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Off road vehicles are used in a range of situations and settings. For this reason, it’s not unusual to find car owners customizing certain features of these cars for better performance. As an example, if you’re planning to drive through an arid, sandy desert, you can boost your auto’s handling by equipping it with bigger and more heavily treaded tires. On the other hand, if you’re tackling a rocky or uneven area in the mountains, your vehicle will perform better with an upgraded suspension.
But the one thing you’ll need irrespective of where you take your machine are lights- and not just the standard car lights. Even though most off-road vehicles come fitted with basic headlight systems, these won’t cut it when you for off-road adventures. And without good lighting, you will end up straining your eyes not to mention, jeopardize your safety on the road.
You can prevent all this by investing in the best off road lights. These lights are a must-have accessory not just because of their superior performance but also for safety reasons.
What are the Best Off Road Lights?
Since off road lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes just like the cars they’re attached to, there are a couple of factors you’ll need to consider. First off, you should check the efficiency and durability of the lights. LEDS are usually more efficient than xenon and halogen bulbs. Next, consider the power of the lights; the best off-road lights will be powerful with each unit generating up to 300 watts.
Below find the best adult Off Road Lights:
1. Lumitek Red Headlamp Off Road Light
If you’re looking for top-of-the-line off-road lights, the Lumitek Cree LEDs are an excellent option.
This consists of 2 185-watt headlamp unit offering up to 18,500 lumens of output. With such a high amount of light, you get a clear view and a long irradiation distance. This reduces the number of surprises you’ll encounter when driving off-road at night.
Another perk of the Lumitek off-road lights is that they’re waterproof. More specifically, they have waterproof rating of IP 67. These lights come with a tough aluminum cover that’s also designed to withstand dust, vibration and high temperatures.
Installing the Lumitek is a breeze thanks to the provision of hardware. So apart from the 2 LED lights, you also get mounting brackets and a 1-year warranty.
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2. SWATOW 2pcs Round Offroad Light
Like the Lumitek set, the SWATOW Round LEDs are also waterproof featuring a rating of IP68. This makes them water-resistant up to a depth of 1.3 meters for about 30 minutes.
Included in the package are 24 CREE LED Pods, each of which produces 5 watts for a total of 120 watts. As a result, these round lights project a sharper and more focused light that comes in handy for your off-road adventures.
Moreover, the SWATOW set of lights have been tested thoroughly and found to have a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. Factor in their resistance to moisture and dust and you have off-road lights that you can rely on for a very long time.
3. OFFROADTOWN Quad Row LED Driving Light
This 30-inch Light Bar Quad Row is one of the best investments for individuals who like to go on off road adventures. It provides incredible brightness of about 49,600 lumens. Such powerful illumination is enough to turn your night into day.
Another feature that helps this light bar emit such brightness entails its combo design. The light bar consists of a 30-degree spot beam at the center and a triple row combo beam on the two sides.
Furthermore, the Quad Row comes with stainless mounting brackets, which offer optimal durability. More importantly, the light bar has an aluminum alloy housing, which is waterproof, dust-proof and anti-corrosive.
4. Nilight LED Light Bar
If you prefer a much longer light bar, the 37-inch Nilight is your best bet. Another advantage of this off road light is that it’s cheaper than our top pick. And like the Quad Row, this one also has a combo beam. The light bar constitutes a triple row and nest reflector cup design. The reflector cup is a handy element as it allows multi-angle refraction, which is suitable for ambient illumination.
The Nilight light bar provides high performance; it has waterproof rating of IP67, a durable aluminum alloy housing and a lifespan of more than 30,000 hours.
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5. Northpole Light Triple Row
Another quality off-road light that you can consider is the Northpole Triple Row. It consists of a combo beam LED light bar. More specifically, it uses three-watt supreme quality LEDs, emitting a total of 23000 lumens.
This light bar also boasts a nest reflector cup. If you factor in the triple row design, you end up with a light bar that produces high-density lighting.
Another plus of the Northpole light bar is its durable design. It has an aluminum housing, adjustable brackets made of stainless steel and shatterproof lenses boasting IP67 waterproof rating. All these features are proof that the off-road light can withstand the harshest conditions.
6. MICTUNING 3B239C Curved LED Light Bar
Made with a perfect radian that fits perfectly on your car, the MICTUNING light bar emits a staggering 6000k crystal white light. This light is actually a combination of spot and flood lights.
