View Full Version : LED side lights

24-01-2008, 02:33 PM
Does anyone know if LED bulbs are road-legal as replacements for the standard filament bulbs (501) in sidelights? (ultraled.co.uk have examples)

A quick bit of background info - I upgraded the standard headlight bulbs on my A4 (B5) with an HiD kit. Massive improvement in the illumination of the road and the look of the car, but the next thing I noticed was the standard sidelights looked weak and yellow in comparison. After a quick search, I found some recommendations
for swapping the bulbs for Phillips Blue Vision 505 W5W bulbs. Bought and installed a pair (only about 10 quid), and there's a marked improvement... but they still look a bit yellow compared to the white of the HiDs. After some more searching and asking around, I've discovered LED replacements are available but its not clear if these are road legal or not. There's loads of colours, so there's opportunity for using these to swap out other bulbs too, though I'm only thinking of white for the side lights.

Another idea was to try and find/install daylight running lights (DLR) LED strips like the new R8 / A5 / S5 / new A4 but at the moment this probably requires some customising of the existing head lamp unit (which is way beyond my skills!!)... or maybe locating them in the front bumper which could look a bit naff... unless anyone knows of any simple upgrades?

Thoughts, comments, ideas most welcome!

24-01-2008, 02:59 PM
Not sure if they're legal or not, but I'm lookin at fitting some! I have the phillips blue vision ones too and to be honest they're nowhere near what I was expecting, they just look like standard bulbs but a bit brighter!

Can i ask where you got your HID kit from and how much? I bought the H7 Blue visions in the hope that I could put the HIDS on hold for a while.. but theyre pretty disappointing... was expecting more of a 'Xenon effect'! .. as it says on the box!

There's a post on here about DLR's... http://www.vwaudiforum.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=23938

24-01-2008, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the link! :beerchug: The blue vision bulb are definitely an improvement on the standard bulbs, but they still don't quite look the part.

I got my HiD kit from HIDs-direct for about 90 quid - the site used to be linked to the forum but I can't find it any more?!
The kit included the bulbs, electric ballast unit, the necessary cables and instructions for both a pair of H7 headlights. Even my novice skills managed fitting it all in! :D The only thing I needed was a hole cutting drill attachment to allow the cable to feed out the back of the standard light casing to the balast. The kit included a rubber grommet so the headlight unit is still sealed. Placing the balast took a little thought, but nothing complicated.

The lights work well and look much better than standard bulbs. The only minor problem I've found is that sometimes the DIS or the odometer go blank when I turn the lights on. The odometer resets itself very quickly, but DIS only returns once the ignition is switched on/off again. The HiD balast initially draws a high current to get the arc going which I think might be causing it, but it doesn't happen all the time.

24-01-2008, 10:20 PM
i have tried for some time now to get some side light bulbs which look WHITE to match the HID's..

The last ones i got were from ebay.. these were 501 SUPER WHITE LED's... which still looked blue ish..

Since installing these i have not reverted back to some standard Bosch 501's..


paul b
25-01-2008, 12:04 AM
I have the same bulbs in the sidelights of my A6, Rick. In fact I have them for the dipped beam and everything. However I am soon to install a HID kit.

27-01-2008, 07:13 PM
Done a bit more digging around but not found anything conclusive regarding swapping normal bulbs for LEDs. Suppose the main thing is whether or not they would pass the MOT and a thread on a Mini site had a post saying that all should be OK so long as the light is either yellow or white (not blue or any other colour). A local independent auto-parts shop thought it would be OK as long as the wattage is the same or less. Another Audi forum also had some details with examples of changes to an S4 (B7 I think).

So... I bought a pair and swapped then over - pics attached/below (only in daylight so far) The white light is from the LED, the yellow-ish light is from the "blue vision" bulb.

Looks the part I think. Just need to wait 6 months until the MOT is due to see if all's OK!? :D What are your thoughts?

Oh yeah... the LEDs are "white LED extreme power 1.5W 360 degree" from autobulbsdirect (12.50 for the pair)

And... re. the R8 / A5 / S5 etc DLR strips - saw a TT with some on the way home a few days ago - looked like they'd swapped the indicator strip over with the sidelights. Looked good, but wouldn't work on the stock A4 obviously...