Monday, March 26, 2018

Are LED Lights Allowed?

There has been some confusion among vehicle owners about the Philippine government’s drive against LED lights. Some have said that it calls for an all-out ban, while some have said it only covers certain type of vehicles and/or lights. Trying to settle this issue, we happen to find this lengthy discussion on Atty. Robby Consunji’s Facebook page.

The supposed “ban” on LED lights stems from two sources.

First is the DOTC-LTO-LTFRB Joint Administrative Order 2014-01:
Under Section II, Letter d, it reads:
“Motor Vehicle Operating Without or With Defective/Improper/Unauthorized Accessories, Devices, Equipment and Parts 
This includes bells/horns/sirens/whistles, blinkers, brakes, early warning device (EWD), grill/s, jalousies, brake (foot and hand brakes), brake lights/headlights/interior lights/signal lights/tail lights, mirrors, mufflers, metallic tires/spare tire, speedometer, windshield, wipers or any other accessory, device, equipment or part that is manifestly prejudicial to road safety.”
The second is Presidential Decree No. 96:
“…it shall be unlawful for the owner or possessor of any motor vehicle to use or attach to his vehicle any siren, bell, horn, whistle, or other similar gadgets that produce exceptionally loud or startling sound, including domelights, blinkers and other similar signalling [sic] or flashing devices.”
Does it mean things like LED fog lights or auxiliary light are illegal? Not so fast.

On DOTC-LTO-LTFRB Joint Administrative Order 2014-01, the LTO issued a Memorandum dated March 15, 2016 with a subject: Rules and Regulations Concerning Motorcycle Lights.

It reads that the under DOTC-LTO-LTFRB Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 and other related laws. And take note, this only covers motorcycles; this memorandum does not cover cars, pick-ups, trucks, SUVs, and the like.
Headlights – shall be white or yellowish in color only; shall be capable of being directed downward; shall have no blinker mode. 
Taillights/Tail Lamp – must be red in color only; shall have no blinker mode. 
Direction Indicator Lamp/Signal Lights – must be yellow, amber, or orange only. 
Stop Lamp/Brake Lamp – must be at the rear of the motorcycle; only 1 stop lamp is allowed; shall be wired that it may turned on only when the brake system of the motorcycle is applied; the stop lamp in combination with a tail lamp shall be wired that its luminous intensity may increase 5 times or stronger than that of the tail lamp only when the brake system is operated 
Additional lights may be added provided that they confirm with the following requirements below: 
Parking Lamp – front parking lamp shall be white, yellow, or amber in color; rear parking lamp shall be red in color; shall be wired that it may be turned on while the engine is not in operation; shall be wired that all of them will be lit simultaneously; shall not be turned on while the motorcycle is moving. 
Fog Lamp – only 1 fog lamp is allowed; must be white or selective-yellow light; shall be installed below the headlight in such a way that no point illuminated by the fog lamps shall come in contact with any point illuminated by the headlamp; shall have their own switches, independent from the headlamps; shall only be lit during instances of thick fog, heavy rain, or similar conditions. 
Number Plate Lights – the motorcycle shall be provided with two (2) white number plate lights at the rear only to illuminate such; that the number plate light shall be wired that it may not be put off from the driver’s seat or that it will be turned on whenever the headlamps or parking lamps are turned on; the light shall render the number plate clearly visible at night. 
Auxiliary Headlights – shall be wired independently and shall have separate switches; shall be directed downward but in no case towards the left side of the vehicle; must be white or selective-yellow in color; shall be mounted in a way that it will not be disturbed by vibrations or shocks; must not be operated on well-lit streets within the limits of the cities, municipalities, and thickly populated barrios or districts or whenever such vehicle meets another vehicle on any public highway; a maximum of two (2) auxiliary or supplementary lights/lamps are allowed; a maximum of six (6) bulbs per auxiliary or supplementary light/lamp is allowed and shall not be combined as one or installed or placed side by side as a bar; deviation of optic axis shall be at least twenty (20) cm downward at ten (10) meters forward; shall not be installed higher than the handle bars of a motorcycle or scooter; auxiliary or supplementary lights/lamps cannot be used as replacement to the headlamp. 
Use of LED or HID lights/lamps is allowed as long as it adheres to the parameters abovementioned.
That’s the easy part. But what about Presidential Degree No. 96? The one being used by the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) to flag down motorists (they don’t seem to recognize the LTO memo).

