The Off-road Adviser

OFF-ROAD ADVISER

How to choose the best led headlights for off-roading?
What are the best-led lights for off-road

The first question is usually something like “How many watts should my led’s be?”, the second one is usually “What brand would you recommend?” or “Which one do you think is best?”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that, there is no “best” led light for off-roading. There are many factors one should look at to find the best light for you. I will go through all of these steps in this article and explain them, so take a seat and read on!

First of all, I’ll start with a list of criteria that can be used to judge a light. Of course, you don’t have to follow every one of these rules, but this list will give you a good idea of what kind of led headlight to look for!

1) Lumens: the brightness or total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. This is very important because the more lumens your light has, the more visible it will be in fog or thick dust.

2) Watts: The electrical power supplied to a lamp is expressed in watts. It’s important to have enough watts for good brightness and durability.

3) Runtimes: How long until your led’s are half as bright, after turning them on brand new.

4) Beam pattern: How focused is the light? Does it shine further or closer?

5) Mounting system: In what way do you want to mount your lights, on a brush guard or bumper bar, on the roof rack or underbody tube, etc. This will determine how wide your beam pattern can be and where you will be able to put your lights.

6) Special features: Different LEDs have different special features, such as “spotlight” for off-road projects, oval lenses, beam converters, and so on. This is a big factor when choosing a light because you usually want a separate spotlight in addition to your driving lights if going off-road.

7) Price: How much are you willing to pay for a light? More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better, this one is up to you!

8) Waterproofness: Because your lights will probably get wet when driving off-road or in the snow, it’s important that they’re waterproof and protected against dust and water.

 

What are led bars for off-road vehicles?

Ledbars are the most known led light bars for off-road vehicles. They have a high lumen output and can be mounted in various ways, which makes them suitable for almost every vehicle! These factors make them very popular with off-roaders.

These led headlights come in a lot of different varieties, from small to large-sized bars, spotlights, etc.

Advantages: high lumen output, the beam pattern is pretty wide and bright, suitable for most vehicles

Disadvantages: price can be very high when in large quantities

 

What are the best-led lights for off-road?

HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights are much more popular in the off-road world than led’s for a lot of reasons.

One of these reasons is that there are so many different kinds, from extremely bright HID lights for off-roading to less bright ones which can be used on normal roads.

Another advantage is you can use them in a slim housing and they will still output a very bright and wide beam!

Advantages: many different kinds of HID lights, can be used in slim housings for off-road use. Bright and wide beam pattern.

Disadvantages: less efficient than led’s, high price when in large quantities of 10 or more, not suitable for some vehicles (will get hot or melt plastic parts).

 

How many lumens do you need for off-road lights?

Lumens determine the brightness of a light. More lumens are always better for off-road use since you want to be as visible as possible when driving in thick dust or fog.

Lumen output from 100 to about 700 will be enough for most purposes (may be different depending on your trail and trip area). If you go higher than that, the light will become too bright for off-road use.

How many watts do you need for led lights?

Watts determines how bright your light is, and the durability of your LEDs (a high wattage will make them more durable). If you want to go off-roading with your vehicle, I would say get about 100w per headlight. You can go a little lower if you want, but make sure the wattage is always higher than the lights of your car!

Where to mount off-road led lights?

For off-roading purposes, I would recommend mounting them on a brush guard or roof rack. In that way, you can adjust their height and position to make your light pattern as wide and bright as possible.

For normal driving purposes (normal roads, not off-roading), I would recommend mounting them on the bumper or in front of the headlights using slim housing. This way it won’t interfere with your suspension when driving over big bumps.

 

Full Width led bar or separate units?

This is a big question for most off-roaders. Should I buy one single led bar or smaller separate units? Some people think it’s better to have all the light on one bar, others prefer to spread out the lights as wide as possible so they can see further.

Disadvantages of full-width bars: you usually want more vision when off-roading, for this reason, you might want to stretch the beam over a larger area. This is why most off-road vehicles have more than one light bar.

Advantage of full-width bars: usually only one set of lights, less hassle with wiring and mounting separate units

Conclusion: some people prefer having one full-width bar on the roof, while others prefer having several narrower bars spread out. This is a personal preference and has nothing to do with “better” or “worse”.

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