If you ever go off-roading at night or may be out in the dark after a day on the trails, good lighting is essential. All other upgrades will be worthless if you do not have enough lighting to stay out of danger. Before you take the chance of being out in the field or on the trail at night, look into some of the many options available in off-road lighting to brighten your path no matter where you are.
Following are some of the types of bulbs available for your off-roading truck:
****Halogen - Halogen lights consist of a gas-filled tungsten filament and a reflector encased in a sealed bulb. They are powerful, bright lights and the least expensive of all three types of light; however, they have a much shorter life expectancy than other off-road lights. Although they are not as popular today as they once were and not available in as many designs as HID and LED, a good set of overhead halogen spotlights can be brighter than some LED light bars.
****High Intensity Discharge (HID) - HID lights consist of two electrodes sealed in a gas-filled bulb that emit bright light when activated. Bright HID bulbs are more expensive than halogen bulbs, but much more energy efficient with 10 times the life expectancy of halogen. They are available in a wider variety of round designs as well.
****Light-Emitting Diode (LED) - LED lights are the most popular ones used today in off-roading. The technology with these type of lights is still being developed, whereas halogen and HID development has stopped. LED lights consist of a sealed bulb containing a semiconductor that lights up when electricity passes through it. LED is the most efficient of all of these bulbs, is available in the most varieties including colored bulbs, and has the longest life expectancy. It is also the most expensive of the options.
Following are the types of designs available for your off-road truck lighting:
****Spot, Pod, and Floodlights - All the bulb types are available in a wide array of lighting designs such as overhead spot and floodlights as well as various task lighting that can be mounted in different locations on your truck. Round, bumper mount, and overhead lights can be easily positioned to direct the light beam. Flush bumper mount lights can be fit into many aftermarket truck bumpers and other flat areas.
****Light Bars - LED light bars offer high levels of bright white overhead lighting, on the grille, and other areas where they can be securely mounted. They are energy efficient, durable, and can continue to function even if a few filaments are damaged and stop working. They are available in lengths from 6-inches to 4-feet plus and in straight or curved designs.
Below are some of the ways in which lights can be mounted on your truck:
****Overhead Lighting - Overhead mounted floodlights and LED light bars provide great light over a wider area. They offer better depth perception than spotlights, which allows you to see the ground around you to detect any holes, ruts, or terrain issues.
****Bumper Mount Lighting - Truck bumper lights shine a brighter, more direct beam in front of your off-roader wherever the beams are pointed. They are great for seeing close up but can interfere with airflow to the radiator depending upon where they are mounted.
****Combination Lighting - Considering the differences in light beams and the brightness of different light types and designs, most owners of off-road trucks find that a combination of LED light bars and additional spot and task lighting is most effective. If light bars are too expensive, strong halogen floodlights mounted overhead can produce the same effects.
When you need to choose lighting your truck for night driving, there are many options. LED is currently the most popular and offers the most designs today; however, good HID and halogen lights are still effective in the right combinations. Depending on how much and what type of lighting you actually need, any of the options discussed above can be effectively used on your truck!