The laws in Georgia don’t illegalize HID lights, neither the factory nor OEM ones. However, you cannot use the factory bulbs forever. So when your factory HID lights burn out, you may want an OEM HID replacement. But you need to keep many regulations in mind when buying one.
Because of some rules in Georgia, you cannot take any random HID bulb to install on your car. It must meet some criteria. Also, it is without saying that any non-DOT bulb, whichever type it is, is illegal. So, let’s talk about the factors you need to focus on to determine the legality of an HID headlight in Georgia.
What Does Georgia Laws Say About HID Lights?
Georgia’s vehicle lighting legislation doesn’t mention HID, LED, or even halogen to legalize them. All these bulb types are legal if they are manufactured the right way and installed on the right headlight system.
While Georgia has so many headlight rules, you only need to focus on the following to answer our question-
- No lamp on a vehicle can emit any blue color. As you know, some among us often go for 8,000K to even 10,000K when buying HID lights. But that is totally illegal in Georgia. The state limited it to 3,000K-6,500K. If you really want a bit of blue but stay within the legal limit, go for 6,500K. It is known as Cool Blue and is almost white with a little shade of blue.
- No lamp on a vehicle can emit light brighter than 300 candlepower. Since each candlepower equals 12.57 lumens, we get 3,770 lm as the legal intensity limit in Georgia. Just multiply this number by the number of headlight bulbs you are buying, and see if the result is higher than their combined intensity. Otherwise, they will be illegal in Georgia.
Also, note that each of your car’s headlights must have an aiming screen on them. Otherwise, driving that vehicle will be illegal. It also indicates that your HID headlights must be aimed properly on the road.
Regarding the Federal Laws
According to federal laws, you must not modify any part of the headlight system. So, if you install HID headlights on housings unfit for them, it is illegal. Here, it doesn’t matter if the HID is DOT-approved or not. You can only install the HID bulbs on projector housing made for HID bulbs. As HID systems have ballasts in them, they perform so poorly on other housings.
In addition, you must also not install a bulb that doesn’t fit your headlight. For example, if your housing requires a 9003 bulb, you shouldn’t install an H4 bulb, despite their almost identical appearances.
Retrofitting or removing any part of the headlight system is also counted as modification and illegal.
The other federal law you need to be aware of is that at least the area 50-100 feet ahead of your car must be illuminated by your headlights. So, you can’t just aim your headlights upward.
Conditions When HID Headlights are Legal in Georgia
After assessing all the laws above, we can abridge that an HID headlight is legal in Georgia if it meets all the following conditions-
- The headlight must emit white or yellow light.
- The HID bulb must have a lumen below 3770.
- It must not be a modification, and you should install it on a housing manufactured for HID bulbs.
- It must be DOT-approved.
I should warn you that some sellers may lie about the DOT approval of some bulbs. So, unless you see the DOT stamp on the product, do not buy it. You may also find an SAE stamp alongside DOT, indicating higher quality.
How Hard Is It to Install an HID Light?
It is true that HID headlights are harder to install. But that is only in comparison to LED and halogen headlights. Contrary to popular belief, HID bulbs aren’t that hard to mount, especially if you know a thing or two about DIY.
I have previously explained the installation process of an HID headlight. You can check it out here, along with the cost of replacing to HID lights-
How Worth Are HID Headlights?
In terms of quality and brightness, you can honestly call HID headlights the middle child between halogen and LED bulbs. HID bulbs are much more efficient, long-lasting, and brighter than halogen bulbs. Meanwhile, an LED bulb tops an HID one in all those aspects.
Their prices also go from high to low, like LED ˃ HID ˃ halogen.
If you want a balance between the two types and own a housing fit for HID systems, you can go for them.
HID headlights are legal in Georgia if they do not exceed 3770 lumens each, aren’t over 6,500K color temperature, and are DOT-approved. Besides, they must be installed on projector housing for HID and the perfect bulb size.