Driving lights, daytime running lights, dipped beam lights and HID conversion kits

This information provides general guidelines for the fitting of aftermarket lamps or complete lamp assemblies to motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles, with a gross vehicle mass less than or equal to 4.5 tonnes. Vehicles detected with non-complying vehicle lighting may be defected or refused registration.

General requirements

All lights fitted to a vehicle must be built and adjusted correctly so as not to dazzle the driver of the vehicle and the driver of other vehicles.

Australian Design Rules (ADRs) mandate specific performance and orientation requirements for such lamps to regulate the higher light intensity/output which has the potential to severely dazzle oncoming road users. ADR 13 (Installation of Lighting and Light-signalling Devices on other than L-Group Vehicles) specifies minimum design and performance standards for road vehicles on other than L-Group Vehicles.

Retro-fitting original headlamps with non-ADR complying aftermarket globes or non-standard lamp assemblies to a vehicle's dipped beam (low beam) circuit does not guarantee that the headlamp will comply with the specific set of ADR performance requirements. It could render the vehicle unsuitable for road use.

The ADRs provide specific performance and safety requirements for high-output light source lamps to include self-levelling and headlamp cleaning devices for lamps producing more than 2000 lumens, a measure of light output.

For road vehicles, high-output source lamps and assemblies intended for use as dipped beam (low beam) lamps must be certified to comply with the following ADRs, where applicable:

  • ADR 13/00 - Installation of Lighting and Light-signalling Devices on other than L-Group Vehicles
  • ADR 46/00 - Headlamps
  • ADR 51/00 - Filament Lamps
  • ADR 75/00 - Headlamp Cleaners
  • ADR 77/00 - Gas Discharge Headlamps
  • ADR 78/00 - Gas Discharge Light Sources.

Driving lights and LED light bars

Additional driving lights, including LED light bars, may be fitted without the need for approval, provided they comply with the requirements in relevant ADRs and the South Australian Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Standards) Rules 2018, including:
  • The lights must be facing forward.
  • The colour of the emitted light must be white.
  • The maximum number of additional lights allowable is 4.
  • The lights should, as far as possible, be installed symmetrically in pairs at the front of the vehicle.
  • If lights are not fitted as pairs, they must be fitted to the front of the vehicle, symmetrically at the centre.
  • The lights must be wired so they can only operate when the vehicle's main beam headlights are on.
  • The placement of lights and associated brackets must not increase the risk of bodily injury to any person.
  • The lights must not be fitted to the top of a bull bar or above the bonnet line.
  • The lights must not protrude forward of the bumper bar or bull bar.
  • The lights may be fitted on the roof of a vehicle provided they do not increase glare to the driver.

Aftermarket daytime running lights

Aftermarket daytime running lights (DRL) may be fitted without an application for modification, provided they comply with the requirements in the relevant ADR and the South Australian Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Standards) Rules 2018, including:
  • The colour of the emitted light must be white. Where fitted on the pre-October 1991 model vehicles, the colour of the emitted light may be white or amber and not use over 25 watts of power.
  • The number of lights must be 2.
  • They must be symmetrically fitted on the front of the vehicle, equidistant to the centre line of the vehicle (see Figure 1).
  • They cannot be fitted to the roof, bonnet, or side rear vision mirrors of the vehicle.
  • They must switch on automatically when the engine is switched on. Daytime running lights may remain OFF while the following conditions exist:
    • The automatic transmission control is in the park position, or
    • The parking brake is in the applied position, or
    • Prior to the vehicle being set in motion for the first time after each manual activation of the engine.
  • They must switch off automatically when the engine is turned off or the headlights are switched on.
  • They meet the dimension requirements shown in Figure 1.

Diagram of the front of a car showing the dimensions of the lights

Figure 1  Daytime running lights dimension requirements

Note - Where OEM daytime running lights are obscured such as by the bull bar, these must be replicated by ADR-compliant daytime running lights that meet the ADR requirements for visibility:

  • Horizontal - 20° to either side.
  • Vertical - 10° up and down.

Aftermarket light-emitting diode  lamps

A light, except a high-beam headlight, fitted to a vehicle must be built and adjusted to provide the necessary amount of light, without dazzling the driver of another vehicle approaching, or being approached by the vehicle. Light emitting diode (LED) lamps must be ADR compliant and certified for use in the light fitting, as non-compliant LED lamps will make light fitting assembly non-compliant. Aftermarket LED replacement globes and headlamp assemblies are required to have evidence of ADR approval before being fitted to a vehicle manufactured after 1 October 1991.

Aftermarket LED replacement globes and headlamp assemblies advertised for 'Off Road Use Only' are usually not ADR compliant and are not suitable for on-road use.

Aftermarket HID conversion kits

Aftermarket HID conversion kits for dipped beam (low beam) lamps with a high voltage power unit or ‘ballast’ is used, evidence of compliance with applicable ADRs must be provided by the kit manufacturer or supplier where:

  • the HID conversion kit fits into the original manufacturer equipment (OEM) headlamp housing in place of the original dipped beam (low beam) lamp, and
  • there is no change to the headlamp lens, reflector, or housing.

Certification evidence from the LED lamp manufacturer, a suitably qualified chartered professional engineer (CPEng) or a light vehicle engineering signatory verifying compliance with the above ADR requirements must be produced to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport prior to the modification being approved.

An application to modify the vehicle must be completed.

Apply to modify a light motor vehicle

Contact Vehicle Standards



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Page last updated 13 April 2023

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