Can You Put LED Strip Lights On A Car? Expert Tips & Guide

LED strip lights are a great lighting method for your home or garden – but what about your car? 

You can decorate your car with LED strip lights to create an awesome effect that will be eye-catching. 

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • How to use LED strip lights on your car
  • Whether it’s legal
  • The different types of interior car lights.

So, let’s get lit!

Can You Put LED Strip Lights On A Car? 

Yes! You can put LED strip lights on a car. However the legality of this depends on where you are, so you will need to check your local laws before applying LED strip lights to your car. 

How to Use LED Strip Lights on Your Car 

In this section, we’ll go over how you can use LED strip lights on your car – and more specifically, where to place them for optimal use!

Installing LED strip lights in the footwells

You can install LED strip lights in the footwells to achieve increased visibility for you and your passengers as you enter your vehicle. 

It also makes for a cool vibe inside the vehicle by setting the atmosphere. You can change this up by using different colored LED strip lights. 

A fun idea if you have a family: light up each footwell with each passenger’s personal favorite color!

Installing LED strip lights underneath the seats 

This is another way of bringing up the atmosphere inside of your car. Different colored lights can make for a funky vibe that suits your personal aesthetic. Purple, white, pink, and green are some favorite LED strip light colors of mine. 

Installing LED strip lights on the underside of your car 

This is my favorite place for installing LED strip lights. Here, they can cast their light onto the road underneath and create a striking effect as you drive. 

Red and blue should be avoided, as the visibility of these colored lights on your car is illegal in some areas (such as Idaho). However, red is fine if shown on the rear of your car.

Installing LED strip lights in the engine bay 

If you love to show off your engine, then having LED strip lights in your engine bay is the ultimate trick! 

This lighting works to accentuate the beauty of your engine by backlighting it with your favorite color. 

Installing LED strip lights on your headlights 

On and around your headlights are another option of where to put LED strip lights. Putting LED strip lights around your headlights can add color to your lights, which makes for a very cool exterior appearance. 

Just remember not to use red and blue on your headlights, as the illumination of these colors on the front of your car is prohibited.

Is it Legal to Have LED Lights Inside Your Car?

Generally, it is legal to have interior LED strip lights in your car. 

There are, however, a few standard rules you must follow to stay legal. You should also check with your local authorities to ensure that you are abiding by local laws. 

Understanding interior car lighting laws 

Interior lighting in your car can impair vision, though you can install your LED strip lights in ways that make it safer. 

To do so, follow the guidelines bullet-pointed below to learn about colors you can and can’t use, and where they can and can’t be visible. 

Specific laws in Idaho regarding interior car lighting 

Here are some laws to take into consideration when installing your LED strip lights, specifically if you are located in Idaho:

  • You must not have flashing lights on the interior or exterior of your car
  • Red-colored lighting must not be visible from the front of the car
  • Blue-colored lights are not allowed 
  • Lighting around your license plate must only be white. 

Types of Custom Interior Car Lights 

Now that you know that it’s legal to install LED strip lights in your car, the next question is: where do you put them? 

Here, we’ll go over some ideas of great locations within and without your car to install your LED strip lights. 

Door lights 

Use LED strip lights as door lights to illuminate the features and outlines of your doors. 

These make them more easily visible at nighttime so that you can locate the window buttons and door handles with ease. 

Dome lights 

Dome lights are the lights on the ceiling of your car that light up when you open the doors. 

You can connect your LED strip lights to the dome lights to create an even greater effect. 

Trunk lights 

LED strip lights around the boot of the car make your rear really light up. 

This helps to increase your visibility on the road, decreasing the chances of anyone crashing into you from the back at night time. 

Map lights 

Map lights are conveniently placed LED strip lights at the front interior so that you can read maps or other materials easily in the glow of the light. 

These are best achieved with white colored LED lights, as this is the best color to read by. 

Accent lights 

Accent lights are simply LED strip lights installed to accentuate features of your car that you wish to illuminate! You might choose to accentuate the mirrors, certain buttons, or your stereo. 


LED strip lights are an awesome and easy way to funky up your bumper, or add some ambiance to the exterior of your car. 

There are many different ways and locations that you can place your lights, and many different colors to choose from too!

Where and how you install them is up to you and your personal style, as long as you follow local laws and guidelines. 

You can use various systems to power your LED strip lights, such as connecting them to your cigarette lighter outlet or USB. Otherwise, it’s also possible to use independent battery power as well!

John Bayly

John Bayly

John has dedicated his career to the lighting industry. Starting out as an interior designer with a specialism in lighting, he went on to found his own commercial lighting business. He now shares his expertise and passion for all things lighting with readers of