It is a dream for many people to go off-roading in a rugged, capable vehicle. As you traverse the ground, you can gain a sense of freedom and excitement that you just can’t find when limiting yourself to streets. Unsurprisingly, your truck will need some components that regular cars typically lack. Among these are supplementary lights to support your main headlights and maximize visibility when you are out in nature at night, away from buildings and street lamps that would normally illuminate your surroundings. Additional lights are also helpful in other scenarios, such as foggy days, as long as you have the right styles for the job.
There are a few bulb categories to choose from with your off-road lights, but LEDs are by far the best for most applications. This is because LEDs take less electrical energy to run, which is important when you are in a more isolated area. They also last much longer than other lights before they need replacing and provide brighter illumination than the halogen lights you may also see on the market. In comparison to HIDs, LEDs don’t produce as much glare either. Now that you have an understanding of this, it’s time to look at the different types of LED off-road lights that you can go for.
Types of Light Patterns
To start with, LED off-road lights can vary based on the light patterns they give off. Light patterns are indicative of how the lights spread their beams. You could see the shapes that they create if you were to get out of your truck and look at the ground in front of the vehicle. From the driver’s seat, these patterns affect how well you can see ahead in diverse situations. There are four types you will encounter, and they are the primary distinguishers for off-road lights. You can identify what pattern a particular model will give off by its name, as the name of the light and its light pattern will be the same (for example, a spotlight will produce a spot beam).
Spotlights’ beams are narrow and long. They are meant to give you long-distance visibility in the darkness of night. They are particularly useful when you are moving at fast speeds, since they allow you to see far enough to prepare adequately for any obstacles in your way. To accomplish their job, spotlights are extremely bright, and you should only turn them on when you are not on roadways where other drivers may be momentarily blinded by them. This goes for oncoming vehicles and vehicles in front of you, as the lights will reflect from their rear-view mirrors.
The beams of driving eyes are somewhat broader and shorter than spot beams. However, they have more reach in both aspects when compared to standard headlights. Their intended purpose is to enhance the illumination of your high beams. In your off-roading activities, you might turn them on to give you better sight when there are no special factors in the environment present after the sun sets. In other words, you can treat them as your general-use nighttime off-roading lights.
The beams of fog lights are the shortest and widest you can have and appear roughly like a fan on the ground. Their function is clear from their name; they penetrate fog. You can also use them in dry conditions where dust is blowing around and limiting your vision, or when precipitation, such as rain and snow, falls. Fog beams are able to fulfill their role because they point down towards the ground. This lets them brighten your forward surroundings without reflecting on the small particles that are present in those circumstances. As with driving lights, you should activate fog lights in conjunction with your normal headlights.
Floodlights’ beams are slightly less wide than fog beams, but also longer and higher-reaching. They are still short when compared to the first two beam types, though. You can use floodlights as reinforcements to see more of what lies to the left and right of your truck while driving in the dark. They are also handy when you need to perform some work at night and need light to see what you are doing.
Different Mounting Positions
The patterns that the different types of LED off-road lights give off correspond to proper mounting positions on your truck. You should keep this in mind when selecting them so that you have an idea of where to install the lights properly. Since spotlights emphasize distance, you usually mount them at the top of your truck. In line with their multipurpose design, you should put driving lights around the grill area. Fog lights and floodlights focus on spread more than length, so you install them towards the bottom near the bumper.
Each of these lights is often circular or square-shaped. They are meant to have equal numbers on the left and right side of the truck and exist in separate units. You might have one on each side, or two or more. However, you may also see some versions of off-road lights that are long and rectangular. These are called light bars due to their appearance. You only attach one light bar in a central position beneath the grill or on top of the truck. Light bars come in different beam pattern forms themselves, so they are not a fifth pattern-based classification. Still, they are distinct enough that you should know what sets them apart from the average ancillary lights.
You can buy the best Ford Raptor LED light bars and light pairs for your off-roading adventures individually or in kits on the Specialty Performance Parts website. We offer products from only the most trusted names in the industry, including Rigid Industries and Baja Designs. Come and check out our selection today so you can start modifying your truck and can avoid an unfortunate situation where you don’t have adequate visibility. With so many lights to pick from, you’ll also be able to give your truck the exact look you’re going for as well.