Diode Conversion for All Lights On High Beams

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by dsfloyd, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I do not get flashed when using Low+Fog+DRL. I've rolled up behind a Morrisville cop at a stop light with Low+Fog+DRL on and had no issue. Last, no one is in front of me when running High+Low+Fog+DRL and I am quick to shut down high beams when I note oncoming traffic is approaching (usually before I see it while out in the country) ... i.e. someone would be hard-pressed to try to count how many beams I have going because I always try to be courteous to oncoming drivers by not blinding them with high beams.

    All of this said, review beginning with North Carolina General Statutes § 20-129 covering required lighting equipment of vehicles (Source: http://law.onecle.com/north-carolina/20-motor-vehicles/20-129.html) ... followed by perusal of other NC general statutes, as required, reveals:

    Section 20-129, subsection (4.b) states:
    (b) Headlamps on Motor Vehicles. Every self‑propelled motor vehicle other than motorcycles, road machinery, and farm tractors shall be equipped with at least two headlamps, all in good operating condition with at least one on each side of the front of the motor vehicle. Headlamps shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in G.S. 20‑131 or 20‑132.

    Section 20-131, subsection (a) limits lighting as follows (note the HID glare implications):
    (a) The headlamps of motor vehicles shall be so constructed, arranged, and adjusted that, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, they will at all times mentioned in G.S. 20‑129, and under normal atmospheric conditions and on a level road, produce a driving light sufficient to render clearly discernible a person 200 feet ahead, but any person operating a motor vehicle upon the highways, when meeting another vehicle, shall so control the lights of the vehicle operated by him by shifting, depressing, deflecting, tilting, or dimming the headlight beams in such manner as shall not project a glaring or dazzling light to persons within a distance of 500 feet in front of such headlamp. Every new motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motor‑driven cycle, registered in this State after January 1, 1956, which has multiple‑beam road‑ lighting equipment shall be equipped with a beam indicator, which shall be lighted whenever the uppermost distribution of light from the headlamps is in use, and shall not otherwise be lighted. Said indicator shall be so designed and located that when lighted it will be readily visible without glare to the driver of the vehicle so equipped.

    Section 20-132 pertains to acetylene lights on historic vehicles so I didn't bother perusing it for limitation as it seemed inapplicable for this discussion.

    Section 20-130, subsection (a) states the following as it pertains to using spot lamps for ADDITIONAL lighting:
    (a) Spot Lamps. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two spot lamps, except that a motorcycle shall not be equipped with more than one spot lamp, and every lighted spot lamp shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the beam will be directed to the left of the center of the highway nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle. No spot lamps shall be used on the rear of any vehicle.

    Section 20-130, subsection (b) states the following as it pertains to using auxiliary driving lamps for ADDITIONAL lighting:
    (b) Auxiliary Driving Lamps. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two auxiliary driving lamps mounted on the front, and every such auxiliary driving lamp or lamps shall meet the requirements and limitations set forth in G.S. 20‑131, subsection (c).

    And probably most important should you elect to do diode adjustments and have fear of enforcement clamping down on you, section 20-133 (which pertains to lighting equipment enforcement) states in subsection (b):
    (b) The driver of any motor vehicle equipped with approved headlamps, auxiliary driving lamps, rear lamps or signal lamps, who is arrested upon a charge that such lamps are improperly adjusted or are equipped with bulbs of a candlepower not approved for use therewith, shall be allowed 48 hours within which to bring such lamps into conformance with the requirements of this Article. It shall be a defense to any such charge that the person arrested produce in court or submit to the prosecuting attorney a certificate from an official adjusting station showing that within 48 hours after such arrest such lamps have been made to conform with the requirements of this Article. (1937, c. 407, s. 96.)

    Thus, I believe that in NC it's not about the number of lights ... but about the aim of those lights and them not causing glare or safety issues for oncoming traffic. And realize this leaves wide latitude for the cops. I doubt they'd mess with a truck with white lights but if you go into color temperatures that are blue, green, pink, etc. a la HIDs, you might get harassed just because you made yourself easy pickings.

    Also, if you DO have a problem with the law, the law clearly states that you have 48 hours to correct the problem and have the correction verified by an official station. Simply put, you can take the diodes out, verify proper function at an official station, and dodge the ticket if someone tries to slap you with one. (You could even put the diodes back in immediately after, lol... and lather/rinse/repeat. It'd make the cops look foolish...)

    Frankly, my read on this is there's not a problem for us in our state as long as our beams are properly aimed. And since we're registered here and other states' laws will pertain to vehicles registered in -those- states ... we should be fine when traveling interstate, too. (I've also had no issues in VA, by the way.)

    But really, the warm fuzzy about adjustments of this type is one you need to have as it pertains to your vehicle. Thus, I strongly suggest that you peruse Sections 20-129 through 20-133 of the general statues, yourself, in their entirety ... as I've only covered the highlights of my own reading, here.

    If you happen to find something that limits the total number of lights that may legally be on while driving then I'd like to know, as I can't seem to find that inthe general statutes. I recall reading it on forums, but I'm not sure where the forum folks got it as I have yet to find it in the general statutes, themselves...


    P.S. I am not an attorney and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express, last night, either...
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  2. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thanks Surreal, that was a good read. we are pretty much clear if we 1. aim the lights so that they do not cause glare and they are not red or blue, etc... ( I don't think they would pull a truck for green) the park service uses it.
  3. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    It's funny, I saw this same PDF file on a different forum today and ordered up some diodes since I don't think we have a Radioshack here in the valley (or if we do, I am not aware of where the hell it is!). I will just be doing the DRL + Low beams and DRL+Low+High since I do not have fogs (yet).
  4. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    You probably did it correctly, but just in case, did you make sure the diode was facing the right direction. There is a line on the diode that is off centered. It needs to be in the right direction to work properly.

    ---------- Post added at 01:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:45 PM ----------

    It should as the HIDs still are connected to the stock wiring harness
  5. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    It's possible the NNBS vehicles require a different diode. Someone smarter than me with a NNBS would have to do some poking around...
  7. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Quick question for those who have done this: Do your DRL's still function alone during the day, or do all your lights come on with them?
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I added a diode for my DRL's a week ago and they come on at night with lows/highs. During the day they function as usual (the other lights don't come on).
  9. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    the DRL's will still function as normal as long as the diode is in the right direction.
  10. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    So if I put the diode in from high to DRL and to low beam, my high beams and drl's are on with my low beams, and when I flick to my high beams, my high's come on alone....I'm confused!

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