Choosing car lights that can fit your budget while fulfilling your needs can be difficult. Some people find cheap versions of expensive models on Amazon, while others scrimp for months to upgrade their kits with professional-grade products from established manufacturers. If you’re looking for ways to save money while ensuring your new car lights won’t cause you any trouble down the road, this article is for you.
Our technicians at Underground Lighting are experts in finding the highest quality lights for our customers at every budget and price point. We will explain how you can examine key traits like LED chip quality, weatherproofing, and the different kinds of lighting materials manufacturers use. We will also teach you to assess whether a bulb is worth the money when considering your lighting needs.
Cheap vs. Expensive Auto Lighting
The things you can overlook with cheap car lights at night can be frightening.
Car lights are your first line of defense against the dangers of driving on dark roads—and they can get pretty dark, especially if you are a fan of touring across rural areas. When it comes to automotive lighting, picking the right option can be the difference between life and death.
Better-manufactured headlamps, light bars, and auxiliary lights make night driving effortless. They also make your vehicle more battery-efficient, improve your visibility for other drivers, and make it a breeze to reverse and park in busy areas. At Underground Lighting, our technicians advocate spending a little extra on car lights as they are already more cost-efficient than many other modifications.
Factors to Consider While Purchasing Automotive Lights
Some aspects to consider when shopping for automotive spare parts are price, quality, availability, and shipping costs. All these items will factor into the final cost of your product. Buying a cheap item twice only produces more waste and will cost you more over time.
In our experience, we see three factors that separate most high-quality car lights from substandard ones.
Low-Quality Weatherproof Sealing
The manufacturers of cheap and low-quality light bars often neglect weatherproofing, which can compromise the product's electrical components and allow dust and debris to enter the housing. Double-check the IP rating of any light bars you are planning to buy, and make sure they are above IP68. An IP68 rating is one of the best in the industry, and it can guarantee that your light bar is sealed and protected from debris, water, and dust damage.
Different light bars have different aluminum housings, and not all of them are equally sturdy. 6061 aluminum is an excellent choice for light bars, and manufacturers praise it for its durability and corrosion resistance. 6063 aluminum is another option that is slightly more expensive but more durable.
Check the LED Chip of Your Car Lights
Even with high-quality weatherproofing, your car lamps will not serve their purpose well without efficient LED chips. Technicians consider chips the "brain" of a light bulb as they allow your car to produce the correct beam pattern as you travel. Daytime running LED chips shine a tad dimmer than ones in light bars because designers make them for improved visibility, not illumination.
If you're looking to upgrade from a halogen setup, check the manufacturer of the LED bulbs you're about to buy. Brands like Osram and Cree are reliable as they have been well-known producers of high-quality LED chips for decades. Avoid LED light bars and headlamps that don't list the manufacturer of their light chips.
Check for Potential Connection Problems
The makers of low-cost LED bars and mounted auxiliary lights often cut costs by using clunkier mounting hardware. Brackets and accessories might not be as durable and may not fit as snug. Most of these lights do not come with a wiring harness, and while you can buy standalone wiring harness sets separately, it is more convenient to purchase one that you are confident will work out of the box.
Quality Meets Price
Despite our recommendation against using "cheap" lights, you can still find some reputable brands selling reliable products in the $100+ range in our selection. If you have more questions about the differences between high-class and low-cost car lighting, contact the Underground Lighting customer service team for a free consultation. Call us today at (718) 752-7413 and get one that will be worth the price.