Going Off-Road With Better, Brighter Lights
In a nutshell, off-road lights (also called auxiliary driving lamps or lights) are used to brighten the way in front of you at nighttime, when your regular high beams aren’t enough, especially when you’re going off the road. Basically, off-road lights and fog lights are pretty much the same, additional lighting for your vehicle. When choosing driving or off-road lights, there are several things to consider. However, please remember that off-road lights are not street legal. They can only be used off the road and should never be turned on during the daytime.
There are three kinds to choose from: halogen, xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, and light-emitting diodes (LED). If you’re looking for good lighting at a low cost, halogen bulbs are ideal. However, they use up a lot of energy but the light is not as bright as those of HIDs and LEDs. LEDs are affordable, durable, efficient, and deliver great performance. HIDs can light things up that are really far away, and most off-roaders prefer this technology.
There are several beam patterns to choose from:
Fog beam – They have a horizontally wide pattern but a sharp vertical cutoff. They do not throw light very far, but they are ideal for driving in foggy, snowy, rainy, or dusty conditions.
Wide-40 beam – This is a cross between a fog beam and a driving beam. They have a wide pattern throwing light stream farther than a fog beam, but not as far as a driving beam.
Driving beam – They are the most common type of off-road lights and are designed to supplement your vehicle’s existing high beams. They throw light much farther than ordinary high beams.
Spot beam – They produce a focused, circular beam of light, hence they are not very ideal when used on their own. They work best when paired with other beam patterns.
Flood beam – They create a wide pattern of light that floods the area in front of your vehicle. They are used more by construction and agricultural vehicles more as night work lights at construction sites or agricultural fields.
Off-road lights are often installed in places such as on the roof, ahead or on the top of the front bumper, or level with the top edge of your vehicle’s windscreen, as the case with light bars. Most trucks and sport-utility vehicles, as well as some cars designed for rallying, come with off-road lights straight from the factory.
Often, these are already integrated into the vehicle’s overall design. For vehicles that did not come with factory-installed off-road lights, there are many aftermarket kits. Popular brands for bumper- or grill-mounted auxiliary lamps are KC HiLiter, Procomp, and Rigid Industries. For light bars, you can look at KC Hiliter, Westin, and T-Rex Torch. Whatever kind you get, be sure to have a certified auto electrician to install your lights. It’s always a good idea to have the job done correctly.
LED Light Bars (Single, Double & Quad Row Bars), Auxiliary / Driving Lights (Long Range & Flood, LED & HID), Off-Road Fog Lights (Chrome, Smoke & Clear), Light Mounts + Brackets (Bars, Cages & Brackets), Light Grilles + Covers (Protective Lenses & Covers), Wiring Harnesses & Connectors (For Safe and Secure Connection), Switches (Remote Controls, Switch Kits), Rock Lights (Underbody, Wheel Well, Fender), LED Grilles (Add Serious Attitude), Grille Guards (Push Bars, Bull Bars, Bumpers), Off-Road Bumpers (Heavy Duty, 4x4, Winch Mount), Bed Bars (Aggressive Style And Protection).
Rigid Industries, Lumen, KC HiLiTES, Westin, Zroadz, Baja Designs, n-Fab, PIAA, Hella, Oracle Lighting, Vision X, Body Armor 4x4, Race Sport, ARB, Rugged Ridge, Iron Cross, Rough Country, Southern Truck, J.W. Speaker, Black Horse, Cree, Golight, Aries, IPCW, Warn, Putco, CARR, Spyder, Smittybilt, Anzo.