Written By Nikola Petrovski
Published Nov. 26, 2020

If you’ve ever driven during a storm or on a dark night, you know the inherent value of off-road lights. Taking it one step further than headlights, off-road lights brighten the way even more. Whether you’re hitting the trails, dealing with rough roads, or just driving in an unfamiliar place at night, the ability to see clearly can be the difference between safety and an accident. Of course, not all off-road lights are made the same. Some are smaller and are meant for more compact vehicles, while others are massive and mount to the top of a truck for optimal illumination.

The goal is to get the most brightness out of the smallest light. This way, it doesn’t impact your clearance level or add too much bulk to your vehicle. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about finding the best off-road lights, along with tracking down the top options, so you can select the ideal fit for your purposes and drive as safely as possible.

The Best Off-Road Lights

This set comes with two rectangular lights that are structured compactly. The low-profile design includes a screw-on mount that goes directly onto the top of your bumper. It includes the wiring harness, which gives you 10 feet of wiggle room. The lights are housed in a firm aluminum case resistant to heat, not that the LED bulbs generate much of it. They are designed to last 50,000 hours. With an entire structure that is water-resistant and tough against scratches, these lights are highly durable. The rectangular design lends an attractive edge to the look, while the bold lights showcase the overall utility benefit.

Despite the brightness of these lights, they are relatively small; therefore, you are better to use them on an ATV or in conjunction with other truck lights.

Key Features
  • LED bulbs work for 50,000 hours
  • Made of aluminum alloy
  • Set of two rectangular lights
  • Compact design ideal for off-road
Specification
  • Brand Zmoon
  • Model 1838
  • Weight 2.39 ounces
PROS

Ideal for UTVs and ATVs

Highly durable and long-lasting

Waterproof and scratch-resistant

CONS

Not large enough as main truck lights

Subject to impact damage

Wiring harness has excess quantity

When the focus is remaining cost-efficient, Ambother LED Pod Lights are an excellent direction to take. The set of two lights boast a relatively low profile. The square design gives you four inches of illumination, which is petite enough to fit almost anywhere on an off-road vehicle. The LED bulbs are 12,800 lumens, which will effectively light far into the distance, improving your safety on and off the road. Crafted with waterproof materials, the lights are encased in an aluminum house resistant to vibrations and impact damage. Running on a standard 12 volts, these powerful lights are designed to last over long periods.

Although these lights are affordable, you can lose a bit of time during the installation process. Despite the nuanced setup, the lights provide a bright light source.

Key Features
  • Compact and easy-to-install
  • Includes setup hardware
  • Creates 12,800 lumens
  • Operates on 12 volts
Specification
  • Brand Ambother
  • Model 8542100737
  • Weight 1.53 pounds
PROS

Waterproof and shatter-resistant

Work for up to 100,000 hours

Meets all necessary safety standards

CONS

Relatively small in size

Can be difficult to install

Surface isn’t scratchproof

The Hella 500FF Series Driving Lamp Kit is a top-quality selection for those serious about their headlights. The set comes with two circular lights that are resistant to shattering and scratches. Since the outside of them won’t warp, they retain a full waterproof seal. This also adds to their ability to resist temperature related issues. If they overheat (or get too cold), the lights will continue to work. Unlike a lot of options, these lights are powered using bulbs and run on a switch system. The kit comes with everything you need to set it in place and can be mounted almost anywhere. 

Though the set comes with the necessary instructions, there is a bit of a learning curve, so be sure to set aside some time for the installation process.

Key Features
  • Comes in set of two round lights
  • Uses 55 Watt bulbs 
  • Operates on a switch system
  • Includes mounting hardware
Specification
  • Brand Hella
  • Model 005750941
  • Weight 1.9 pounds
PROS

Low profile for optimal compatibility

Sturdy design resistant to damage

Easy to maintain over time

CONS

Doesn’t use LED lights

Relatively difficult to set up

Light bulbs can create a lot of heat

For those looking to equip their trucks with a massive set of off-road lights, the Nilight Flood Light Combo is a worthy candidate. The set includes four pieces, each incorporating powerful LED bulbs. The chips are high quality, so the lights won’t wear down prematurely. LED lights also limit the amount of ambient heat created by the electrical system to prevent damage to the circuitry. Each piece is designed for a unique place: the two-foot light mounts into the top of your vehicle, while the smaller lights are meant for the front bumper. Together, you get a maximum amount of illumination without creating bulk. 

It warrants a mention that these lights are only suited to larger vehicles like trucks. Smaller off-road equipment is likely to get bogged down with this much gear.

