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Driving in Spain

Car LED Bulb Confusion Clarified



Although replacing halogen lamps with LEDs without the need for legal procedures had been allowed for months in Spain, various circumstances prevented it or made it excessively complicated, but now, following a change in the regulations, all difficulties are resolved, as the modification allows the free installation of any approved LED bulb in a country of the European Union.

In November of 2022, the Ministry of Industry had made a modification to the Manual for Vehicle Reforms to allow the replacement of halogen bulbs with LEDs without the need for approval procedures by the user.

However, said modification required that this could only be the case in the case of LED bulbs approved according to the ECE R37 regulation, which is the one that governs halogen bulbs.

In practice, no existing product on the market met this criterion, since manufacturers approved their LED technology products according to the LED standard and not according to the standard for halogen bulbs.

As a result of this, we had to wait until February to have Spain´s first halogen replacement LED lamps approved in the country: the OSRAM Night Breaker.

However, in addition to being very expensive, they did not carry the ECE R37 label, so it was necessary to download a document that accredited to the authorities and the ITV that these bulbs were legal. Likewise, it was necessary to carry an equivalent replacement certificate, also provided by OSRAM.

Now, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism has definitively resolved the problem, opening the door to other manufacturers and, consequently, making it easier for users to switch from halogen to LED bulbs.

On April 15, the BOE published the first correction to the Vehicle Reform Manual indicating that, from May 5, it will be possible to replace halogen bulbs with approved LED bulbs not only in Spain, but in any country of the European Economic Area.

In practice, this modification of the regulations allows the free installation of any LED bulb approved in a European Union country, which must be accompanied by an equivalent replacement certificate provided by the manufacturer.

Thus, the numerous bulbs previously approved in Germany, France and other EU countries -and which could not be used legally in Spain- can now be installed without problems.

This, in addition to facilitating the use of LED bulbs in vehicles with standard halogen bulbs, will allow the user to access them at lower prices, which until now exceeded 110 euro per pair in all cases.

The post Car LED Bulb Confusion Clarified first appeared on – Driving In Spain.

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