|Light mods must not endanger other road
Question : I WOULD like to know if there is a higher
limit for the color temperature (K) for the headlights of a road
going vehicle. I am planning to
retro-fit a HID kit to my current
vehicle, but I also want to remain
on the right side of the law. Please
Answer : The temperature (measured in
Kelvin or K) of the light determines
the colour of the light that the bulb
emits. Normal incandescent filament
bulbs produce light of about 2,800K
while halogen bulbs around 3,200 to
3,400K. High intensity discharge
(HID) bulbs produce light of a much
higher temperature, usually with a
lower temperature limit of about
As the temperature of the light
increases, its colour becomes whiter
and at temperatures exceeding
6,000K, the light turns a bluish tint.
As the amount of blue in light
increases, the amount of contrast
decreases, and with extremely high
temperature lights, visibility becomes
poor in bad weather conditions.
The laws governing the modification of lights on vehicles in Malaysia are
rather unclear, especially concerning replacement of the light
source (bulb). However, any modifications that are carried out must not
create a nuisance or endanger other
road users i.e. glare.
The guidelines do state that any
forms of blue-colored lights are prohibited. But, just what constitutes
"blue" is not clearly spelled out.
Note that some HID conversion kits
which the makers claim are direct
replacement for halogen bulbs have
been known to cause problems such
as flaring because they were not
properly designed for the car's original reflectors.