How to Pick the Best Off Road Lights

How to Pick the Best Off Road Lights

Last Updated August 6, 2019 | Sam Padgett

Off-roading isn't that much fun if you can't see where you're going. It's for that reason that additionally lights are some of the more popular mods to make to your off-roading rig. Before you decide which type of lights to outfit your vehicle with, check out our test of ten different off-roading lights to find one that will work the best for you.

The Test

To test each of the following off-roading lights, Matt Mohl from CJ Off-Road mounted each of the lights to a Jeep and tested them one by one in a snowy field at night. In order to show you the clearest indication of each light's performance, both the driver's and a drone's perspective are provided. In order to gauge the effectiveness of the lights, Matt positioned several markers out in the field, each marking an increment of 50 yards.

The lights tested vary in terms of brightness, beam pattern, and light color. There are lights made for every type of off-roading venture, from conquering rocky trails in the woods, to surfing up and down sand dunes. Regardless of which situation you are looking to light your rig for, there is a light for you. All of the following lights can easily be installed on any vehicle in any alignment, so if a certain light strikes your fancy, it can be used on your set-up.

The Results

First off, the CJ's in house brand lights were tested. Consisting of four 3 high powered LEDs, these lights provide quite a lot of light for their price point. The spot pattern throws light quite far into the distance. With this light, the 150-yard marker was barely visible. Overall, the color was more pure white verging on blue.

Spot Light 4-LED 3 Double Row High Power Test

Spot Light 4-LED 3 Double Row High Power Beam Pattern

This is the second CJ Off-Road house brand light tested. While the 50-yard mark is hardly visible, the spread of light is quite far. Again, for the price point, this is quite a lot of light and a great way to widen the range of light on your rig.

Flood Light 4-LED 3 Double Row High Power Test

Flood Light 4-LED 3 Double Row High Power Beam Pattern

The ZROADZ Pod lights have a nice hybrid beam pattern. It's still wide like a floodlight, but more focused. This light just reached the 100-yard mark. Overall, this light would function quite well as a fog light. Additionally, the color is quite the neutral white, measuring in at 600k.

ZROADZ 3-inch LED Pod Lights Test

ZROADZ 3-inch LED Pod Lights Beam Pattern

These Rugged Ridge driving lights are quite bright. This one light illuminates the are behind the 150-yard marker. All in all, however, this beam is mostly focused straight ahead, with the brightest portions of the beam being directly in front of the vehicle. While the light does spread to the left and the right of the vehicle, it isn't the brightest.

Rugged Ridge LED Driving Light Square 3 Test

Rugged Ridge LED Driving Light Square 3 Beam Pattern

This Rough Country Cree LED Cube handily illuminates the 150-yard marker and much beyond that. This comes at the cost of it having one of the most narrow beams. That being said, the 30-degree beam pattern is very good for directional light.

Rough Country Cree LED Cube Light 2-inch Black Series Pair Test

Rough Country Cree LED Cube Light 2-inch Black Series Pair Beam Pattern

This Rugged Ridge Fog Light just hits the 150-yard mark. This driving beam pattern does grow wider the farther out it goes. The spread of the beam is good at covering a wider area directly in front of the vehicle.

Rugged Ridge Fog Light Bracket Kit With Two 3-1/2-inch Round LED Lights Test

Rugged Ridge Fog Light Bracket Kit With Two 3-1/2-inch Round LED Lights Beam Pattern

When the KC Hilites LED cube was tested, there were audible gasps from the participants. this light shot straight past the 150 yard marker into the field behind it. The beam is quite narrow but travels very far. Additionally, this light throws a good amount of light around the front of the vehicle as well, meaning you can keep your eyes peeled for obstacles on the trail.

KC HiLiTES LED Cube Lights Spot Beam C-Series 3-inch White Pair Test

KC HiLiTES LED Cube Lights Spot Beam C-Series 3-inch White Pair Beam Pattern

The Rigid Industries LED Pod light has quite a wide light pattern. One of the benefits of these lights that you can't see from the test is that they are backlit. Also, these lights are sold as a pair so there will be more light given off than this test lets on.

Rigid Industries LED Pod Light Radiance With Backlight Pair Test

Rigid Industries LED Pod Light Radiance With Backlight Pair Beam Pattern

This Baja Designs light covers quite a lot of ground. This wide cornering pattern spreads out quite wide, and as you can see from the aerial shots, it fills it all with light. The color of this light is quite warm too, measuring in at 500K. This is engineered to prevent driving fatigue caused by exceedingly bright, eye-searing light tones.

Baja Designs LED Light Squadron Sport Wide Cornering Pair Test

Baja Designs LED Light Squadron Sport Wide Cornering Pair Beam Pattern

This Rigid industries light really goes the distance, literally. This light's driving beam pattern is determined to go as far in a straight line as it can. This is the light that offers the most lumens of any tested, and it's quite visible. Additionally, this light is also sold in a pair, so this test only shows half of what they can do.

Rigid Industries LED Driving Light Dually D-Series PRO Pair

Rigid Industries LED Driving Light Dually D-Series PRO Pair Beam Pattern

What we tested here only scratches the surface of the lighting options available for your off-road rig. Not only are there many different intensities and beam patterns, but there are entirely different forms of lights like light bars, and upgraded headlights. Whatever your bright idea is, we will have what you need on CJ Pony Parts.

How to Pick the Best Off Road Lights

You don't want to be in the dark when picking lights for your off roading rig. To help illuminate your decision, we've taken a good variety of the lights for sale on CJ Pony Parts and tested them in real-world conditions so you can see clearly how they perform.

Related Resources

Jeep Wrangler Hardtop vs Soft TopJeep Wrangler Hardtop vs Soft Top

If you are looking to buy a Jeep Wrangler in the near future, there may be one question you keep asking yourself: Hardtop or soft top? While it may seem like a simple question, there are pros and cons to each. While Wrangler hardtops provide more protection, soft tops are easier to remove and less expensive to replace. However, no matter what Wrangler top you choose, you’re sure to have a blast driving your Jeep on and off the trail!

2021 Ford Bronco vs Jeep JL Wrangler2021 Ford Bronco vs Jeep JL Wrangler

Even though production halted in 1996 for the Bronco, Ford is reviving the once-loved off-roading vehicle. Supposedly to be released in 2021, the new Ford Bronco is gearing up to compete directly with the fourth-generation Jeep Wrangler JL. Will the Bronco be able to rival the king of off-roading vehicles? Although many have tried, no vehicle has come close to beating the Wrangler. The Bronco vs Jeep debate is just beginning — who will end up on top?

Upgrading Halogen Headlights to HID or LEDUpgrading Halogen Headlights to HID or LED

Upgrading your headlights not only looks great; it also makes your nighttime driving considerably safer. LED and HID headlights both offer increased brightness, but they differ in many ways and are best suited to different driving scenarios. We’ll discuss both so you can decide which is right for you.

Leaf Springs vs Coil SpringsLeaf Springs vs Coil Springs

Leaf springs and coil spring suspension systems are found quite commonly on offroad vehicles. While there are a lot of die-hard proponents of each one, they both have their uses. While no one is inherently better than the other, there are places where each one excels above the other.