The provisions that ban the installation of additional lights under Presidential Degree No. 96 is pretty much quashed by Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (DPWTC) Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 1973.

Although we cannot find a copy of this AO online, Atty. Consunji says that while this AO reiterates Presidential Decree No. 96. This AO also identifies the authorized attachments and that emergency vehicles are allowed to use blinkers and sirens. This AO also reiterates that a motor vehicle is permitted to have “additional lamps and light.”

On a personal note, notice how Presidential Decree No. 96 merely mentions “domelights, blinkers and other similar signalling or flashing devices?” No where does it mention auxiliary lights or fog lights that do not blink or flash. In short, it seems that the PNP-HPG is perhaps far too broad in their interpretation of the law.

Atty. Consunji says that the mere presence of additional lamps or lights shouldn’t lead to apprehension, ticket, fine, or confiscation.

“The prohibition cannot be ‘LED lights’,” says Atty. Consunji. “It must be wattage or luminosity, or installation height, or alignment of the beam.”

Atty. Consunji says that we already have existing guidelines under LTO Administrative Order No. 2009-018 or Revised Administrative Order on the New Motor Vehicle Inspection System and Promulgating the Rule and Regulations in the Implementation Thereof. This AO actually outlines the standards for auxiliary headlamps, fog lights, even headlight intensity and alignment.

In short, under the Philippine Land Transportation and Traffic Code, a motor vehicle be it two- or four-wheeled is permitted to have “additional lamps and light” for as long as they follow the prescribed standards.

Does this make the issue clearer now?


  1. agree not to allow those additional LEDs they are hazardous and can cause temporary blindness to oncoming motorists... and disallow those HID headlights and noisy mufflers of motorbikes too...

    1. HID's are fine if your car's headlamp housing is designed for it. I have a stick HID light for my forester and it works fine. the problem is older cars which are not designed to spread the newer HID pattern's light can cause it to scatter in all directions. My trailblazer has a projector type headlight I upgraded it to HID, works like a champ, and has a leveling knob to point it down. I dont even need light bars or all those nonsense cause im very satisfied by the output

  2. Lost in all this is the fact that a lot of large trucks on the road have dangerously bright lights on their sides. Some even use headlamps, pointed backwards, straight at the eyes of drivers behind/beside them. I suppose the idea is to make sure that the entire length of the trucks are visible, but really, the should be using something of similar brightness to tail lamps for that, or even just reflectors instead.

  3. To stress that the headlamps should be directed downwards (spectrum of illumination limited to a certain degree) is really important and must be actively enforced, likewise with unnecessary use of the highbeam..
    Jeepneys have serious issues with their headlamps, with most directed straight at the car in front of them, worse when they leave it on highbeam, glaring like sun for the cars at the oppsite lane as well.. this f*****' road nuisance has gotten worse through the years that it's now a serious road hazard (or at least an upper for road rage tendencies)

  4. Taillights/Tail Lamp – must be red in color only; shall have no blinker mode.

    this part struck me, if this is not allowed then why is it there are so many cars, SUVs, AUVs sometimes even buses trucks and nearly every vehicle on 2, 4 and more wheels having blinking brake lights like Christmas Trees

    1. Dude it says it only covwrs for motorcycles and not for cars suvs ans trucks

  5. ive been fine 5000 for using led lights.. it seems that lto here in gensan didnt recognize the new memo....

  6. ive been fine 5000 for using led lights.. it seems that lto here in gensan didnt recognize the new memo....

    1. Same sakin kht sinabi ko na ito, binigyan pa din ako ng TOP. Sinagot lng sakin kc daw old model ang motor ko, para lang daw sa mga bagong motor ang LED headlight dahil yun na daw ang mga naka install di daw gaya sa old model.

