Hidden Cost of Buying Fancy Globes for Vehicles

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Fancy Bulbs May Waste Your Time and Money

There are a lot of reputable retailers both online and in traditional shop formats, like Auto1, who are selling new technology automotive globes.  What does the law say about supplementary or replacement lighting systems?  Let's explore the Australian Road Rules Part 13, Division 1.

  1. A vehicle may only have 1 set of forward facing headlights which are white in colour, 1 set of forward facing fog lamps (usually yellow), and one set of driving lights (spot lights).
  2. The lights mentioned in point 1 must all be mounted on the front of the vehicle (there are fines for mounting driving lights on the roof).
  3. Tail lights must be red and may not display any additional colours.
  4. Rearward facing fog lamps must also be red and only operated in fog or other reduced visibility driving conditions.
  5. Indicators must be orange, so in the case of a clear indicator housing, the globe must be orange.
  6. Supplementary under-car lighting must not be directly visible by other vehicles.

Accordingly, LED wedge globes and imitation HID globes which emit a forward facing blue, red, green, yellow, orange, and purple light are illegal except where used as permitted; for example, an orange T10 wedge globe used as an indicator.  Blue forward facing parking globes and washer jet globes are quite common, although quite illegal.

Fines & Orders

The result of installing incorrect lighting systems is usually an on the spot fine of around $200 per offence, PLUS a defect notice giving the owner of the vehicle a specified time to incur more costs in remedying the problem, PLUS a further inspection at your state's roads authority to ensure the corrections have taken place.

If you would like more information, contact your local roads authority, or download the Australian Road Rules.

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