Reverse Light Bulb Size

Reverse Lights Guide: Everything You Need to Know in 2022

The reversing lights on a vehicle, be it a car, pickup truck, or trailer, play a big role and have an important function. A reversing light is also part of a mandatory lighting device. If you drive a vehicle that violates a regulation on reversing lights, also known as backup lights, then you have to pay a fine. This article is about improving and retrofitting reversing lights. 

Unfortunately, many car manufacturers don't seem to think about practical use. There are car models where the reversing lights are simply of no use to us drivers, the reversing lights have the brightness of a tea light. You can hardly see anything when reversing in the dark. Even if you have a reversing camera, its image remains dark too, thanks to the poor reversing lights. 

Dark times of the year and reversing on non-illuminated areas are dreadful, and you can't see anything in the reversing camera either. Hence the request from more and more drivers: How can I improve the situation and enjoy bright reversing lights. In this guide, we would like to explain how to solve this.

Specify make, year and model to find matching bulbs:


Search Reverse Bulbs By Make

What are the reverse lights on a car?

There are a number of regulations relating to reversing lights, and in this article, we will list the most important ones. 

The reversing light is the only light on a vehicle that is allowed to shine in white to the rear. In addition to the function of illuminating the road behind the car, which is probably not the case with you, reversing lights also have an important warning function. Other road users and pedestrians, thanks to the white reversing lights, know that the vehicle is in reverse gear and you have to expect that it will reverse.

The reversing light or lights may only light up when reverse gear is engaged, they must not be able to be switched on manually but are firmly linked to reverse gear.

How many reverse lights do I need?

Whether a single reversing light is sufficient or whether several are required depends on the length of the vehicle: While a single reversing light is sufficient for tractor units and other vehicles such as self-propelled work machines with a length of fewer than six meters, trucks and other vehicles also have one a length of more than six meters, two reversing lights are mandatory.

Why use LED lights as reverse lights

A car often drives backward and when maneuvering, it is often necessary to switch between reverse and forward gears. This is a major burden for classic halogen bulbs, which means that the bulbs in old reversing lights have to be changed frequently, which means costs and effort, apart from possible liability issues after an accident with a defective reversing light. 

This is where LED reverse and backup lights can score with their long service life and the associated freedom from maintenance.

How to retrofit reversing lights

If the luminosity of the original reversing lights is not sufficient for you, then the only option is to retrofit. There are different ways that solve this challenge.

There are car models that only have one reversing light on the left side, but there is a slot for a light bulb on the right side, where you can retrofit a second reversing light.

If you like it very bright, you can use LED auxiliary headlights. There are two variants of how these additionally retrofitted headlights are now used to light up. Either via an additional switch in the vehicle interior, this can also be done by remote control.

However, there is another solution. You can clamp the retrofitted LED headlights to the existing reversing light so they go on automatically when you engage reverse gear. You should check with your local road regulators if this is permitted, there’s no guarantee for that from our side.

If you prefer this solution, it may be that directly connecting the retrofitted LEDs leads to an error message in the onboard computer. This is because the additional LEDs consume too much power, as originally intended. If this is the case for you, then an additional relay must be used.

Another solution, you can mount work lights on your car or pickup. You then have to switch them on and off manually. In the case of a pickup, for example, these can be mounted on the bracket radiating to the rear. If you drive backward, then you can use these work lights, of course only if you don't dazzle anyone, i.e. not in normal traffic.

Which LED headlights to use as reverse lights?

There is now a huge selection of options: Angular, oblong, i.e. LED strips, and in various power levels. Best of all, the LED headlights are relatively cheap, the set of two is already available for less than $20. Retrofitting the reversing lights is also relatively cheap.

Warning: If you are completely unfamiliar with vehicle electronics, it is better to leave the connection of the additional reversing lights to a specialist.


There are good reasons for every motor vehicle, apart from two-wheelers, to have reversing lights: Not only do they enable obstacles to be recognized when maneuvering backward through better illumination, but they also inform other road users and pedestrians that a vehicle is reversing. Most reverse lights installed in cars by default are weak and provide little visibility, that’s why many drivers consider retrofitting their cars with additional LED reverse lights.


Do cars have one or two reverse lights?

Most cars have two reverse and fog lights each. To save costs, some car manufacturers have just one reverse light and one rear fog light which meet the legal requirements too. However, in cars made in Asia, the law requires two reverse and fog lights.

Do you legally need reverse lights?

In some countries, reverse lights are optional and not required by law. In other countries, you need to have reverse lamps on vehicles made after a certain year. One or two reversing lights may be required and all of them must work.

What’s the difference between work lights and reverse lights?

