Written By
Published Jun. 14, 2019

If you want to stand out for style, you don’t have to put your pink slip on the line and start racing for high stakes. You just need the right kind of bedazzle, and that’s where built-to-impress underglow lighting steps in. Think back to “The Fast and the Furious.” That’s exactly the vibe of underglow, with sleek, can’t-miss neon colors and vibrant light from your car’s undercarriage turning heads.

Today’s underglow kits are brighter, more vibrant, and smarter than the strips you slapped on your car back in the early 2000s. And that makes it even more challenging to pick out the perfect set of road-ready lights. If you, too, live your life a quarter-mile at a time and want to achieve that perfect glow, consider our top picks for the best underglow kits.

Our Methodology

My picks for the best underglow kits cover the highest-rated and most popular kits available online. I took a close look at different kinds of kits, including those that included varying types of lights from strips to rock lights, different levels of brightness, customizations in lighting and appearance, and different installation methods. Those with plenty of options, from color choice to brightness to light placement, were our standout picks. We also looked for underglow kits that gave drivers more features and capabilities, paying close attention to standouts such as audio syncing, smartphone controls, and long-term durability and weather resistance.

Best Underglow Kit Reviews & Recommendations

Well constructed for all of the obstacles you might encounter, these lights are built to last. The OPT7 Aura Aluminum Underglow LED Lighting Kit has it all: bright LED lights, vibrant colors, and a wide choice of modes and patterns. It will even sync with your sound system. Well constructed for all of the obstacles you might encounter, they’re made to last. You’ll get four light strips cased in durable yet lightweight aluminum, with 252 LEDs. Sixteen colors give you plenty of choices, and you can choose between five modes, including strobe. And every strip is IP67 waterproof plus dustproof and protected from dirt. Installation is a breeze, too, thanks to the dual power options and multiple sizes of fuse adapters.

For some vehicles, though, this underglow kit may present a challenge. The connectors for the LED lights, which help lengthen the wiring, aren’t actually waterproof; installation instructions suggest using silicone beads for proper protection, and you’ll need to purchase those separately. Additionally, if you need extra connectors for longer wiring, the brand doesn’t sell them separately.

Specs
  • Light format LED strips
  • Controlled via Wireless remote control
  • Color choices 16 colors, 5 modes
PROS

Durable aluminum casing

252 LEDs and 16 colors

Waterproof

Easy installation

CONS

Connectors aren’t waterproof

Connectors aren’t sold separately

When it comes to bang for your buck, the Xprite Car Underglow Strip Lights Kit is a great choice. Affordable in its price and loaded with capability, you can turn your car into a serious standout on the road with its extra-bright LED chips and array of color choices. With a universal fit that’s designed to work with all vehicles, each lighting strip features high-intensity SMD 505 LED chips plus flexible rubber tubing that offers waterproofing. You can choose from eight static colors or an array of lighting effects, including a Sound Active mode that will sync with your audio. Plus, it’s easy to control with the included wireless remote, which works from up to 100 feet away.

The only problem with this value-rich underglow kit is the adhesive, which doesn’t last. That can cause your light strips to fall off after a few months on the road. You’ll want to make sure to use the included zip ties to keep the components secure.

Specs
  • Light format LED strips
  • Controlled via Wireless remote control
  • Color choices 8 colors, 4 modes
PROS

High-intensity LED chips

Multiple modes

Universally compatible

Waterproof

CONS

Adhesive doesn’t last

Zip ties required

If you’re looking for top-tier customization, you’ve got to check out Govee Smart Car Underglow Lights. This underglow kit really is smart. Its standout feature is Smart DIY Mode, a lighting mode that allows you to use the Govee Home smartphone app to capture a color, then apply it to your underglow kit. You’ll be able to choose from 16 million colors and 10 impressive modes, including the option to sync your lights to your sound system or music on your phone. No matter how you want to show off on the street, you can use the app to create a custom color display. Plus, you’ll enjoy how straightforward and simple it is to install this kit on any vehicle.

While zip ties aren’t the sleekest-looking, you may want to use them when you install this underglow kit. The adhesive is nicely sticky and durable, but the zip ties can provide a little extra peace of mind.

Specs
  • Light format LED strips
  • Controlled via Wireless remote control or smartphone app
  • Color choices RGBIC, 10 modes
PROS

Remote or smartphone app

Ultimate level of customization

Simple installatio

Lights sync with sound system

CONS

Use zip ties for added security

When it comes to durability and longevity, the OPT7 Aura Underglow Flexible Lighting Kit is a great option. This kit, which features flexible LED light strips, can be bent, curved, twisted, and put into the wet, dirty environment of everyday driving, all without losing its grip. The light strips feature 16 true-to-eye colors, with multiple light modes for customization and even syncing to your car’s sound system. But it’s really a standout because of its strong adhesive and IP67 water-resistant, dust-proof construction. Each light strip is fully sealed and can function in temperatures from 40 below zero to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll also love the brightness, which is clear and crisp even on the sunniest days.

