Three Points to Ponder When You Select Off-Road Lights

If you're an off-roading enthusiast, you have a number of important considerations to bear in mind to get your vehicle off-road ready. On the list of these considerations is making certain that you have the right lights for your particular off-roading adventures. There are three points to ponder when you're in the process of considering what type of vehicle lights will best serve your off-roading needs, goals, and objectives. These objectives apply when seeking off-road lights for trucks or off-road lights for jeeps. 

Consider Your Typical Off-Roading Speed

A key factor you need to consider when selecting off-road lights is the speed at which you commonly will be traveling when on an off-road adventure. Some people unfortunately overlook how speed impacts the type of lights they will need to select. The speed consideration applies to off-road lights for trucks or off-road lights for jeeps.

One off-road speed category is for people who travel 50 miles per hour or even more with some regularity when on an expedition. If you will be regularly off-roading in this speed range, you definitely want lights that illuminate objects across longer distances. You will want off-road lighting that provides short-, mid-, and long-range illumination in a consistently reliable fashion.

If you will be traveling a significantly lower speed when off-roading, your illumination needs are notable differences. For example, if you will be doing something like rock crawling, you will want off-road lights that provide solid, short-range illumination. You will want off-road lighting that also ensures that you have a full peripheral vision that is well illuminated.

Finally, if you will be off-roading at a more moderate speed between these two relative extremes, you will want a combination of off-road lighting that will satisfy your particular needs. In other words, you’re going to want to obtain short- to mid-range lighting capable of versatile lighting balance for most driving needs. You will also want a companion option of some long-range lights for those times when you’re moving at a higher rate of speed while off-roading.

Find the Type of Light Best Suited to Your Needs and Circumstances

In addition to selecting off-road lighting based upon the speed you anticipate traveling when on an adventure, you also need to consider what type of light is best suited to what you will be doing when off the proverbial beaten path. There are three different types of lights to choose from when outfitting your vehicle for off-roading:

  • Halogen
  • High intensity discharge (HID)
  • Light emitting diode (LED)

There are pros and cons to each of these different types of lights. You need to closely consider the pluses and minuses when in the process of selecting the right lights for your off-roading ventures. Halogen lights have positive benefits that include being the most affordable category of off-road lighting options available to you today. With halogen off-roading lights, you get solid illumination output for the money spent.

Halogen lights come with a warmer color temperature. With halogen lights, you’re likely to have better visibility in certain weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog.

On the negative side, halogen lights provide lower efficiency—significantly so. This means that much of the energy used by halogen lights is wasted as heat rather than necessary illumination.

Halogen lights represent an older technology as well. While newer is not always better, when it comes to vehicle lights, there are some benefits to be found in the latest illumination technology that isn't possible with halogen lights.

There are some notable benefits associated with HID lights (sometimes referred to as xenon lights).

The positive elements of HID lights include the best illumination output of any standard off-road light option. This particularly is the case when it comes to illuminating long distances.

HID lights additionally present the best balance between power use, technology, output, and cost. These types of lights are a prime example of paying a bit more upon installation but realizing a cost saving over the long term.

Many people enjoy wintertime off-road expeditions. HID lights can defrost themselves in colder off-roading environments, unlike their LED counterparts,

Finally, LED lights offer an array of benefits that include great power efficiency as a result of a low amp draw for a reliably bright light. LED lights are long lasting and highly durable. There is no warm-up required for LED lights. LED lights provide a solid balance between light output, power efficiency, and operation cost.

On the negative side of the equation, as color temperatures on LED lights increase, visibility is impacted, specifically, reduced visibility in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog.

Another negative point about LED lights is that they do produce some heat behind the light emitting diode. As a result, LED lights require a thermal management system to manage temperatures.

Finally, as noted a moment ago, LED lights differ from HID alternatives. LED lights are not capable of defrosting themselves in colder climates.

Stay Within Your Budget

These different types of off-road lights come in a fairly significant price range. As a result, you should be able to find an off-road light option that fits into your budget. By determining your budgetary parameters before shopping for suitable off-road lights, you will be able to make a wise, educated decision regarding the most suitable off-road light in your price range.

By considering these individual points as you search for the best off-roading lights, you will end up with an alternative that best meets your enjoyment, budgetary, and safety needs. You will be able to select off-road lights that service you today and well into the future.