Additional Headlamps and Fitment for Safety on the Roads

There is often much confusion about whether headlamps are merely headlamps or whether they are considered as spot lights. The answer to this is an important consideration when legally fitting additional headlamps to the vehicle. There are a number of factors to take into account when you decide to fit your vehicle or off- road vehicle like a 4x4 or pick-up / bakkie with additional lamps.

We need to recognize that few vehicle owners living in the cities may be in need of additional headlamps. They may however offer significant value to those in rural communities and our farmers living in remote areas where there are little to now lighting near our gravel roads. These vehicle owners must make the correct decision when acquiring additional headlamps and have them fitted legally and effectively.

The legality of spot lights/spot lamps fitment.

  • Spot Lamps/Spot lights

Description: These are lights legally fitted by Law Enforcement, Breakdown Services, Medical personnel etc.

They can be adjusted in different directions and can be used for example to provide light at an accident scene. The general public may not fit these lights on any vehicle.

  • Head Lamps/Additional head Lamps.

Additional headlamps are often erroneously referred to by the general public as “spot lights” and are permitted on the vehicle provided that they adhere to strict conditions for example:

  • The lights fitted must be SABS approved.
  • They must be in a fixed position.
  • The wiring must done with additional fuses and relays in place.
  • A separate switch must be installed so that the lights can be operated manually.

In some case you are allowed to connected your lights to the overhead beam setting of your lights, but keep in mind that are more than likely going to blind any oncoming traffic.

Additional head lamps are very powerful and can easily shine into oncoming traffic in the next lane.

It is important that these head lamps are pointed in such a way that it does not blind them

You can read more about the legal requirements for fitting additional headlamps & spotlights/ spot lamps here:  Lighting Head Lamps and Spot Lights on Vehicles and Rules of the Road

Fitment Procedure

The guys at Safari 4x4 Bloemfontein where kind enough to send us some photos of a fitment they did.

Use strong clamps to keep your lights in place. These can be bought at any fitment centre. In some cases the nudge bar of a vehicle will have pre-drilled holes for fitment of additional headlamps and thus will not require these clamps.

Make sure that the clamps where the lights are to be fitted are aligned. Failure to do so will result in the beams shining in different directions, blinding oncomming traffic.

Secure the headlamps tightly to your rollbar, nudge bar or clamps so that they will not shift up and down when driving on  bumpy roads or gravel roads.

Make sure your wiring is done according to manufacturing standards. In some cases your vehicle;s warranty can be affected if the wiring is not done correctly. If you do not knwo how to wire the lights correctly, we strongly advise that you use accredited professionals to do the fitment for you.

Connect an addtional relay switch for the extra headlamps.

Make sure the lights have their own fuse.

The wiring of the additional headlamps needs to be done neatly and tucked away behind the bars of the rollbar or nudge bar so that they will not be accidentallly pulled-out.  Waterproofing is also very important so make sure to insulate your wiring correctly.


Fit an additional switch to operate your lights manually and independently from your factory fitted head lamps.

Test your lights thoroughly. Make sure they work and that they are aligned.

The best way to test your lights is a night. So go for a drive at night and switch them on.  You may not have these headlamps on when oncoming traffic is approaching.

Please be sure not to blind any oncoming traffic or other road users. Once your lights are on, you will be able to see if additional adjustment will be required.

Fitment and images provided by Safari 4x4 Bloemfontein.

Also View:

Night Driving and Road Safety

Lighting, Head Lamps and Spot Lights on Vehicles and Rules of the Road

Lighting and Safe Driving

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