However, you’ll want to keep in mind that this underglow kit isn’t the brightest. Some of the light strips can appear dimmer than others. Check the lighting strip connections if you’re seeing less-than-ideal brightness.

Specs
  • Light format LED strips
  • Controlled via Wireless remote control
  • Color choices 16 colors, 5 modes
PROS

Waterproof

Bright enough for daylight

16 true-to-eye colors

Flexible

CONS

Connections can be weak

When it comes to options, the Mictuning C1 RGBW LED Underglow Light Kit delivers. This versatile lighting setup is designed to work on any vehicle, letting you trick out everything from your sedan to your ATV to your motorcycle. They include extra wiring length to give you more options for light placement, making it easy to adapt for different vehicles or a less traditional setup. This underglow kit syncs via Bluetooth to connect either to the included remote or your smartphone, letting you customize the light display from an app. You’ll love the 50,000-hour lifespan of each rock light, which allows you to flip on your underglow as often as you’d like without worrying about burned-out lights.

While these rock lights are designed to work on everything from sedans to ATVs to motorcycles, they do have one small drawback. Their leads can be a little short on larger vehicles such as full-size or larger trucks or supersized SUVs

Specs
  • Light format LED rock lights
  • Controlled via Bluetooth remote or smartphone app
  • Color choices RGBW, 5 modes
PROS

Small rock lights fit on all vehicles

Aluminum housing

Last up to 50,000 hours

Extra wiring for added length

CONS

Leads are a bit short

Our Verdict

It’s hard to beat the impressive level of brightness, color choice, and customization offered by the OPT7 Aura Aluminum Underglow LED Lighting Kit, which gives you total control and a whole lot of style. If you’re looking for a combination of quality, customization, and value, the Xprite Car Underglow Strip Lights Kit is a great option.

What to Consider When Buying an Underglow Kit

Before you can light up the streets, you’ve got to figure out which underglow kits are worth their price. This is what you should look for as you consider and compare different options and their features.

Types of Underglow Kits

LED Underglow Kits

LED underglow kits are the most popular variety you’ll find right now. Made with energy-efficient and long-lasting LED lights, these underglow kits are slim, typically available in strips or rock lights, and easy to install. With their low power consumption and vibrant brightness, they can measure up to traditional neon tubes and deliver just the right level of color you’re looking for. They can be customized to your liking; some can even be wired to sync with your sound system.

Neon Underglow Kits

Neon may be the longtime standard in underglow lighting, but these kits are more fragile. And they aren’t street legal in every state. Made out of gas compressed tubes, neon underglow lighting is very customizable. You can even sync the colors and their tempo to your sound system for a top-tier mod that’s designed to impress. But those neon tubes are easily broken, and they may not last as long as LED kits.

Underglow Kit Key Features

Lightweight and Slim

Your underglow kit should become a seamlessly integrated part of your car, so you’re going to want to skip clunky tubes and complex setups for a lighter, streamlined kit. Since most of today’s kits use LEDs, you can easily find lightweight, slim lighting strips that install easily on your undercarriage, around wheel wells, and anywhere else you need a pop of color. You want lights that can fit anywhere, without adding a lot of weight or complicating your existing setup. 

Color Selection

Not all underglow light colors are street legal, so opt for a kit that gives you choices. With a mix of colors that you can turn on and off, use individually or in combination, you’ll be able to switch up your underglow as needed. Look for kits that offer colors that are legal in your state. (Red and blue are usually a no-go.) The more versatility you have in color choices, the better.

Smart Controls

Don’t spend time fussing with switches or wiring. Opt for an underglow kit that offers the latest in smart controls. It isn’t 2001 anymore, and you don’t have to head into the shop (or overnight parts from Japan) to get intelligent, colorful lighting. Look for underglow kits that offer smart controls, like a smartphone app that lets you change color, turn lights on and off, or adjust the lighting patterns. These handy controls give you more convenience and customization, and they can make your underglow kit even more fun to use.

Underglow Kit Pricing 

Your standard LED underglow kit can run anywhere from $25 to $100 or more. For most basic kits, you can expect to spend between $30 and $60. If you’re looking for more light strips, more color choices, or more components overall, you’ll spend closer to $100. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Are underglow kits legal?

A: Tricking out your car with an underglow kit is legal if you use the right kind of kit. To avoid doing time, forfeiting your pink slip, or (more realistically) getting ticketed, check your state’s laws on accent lighting and vehicle mods. In general, underglow lights are legal if they don’t flash or include the colors red or blue. However, some states may have additional restrictions, particularly when it comes to color.

Q: Can you turn underglow on and off?

A: You don’t necessarily want to be showing off your underglow kit every time you get behind the wheel. Most underglow kits are designed to be turned off either with a switch or, if you opt for one of today’s smart kits, with your smartphone.

Q: Does an underglow kit drain your battery?

A: If you’re riding with an LED underglow kit, you shouldn’t have to worry about your battery. LEDs are energy efficient and run with pretty low power consumption, so you shouldn’t notice a difference when it comes to battery power or capacity.

Sources:

  1. Underglow – Wikipedia

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