If you’re a serious off-roader, it’s quite presumable that you’d often find yourself still on the tracks even after sunset. Driving off-road at night through challenging trails with the cool breeze is simply enthralling for many enthusiasts.
The only drawback of it is that you won’t have proper visibility in the dark to assess foredooming obstacles on the path.
In such circumstances, the only material assistance that’s going to save your bacon is a few rock lights mounted beneath the vehicle. Having your vehicle well-illuminated can make even the most complex maneuvering a cinch.
Picking the best of the best is quite a tedious task especially for the initial purchase, but we’ve got it all tried and tested right here! Read on to see what’s in store for you.
Best Rock Lights For Off-Road & Overlanding
VISION X Lighting Tantrum LED Rock Lights Kit
At the top of our list, Vision X Lighting Tantrum LED rock lights kit has effortlessly flexed its way up.
Ever since the Tantrum series came about, it has always been our top favorite, and it never lets one down. You’ll see why soon.
It boasts a professional LED strobe system that no other brand has been able to match so far – at least in my perspective. Designed with precision and class, this kit comes with 8 1W pods with 15 LEDs per pod.
It seems like it’s here to last as it has a lifespan of 50000 hours – enough for decades to come. Here’s a list of all the pros and cons of this product.
- Weatherproof and durable
- Comes ready to mount
- Includes a cigarette lighter adapter
- Available in many colors
- Flash control and multi-speed scanning technology
- 4 pods come with 10’ wires and 4 with 20’ wires
- The lights are not the brightest on the market
- Very low power draw of just 0.67 Amps
- Not to be used on public roads
Xprite Multicolor Neon Rock Light Kits
Next in line is the Xprite rock light kit – easily compatible with any jeep or truck. Depending on your demand you can choose between 4-10 pcs from 4 different shapes.
Each pod consists highly intense LEDs and is protected by a firm aluminum extrusion housing that’s shatterproof and solid. The IP67 poly-carbonate LED lenses are designed to be water and dust resistant.
Another bonus is that these pods come with flat and curved mounting pads attached to enable mounts on both bar and leveled surfaces.
These have an ultra-wide angle for bigger, better coverage and provide 90 lumens of glow.
- 23 inch fully encased conduit wires
- Step-by-step installation guide
- Aluminum housing and tough hardware
- 2 custom mounting brackets
- Very reasonable pricing
- Not enough wires for full installation
- Take a lot of power
- May overheat
- No wire harnesses
SUNPIE White LED Rock Light Kit
The SunPie White LED Rock Lights Kit with 6 pods has also made its way up to this list.
Its powerful authentic Cree XBD LED chips that supply 50000 hours of intense brightness are guaranteed to offer you the ideal lighting experience.
The lenses are secured by 1P67 certified PC ingress protection. I love the fact that it comes in a vast range of colors; cool white, amber, red, green, and blue, along with CE, RoHs, and DOT certifications. And all the colors are equally good, no comparisons here.
My top pick would be either the cool white or amber. It can be easily affixed on all sorts of vehicles like jeeps, excavators, forklifts, ATV, UTV, and more.
Much to my surprise, though weighing just 205g per pod, each is capable of giving out 500 lumens of light through a die-cast aluminum shell with adequate heat dissipation and minimal decay.
Not just that, these lights are IP67 waterproof, anti-corrosion prone, and shockproof. Level up your night driving experience like just us with this 930V, 9 Wattage lights kit that’s built to sustain harsh road conditions.
- Ready to install out of the packet
- Consistent brightness with no flickerings or glares
- Weather resistant waterproof design
- Compact enough to fit anywhere on a vehicle
- Bright enough to be seen from any angle
- Sturdy encasing
- Can get extremely heated
- The white is not as cool as advertised
- Only 10 inch of wires with each light
- Wires not well-fitted with the grommet
- Some internal wires are too soft
Mictuning 2nd-Gen LED Rock Lights
Up next, we’ve got Mictuning 2nd Gen rock lights kit with 8 pods and multiple exciting features. This kit allows the user to control 1-4 sets of rock light pairs with a single device using the upgraded app “M Light” for iOS and “RGB Remote” for Android.
You can create your own lighting spectacle ahead by adjusting the stroboscopic and change speed and brightness grade that maxes up to 8 grades.
Experience the awe of night driving with this as the colors can be changed by simply shaking the phone – compatible with iOS 7 and Android 4.3 and above.
It offers complete Bluetooth-controlled functioning with creative music mode and 15 scenario options for you to choose from. Talk about high-end technology and comfort!
The standardized RGB lights with triple-core LEDs for each pod give out exceptional brightness from 12V-24V through its IP68 waterproof aluminum encasing that’s built to resist.
