Are LED Headlights Legal in Michigan?

When it comes to vehicle laws, Michigan has every corner covered. Its laws regarding vehicle modification are strict and already illegalize most LED headlights. But that does not mean that LED headlights are totally illegal in the state.

We need to focus on both the state and federal laws to find out whether something is legal in a state or not. If you are a resident of Michigan and confused about whether you should go for a replacement pair of LED headlights, we advise reading this article first.

You may unwillingly break the law without the necessary information. So, without further ado, let’s get into the main topic.

Are LED Headlights Legal in Michigan

What Do Michigan Regulations Say About LED Headlights?

Michigan has many prohibitions on modifications, whether it is the muffler, horn, taillight, or headlight. So, let’s focus on its headlight rules. According to the Department of Transportation code 257.684

  • Vehicle headlights must be on from half an hour before sunset to half an hour after sunrise.
  • Headlights must be on when there is low visibility, making it difficult to discern humans or vehicles within 500 feet.

Parked vehicles are exempt from the above two rules. Aside from them, there are other rules

  • There should be at least two headlamps, with one on each side of any motor vehicle. Motorcycles must have at least one and at most two headlights.
  • The total intensity of all the front lights, including headlights, spotlights, or any other light, must not exceed 3,771 lumens.

The last one of these rules already rules out the legality of a high number of LED headlights. As you know, most aftermarket LED headlights have intensity far surpassing 3,771 lumens. The truth is, 3,771 lumens is far more than enough for anyone to see the road ahead clearly.

But even after these rules, shouldn’t all aftermarket LED lights with lumens lower than 3,771 be legal? Not necessarily. Remember that we also have federal laws to look into.

FMVSS Laws About Headlight Modification

The FMVSS laws apply to all the USA states, including Michigan. One of its rules requires your headlights to let you see at least 50-100 meters ahead of your vehicle. Meanwhile, there is another about headlight modifications.

According to FMVSS, any modifications to the headlight system are not allowed. Yes, you can replace your original ones with OEM ones. However, if your vehicle has a factory halogen bulb, you cannot change it to HID or LED as it is counted as a modification. Even trimming is un-allowed too.

You can replace it with full OEM reflector headlight housing for LED lights and projector housing for HID. But they must be DOT and SAE-approved.

Other Factors to Consider

About Off-Roading

You can indeed use LED headlights in place of your halogen ones for an off-roading car. But it may not be ideal if you use your vehicle for both on-road and off-roading. In that case, you may need to change your headlights for the road constantly.

On the one hand, you can’t use too much light from your headlight on the road in Michigan. But on the other hand, off-roading requires ample light. So, doing both with the same headlight may not be good.

About Auxiliary LED lights

In Michigan, one can only use vehicle lighting types permitted by the state. It includes headlights, taillights, fog lights, rear-view mirror lights, park lights, etc. Any other light is not allowed. Underbody lights, flashing, rotating, and license plate lights are prohibited.

Unfortunately, even additional interior lighting is also prohibited in Michigan. You must stick to what you have as interior lights from the factory.

About Headlight Colors

The only two colors legal for headlights in Michigan are white and amber. But, as you may know, many LED headlight bulbs on the market have color temperatures far exceeding 6,000K(white). So, those blue and any other colored LED headlights are prohibited in the Wolverine State.

Moments Where LED Headlights are Legal and Illegal in Michigan

You can use LED headlights legally in Michigan under the following conditions

  • If your vehicle comes with stock LED headlights.
  • If you are using OEM LED headlight housings with DOT approval and below 3,771 lumens.
  • When you are off-roading.

You are not allowed to use LED headlights in Michigan under the following conditions

  • If you are using an LED headlight bulb on a housing designed for halogen, or a non-OEM LED housing.
  • When your LED headlights emit light with over 3,771 lumens.
  • When your headlights are not DOT-approved.
  • If your LED headlights cast light with any color other than white or amber.

Final Note

If you own a vehicle, you must comply with the laws in your state and country. In Michigan, you are allowed to have LED headlights only if your vehicle has them from the factory and they meet the intensity and color requirements. You can also buy OEM reflector housing to replace halogen headlights. But it must be specific to your vehicle.

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