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Is It Illegal to Have Led Lights Inside Your Car?

Is It Illegal to Have Led Lights Inside Your Car?

Remember the iconic spaceship interiors from Star Wars? Today, you can recreate that futuristic vibe inside your own car with LED lights. But here's the catch - are these LED lights legal? 

It's important to know, as you certainly don't want to be caught on the incorrect side of the law for the sake of aesthetics. 

In the coming paragraphs, we'll explore the legality of using LED lights inside your car, potentially saving you from unnecessary trouble. So, fasten your seatbelt, it's time to commence on this enlightening journey.

Key Takeaways:

  • LED lights inside cars are generally legal, with some restrictions varying by state.
  • For Idaho, laws prohibit visible red or flashing lights from the front and blue lights entirely.
  • Installation of LEDs should not distract drivers or interfere with road visibility.
  • LED lights should be securely affixed and approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

What Are Interior Car Lights?

When you hop into a car, you'll likely notice various types of interior lights, such as dome lights, map lights, and custom accent lighting, all designed to improve visibility and aesthetics within the vehicle. These lights aren't just for looks - they also play a vital role in your safety.

Consider the LED safety aspect. These lights are known for their long life span and energy efficiency, but they're also safer. LED lights generate less heat and are less likely to shatter compared to traditional bulbs, reducing the risk of burns or injuries from broken glass.

Now, let's talk about customization options. With interior car lights, you're not stuck with what you get from the factory. You can easily swap out the old bulbs for new LED ones, and you have a plethora of styles and colors to choose from. Want a cool blue glow? 

You got it. Need a strong white light to read maps? No problem. You can even install LED strips for a unique, personalized look.

Just remember, every modification should enhance, not hinder, your driving experience. Make sure your choices increase visibility and safety while adding a touch of style.

young woman driving a car at night

Types of Interior Car Lights

You might be surprised by the array of interior car lights available. From door lights that help you find your way, to trunk lights illuminating your stored items, and dome lights providing overall cabin illumination, there are plenty of options. Let's explore these types and see how they can enhance your driving experience.

Door Lights

Among the various types of interior car lights, door lights serve a practical function by illuminating the vehicle's interior whenever you open the door. These lights enhance the interior ambiance, giving your car a modern and sophisticated feel. 

They're not just for aesthetics, though. They contribute greatly to vehicle safety as well. When you're entering or exiting your car in a dark parking lot, door lights provide the illumination you need to avoid potential hazards. 

They allow you to see if you've dropped something, ensuring nothing gets left behind. In addition, they can alert other motorists or cyclists to your presence when your door is open, preventing accidents. So, while they're a small detail, door lights play an essential role in your car's interior lighting scheme.

Trunk Lights

Just like door lights, trunk lights also serve a practical purpose in your vehicle's lighting system. They illuminate your cargo space, enabling you to manage your trunk organization better, particularly at night.

Here are some of their advantages: 

  • Enhances visibility for locating items in the trunk
  • Assists in arranging and managing storage solutions efficiently
  • Makes it easier to spot and access emergency supplies
  • Facilitates quick and safe loading or unloading in low light conditions
  • Adds a touch of aesthetic appeal to your car

Dome Lights

Casting a soft, useful glow, dome lights are a staple feature within the domain of interior car lighting, providing essential illumination for the car's cabin. These lights greatly enhance the interior ambiance, making it easy for you to locate items or read a map during nighttime drives.

Beyond just practicality, modern dome lights offer more within the realm of lighting control. You can adjust their brightness or even change the color, depending on your preference. Some even come with a fade in/out feature, adding a touch of sophistication to your car's interior.

However, while aiming for that perfect ambiance, remember to keep the lighting subtle and non-distracting. After all, your key focus should be on the road, not the lighting within your car.

Are There Any Interior Car Lighting Laws to Consider?

While LED lights inside your car may greatly enhance its appearance, it's vital to be aware of specific interior car lighting laws that could impact their use. 

States may impose their own interior lighting regulations, so it's important to verify what your local laws are. As a general rule, any lights that distract the driver or other motorists, or are misleading, are prohibited.

Are Led Lights Inside the Car Illegal?

Contrary to common belief, having LED lights inside your car isn't necessarily illegal, but there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of. Legal considerations vary from state to state, but generally, there's a consensus on some universal rules. Flashing or rotating lights, for example, are usually illegal as they can be mistaken for emergency vehicles.

Safety concerns also come into play as the use of LED lights inside your car shouldn't distract or impair your ability to drive safely. Bright or excessively colorful lights could potentially divert your attention from the road, causing safety risks. 

The color of the lights also matters. Typically, red or blue lights are disallowed as they're associated with police or emergency vehicles.

It's important to familiarize yourself with specific laws in your area to make sure you're not unknowingly breaking any rules. While it's not outright illegal to have LED lights in your car, it's paramount you use them in a manner that respects the law and prioritizes safety

So before you decide to spruce up your vehicle's interior with LEDs, make sure you're well-informed about your local regulations and the potential safety implications.

How to Install Interior Led Lights?

Before you start installing LED lights in your car's interior, it's important to understand the process and gather all the necessary materials.

Here are some installation tips and best practices to guide you through this process:

  • First, know your car's wiring diagram. This will prevent any mistakes during installation.
  • Choose the right LED kit that suits your car's model and style.
  • Locate a power source for your LED lights, usually the car's 12V power source.
  • Install the lights in your desired location. Use adhesive or screws depending on the LED kit.
  • Finally, test your LED lights to confirm they're working properly before hitting the road.


So, you've navigated the winding roads of interior car LED lights. You've dipped into the laws and dove into installation tips. It's clear that these dazzling illuminations can transform your ride into a spaceship fantasy, yet staying on the most important side of the law is essential. 

Ultimately, LED lights aren't just about jazzing up your jalopy, they're about keeping your journey safe and stylish. So, tread lightly, glow brightly, and always steer your style safely down the highway of life.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What Are the Potential Hazards of Using LED Lights Inside Your Car?

  • You must be cautious with LED lights inside your car. They can cause glare effects, distracting your focus from the road. Additionally, they might contribute to light pollution, disturbing others on the road.
  • Can the Use of Interior LED Lights Affect My Car's Battery Life?

  • Ironically, despite light legality concerns, your car's battery isn't bothered. LED installation uses minimal power. So no, interior LED lights won't affect your car's battery life significantly. You're good to illuminate your ride!
  • Can Interior LED Lights Cause Any Damage to the Car's Electrical System?

  • No, interior LED lights won't damage your car's electrical system if properly installed. They're designed to enhance lighting aesthetics without overloading the circuitry. Always guarantee professional LED installation for safety and peak performance.

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