannot plead that a daytime running light is defective and not necessarily needed. The argument is understandable in itself, but is not recognized by the legislature. You are therefore on the safe side from fines and warnings if all the installed lights work. This subject is also relevant and important for fog lights. It applies that if fog lights are installed, then they should also be functional. Here, too, no distinction is made between factory fog lights or fog lights that have been retrofitted. Drivers who, for example, drive to the TÜV test with such a defective one simply do not receive the new sticker. (Back to overview)
If, as a car enthusiast, you want to modify something on your vehicle, you must make sure that all relevant regulations are complied with, as otherwise complications with the necessary badges can arise. Regulations that are important here are regulations on color design, position or brightness. Ignorance does not protect one from punishment. Drivers must clearly ensure that all regulations and requirements are observed. For example, a new luminaire should have the important type approval. This shows which lights can be installed in the vehicle. In addition, that is ECE mark important. Mostly there are components that have the test mark ABG own, are permitted without restriction and are recognized by TÜV. However, it must be checked individually whether it makes sense to enter this part in the vehicle registration document in order to be sure. Buyers who are not sure whether additional permits, etc. are required for individual additional components can apply for a Test organization or consult a specialist workshop to obtain information. In this way, nasty and, above all, expensive surprises can be avoided. (Back to overview)
Arbeitssinwerfer are in traffic in the StVO very specifically regulated. The rule is that they can almost only be used when the vehicle is at a standstill. There are a few exceptions to this (clearing vehicles, sweepers, etc.), but you should really find out about these in advance so as not to fear any restrictions. Worklights are not intended or suitable for a private vehicle. (Back to overview)
The regulations of the Suchscheinwerfer are regulated. This is a mostly swiveling light that can have a maximum of 35 watts. The driver may only use it if both the tail light and the license plate light are activated. You can always use the search light, for example, when looking for a house number, a sign or another element that cannot be reached with normal headlights. Mostly the rescue service or the police use one Suchscheinwerfer in action. (Back to overview)
If the factory light is too dark for you, you have the option of retrofitting brighter xenon or LED lights. However, one must explicitly note that the headlights must then also be immersed. This can be very expensive under certain circumstances. Because of this, this investment should indeed be considered carefully. Xenon is popular but expensive. The frequently available xenon kits for retrofitting in the existing headlights are forbidden in any case. An optionally installed headlight cleaning system does not change anything. Either the complete headlight is exchanged or the conversion is illegal. An alternative for vehicles with halogen headlights are improved light bulbs.
- Tip: Does the headlight cleaning system no longer work? Our contribution "Headlight cleaning system defective? Do you have to pay attention to this?“Helps to find the problem.
There are countless suppliers who have developed light bulbs with more luminosity. It is always important that the light bulbs must be approved. Incandescent lamps with more watts can occasionally be used legally, but you should note that some of them give off significantly more heat and can melt the headlight or parts of it. Incandescent lamps that have built-in LED technology, like the aforementioned xenon kits, are not permitted for legal operation in conventional halogen headlights. Exceptions are here isolated "retrofits“With LED technology. You can (if provided with a test mark) replace the conventional halogen indicator bulbs. We have more information on this in a separate article on the topic retrofits summarized. (Back to overview)
In the USA, in particular, you can find cars that are heavily lit. In this country, tuners are quite surprised, because this is strictly prohibited in Germany. Protection against irritation in traffic is taken very seriously and 100% observed. Underbody Lighting are also offered ex works, but use in road traffic is not permitted. If you are caught by the police, sometimes severe penalties apply. The lights are forbidden even when the vehicle is stationary. This also applies to illuminated logos (BMW emblem, Mercedes star, Audi rings etc.) In the most dramatic case, this can even mean the car owner's license will expire and should therefore be avoided. Also LED rims or illuminated valve caps are not allowed! (Back to overview)