When off-roading independently, this kit is something I can rely on to keep me engaged.
- Clear installation instructions
- Updated app with QR technology
- The colors, brightness and speed options can be personalized
- 80 feet Bluetooth range
- The app lags at times
- The same wire length for each pod
- White color is not pure – rainbow effect
- Control box isn’t waterproof
- The pods cannot be individually addressed
MustWin RGB 10 Pods Rock Lights Kit
The MustWin RGB rock lights kit with 10 pods and a total of 150 LEDs might just be your next purchase.
It boasts 3 control modes with its dual remote and app control advantage to swiftly adjust brightness and stroboscopic speed as required.
I love the 150 degree angled light pods that are fully guarded with IP68 certified waterproof, rustproof, and dustproof encasing that withstands all harsh weathers.
Each pod has 15 RGB core LEDs that’s the highest of its kind in the market.
The app also gives you the option to choose from 16 million colors and adjust the settings to make the lighting set-up groove to your music too!
This kit offers you the choice of drill or no drill mounting that can be fixed on any sort of vehicle; ATVs, UTVs, off-roads, SUVs, or boats.
- Quick and simple installation
- Remote and app control
- Really durable
- 150 degree super wide-angle
- Limited wire lengths
- Double-sided tap for no-drill mounting doesn’t last long
- Not as bright as other brands
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ROCK LIGHTS FOR YOU
Prior to any purchase, as customers, we always settle on a bargain only after thinking it through on several bases. Though any of the above 5 is ultimately a great bang for your buck, there are still some decisive factors you have to keep a lookout for.
On these grounds, you can then bet confidently on that one set of rock lights that’s simpatico with you! That’s because this one modification to your outdoor rig can intoxicate your spirits with contentment at just the click of a switch.
Brightness, beam, and angle
These 3 things ought to be your first consideration because this will define your whole purchase’s worthiness to a good extent. Pick one wrong for your vehicle and there you go, you might have just wasted some dollars.
Usually, an average of 20V and 500 lumens is considered adequate. The degree of angle is also a decisive factor in determining the number of pods you’ll need for your vehicle.
A wider angle means more visibility, and a lesser angle means you’ll probably need more pods to match the same. And that means increased cost, isn’t it?
Also, more LEDs don’t exactly have to mean more illumination. It all comes down to the voltage and lumens it gives out. Don’t be fooled by brands that boast many LEDs, and do not underestimate brands with fewer LEDs with higher visibility.
Ease of Installation
Some lighting kits can be pretty simple to install if you’re a tool-savvy person. Some require the assistance of professional services to install them properly.
This, in turn, means an increase in the budget again…
Generally, it costs around $200 and may vary according to complexity, location, and the number of pods.
I recommend you to go with a professional’s help because they’re more experienced in setting up pods in such a way to ensure optimal illumination – some things are better off to just leave it to the experts.
Durability and Resistance
This is where the casing specifications come in. Most brands offer die-cast aluminum casings as the pods are exposed and prone to all weather.
But what you should look for is whether it’s shockproof, waterproof, rustproof, and anti-corrosion in order to increase the longevity of your purchase.
Look for other such protective measures and features as each brand has its own unique selling point – especially with such outer layers.
Color picking can be really tempting even after multiple purchases. Though it’s a personal preference, and most buyers pick the one that goes well with their vehicle’s paintwork.
Here’s a few suggestions.
I prefer single-color LEDs over multi-colored ones. There are 2 reasons as to why:
- In a kit with color-changing rock lights, the fundamental behind it is that when you turn it on, the diodes will only light up to 50% to produce different colors.
Though this may not be 100% factual in all cases, this is how color blending usually works. Thus, I prefer single colors to obtain the full strength of the LEDs.
- The second reason for choosing single color rock lights is that the wires have just 2 terminals – positive and negative. But, multi-colored ones have their own proprietary cables, which vary from one manufacturer to the other.
This is for it to send the data signals to the LEDs to change the colors as controlled. In simple words, the wiring works can get heavier.
Also, white is my top pick simply because it’s the safest color as many regions do not allow reds and blues to be on the road.
#TIP: If you really want multi colors on your vehicle and your pocket allows it, you can buy multiple single color pods and mount them accordingly.
Control and Connectivity
Brands offer several options for controlling the lights, which commonly include handheld remote, dashboard switches, and apps with Bluetooth functionality.
Some manufacturers even have dual or triple control mechanisms.
Depending on whether you’re old-fashioned and prefer to stick to the simple switch on-and-off mechanism or you’re uninhibited and would like to try the upgrades, you have a bumper stock to choose from.
