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accordless
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don't most federal laws on these subjects overrule state laws? I don't know....



I had also emailed the nhtsa on monday, got a reply that I had to forward my question to their "compliance" department. did that yesterday. but I can't access my email from where I am today. :(

most members do have brains, but some are so excited about some things and just assume what they read is the truth without any real backing to the truth. know what I mean?
 

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ready to go....
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I'm not finding ANY "law" on the NHTSA site.... just testing.:dunno: All of that seems to regarding night glare. I personally find HID LESS glarey than regular lights since their beam is more like a line instead of ball. Kinda like a foglight.

According to their tests about 30% of people complain about headlight glare & it's not better or worse with HIDs. Their advice is to basically not get old, keep your glasses and windshield clean & don't look at the lights!:)

I do understand your point on the legalities, but with the discussion here I'm sure anyone that in interested can see there's disagreement about it. They'll need to do their own research since we haven't found anything 100% conclusive. :dunno: Maybe one of will get an email back. I just have a feeling they haven't actually made a decision yet.
 

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The last I heard from several distributors is that retro HID kits remain illegal for road use at this time. Has to be factory installed or no dice.

Although many people use the kits with no problems, I guess there are some cheap kits that could cause issues.
 

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accordless
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I finally got a response from the NHTSA......

I would like to apologize for the delay in response to your inquiry. After numerous forwards it has been brought to my attention. Regarding retrofiting your vehicle with and HID light system, NHTSA has completed testing on numerous HID Conversion Kits and have found none of them to be in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, U.S. motor vehicle lighting standard because they have been found to violate numerous photometric, electrical and dimensional regulations in the standard. This is because of the "cutting and pasting" of the HID light source onto a halogen base. However, if you were to replace the enitre halogen headlamp assembly with one that is designed to use an HID light source (ie, D1S, D2S, etc.) this would not necessarily constitute a non-compliance. Testing would have to be done on the new assembly to ensure that it meets the DOT requirements. The certification of the lamps is supposed to be carried out by the manufacturer of the lamps so I'd suggest that you ask them if the lamps have been certified.

Cassandra Peterkin
Safety Compliance Engineer - Lighting
so basically, unless you get your retro inspected and approved, you are NOT ok. technically.
 

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I actually received a ticket for headlights, I blew a stop sign and a cop flew up and when he said my headlights were to blue I kind of grinned haha. Ended up having to go to court and received only court fees, they dropped the ticket, sitll dont drive through that town at night
 

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I actually received a ticket for headlights, I blew a stop sign and a cop flew up and when he said my headlights were to blue I kind of grinned haha. Ended up having to go to court and received only court fees, they dropped the ticket, sitll dont drive through that town at night

Not to be rude but you have 12K you are going to attract attention
 

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dont deviate
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347 Posts
good info stevel, makes me feel somewhat better. i have always wondered this. i have an s2k proj. retro on my ride.
 

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DIY
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This is was a cool link for sema look what i found it says all hid conversions aka not retrofits are illegal lol

http://www.sema.org/?q=node/4182


"
As SEMA has reported in the past, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is targeting high-intensity discharge (HID) conversion kits for enforcement actions.

The NHTSA has concluded that it is impossible to produce HID conversion kits (converting a halogen system to HID) that would be compliant with the federal lighting standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108. The noncompliant kits frequently include a HID bulb, a ballast, an igniter, a relay and wiring harness adapters. The NHTSA believes this equipment presents a safety risk to the public since the kits can be expected to produce excessive glare to oncoming motorists. In one investigation, the NHTSA found that an HID conversion headlamp exceeded the maximum allowable candlepower by over 800%.

Halogen equipment uses an electrical current to heat a metal wire coil filament to incandescence, while the HID conversion kit’s light source incorporates a discharge arc to produce light. HIDs require a ballast for operation. Under FMVSS No. 108’s Section S7.7 (replaceable light sources), each replaceable light source for headlamps must be designed to conform to the dimensions and electrical specifications for the headlamp source it is intended to replace. For example, if an HID kit is marketed as replacing an H1 light source, then it must match the H1’s wire coil filament size and location, the electrical connector size and location and the ballast design for use with an H1 light source (which is impossible since there is no ballast). Consequently, companies that are manufacturing HID light sources (e.g., D1S, D1R, D2S, D2R, 9500, etc…) with incandescent light source bases (e.g., H1, H3, H7, H8, H9, H11, H13, HB1, HB2, HB3, HB4, HB5, etc…) should be aware that this light source design would not be one that conforms to FMVSS No. 108, and could not be imported and sold in the United States without violating Federal law. (The importer is treated as the manufacturer and subject to the same fines and penalties that apply to a domestic manufacturer.)

The NHTSA has also determined that a commonly used disclaimer “for off-road use only” has no legal meaning and is not recognized by the agency as the manufacturer, importer and retailer are not in a position to control use once a product has been sold. Any equipment offered for sale which is covered by FMVSS No. 108 (headlamps, taillamps, side markers, etc.) must comply with the standard.

On a related topic, the NHTSA has also stepped up enforcement against restyled combination lamps that are missing required functions existing on the original-equipment lamps. This would include replacement front- or rear-combination lighting equipment that do not have a required reflector, amber or red light, “DOT” marking or mismarked wattage. The issue is the same: any equipment offered for sale which is covered by FMVSS No. 108 must comply with the standard.
"
 

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Did you dredge up these threads for a reason? Cross-posting to promote your thread isn't cool. Necromancy for such is even less cool.

