In some countries, such as France and the Czech Republic, it is a legal requirement to carry spare bulbs in car – it is sensible to do so whatever the country.
After all, even the best automotive bulb can blow. Usually, it is not possible to get a replacement immediately. This applies in particular to bulb types that are not yet so widespread, such as the halogen bulbs H8, H9 and H11. Carrying suitable replacement bulbs therefore ensures that full lighting can be ensured at any time.
New light sources are also increasingly being used in the case of indicators, parklights and stoplights, such as amber or silver-coloured indicator bulbs, or small halogen bulbs in parklights, reverse lights and daytime running lights. As a rule, they are not included in universal assortment boxes. The lighting specialists at Hella therefore recommend special spare bulb boxes from car manufacturers, or an assortment put together individually. Information as to which bulbs are required can be found in the owner’s handbook.
In the case of automotive bulbs, the type designation must always match precisely. In contrast to simple domestic light bulbs, it is not possible or permitted to use a more powerful or weaker version. In most cases, this is not possible technically, either, even if different types may look similar on the surface. H8, H9 and H11 bulbs resemble one another at first glance and are similar to those with the designation HB 3 and HB 4. The latter two types differ considerably form the widespread H3 and H4 halogen bulbs.
Attempts to use “gentle but firm” force to make such bulbs fit may damage the headlight or light. Further consequences would be poor light and dramatically more glare. The owner’s handbook is also a good source for instructions in relation to bulb replacement. Here, the Hella specialists recommend brand-name products.