What are LED bulbs?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, LED bulbs run at a low wattage but at the same time emit a lot of light. LED bulbs will use a tenth of the power of a normal bulb but will be the same brightness if not brighter. LED bulbs have a much longer lifespan than ordinary bulbs because they don’t get as hot and don’t use as much power. LEDs are expected to last up to 20-25 times longer than a halogen bulb, and most LEDs have a rated life of about 30,000 hours. 

Due to all the benefits that LED bulbs provide, this is exactly why so many drivers are wanting to put LED bulbs in the car for replacement of halogen bulbs. A lot of new cars are manufactured with built-in LEDs. If your vehicle was manufactured with LED bulbs and they need replacing you can replace them with LEDs.


Can you put LED bulbs in your Headlights?

In New Zealand it is illegal to put LED bulbs in headlights in a car that is not manufactured with LEDs. You are not allowed to put LED bulbs in the replacement of halogen bulbs in headlights. The only way you are allowed to have LED headlights is if your car is manufactured with them. 

This is because LED headlights can be too bright or incorrectly aligned, which can be dangerous for the car driver and other drivers on the road. There is nothing worse than driving at night and having the oncoming cars headlights too bright that it affects your visibility. If you do put aftermarket LED bulbs in your headlights you can be fined and will fail your Warrant of Fitness. 


Can you put LED bulbs in Stop lamps?

Yes, you can put LED bulbs into stop lamps in your car. Stop lamps are red lamps on the rear of the car that light up when the vehicle brakes. A lot of vehicles also have High Mounted Stop Lamps (HMSLs). If you are replacing your stop lamps with LED bulbs they must be red in colour. When purchasing LED stop lamps make sure they meet the approved standards, if you are unsure check out the NZTA website or consult a vehicle lighting retailer. 


Can you put LED bulbs in Indicator lights?

Yes, you can put LED replacement bulbs into your indicator lights. All vehicles have direction indicator lamps that signal to other drivers your intention to turn. The indicator lights can also be used as hazard warning lights that flash in both directions at the same time. Replacing your indicator bulbs with LEDs is the same process as any other lights on your car. However, one big difference is the car indicator wiring circuit has been set up for incandescent bulbs. This means there is some resistance. Which can result in your indicators hyper flashing if you replace all the bulbs with LEDs.

To prevent this problem from happening buy LED bulbs that have the correct amount of resistance built-in.  Or the other way is more complicated, buy a separate resistor unit which must be spliced into the circuit to slow the flashing down to standard speed. For this process, it is best to talk to a professional who knows what they are doing. 


What lights can you put LED bulbs in?

If you’re wanting to replace your halogen bulbs with LED bulbs you can only do so in certain lights. You can replace the bulbs with LEDs in park lights, tail lights, brake lights, hazard lights, stop lights, and your indicators. You’re not allowed to put LED bulbs in your fog lights or headlights if the car is not manufactured with them. 

When replacing a halogen bulb with an LED bulb you have to be careful and follow the NZTA guidelines.  The guidelines and laws are in place because every year problems with vehicle lighting contribute to around 7 deaths and 88 injuries on our roads. The NZTA regulations states that your lights must not dazzle, confuse, or distract other drivers. 

You can replace the bulbs in your headlights with high-efficiency bulbs, but they must be a similar wattage and type. The bulbs in the car must be replaced with the correct colour. For example headlight bulbs must be white or amber. 

If you do not follow the guidelines or put LEDs in your fog lights and headlights, your car will fail a Warrant/ Certification of Fitness, you could be fine and even cause an accident. 


Buying LED bulbs or lights

When purchasing LED bulbs or lights for your cars it is best to go to a New Zealand reputable vehicle lighting retail store. They will be able to advise you on regulations and what bulbs are right for your car. If you’re unsure about what bulbs can go into your vehicle’s lights it is best to ask first before it creates further issues. 


Replacing bulbs in Hamilton

If you’re needing to replace the bulbs in your car or if you’re unsure about what bulbs to put in, come into Grimmer Motors today! At Grimmer Motors we will be able to assist with any bulb replacement or give you advice on what bulbs and LEDs are suitable for your car.

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