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Lighting Buyer’s Guide: Bright Solutions For Off-Road Driving

Posted in Product Reviews on June 14, 2017
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers

Perhaps the greatest new-ish tradition at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is the caboodle of concept vehicles that Mopar Performance builds to showcase its production and prototype parts and kits, while also potentially teasing us on future real-world models. On the other hand, sometimes these rigs are truly just rolling billboards for the sales department.

Case in point was one of the 2017 specimens, the Jeep Luminator concept. It’s essentially what would happen if someone spilled nearly all the lights from the warehouse onto a Wrangler. But point taken, Jeep: Off-road lighting is trending. And so, we’re bringing you a collection of some of the newest and the most innovative bulbs, phosphorescence, and other products to illuminate your night wheeling, trail repairing, and other off-road darkness needs.

1.

PreRunner LED Series for the Jeep JK

Parts: The PreRunner LED Series features a pair of 5-watt four LED cubes, windshield brackets, and wiring harness with a surface mount switch. The lenses are impact-resistant, and there’s water-intrusion protection.
Proclamation: “A high-quality, low-cost line of LED lightbars.”
Price: Starts at about $110.
Purchase: Lazer Star Lights, lazerstarlights.com

2.

XPR-S and Halo Series Lightbar

Parts: This lightbar series comes standard with a simplified wiring harness and lighted switch, 10-watt LEDs, and the company’s IRIS Reflector 6.5-degree straight optics. Nine sizes are available, and you’ll have dual mounting options.
Proclamation: “Shines up to 3,773 feet.”
Price: Starts at $249.
Purchase: Vision X Lighting, visionxusa.com

3.

Switchback Performance Lighting

Parts: The Switchback Performance Lighting system is made up of DOT-compliant and street-legal LED white headlights with bright amber LED turn signals.
Proclamation: “High-power SMD LEDs for both white and amber functions.”
Price: Approximately $500.
Purchase: Anzo USA, anzousa.com

4.

Adapt Series Lightbar

Parts: This adaptive-to-driving-conditions lighting comes in 10- to 50-inch lengths. Includes a dash controller, under-dash module, wiring harness, and mounting hardware.
Proclamation: “Eight selectable beam patterns, ranging from 15 to 90 degrees, sense vehicle speed to determine beam-pattern selection.”
Price: Stars at about $830.
Purchase: Rigid Industries, rigidindustries.com/adapt

5.

Model 8700 Evolution J2 for Jeeps

Parts: The Model 8700 Evolution J2 is a kit with two 7-inch-round headlights with dual-burn high- and low-beam. That means it combines high and low beam when the high beams are on for major lighting. No antiflicker harness is required.
Proclamation: “This new series, referred to as the J2 Series, offers Jeep owners three new LED upgrades: dual-burn headlights, smoked turn signals, and carbon-fiber foglight kits, all with plug-and-play installation.”
Price: About $800.
Purchase: J.W. Speaker, jwspeaker.com

6.

Sylvania ZEVO Interior Strip Kit

Parts: So, most of the products in this story are for lighting the road, but how about using something like the Sylvania ZEVO interior strip kit to tackle the interior (or even the winch drum)? This one has 5 modes and 16 colors—rest assured that straight-up solid white is one of them. Wireless remote, self-adhesive strips, 12V adapter, and cables are included.
Proclamation: “We offer two extension kits to get more light in more places.”
Price: Approximately $40.
Purchase: Sylvania/Osram, osram-americas.com

7.

Gravity LED Pro6 Lightbar

Parts: The Gravity LED Pro6 lightbar has a hinge-system called Infinity Ring, which allows for straight or curved setup and the ability to adjust the width between 32 and 56 inches. You’ll also get inserts that use the patented Gravity Reflective Diode technology.
Proclamation: “Fully modular, expandable, and adjustable.”
Price: Starts at around $1,000.
Purchase: KC HiLiTES, kchilites.com

8.

Jeep Performance Parts LED Headlamps

Parts: These LED performance lamps come in a set of two and with a defined beam pattern and Jeep logo. Direct replacements and will fit the ’11-’17 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited.
Proclamation: “Part of Mopar’s Jeep Performance Parts product line for serious off-roaders.”
Price: MSRP is $851.
Purchase: Mopar Jeep Performance Parts, mopar.com/shop

9.

sPOD HD Control System for Electrical Accessories

Parts: The HD is a smart eight-switch system, each rated at 30 amps. You can use your phone or tablet to program. It’s water-resistant, and switches can be set for dimming, momentary, flash, and more.
Proclamation: “All ’03-and-newer vehicles have very complex electrical systems. That’s why we developed an independent power distribution/switching system that keeps the aftermarket electrical accessories segregated from the OEM electrics.”
Price: Ranges from $363-$750 (for complete systems).
Purchase: sPOD, 4x4s-pod.com

10.

