This law means that lighthouses that emit blue light are illegal in the state. Keep in mind that HID lights can vary in color. HID lamps are available in a variety of colors, ranging from yellow (3000K to 4300K) to white (5000K to 6000K) to blue and purple (8000K and above). Low-intensity HID lamps emit yellow or white light, and higher intensity HID light is blue. All HID headlights that emit blue or purple light violate California law. What about HID conversion kits for the aftermarket? Installing replacement HID headlights in a vehicle equipped with halogen lamps is illegal in California. This is because these kits come with very intense blue HID light, which is illegal in California. Many people swear by headlights with HID lamps, short for High Intensity Discharge. These types of lights can improve visibility because they emit a bright blue-white light that approximates natural light. On the other hand, they can dazzle other riders with the glare they create. Some states allow HID headlights, but California only allows headlights that emit white or yellow light, meaning only low-intensity HID lights are legal. Replacement lamps also cost more than replacement halogen lamps.
HIDs can darken over time. This means that the headlights of a car equipped with HID headlights can emit less light after a few years than in the New Year. This may require a more frequent exchange than the advertised 5,000 hours. Finally, a variety of light colors are available. The hue of the light in the headlights is based on a temperature scale and is evaluated in Kelvin units. Most halogen bulbs have between 3,000 K and 3,500 K, which produces yellowish light. HIDs can be of almost any color, but the most commonly used in retrofit kits in vehicles produce 4,500K to 6,000K of light. This is closer to natural light and white-blue light. When HID lights are pre-installed in a vehicle, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ensures that they are low enough not to produce blue light. This means that these HID lights are legal under California law. If a driver buys a new vehicle equipped with HID lights, there should be no problem. Similarly, if they buy a used vehicle that was sold with HID lights installed, if it was new, this should also be fine.
Some of the cars you see with blue headlights come with HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights from the factory and are completely legal. Other cars you see with blue headlights have illegal modifications that can often lead to a ticket or worse. It`s a pretty complicated topic if you go straight into it, but the simple answer is that you should check the specific laws you live in before putting anything other than a standard replacement headlight in your car. Those bright, bluish headlights in your rearview mirror may come from a high-end luxury car equipped with such lights. But they may also be a sign of a change in the aftermarket that is technically illegal, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. After all, HID headlights are not legal in every state. In some areas, such as California, they are only legal if the car is purchased with these headlights and they are of low intensity. In general, aftermarket conversion kits are not allowed. An ABC30 viewer wanted to know: Are the new HID headlights on cars legal? Currently, most jurisdictions in the United States require headlights to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 108, which states that replacement headlight capsules must meet the dimensions and electrical specifications of the factory equipment.
This is a problem due to the fact that HID headlights do not work in the same way as halogen headlights. For example, HID headlights use ballast that halogen capsules do not need. NHTSA has a very narrow view of what it takes to comply with FMVSS 108. According to the Washington State Patrol, a HID replacement of an H1 halogen bulb should exactly match the size and incandescent location, electrical connection and ballast of an H1 lamp, which is categorically impossible due to the fact that H1 lamps do not use ballasts at all. In addition, NHTSA found that HID conversion kits often exceeded the rated power of factory headlights, often several times. In some cases, HID headlights for the aftermarket were measured at more than 800% of the maximum candlestick power of the halogen headlights they were supposed to replace. Many state laws comply with these federal standards. This gives law enforcement the power to stop and cite vehicles that they say contain illegal xenon lamps or HID from the aftermarket.
“Any other color of the lighthouse is illegal in California. Sometimes people modify their vehicles with high-intensity lights, which are often blue and illegal. If your vehicle is modified with these HID headlights for the aftermarket, there is a high probability that they will be illegal,” Pennings explained, claiming that the new HID headlights are legal as long as they are not aftermarket add-ons and are below a certain level of brightness. Other regulations apply to raised or lowered vehicles. HID is short for High Intensity Discharge. This term describes how light bulbs produce light when electricity is sent through an ionized gas. HID headlights are not the only type of HID lights – neon lights produce light in the same way. These types of luminaires are useful when particularly bright light is needed and are often used in public lighting as well as in sports stadiums. “DOT” does not mean that the Department of Transportation has approved the lights; Rather, it is the manufacturer`s own certification of compliance with federal standards according to NHTSA.
Just because a xenon or HID conversion kit is labeled “DOT” doesn`t mean the federal government has certified it as legal on the road.