Why are some LED light bar not street legal?
The lighting used when driving off-road is important. What should I take note of when looking for a safe and legal LED light bar? Is there a certain color temperature for the LEDs which can be great for night-time off-road use? Looking for one that will give superior clarity on the road without having a police officer stopping me for a violation.
- M.Lv 74 weeks ago
Off-road use is off-road use.
Street legal is street use.
In my state, you can have off-road lighting attached to your vehicle, but it has to be covered on the street so you obviously can't use the ligjting on the street.
On the street, you're only allowed to use whatever lighting came with the vehicle. And the factory lighting must be in operable condition.
- Anonymous1 month ago
You have to trust that you are able to read what it says on the package...and what the rules are in your town. Clear lenses are not allowed(aircraft landing lights) as they are too bright and you blind the other drivers.
You have to hope the store is not in it for the quick buck...and if they say not meant for the road, they mean it.
- DimoLv 51 month ago
The light bars are illegal on the streets WHEN LIT. In some States.
AFAIK, in all States, the lights are legal when covered.
- zipperLv 61 month ago
The light is to bite and high and blinds the oncoming drivers, so they are Street Illegal. That is why, and some look like police lighting so they too are illegal!
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- Grandpa JackLv 61 month ago
I'm sure state laws vary, but in general there are typically laws in place that dictate not only how bright (or what color) an auxiliary light can be if it's being used on public roads, but there are also laws that dictate WHERE an auxiliary light can be mounted in terms of height if in use on public roads.
In most cases, a forward facing driving light other than a standard headlight must be located at or below the bumper level of the vehicle if it is in use or it is illegal to use on public roads (which is why you'll notice that factory fog lights are always mounted low, for example. Established laws dictate that.). Not only that, but there are also separate laws that limit how bright any auxiliary driving lights can be EVEN IF they're mounted low enough to be otherwise legal (so running an auxiliary light/bar that's really bright, even if it's mounted well below the bumper line, would still be considered illegal in most places).
My guess is that any of the light bars you're finding that claim to be "road legal" (assuming they're appropriately mounted low enough to be legal) probably don't provide much useful additional light because if they did... they'd probably also be completely illegal to use on public roads. I'd say that if you want a light bar for off-roading then get a legitimately bright one, mount it high enough to be useful... and forget about ever using it on public roads. If you just want a "decoration" light bar to give you the look of having an off-roading setup without worrying much about if it's actually super useful off-road, then buy a dimmer one that says it's street legal and mount it appropriately low if you're going to use it but don't want to risk getting tickets.
- JetDocLv 71 month ago
The light bars you are looking at are OK for OFF ROAD use. They are NOT LEGAL for use while driving ON public streets and highways because they may blind other drivers and cause them to have an accident. I suggest you do some research on what is LEGAL for use in the state where your vehicle is registered.
- TSM_908Lv 71 month ago
In the UK they are deemed a driver distraction.
- Russ in NOVALv 71 month ago
Light bars are generally not street legal because, being positioned above the cab and being very bright, they tend to blind oncoming drivers. There is no low-beam setting. Color temp has little to nothing to do with it. You can't have it both ways.
As you stated, they are for OFF-ROAD driving, so they should be selectively turned on (when off-road) and off (when driving on public roads). If you are having problems with your standard headlights while on the road, look into upgrades for you headlights or perhaps fog lights or maybe get your eyes fixed.
- 1 month ago
There is a max bright level for each state