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Are LED Headlights Legal in California? What You Need to Know!

mercedes benz car

If you want to install LED headlights on your vehicle in California, you are in luck. LED headlights are legal in California if the lamps do not exceed 2,513 lumens and the light is white with amber turn signals. If the light color is anything other than white with amber turn signals, the headlight is illegal.

For a complete picture of LED headlight laws in California, read on.

car and road divider

Are LED Headlights Illegal on Cars in California?

Even though California has quite a few unique vehicle laws, LED headlight laws are not one of them. LED headlights are completely legal in California, as long as the strength is below 2,513 lumens and the LED light is white with amber turn signals..

LED headlight
Image Credit: Oleksiy Mark, Shutterstock

Can I Put LED Bulbs in My Headlights?

If you live in California, you are able to put LED bulbs in your headlights. You have to make sure that the headlights are in the right location and size. For example, headlights in California must be 24–54 inches tall.

Are Aftermarket HID Headlights Legal in California?

No. Aftermarket HID headlights are not legal in California. These kits often come with intense blue light. Because all vehicle lights must be white or amber in California, these kits are illegal in California. Stick to the appropriate color of LED bulbs for your vehicle at all times. The last thing anyone wants is to have to pay a fine for something so small. Plus, these laws are put in place for a reason. After all, keeping other drivers on the road safe should be a bigger priority as opposed to the color or height of your headlights.

HID headlights
Image Credit: BokehStore, Shutterstock

California Vehicle Light Rules

Here is a complete look at California vehicle light rules:

Light output 2,513 lumens
Permitted Colors White or amber
Number of Headlights At least 2
Headlight Sizes 22–54 inches
Number of Spotlights 2 maximum
Number of Fog Lights 2 maximum
Fog Light Sizes 12–30 inches
Number of Auxiliary Passing Lights 2 maximum
Auxiliary Passing Lights Sizes 24–42 inches
Number of Auxiliary Driving Lights 2 maximum
Auxiliary Driving Lights Sizes 16–42 inches
car headlight
Image Credit: Piqsels

car and road divider

Final Thoughts

LED lights are completely legal in California. In fact, the government favors this light type over many others. You just have to make sure that your LED headlights are white or amber and under 2,513 lumens. As long as you meet these stipulations, your LED lights are completely legal.

If you have any further questions about the legality of your California vehicle headlights, we recommend checking out the California Vehicle Codes. This code will tell you everything you need to know about having a legal vehicle within the state of California. At the end of the day, these laws are put in place to keep you and other drivers safe. It’s easier, safer, and cheaper in the long run if you abide by these laws. More and more vehicles are switching to LED lights, but it’s up to you whether you want to make the switch.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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