Automakers equip their SUVs and pickup trucks with standard headlights that are barely adequate when things get dirty. Rough terrain puts much higher demands on lighting equipment, which inspires off-road enthusiasts to add some dedicated lights to their vehicles.
If you’re one of those who’ve chosen that way, you have many points to look for. Four of the most typically overlooked ones are the following:
Point 1. Make sure you need it
Adding off-road lights is a somewhat pricey and time-consuming activity that can cause a bit of a headache. Aftermarket companies offer various solutions allowing to enhance the characteristics of the main lights. It is a considerably simpler and more affordable way to add some light in the darkest night. And it may be just enough for your off-road activity.
Point 2. The quality
Yes, it’s obvious that the higher the quality, the more effective and durable your new accessory will be. But in case of the lights, it’s not that straightforward. There are three options when it comes to the type of the lights – halogen, LED, and HID. Their prices and advantages grow in this exact order. If you’re on a budget or just don’t feel like spending too much on the lights, better opt for a branded halogen instead of a cheap LED, or branded LED instead of a cheap HID, it’s just more reasonable. The warranty is a good marker. Decent halogens offer about one-year warranty, but LEDs and HIDs must provide two-three years, at the very least.
Point 3. The law
You may not know it, but automotive lighting equipment, its brightness, position, and the direction of the beam are legally regulated. In fact, it is one of the reasons why the performance of factory-installed lights is limited. The good policy will be keeping your additional off-road lights switched off on the road and using them only when they are truly needed. Or, if you’ve decided to use your additional off-road lights on the road, then familiarize yourself with the local rules on this subject and build your strategy respectively.
Point 4. Proper installation
Read the installation guidelines you get with the kit and follow the steps exactly as described there. A lacking seal or grommet, or the use of the one unspecified in the guide may result in damage to the equipment that the warranty won’t cover.