Though, keep in mind that this is just an add-on feature and not the primary thing you’re looking for.
The compatibility of rock lights with various types of vehicles will be mentioned at the top of the description or manual. Thus, this will not be a problem for most.
The problem is that certain kits may not be suitable for long or lower vehicles due to limited wire length or difficulty in the installation process.
For this, the only way to stay clear is by checking out the reviews (for online buys) or, better still, reaching out to the dealer for their opinion.
Some countries or regions do not allow such lights on vehicles as they are supposedly meant only for emergency or official vehicles.
It’s always best to ensure the presence of these laws to prevent yourself from getting into hot water with the officials.
HOW TO INSTALL ROCK LIGHT MODULES (STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS)
Firstly, be informed that the installation of rock lights might require you to remove the wheels. Thus, refer to your vehicle’s manual regarding this.
Step 1: The initial move would be to test if all the LEDs are working as advertised. You can easily do this yourself by connecting the red and black wires of the pods to a battery or power source.
In case any of them don’t work, immediately reach out to the dealer for a replacement.
Step 2: Park your vehicle in a flat, dry and clean place. You’re going to work with all the kit’s components and tools, so make sure you don’t add more to the mess.
Step 3: Make measurements of the wires and pods’ positions to see if the length is sufficient or extensions are needed. Now make a basic sketch of where you want to place the lights.
Step 4: Drill a small hole (diameter varies according to kit) on the surface where the pods are to be fixed. Use the mounting pads and screw them tight.
Step 5: Bring all the wires to where the battery is placed and connect them.
Step 6: Lastly, wrap all the wires in good wire looms or electrical conduits and place them neatly with no wires hanging out. Add more protection by using zip tires and wire fasteners.
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN:
- Ensure that there are no crossings between the wires and your vehicle’s moving parts.
- The control box is not waterproof so place them where no wetness can enter.
- Do not mount the pods close to heat-prone parts like the motor, exhaust, and brake system.
- Shadowing might be an issue if there is improper angling. For that, you need to either reach a professional or just add more pods to combat shadows.
But don’t leave them as it is because that can spoil the whole look of the lighting set up.
- If your vehicle has power steps, make sure it doesn’t block the light’s view. You can also mount them under the power steps itself.
Not ready to drill?
For those who hate the idea of having to drill your vehicle, you have another option too. That is by either using a 3M double-sided tape or adhesive to affix the pods.
WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL USES OF ROCK LIGHTS?
As the name suggests, pretty clearly, rock lights were initially invented for rock crawling. But there is a lot more purpose to this modish creation.
Here are a few reasons why rock lights are a worthy upgrade to your automobile.
Visualization safety – a two-way safety feature
A usual front bar light only gives you a straight line of luminance which is not convenient enough at night.
You might think that your front bar is sufficient to pave the way clear, but if that’s what you suppose, you’ll be in for a surprise as when off-roading, there are no street lights to guide you.
Rock lights are primarily meant to be mounted on the fender wheels and the undercarriage so that you are aware of the track beneath, sideways, and ahead of you.
This prevents any possible damage to your vehicle and avoids accidents due to low/unclear road visibility and trail obstacles.
This is why it’s a two-way benefit. It doesn’t just give you illumination; it also makes your vehicle visible to fore coming vehicles. This will, in turn, protect you from the risks of another vehicle not aware that you’re there.
While off-roading, this is very crucial to avoid getting stuck in narrow tracks in the dark. Even if you’re on the road, a foggy atmosphere or a winter’s late evening is enough to block your view.
The under-glow of rock lights is significant in ensuring that you’re actually seen by others on busy roads with such climatic conditions.
Hassle-free undercarriage repairs
When on an overland journey, you never know when your vehicle might just bog down. It’s a completely unforeseeable and annoying thing. No traveler likes to be stranded mid-way.
If you’ve got rock lights installed, that will be such a relief as you can simply turn them on and do your repairs almost instantly—no need to do complicated things like holding a torch in one hand, etc. Flip the switch on, and there you go.
Add a little of yourself to your rig
We all like to make our rigs our own and to cuztomize them to our style. What better and more affordable way to do this then installing some rock lights.
Not only will they add your sense of style to your overlanding vehicle, but they will also serve a useful purpose.
Our pick on this is obviously the Vision X rock lights with strobe system that come with absolutely flattering features and authentic certifications.
So… what’s yours?
If you read through each product review, you’ll figure out that each product is very unique in its own way and does just what it was built for.
They may vary in price, functionality, colors, modes of operation, and more, but whichever you pick, we can assure you that it’s the best! Enjoy the free playground of Mother Nature to its fullest!