The best LED accessories for your car

LED car lights are cool; find out how to add them to any car legally with our comprehensive guide

An LED spotlight fitted to an off-roader

by Ryan Gilmore |

Light-emitting diode (LED) headlights may look awesome on the latest Honda e and Porsche Taycan and are a better light source than halogens, but there are some rules surrounding them. So before you rush off to add a set of them to your aged Volkswagen Golf GTI, remember that it is illegal to retrofit a car with LED lightbulbs. If you're interested in legally upgrading your old car's headlights, we've made a handy guide to headlight bulbs that are road legal.

LEDs are, however, a popular accessory you can add to your car and there's a massive industry for them at the moment. From auxiliary off-roading lights to cool interior lights and even headlight bulbs for the racetrack, there are a whole host of options ready to be explored. We've put together our picks for the best LED accessories that will be the perfect addition to your car.

Read about headlight technology - from Xenon and LEDs to laser and halogen

What you need to know about LED car accessories:

Are they legal?

If your car did not come with LED lights from the factory you cannot replace your standard headlights with LED units and legally use the car on the road. LED lights cannot be used in place of halogen or filament bulbs because there is no legislation surrounding the testing of these bulbs. All car headlights require a British Standard mark and LED aren't currently tested.

LED bulbs are legally allowed to be fitted to your car's interior (as a dome light for example) so long as the bulbs aren't outward-facing. LED auxiliary lights are also legal (think light bars and spot lamps) provided you don't use them on the road.

It's also worth remembering that under UK law, only white and yellow headlight colours are allowed. These are the most popular colours of halogen bulbs (with yellow a hallmark of classic French cars) and most modern headlights will fall somewhere between these two colours. Blue HID headlights are tolerated up to a point, but anything that could be mistaken for an emergency light (like on an ambulance) is illegal for road use.

Is there anything better than LEDs?

Lasers headlights are being touted as the next big thing in car headlight technology. They produce light using a laser shooting at phosphorus, which then emits light that then filters through loads of mirrors. These mirrors can be individually adjusted by the car's brain for fully adaptive headlights. More efficient than LED lights and using less power, these may be expensive but may well be the future of headlights. You can't retrofit these to your car either!


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