With the internet forums now full of opinions and apparent know it all gurus we thought it to be wise to discuss the ADR and legalities around using LED Lightbars or Work lights as reverse lighting. We will keep it simple, Don't just fit a LED Lightbar as a reverse light without doing some due diligence.
Now we are not talking about lights that are manually switched separately from your reverse circuit, these would be considered work lights or work lamps, and as long as they are not used on public roads don't count as auxiliary reverse lighting. Work Lamps are intended to provide maximum light output in both wide flood beams and long-range spreader beams for illuminating work areas. In most cases, the light from these types of lamps exceeds the maximum light output requirements for on-road use. Therefore, these types of lamps are in general not ADR or ECE approved for uses as Reversing Lamps.
We are referring to the use of auxiliary LED Lightbars and LED Worklights as a direct replacement or used in partnership whenever you put the vehicle into reverse when on public roads.
Pictured: Recessed 73120 Series in action at night.
With so many el-cheapo LED Lightbars and LED Worklights being released to market the last few years, it’s hardly surprising to see they’re popping up on 4x4's all across Australia functioning as over-the-top reverse lights. But unfortunately, for the most part, it's simply illegal unless those lights fall under strict ADR regulations in both their design and their fitment location. There are few laws regarding reverse lights in detail and most deal with lamps that automatically come on when reverse is engaged and the specific angles the light is visible from. Work Lamps are intended to provide maximum light output in both wide flood beams and long-range spreader beams for illuminating work areas. In most case, the light from these types of lamps exceeds the maximum light output requirements for on-road use. Therefore, these types of lamps are general not ADR or ECE approved for uses as Reversing Lamps.
Below we have listed the main 3 points that you must take into account when fitting auxiliary reverse lights to your vehicle.
In addition, Reverse lighting is highly regulated under ADR13. Unless your vehicle is fitted with an ADR compliant reverse light, fitting of any other LED Lightbar as a reverse light will almost certainly get you a warning at best.
We highly recommend that if you want to increase the light output for your reverse, you consider ADR compliant options such as the Recessed 73120 Series or the U Mount 7312 Series both of which have been ADR / ECE approved as Reverse Lights.
When purchasing Auxiliary Reverse Lights, Look for ADR or ECE Approvals.
Now, that's not to say that you "can't" fit that insanely bright LED Lightbar you have been eying off. You will just need to ensure that it is switched separately from your vehicle's reverse circuit.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out to the OzLED team
aux reverse lightsBy: Peter Evans on 5 May 2021Thanks for your trouble to research. You never know these things till you get booked.
Good ArticleBy: James Twidale on 5 May 2021Thanks for clearing up the legal requirements for fitting reversing lights. It is always good to get the right advise and not someone's opinion. I have 2 small reversing lights fitted myself and are hooked up to the vehicle reverse switch. Now I have to check if they are fitted legally.
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