How to convert American lights to European lights?

How to convert American lights to European ones

American cars are becoming increasingly popular among Polish drivers. There is also a real possibility of importing them directly from overseas. Unfortunately, before such Jeep, Dodge or even BMW will go out on local roads, it must undergo certain modifications. These include lighting, which must meet slightly different requirements in Poland. What are they and how to convert American lights to European ones?

Polish vs. American lighting - what do the regulations say?

Traffic laws define the rules of the road and the behavior of drivers in certain situations. One of the issues regulated by the law is communication, so that each driver of a vehicle knows how to behave in a particular situation and what kind of maneuver he can expect from another participant. This is helped by both traffic signs and lighting in the vehicle.

For such communication on the road, all signals must be understandable and unambiguous. In the case of lighting in American and Polish cars, this is not the case, therefore US lamp conversion is essential for a vehicle to appear on the road. What are the differences in Polish and European lighting?

  • Headlights on American vehicles are symmetrical, meaning that both lamps illuminate the road equally. Polish regulations mandate the use of asymmetrical headlights, with the right headlight illuminating the roadside emitting a longer beam of light and pointing more upward. This allows the driver to better see road signs and moving pedestrians.
  • In U.S. vehicles, the turn signal is integrated with the parking light, while in European vehicles the two types of lighting function independently.
  • The front and rear turn signals on US vehicles have different colors. They are also often red or white. In Poland and throughout Europe, the color yellow is mandatory for both front and rear blinkers.
  • American cars often lack the mandatory fog lights required by European regulations.
  • The license plate illumination is also not always installed. This is because the space for it in US vehicles is too small and the sheet metal covers the original bulbs.

Change of American lights to European lights

What does the redesign of American lights consist of?

Change of lights from American to European is necessary in order for a car to pass a technical examination and be admitted to traffic. Unfortunately, this is not always a simple activity. Much depends on the make and model of the vehicle. In some cars it is possible to convert the headlights, in others it is necessary to replace them comprehensively. Such adaptation of the car can be expensive, so before buying it, it is worth checking with a specialized workshop what the price of the service will be.

Converting car lamps from the USA is certainly not possible on your own. This must be done by a specialized workshop, where employees know what requirements headlights or blinkers must meet. Alterations mainly involve electrics, which requires the participation of a professional in this field. 

U.S. lamp conversion - headlights and blinker separation

Adapting dipped headlights to Polish and European requirements does not always involve replacing headlights. One of the methods practiced is to paste an approved European lens to the original headlight. The cost of such a repair slightly exceeds PLN 1,000, depending on the workshop, of course. Such a change preserves the original design of the vehicle without interfering with the shape of the lights. 

Another more expensive method is to install xenons. It also requires the installation of an automatic range adjustment system and headlight washers. Therefore, the cost of performing such a conversion is twice as high. The third option is to replace the entire headlights with European ones. However, it is not possible in every vehicle. It can also be very expensive due to the need to match other vehicle components, for example, by replacing the grille. There remains the separation of the position lights, from the blinkers, which is a relatively simple procedure.

Change of lights from American to European at the rear of the vehicle

Conversion of American lights The rear of the vehicle can also be done in three ways. The simplest, but also the most expensive, is to remove the original lamps and put in their place new ones, adapted to European requirements. Another method is to take over the function of the turn signals by reversing lights. This can be achieved by swapping electrical circuits and inserting a yellow-colored bulb into the cover. Reversing lights, however, are mandatory, so it is necessary to install additional lamps. Most often they are placed above the bumper.

There is also a third, slightly more complicated option, which, however, is not possible on every car. Change of lights from American to European It boils down to cutting out part of the lampshade in the position light and inserting the applicable blinker in its place.

Regardless of the option chosen, conversion of lamps from the USA It is best to outsource to professionals who have experience in carrying out such changes. Welcome to Vroomer!