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Lighting Trends at Four Wheeler of the Year 2019 #FWOTY19

The unique lighting treatments among this year’s entries

Harry WagnerPhotographerTrenton McGeeWriterTrenton McGeePhotographer

There are a dazzling number of new features and capabilities among this year’s crop of 4x4s in our 2019 SUV of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year competitions, and the striking differences in the shape, configuration, and function of the lighting stand out. Trucks once had one of two lighting types—round or square. The shape and configuration of the headlights and taillights on today’s 4x4s are vastly different. Further, the lighting itself contributes to a significant portion of a vehicle’s overall design. Thanks to advancements in LED technology, manufacturers are doing all kinds of creative things with the location and shape of parking lights, daytime running lights, brake lights, and more. Most of the test vehicles used at least one of the essential lighting functions as an accent or halo around the headlight or brake light lamps, providing a unique look that made each vehicle quite distinctive after dark. Vehicles that seem similar with a casual glance, such as the Chevy and GMC 1500s, sport very different looks thanks in part to the unique headlights and taillights for the respective models. Auxiliary lighting is also abundant, with many entries sporting foglights as standard or sometimes optional equipment. In the case of the Tundra, this lighting is even manufactured by the well-known LED lighting company Rigid Industries. The brightness and clarity of LED headlights is a welcome addition on and off the pavement, so it’s no surprise that every one of the vehicles in our test sported full LED lighting inside and out. Check out the photos to see the unique exterior lighting features on each of the vehicles.

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