Some automakers offer by means of foils or with tint sprays the dimming of the headlights. This has mainly design reasons. If you are ambitious and want to do it yourself with your vehicle, you should definitely refrain from doing so, as a large number of restrictions apply here too. At the latest during the next TÜV visit, complications would arise and the sticker would be refused. If you then have an accident because of the incorrect lighting, the trouble is great. (Back to overview)
For some time now, manufacturers have been illuminating their emblems directly from the factory. In Germany this is forbidden while driving! It is true that Mercedes now has a shining star and the BMW kidney grille shines as well Iconic Glow Kidneys on request through the night, but in Germany these lights may only be used when stationary. Regardless of whether it is installed ex works or as a retrofit solution! Incidentally, this also applies to other positions on the vehicle and not just the front. For example, if you want to illuminate a vehicle logo in the area of the C-pillar, this is not allowed while driving. The same applies to the tailgate and all other positions. (Back to overview)
Caution is also required with the interior lighting. Illuminated fragments that leak out are taboo. In this case, too, there is a risk of high fines and warnings from the police. Drivers should always bear in mind the maxim in road traffic that irritating other road users must be avoided. Because of this, such lights, which are usually retrofitted, are mutually exclusive. (Back to overview)
Private vehicles are not allowed to install or operate a special signal system. This also applies if the special signal system is not ready for operation. The use should therefore be reduced to the party room or workshop. Penalties include an administrative offense and even the charge of presumption of office (Section 132 of the Criminal Code). Depending on the severity, the result can be a fine up to a prison sentence of two years. A deviation is only possible if a old fire brigade or police car has a historical value, but even then it is not permitted to use the system in public spaces and the system would even have to be covered. PS. Our contribution "Rotating beacon and warning light: the area of application!“Deals with the importance of the various rotating beacons and the area of application. (Back to overview)
We know that a blue light is not allowed on the car. But what about yellow beacons? Not everyone is allowed to obstruct them either: The StVO permits the yellow flashing light / all-round light for construction and cleaning vehicles or cars for roadside assistance. A truck that is too wide or too long can also use a yellow all-round light. The "normal" has to do without it. (Back to overview)
Emoji Car Displays are especially popular in the United States. This allows you to send clear signals to other road users. But what about our German road traffic regulations? What do the police say to drivers who send signals? The funny and attention-grabbing car displays should only be used at exhibitions and trade fairs. You are driving in Germany verboten. Attaching is NOT prohibited. The use of information boards, LED lettering, faces and LED emoji car displays while driving does. (Back to overview)
What is not there. Even LED tailpipes can you buy. When buying an illuminated tailpipe, however, you should consider that it is should not Approved for public road traffic. This is usually also mentioned in the product descriptions. Anyone who wants to use an illuminated tailpipe can only legally do so on private property. (Back to overview)
An electroluminescent film makes it possible, for example, to illuminate the reflective label over a large area. The license plate then lights up by itself. This means added value in terms of visibility and also in terms of the look at the rear of the vehicle. The Federal Motor Transport Authority already has approval for these new, self-illuminating license plates FOR REAR granted. It is important that the prescribed sizes of the license plates for cars and motorcycles are strictly adhered to, otherwise there is a risk of a fine. The foils guarantee a very bright and even illumination of the license plate and are also very eye-catching. If such a self-illuminating license plate has been installed, the standard / serial lighting of the license plate is of course not applicable. The self-luminous license plates are only for that Vehicle rear allowed. A license plate on the front must not be illuminated using LED technology. (Back to overview)
Chic new exterior mirrors give the vehicle a powerful, dynamic and modern appearance. Their different designs allow individualization. The mirrors can, for example, bring indicator LEDs. They are always an eye-catcher and they ensure safety. It goes without saying that the indicators have to work synchronously with those on the vehicle. Therefore pay attention to the E-mark. (Back to overview)
