Is the light bar legal
Light bars are popular off-road modifications. These bars are usually mounted on the top or bottom of the grille and/or windshield. LED light bars provide bright, direct light. For those who do off-roading frequently, the extra visibility improves safety.
While the use of light bars is encouraged when driving off-road, it is dangerous to use them on public roads, which has led states to outlaw the use of light bars. To avoid getting a ticket, you need to be aware of state laws regarding off-road lighting.
If you frequently cross state lines in search of off-road adventures, you may also want to learn about laws in other states.
LIGHT BAR LAWS BY STATE
|State||Law||Link for More Information|
|Alabama||Off-roading lights limited to two glare-free cowl or fender lamps.||Alabama Legal Information|
|Alaska||The front of a vehicle is limited to four lights. No part of a high intensity light can strike the road.||Alaska Legal Information|
|Arizona||Any light greater than 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens) must be directed so that no part of the beam strikes the road 75 feet from the vehicle.||Arizona Legal Information|
|Arkansas||No auxiliary driving lights may be used on pubic roads.||Arkansas Legal Information|
|California||When on public roadways, off-road lights must be off and covered with an opaque cover.||California Legal Information|
|Colorado||Auxiliary lights are limited to two, and the beams must be directed to the left side less than 100 feet away from the vehicle.||Colorado Legal Information|
|Connecticut||No more than four lights on the front of a vehicle. They cannot exceed 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens).||Connecticut Legal Information|
|Delaware||Allows two spotlights and two headlights. Light bars must be off while on the road.||Delaware Legal Information|
|D.C.||All lights greater than 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens) must be directed so no part of the beam hits 75 feet away from the vehicle.||D.C. Legal Information|
|Florida||Only four lights are allowed in front of a vehicle, and must adhere to existing light laws.||Florida Legal Information|
|Georgia||Only one spotlight, not to be aimed at any approaching vehicle. One "auxiliary driving light" is allowed but must be mounted between 16 and 42 inches from the ground.||Georgia Legal Information|
|Hawaii||Lights are not allowed to exceed 2,400 candlepower (30,168 lumens). Light bars must be turned off on roads.||Hawaii Legal Information|
|Idaho||If any of the front lights have a light with greater than 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens), then only four lights are allowed.||Idaho Legal Information|
|Illinois||No more than four lights on the front of a vehicle may be lit. All lights must be dimmable and aimed away from other drivers' eyes.||Illinois Legal Information|
|Indiana||One auxiliary driving lamp is allowed, but must be mounted between 24 and 42 inches from the road's surface.||Indiana Legal Information|
|Iowa||Any bright light must be directed away from the eyes of other drivers. Only three auxiliary driving lamps are allowed on a vehicle.||Iowa Legal Information|
|Kansas||All lights must be directed so that no part of the high intensity beam strikes the roadway more than 75 feet out from the vehicle.||Kansas Legal Information|
|Kentucky||Illegal to drive with LED light bars turned on.||Kentucky Legal Information|
|Louisiana||Illegal to drive with LED light bars turned on.||Louisiana Legal Information|
|Maine||No auxiliary light can be brighter than the standard lighting equipment.||Maine Legal Information|
|Maryland||No more than two auxiliary lamps mounted between 16 and 42 inches above ground level.||Maryland Legal Information|
|Massachusetts||Illegal to drive with LED light bars turned on. Strict regulations on all aftermarket lighting.||Massachusetts Legal Information|
|Michigan||No more than four forward facing lights.||Michigan Legal Information|
|Minnesota||May have up to two auxiliary driving lamps between 16 and 42 inches above a level surface.||Minnesota Legal Information|
|Mississippi||Two auxiliary driving lamps allowed, but must be mounted between 12 and 42 inches above a level surface.||Mississippi Legal Information|
|Missouri||Up to three auxiliary driving lamps mounted between 12 and 42 inches above a level surface.||Missouri Legal Information|
|Montana||Light bars may not be used on public roadways.||Montana Legal Information|
|Nevada||Two auxiliary lamps mounted between 16 and 42 inches above a level surface.||Nevada Legal Information|
|New Hampshire||Up to three auxiliary driving lamps mounted between 12 and 42 inches high.||New Hampshire Legal Information|
|New Jersey||May use a light bar as long as it is low profile and sits lower than the headlights.||New Jersey Legal Information(PDF Download)|
|New Mexico||One auxiliary driving lamp mounted between 16 and 42 inches above the ground. Must be able to be turned off at least 500 feet from approaching vehicles.||New Mexico Legal Information|
|New York||While not technically illegal, all auxiliary lights cannot exceed 32 candlepower (402 lumens). There are no light bars made with less than 32 candlepower.||New York Legal Information|
|North Carolina||Light bars must be off while driving on public roads.||North Carolina Legal Information|
|North Dakota||No part of the light can hit the ground 75 feet from the vehicle.||North Dakota Legal Information|
|Ohio||No more than five front-facing lights. No high intensity beam may strike the roadway 75 feet from the vehicle.||Ohio Legal Information|
|Oklahoma||Off-road lights may not be used on roadways.||Oklahoma Legal Information|
|Oregon||Off-road lights may only be used off-roads.||Oregon Legal Information|
