Thinking of changing the lights on your motorcycle? Read the LTO’s guidelines first

by Leandre Grecia | Sep 25, 2020
PHOTO: Oleg Magni (from Pexels)

As is the case with side mirrors On motorcycles, lights must also be modified with caution. We’re referring to both the basic (headlights, taillights, signal lights) and additional (parking, fog, auxiliary headlamps) lights that a bike owner might want to change.

But more important, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has already laid down specific guidelines for the different types of motorcycle lights which bike owners must follow—guidelines which we’ll take a good look at here.

These are all listed under an LTO Memorandum regarding Rules and Regulations Concerning Motorcycle Lights dated March 15, 2016. Now, if you plan on making some aftermarket modifications with your bike (or if you’ve done so already), then make sure that the changes you’ve made are compliant with all these. For the complete details, read on below.

LTO guidelines on different types of motorcycle lights

1) Headlights

  • Shall be white or yellowish in color only
  • Shall be capable of being directed downward
  • Shall have no blinker mode

2) Taillights

  • Must be red in color only
  • Shall have no blinker mode

3) Signal lights

  • Must be yellow, amber, or orange in color only

4) Brake lights

  • Must be at the rear of the motorcycle
  • Only one brake light is allowed
  • Shall be wired that it may be turned on only when the brake system of the motorcycle is applied
  • Must be wired in combination with a taillight that its luminous intensity may increase five times or stronger than that of the taillight only when the brake system is operated

5) Parking lamps

  • 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
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6) Fog lamps

  • Only one fog lamp is allowed
  • Must be white or selective-yellow light
  • Shall be installed below the headlamp 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, falling snow, heavy rain, or similar conditions

7) Number plate lights

  • The motorcycle shall be provided with two white number plate lights at the rear only to illuminate such
  • 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 plate number clearly visible at night

8) Auxiliary headlamps

  • 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 such a way that it will not be disturbed by vibration or shocks
  • Must not be operated on well-lit streets within the limits of cities, municipalities, and thickly-populated barrios or districts or whenever such vehicle meets another vehicle on the public highway
  • A maximum of two auxiliary or supplementary lights/lamps are allowed
  • A maximum of six bulbs per auxiliary 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 direction shall be at least 20cm downwards at 10m forward
  • Shall be installed not higher than the handle bars of the motorcycle or scooter
  • Auxiliary or supplementary lights/lamps cannot be used as replacement for the headlamp

The LTO also noted in its memorandum that the use of LED or HID lights will be allowed as long as it does not violate any of the aforementioned guidelines, so be informed.

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PHOTO: Oleg Magni (from Pexels)
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