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Brighter Headlights

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mesmerred | 01:12 Fri 01st Dec 2006 | Cars
7 Answers
Is is ok to replace headlight bulbs on old cars with modern brighter bulbs? We have an N reg Volvo and an M reg Vauxhall Frontera. If we can then what would be the best bulbs to get. please? Also the Frontera has an alarm which sets off when there is any break in the electrical system, i.e. a door open etc. would a different bulb cause a problem with the alarm?


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the bulbs might look brighter but they are actually the same as what you have in,the old bulbs go dull over the years,and also light lens go dull,the bulbs will still be 55/60 watts and will not affect the alarm,i got neon bulbs in old car and they are brighter but same as old bulbs watts
Any headlamp bulbs with a rating of greater than 55w are illegal in the UK (unless you are driving a police vehicle).
No problem whatsoever. Like has been said, they are the same power rating. Go into Halfords and look at the range - there are 3 or 4 different sorts. Just make sure you replace both bulbs if you change types.
I drove my 1996 Astra for 6 years, passed the MOT every year, I fitted new headlamp bulbs I got from a rally shop, not expensive, 90 watt dipped, 130 watt main.

How many times have you known a policeman stop someone and say "Could I inspect your headlight bulbs please Sir"?

Just make sure they are adjusted correctly.
Well if you choose to drive a car that is not road legal that's your decision.
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Thanks everyone. I won't risk going illegal as a first step BillyNoMates, but as I can't remember the last time any of the bulbs were changed then replacing them with new, different, but equivalent, seems the first thing to try. Thanks.
Well you fit bulbs which are of a higher wattage then you will be passing more current through your lighting circuit so you would have to make sure this will take the additional current or otherwise you could end up melting your wiring loom and setting light to your car.

Also as stated by BillyNoMates it's illegal for higher wattage headlamps than 55W.

Dont be irresponsible and inconsiderate like Toureman. You may well not get stopped but the rules are there for a good reason which is to stop other road users getting blinded. This is why you should not use fog lamps unless visibility is below 100m even though they are fairly low wattage the lens is different .

Some of the newer bulbs ie non halogen only give better performance if used in conjunction with a headlamp specifically designed for them. Auto express carried out tests and some in actual fact gave a worse light output than the standard bulbs.

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