The requirements of Paragraphs 49a to 54, 60 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) apply. Basically there are changes to the lighting equipment not allowed. And that doesn't just apply to changes IM Headlight housing, but also outside. Active while driving LED strips on the headlight or in any gap in the vehicle (Tailgate, bonnet, door etc.) are "while driving" should not allowed. As a show effect at a tuning meeting, it could be quite funny, but definitely an absolute no-go in traffic. And if the stuck-on stripes cover a significant part of the headlight when switched off, then that is also illegal. (Back to overview)
wheelhouse is intended to illuminate the wheel arches and serves, for example in vehicles that are significantly higher up, as a pure show effect. At shows as well as on private premises, the lighting is also allowed, which of course the tuner likes. In road traffic, however, the lighting, such as the wheelhouse lighting, is not permitted. (Back to overview)
daytime running lights are intended to increase road safety. This should make vehicles more visible. In this way, other road users can no longer overlook a car, which means fewer accidents. Daytime running lights have been mandatory in various countries (e.g. in Germany) for years and must always be switched on. If this is not the case, it is a disregard of the traffic rules. Fines are the result. Since 2011, manufacturers have been obliged to equip their vehicles with daytime running lights. You may only install daytime running lights on the front of the vehicle.
Install the lights at least 25 centimeters above the ground and a maximum of 150 centimeters. The outer edge of the illuminated area must not be more than 40 centimeters away from the outer edge of the vehicle. The inner edges of the lights must be at least 60 centimeters apart. If the vehicle is not wider than 130 centimeters, you can reduce the distance to 40 centimeters. PS. We have a little guide on how to retrofit daytime running lights in our article "Retrofitting daytime running lights on the car" put together for you. (Back to overview)
The third brake light occurs in the StVZO and has been mandatory for all new vehicles since 1998. Due to the EU regulations and directives 76/756 / EEC and ECE-R48, the third brake light is mandatory and it can also be retrofitted when the vehicle is older. Before January 01st, 1998 it was forbidden to have another brake light as an LED strip at the rear. If the third brake light is broken, there is no sticker. This also applies to a high set Third Stoplight from LED lamps that is defective. (this must be taken into account when retrofitting the third brake light) One Third Stoplight must not be installed if the vehicle already has two additional brake lights. So five brake lights at the rear are not allowed. (Back to overview)
A Additional indicators with LED technology should only be installed by a specialist. Additional direction indicators must be installed on the long sides of vehicles where the distance between the facing outer edges of the light-emitting surfaces of the indicators at the front and rear is more than 6 m. In the case of trailers, however, turn signals attached in pairs are sufficient. It goes without saying that the indicators have to work in sync with those on the vehicle. Therefore pay attention to the E-mark. (Back to overview)
Especially individual Fog Lights with LED technology have enjoyed great popularity for years. Because the special LEDs offer many advantages over normal incandescent lamps with halogen technology. The following points should be observed when installing: Installation height at least 25 cm or a maximum of 80 cm above the floor, no installation above the low beam, side clearance to the vehicle sides min. 40 cm. Fog lights must be installed at the front. For the back you can use a red one in Nebelschlussleuch (also with clear glass optics or in black) additionally install. A rear fog light can be ordered with LED technology. A diffuser with a central rear fog light is also permitted. It must not be used without the vehicle lighting. It is essential to pay attention to the E-mark. (Back to overview)
The lighting systems on the coupling carrier must always be correctly visible. If the lighting on the car (at the coupling carrier) is covered in any way, then the necessary rear lighting and the flashing must be via the Wheel carrier to be guaranteed. The carrier and its lighting should have an EU operating license. This is how you play it safe. You need additional tail lights, brake lights and indicators as well as a license plate for your clutch carrier. (Back to overview)
Taxis must be equipped with a clearly visible sign with the inscription "TAXI" (at least 180 mm × 100 mm) that can be sufficiently illuminated inside. However, it must not be dazzling. The lighting must be done with white or yellow light. In private, you can't just block a taxi sign and let it light up. (Back to overview)
