Tuning of headlights and other lighting elements

Germany makes clear regulations on lighting and accessories

Tuning the headlights is legal only under certain conditions

Headlight tuning is only legal under certain conditions.

In german road traffic, different laws and regulations ensure a high level of traffic safety and prevent accidents, whether during the day or at night. Accordingly, there are also clear regulations in terms of lighting.

Drivers who want to try out tuning their headlights therefore often ask themselves a few questions: "can i retrofit LED daytime running lights?? Is a normal standlight obligatory or are also the so called "angel eyes" required? angel eyes permitted? What is important for the interior and speedometer lighting to pay attention to?"the answers to these questions and further information on the subject of headlight tuning can be found in the following section of this guide.

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FAQ: tuning the headlights

Both the stvo and the stvzo define what is permissible and what is not permissible with regard to the lighting on a car or motorcycle. Also mandatory is. Read more about the regulations here.

It depends on the modification. If a prescribed lighting system is changed contrary to the regulations, a fine may be imposed.

fines vary depending on the violation. The fine calculator offers you the possibility to get an overview of the fine amount.

fine breakers for lighting

Angel& devil eyes: headlights may be styled when stationary

If you switch on the LED headlights in a modern car, the first stage activates the so-called parking lights for front and rear lights. This form of illumination, also known as the limiting light, is to be used on stationary vehicles when they are parked on a hard shoulder in poor visibility conditions in built-up areas.

Now, however, at the beginning of the 2000s, the so-called "fine calculator" became widespread parking light rings, or also "angel eyes" and "devil eyes. This involves ring-shaped light guide rods of plastic that are installed in the front headlights. cars equipped with these, where the parking lights are activated in the dark, create an effect known as the eye effect. Observers have the impression, viewed by shining eyes to be.

retrofit LED headlights and taillights: the latter are also subject to limited modification by law

retrofitting led headlights and taillights: the latter can also only be modified to a limited extent by law.

The special look is accordingly also popular in the tuning scene. Headlights are sometimes even factory equipped with, for example with BMW or VW. Brand manufacturers make sure that the installed "angel’s eyes" comply with the regulations in the road traffic regulations (stvo) and the road traffic licensing regulations (stvzo). Consequently, tuning enthusiasts who want to retrofit headlights with it must, note a few points:

  • The requirements of the stvo and stvzo must not be violated. For example, § 51 stvzo specifies that the light color of the parking light must be white. Blue or green parking light rings are therefore not permitted in road traffic.
  • If a luminaire adjustment, the tuning of the headlights is not accepted by the TuV.
  • Furthermore, pimped "eyes" may only be used with approved bulbs be operated.
  • The color of the headlights must not be changed. Many drivers want yellow headlights and foil the headlights. But this is forbidden.

Retrofitting xenon headlights

behind the term xenon light there is a special gas discharge lamp, who use some car headlights. This works by means of the eponymous xenon gas, which is sometimes used for a rapid raising of the individual lamps provides. Xenon headlights offer several advantages over other lighting systems.

Here’s how they shine significantly brighter than commercially available halogen or. LED headlights. In addition, the energy consumption is lower, which also reduces the CO2 consumption. The life of a xenon light is four times that of a halogen lamp without any problems. The light color also drops daylight-like out, which can benefit the ability to concentrate. However, retrofitting the headlights with xenon also has some disadvantages:

  • The purchase costs can be significantly higher than the saved fuel costs.
  • Not every auto mechanic can repair defects caused by gas discharge lamps and xenons. Consequently, car users in case of problems on specialists resp. A specialist workshop instructed.
  • After own tuning headlights of this type can be quite be misadjusted. One possible consequence is that oncoming traffic is increasingly dazzled. The prescribed headlamp levelling system itself cannot correct a faulty basic setting.
  • Some xenon lamps still contain mercury, which can escape in accidents and cause environmental damage.

In addition, the guidelines, which can be found in the annex to the stvzo, are authoritative. These must therefore also be observed in order to avoid warning money to be confronted.

Using and retrofitting daytime running lights

Underbody lighting in cars: Very popular in the scene, but illegal in road traffic

Underbody lighting on cars: very popular in the scene, but illegal on the road.

With daytime running lights, which are also known as daytime running lights (in english: "daytime running light") is described, it is a form of lighting which car drivers can only use during the day in good visibility conditions are allowed to insert.

