Who doesn’t want to give their vehicle a facelift? We often go for high-quality, bright, and expensive LED lights to install on our cars. It is to get better visibility at nighttime. But before spending the money, it is wise to check the legality of these LED lights.
There are reasons why the legality of many LED lights is questionable. Since LEDs produce way higher brightness than halogen ones, they also tend to glare much if not aimed properly. If you are from Arizona, you don’t need to worry too much, as almost all OEM LEDs are legal here. But that doesn’t end the topic or answer the question totally.
Aftermarket LEDs exist, and even installing a legal bulb on your vehicle may not be permitted under certain conditions.
What Do Arizona Laws Say About Vehicle Lighting?
In Arizona, you should follow the laws below in order to stay away from illegality. I should mention that these are not all the laws about vehicle lighting. But I didn’t add all since many of them are off-topic. You may read them from the Arizona State Legislature and its second and third sessions if you want.
When Should You Keep the Headlights Lighted
- From sunset to sunrise.
- At any time of the day, without enough visibility to make out vehicles or persons 500 feet ahead of the car.
Intensity Related Law
- Suppose a vehicle has spotlights, auxiliary lights, fog lights, and any other light (aside from headlights) at the front with an intensity higher than 300 candlepower. In that case, only four lamps can be lit at once. Three hundred candlepower equals 3771 lumens.
- A car or such vehicles must contain at least two headlights with an equal number on each side.
- A motorcycle must have at least one and at most two headlights.
- A running vehicle on the highway must have a stop light installed.
- Reflectors, clearance lights, and signal lights are allowed if they meet the proper rules and requirements.
- Taillights must emit a light visible from 500 feet to the back.
This table contains the number of lighting equipment a vehicle (not motorcycles) may or must have in Arizona.
Minimum Height (Inch)
Maximum Height (Inch)
- Headlights must emit white or amber lights—no red or blue headlight.
- Flashing lights are not allowed until in an emergency.
- Marker lights, reflectors, and clearance lights to the front must have amber colors.
- License plate lights must be white.
- Other than on commercial vehicles, the stop lights and any signal lamp must be red, yellow, or amber.
- Taillights must be red.
- Rear reflectors must be red.
- Any other lamps on the rear must emit red color.
It is clearly understandable from these laws that using LEDs as headlights, taillights, or other lamps should be legal in Arizona. But some federal rules still make some of these LED lights illegal. So let’s focus on them next.
What About Federal Laws?
Okay, let’s look at the federal laws that may be related to the legality of LED lights. Firstly, we have the rule that any vehicle headlight must emit a beam that reveals the area 50 to 100 feet ahead of the vehicle. It can show closer or farther distance but must cover that particular area. Since most LED headlights can do that, we don’t need to worry about this.
Now, the second law to discuss is the prohibition on headlight modifications. Many actions fall within headlight modifications. They include-
- Replacing stock halogen bulbs with LED bulbs.
- Replacing or retrofitting any non-DOT-approved part. Aftermarket ones are often not approved by DOT or SAE.
- Removing or trimming down any part.
If you already have factory LED lights, they are legal. You can also change those LED headlights with other OEM LED ones. But when opting for aftermarket ones, you need to check whether they are DOT-approved.
I won’t drag this article further since it answered our question. All stock and OEM LED headlights are legal in Arizona. Meanwhile, only the DOT-approved aftermarket ones are legal. You must also avoid LED headlights that don’t fit your vehicle, as it will be a type of modification. Instead, get the one that is precisely made for your car’s headlight system.