Alabama has lots of rules when it comes to automotive lighting. But when I tried to comprehend them all, they turned out to be plain and simple. Now, if we question the legality of LED lights in Alabama among all these laws, many of them may not be legal.
But we still need to pay attention to the federal law. If both the Alabama state and federal rules allow it, then that means it is legal in a state. And like in many states, OEM LEDs are legal in Alabama. But we still have the aftermarket LEDs to talk about.
It seems like Alabama has many automotive lighting rules that differ from most other states. I have clarified many of them to find the answer to our question.
Vehicle Lighting Laws in Alabama
You may not bother to read all the long passages about vehicle lighting laws on the official website of Department of Transportation of Alabama. But they are not that complex once you give them a try. Here, I have explained some important ones to figure out whether LED lights are legal in the state or not. Also, to find out more details about the laws, you should check the official site.
Light Intensity Rules
- Beams from any light, excluding the headlights, spotlights, auxiliary lights, or front directional flashing lights, with over 300 candlepower must reach the road surface within 75 feet from the front of the vehicle. 300 candlepower equals to 3771 lumens.
When to Keep Your Headlights on
- You must keep the headlights on from 30 minutes after the sunset to 30 minutes before the sunrise.
- The headlights must stay on when there is low visibility on the road, making any person or vehicle within 500 feet undiscernible.
- When you must use the windshield wipers because of bad weather, turn on the headlights.
- When there is a chain of vehicles and beams from your front lights are being obscured by the vehicle on the front, you may keep those lights off. But you must still have those lights installed and perfectly working. Also, the rear lights must still be on.
High Beam and Beam Angle Laws
- High beams must be angled so that it reveals at least 350 feet of the road ahead of the vehicle. Low beams must show 100 feet forward.
- Vehicles with single-beam headlights must angle the headlamps according to the law. In addition, single-beam headlights must reveal 200 feet ahead of the car.
- High beams must be turned off when an approaching vehicle comes 500 meters ahead of your car.
- High beams must be turned off when following another vehicle within 200 meters ahead of your car. It is so unless you are passing or overtaking that vehicle.
Lighting Equipment Requirements
The table below contains the required lighting equipment on a vehicle in Alabama.
Minimum Height (Inches)
Maximum Height (Inches)
Auxiliary Passing Lights
Auxiliary Driving Lights
- Any motorcycle must have one or two headlights.
- Any vehicle must have at least one taillight. There must be a license plate light that makes the plate visible from 50 feet from the rear. And it must be wired so that it lights up simultaneously with the headlights or alternative driving lights.
- Flashing lights are allowed on vehicles to indicate left or right turns to other drivers.
- Flashing warning lights are allowed on the front and rear for traffic hazards. They must be installed as laterally and widely spaced as possible. These flashing lights must be visible from at least 1500 feet at night in clear weather.
- There must be no red lights at the front of the vehicle.
- Front flashing warning lights can have any shades between white to amber.
- Rear flashing warning lights can have any shades between amber to red.
The federal rules about vehicle lighting cover many parts of it. But the ones we need to focus on are the following two-
- The headlights must reveal the road 50-100 meters ahead of the vehicle.
- Headlight modifications are prohibited. They include installing LED bulbs on projector housing, HID on halogen housing, installing non-DOT-approved parts, trimming, and removing any component. Adjusting the beam angle isn’t a modification.
If we evaluate these laws, we can say that almost all aftermarket LED lights are illegal in Alabama. It is so because most of them are not DOT-approved. Moreover, you mustn’t just change the halogen bulbs with LED. Meanwhile, all factory LED headlights are legal by the federal agency and Alabama laws.
We can conclude that all OEM LED headlights are legal in Alabama as long as they are totally DOT-approved. But the aftermarket ones are usually not because they seldom meet the DOT standards. Not to mention, many get these aftermarket LEDs to replace their stock halogen bulbs, which is also illegal.
Other LED lamps are also legal, including interior, fog, auxiliary, and license plate lights. But keep them within the legal colors.
Anyway, you must keep your headlight aimed down as Alabama has clear-cut laws about this area. However, I like it a lot since it prevents drivers from blinding one another.