And this is only allowed if the use of other lamps is not prescribed. The daytime running light is characterized by special properties:

  • This illumination do not outshine pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists.
  • This type of light is extremely energy-efficient and has no measurable increase in fuel consumption.
  • A daytime running light has reflectors that, apart from the high beam, are the only may radiate above the so-called glare limit. This results in increased attention generation in road traffic.
  • Since the 7. February 2011 all new vehicles must be equipped with daytime running lights. This fulfills a requirement that the ADAC had already made long before.

Drivers who want to retrofit daytime running lights by tuning their headlights also have a few things to consider in this case. This already starts with the purchase: theoretically, corresponding lighting devices can be buy separately. However, there is a risk that hobby mechanics may have problems with the installation. Better suited in this case finished installation kits, which are designed for special vehicle models. These can also be inexperienced mechanics be fixed. Prices can vary between 120 and 300 euros.

But even with ready-made kits, those interested in headlight tuning need to look carefully. Some of them offer a dimming function. In germany, however, it is forbidden to dim daytime running lights. In addition, in such cases there is generally a lack of E1 test mark, which, if fitted, will invalidate the operating permit of the retrofitted vehicle on german roads. In addition, approved models must bear the designation "RL". A perfect marking can for example "A RL E1 00 3421" loud.

interior lighting is also affected by regulations

In addition to tuning the headlights, it is not uncommon for car enthusiasts to also think about how they would like to improve the interior lighting embellishments can.

LED lighting on cars is no longer a rarity

LED lighting on cars is no longer a rarity.

However, there are also clear regulations that must be observed for approval. For example, the lighting inside a vehicle must not under any circumstances interfere with the safety in road traffic endanger.

This is the case, for example, when drivers are dazzled in the car or lighting elements other road users irritate. Among other things, this must be taken into account:

  • All lighting elements that are mounted in the vehicle have to be comply with the aforementioned safety principle.
  • Speedometer lights in different colors are sometimes even installed by brand manufacturers. Accordingly, it is not unlikely that this form of tuning will be approved by the TuV.
  • However, overhead lighting can quickly cause irritation in road traffic due to brightness or color. Interested parties should check this beforehand consult with a TuV inspector.
  • A large part of the interior lighting, for example on the ceiling and door trims, may only be used when entering the vehicle, i.e when opening the doors, must be activated. If, in addition to tuning the headlights, you also want to include the interior, it is best to use the unmodified lighting as a guide here. Otherwise there will quickly be trouble on the test bench.

If you adhere to the above-mentioned regulations and, in the best case, consult an authorized inspector, you can also make modifications to the interior. Various accessories can be used in this case. Popular are for example LED light strips, which can create an effective lighting effect. LED lights of this type sometimes have the advantages of being easy to install and particularly robust in the event of vibrations.

Clear legal requirements from stvo and stvzo

as already mentioned, both the road traffic regulations and the road traffic licensing regulations contain a major part of the regulations, which must also be observed when tuning the headlights. For example § 17 paragraph 3 stvo clear specifications for illumination in bad weather:

If visibility is significantly impaired by fog, snow or rain, dipped headlights must also be used during the day. fog lights may only be switched on in such weather conditions. With two fog lights, the additional use of the marker lights is sufficient instead of the dipped beam. On motorcycles without sidecars, only the fog lamp needs to be used.

Are in the stvo rather the general rules of conduct fog lights may not be used as daytime running lights, the stvzo contains many situation-specific regulations and exact dimensions. Anyone who wants to carry out headlight tuning should, of course, be familiar with the contents of both laws.

A lot is allowed when tuning the headlights. But many things simply go too far for the authorities

A number of things are permitted when tuning the headlights. However, many things simply go too far for the authorities.

For the do-it-yourself installation, for example from a new clear glass headlight, among other things, § 50 paragraph 3 stvzo is interesting. This specifies:

For permissible dipped beam light the lowest point of the mirror edge not below 500 millimeters and the highest point of the light surface is not more than 1200 millimeters above the road surface.

The low warning fines that are threatened for unlawful lighting on the car should be Do not give the wrong impression. Many lighting violations can cause the operating permit to expire. If it then still comes to danger in road traffic, a fine can be significantly higher.

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