It is Winter and the nights are long and dark. When driving on country roads, many commuters often the same picture: In the distance two glowing points appear. A deer on the road? Often, it turns out: It’s just the headlights of an old VW bus or a car of similar impact, is the funzelt through the night. The diffuse cone of light radiates up to the nearest Delineator.

Modern cars are now equipped with Xenon, Halogen or even LED lights that are very bright, but also precise lights and to recognize from a distance. The Bulli-driver driving his 30-year-old vehicle through the night, took advantage of the modern technology so far, however, conversion was not technically possible. But that could soon change – retrofit-headlights.


These so-called Retrofits, so aftermarket LEDs, in a few minutes and without greater technical Knowledge against that of conventional halogen headlamps to replace and are also available for older cars. On the exercising place of the traffic of Hamburg controls the MIRROR ONLINE has tested the retrofit solution.

“The installation does not take longer than ten minutes per headlight, also for the Inexperienced,” says LED-expert Mark Bülow. Special tool you do not need. The LED retrofit used bulbs like ordinary bulbs: the service flap of the headlamp to open the cable or pull out the plug, the lamp from the socket pull out and space for the LED module.

the Test of The retrofit LEDs in the Video:


This consists of the actual light bulbs with a total of eight LED Chips, and an active fan for cooling. In addition, a small control device is a so-called CANbus Adapter attached, to avoid error messages of the vehicle system. Because LED lights have a lower wattage than conventional lamps, resulting in systems that report a defective lamp could detect the LED when the function test erroneously as a defect. After a good 15 minutes, the conversion of both headlights is done.


In the subsequent test ride on the traffic practice area in Hamburg is the difference of the two types of Headlamps. In contrast to the halogen headlights, the LEDs will be significantly brighter and more. Due to the whiter, the light of day more similar light to perceive contrasts and items is much better. The boundary between the illuminated and dark area of the LEDs is also sharper. In addition, the LEDs illuminate the road edges are significantly brighter than the halogen lights, so that obstacles or pedestrians to detect the edge of the road better.

Yet Retrofits are not allowed

in the Meantime, several luminaire manufacturers such as Philips, Osram or Nighteye to offer the Retrofits. A set of retrofit LED costs, depending on the model and manufacturer of between 100 and 160 euros. “Although this is more expensive than conventional halogen lights for the Retrofit, but also up to ten Times as long,” says Bülow. The retrofit LEDs offer so many advantages, but they have a serious Problem: not Authorised, the LED Retrofits in this country.

The EU-directives do not make it possible to replace lamp with a conventional filament – so, for example, halogen spotlights to LEDs. Although there are no safety concerns, was not adapted to the law yet. In other countries such as the USA or Japan, are approved in the LED Retrofits in the road already.

In an extensive Test of the General German automobile club (ADAC), says that the Retrofits would contribute to increased safety of motorists. Accordingly, the Retrofits have lower failure rates than conventional bulbs and have a longer life. „”The ADAC is an advocate for the legalization of Retrofits,” says Melanie Mikulla from the ADAC. Also when brake light is an advantage of index compared with conventional bulbs: The brake light to react in the case of a braking operation, the driver of the following vehicle can therefore react earlier.

legal retrofit for 1000 Euro

This is true but not in principle, since on the international market, many cheap products in circulation. “Most LED lamps currently offered on the international market, do not meet the strict requirements of light sources for cars, the emission of Light is defective, the headlight covers can,” says Mikulla from the ADAC.

Although can be retrofitted LED headlights in the car, but only if you replaced the entire headlight module. The costs according to the TÜV Thüringen good 1000 euros. For classic cars, such a swap would also be difficult, as there are for the old models, it is often completely no complete LED modules on the market. The Bulli-driver must wait still a little, until he can replace his add a free call with LED headlights – the negotiations with the EU authorities.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.