North Carolina Neon Underglow Light Laws

Neon automotive lights, also known as underglow lights or ground effect lights, are commonly installed by car enthusiasts to make their vehicles look more aesthetically pleasing.

These underglow lights are typically installed under the body of a car, truck or motorbike. Normally underglow lights utilize neon technology, but nowadays, underglow lights are mostly LED-based.

Most states in the U.S., including North Carolina, have laws stipulating the use of neon underglow lights. If you want to know whether underglow is legal in North Carolina, you’ll find everything you need to know in this article.

North Carolina Laws for Underglow Lights

The use of underglow lights in NC is governed by the Motor Vehicle Act, Section 20-129 to 20-134 of the North Carolina Statutes.

Also, it is important to understand these rules and regulations carefully before installing any aftermarket lights on your vehicle.

The state’s law does not prohibit or restrict the installation of any additional car lighting, including neon underglow lights, but there are certain limitations that you need to be aware of.

Light Type and Size

Green underglow kit

There is no specification about the type of neon underglow lights that can be installed on a car.

If you’re installing anything other than fog lights, aftermarket headlights, or auxiliary lights with an intensity of over 25 candle power, they should be mounted in a way so that the light does not spread more than a distance of 50 feet from the vehicle.

There is no specification regarding the size of the neon underglow lights that you can install on your vehicle.

Permitted Colors

North Carolina’s underglow lighting laws prohibit the use of red or blue underglow lights.

You must not use any amber-colored flashing lights on the vehicle. Also, no white or clear colored light should be visible from the rear of the vehicle.


The underglow lighting used on the vehicle must not be too intense or strong.

It is also recommended not to use flashing, rotating or oscillating lights (although North Carolina laws do not restrict these specifically) as these can be distracting to other drivers.

Is underglow illegal in NC? There are no specific North Carolina laws that prohibit or restrict the use of underglow neon lights and this essentially means that these lights are legal in the state.

As discussed earlier, use of red or blue lights is not permitted, as these are reserved for law enforcement and other types of emergency vehicles. Also, flashing amber-colored lights cannot be used on the vehicle.

If the underglow lights on your vehicle can change color and you are pulled over by the police, then it is best not to tell the officers that you can change the underglow lights to red or blue even if you don’t ever use them or you can be fined.

State of North Carolina Info

Flag of North Carolina

The state of North Carolina borders 4 other states — Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia.

It is situated on the Atlantic coast midway.

North Carolina gained statehood in 1789. It was the 12th state to do so, making it part of the original 13. The state features the wettest terrain in the country, with numerous water bodies and marshlands. 

Population: 10.67 million
Capital: Raleigh
Registered vehicles: 8,739,280
Total lane miles: 229,011
Number of highways: 9

Wikipedia | State Website

Underglow Law References: North Carolina Statutes

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