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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is the Brightest Headlight Bulb That Is Legal in Indiana? What To Know

People often wonder about headlights, how bright they can be, and whether or not they can use different colors. One Indiana law changed in 2021, which was designed to eliminate the confusion for car owners about the LED light colors that are now legal. However, people still seem to have questions. They can read this helpful blog to learn more.


Brightest Headlight Bulb Allowed

Brightest Headlight Bulb Allowed


What is the brightest headlight bulb that is legal in Indiana? It's a question people often ask, and the answer might surprise them. Typically, headlights must register 3,000LM or 3,000K. Anything higher could impair visibility for other drivers and cause an accident. If one is found with an LED light that is brighter, they could face a fine or ticket while driving in the state. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like can people with one eye drive in Indiana?


Vehicle Light Requirements


Here are a few light requirements to consider:


  • People must remove any banned colored lights from their cars or be ticketed.

  • License plate lights must be white.

  • Backup lights now require white hues.

  • Brake lights or tail lights should be red.

  • Many headlight colors are now banned if they emit yellow, green, blue, or red at the front of the vehicle. Only amber- or white-colored light is allowed.


Colored Headlights Have Been Banned (and Laws About Tail Lights)


Eric Holcomb, the Governor of Indiana, signed Senate Bill 266 in 2021. This legislation sets the rules relating to signal light, headlight, and brake light color to promote motor vehicle safety for all drivers.


The law went into effect on July 1, 2021. Now, headlights on motorcycles, cars, and motor-driven cycles can display amber or white lights. Likewise, the rear signal light on a car/truck must display amber or red. According to the best injury attorney in Indianapolis, blue is not allowed in either direction.


If one has already modified their vehicle headlights, they're responsible for changing them.

Here are the things one should know:


  • Front Light - The law now bans popular colors for headlights, including yellow, green, blue, and red.

  • License Plates - Plates should be displayed in the upright and horizontal position. The expiration year and the renewal sticker must show in the upper right corner. This space must be lit by white light.

  • Brake Light - Every motor vehicle (except a motorcycle) manufactured/built before January 1, 1956, must have two red brake lights.

  • Backup Light - The rear backup lights must be white or amber.

  • Stop Lamp or Tail Light - These lights should be red.

  • Underbody Light - There are no restrictions set for underbody or accent lights. Drivers should review laws as they come into play and ensure they're legal.

  • Emergency Vehicles - Fire trucks, EMS, and police vehicles are exempt from the new law.


Manufacturer's lights, including brighter LED shades, might appear blue, and this is considered okay in most conditions.


Why Laws Have Changed in Indiana


Colored headlights and other lights are designed for emergency vehicles. When cars use them, it creates confusion on the roadway, especially when driving at sunset.


Vehicles can be modified outside factory standards, which can impose safety issues for others driving and lead to accidents. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are able to assist with questions such as is it illegal to drive without a bumper in Indiana?


Indiana already has other laws in place that prohibit certain modifications to vehicles. These include changes to the:


  • Windows (tinting)

  • Engine

  • Frame or suspension

  • Muffler

  • Sound system


All modifications without manufacturer approval ratings or outside factory standards could reduce the handling or performance of the person driving. Though some are content to leave things as they are, others want to make the vehicle faster or "better." However, doing so could change the warranty and insurance coverage rates for others.


Can Unnecessary Modifications Put Others at Risk?


High-voltage, illegal, and colored lights aren't usually factory standard. Owners will install them for performance-enhancing, aesthetic, or personal reasons. Though personalizing a driven car is exciting, it could pose risks to other motorists who aren't used to seeing it.


Aftermarket fog lights or LED headlights might be positioned in a way to potentially blind others or be too bright, which confuses them. Typically, colored lights are designed for emergency vehicles. Likewise, modification or rewiring of the car's structure might make it unsafe.


Common aftermarket modifications can include:


  • Swapping engines or brakes

  • Computer mapping boxes

  • Cold air intakes

  • Spoilers or turbo engines

  • Speed enhancements or nitrous injection kits

  • Plate frames

  • Dark glass or tinted windows

  • Modifications to LED headlights and tail lights

  • Removal of the emission equipment

  • Off-road lamps at 100 watts or more

  • Flashing lights

  • Underbody spotlights

  • Cutting or widening to make larger rims

  • Studded tires or big wheels

  • Loud exhaust systems


When one decides to upgrade with those vehicle modifications, it might be more dangerous to drive. If the installation leads to damage, it might cause problems on the road. Whether catastrophic or minor, car accidents usually involve trauma, which could be physical and emotional.


Types of Injuries Caused By Modified Vehicles

Types of Injuries Caused By Modified Vehicles


If a modified vehicle causes a crash because it distracted another driver or malfunctioned, serious injuries could result.


Common injuries can include:


  • Fractures and Broken Bones - Bone fracture injuries are common in a car accident because of the impact a person might experience.

  • Head and Brain Injuries - Brain injuries and skull fractures can have long-term effects and alter a person's life. Concussions and whiplash can also create a lasting complication that reveals serious issues later.

  • Soft Tissue Injuries - These include scrapes and torn/stretched ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

  • Back and Neck Injuries - These include neck strains and sprains, spinal cord damage, and herniated discs.

  • Burn Injuries - A burn from a car accident can cause blistering swelling, infections, disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement.


Request a Free Car Accident Consultation from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys


Drivers should be held accountable for ensuring their car is safe for the road. If the owner chose to install vehicle modifications, such as too-bright LED headlights, it could cause an accident. When that happens, the victim shouldn't be content to let it be. They must find a law firm for assistance.


If a vehicle was driven after being modified and that use led to an injury or accident. It's wise to contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. Though this article can help people understand the implications of driving modified vehicles, victims don't have to suffer alone. Please call to request a free consultation today!

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