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Illegal car lighting


chechic64
11-12-2001, 01:01 AM
I have just installed new lights on my car. I changed the color of my front turn signals from amber to green (to match my car). I was previously told that the only illegal colors on the front of the car were red or blue (because they are cop car colors). But i just wanted to make sure....I really don't need to get a ticket for that. If anyone can help me out i sure would appreciate it. thankx

Koran
11-12-2001, 05:12 AM
Thats wrong the colors that are illegal are red and green but your able to get away with it depending on how heavy the green shines through.
But blue is legal thats why the Benz's and Audi's come with stock blue lights. But if the green lights you've got are dim and not really a heavy green shining through you'll be alright.

Hudson
11-12-2001, 11:36 AM
The "blue" lights on expensive cars aren't blue at all. They're very white and regular headlights are actually kinda yellow (which makes the "blue" ones seem more blue). Headlights must be standard/halogen (yellow) or HID ("blue") in color. Nothing else is legal in the US...even the traditional yellow (very yellow) French headlights are not legal here (or there anymore).

Lights (headlights, turnsignals, sidemarkers, taillights, brake lights, etc.) are only legal (in the US) if they have "SAE" markings on them. Read the lens and there should be some numbers preceeded by "SAE".

Corner lights and turnsignals can only be amber or (in the case of some rear turnsignals) red. Anything else is not legal. Green and blue are definitely in the "not legal" category for all standard operating lights on street-legal vehicles. If you bought the lens covers in a store, read the box...somewhere on there it should say "for off-road use only" which means they're not street legal.

DVSNCYNIKL
11-12-2001, 11:42 AM
Exactly Hudson. To add to that, colorful lights in general are not street legal. I've seen people even have dark blue brake lights. Use your judgement when buying lights. If it doesn't have the DOT approval on it, it's not legal, period.

MaxBoost1990
12-31-2001, 02:43 AM
Kind of a branch off, but does anyone else live in a state where the noen underneath a car is illegal? I moved to WI from NC and found out(the hard way) my neons are illegal. But my question would be why? Any input on this?

The Bartender
01-02-2002, 06:03 PM
The DOT rules, specifically FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) cover what is and isn't legal for motor vehicles, and they are QUITE extensive. As noted by the posters above, pretty well every color but white(Headlamps, fog lamps and back up lights), red (Brake lights and rear turn signals) and amber(Turn signals and running/marker lamps) is illegal. They are so strict about this that the FMVSS includes specifics about what color EXACTLY amber is. It's not yellow and it is not orange, to make a point, as both those colors are illegal for exterior display on a vehicle.

(Of course, the above doesn't apply, obviously, to emergency vehicles)

There are also state standards regarding exterior vehicle lighting, but these normally are for specific circusmtances, and also to identify exactly what each state considers an emergency vehicle. Beyond that, every state has different regulations for the modifications you are allowed to perform to a vehicle. Some states are strict, allowing few mods of any type. Others allow some radical mods to some parts of a vehicle, but none at all to other parts. (California comes to mind. the CA DOT/MVA has a quite lenghty list of allowable suspension mods(for example), for example, but even think about altering the emission system with non-approved parts and you can be highly penalized.)

(And I could be wrong on the above. State Regulations tend to change more rapidly than the FMVSS)

As to why the neon lighting is illegal, I don't know. You could ask some at your local MVA office, or call the state police. YOu could also try asking an authorized state inspection facility (garage). But knowing why still isn't going to change the fact that the neon is illegal. Of course, it doesn't really matter unless the police stop you and write you up for a violation. Which means that if you don't turn them on, you shouldn't have a problem. (Defeats the purpose, I know.) This also means that you should be okay, as long as you only turn them on while the vehicle is on private property or parked.

GTStang
01-18-2002, 03:19 AM
Neon lighting under your dash is not illegal, under your car is. The reason for this is due to the fact what if you crashed your car and there was a fire or your tubes broke, Neon is a flammable gas. It's like driving with NOS mounted under your car. can you say BOOMMMM!

killick
01-22-2002, 12:12 PM
hmmm... think you're misinformed there on the explosive capabilities of neon. If you check a high school chemistry text, I think you'll find that neon falls into the class of a noble gas.