Odd how someone that put put so many different colored bulbs in their car is concerned with people using HID. Odd colored lighting can be as distracting as anything on the road. I have HID in my accord, and I can see better on a normal road than the OEM HID in my G, granted I used FX projectors with 4300k 50w D2S kit from DDM. The G wins at overall lighting due to leveling and cornering motors, but the light from the FX projectors with clear lens is much cleaner. I adjusted the projectos to minimize the color band as I am more concerned with seeing than having bling bling flicker. I also have 3000k HID with 50w ballasts in the fogs on my G and due to the construction of the fogs there is zero glare and they work fantastic in the rain. Haven't had fog to try them yet, and I don't drive around with fogs when it is unwarranted because my headlights are good enough. Sorry, no blue bulbs or odd colored turn signals for me.


I love how DS uses third person.
Daniel Stern said:
Daniel Stern Lighting is North America's premier automotive lighting consultancy and supply house. Mr. Stern is an experienced consultant in the field of automotive lighting science and technology, setup, regulation, development, history and modification.
Hell I'm an experienced consultant and supply house as well. I have about 10 pairs of different projectors, so many ballasts I've lost count and bulbs appear out of thin air when I dig through the garage.

It depends on the housings. My 01 accord responded fairly well to the standard cheap-o "kit" but needed a shield to control glare, but the beam pattern wasn't great so I upgraded it to projectors and it worked great. I thought of butchering housings when I had the WRX but just put in STi reflectors and 50w ballasts and called it a day.

For the average R-boy I'd smack their hands when they think about putting in aftermarket HID(I want to smack every HID mall salesman I see), but if you care about other drivers and take precautions when adding HID(whether it be shields, OEM projectors, whatever) HID can be a good thing. I won't own a vehicle without HID. I looked at the size of the housings on my accord contemplating retrofit before I even took a test drive lol.
 

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2014 EX-L V6 AT CUSTOM
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119 Posts
so apparently there has been a lot of argument caused over this argument. and i find it sort of funny how there was a lot of misinformation thrown about over there.

SEMA has prevailed and the NHTSA has agreed that HID retrofits are legal.

here is the text of the article.

SEMA Prevails on Motor Vehicle Lighting Rule; NHTSA Alters Interpretation on Enhanced Replacement Headlamp Systems

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 1, 2005--Following a challenge by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has withdrawn a controversial interpretation of the federal lighting standard. SEMA disputed NHTSA's constitutional and statutory authority to prohibit vehicle headlamp replacement systems that are different than the headlamps and components which came with the original vehicle. The agency's latest action reverses this ruling.


In a Nov. 1, 2005, notice published in the Federal Register, NHTSA agreed with SEMA that Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108 is a performance standard that allows for different types of replacement headlamp systems, lamps and sources so long as the system meets the photometry and functionality requirements of the standard. It had been NHTSA's contention that replacement headlamps must comply with all applicable photometry requirements using the same light source as the original equipment. This interpretation would have prohibited, for example, replacing a halogen-based system with high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps that otherwise meet all requirements of FMVSS 108.

"NHTSA's reversal is wholly consistent with the statutory requirement that replacement lighting equipment meet an objective performance standard. We applaud the agency for issuing this revised ruling," said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. "A policy limiting the consumer's choice of design runs contrary to long-standing precedent, is beyond authority as delegated by Congress and could have threatened other equipment beyond lighting in the future. We are pleased that by acting on our members' behalf, we were able to overturn this policy."

NHTSA first issued its controversial interpretation in 2003 as a draft opinion letter subject to public comment. None of the 25 organizations and businesses that commented agreed with NHTSA's proposal that replacement equipment conform to the standard in the same manner as the original equipment. Instead, commenters argued that aftermarket manufacturers should be allowed to certify replacement lighting equipment under FMVSS No. 108 in such manner as complies with the performance standard it sets forth. Despite these recommendations, NHTSA stuck with its position and published a final opinion letter in October 2004. SEMA immediately petitioned the agency to reconsider its action.

"SEMA continues to stand for the right to responsibly accessorize, modify, and improve vehicles with enhanced aftermarket lighting," said SEMA Chairman Mitch Williams. "Enhanced headlamp lighting systems improve safety aspects of the vehicle and can be fully compliant with all relevant federal standards. SEMA vigorously opposed this interpretation of a long-standing regulation. It threatened to inhibit many legitimate companies who are in the business of improving vehicle lighting to the benefit of the motoring public. SEMA welcomes NHTSA's reversal and will continue to work with the agency to ensure fair and accurate implementation of this new interpretation."

Founded in 1963, SEMA represents the $32 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,466 member companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for automakers and the specialty auto products industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765-0910; call 909-396-0289; or visit www.sema.org and www.enjoythedrive.com.
HID's are indeed legal.. BUT.. Here's where some get into trouble. They retrofit them in headlights not designed for them which causes extreme glare. Look at the factory cars that have them. Look at the type of headlight setup they use. There's your answer. There is also a color test officers use. They hold a white piece of paper in front of the lamps. If the paper still looks white, they are ok. Now this is where the law may change. If the headlight wasn't designed for them, then they are illegal. Also a precaution, alot of older cars cannot support the extra current draw and over time burn up wiring. Something to think about. (1) Are my headlight mounts HID compatible. (2) Will my wiring hold up.. Remember on #1, a pretty good rule of thumb, if your car didn't come with HID's then the headlight design probably wasn't meant for them, thus an install would indeed be illegal. If you look at cars with them you'll notice they have focused lenses with HID which mamimizes efficiency and minimized glare. Open parabolic lenses and HID's don't mix.
 
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