There are four basic differences between Hella Vision Plus DOT and a Cibie / Hella ECE/E-code lamps.

First is in the lighting pattern. For us in the US, the regulations date from the 50's. The US DOT mandates a dispersed pattern that puts a percentage of the light output UP and to both sides of the road so that overhead or roadside signs, which may not have other lighting or reflective characteristics, are lit for you.

The European standard allows all the light to go on the road - they have a law that any overhead or roadside sign has to have it's own, independent lighting or must be highly reflective. So not only is there more light on the road with your low-beams, the high-beams are more precise as well. There is also a triangle of light on the right side to light up roadside signs.

The effect is that the E-code lights actually put more light on the road for you to drive with, and offend oncoming traffic MUCH LESS because of the sharp cutoff in the lighting pattern; and all of this with the same wattage lamps as in the US. That's on low beam. Because of the DOT low-beam requirements, and the resulting lens and reflector design, it's impossible to get a good high beam.

Although the Vision Plus is substantially better than your typical off-the-shelf sealed beam, it's performance falls short of the E-Code/ECE lamp.

The second difference is that the DOT required the lamp to have the three aiming lugs on the face of the lens. This requirement was dropped in the 2000 DOT Standard when visual aiming was approved. The Vision Plus lamps still have the aiming lugs, E-Code lamps do not.

Third, the lamp must have "DOT" molded in the face to confirm that it meets DOT specs. E-Code lamps do not have DOT molded in the lens.

Fourth, the lamp must not have more than 60 watts on high beam and 55 watts on low beam. The Vision Plus comes with a 60/55w H4 bulb in it in order to meet the DOT standard. The E-Code lamps are sold without a bulb because there are many variations in wattage and color available. It is not recommended to put a higher wattage bulb in a Vision Plus because the light pattern could dazzle oncoming traffic.

If you can upgrade to an E-Code/ECE lamp, then this is the least expensive, easiest and most beneficial upgrade you can make to your forward lighting.
Who is Headlight Services?

What are the differences between Hella Vision Plus DOT and a Cibie / Hella ECE/E-code?
Who/What is Headlamp Services

In 2002 while restoring a 1972 Triumph TR6, I became interested in what options were available to replace the pitifully weak sealed beam headlamps. This interest carried on in 2005 to a business venture dismantling German cars and selling the parts on Ebay. This was quite successful at the time.

Intrigued by the many designs and function of vehicle headlamps, I dug deep and studied vehicle lighting systems. I found the resources of Daniel Stern to be immeasureable. So I decided to start selling headlamps and bulbs. At this time I also purchased an optical headlamp aiming machine so we can now offer installation and aiming to those in the south metro area of Denver, Colorado where we are located.

Our specialty is upgrading older sealed beam headlamps to modern E-code lamps with a seporate bulb. This combination can provide lighting for your classic or sports car that rivals many new cars sold today.

I have now expanded the business on the internet, opening a store that includes the best quality forward lighting products available. If you want superior quality products at fair prices, we're the place and it would be my pleasure to help you. If you want cheap, over-hyped, under-performing, junk, please contact someone else.