Use of LED bar on roof now approved in SA (only?)

Submitted: Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 06:28
ThreadID: 133151 Views:4022 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Saw this topic on another forum, so looked it up for myself.

I'm surprised that they have approved the use of these on the roof.

I wonder if a SA driver was to carry a copy of these 2 sheets in his/her glove box, would interstate police be likely to let us get away without a fine?

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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 07:56

Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 07:56
Roachie, they are also legal in Qld mounted on the roof.

This is the instruction to inspectors and police. Just scroll down to light vehicles and the heading. Driving lamps, including Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bars on light vehicles (September 2015)

Inspector and police instruction on lights
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Reply By: szawora - Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 08:39

Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 08:39
I would have thought that if the Australian Design Rule (ADR) is changed that this would apply to all Australian vehicles not just selected states????
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 10:20

Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 10:20
It is argued that the ADR as it stands permits roof mounted driving lights ...... but states like SA have been arguing semantics till this point ....... it all revolves around the interpretation of the word " front".

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Reply By: allein m - Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 12:44

Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 12:44
And once more another good reason to have a uniform Australian driving licence and laws this is crazy

there is a lot of farmers here in Broken Hill with spot lights on the roof and above the bull bar ,and no one seems to booking them
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Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 14:05

Friday, Aug 05, 2016 at 14:05
Spotties on the roof have always been legal. FOR OFFROAD and should have had covers on them for on road work.

Anything on the top of a bullbar still has to conform to the view test from the drivers seat which involves having a clear view to a certain point in front of the vehicle.

It used to be nothing above bonnet line but seems to be a bit unclear now
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 12:36

Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 12:36
Its not just the view test for items mounted above the bonnet line.

There is the matter of non-compliant protrubances.

Any passenger car or passenger derived light commercial with a bonnet line at a passenger impactable height can not have anything and I do mean anything mounted above the line of the bonnet or the bullbar that may present a hazard to pedestrians.

There is an exemption for radio aerials ...... that realy is not enforced to the intent of the law and there is a state by state exemption for fishing rod holders, that frankly I do not believe can be justified.

It is not legal in any state of Australia to have driving lights of any type mounted above the bullbar or bonnet line on a pasenger or pasenger derived vehicle.

On the matter of bullbar mounted aerials ..... the regs state that they are only permitted if there is no other choice ...... there is always an other choice even if it is a HF aerial.

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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 00:21

Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 00:21
Allowed in Victoria also.
I think Qld and WA are the only two that haven't conformed to ADR as yet.

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 05:50

Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 05:50
They are legal in Qld on roof as of 2015
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 07:03

Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 07:03
Even if legal now in places,as the legislation seems to indicate, these lights are freaking bright, anything in front of such lights, and that includes bonnets, is best to be painted black, preferably matt sheen to stop your eye strain.
With bonnets, white / light colours are worse, but all colours even black in gloss will give your eyes strain over time.

I'd consider a couple of small bars each side on a roof rack pointing out to the sides a bit, that would give great vision at night, but even that might be too bright as it would still reflect off the bullbar, spotties, uhf aerial, and somewhat off the bonnet.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 08:21

Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 08:21
Depends a bit on how you set them up I guess.

On my last vehicle (a 2003 Landcruiser 100 series) I mounted a 32" bar on the front of the roof rack....BUT....I had an aluminium "contraption" formed-up by a local fabrication place for it to be housed in. It had a lid so as to conceal it from prying eyes when I wasn't using it.

First pic shows the lid down to conceal the bar......


Second pic shows the lid in the UP position....note how the bottom lip of the housing protrudes out and acts to stop any glare getting on the bonnet

]OPEN position[/url]

That set-up worked glare at all.

With utes and dual cabs, the ideal set-up it to mount the light at the back of the cab and let the roof do the job of stopping the glare.

