While not as common as their red and blue counterparts, white warning lights deserve their share of the spotlight, too. The lawful use of these lights is far broader than the others, though the rules regarding their strobing differ based on the vehicle. (1)
These versatile lights can be added to a variety of vehicles. Is yours one? Check out our guide below to find out!
Tip: if you’re looking to outfit your vehicle with white lights, we always recommend checking your local state laws to make sure you’re able to do so.
Trucks, cars, ATVs, and weather-specific vehicles like snowmobiles can use white lights to assist with visibility. Light bars, often referred to in state law as “auxiliary lights,” are most common. Light output and acceptable placement on your vehicle differ by state, so be sure to check those requirements.
Once you have outfitted your off-roading vehicle with these lights, keep in mind that on-road use is often deemed an unsafe practice, so turn them off before heading back onto the streets! (2)
Red and blue LED lights are the archetypical standard for police vehicles, but they are not the only ones in use. Squad cars may use white lights to assist with visibility in poorly-lit areas, and traffic officers may use either steady or flashing white lights if necessary to complete his or her duties. (3)
Check your local laws to find out how many and where these lights can be mounted on police vehicles.
Learn more about police lights.
Fire Vehicles and EMS
Like any emergency vehicle, fire trucks can have mounted white warning lights. In certain states like Connecticut, paid and volunteer fire chiefs, fire marshalls, and certain EMS leaders also have authorization to use these lights. (4)
Flashing white head lamps may be added into the vehicles of volunteer fire department members and emergency medical personnel on their way to emergencies. (4)
Construction equipment, road maintenance vehicles, and other service vehicles can use white lights to denote hazards or other warnings to drivers. (5) Certain states regulate whether these vehicles can have flashing white lights while the vehicle is stationary, but the use of these lights in some form is a fairly common practice.
School buses are also authorized to mount white strobe lights for visibility purposes under certain conditions such as fog, rain, snow, smoke, or dust. (3) Vehicles transporting farm workers may also use white lights. (5)
White lights can be extremely useful for a variety of vehicles and may be a great addition to yours! The number and type of white lights allowed per vehicle type are determined independently by each state. Be sure to check out your state laws on both this and acceptable use.
If you have any questions about these lights or any others, feel free to reach out to an Ultra Bright Lightz sales support specialist!
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(1) New York Consolidated Laws, Vehicle and Traffic Law - VAT § 375. Equipment. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2021, from https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/vehicle-and-traffic-law/vat-sect-375.html
(2) Drummond M. Are Light Bars Legal. CJ Off-Road. July 6, 2020. Retrieved July 17, 2021. https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/are-light-bars-legal
(3) 2010 California Code Vehicle Code Article 7. Flashing And Colored Lights. 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2010/veh/25250-25282.html
(4) Poole H. Use of Colored and Flashing Lights on Vehicles. Connecticut General Assembly Office of Legislative Research. June 25, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2021. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2018/rpt/pdf/2018-R-0161.pdf(5) 2011 Florida Statutes, Title XXIII chapter 316 §2397. Motor Vehicles. 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2021. https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2011/316.2397