Step By Step
Rock lights are nothing more than the old cruddy lights you used to run on your front bumper, mounted somewhere underneath the vehicle. One or two should do the trick. Most mount their lights close to the rear axle and point them outward and forward. The light usually reflects off the rocks and parts of the undercarriage to create more of a glow than a beam.
Weve found these tractor headlights in almost every parts store weve visited and think they make a great rock light. The housing is encased in a heavy rubber that should help with water resistance and soak up minor rock hits. They arent super bright, but at $13 a pop, if they get dirty just buy another one.
These clear three-wire lights are under $5. With grommets and pigtails youre out the door for under $14. They are intended to be used as backup lights, so theyre bright enough to let you see what youre doing underhood or during trail repairs. You could even use them as low-power rock lights. If the lens gets smashed, just buy another and plug it in to the pigtail connector.
Dont forget about under your hood, inside your rig, or anywhere you may need to see at night but dont want to hold a flashlight over your head. We found these pigtail lights at our local Napa. Theyre super-cheap and you can buy the rubber mounts, lens/light assemblies, and pigtail connectors separately. Theyre available in two- or three-wire types in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Ever thought about using red parking lights for interior illumination? Since the red light wont screw up your night vision you could rig one or two of these to your rollbar and turn off your gauge lights while on the trail. Youll be able to make out what your engine is doing, see where your locker and other important switches are in the cabin, and still make out whats ahead of you. These side marker lights are $8, but we bet you could find them cheaper.
Forget seeing in front of you. Thats what headlights are for. There are so many other areas in need of illumination when youre out on the trail in the middle of a moonless night that we cant be bothered with no stinking headlights. Besides, what good are headlights when your nose is pointed towards the stars and all youre worried about is whether or not your rear tire is going to slip off a ledge and flop you onto your drivers door? Heres a smattering of options for those who enjoy the ultimate wheeling adventure the night run.