Think about it, if it was explosive, exposing it to an electrode to make it glow probably wouldn't be a good thing. :-)

Suspect that the reason it's illegal is the same as for changing the color of your tail lights, etc. The neon glow is visible from all angles, so it appears as a colored light whether you looking at the front, back or side of the car. So, if your state says that your green neon is illegal, they're probably saying so because any light visible from the rear must be red or amber (for example).

i_rebel
01-22-2002, 01:24 PM
I think the neon's or ANY undercar lighting for that matter are only illegal because they pose a safety hazard on the road since they could potentially distract/confuse other drivers . . .

$.02

bluetwo
01-24-2002, 03:29 PM
i mostly agree with the above posts

as far as front turn signals, California, Georgia (where I currently live), and Illinois (where I used to live) stipulate that they can emit either white or amber light only, so long as they clearly indicate your intention to turn. Side marker lights mounted behind the front wheel well and in front of the door must be amber. rear turn signals can be either amber or red. rear brake lights must be red.

as far as underbody neons, my understanding is that it is illegal to have your car in motion with the neons on, as it is a distraction to other drivers. it is fine to have them on if the car is stationary, but once you're moving...

happypixiewings
09-09-2002, 11:27 PM
I have been going through the Ohio Codes extensively and I don't think that neons underneath your car are illegal here. Might take some convincing of some very prejudice cops but here are some quotes that I have found supporting my theory:


" 4513.17 Number of lights permitted; direction of beam; flashing, oscillating or rotating lights.
Text of Statute
(A) Whenever a motor vehicle equipped with headlights also is equipped with any auxiliary lights or spotlight or any other light on the front thereof projecting a beam of an intensity greater than three hundred candle power, not more than a total of five of any such lights on the front of a vehicle shall be lighted at any one time when the vehicle is upon a highway.
(B) Any lighted light or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than headlights, spotlights, signal lights, or auxiliary driving lights, that projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than three hundred candle power, shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than seventy-five feet from the vehicle. "



Also here is a reply to a question posed to the Ohio State Highway patrol:




"What colors and types (under body, in-car, etc.) of neon lights are legal?

Lights must not rotate, oscillate, or flash, but state law does not prohibit the use of colored neon lights under your car as long as they do not interfere or blind other drivers.

Ohio Revised Code, section 4513.17 prohibits flashing lights on motor vehicles with the exception of emergency vehicles, turn signals, and hazard flashers.

As long as the neon lights are less than 300 candle power they are not in violation of any State law. If the lights are more than 300 candle power they must be directed to strike the pavement the vehicle sets upon at a distance of no more than 75 feet. The lights can not exceed 500 candle power. Colored lights, such as neon lights around a license plate, could be illegal if the light illuminates the plate and changes the colors of the plate. State law requires a white light to illuminate the rear license plate."




I have been severely harrassed by the local cops recently for having a neon license plate frame but it is not in violation according to all text I could find on the subject even the DOT codes. I am in the process of fighting the repair order. Plus I just ordered a set of neons for underneath my car. i have talked with the local highway patrol and they have said that they never pull over anyone for neons unless they are red or blue and on the front of a vehicle.

Just passing on some info...If anyone finds differently please let me know.

Bryan8412
09-10-2002, 03:35 PM
lawmakers are morons. How is a car with neons going to distract someone less in a parking lot next to where they could be driving? Are those couple of meters the difference between a major distraction?

Besides a hot girl is much more distracting. I can recall several times in which i had to swirve because of someone hot (or i thought was hot at 40mph).

excaliber_2_1
08-10-2004, 11:44 PM
Does anyone know a good web site that may indicate the ordinances put into place on lighting? I am having the worst time finding one.

Also I was pulled over for having blue lights on the front of my car, so i asked the cop which lights were illegal. He said blue and red lights are illegal when they are pointing forward, but that green was not... so i now have green light in the front of my car and inside my car and have not been pulled over since.

Bain
08-13-2004, 12:12 AM
Well it looks like this ones getting extensive but I thought I'd put my info in on this one.

