LED lights & spare bulbs for travel in Europe?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by rod_vw, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. rod_vw

    rod_vw Funster

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    Now owning a vehicle (Volkswagen T6) with factory fitted LED lights both front and rear I am wondering what the law/rules are in various European countries regarding a requirement to carry spare bulbs.

    My headlights and DRLs along with rear lights and brake lights are integral LED units. Obviously I cannot carry four complete light units as spares just in case one fails neither could I expect to be able to easily obtain spares from a European dealer to be able to supply RHD headlight units off the shelf should one fail.

    Do any readers know what is now expected of motorists in Europe regarding light failures and/or the carrying of spare parts on such LED equipped vehicles? Logic says that a driver should replace/repair those lights that can be fixed on the roadside but these modern LED units are a very different story.

    Your thoughts please.
     
  2. The Nomad

    The Nomad

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    I suspect that never in the history of the human species has anyone actually been prosecuted for not having the "correct" set of bulbs plus tools to change them.

    I suggest: don't worry, be happy.

    In the extremely unlikely event that a bulb actually fails whilst you are on the road, just go to any motor factors or garage or DIY shop and get replacement and self fit/garage fit as necessary.
     
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  3. JFD

    JFD Funster

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    Good question! If you are a member of the RAC or AA, I suggest an email to them asking the same question.

    If not, come back, and I will happily punt off an email to the RAC and put the result up here.
     
  4. rod_vw

    rod_vw Funster

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    Hi 'TN' you have obviously not realised that these modern units don't have 'bulbs' the light source is an integral LED thus the whole unit must be replaced.
     
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  5. rod_vw

    rod_vw Funster

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    Thanks 'JFD' please do just that, their response will be interesting.
     
  6. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    Or just buy a cheap set (which won't fit )at aldi next time they are on special and wave them if asked to show them the leds should last for years
     
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  7. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    great thread, (y) we have just had an MOT issue with repeater side marker lights on the side of ours not working, they are nearly 10 year old LED units, I actually would have expected them to be standard bulbs. We have hardly ever driven in the dark and rarely in poor weather with lights on, maybe they will not last as long as we might hope

    I guess these complete headlight units will be held at the dealers so will be available, but the other issue is at what price?

    Also hope that single elements might fail rather than the whole thing, you occasionally see the odd DRL with bits missing, but they might be after market units

    at home we now lose an LED GU10 down lighter most months at around 3 years old since all changed, in the early days of home LEDS we would lose one segment, now the whole light just fails
     
  8. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    Just buy some assorted LEDS from Maplins, a box will cost a quid, and show them if stopped.

    Edit: I have had a number of cheap Chinese domestic bulbs fail in early life. Serves me right for buying from Ebay
     
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  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I doubt very much you would be 'spot checked' but more so having a bulb out.
    Because of the complexity of modern vehicle lighting carrying a spare set of bulbs is no longer required.
    Many vehicles require a degree of dismantling to get at the bulb and unless you know what you are doing HID headlamps can kill....they run at around 18000 volts via a high voltage ballast unit.
    You could still be prosecuted for a failed lamp as you could be in the UK..... I would imagine.
     
  10. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    There are some vehicles around now where the Owners Manual instruction for changing certain bulbs is 'take it to your Dealer'. I rather think the legislation requiring a spare bulb set is carried has failed to keep up with the changes in vehicle technology. Now there's a shocking thought :D2.
     
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  11. rod_vw

    rod_vw Funster

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    I can't believe that there are so many readers that do not understand that modern LED headlights DON'T HAVE BULBS! And in my case the rear lights are NOT BULBS.

    The LED portion is integral with the complete light unit.

    It was only an academic question in the first place but seems to have gone off at a tangent already.

    Pappajohn these are LED NOT HID.
     
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  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I don't think your point has been missed, posters are suggesting a simple low cost way to pay a token effort to comply with an outdated rule, simply by carrying random bulbs that would not even fit

    The other reference to bulbs could always be useful to someone, I had an issue with my HID and only because I happened to read my manual, a very rare event for me, it says do not touch this light unless qualified you can die :(

    I think the reference to that by pappajohn was simply a useful reminder in the thread about lights

    Rare things threads that stay fully on track, at least all of the replies are about lights (y)

    so far at least :)
     
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  13. EssexBoy

    EssexBoy Funster

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    I think the point from PJ was to say if you aren't physically able to change a bulb yourself nowdays, why on earth would you be expected to change a whole LED light?
     
  14. Ivory55

    Ivory55 Funster

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  15. Kingham

    Kingham Funster Life Member

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    Is it not just a case that the term 'bulb' is being used generically and covers LEDs.
     
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  16. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    I think maybe your worrying about something not worth worrying about.
    Just go and enjoy (y)
    There are far more worthy topics for worrying like grey waste
     
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  17. Mikescuba

    Mikescuba Funster

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    I have lived in France for just under twenty years. I had a driving job for 8 years covering some 120,000 Kilometers a year plus my private mileage in my MH, Land rover and car. I have lost count how many times I have been stopped on routine checks whilst on the road. I have never been asked to show if I have a spare light bulb set.

    I would also point out on my previous car which was a Renault Grand Scenic to change a front headlamp bulb is a three hour job in a Specialist Renault garage. You have to virtually dismantle the front of the car to get to it. If I was ever asked I would ask them how do Renault owners cope with there useless French designed car's. I would just carry a few bulbs like stop and side lights.
    If I sound pee'd off about French cars, that's because I am. Enjoy your trip to France.
     
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  18. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    I love everybody chucking ideas in the pot,i have learnt that a light bulb can kill..THANKS for that. As regards changing whole h/lamp units ,when ours were changed from RHD to LHD beam,it took a qualified Renault fitter 3 hours,and yes,he had to near enough take all the front off,and he had the luxury of a bench,with soft cloth on to stop damage,and no vehicles whizzing by,trying to take his elbows off.
    Keep chucking as much info in as you can,love it.
    Tea Bag
     
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  19. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    This reminds me of the time I had a headlight bulb go in my Renault car a year or so ago. I popped down the local petrol station and got a replacement. Lifted the bonnet to take out the old one and pop in the replacement (as I had always done in the past). Couldn't see where the rear of the light fitting was so thought I'd take it home and do it, if any tools should be required I'd have them there. Spent an hour or so trying to reach from all directions, to no avail! OK I'll take it to the local garage. They took a look, scratched their heads and said "no".

    I know the handbook said to take it to the main Renault dealer but surely not just to change a bulb, for goodness sake! I tried a couple more garages (not petrol stations) before giving up and contacting Renault service dept. "No problem, just drop it in tomorrow", they said. I enquired how much it would cost. - £49.99.

    Fifty quid to change a light bulb! Seems they did have to take a lot of the front off to get at it.

    Ever since then I wondered about this oft quoted requirement to carry spare bulbs.

    Wyn
     
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  20. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    I think it is a bit of a throw back to another era.
    As said in a previous post, when did anyone ever get asked for their bulb kit let alone prosecuted for not having one ?
    Just go and enjoy !
    Life's to short to worry about such things
     
  21. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Oh no I don't worry about it. Just smile at the idea.

    Wyn
     

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