Q&A - Are LED Headlights Legal?
QUESTION: I see BC Transit buses have converted their big bus fleet to LED headlights. Are they now legal? Just an observation, most are poorly aimed and prone to blinding on-coming drivers.
ANSWER: I have no doubt that they will be if there aren't any that meet standards now.
A quick search of the internet finds that General Electric is producing a Nighthawk brand replacement sealed beam that is listed as DOT compliant in their sales literature. It is marked SAE HL. The price on Amazon.com looks to be about $300 US each, so the retrofit promises to be expensive. These should be legal for use on BC highways.
Retrofitting a non-sealed beam system is likely another question entirely. I am currently unaware of any replacement bulb to convert a filament bulb housing to LED, even though there are plenty of companies that would be happy to sell you some. Again, it is a question of DOT/SAE approval and even then you cannot rely on some of these items not be have been marked that way even though they don't comply with standards. The word eBay comes to mind here.
If you were to go to an auto parts supplier and have them refuse to write on your purchase invoice that the lights you are buying are legal for use on the highway in BC, I would be concerned about making the purchase.
Here's an interesting article that explains that most LED headlight upgrades don't really work. Of course, this does not necessarily apply to LED headlights that come as standard equipment on new vehicles.