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Are LED Headlights Legal In Texas? What Colors Are Legal?

LED headlight

Driving can be difficult when you have dim or outdated headlights, and new LED lights are very attractive. They offer increased visibility, which is an undisputed advantage on any roadway, and a clean look. In some areas of the country, there are restrictions on what kind of headlight you can have on your car. For example, are LED headlights legal in Texas?

Yes, LED headlights are generally legal in Texas, though there are some caveats. Headlights must be white, yellow, or amber and can’t be a nuisance on the roadway. A grille or cover can’t obscure the headlights, and they must have a valid Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker.

car and road divider

What Color Headlights Are Legal In Texas?

Although some drivers like the idea of different-colored headlights, they’ve been deemed a nuisance by the federal and Texas state governments. LED or otherwise, DOT-approved headlights must be yellow, amber, or white.

Red and blue LEDs are strictly prohibited, except red is acceptable for tail lights. The idea is that civilians shouldn’t be allowed to imitate emergency vehicles because it’s confusing and dangerous.

Generally, you can’t have white on your tail lights or red on your headlights either because that’s also very confusing for other motorists. Standardization is important because it fosters universally understood driving standards.

Colored accent lights are a controversial gray area. They’re not technically illegal as long as they don’t interfere with the head or tail lights, and you can’t imitate police or ambulance lights. LED light bars are typically legal on the front half of cars as long as they’re not intended as primary lighting.

LED headlamp
Image Credit: Piqsels

What Types of Lights Are Illegal In Texas?

Neon trim and accent lights above 300 candlepower are prohibited in Texas, as are red and blue headlight bulbs. Technically, Texas allows any DOT-approved lights, but the catch is that the DOT hasn’t approved red or blue light bulbs. If the DOT approved colored lights tomorrow, they would ostensibly be legal in Texas too.

Accessories that block or dim lights are illegal too. These include “smoked headlights” and headlight grilles, among other products. Basically, anything that impedes the efficiency of your headlights is illegal.

You can have four lights running on the front half of your vehicle, including two headlights and two fog lights or high beam lights. Installing LED or neon lights over that number could get you pulled over and possibly ticketed, so beware.

Finally, lights that might be considered a nuisance to other motorists are sometimes deemed too bright by law enforcement. If your lights are so bright that it puts other drivers or pedestrians at risk, you’ll probably get in trouble. Utilize common sense when determining how bright you need your headlights to be.

car headlight repair
Image Credit: DiPres, Shutterstock

car and road divider


LED headlights can be a game-changer for people with poor vision or those who want more light at night. Texas roads can get extremely dark in rural areas, and it makes perfect sense to want a boost. As long as you’re not out there pretending to be a cop or ambulance, most reasonable types of lights are legal.

Feataured Image Credit: Oleksiy Mark, Shutterstock

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