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Reverse lights legal querstion

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reverse lights are not needed for the MOT so not a legal requirement.

Well ..... Not a legal requirement for an MOT, but there is a maximum power allowed for a reversing light.

Please allow 'power' to be used loosely. In the days of filament / incandescent bulbs this was 21 Watts (from memory) and you were allowed two. (Actually the written limit was slightly greater than 21 (say 23 or 24) so ensuring the standard 21 watt bulb was always below the limit).

I don't know whether the modern fashion for LED lights has` meant the rules have been re-written to include lumens, or some other measurement of light, as an indicator of power.

The rules have been broken in two ways that I know off.

For a low slung light, below the bumper on a 'normal' car, a front fog light has been used, with it's standard 55W halogen bulb, but the light has to be reversed in it's housing, because you want the light to spray upwards to shine on hedges etc, to give you a sense of your position in space.

Dazzles people behind you, but great if you are commonly reversing into totally unlit areas.

The other way is to match a 55W H3 bulb, to a conventional base, to suit a standard reversing light.

The 'not very good' design of the reflector and lens limit the light output to a level that makes the light less dazzling. You need to consider the actual design of your existing reversing light; is there space for the H3 bulb to fit without melting the surrounding plastic?

Also consider the power switching capability of your reverse light switch. You may need to add a relay (controlled by the reverse light switch) to actually switch the lights on. If you put a manual switch in, to allow you to use the uprated lights as actual work lights, then the 'calculations' about putting 55W of halogen heat into a plastic housing need to be reassessed.


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I use two work light's (as well as the original reverse light) that are attached to the rear of my truck(90) by brackets that also have on them at each side both of my antennas that is for the radio and my CB, I've used two CB antennas for them both and it seems to work really well,the reverse light is plumbed into the two work lights and I have two switches in the vehicle too one in the cab and one on where the left side window(either side of the door) used to be, so that I can operate them independently without having my truck in reverse to operate the work lights


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I just wired up a couple of cheap fog lights with a three position switch on the dash and a big red warning light - and kept the standard reversing lights. The switch I have used means that I can wire them so as to work with the reversing lights or independently.

So I have:

Position 1: Big lights come on with the normal reversing lights.

Position 2: Big lights off.

Position 3: Big lights on all the time (with warning light).

Similarly at the front, there is a switch to control my driving lights and link them to main beam operation if I wish.


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A reverse light isn't needed for MOT, but i think there's a stipulation that says, 'if it's there it has to work'

if you have a standard reverse light with a standard bulb and it works, don't worry about it.

most people i know with defenders/series have a rear work light fitted, not only to aid reversing but for general use, and normally wired in with a manually operated switch. shape and size aren't relevant as it's classed as an added driving light and is surplus to requirements, as long as you don't go for an mot with it switched on and in the testers eyes you'll be fine.

personally i have a square wipac one fitted with a 55w H3 bulb, i find it more than enough, but if i did find it a bit dim, there's always +90% bulbs, or the 100w rally ones....

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