With a length of 32 inches, this light bar boasts a curved design and a much wider and longer illumination distance. Also important to note are the 10pcs aluminum heat sinks, which have powder coating. These enable the light to efficiently get rid of heat without generating unnecessary noise.
This light bar has a lifespan of 30,000 hours. It’s best suited for most 4*4, off-road, SUV, UTV and ATV.
7. Bangbangche 1X Flood Spot Combo Light Bar
If you’ve been shopping for low cost off-road lights for trucks, there’s no better option than the Bangbangche 1X Combo Light Bar. Included in the package is a 4 pack 18-watt flood light bar and a 20-inch LED combo light bar.
One thing that sets these light bars apart is that they have better heat dissipation. The lights come with aluminum sinks that increase the heat dissipation area; hence, cooling the lights quickly.
Overall, the Bangbangche light bar also has one of the longest lifespan of 50000 hours. This off-road light can be installed on all jeeps, 4*4, trucks, motorcycles and even boats. What’s more, it can be used for both indoor and outdoor lighting.
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Off Road Lights Buying Guide
Auxiliary Lighting Defined
Auxiliary lights are those that work in tandem with the stock lights so as to increase visibility. There are three main kinds of auxiliary lights, which are discussed later in the article. They include fog lights, off-road lights and driving lights. Off-road lights can be classified further. Each kind of light makes utilizes a specific light beam pattern so as to generate maximum lighting for its intended use.
Benefits of Off Road Lights
For many drivers, off road lights are unnecessary, especially because they are pricier than standard lights. But if you examine the benefits that these lights offer, you will realize that they are worth every penny. These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider off road lighting:
Increase road safety
When you are driving, especially at night or in dark conditions, using an off road can improve your experience significantly. These lights illuminate dark areas, ensuring that you have a clear vision of everything on the road.
Act as emergency lights
Supposing you’re driving through an unfamiliar territory and your car breaks down. You’ll be forced to pull over and perform basic repair. During this time, the off road lights can serve as emergency lighting by notifying other road users of your presence.
Increase aesthetic appeal
As mentioned earlier, off road lights come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs. Plus, they can be added to different parts of your vehicle. This means that they can improve the look for cars.
The Main Types of Auxiliary Lights
These are specifically designed for inclement weather like rain, fog and mist. Nonetheless, you can use them anytime you need additional lighting. Fog lights are designed in such a way that they create much wider light beam patterns for projecting downward onto the road ahead. This way, the beams of light barely come into contact with fog or water droplets; thus resulting in minimal glare and improved visibility.
These are used in tandem with regular lights. Their main purpose is to help you see objects or traffic that is further out. The Society of Automotive Engineers has come up with a specific way of installing driving lights so that they don’t end up blinding oncoming motorists. Such blinding bright lights can result in accidents, which could have been avoided by simply mounting them correctly.
Essentially, these lights ought to be mounted at least 14 to 30 inches from the ground and then tested from a distance of 15 feet.
Also important to keep in mind is that driving lights should be angled downwards to an area approximately 1.5 inches below the middle of the light’s targeted spot.
Off road lights are designed to provide additional lighting for trails and other rugged landscapes. Most of them will be made of materials like ABS plastic, steel and aluminum. They are installed in a high position to create further reach.
These lights come in an array of sizes and settings. Car owners have the option of purchasing either individual off road lights or a complete set of light bars from brands like KC HiLiTES and Rigid Industries. Moreover, fog lights are further classified into:
- Flood lights- these are perfect for outdoor adventures because of their capability to illuminate large areas. Flood lights utilize a specific kinds of lens that helps generate a wide light pattern, particularly if they’re mounter from a high position.
- Spot lights- these ones are designed to generate concentrated light over a long distance. This makes them the best choice for off-roading as they can illuminate unfamiliar terrains really well. However, both the spot lights and flood lights should not be used on a highway.
In addition to these lights, the bulbs also determine just how effective the auxiliary lights will be. The most common types of bulbs are:
A halogen bulb uses a filament, which is placed in a vacuum space so that it can burn at high temperature. This process causes the bulb to produce brighter light than incandescent lights.
High Intensity Discharge (HID)
HID Lights utilize xenon gas that generates a bright white light. These lights are preferred to their halogen counterparts because they are more energy-efficient.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
LED technology is one of the most recent trends. What makes LED lights so popular is their capability to generate different contours and colors. And despite generating such bright light, LED lights consume very little power.
Although the LED technology is most common in auxiliary lights, you will also find it headlights and taillights.