Key Features
  • Includes four lights of different sizes
  • Large-scale design works on trucks
  • Features multiple LED light bulbs
  • Comes housed in aluminum alloy
Specification
  • Brand Nilight
  • Model ZH003
  • Weight 6 pounds
PROS

Waterproof structure adds durability

Creates a very bright environment

Meant to withstand damage

CONS

Not suitable for smaller vehicles

Fairly complex setup process

Face is fairly easy to scratch

These off-road lights are designed with LED technology to reduce heat and last longer. It creates a lot of lumens when on, giving you maximum visibility. During the day, the thick black casing meets a round interior for a fairly stylish result. Both of the lights are made to resist various damage, ranging from dirt to vibrations. The surface is relatively difficult to scratch, and they are pretty easy to clean. The steel hardware keeps them in place firmly, whether installing them on a truck or an SUV. 

While these lights are waterproof, if there is any damage to the system’s exterior casing, the whole light can fail. Be sure to protect it from impact to avoid this issue.

Key Features
  • Comes as a set of two lights
  • Incorporates a unique design
  • Uses LED lighting chips
  • Waterproof seal
Specification
  • Brand 4WDKING
  • Model WDK-D3-E4J
  • Weight 1.3 pounds
PROS

LED lights won’t overheat

Resistant to dust and vibration

Mounts relatively quickly

CONS

Not large enough to work as a standalone truck light

Aluminum case can rust if scratched

Relatively low heat threshold

If your focus is on enhancing the safety of your large-scale off-road vehicle, the Samlight LED Light Bar Set is an excellent way to go. These rectangular lights run on 72 watts, each equipped with two dozen LED chips. The lights themselves are entirely waterproof with an exterior crafted to resist a wide range of damage. Thanks to the structure, the lights are resistant to issues relating to vibrations, letting you comfortably drive on rough roads. Given the moisture resistance, these lights are applicable for everything from trucks to boats. With included instructions and all the necessary hardware, you can be up and running in no time. 

Although the lights are bright, the yellow hue makes these lights better suited to rain instead of night driving. If you are looking for standard headlights, it may be better to opt for something that isn’t tinted.

Key Features
  • Comes as set of two rectangular lights
  • Designed for use on large vehicles
  • LED lights run on 72 watts
  • Work for up to 50,000 hours
Specification
  • Brand Chelhead
  • Model SAM-42
  • Weight 2.37 pounds
PROS

Crafted using heavy-duty aluminum

Resistant to heat and water

Ideal for use during stormy weather

CONS

Too large for smaller vehicles

Adjustable component can rust

Yellow tint limits light brightness

This set includes four lights, each of a rectangular design with over 25 square inches of lighting surface. Inside of the heavy-duty casing is a set of bold LED bulbs capable of providing 1,800 lumens. You can mount these lights just about anywhere and on any off-road vehicle. They come with all of the hardware you need to get it in place (all made out of sturdy, rust-resistant steel). All parts of these lights are waterproof and sturdy. On a truck, they are a great supplement to existing headlights. For an ATV, they can improve both the angle of illumination and the overall visibility. 

Bear in mind that the front of the lights is made out of glass, not acrylic. As a result, it can shatter upon impact. Be careful not to drop it before installation and take care of it once it’s in place.

Key Features
  • Set of four lights
  • Each light has 1,800 lumens
  • Fits on all types of vehicles
  • Range of 30-degrees for each light
Specification
  • Brand Curtequeen
  • Model JIANXIN-09-05-36w-04-01
  • Weight 1.76 pounds
PROS

Compatible with any vehicle

Heavy-duty construction

Creates bright and clear light

CONS

Can be tricky to mount

LED lights are difficult to replace

Vulnerable to impact damage

With this set, you get two rectangular lights, each featuring a single row of LED bulbs. The lights’ exterior consists of a highly heat-resistant aluminum alloy that is resistant to impact and not likely to warp if damaged. As a result, the waterproof seal will hold regardless of how rough the road may get. It also means that these lights can be put on just about any vehicle. Since they are so compact, you don’t have to worry about them taking up much space. At half-a-foot long, the lights are such a low profile that you are not likely to notice them unless they are in use. 

These lights aren’t equipped to handle fog as well as some other selections on the market. However, they are excellent for use in a recreational setting like trail riding or night driving.

