Types of Off-Road Lights
When night falls, off-roading becomes a very tricky activity. That’s because being alone with nature suggests the absence of any ambient lighting. Whereas natural terrain can be pretty rough or even impassable, it transforms night-time off-roading into a complicated and even dangerous task. That’s why off-road lights are important.
Built according to the principles that differ from those employed by the factory-installed headlights, off-road lighting equipment is meant to bring light to the area where headlights cannot do that.
Image by CARID
With the growing popularity of such add-ons, the number of variations and options is tremendous. And it makes the selection somewhat puzzling. Understanding the benefits of one or another type of off-roading illumination will help you to simplify the task.
Halogen vs LED
According to the design of light-emitting components, present-day off-road lights can be divided into those using halogen bulbs, HID lamps (Xenon), and those relying on light-emitting diodes. The only considerable advantage of the former is a lower price. Other types are more expensive, but have many advantages such as a longer useful life, improved energy efficiency, higher brightness, and better resistance to vibrations and impacts (which is essential during off-roading).
LED vs HID (Xenon)
This kind of comparison is probably the most difficult for a person who is about to get decent aftermarket lights. Both of these types have exceptionally low energy consumption, which is good for your factory electrical system, and perfect resistance against vibrations. Equipped with special lens, HID lights can be brighter for the same or less price, whereas powerful LEDs may cost pretty much and tend to overheat. However, LEDs can be joined into groups (like in a light bar) and, in many cases, are capable of illuminating a wider area than Xenon lights.
Spot vs flood
Like vehicle headlights, off-road lights can provide both directed and scattered beams. The first option is good for aggressive, high-speed off-roading, as it greatly increases a visible distance and allows for focusing on objects located quite far. The second option expands the visible area, which is useful for sharp maneuvers. Also, there are options combining these two benefits, but they are considerably more expensive and somewhat compromising.
Light bar vs twin lights
One of the benefits of LED technology is the possibility to arrange light-emitting components in a pretty much any form. LED light bars, which consist of many diodes, are particularly popular nowadays. In comparison to traditional separately installed lamps, the bar offers more light at a closer distance, simpler installation, and spaceship-like appearance. Also, the bar can be curved for increasing the illuminated area.
Roof-mounted vs bumper-mounted
Roof and bumper/front guards are the most frequently selected points for the installation of additional lights. The problems with the former are connected mainly with the installation procedure, which can be tricky. However, the upper location of lights allows for better illumination of ground irregularities. Lights installed at the front end encounter more problems with dirt, flying stones, and damages generally worsening their efficiency. Anyway, the kind of off-road lights that would be ideal for you greatly depends on a territory and frequency of their use.