Relay Center Accessory Control for Jeep JK

Parts: The Trail Rocker Overhead is for the ’09-up Jeep Wrangler JK, and allows for controlling eight accessories, 30-amp fuses, and 30-amp relays. The power center and connections are in a weatherproof housing, and the kit mounts six LED switches overhead in the existing holes.
Proclamation: “The power center includes a bolt-on bracket to mount under the hood with 200 amps of fused protection.”
Price: About $600.
Purchase: Painless Performance Products, painlessperformance.com

11.

Off-Road LED Flood-Style Lights

Parts: These off-road LED lights are sold in pairs and have a dash-mount switch. You’ll have four white LED bulbs with clear lenses and black aluminum housings, and they’re 3.25 inches tall and wide and 3 inches deep. You can also get spots.
Proclamation: “1,400 raw lumens of light to illuminate the darkest of trails.”
Price: Approximately $110 for a pair.
Purchase: Summit Racing Equipment, summitracing.com

12.

Dual Pillar LED Light Kit

Parts: The Dual Pillar LED kit features a pair of S4 floodlights and a pair of S4 spotlights for the ’07-present Jeep Wrangler JK. The kit also has illuminated switches, brackets, and wiring harness.
Proclamation: “Bolt-on installation. No drilling required.”
Price: About $250.
Purchase: Pro Comp, procompusa.com/lighting

13.

Hybrid Beam LED Lightbar

Parts: The Hybrid Beam is a 10-inch lightbar with reflector-facing LEDs.
Proclamation: “Reflector-facing LEDs project off an ingenious computer-designed multisurface reflector, offering more illumination than forward-facing LED lights.”
Price: About $400.
Purchase: PIAA, piaa.com

14.

OnX6 Arc Series Lightbar

Parts: The ONX6 Arc Series has a contour that fits the bumper or windshield. Between 18 or 30 LEDs are in three 10-inch segments, depending on the size you get. Also: MoistureBlock tech, an anodized aircraft-grade aluminum extruded housing, and a CNC-machined billet-aluminum bezel.
Proclamation: “Three versions are available: Wide Driving, for dust or fog conditions; High Speed Spot, featuring a 6-degree spot pattern for distance visibility; and Driving/Combo for fully balanced near-field and distance lighting coverages.”
Price: Starts at around $1,600.
Purchase: Baja Designs, bajadesigns.com

15.

IPF Xtreme LED Sport Lights

Parts: You can pick your IPF Xtreme: touring or spot beam. The light features three LEDs, waterproof connectors, internally mounted LED driver circuit, and lightweight die-cast aluminum body. There’s also a multidirectional mounting base.
Proclamation: “The style of reflector utilized in the 900XLS LED lights allows for better beam pattern control, reduced number of LEDs, and maximum heat dissipation.”
Price: Starts at about $790.
Purchase: ARB 4x4 Accessories, arbusa.com

16.

Dual Beam LED Lights

Parts: The Dual Beam LEDs can be had round or square. Either way, you’ll get four LEDs, plus a thermoplastic housing with polycarbonate lens and frame. They’re also all-weather–ready and waterproof.
Proclamation: “A fifth amber LED is centered to reflect on the machined edges of the Fresnel optic lens creating a unique ‘crosshair’ pattern, making an ideal running lamp guaranteed to turn heads.”
Price: About $110.
Purchase: Rugged Ridge, ruggedridge.com

Other Light Ideas

Boats. Like 4x4s, they sometimes have to make their way through darkness, and their lighting could create some ingenious solutions for you. Think of the options with a drain plug kit. Marine-themed lights are going to be submersible, shockproof, and have the ability to be mounted in various locations. And don’t overlook the heavy-duty lighting that typically belongs to work trucks. Here are some products we found while cruisin’ amazon.com:

Deck light kit: The BLAST LED NOX Series is strip lighting that’s typically used for the boat deck. It connects to a 12V power source.

Navigation light kit: Shoreline Marine’s Propel LED Flex Light is designed for other boats to see a canoe or kayak. It’s comprised of two LED strips and has a mounting track and hardware.

Stern lighting: One word: suction. Innovative Lighting’s LED stern light comes with a suction cup, a sealed switch, has an LED rated for 100,000 hours of service, and requires only batteries.

Tow hitch with lights: EternalPower’s got a tow-hitch mounting bracket for fitting cube/pod LED lights.

Work light (shown): A work light. Duct tape. You know what to do. And the mounting options are endless. OEMTOOLS has a pretty cool offering: a diagnostic work light. The rechargeable unit has a yellow light for smoke detection, UV light for A/C leak detection, and white light. Bonus: a built-in power bank for charging your portable devices.

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