Off-roading is much safer and more convenient when you have a good set of lights on your truck. If you plan to take your 4WD off-road, lights are among the first pieces of equipment that you should buy. But before you look for the best mini LED light bars or grille lights, here are some factors you need to consider:
1. Type of off-roading
Some lights are better for off-roading in the desert while some are ideal for traversing mountain trails. Depending on the type of off-road activity you’re going to do, you would want to choose a set of lights that can give you enough illumination.
If you’re going on low speeds at 15mph or less, such as when driving through mountains and forests, full peripheral lighting is ideal for you. You would want enough light to illuminate your immediate surroundings so you can keep a lookout for any possible dangers or obstacles.
On the other hand, for high-speed off-roading that involves speeds of 50mph or more, mid to long-range lighting is recommended. This type of light will help you see objects from far distances while you’re speeding across the terrain.
2. Beam pattern
There are several beam patterns to choose from, and it can be tricky to find the one that’s right for you. Here are the key characteristics of each beam pattern to help you choose between them:
- Spot beams are long-range lights that will allow you to see objects from very far distances. However, the light is very narrow and provides little illumination for areas close to your truck.
- Flood beams provide a broad pattern of light that can illuminate a large area near your vehicle but doesn’t do much to penetrate the darkness at far distances.
- Fog beams are used to provide light below fog, snow, or rain while driving. They are installed below the headlights.
For off-roading vehicles, a combination of long-range and short-range beam patterns are recommended.
3. Type of light bulb
Do you choose LED lights, HID, or halogen? Take a look at the details of each type before you decide:
- LED lights are long-lasting, durable, and more energy-efficient. They are often recommended for off-roading because of their reliability.
- HID lights are known to have the best light output and can defrost themselves in the cold.
- Halogen lights are the cheapest among the bunch and can give you a good light output despite being inexpensive.
4. Quality and price
For almost any type of off-roading equipment, quality is often directly proportional to price. If you want your lights to last long and be reliable when you’re out in the wilderness, choose high-quality products that can withstand harsh conditions. They may be more expensive, but it’s better to pay for quality than buy cheap lights and end up having to replace them after a few rides.
A good set of lights is among the most important upgrades for off-roading vehicles. That said, if you want your truck to be a complete off-roading machine, take these factors into consideration when choosing the best lights.