The latest directives from the European Union indicate that Illuminated hood ornaments are now illegal. They therefore sign the end of the Spirit of Ecstasy luminous figurine. Why ? Because these statuettes of only a few centimeters in height which adorn the hood of Rolls Royce would be a source of… light pollution.
The luxury automaker has confirmed that it will have to disconnect the figures already in circulation, but will offer customers a full refund and a replacement mascot.
Contacted by the Daily Mail, Rolls-Royce confirmed that the Spirit of Ecstasy illuminated "Very popular and much appreciated" had been withdrawn as a customer option in early 2019 due to a change in European Union car lighting regulations, which would be part of a much broader crackdown on light pollution.
The subject could impact the future of the automobile
If the subject is ready to smile (we imagine a Rolls-Royce owner being arrested because of his statuette illuminated by a member of the police a little perplexed), it is in reality a subject who could impact many car manufacturers. Rolls-Royce simply took the lead.
Indeed, this could have an impact on future automotive designs. Guidelines on lighting applications that constitute a "regulatory nuisance" in the EU appear vague. Once light pollution complaints have been filed, regulators only need to assess whether the glow in question is of any use.
The EU directive which condemned the Illuminated Flying Lady is the UNECR48 regulation comprising a hundred pages filled with technical specifications under the title: Uniform provisions relating to the approval of vehicles with regard to the installation of devices of lighting and light signaling.
If you have time, the rules are available here (good luck).
Several manufacturers have added light accents to the exterior of their products in recent years, especially electric vehicle manufacturers. Mercedes-Benz even sells a three-pointed star that lights up.
If the right person complains, these bright accents could be a violation of European regulations.