Guide to Coloured Headlights - Sunway Autoparts

Uses of Different Colored Headlights and Are They Legal?

Home Uses of Different Colored Headlights and Are They Legal?

Vehicle headlights can be an important element in a vehicle. Especially during nighttime, there is less vision clarity. In these cases, headlights become crucial. However, the installation of headlights, and in particular its colors can land vehicle drivers into legal and fatal troubles as well. 

To avoid this, proper knowledge about the color of headlights needs to be present with the owner and the driver of the vehicle. This blog will aid in understanding the different colors of headlights, particular analysis on the common color of headlights, and the legal acceptances present in the case of colors in various areas.

Different Colored Headlights

Source- Pixabay

Colored headlights have to be mostly white in color. Legally, they are the most preferred color.  Automotive headlamp manufacturer can offer a variety of personalizations. The white color can be divided into shades of blue and yellow. Under this range, many colors can originate from. For example warm white, direct sun, day white, cool white, blue-white, and so forth.

But the question is, are colored headlights legal?

White Headlights

Source- Pixabay

Why Use White Headlights?

White lights have been dominantly used by many countries as the right light for headlights. White light enables the driver to see the road more clearly mimicking the appearance of sunlight and improves visibility.

Are White Headlights Legal?

They are considered legal in many countries. White lights can offer more visibility, especially during the nighttime. In the state of California, it is mandatory for vehicles to display white light or amber light. White headlights are given a plethora of importance by many legal systems.

Yellow Headlights

Source- Pixabay

Why Use Yellow Headlights?

Second in the list as one of the most used forms of colored headlights are yellow headlights. They were dominantly present in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. Yellow lights have the ability to move out violet and blue colors out of the spectrum during nighttime visibility. It carries a longer wavelength. Yellow light has no reflecting off from water. It enables the driver to see the road more clearly during rain, snow, and fog-like weather conditions.

Are Yellow Headlights Legal?

Yellow headlights are considered legal in many areas. However, in comparison to white lights, they are preferred less. White lights can provide more visibility. Yellow lights shared more sense of legal acceptance in the previous decades.

Blue Headlights

Source- Pixabay

Why Use Blue Headlights?

Blue headlights are preferred by many. One of the reasons for them having standing out capabilities. Just like white light, blue light is not useful in tough weather situations of rain, snow, or fog. The visibility in these conditions is very reduced for the driver who has blue light as the headlight. Therefore, blue light can carry a certain level of implications to them, and therefore should be carefully used as a personalized headlight.

Are Blue Headlights Legal?

LED, Xenon, and HID headlights are very popular in for blue color range. They are safe and legal to use, but the range of blue color should be limited in these lights. Because blue light-emitting vehicles are considered emergency vehicles in many countries.

Other Colored Headlights

Source- Pixabay

Why Use Different Colored Headlights and are they legal?

Different color headlights can offer more personalization to the vehicle. However, they are not considered legal. Other colored headlights can mostly count as non-legal. This can originate as trouble for car owners for legal issues for the same reason. The reason there is no acceptance for different colors for colored headlights is that they offer less visibility. 

Colors such as white and light are the ones that can offer the most visibility. Blue color; when it is limited, can also be used for good visibility. A stronger blue would be considered as not legal. Red, green, purple, etc, are all considered not legal. Therefore, they should be avoided.

Headlight Laws in Different Areas

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Different countries have different laws with respect to colored headlights. The US has specific rules and regulations.

In the United Kingdom, the color of the bulbs should be either white or yellow. The halogen bulb present in the headlight should not carry a temperature of more than 4200K. Xenon Hid bulbs that appeared bluer in color could be used as well. However, certain limitations will carry to it. 

In Europe as well, the white and yellow color is commonly used for colored headlights. HID lights can be used, but they can carry their limitations. However, with respect to the changes in the law over the past decades, yellow lights are allowed for old vehicles. New vehicles are supposed to carry white headlights.

Vehicle drivers can opt for white and yellow colored headlights. Just like the European Union, Xenon HID lights that appear blue in color can be used as well, but just like other countries, they can carry limitations. Although they are based on white color, if they appear very blue in color, chances are present of getting pulled over by the police.

Red, green, and other colors can offer lesser visibility, making them a chronic reason for not being legal for headlights. Moreover, they become more dangerous during foggy conditions.

The legal rule of these colored headlights can also apply to tail lights, brake lights, and more. Following the laws of headlights in different areas is crucial to avoid getting into legal issues. Most countries allow white as the dominant color to be used in a vehicle. Following this, the yellow color is also used. 

Blue can be used as well, but it carries certain limitations to it. Especially when blue appears dominant in its color, it can be mistaken for emergency vehicles as well. This can cause legal issues for the owner and the driver of the vehicle.

Car Headlight Color Temperature

 Source- Pixabay

Just like the colored headlights, car headlight color temperature plays an important role as well. Warmer colors that carry temperatures of 3000K, 4000K, or 5000K are not preferred enough. Rather, the cooler-based temperature is most likely preferred by customers. Because it can offer a difference in brightness in comparison to the warmer ones. For a LED forward light source, 6000K is the preferred OE color. 6000K LED chips also provide the advantage of being cheaper and easier in terms of manufacturing.

It is less expensive to produce a 6000K bulb in comparison to a 3000K bulb. It is because a 3000K bulb would require more coating of concentration, while the 6000K would not.

8000K and 10000K temperatures are not preferred much because of their nighttime visibility issues. The light spreads into the blue spectrum. Most importantly, blue lights are reserved for emergency vehicles. 

Car headlight color temperature can bring legal concerns with them as well. In the UK, halogen bulbs that carry a color temperature of over 4200K are not considered legal. The reason is the blue lights associated with emergency vehicles. Xenon HID’s that can carry color temperatures of up to 6000K can also bring restrictions and some legal issues.


Customized headlights are a feature that most individuals would desire for their vehicles. However, this customization can sometimes land the owner/driver in a set of legal concerns. Therefore, a certain benchmark should be considered during the customization process. Not just the color of headlights, but the temperature of the headlight is an important element to consider during this process. 

Country-wise restrictions such as that of the United Kingdom, United States, France, etc should be kept in mind to understand the concern of color headlights legal, better. Therefore, understanding these crucial elements about a vehicle is crucial.

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