5 Ways LEDs are the Best Lights for Off-Roading

A good set of lights is a must when you’re off-roading. Whether you are joyriding over rough terrain or traveling down a long, dark road to a backcountry campsite, good visibility helps you have fun and stay safe. When it comes to lighting for off-roading, LEDs blow the competition away. Here are 5 reasons to switch to LEDs for your 4×4 or Jeep.

  1. LEDs are the Brightest Lights

The stock market lights that come with your 4×4 simply are not bright enough for nighttime off-roading. They are designed to supplement street lights. You may think that high beams are adequate for lighting, but that’s just not true. When you’re on a trail in the woods, high beams aren’t sufficient for visibility.

LED lights shine brighter than halogen or high intensity discharge lights, which makes them the best choice for aftermarket lights for off-roading. You may be tempted to try halogen bulbs instead, since they’re widely available and low cost, but the faint yellow light they emit won’t really help you when you need to see clearly. Save yourself time and effort and start out with the best lighting for off-roading.

  1. LEDs are Durable

LED lights are pricey but durable, which makes them a good investment. As any serious off-roader knows, it’s better to invest in the right equipment at the outset — something you know you can rely on when you’re out in the woods — than to get by with inadequate 4×4 lighting that needs frequent replacement.

LEDs have more in common with circuit boards than they do with light bulbs. If you picture the typical light bulb, then you see how easily it can shatter when you’re on rough roads. LEDs can handle vibrations and impact without breaking. The last thing you want to worry about when off-roading is whether you’ll break a critical piece of equipment you need to stay safe, so the durability of LEDs is key.

  1. LEDs Have Longevity

LEDs are not only brighter and more durable, they outlast the competition. You can expect that LED to last from 20,000 to 40,000 hours, depending on the quality and lighting output. When you think about their price point that way, it’s clear they are actually very efficient products.

Who knows? You might actually take those LED lights off your truck when you’re trading it in, to reuse the light on your new ride.

  1. LEDs are Energy Efficient

LEDs are far more energy efficient than other types of headlights. When it comes to your truck, the energy efficiency means that the lights won’t draw on your battery the way that halogen or xenon lights would. If you leave the lights on for visibility while off-roading — say, when setting up your campsite — you’ll never have to worry about the lights draining the battery. Without LEDs, there’s always the risk of needing a jump start.

  1. LEDs are Flexible

You’ll find an LED for nearly any configuration you need. Light bars are one of the most popular 4×4 lighting products, because they can be mounted on the grille, bumper, or roof. Since they are so versatile, light bars are one of the first lighting products people usually install.

Spotlights add a supplementary beam of focused light, which helps direct light to a specific area. A favorite use of spotlights is to show obstacles hiding up ahead, such as a large boulder you’ll need to go around or climb over. Spotlights can attach to the light bar or mount separately.

Fog lights or floodlights are intended to illuminate fog on the road. These sit level with the wheels, often embedded in the bumper. Fog lights also provide a wide-angle view of what might be lurking on the shoulder, such as a wild animal.

Driving lights blend the function of fog lights and spotlights by shining farther than a fog light would, without the same intensity of the spotlight. They add forward visibility to the road, so they’re a good all-purpose lighting upgrade for your off-road ride.

The flexibility of LED lighting products for off-roading means that whatever you’re looking for, you can find a quality product that’s as rugged as your off-roading plans. Now that you understand what sets LED lights apart from the rest, find the right product for your needs.

Main Features and Benefits of Off-Road LED Lights for Jeeps

Lighting is essential when driving a jeep at night, but it’s especially important when going off-road. These activities include camping, driving over rugged terrain and splashing across muddy trails, all of which require more lighting than a jeep normally has. Halogen and high-intensity discharge (HID) lights have traditionally been the only choices for vehicle lighting, but LED technology has recently become sufficiently advanced to be a competitive choice for this type of lighting. The best choice of LED lighting for jeeps depends on the specific application among other factors.

Benefits

LED lights last much longer than halogen or HID lights, which is a particular advantage when going off-road. LED lights typically last about 30,000 hours, whereas a halogen light only lasts about 1,000 hours. Furthermore, traditional light bulbs fail catastrophically, meaning they stop working completely without warning. In comparison, LED lights just get dimmer gradually. This difference means that LED lights are also safer, since they won’t suddenly go out while you’re off-roading.

LED lights are more energy efficient than other methods, which means they don’t drain batteries as quickly. This benefit is especially important for off-roading, where a service station can be a significant distance away. The increased efficiency of LED lights also means they don’t generate as much heat, making them safer to use than halogen bulbs. This advantage is particularly helpful in harsh operating conditions with a lot of dust in the air.

LED lights are also more environmentally friendly than other lighting technologies. They can be recycled more easily and are less toxic than both halogen and HID bulbs.

Types

LED lights may generally be classified into flood lights, spot lights and light bars, each of which has specific uses for jeeps and other vehicles.

A flood light often has a large square shape and the LEDs are typically surrounded by a reflector cup that helps to concentrate the light they produce. They usually have a 60-degree field of vision with an adjustable mounting bracket that provides about 45 degrees of motion. LED flood lights are designed to provide strong illumination over a wide area, so you can use them to light camp sites.

Spot lights are usually smaller than a flood light and are intended to produce a concentrated beam of light that extends further than the other types of LED lights for jeeps. An adjustable mounting bracket on an LED spot light should provide a great degree of control over where the beam is pointed. Spotlights are typically used to illuminate a specific object, although you can also use them as fog lamps.

A light bar is a set of individual LEDs housed in a single package. They’re so named because the LEDs are typically arranged in a single row, giving them a long rectangular shape. The lighting characteristics of light bars are between those of flood lights and spot lights, so they provide a broad, clear view of the road ahead. They also have a long illumination distance, so you’ll have fewer surprises when off-roading at night. Like other forms of LED lighting, light bars for jeeps should have an adjustable mounting made of anti-corrosive material.

Considerations

A jeep doesn’t need an LED light as large as other off-roading vehicles such as a truck, which means the cost will generally be less. A smaller LED light also has more mounting options than a larger model. Light bars are more versatile than other types, since you can often configure them as flood or spot lights. This capability makes it easier to transition between day and night driving, which requires illumination with a greater range.

Legal requirements are another important consideration for using LED lights, which can vary greatly between states. Generally speaking, however, the use of LED lights for off-roading purposes is much less restrictive than it is for regular driving. Check the laws in your jurisdiction to ensure you comply with local laws before purchasing LED lights for your jeep.

Summary

Hamsar is a Methode Electronics Company that has been designing and manufacturing custom lighting and other electronics for over 30 years. We specialize in vehicle lighting, including LED off-road lights, fog lights and light bars. Hamsar has lighting solutions that meet the budget and other requirements of any Jeep enthusiast. Contact us today to learn more about our LED products.