|Pennsylvania||Off-road lights must be off and covered while on public roads.||Pennsylvania Legal Information|
|Rhode Island||All lights with more than 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens) must be directed so they don't hit the roadway more than 75 feet in front of the vehicle.||Rhode Island Legal Information|
|South Carolina||All lights with more than 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens) must be directed so they don't hit the roadway more than 75 feet in front of the vehicle.||South Carolina Legal Information|
|South Dakota||All lights with more than 25 candlepower (314.25 lumens) must be directed so that no part of the beam hits the level surface 50 feet in front of a vehicle.||South Dakota Legal Information|
|Tennessee||No more than two auxiliary lights allowed, and no portion of the beam may be directed where it can strike oncoming drivers.||Tennessee Legal Information|
|Texas||Two auxiliary driving lamps are permitted, but must be mounted between 16 and 42 inches above a level surface.||Texas Legal Information|
|Utah||Any light with greater than 300 candlepower (3,771 lumens) must be directed so that no portion of the beam strikes the roadway.||Utah Legal Information|
|Vermont||Aftermarket lights must be DOT approved.||Vermont Legal Information|
|Virginia||Any lights mounted higher than factory headlights must be covered. May have 2 uncovered lights in addition to headlights. Uncovered lights must be set to turn off if brights are turned on.||Virginia Legal Information|
|Washington||Two auxiliary lights are allowed, but must be mounted between 16 and 42 inches off the ground.||Washington Legal Information|
|West Virginia||All lamps mounted higher than 42 inches off the ground must be covered.||West Virginia Legal Information|
|Wisconsin||No more than 4 forward facing lights.||Wisconsin Legal Information|
|Wyoming||Light bars are not legal on public roadways||Wyoming Legal Information|
We have tried to simplify the laws of each state into plain English. There are some general terms to help.
Many state laws do not specifically cover LED off-road lights. Most of the time, they will classify light bars as "auxiliary lights." Auxiliary lights are divided into three categories: fog lights, running lights, and off-road lights. These lights can improve visibility but are not as necessary as headlights.
Therefore, in states that allow only two auxiliary lights, you may only be able to use one pair of fog lights on the road.
A light bar mounted at the bottom of the windshield
Most states also have regulations about where to install them. This is mainly to distinguish fog lights from off-road lights.
These height restrictions reduce the mounting area so that nothing above the grille is cut. Since the measurements are taken from the road surface, lifting vehicles will be more restricted.
Some street legal light bars are installed at or below headlight height. For people who regularly drive on rural public roads, these can improve safety without breaking the law.
Most people measure light output in lumens, which means that off-road lights advertise the lumen output of their lights. Unfortunately, most states define their legal limits in terms of candlepower.
Candlepower is as outdated as you might think. To convert candlepower to the lumen, multiply by 12.57.
One of the few consistencies across state lines is the color restrictions. The forward light cannot be blue, red, or any other color associated with a legal institution. Nor can they flicker or rotate. Many states stipulate that lights must be clear and white.
In the United States, amber is used for turn signals, red for taillights or warning lights, and white for forward lights.
Dot Standard Compliance
Some states follow the federal Department of Transportation's lighting guidelines instead of assigning their own. Lights that meet DOT standards will have a DOT logo, which effectively rules out off-road lights that DOT does not evaluate normally.
Light Bar Laws By State
Please note: nilight is not a recognized legitimate organization. We can't get you off the hook. In addition, state laws are updated frequently. Although we will update this list and make it as accurate as possible, it is recommended that you check your state guidelines carefully before making major modifications.
Am I gonna get pulled over because of the light bar?
Led light bars cause glare bright spots
If you're like most people, many of your questions boil down to "Can I pull over?" The answer is yes.
Most states have general statutes that say police can stop a driver from doing anything unsafe, which is to cover every strange and unpredictable situation that can arise.
Most states do not have laws about driving with a beer in your car. However, if you try to drive with a bear in your car, you may get pulled over. While no one could have predicted that someone would attempt this, there was no doubt that it was unsafe. "Unsafe" laws allow law enforcement officers to respond to such situations.
Although you can theoretically argue your case in court, there are not many successful cases, which is mainly because it is not safe to drive with LED light bars on. Blinding your fellow drivers is an unsafe practice, and appealing to a judge or jury may not end up in your favor.
The solution? Use a light bar cover
A light bar with a cover
No matter where you travel, using a light bar cover is the easiest way to comply with the law. Even if you accidentally turn on the light bar, the cover ensures that you don't compromise safety.
In short, a light bar cover is a good protection against future tickets. Not only that, but the light bar cover also offers interesting customization options. Check out some light bar covers here.
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