Are LED lights prohibited?
Every motor vehicle must have two headlights. The motor vehicle may have two auxiliary headlights, and two foglamps.
Under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, or Republic Act No. 4136, a motor vehicle is permitted to have “additional lamps and light.” Every motor vehicle shall bear two headlights, one on each side, with white or yellowish light visible from the front. The Code expressly provides “Additional lamps and light may be carried...”
Under 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 dome lights, blinkers, and other similar signaling or flashing devices.”
Land Transportation Commission (renamed the Land Transportation Office LTO) Administrative Order (AO) No. 1, Series of 1973, reiterated Presidential Decree No. 96. This AO provides that a motor vehicle is permitted to have “additional lamps and light.” This AO specifies the color of blinkers and dome lights for emergency services.
The common misconception that additional lamps are prohibited is based on a wrong interpretation of Presidential Decree No. 96 and the related AO.
Under an LTO memorandum dated 15 March 2016, on the Rules and Regulations Concerning Motorcycle Lights, a motorcycle shall be equipped with the required accessory lights, subject to the specifications indicated in the memorandum. However, this memorandum does not regulate motor vehicles such as cars, pickups, trucks, and SUVs.
LTO AO No. 2009-018 entitled, revised administrative order on the new motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS), provides the standards for auxiliary headlamps, foglamps, headlight intensity, and alignment. The color of the auxiliary headlamp shall be white. Only two front foglamps shall be allowed and should emit either white or selective-yellow light.
Under joint AO No. 2014-01, operating a motor vehicle without or with defective, improper, or unauthorized accessories, including horns, sirens, whistles, blinkers, brakes, early warning device (EWD), brakes (foot and hand brakes), brake lights, headlights, interior lights, signal lights, taillights, mufflers, spare tires, or any other accessory, device, equipment or part that is manifestly prejudicial to road safety” is punishable with a fine of P5,000 per violation.
Under LTO Memorandum Circular No. 2020-2240, dated December 29, 2020, entitled
‘Private Motor Vehicle Standards and Implementing Rules and Regulations,’ a motor vehicle shall be equipped with an even number of lights for the driving beam (main beam) headlamp and passing beam (dipped beam) headlamp. The motor vehicle may have auxiliary lights which shall be directed downwards. Foglamps are optional on motor vehicles; foglamps may be lighted only during instances of thick fog, falling snow, heavy rain or similar conditions. The front foglamps may be used as a substitute for passing lamps. Only two front foglamps shall be allowed.
The common misconception that LED lights are prohibited is based on a wrong interpretation of Presidential Decree No. 96 and the LTO memorandum, dated March 15, 2016, on the Rules and Regulations Concerning Motorcycle Lights.
To conclude, there is no Philippine law or regulation specifically prohibiting the use of LED lights or LED technology for cars.
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