Why aren't aftermarket LED globes ADR approved?
— December 21, 2020
You may have seen the terms “not ADR approved” or “for off-road use only” on the packaging of our Surefit and Performance LED headlight conversion kits, or perhaps on our website. What does this mean? In our industry, ADR stands for Australian Design Rules and every car that is sold in the country has to adhere to these before it can be driven on our roads.
To quote the ADR website itself, “The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. The ADRs are generally performance based and cover issues such as occupant protection, structures, lighting, noise, engine exhaust emissions, braking and a range of miscellaneous items.”
If you are driving a car on our roads with factory-fitted (important for later) LED globes, they will be ADR approved.
So why aren’t aftermarket LED globes and conversion kits ADR approved? This is something few think about when purchasing globe upgrades, but it is important to know, because if you decide to retrofit LED globes to your vehicle and drive it on Australian roads, you risk violating relevant legislation.
However, when we say “relevant legislation”, what we mean is that this area actually remains unregulated. That’s right: there are currently (at the time of writing) no specific laws that govern their use. The reason we state on our Surefit and Performance LED globe packaging that they are not ADR approved is because there is no Australian Design Rule to approve them against. We do this so that consumers can make an informed choice about their purchase.
Looking closely, perhaps the most relevant rule suggests that if you are going to REPLACE (not factory fit) an H4 product, then your globe must have a filament in it. Because LEDs don’t use a filament to produce their light source, an LED globe replacement is technically not compliant.
Whilst Narva's Surefit and Performance LED headlight globes do not have a filament, we've engineered them to replicating a halogen/filament style globe as closely as possible. They feature a defined beam cut off, designed to shine light only where you need it and not distract oncoming drivers, ensuring maximum safety for all. This is demonstrated in the comparison images below.
Until these rules are revisited, there is only so far that we can go with retrofit LED options. This is no easy change and we do not believe it will happen anytime soon. For one, in Australia we borrow many of our design rules from Europe, where it’s not particularly high on the priority list. Secondly, it’s very difficult to write a safe regulation, due to the complex nature of headlight and reflector design, and the way in which they project light safely. Narva LED headlight globes work around this issue by being adjustable to suit different headlight designs, however, in order to become ADR compliant, the process of converting to LED globes would need to be foolproof without a need to adjust.
So that’s why you’ll see disclaimers on our packaging about aftermarket LED globes not being ADR approved. Be cautious of any aftermarket or retrofit LED globes and conversion kits that claim to be ADR approved – they aren’t. We hope this blog has helped you to make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing and fitting LED globes.