Iowa Neon Underglow Light Laws

One of the few car modification trends that has stuck on since its inception is the installation of underbody or underglow lighting. These lights, when installed under the car’s body, exude a sort of halo effect when lit.

Underglow lighting can either utilize neon tubes or LED bulbs. Both of these are available across a range of colors, styles, and brands.

However, you’ll need to be extremely careful when buying and installing these in your car as not all colors and types of lights are permitted in every state.

In some states, such as Illinois, underglow or any aftermarket lighting is completely illegal, whereas, in some states such as Indiana, there are stringent regulations surrounding the color of the light.

So, is underglow legal in Iowa? Continue reading to find out.

Iowa Laws for Underglow Lights

Silver Evo X with blue underglow

Iowa doesn’t have any specific laws regarding the usage of underglow lights, so you can buy, sell, install, and use underglow lights in the state. However, there are strict laws on which colors may be used on public roads.

Iowa’s motor lighting statutes can be found in the Iowa Code under Title 8 on Transportation, Subtitle 2 on Vehicles, and in Chapter 321 on Motor Vehicles.

Here’s an in-depth look at the type of light, intensity, size, and colors permitted for underglow lights by the state of Iowa:

  • Light type: There are no specifications regarding the type of light that may be used, so both neon and LED lights may be used.
  • Size: The size of the lights to be used is not specified in the Iowa Code.
  • Permitted colors: Red color may be used in the vehicle’s rear but it should not be visible on the vehicle’s front side. Blue is completely disallowed in civilian vehicles and the license plate should be white lit.
    • Even for other lights, only amber, white, and yellow shades are permitted in front, and only red for the back (only the stoplight can be yellow, amber, or red).
  • Intensity: There is no specification on the intensity of lighting that can be used, but generally, lights that don’t glare and that diffuse properly are the safest and most responsible choice.
Purple underglow neon tubes

As long as you use only the colors specified above, you can install underglow lights in your vehicle in the state of Iowa.

Blue light, as is the case in most American states, is reserved exclusively for law enforcement, government, and authorized vehicles. It is recommended that green and red also be avoided as these are typically colors used by emergency vehicles.

Flashing lights in any color, other than in hazard or signal lights, are banned unless the vehicle is authorized to be using them (such as recovery vehicles, emergency vehicles, and school buses). Similarly, avoid strobes, rotating, and oscillating lights.

It’s important to note that different counties may have different local laws, so always reconfirm motor vehicle lighting laws with the local authorities of the county you’re driving to.

State of Iowa Info

Flag of Iowa

Situated in the Midwest, Iowa (or the Hawkeye state) has a diverse economy in place, centering around agriculture, finance, manufacturing, information technology, and other industries.

Iowa is surrounded by the states of Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nebraska. The state has 99 counties with several important towns and cities.

It is the 31st most populated state in the country and ranks 26th in terms of how large it is. It experiences both heat and cold at intense degrees.

Population: 3,193,079
Capital: Des Moines
Registered vehicles: 4,341,801
Total lane miles: 114,782
Number of highways: 9

Wikipedia | State Website

Underglow light law reference: Iowa Code 2022, Title 8, Chapter 321

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