I put some green gel caps on the turn signals of a friends car a while back and after several months he was finally pulled over. When he did get pulled over, he asked the cop what was considered illegal and what wasn't. The officer explained to him that the turn signals had to be either white or amber and that basically the entire headlight and taillight systems were off limits to color change but the rest of the car was free game including underbody kits. This is in Oklahoma though and if I'm not mistaken the laws are different in different states on this.

psychorallyfreak
08-13-2004, 12:28 AM
Neon lighting under your dash is not illegal, under your car is. The reason for this is due to the fact what if you crashed your car and there was a fire or your tubes broke, Neon is a flammable gas. It's like driving with NOS mounted under your car. can you say BOOMMMM!
My friend, I believe you are mistaken on two counts. One was pointed out already about the non-flammability of Neon.
The other, is about Nitrous Oxide (NOS...). Nitrous Oxide is NOT explosive. The tank may be, only because it's under pressure. N2O is an Oxidizer, NOT a fuel source. the ONLY real trouble you'd be in with a ruptured Nitrous tank, is if you ruptured your gas tank, and started throwing sparks.
Nitrous Oxide is used for two things in the automotive (racing) realm. One, to cool the incoming air charge. Cooler, denser, better.
Two, to introduce more oxygen into the incoming air charge. More O2, better burning boom, more GO.
You've heard about the two types of Nitrous systems, I'm sure. "Dry" systems, and "Wet" systems.
Dry systems just introduce Nitrous to the intake tract, leaving the injection system to make up for the extra fuel load.
Wet systems introduce both Nitrous, and the required additional fuel.
Because, if you introduced only Nitrous to your engine, you'd start a really nice run, but end up with a dead engine, because the detonation ate holes through the pistons.
Sorry to make such a long post, I just didn't want anybody to be unnecessarily worried about anything.

Thanks for reading! :lol2:

The FREAK.

stinkkesa
07-17-2009, 07:28 AM
I live in Oklahoma and just wanted to know if anyone knew if having lights underneath my truck would be illegal here.

serge_saati
07-17-2009, 06:59 PM
I have just installed new lights on my car. I changed the color of my front turn signals from amber to green (to match my car). I was previously told that the only illegal colors on the front of the car were red or blue (because they are cop car colors). But i just wanted to make sure....I really don't need to get a ticket for that. If anyone can help me out i sure would appreciate it. thankx


No, it's totally legal. Don't worry.

serge_saati
07-17-2009, 07:05 PM
I live in Oklahoma and just wanted to know if anyone knew if having lights underneath my truck would be illegal here.

Normally it's illegal. But there's something you can do. I did that with my old Windstar 98 last year. Connect a switch in serial between these lights and the power.

Place the switch in the cockpit. Near the steering column. So if ever you see a cop, or a cop arrest you, immediately turn of the lights.

The cop will ask you: It's illegal to have lights underneath.

You respond: What? I don't have lights under my car. You may have hallucinations. Go see a doctor.

MagicRat
07-17-2009, 07:20 PM
Normally it's illegal. But there's something you can do. I did that with my old Windstar 98 last year. Connect a switch in serial between these lights and the power.

Place the switch in the cockpit. Near the steering column. So if ever you see a cop, or a cop arrest you, immediately turn of the lights.

The cop will ask you: It's illegal to have lights underneath.

You respond: What? I don't have lights under my car. You may have hallucinations. Go see a doctor.
:shakehead Uh.... let's NOT advise other members to do anything illegal, okay? :smile:

I would suggest this member go and drop by the local police station and ASK them if its legal.

I am sure that any cop would admire such honesty and would be happy to give the proper advice before anything possibly illegal is done.

RidingOnRailz
07-18-2009, 08:54 AM
I'm an audio/video guy and if there's anyway to figure out the color temperature(Kelvins) on different automotive lighting that might give us some reference. Remember, the higher degrees Kelvin, the "bluer", the lower degrees, "redder".

2000-3000Kelvins = Most domestic lightbulbs, and candles fall closer to 2000.(most automotive bulbs we are used to may be up near 3000).

5000Kelvins = So-called "daylight" bulbs(the Audis' may fall around here in terms of their color temp.)

6500Kelvins = Approximation of daylight at midday, few clouds. Also: Calibration grayscale point for standard & high-def TV displays in the U.S. and most other countries.

9300Kelivs = calibration point in Japan and some other Asian countries. (And the factory calibration point for consumer TVs in this country - to make them stand out in a showroom!)

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