It is commonly misunderstood that the fitment of directional indicators (side repeater lighting) is restricted to Category 6 side repeater lights. However this isn’t true, and you can utilise Category 5 schedule lighting approved under ECE Regulation 6.
Both types of lighting (5 & 6) have a high intensity light output and have a directional beam specifically for this purpose, as opposed to side marker lights.
What is Category 5 & 6, and what is the difference?
In technical terms, Category 5 and 6 lamps are side repeater (directional indicator) lights that are approved to ECE Regulation 6. Category 6 is the brighter of the two lamps, as defined below;
Category 5 – Luminous intensity min. 0.6 cd, single lamp max. 280 cd, type “D” lamp max. 140 cd
Category 6 – Luminous intensity min. 50 cd, single lamp max. 280 cd, type “D” lamp max. 140 cd
Up until recently, many companies did not develop Category 6 side repeater lamps because of the cost of homologation (type approval). A recent revision in the law allowing for Category 5 lights in certain circumstances means that there is more choice by allowing side markers to dual-role as side repeaters too.
Fitting side repeater lights on a trailer
You can fit either Category 5 or Category 6 lamps on a trailer (of all sizes) or a caravan, using the following guidelines;
Category 5 – To be distributed evenly along the length of the trailer.
Category 6 – Fitted between the first and last quarter of the trailer.
Fitting side repeater lights on trucks
Under ECE Regulation 48, vehicles less than 6m in length must be fitted with a Category 5 lamp, while those longer than 6m must have a Category 6 fitted.
There must be one on each side of the vehicle; fitted within preset heights and depths from the front of the vehicle. These should be fitted to the body of the cab at the point of manufacture. If your vehicle does not have them or you are looking to replace them and need more help, please contact us. This can be common if the geometry of the vehicle does not allow it, and is permissible under ECE Regulations.
You can replace Category 5 side repeater lights with Cat. 6 should you prefer. For vehicles over 9m in length (classes M2, N3, N2 & N3*), you can fit a maximum of 3 additional Cat. 5 lamps or 1 additional Cat 6. This is shown in the drawing below, but is not mandatory although many fleet operators have adopted this style of fitment to improve road safety, and reduce traffic collisions.
Which side repeaters could I fit?
We have compiled a list of our most commonly sold Truck-lite side marker/repeater, as well as some new lamps that we have produced in partnership with WAS. All are in regular stock and ready to order from us directly, on our web site or from your local branch.
Where can I get more help?
To order any of these items, or for additional help and support please call us on 01763 274185, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit your local branch today…
You can also view more information about ECE Regulation 6, including how to identify type approved lamps by clicking here.
M2 Cars up to 5 t and up to 9 passengers
M3 Cars up to 5 t and over 9 passengers
N2 Vehicles for transporting freight over 3.5 t up to 12 t
N3 Vehicles for transporting freight over 12 t
Andy Millar says:
Great article – as always your information is spot on and easy to understand.
Just an FYI – the Truck-Lite M876 and M877 are now 12/24v
Hi Andy – thanks for the nudge, we’ve made sure it’s all up-to-date! Thanks again!