what is the brightest headlight bulb that is legal?

Have you ever had a problem with your headlights? Have they been dim or seemed to go out way too soon? If so, you may need to replace your headlight bulbs. But what is the brightest headlight bulb that is legal? It can be hard to find the best one for your vehicle, especially if it’s not a common car model. This article will give you some helpful tips on how to choose the right headlight bulb and where to buy them so that you can keep driving in style!

Why are Some Headlight Bulbs Illegal?

Some headlights are illegal because they are too bright. The Department of Transportation says that the brightness of a headlight bulb must be less than 4300 lumens to be legal. The reason behind this is that you don’t want to blind other drivers.

Installing a headlight bulb that is too blue, Xenon headlights, will not be road legal, so drivers must find good replacement bulbs for their specific make and model of car.

What Is the Brightest Headlight Bulb That Is Legal?

There is no single brightest headlight bulb, but you can find some good options on Amazon! You will want to make sure you check the specs on the package. What information you should look for? You will need to look for lumens, wattage, voltage and especially whether it’s road legal. A reliable seller will have that information printed on the package for you.

Color temperature is an important figure that you should look for. The higher the color temperature, the bluer it is. The lower the color temperature, the more yellowish it is. And as we have mentioned above, it’s illegal to drive with a headlight that is too blue.

For example, a Xenon light with 8000k color temperature or above is not road legal sometimes. However, with halogen bulbs, you should not choose one that has 4300k color temperature or more.

The brightest headlight bulbs are usually the Xenon option because they produce more light than halogen lights or LED headlight bulbs. The reason why Xenon is the brightest bulb is that it uses xenon gas as the filling. The Xenon bulbs produce the most light out of all other options but they are not always legal to use in your state, country or province.

Some of the brightest headlight bulbs are:

  • The Philips X-tremevision headlight bulb produces up to 2500 lumens and it’s legal for use in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico.
  • The Cree TrueLight HB LED headlight is another great option: 1550 Lumen output (22000K) with a 5000-hour lifespan.
  • Osram Night Breaker Unlimited Headlights, HB20/90025 (50w) at $145.99 for two packages with 50 watts per package and 900 lumens each.
  • Philips Crystal Vision Ultra White HB headlight bulb at 100 watts and 1200 lumens.


#1 How Many Lumens Is Legal for Headlights?

In the United States, you are only allowed to have a maximum of 900 lumens for headlights.

You also need to be mindful of your state or province regulations as they may differ from federal laws. For example, in Canada, it is illegal to use any light bulb that is more than 750 lumen above 4300K color temperature.

#2 Are 8000K LED Headlights Legal?

Yes, 8000K LED headlights are too bright. How bright is too bright?

In the United States, headlights must be below 7000K in color temperature.

In Canada, a headlight cannot exceed 3000 lumens if it exceeds 4300 Kelvin (temperature).

Any other country with regulations on maximum brightness for headlights will have similar limitations to those of the US or Canada.

#3 Can You Get Pulled Over for Led Headlights?

Well, it’s possible. Police officers are allowed to pull you over for any reason that they find reasonable, but most times, if your headlights appear too bright or noticeably different from the other headlights on the road, it may cause them to do a double-check.

This will typically result in being given the order of lights out and having to head back home.

Final Words

Every driver wants to have bright headlights for their safety on the road. However, not everyone knows what is the brightest headlight bulb that is legal. Don’t get pulled over for something you can easily avoid. Follow our advice above to select the brightest and legal headlights for your vehicle.