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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen discussions on other forums about lighting conversions for older vehicles. It is growing in popularity however I believe most people that do this modification don't realize what they are getting into. This is not intended to be a discussion of what is brighter, it is information about DOT approval and what it means to you. I have been through the approval process for new design vehicle lighting before, so I'm not just making this up.

Take taillights as an example, the approval process requires testing the new design ON the vehicle they will sold with. This is done by testing labs according to SAE test standards. The SAE test standards specify position on the car, bulb type, voltage, luminous intensity, beam spread, color, etc. The approval is molded into the lens, along with the first year of use.

Here is my point, if you "convert" your bulbs to LED's that you bought on Ebay for example; you have essentially "voided" your DOT approval. What does this mean to you? If someone were to rearend you, the dirtbag that just destroyed your car and maybe you could claim that your vehicle was not in compliance with DOT regulations. Think it can't happen? This has been a popular modification for motorcycles for years and a number of riders that were hit from behind have had this happen. The reputable manufacturers of these products used to display "not DOT approved" on their packaging and the catalogs usually state this also. But now that lighting components and products are being produced overseas and sold on places like Ebay, the non-DOT information has disappeared.

Just some food for thought.
 

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So are C5 LED taillights DOT approved? I sure want a pair, but not if they might void my DOT approval and hence make me at fault. What about the euro lights?
 

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I almost did not read this thread. Now I am glad I did. I learned a little something out of it. I wonder if the rear ender could force the issue and win, usually the rear ender is at fault. Speaking of motorcycles, my buddy has a Harley that has LED taillights on it, it scares the bejeebus out of me to ride behind him. I cannot tell when he is on the brakes unless I am watching the taillight closely.
 

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I think some of the led tail lights are d.o.t approved though. But like BBShark said, most things out there are technically illegal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think some of the led tail lights are d.o.t approved though. But like BBShark said, most things out there are technically illegal.
Some LED, OEM taillights are DOT approved. What I am talking about is what Eddie 70 described above. I don't know how many of those 1157 style, LED replacement bulbs I have seen that are a fraction of the brightness of the 1157 incandescent bulbs. Very dangerous (especially on a motorcycle).
 
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