Are LED Light Bars and other Auxiliary Lights Street Legal?
Legality of LED Lights Explained
Have you been wondering if LED light bars and LED auxiliary lights are legal to use? Having trouble deciding which off-road light you should buy? This blog post and accompanying video will be a huge help! Here, KC shows you some of the basic rules surround both LED light bars and LED auxiliary lights. In general, most states have varying regulations, so it’s up to you to know your states exact rules. See below for some resources to help get you started on finding out more information. In the below video, we present a general set of “Do’s and Don’ts” that will help keep you out of trouble!
Now that you’ve watched the video, here is a quick written summary for you, and below that will be some useful state-specific links!
Please note that while this is the best advice we can give on this topic, it is based on our experiences and of those that we know of. That said, this information should not be construed as actual legal advice.
We’ve all seen that guy driving towards you with his light bars going full blast. PSA – don’t be that guy! If you’re driving on-road OR off-road and you have people coming at you, no matter what, make sure you aren’t causing an unsafe situation by blinding the driver of the other vehicle barreling towards you. It’s for their safety, and yours! Even while off-road and another truck or jeep is coming at you, it’s common courtesy to turn your LED light bars off for 15 seconds while they pass.
In general, it’s illegal to have off-road only lights turned on while on the roadway systems. However and unfortunately, some states don’t explicitly have regulations about this so it’s up to all of us to set the standard. Because each state has different rules, it’s up to you to know your own state’s regulations when it comes to auxiliary lights. For the “don’ts”, it’s pretty simple. Don’t be a jerk.
Onto the general set of things that are okay. Say you bought a set of street-legal, SAE/ECE lights just like our Gravity LED Pro6 lights in the street-legal driving beam pattern. You should use the SAE street-legal driving beams in conjunction with your high beams. This means that you can turn them on while on the road, but if there’s an oncoming driver, you’ll want to flick them off. On the flip side, you have street-legal fog beams. These are just the opposite and are meant to be used in conjunction with your low beams.
Other rules about SAE/ECE lights have to do with how many there are and where they’re mounted. Some states have rules about the number of auxiliary lights that you’re allowed to have on your vehicle that are forward facing, whether they’re street legal or not. Many states also have rules about the mounting heights of the street legal auxiliary lights that you’ll be using. A general rule of thumb for those is that even if they’re street-legal but are mounted above your headlights, it’s not okay. Therefore, it’s best to mount street-legal lights in-line with or below your headlights.
On the topic of off-road use only lights, a few state regulations require you to have them completely covered when driving on the road. California requires this for example and that’s why with our Pro6 LED light bars, our classic Daylighters, and other lights, we include covers that go over the light itself and block any light from coming through. Not all states require this, but it also looks cool to have the classic smiley face cover on while rolling down the highway.