    2. Pumunta ako ng LTO para mag clarify pero pinasa pasa lang ako at sabi ganun daw talaga kasi hulog siya as modified. Pinabalik ako sa sunod na araw para daw ang inspector daw ang magpapaliwanag sa violation ko pag dumating na daw TOP at license ko sa kanila.

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  9. Awesome stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff earlier and you're quite recently excessively great. I cherish what you have here, adoration what you're stating and the way you say it

  10. What about those camote drivers that won't give you a low beam even if you've been asking it for the 100th time while their headlights are as high as thy kingdom come? Sometimes they deserve the longest LED bar in the market.

  11. This simply means that LED lights are allowed, as long as it complies to certain regulations. But as bright as the topic is (ligths), I hope everyone (officers and motorists) can be enlightened about this already. Even if motorists comply with the regulations, there's no way they can win an argument with an apprehending officer that goes indiscrimminate about LEDs. And the same goes for those motorists that temporarily blided me while driving on that road with their LED lights, I hope they get apprehended soon. I believe LED is the future (or maybe the present) as were moving from incandecent/ flouresent to LED for household use, so we should on vehicles. I don't want to go any brighther than my current halogen lamps, it's the efficiency/ lower power consumption i'm after (like from 100w halogen to 30-40w LED). And believe me, that power savings can also save you money even just by little (fuel and alternator belts perhaps).

  12. Does having a front parking light having a blue color illegal?????

  13. pasok yan sa batas ng LTO eh panu naman sa batas ng HPG ? yan hirap sa pilipinas hindi centralize ang batas

    parang ung tropa ko may sariling switch ung leds nya at naka tungo sabi nya sa HPG sabi ba naman ng HPG sa batas ng LTO pwede eh sa batas namin tang ina sinu pa talaga susundin dapat tanggalin na ung mga pang gulo sa batas dapat talaga kung ani ung batas un un hindi ung may nag ooverlap

  14. Hate this stupid authorities HPG has own law? Kaya pag trip ka ng HPG kunin mo pangalan magdadalawang isip yan tsaka mo sabayan ng "di ba pwedeng warning muna?" Possible ka makalusot hehe

  15. Nag install ako ng blue led lights sa parking light ng car ko at nag add din ako ng 2 led bar na may 6 led na ilaw sa harap at pinalitan ko din ng blue led light ung aking plate number light sa likod. Tatanong ko lang po sana kung may na violate ako sa ginawa kong setup? Salamat po sa sasagot.

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  18. I have motorcycle ns 200 po. Kinabitan ko po siya ng 2 bluewater (all weather non blinker) (60Watts each =12 leds)
    Tas nagdagdag po ako ng 2 lasergun (white light) (40watts each=8 leds)

    12leds+8leds = 20leds n po nakakabit sa mc ko. Sa crash guard po siya nakakabit parehas below the headlight po siya. Is it illegal po ba? If illegal po pwede po bang takpan ko nlng po ng medyas na black ung 2 bluewater sa umaga since gjnagamit ko lang naman po siya pag bumibiyahe po. Ung 2 bluewater po ung ginagamit ko pag bumibiyahe. Ung 2 lasergun nakalalay lang po so minsan lang po ginagamit pag sobrang dilim napo ng daanan. Di ko po sinisindihan led(s) ko pag madami/merong kasalubong. Salamat po sa sasagot.

  19. Motorcycle lights, take note. lahat ng 4 wheels ngayon either 2017-19 naka led headlights lahat. Parehong dumadaan sa kalsada. Bat' ganon unfair pag motor pang accessories Lang, yung mga kotche minsan walang pake sa mga nadadaanan, disiplina Kasi wag Vovo

  20. All of them mga, may batas na gagawa din ng batas iung isa puro kc bida ang tatalino,mga .sana naman mag usap kayo ng walang plastikan para d maguluhan ang tao kung sino susundin ganun paman hanga pa din ako sa inyo kc alam ko naman na kabutihan pa din ng tao ang nasa isip at puso nio.