LED SEALED BEAM REPLACEMENTS
Thunder and Great White offer LED headlights built specifically for the Australian and NZ market
Replacing a pair of sealed beam halogen headlights with LED versions is a quick and easy upgrade to many 4WDs, hot rods or even a classic Australian muscle car.
With the abundance of options available online it would seem, at first glance, to be a cheap and simple win as well.
Unfortunately, says NAPA, there are a few pitfalls involved in going the cheap route that could make it a much more complicated and expensive modification.
It says the most obvious danger with some LED headlights can simply be material and manufacturing.
NAPA recommends that you always look for a light with a good aluminium body for heat dissipation and a UV treated polycarbonate lens, as opposed to plastic or glass, for strength.
It warns there can also be wiring issues due to negative switching or CANBUS systems that can be difficult to work around if the solution is not incorporated in the light itself.
The OE headlight being replaced might also incorporate additional functions like park, DRL and indicators. So, replacement headlights must also incorporate these compliant functions, otherwise the additional functions not included will need to be purchased separately and installed on the vehicle.
The larger, but less obvious, danger is the fact that in Australia and New Zealand we drive on the left-hand side of the road, a trait we share with only 30 percent of the world.
This means our headlights will “cut” slightly to the left, to avoid shining directly into oncoming traffic (while still giving adequate visibility on the off side of the vehicle for pedestrians for example).
We therefore need lights that are specifically ADR (Australian design regulation) approved.
With most vehicle lighting we adhere to the international standards (ECE, ECR) as they are not specific to direction. Unfortunately, a LHD and a RHD headlight can both meet the same international standard, but only the RHD one will adhere to the ADR.
The other Standard often seen advertised is the SAE standard (Society of Automotive Engineers). This is a USA standard governed by DOT, (US Department of Transport), and NAPA says any and all headlights with these approvals or markings on them will be illegal for use in Australia or New Zealand, as they will all be made to suit LHD vehicles.
If a RHD vehicle has a set of LHD headlights fitted to it, it says the only fix is to remove and replace them. There is no way to make a set of LHD headlights safe or legal for use in Australia or New Zealand.
The replacement headlights being installed must be compliant for all the lighting functions that it contains. Therefore, multi-function lights claim more than 1 ADR or ECE compliance marks.
NAPA says that both the Thunder (TDR08030) and the Great White (GWF5005 & GWF5010) LED Headlights are designed and built specifically to suit the Australian and New Zealand markets and are certified ADR compliant.
It says while they may cost a little more than some online options, they are simple plug and play replacements that can work with negative switching or CANBUS systems and are 100 percent legal.