HID lights illegal or not? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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HID lights illegal or not?

thinking of replacing my head lightson my bike , any suggestions.....
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:10 PM
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I was just going to post about light upgrades, I'm curious as well!

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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:11 PM
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i think it has to be at a certain angle downward.

ask jen or erik about the legal issues. maybe they have some case codes to help?



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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:14 PM
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i have 6000k in the projector and 8000k in the reflector hi and low beam and never got puled over
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:14 PM
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ive heard anything over 10k is illegal, can anyone confirm?

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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:34 PM
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if you look at all aftermarket products they say for off road use only. Only factory installed true HID are legal in the US.

The big difference is you have to be able to level them based on load, alot of cars do it automatically, every single person that does them aftermarket technically is braking the law, but are you going get pinged for it, probably not.

What you need to remember is you need a projector that is specifically for HID set ups, not just a halogen projector that are in alot of bikes and cars now. When you just through HIDs in you need to remeber just because you can see better doesn't mean it makes it easier for someone to see you, all they see if a blinding light and people tend to drive towards what they are looking at , remember your MSF instructor telling to you look where you want to go, same concept.

So if you ask me, if I can't do it the way they are desinged to be used it isn't worth the cost of them.

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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:38 PM
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I went threw the research last year. Anything over 6000k is illegal. But then again I installed 8000k lights in my SUV about 1 1/2 years ago and never was pulled over for them.

Keep in mind I was pulled over for speeding and the cops didn't say anything about them. Its the same as everything else, if you find the right cop on the right day then you have a chance of getting a ticket.

You have to love it, we live in America, were supposed to have freedom but yet we don't.
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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:44 PM
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hey demo one more thing, if your gonna replace the bulb, make sure u get a set thats designed specifically for a gsxr, cuz our bikes have a small 1inch bracket behind the bulb that latches onto the projector

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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:44 PM
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if you look at all aftermarket products they say for off road use only. Only factory installed true HID are legal in the US.

Bingo. If the vehicle didn't come equipped with them from the factory, any retro-fitment is not street legal. All the kits are for 'off-road-use only'.

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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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i think it has to be at a certain angle downward.

ask jen or erik about the legal issues. maybe they have some case codes to help?
who are jen and erik?
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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 06:57 PM
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Don't ask cops about legality of anything. In my experience, most of them won't know. That's why we have lawyers. If a cop says its legal and is wrong, its not a legally recognized defense.

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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 07:04 PM
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I have a 5000 kit and I love it. If you don't get any higher than 5k it stays pretty white and cops wont notice much. the higher you go the bluer you get and you'll stick out in traffic. The other pfoblem with these is that cheap ones could ruin your plastic. I snagged this from another forum. Lots of info here...

[ HID (or High Intensity Discharge) lamps are different from Halogen Incandescent Lamps in how they produce light.

- An incandescent lamp works because electricity passes through a thin wire (filament) and the wire heats up white hot. The higher the wattage of the lamp the more light it produces. Since the light is a direct result of a hot filament the higher wattage lamp also produce more heat. A hot filament will eventually burn away and fail. In order to extend the life of the lamp some are filled with an inert halogen gas which slows the burn process. When you see a standard lamp advertised as a Xenon lamp that simply means that Xenon was used as the fill gas. It does NOT mean that the lamp is any way related to a Xenon HID unit.

- HID lamps work by sending a high voltage current through a gas filled glass tube (envelope). The initial high voltage electricity forms an arc through the gas filled tube which excites the gas and creates plasma. As the plasma forms the power supply (balast) decreases the voltage to a lower (but still high voltage) amount that will sustain the gas in a plasma state. The gas in plasma state produces bright light. The composition (mix) of gas in the envelope decides the color of light that is emitted.
HID lamps are much more efficient at converting electrical energy into photons (light.) Therefore, an HID lamp will produce less heat per unit of light produced (lumen) when compared to a traditional incandescent lamp. Because they are more efficient they will also produce more light per watt consumed.
- Because HID lamps are more efficient they will consume less power from your bike (good thing) and produce more light (good thing).

Since the HID lamp produces less heat it's not threat to my headlamp lens, right?

-Unfortunately heat is not the only potential enemy. Ultraviolet light has the ability to damage plastic. The most common result is that clear plastics will yellow and become brittle. Most manufacturers have switched to plastics that are highly UV resistent and I dont' think we have much to worry about on our bikes. Many of the higher quality HID lamps (all OEM units) will have a UV filter applied to the envelope when manufactured.
- Reducing UV output is also beneficial to reducing eye strain. Certain wavelengths of UV light are real hard on your eyes and can cause damage with extended exposure.


What is Color Temperature?