license plate light is regulated by the requirements of the European Union. The LED license plate lighting must be bright but not glaring and illuminate the license plate over a large area. Anyone who replaces the original license plate light will lose the operating license if there is no ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) mark or an E-mark. The type approval is mandatory. E1 means, for example, that the permit comes from Germany. In combination with a LED license plate the LED license plate light must not be used. Either ... or! (Back to overview)
Crosshairs for headlights are components that can be retrofitted to the vehicle. However, it is advisable to ask a testing authority (TÜV, Dekra & Co.) before buying whether the components can be legally retrofitted for the respective vehicle. They are available either in the form of completely new headlights with integrated crosshairs, or in the form of two plates that are built into the existing headlights afterwards. The simple masking of the headlights with tape is should not recommended and can cause a lot of trouble during controls. If the crosshair is already installed in accessory headlights and these come with an ABE or a parts certificate, then it can be assumed that use in traffic is possible without any problems. Subsequent installation is usually however illegal. (Back to overview)
The standard sets for reprocessing the headlights consist of wet sandpaper, a plastic polish or a special paint. The car owner grinds off the protective layer mentioned. So he changed the car headlights “structurally”. If he then paints the headlights with clear lacquer afterwards, that corresponds to a particularly strong change. But this is also the case without a clear coat. All this work is according to the current legislation not allowed. Such changes to the headlights result in the vehicle losing its approval. So the risk is not worth it for anyone and nobody should therefore accept it. (Back to overview)
Manufacturer Osram is the first supplier to deliver the H7 LED bulb ("Osram Night Breaker LED"), an approved LED-based lamp for the German market. This gives car drivers the option of converting their normal halogen lighting to LED inexpensively and without much effort and thus being up to date with the latest technology. At the moment (as of 10/2020) the approval relates to the low beam of some common vehicle models in Germany such as the BMW 2 Series, the Audi A3 as well as the Audi A4 and the Ford Mondeo. More information about this in our report on the H7 bulb with LED technology. (Back to overview)
Devil-Eyes headlights (we mean the little ones Stick-on strips and should not a complete headlight for retrofitting) are not allowed. The mostly red “eyelid lines” along the lower edge of the headlights are only allowed if they are CAN'T on the headlight be attached! There is a possibility them below the headlight between the front apron and the light "on the front apron“Then that's no problem and nothing more than a design feature. Directly on the headlight but they may should not be applied. The radiance of the headlights must not be impaired by anything. (Back to overview)
The use of yellow or orange luminous US parking lights is basically on vehicles in Germany not permitted. So that the operating permit remains, set a link from your homepage to Fewo-von-Privat.de the lighting of cars, motorcycles or trucks, den comply with applicable regulations. The registration of a US parking light that deviates from these rules is usually not possible. This rule applies to both imported cars as well as German vehicles, where the parking light accordingly upgraded has been. Since imported cars from TÜV approved the US parking light is also checked. Exemption as a solution? If the vehicle is equipped with white light, it is possible that a Exemption is issued. However, this is one Individual decision. Is it light yellow or orange, set a link from your homepage to Fewo-von-Privat.de it can be converted to white light. Will the parking light subsequently rebuilt, it is one Intervention in the type approval. Does the built-in US parking light have none Zulassung or deviates from the European ECE Regulation from, Accordingly, the operating license expires. (Back to overview)
engravings are not allowed on car windows. (More information about this) And of course the legal regulations with regard to the panes apply also for the headlights of the vehicle. Also here are allowed no engravings, Etchings or that supposedly simple roughening can be used to display various images. Images and graphics can also be used on glass using Laser technology engraving. However, that is also verboten! Changes to lighting equipment are particularly punished for the main inspection and the new sticker is then denied. In addition, the immediate shutdown from the vehicle. (Back to overview)
Of course that had not been the case.
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