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9 may 2022

LED and Law - part 2: european homologation

MobiLED occasionally receives questions about the legally permissible application of LED lighting on vehicles.  We have explained this for you in the blog series LED and Law.

This blog is about European type approval or UNECE certification also known as E-mark and where to find the documents. We can be brief and long about homologation.


In a nutshell...

-Certifications such as R10, R112, R65, etc. refer to the regulation number which contains the requirements to be met.
-A certified lamp bears the approval mark on the housing or the glass.
-Regulations exist for all types of lamps and reflectors for all vehicle categories.


In longhand...

That's nice, the short summary, but what is it based on? Below is some background information on certification and the various regulations relating to vehicle lighting.


Certification of lighting

Vehicles and vehicle parts must have type approval. The standards for approval and the application process are described in regulations.

In order to get type approval on a lamp, the manufacturer starts an approval process. This can be done in any EU country. An approval authority, for example the RDW in the Netherlands, then checks the lamp on all kinds of aspects such as light colour, angle of radiation, light intensity, etc. When the lamp is approved, the manufacturer receives an official certificate. The E-number of the country where the inspection took place, the R-number of the relevant regulation and the certificate number must be put on all lamps produced by the manufacturer. It is usually printed on the casing or in the glass of the lamp.


Vehicle categories

European regulations distinguish between various types of vehicles:


Passenger cars and buses: motor vehicles on four or more wheels, designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers


Commercial vehicles: four or more-wheeled motor vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods


Trailers (including semi-trailers)


Two- and three-wheeled vehicles: mopeds, motorbikes, tricycles and quadricycles


Wheeled tractors


Track-laying tractors


Agricultural or forestry trailer


Interchangeable towed machinery


Mobile machinery: motor vehicles specially designed and constructed for the performance of work, not intended for the transport of persons or goods by road

Source in Dutch: rdw.nl



From the complete list of regulations, we have made a selection that deal with vehicle lighting. Click herefor the overview.

Each regulation contains detailed regulations about the technical requirements for the lamp. But there is also a regulation that deals with installation requirements: R48 and a regulation that deals with the use of special warning lights. In part 3 of the blog series LED and Law some R-numbers are practically explained.


Links to type approval regulations

The regulations for EU type approval can be found at Europe.eu. Enter the year, OJ series and number under "Published in the Official Journal". See the last column in the previous overview.


The regulations on optical and acoustic signals can be found at Overheid.nl in Dutch.


The following links are useful for keeping abreast of changes in European regulations, in English:

Passenger cars, commercial vehicles and trailers (O)

Tractors, trailers (R) and interchangeable towed machinery

Two and three wheelers

Mobile machines



This document is intended to provide our customers and other interested parties with an overview of Dutch and European legislation and rules on vehicle lighting. The text has been carefully prepared but is not necessarily complete or exhaustive. There may be changes in the law that are not included in this document. Therefore, no rights can be derived from this text.

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