Key Features
  • Comes in a set of two single-row lights
  • LED technology for maximum brightness
  • Encased with heavy-duty aluminum
  • Adjustable over 90-degree range
Specification
  • Brand YITAMOTOR
  • Model 2x_B018-02-h
  • Weight 1.26 pounds
PROS

Subtle design fits in with any vehicle

Fairly straightforward wiring design

Works for up to 50,000 hours

CONS

LED lights can break if dropped before installation

Requires precise placement for maximum illumination

Not designed for use in fog or storms

The DWVO LED Light Bar incorporates three rows of lights, making it a great selection. The individual beads are set well inside of the lamp, ensuring that there isn’t any risk of damage due to vibrations. The bulbs generate very little heat, further guaranteeing the lasting effects. This is especially beneficial given the closeness of the rows of light. The waterproof lights are safe to use in extreme storms and work in all sorts of weather conditions. You can safely turn them on in foggy conditions to improve your visibility. The piece comes with mounting parts and is relatively easy to set up, whether you use it on an SUV, van, or truck. 

Keep in mind that the light is geared towards those going on rough terrain in larger vehicles. It is only a single light, so it needs to be mounted up high to get the best results.

Key Features
  • Incorporates three rows of lights
  • Uses powerful LED bulbs
  • Waterproof casing 
  • Includes mounting hardware
Specification
  • Brand DWVO
  • Model BG1601D002
  • Weight 2.42 pounds
PROS

Highly resistant to heat. 

Well-made circuitry designed to last

Provides up to 50,000 hours of light

CONS

Not suited to smaller vehicles

Requires height for maximum effect

Better in rain and foggy conditions

Best Off-Road Lights Buying Guide & FAQs

Off-road lights are beneficial in terms of both convenience and safety. However, to actually get these advantages, it is important to pick your ride’s best possible option. Since it’s an electrical accessory by nature, you need to be sure that it has reliable circuitry. The entire structure needs to be trustworthy and able to withstand off-road conditions. Finding the type that is most compatible with your needs is essential—it’s about finding something that fits, is bright enough, and looks good on your vehicle. 

Different Kinds of Off-Road Lights

Each different category of off-road lights is suited for a different purpose. Usually, it is a matter of where on the vehicle you plan to mount the lights. The other aspect is figuring out what your off-road ride is—there’s a difference between the lighting needs of a UTV and the lights for an ATV. By understanding the nuances of each type, you can better select the ideal fit. 

Round

This type of off-road light is one of the most common selections for those driving smaller off-road vehicles and motorcycles. The low-profile design and relatively compact structure make them suitable for ATVs and snowmobiles. In most cases, these lights use LED chips and create an even glow. 

A benefit of these lights is that they are relatively small in most cases—you can mount them just about anywhere without difficulty. It is important to check this kind of light’s electrical compatibility to be sure that you can wire it directly to the vehicle. These are often available in better styles that stand out during the day as well. 

Rectangular

Coming in a range of sizes, you can get large rectangular lights for all types of vehicles. If the light is bigger, it is usually meant to mount to a roof rack. However, there are also rectangular options that come in pairs and go onto your vehicle’s front. The shape gives them the ability to shine very brightly. 

For this type of light to be a suitable option, it must be able to balance size with strength. Most are made with a lightweight material to prevent the vehicle from getting bogged down. However, it still must be able to withstand environmental damage. Opt for medium-sized rectangular lights for a balance of those two virtues. 

Double-Row

Usually, this type of light is made with LED lights, making it the most heavy-duty option. It is best suited to those using the lights for professional purposes. It adds a level of safety to things like tractors and tow trucks. If the focus is on getting the maximum amount of lumens, this is a good way to go. 

It doesn’t, however, work for smaller off-roading crafts. The large structure needed to support both rows of lights makes it a bit too big for open rides. These are better when mounted higher off of the ground (like on a roof) so that the most light can hit the area ahead.

Single-Row

Off-road lights with a single line are one of the most versatile selections. You can find these in a square or flat design. Because there is only one row of bulbs or chips, the entire case doesn’t have to take up as much space, enabling you to install the lights on any vehicle type. 

When choosing your single-row lights, investigate the kind of bulbs used. Single-row lights are some of the easiest to maintain since changing the individual lights is easier. That said, to slow down the rate at which you need to swap them out, opt for LED over halogen.

Off-Road Lights

What to Look for When Buying Off-Road Lights

When assessing the lights, there are a few essential things to look at: first, you want to make sure that it is actually bright enough to make a difference. Consider that the light will work together with your existing headlights. Look at the lumens offered by each option and choose something that will be bright enough. Pick something of the right size. There are a lot of options, ranging from rock lights to massive overhead panels.  

Next, consider the strength of the lights themselves. If the light breaks, it won’t be any good. Be sure that it is waterproof, heat-resistant, and able to withstand a fair bit of wear and tear. Off-roading is notorious for rough terrain, so the light’s wires need to be able to handle a lot of shaking without losing their hold. 