I do also like the idea of mounting the roof lights facing out to the sides slightly to give good coverage of the shoulders.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 12:40

Saturday, Aug 06, 2016 at 12:40
Doh ! Yeah Roachie, meant to add about a shading barrier under the light.
If set up right you could limit glare off all but aerials, sand flags etc, and a bit of matt black spray would fix that.

You would lose some light on the ground immediately in front of the vehicle, but if careful this could be limited to maybe double what it would be anyway from bonnet shading.

I think setting up at back of cab would shade way too much, in fact unless high on a rear rack bar you'd just lose too much . . . better to go the shading plate under the light to stop any glare, or maybe low on a front roof rack would work similarly.
It would just be a bit of trial and error, mod, retry.

Cheers mate, thanks for bringing that up.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 13:08

Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 13:08
The state regulations and the existing ADRs have always allowed for excess glare for the driver.
The issue is specifically addressed regardless of where or what type of lights are involved.

What is now a very real problem is the brightness ...... in the past there where practical limits to how bright lights could be on a vehicle.

now because of the use of much improved LED technology there is seemingly no limit to how bright driving lights on vehicles can be.

There will have to be some sort of limitations placed on the brightness of driving lights some time soon.

As it stands there are real practical limits on how bright lights on vehicles should be ..... but there are a hell of a lot of people who simply don't want to hear it.

1. and the biggest issue is low beam blindness ...... if you have driving lights that are too bright, when you dip to an correctly spec'ed low beam your eyesight will be very badly effected because it can not adjust fast enough.
Many people simply don't want to know that after a certain level of brightness our eyes will adapt and become less sensitive ..... thus this excess brightness is doubly wasted.

This raises the issue of people wanting brighter low beam ...... which ain't going to happen legally.

From my recent tests this useful level of brightness is at around 80 watts of LED in a driving spot pattern.

2. too much brightness actually making it harder to see. Since going across to fairly modest LED driving lights ( and I use them at least 2 or 3 nights a week).
I am finding is hard to see the glow of on-coming vehicles approaching over crests or round corners ...... its not until I see their actual lights that I know to dip my lights .... by that time they will have copped my full LED brightness.
This is much worse with roof mounted lights, because they will be full in the eyes of on-comming traffic before you see their headlights ( yeh I've been on the recieving end of this several times.)
Then there is the reflective road signage ........ with realy bright lights refective road signs can be absolutely blinding.

3 of course there is the issue with the range of these super bright lights ..... back in the day when I ran 100 watt halogen super oscars and 100 watt landers in my high beams .... I found that on-coming people where dipping like 2km or more away on straight roads and I was obliged to drive on low beam till they passed.
Imagine the issue with the current super bright lights combining this long range dipping requirement combined with low beam blindness.

YEH brighter ain't better

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 13:30

Sunday, Aug 07, 2016 at 13:30
Yeah, that is a big problem, and reflection off road signs is similar to dropping from 'light the World' high beam / spotties / light bar mode, to low beam with it's usually warm yellow glow.
You get the bright yellow flashes from the signs and it mucks up your vision briefly.

I find with the Lightforce 35w HIDs, I usually drop them out first when I initially see another vehicle approaching.
The warmer yellow looking high beams fitted to the Ranger oem are easy on the eye (mine and the other approaching drivers, until fairly close, and low beam is the same yellow warm light.
The progressive dipping helps keep some vision for the km or so between spots and high, before dropping to low.

The rod photoreceptors in the eye are the ones affected by the sudden reduction in light (or bright flashes), much like if someone flashes a torch in your eyes in the dark, you go from seeing ok to nothing until your night vision returns.

We covered this in various outdoor / emergency services training many years ago, so we understood the importance of low light and care in night situations.
FollowupID: 872827

Reply By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 09, 2016 at 00:39

Tuesday, Aug 09, 2016 at 00:39
I like the disclaimer on the bottom of the department fact sheet:

"This publication represents the views of the authors and not
necessarily those of the Minister for Transport, Energy,
Infrastructure, Administrative Services and Government
Enterprises, and Road Safety or the Department of Transport and
Infrastructure. "
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