Are there any car headlight rules in India

The headlights on the Mahindra TUV300 were so bright that I had to cover my eyes with my hands.

BHPian MadinMumbai recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Are there prescribed standards when it comes to headlights on cars?

A couple of days back I was taking an after-dinner saunter around my building. It was late, about 11 PM, when a TUV 300 entered our colony. The headlights on it were so bright that for a moment I was completely blinded. I put up my hands to my eyes to shield them, and clearly, the driver was embarrassed.

He apologised by saying that his lights were dimmed and not on full beam. I shudder to think what the full beam might be like, and how difficult it would be to drive on dark single lane roads when facing this car. I imagine it being dangerous for the average two-wheeler, what with the potholed roads and steep edges that suddenly fall off.

Since then I've been noticing many cars with bright white light that are equally blinding. I am sure these are aftermarket lamps, by comparison, the OEMs on my Honda remind me of a diya on a windy night, and I wonder if there is a standard that lamp manufacturers are expected to follow, or is it, like in the case of horns, a free for all? Bigger, louder, harsher, brighter, brightest!

Here's what BHPian Rodie09 had to say about the matter:

Apparently and unfortunately there seems to be no norm (at least in practice) with all OEMs going full guns blazing across the world including marquee brands. The effect has trickled down to the mass market, auto rickshaws and even two-wheelers. This is the biggest safety issue I see on roads these days. Some have gone ahead and put even white LED tail lights or some disco stuff on brake lights.

It is ironic that the smaller vehicles nowadays are a moving assortment of bright lights, and on the other hand the larger ones (trucks, dumpers) are missing even a simple small red taillight.

Please refer to my thread over here where this has been discussed.

Here's what BHPian ashutoshb had to say about the matter:

There should be some norms. The biggest culprits are the LED upgrades on reflector headlights. The light is scattered, blinds everybody. And then there are fools, who will have full beam + LED fog lamps deliberately bullying the car in front for a pass.

Here's what BHPian Mr.Boss had to say about the matter:

Yes, below is one of the examples (for 2 & 3 wheelers, similar one exists for 4-wheelers as well)

Here's what BHPian xja1 had to say about the matter:

There are published Automotive Industry Standards (AIS) for car headlights that all manufacturers need to follow in order to be compliant with regulations. You will find several published documents on the website of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for almost every aspect of a vehicle (e.g. headlights, horns, tail lights, etc.).

Addressing your question, in India we follow the ECE regulations for headlamps. ARAI has adapted these regulations for the Indian context and the provisions cover regular filament bulbs as well as LEDs.

For easy reference, I have included a couple of excerpts of the regulations below, but you may peruse the entire document in detail from the ARAI website.

Guidelines covering page:

Beam pattern regulations:


Ideally, no manufacturer can obtain approvals for new vehicle models without complying with these (and several other) guidelines. Anything in the purview of aftermarket modifications or upgrades is obviously beyond the scope of such regulations and completely depends on the level of wackiness and bling that appeals to the whim of each driver.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene