Are LED Headlights Legal in Georgia?

LED lights are still considered the new headlight type by many. Many praise them, while others have their complaints. But at the end of the day, everyone must follow the road laws. So, are LED headlights legal on the road or not?

Well, it depends. But one thing is clear: most aftermarket LED headlights are illegal due to a certain law. Simply put, LED lights are only road-legal if they aren’t modified. But that doesn’t make them totally unlawful in Georgia, though. You can still use them in specific ways.

Georgia has many rules about headlights, when, and how to use them. Let’s talk about all these topics in this article.

Are LED Headlights Legal in Georgia

About the Laws in Georgia

Let’s start with the headlight laws in Georgia and see if it says anything about LED lights. Georgia has quite a few rules about the high beam of your vehicle. According to it-

Headlight Rules

  • Your headlights must be on from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise.
  • You must also keep the headlights on in areas with low visibility and during rain.

High Beam Rules

  • You can only use high beams in the countryside and rural places.
  • You must dim the headlight high beam when an approaching vehicle is within 500 meters of yours.
  • You must also dim the high beam when following a vehicle within 200 meters of yours.
  • High beams are not allowed if you can’t see at least 200 meters ahead clearly.
  • You mustn’t use high beams in lighted streets or during rainy, foggy, smokey, or snowy weather.

As you can see, there are no rules specific to LED headlights in Georgia. So, that should make them legal here, right? Well, we must also check what the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) says.

FMVSS rules

FMVSS has rules regarding vehicle lighting and applies to all states of the USA. So, even if you can’t find any prohibition on your state laws, you must still check the federal regulations.

According to FMVSS 108, no headlight housing modification is allowed. So yes, you can only legally use LED bulbs in your headlight if your vehicle has had one from the factory. Halogen to LED or Halogen to HID are illegal on the road. It doesn’t matter if the aftermarket LED bulb is DOT and SAE-approved or not.

There is a way to get around this, though. And that is to opt for an OEM LED headlight housing replacement. But you must stay careful to get one with DOT and SAE compliance, or it will also be illegal.

You may often come across articles that call LED headlights legal in the USA because the state laws don’t say anything about it. Most of them only point towards the rule where your headlight must let you see 50-100 meters ahead of your vehicle. But that is not the only rule. Any driver must follow the FMVSS laws as well.

So, what about beam focus? There are events where the beams from a vehicle are not downward enough and dazzle the oncoming traffic. Know that almost all headlight housing has a system to let you change the aim of the light.

Unfortunately, most states and FMVSS still have no proper law about not having a focused beam. There have been petitions for this. Moreover, using LED bulbs on housings designed for halogen can create an unpleasant beam pattern. So, using reflector housing for LED lights is the best choice.

Also, it is now up to the vehicle owners to ensure that their headlights focus downward. Sadly, many don’t bother to do it.

What About Interior LED Lights

Using LED lights as interior lights is acceptable in any state and by federal law. There is no regulation for the coloring or position of the lights as well. So, go for as many interior LED lights as you like.

About Off-Road Vehicles

Using aftermarket LED bulbs to replace halogen ones for off-road vehicles is okay. The federal and state rules above mostly apply to on-road legality. In fact, there is no law about the coloring or intensity of the light too for off-roading. You do need more lumen from your headlights when traversing dark terrain. But we still recommend you to stay careful and safe.

The same is true for light bars too. Unfortunately, in most states, you cannot use light bars on-road and have to cover them with a black cloth. But you can use them and any other auxiliary light off-road.

Factors Where LED Lights Are not Illegal

To sum it up, these are the situations when you can use a LED headlight on your vehicle without breaking the law-

  • If your vehicle comes with LED headlight housings as the stock ones.
  • If you are using the vehicle off-road.
  • If you replace your stock halogen or HID headlight housing with a DOT and SAE-approved OEM LED headlight housing and bulb.

About Adaptive Headlights

When researching this topic online, you may frequently come across news about Adaptive headlights becoming legal. Yes, it happened in 2022. But it has nothing to do with the legality of LED headlights.

Adaptive lights are just headlights where you can control and dim any beam you want. While it is already standard worldwide, the USA took so long to approve it.

Final Note

As you can see, there are many situations when using LED headlights in Georgia is illegal. But there are also methods to use them legally. The most convenient way is going for an OEM LED headlight housing and not just the bulb. But the housing must follow the standards of DOT and SAE.

Leave a Comment