Finally, check that the lights are compatible with the wiring of your vehicle. Look at the electrical specs and be sure that the voltage matches your auto. Check the size of the lights and make sure that they fit onto your off-road vehicle. So long as you look out for these things and pick a reputable manufacturer, you can get the most benefit possible. 

The Most Important Features of Off-Road Lights

To work as an off-road light, there are a few standards the setup needs to meet. While each different set of lights will have a unique shape and wiring structure, they all share some things. Identifying and assessing these features gives you the chance to determine the most viable solution. 

Light Bulbs

Naturally, an essential feature for any off-road lighting setup is the bulb itself. There are quite a few different types of bulbs, ranging from halogen to LED. Halogen options are less common, though still fairly prominent on the market. Generally, these light bulbs burn out quicker but are easier to change. 

LED lights are the most common. These chips powerfully illuminate the surroundings and limit the amount of heat the system creates. Lasting longer than other technology, the number of chips will be directly proportionate to the light’s strength. The light bulbs should be sturdy and firmly fitted to the casing of the light. 

Housing

This feature details the part that holds the light bulbs in place. It refers to both the backing and the clear part at the front. In terms of the base, it is usually made out of aluminum. This metal doesn’t carry much heat and isn’t prone to warping. It is, however, pretty sensitive to impact. While many use aluminum, there are other available alloys on the market. 

The other aspect of the housing is the front of the light, the part through which the beam shines. You want this part to be easy to clean and as transparent as possible. In most cases, this polymer is fairly scratch-resistant. The tougher the face of the light is, the better quality lighting you will get. 

Mount

Another critical component of any off-road light is the part that attaches to the vehicle itself. In almost all cases, the light drills directly into position. Some are designed to be put on the front of the vehicle, above the bumper. Others are meant to go on the top of your truck. Be sure that the mounting design matches the vehicle you plan to use it on.

The mounting also refers to the electrical components of the lighting system. Most come with a wiring harness that is color-coded for installation ease. The relative straightforwardness of this part will directly impact the ease of setup. Choose something where the wires are well-insulated and firmly connected to the light housing. 

Care and Maintenance of Off-Road Lights

To get the most benefit out of your off-road lights, there are some helpful steps you can take. The first comes before you install the setup by ensuring you store them responsibly. By nature, they are fragile, and you want to avoid breakage to the light. Before set up, it is most vulnerable to impact damage. 

The next step deals with the setup process. Be sure that the lights are compatible and read through all the instructions before getting it in position. Especially since many models require drilling, you will want to ensure you get proper placement. 

Finally, to keep them working for longer, keep the surface clean. Park the vehicle indoors whenever possible. Alternatively, you could opt for a cover that protects the lights as well. So long as you keep them reasonably clean and safe from impact, the lights should last for a long time. 

  • Follow all of the installation guidelines (most include instructions) to ensure proper wiring and continuous function. 
  • Wipe off the surface of the headlights before using them to ensure maximum illumination. 
  • Try to avoid excessive heat and extreme cold to prevent damage to the casing. 
  • If you notice any damage to the housing for the lights, repair it before turning the lights back on.
  • For lights other than LED, be sure to have spare light bulbs around for quick changes. 
Best Off-Road Lights FAQ:

Though the function of off-road lights is relatively straightforward, there are many nuanced differences between each selection. As a result, even the most experienced drivers still have questions about finding the right fit. To help you along, we’ve addressed some of the most common inquiries related to off-road lights. 

Q: What are the best off-road driving lights?

The best off-road driving lights depend on what you’re driving and the kind of environments you’re driving in. A good option for power and versatility is the Zmoon LED Light Bars.

Q: What is the brightest off-road light?

Brightness is measured in lumens. Smaller options usually give thousands of lumens, while bigger lights (like those for trucks) typically range in the tens of thousands. 

Q: How do I choose off-road lights?

Be sure that the lights are electrically compatible with your ride. Choose something bright, ideally LED, and will fit well with your vehicle. 

Our Top Pick

The Zmoon LED Light Bars are powerful and designed for use on the most common off-road vehicles. The low-profile combines with strong illumination to give an optimal balance between utility and style. Since they fit pretty much any off-road vehicle, they make a solid choice overall. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’re acquainted with the finer details of choosing off-road lights, you can make your pick. It could be the Zmoon LED Light Bars or the value of the Ambother LED Pod Lights. For every off-road driver, there is a lighting solution to brighten the path ahead.

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