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Legality of Custom Headlight Housings

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  • Legality of Custom Headlight Housings

    I have read a few posts on here that all basically say modifying the OEM light at all is not legal. I get that. What about replacing a light with another OEM one. For example, the older supercars, like Pagani Zonda that ran what looks like Hella 90mm projector headlights and taillights that used to be used on commercial buses fused directly into the bodywork with no cover lenses.

    Full disclosure, this isn't for an OEM car, I am more-so am asking about a one-off kit car that I plan to build and no OEM headlights will fit with my design so I would like to make my own design but don't want to get stopped at the inspection stage. However even for an OEM, as long as each housing is already DOT certified for on road use, is sealed and is aimable does that tick all of the boxes to get through an inspection?

  • #2
    Better off asking your local motor/road/transport authority.


    • #3
      What country are you in?
      ​​​​​​a couple of years ago I read on the HELLA catalog that the 90mm units can be put behind another lense. Fir exactly the purpose you would want them. But I don't know if they would need another test procedure.

      maybe show us your headlight design and one of us has an idea for a stock headlight that comes close to your design.
      Subaru Outback retrofit:
      License plate lights with dual brightness:


      • #4
        Send an email with your question to one of the most knowledgeable subject matter experts on automotive lighting: Daniel Stern

        Finding a lamp that makes a claim to be DOT certified is pretty questionable nowadays. Hella does have a good range of 90mm low beam and high beam lamps. However there are also regulations for lamp height on a vehicle as well as other possible requirements that I can't think of.

        The federal lighting standards (FMVSS 108) are found HERE. Some of these rules can often be a challenge to interpret however Daniel Stern can certainly sort that out.