- As noted above the color of the light produced by an HID lamp will vary depending on the gas mix (and the balast to a certain extent.)
- The color is defined in degrees Kelvin or Color Temperature.
- The temperature of the sun is 5780K degrees but the ligth color we receive here on earth is about 5000K to 5500K degrees.
- Halogen lights are not as white as the sun and they come in around 3200K degrees which is noticablly yellower than daylight.
- Your eyes are very sensative to daylight and your mind uses that light well for understanding shapes and objects. Most OEM HID lamps on cars are in the 5300K degrees area.
- If you want the 'euro tuner' look you can go with a higher color temperature lamp. The higher the number the bluer the light will appear.
- As you move to a higher color temp. the brightness of the lamp decreases. Your eyes are less sensative to higher color temperatures.
- Choosing a lamp in the 4500 to 6500 range is probably your best bet, in my opinion.
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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul F4i View Post
I went threw the research last year. Anything over 6000k is illegal. But then again I installed 8000k lights in my SUV about 1 1/2 years ago and never was pulled over for them.

Keep in mind I was pulled over for speeding and the cops didn't say anything about them. Its the same as everything else, if you find the right cop on the right day then you have a chance of getting a ticket.

You have to love it, we live in America, were supposed to have freedom but yet we don't.
Can you cite the statute that says 6000 is OK but 8000 isn't?

Google searching forums and blogs doesn't count as legal research.

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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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guys i thanks for all the post....i guess just need to do some research tonight then
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 07:38 PM
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post #16 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 07:39 PM
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OK, I'll save you some energy and time.

Quote:
625 ILCS 5/12-201. When lighted lamps are required


Sec. 12-201. When lighted lamps are required. (a) When operated upon any highway in this State, every motorcycle shall at all times exhibit at least one lighted lamp, showing a white light visible for at least 500 feet in the direction the motorcycle is proceeding. However, in lieu of such lighted lamp, a motorcycle may be equipped with and use a means of modulating the upper beam of the head lamp between high and a lower brightness. No such head lamp shall be modulated, except to otherwise comply with this Code, during times when lighted lamps are required for other motor vehicles.

(b) All other motor vehicles shall exhibit at least 2 lighted head lamps, with at least one on each side of the front of the vehicle, which satisfy United States Department of Transportation requirements, showing white lights, including that emitted by high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, or lights of a yellow or amber tint, during the period from sunset to sunrise, at times when rain, snow, fog, or other atmospheric conditions require the use of windshield wipers, and at any other times when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 1000 feet. Parking lamps may be used in addition to but not in lieu of such head lamps. Every motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer shall also exhibit at least 2 lighted lamps, commonly known as tail lamps, which shall be mounted on the left rear and right rear of the vehicle so as to throw a red light visible for at least 500 feet in the reverse direction, except that a truck tractor or road tractor manufactured before January 1, 1968 and all motorcycles need be equipped with only one such tail lamp.

(c) Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light a rear registration plate when required and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. Any tail lamp or tail lamps, together with any separate lamp or lamps for illuminating a rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the head lamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted.

(d) A person shall install only head lamps that satisfy United States Department of Transportation regulations and show white light, including that emitted by HID lamps, or light of a yellow or amber tint for use by a motor vehicle.

(e) For purposes of this Section, a custom vehicle or street rod is considered to be in compliance with all vehicle lamp requirements if it has passed the approved safety inspection provided for in Section 3-804.1 or 3-804.2 [625 ILCS 5/3-804.1 or 625 ILCS 5/3-804.2].
Thats the only mention of HID lighting in the entire Illinois Vehicle Code. THe only requirement is that the light is "white"
Leave it to lawyers to argue about what "white" means...
The US DOT has adopted SAE J578 standard for defining what "white" is. I've attached a .pdf with a chart showing what HID's are within the definition of white.

In sum: you can install non-factory HID's in Illinois, provided they're white.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf HIDlight 18.pdf (27.5 KB, 8 views)

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post #17 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 07:52 PM
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Yeah, cops can't measure dB levels for exhaust noise violations; they sure as heck aren't going to be able to gauge the difference between 6000 Kelvin and 8000 Kelvin.

That quoted law above only pertains to when lighted lamps are required, it doesn't cover the legality of modifying the vehicles OEM systems.

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post #18 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 08:14 PM
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My friend put 8300k in his blazer. it's not bright at all. it's to purple.
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post #19 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
Yeah, cops can't measure dB levels for exhaust noise violations; they sure as heck aren't going to be able to gauge the difference between 6000 Kelvin and 8000 Kelvin.

That quoted law above only pertains to when lighted lamps are required, it doesn't cover the legality of modifying the vehicles OEM systems.
Well then please cite the law that says they can't be modified, counselor.

That is the ONLY mention of HID lights in the entire vehicle code. And you'll also notice, that it references what type of lights can be installed. If you'd read more than the first line, you'd have seen that is pertains to more than when you need the headlights on. I'll quote it again
Quote:
A person shall install only head lamps that satisfy United States Department of Transportation regulations and show white light, including that emitted by HID lamps, or light of a yellow or amber tint for use by a motor vehicle.