The question of what is the difference between a working light and a reversing light is quite easy to answer: a reversing light turns on together with reverse gear, a working light - with a button. Legally, the consequences of this distinction are also very easy to summarize. For example, work lights may not be used while driving in public traffic and are therefore usually not suitable as maneuvering lights.

What are reverse lights on a car?

Reverse lights are also called backup lights. They are used to warn other vehicles and people around the car that the vehicle is about to move backwards. The reverse lights also provide some illumination when the car is backing...

Do you legally need reverse lights?

By law a reversing light is classed as an optional light and not an obligatory light, therefore there is no requirment to have oner at all.

Do cars have 1 or 2 reverse lights?

The reason why many cars have only one reversing light is cheapness of conversion from LHD to RHD. It is mandatory to have a single rear foglight either in the middle of the vehicle or on the offside - thus a single foglight has to be moved from LHD to RHD.

Do lights come on when you reverse?

Reverse lights must follow a few simple rules. Reverse lights must be steady burning, which means they can't flash. They must come on when the car is on and when the car is in reverse gear.

Are reverse lights the same as brake lights?

Break lights and reverse lights are not the same. As a matter of fact, they are different in both colors and functions. While brake lights come in red colors and indicates when a car is slowing down, reverse lights are white in color and indicates when a car is about to move backward.

How can I check my reverse lights by myself?

To test your tail lights, turn the ignition key to the "ON" position, the spot where all of the dash lights and the radio come on, but before you actually start the car. Now put the transmission in reverse and engage the parking brake.

Will my car fail MOT if reverse lights not working?

The reverse light is not part of the MOT - but always worth checking. All tyres should be above the legal minimum tread of 1.6mm across three quarters of the tyre. There should be no damage - check for bulges, splits, or cuts to the sidewalls.

Why doesn't my reverse lights work?

First check that the bulbholder and wiring terminals are clean and bright. If there is any corrosion, clean it up with wet-or-dry paper then refit the bulb and retest. If the bulb still fails to light, the fuse may have blown. You should also suspect a blown fuse if two reversing lights go together.

Are front fog lights a legal requirement?

All cars must be fitted with rear fog lights as it's a legal requirement. If your car has been imported, it will need a rear fog light before it is allowed to be used on the road. Front fog lights are not a legal requirement, but if your car has them you should only use them when visibility is severely restricted.

Why do European cars have one reverse light?

European law says that there must be one reverse light and one rear fog light. Car companies either have to give 2*2 reverse and fog light. So to save the cost car companies have one reverse light and one rear fog light which fullfills the law also. In asia there is no such law thats why they have two reverse lights.

What color is reverse lights?

The reverse or backup light is usually white, which is mandatory in every part of the world. The wisdom behind this color might lie in the fact that it is easier to distinguish it from other components of the tail light. It also illuminates brighter, especially at night.

What is the purpose of backup light?

A backup light is a lamp used to provide light behind a vehicle, particularly when reversing.

Why do my tail lights work but not my brake lights?

Why is that? The most common reason your brake lights are not working but tail lights do is a bad light bulb. It can also be caused by a blown fuse, bad brake light switch, or issues with the wirings. Your vehicle's taillights are working fine, but the brake lights don't come on when you press the brakes.

Why do my brake lights work but my tail lights don t?

The most common reason why your tail lights are not working but brake lights are is due to a bad or wrong type of light bulb installed. It can also be caused by a blown fuse, bad wirings, or corroded sockets or plugs. A faulty control light switch could also be to blame.

Why are tail lights red?

Originally, the signal indicating traffic was free to go was the same white light used to illuminate the forward path. A red lens fell out of a train lantern resulting in another train plowing into the other rather than stopping.

How much does it cost to fix a reverse light?

Reverse light bulbs are one of the least frequently employed lights on your car and often last much longer than other bulbs, even to 150,000km and beyond before requiring replacement. It's an inexpensive task, usually costing around $15 to $55 to replace, although some speciality models can be costlier.

Are LED reverse lights legal UK?

right? Unfortunately not. LED upgrade bulbs can't be classed as road legal because they cannot be E marked or have the British Standard mark.

How many reverse lights does a car have UK?

Reversing lamps

One or two may be fitted, but all must work. Record a 'major' defect if one or more does not work.

What year were reverse lights mandatory?

The first back-up lamp appeared as early as the 1920s. It was first standardized in the U.S. in 1947 but did not become mandatory until the late 1960s.

How do you find the reverse light fuse?

The reverse light fuse (called "backup light" in the manual) is actually fused via the IG1 circuit. It's located in the under steering wheel dash fuse box. It's 10 amp mini blade and is the middle top location.

Can you have 2 rear fog lights?

You may be tempted to wire both rear fog lights, but we would not recommend this. If both are illuminated at the same time, other drivers may confuse them for brake lights as they both are red in colour.