Depending on the kind of task you want to use the lights for, and your proximity to the vehicle, you can choose flood light or driving light beam patterns. Some even have a combination of these beams.
We also have certain manufacturers like Rigid, who opt for a diffused beam light. This also works well when you want to illuminate your work station.
But it all boils down to the specific task at hand. If you have a chase truck, for instance, you should consider small flood lights that can illuminate a wide area. This way, you can find all the tools you need to change a tire or make other repairs.
There are also chase tracks that use large flood lights. These ones are more effective at illuminating a work area that is on one side or to the rear where a race car is likely to pull up for servicing.
These are also known as backup lights. They’re used to notify people and other motorists that you’re about to reverse your car. The manufacturers of these lights usually have to adhere to certain minimum and maximum brightness standards.
The restriction placed on the brightness level prevents other road users from being blinded by drivers who are simply reversing their vehicles. If you plan to go off-roading, you should have a work light or two installed in such a way that they are facing the rear side. This way, if you have to reverse in a terrain filled with rocks and trees, you will have a clear view.
These are the light bars that face the back side, and ones that come with multi-colors. The number of lights that can fit on a particular light bar will depend on its length. Long bars can accommodate between six and eight individual lights. The lights on the exterior side of the bar are often red. The subsequent two colors could be amber or another color while the middle ones are white or blue.
The best thing about chase lights is that they allow motorists to change the flashing light patterns.
Besides, most off-road associations require motorists to have a flashing amber light that faces the rear. This is in addition to the brake lights. If you live in an area where you’re required to follow such rules, a chase light bar will come in handy.
One particular company that sells chase light bars is Rigid. In fact, they offer a specific chase light that has a single light bar, which illuminates in different colors.
When it comes to emergency lights, there are regulations put in place to govern how they are used. As such, you should check with your local and state law enforcement agencies before installing emergency lights on your vehicle.
That said, chase trucks and off-road vehicles can benefit significantly from having emergency lights.
If you’re looking for lights that you can use to illuminate your tool boxes or beneath the hood, small LED lights are the best option. These ones can be bought and set up using double-sided tapes. Alternatively, you can attach them using tiny bolts or sheet metal screws.
Small led lights are the most popular because they produce adequate lighting. This makes them suitable for use in a variety of situations, particularly at night.
What to Look For in Off Road Lights
We know that choosing off road lights can be daunting, especially when you have so many options to pick from. But the most important factors you ought to focus on are:
Type of Light
Different manufacturers make different kinds of off road lights, each of which has its fair share of merits and demerits.
- LED: These lights are known to have a long life and they’re energy-efficient. In fact, most led lights can work for more than 50,000 hours. On the flipside, they are on the higher end of the price spectrum.
- High-Intensity Discharge: Abbreviated as HID, these lights have a shorter lifespan of about 2000 hours. Another drawback of these lights is that their lenses are often dirty, a factor that can impede the clarity of your vision when driving.
- Halogen: if you research well, you’ll discover that most headlights use halogen bulbs. This because they are one of the most cost-effective options. However, most have a lifespan of only 1000 hours.
If you’re planning to buy LED off road lights, it’s important that you check the light pattern. When it comes to the light pattern, you have three main options to choose from:
Floodlight: these ones have light beams with a width of between 40 and 120 degrees. Unfortunately, the reach of this pattern is not that far compared to the other two options.
Spotlight: this one usually has a narrower beam, which is able to illuminate a longer distance. Overall, spotlight generates a more powerful light output.
Combo: this one blends the features of the spotlight and floodlight. This way, you reap the benefits offered by both beam patterns.
Ease of Installing
Another thing you should think about when buying off road lights is whether they are easy to install. Will you need to enlist the services of a mechanic to get the installation done? The best off road lights are those that come with a set of instructions on how to install them.
When purchasing off road lights, you shouldn’t focus on their efficiency and power output only. You should also evaluate their durability. Are they waterproof and dust-proof? Also, are their mounting brackets resistant to corrosion and rusting? If you have answered ‘yes’ to all three questions, then you’ve got yourself some quality off road lights.
Have you been planning to do some rallying or trail riding? If you have, then you should first equip your vehicle with the best off-road lights. With such lights, you’ll be able to see oncoming traffic clearly regardless of the weather condition. Also, these lighting systems can be used for other uses such as illuminating the outdoors. Just be sure to check whether the off-road lights are durable and easy to install.