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post #20 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 03:49 AM
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Actually look in the FEDERAL motor vehicle safety code. (FMVSS No. 108). Back when I built conversions, we found out that it is illegal to install HID's in non-oem hid equipped vehicles. Nothing to do with states regs, just federal. But if HID's were available as an option on the model, we could install factory HIDs on them.
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post #21 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 08:05 AM
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Actually look in the FEDERAL motor vehicle safety code. (FMVSS No. 108). Back when I built conversions, we found out that it is illegal to install HID's in non-oem hid equipped vehicles. Nothing to do with states regs, just federal. But if HID's were available as an option on the model, we could install factory HIDs on them.
Erroneous! Erroneous! Erroneous on both counts!

FMVSS108 does not bar the installation of HID headlights, so long as the lights meet the chromaticity and photometry requirements outlined in 108. There is no explicit prohibition on installing those lights at all contained in that regulation.

This whole thing is misunderstanding caused by not reading carefully enough, and not understanding that NHSTA letters of interpretation ARE NOT LAW. They have NO legal force. Back on '03, the agency sent a letter opining that a plug n' play HID bulb conversion was not in compliance because that bulb was not designed for that reflector housing, which would cause the beam to be out of spec as far as the angles and such.(as many of you know, putting an HID bulb in reflector housing throws light all over the place.) It did not speak to full headlight unit replacement. From that, the big game of internet 'telephone' distorted the letter's content and importance.

Furthermore, the FMVSS has issued a letter of reconsideration of that '03 letter, since it became obvious that people completely misunderstood it.
In relevant part, the FMVSS's letter of interpretation dated NOv. 1 2005 states
Quote:
This language is relatively straightforward. For any particular
item of lighting equipment, e.g., a lamp, FMVSS No. 108 states only
that if a lamp is manufactured to replace a lamp on a vehicle to which
the standard applies, it must be designed to conform to the standard.
It does not say anything about the replacement lamp's being required to
have the same type of light source as the OE lamp. Moreover, while it
is true that, unlike other lamps, FMVSS No. 108 specifically regulates
headlamp systems including their light sources, neither the language of
S5.8.1 nor any other language in the standard requires replacement
headlamps to use the same light sources as the OE headlamps
.
source: Federal Register
FMVSS 108 doesn't say they're illegal, and now there is a letter of interp stating what should have been clear from reading the reg (instead of internet chatter) in the first place.

Case closed. Never send a cop/headlight maker/consultant to do a lawyer's job.

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post #22 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:02 AM
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:
So pretty much HIDs are illegal because no aftermarket company makes an exact OEM reproduction to meet a vehicles original lighting design.
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post #23 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:17 AM
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So pretty much HIDs are illegal because no aftermarket company makes an exact OEM reproduction to meet a vehicles original lighting design.


No. HIDS are perfectly legal, so long as they are white by Sae dfinition, and meet the photometry standards. ( basically, not spraying light everywhere) If you get a HID headlight unit, projector and all, it will be legal. and I'll let you in on a secret: no traffic prosecutor will be able to prove your HID unit was not regulation without an expert witness, and they won't be calling an expert for a. Stupid headlight.

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post #24 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post


No. HIDS are perfectly legal, so long as they are white by Sae dfinition, and meet the photometry standards. ( basically, not spraying light everywhere) If you get a HID headlight unit, projector and all, it will be legal. and I'll let you in on a secret: no traffic prosecutor will be able to prove your HID unit was not regulation without an expert witness, and they won't be calling an expert for a. Stupid headlight.
legal when a company makes one that meets OEM specs to that car. And 99% of the ones being sold are illegal.
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post #25 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by taledarkside View Post
legal when a company makes one that meets OEM specs to that car. And 99% of the ones being sold are illegal.
please cite the statute that says they need to meet the OEM specs counselor.

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post #26 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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please cite the statute that says they need to meet the OEM specs counselor.
+1 i'd like to see it
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post #27 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:44 PM
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+1 i'd like to see it
we'll be waiting awhile, since it doesn't exist.

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post #28 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 01:10 PM
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Installing hids in non hids Is in fact illegal.

Look at your car headlight there is a code on the head that tells you the about the kind of headlight it is suppose to be. Non hid and hid. then research using that and it should shed some light

go time traveler style and go back in time, fuck his grandma, then shoot forward in time and then fuck his mom. Then return back to present state and call him a the product of two incest whores and hes your son and show video of you plowing the both members of his family. .
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post #29 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C2M View Post
Installing hids in non hids Is in fact illegal.

Look at your car headlight there is a code on the head that tells you the about the kind of headlight it is suppose to be. Non hid and hid. then research using that and it should shed some light
cite the statute, counselor.

If there is no statute disallowing conduct, then it is not illegal.

Attorney-at-Law: Doing my part to contribute to the downfall of western society.
Rob, Esq. is offline  
post #30 of 59 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
cite the statute, counselor.

If there is no statute disallowing conduct, then it is not illegal.
read your own statue that you posted. It states it right there. Lawyer is just someone that couldn't cut it in med school.
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