KC HiLiTES started in the 1960s when founder Peter Kim Brown was camping in the desert near Parker, Arizona. He discovered he needed improved lighting for his vehicle. Off-road lights did not exist at the time, so Brown found aircraft landing bulbs and modified them to fit steel housings. The first off-road light was born.
Soon they became popular. Everyone wanted the lights for their vehicle. The company exploded as racers began using them on their race vehicles. Brown continued to assemble the lights in his garage and soon had to hire stay-at-home housewives to keep up with the demand.
Today, KC outfits lights for hundreds of race vehicles. Racers rely upon the lights to get them through the darkest spots on the Baja Peninsula. Baja legend Walker Evans says, “When I am running up a road at night, I want to see way out there. When I climb up a mountain pass, I want to see what’s on the other side of that hill.”
The evolution of the off-road light has come a long way. KC is keeping up with the trends by taking a legacy product and infusing new technology into it. LED lightbars are all the rage these days, and KC has created products to compete with its rivals. The company still manufactures lights in a round-type housing, just as they did in the ’60s and ’70s.