DIY-tips to install off-road lights on your SUV or truck

Updated May 07, 2019 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Read this guide on how to do DIY off-road lighting installation for your truck.

Night-time visibility is already good with SUVs and pickups with high ground clearance compares to smaller cars. Add a set-up of off-roading lights that upgrades the existing stock lights with improved side view and front lighting.

In the worst and wickedest weather conditions, these lights allow the best visibility possible! Improving night lighting and illumination on the road that does counter the glare of LEDs and HiDs better. Go over all these steps to see what is the best and optimized steps to set up and install off-road lights.

It will cost a bit for the best equipment, there are cost-effective options as well. Will you get kits or parts bought separately then install it? DIY it to save, though most installation is done by technicians here in the Philippines. Philkotse.com will bring some DIY-tips to install off-road lights on your vehicles. 

Off-road LED light

Drivers now prefer off-road LED lights

1. What kind of lights can be used on SUVs and pickups?

Before choosing what kind of set-up for mounting lights on an SUV and pickups should be the first step. It all depends on how brightly you want to light up the road.

One thing to remember is that bright light glares and causes accidents. Pick something that is street-legal, to begin with. Here are the types to buy and they feature different lumens.

Halogen

The cheapest light bulb that can be bought and used for most cars. Compared to the other two which is less brightly lit. This won’t glare too much when oncoming cars are in front!

Halogen fog light

Halogen off-road lights

LEDs

These bulbs are brighter than halogen and costs a bit more. Changing burnt out bulbs is cheaper for those using LED fog lights and spotlights.

HiDs

If you want fog lights or spotlights with a really bright beam, get HiDs. Installing HiDs can be more expensive with longer service life. 

HiDs fog light

Installing HiDs can be more expensive than others

>>> Must read: HID Lights: Should you have them?

2. Which mounting location is better for any specific vehicle?

Planning where to mount the lights is very important to position the lights. Positioning the lights will set them with the best and optimal angle to diffuse the lights effectively. Another concern where to drill to make the set up very optimally. Putting it in the wrong place is not very smart and blocks the best light diffusion possible.

  • Slightly above the windshield
  • The sports bar or roll bar
  • The Side of the rear-view mirror
  • Front and rearview bumper

Placing fog lights or spotlights should be given serious consideration especially with the mounting method and location used.

Install fog light in front of the bumper

Fog light is often placed in the front bumper

3. Supplies you’ll need for the DIY project

Make sure everything needed is available before starting. Get the proper wire size for the job as well!

  • Relay
  • Fuse holder with fuse
  • Proper gauge of wire and length
  • Switches
  • Wiring connectors

Wiring connector

Wiring connector 

>>> More safety tips on night-driving in the Philippines: 

4. Drilling can’t be avoided when installing off-road lights

Doing this is very precise with the proper drill bit size that won’t damage anything with this invasive method. Knowing how deep or how shallow it goes is important!

  • Map out and determine the point of the drill’s entry. Measuring all the holes made with even distances will make all the DIY work more presentable not haphazard!
  • Mark the spot using masking tape to avoid damaging the side of the lode. X-marks the spot will achieve precise drilling too.
  • Drilling should be done very carefully and precise because it can cause damage when done wrong. Retrieve the drill bit when it has entered the metal.
  • Do the same process for the other side and make sure everything is equally measured.
  • Don’t forget to touch up the holes with paint to avoid rust. Smoothen the edges as well for the drilled holes.

Do all these steps when drilling points to insert the wires for the lights to be installed.

5. Setting up the electrical layout for the lights

Here are the steps to get the layout organized for all mounted fog and spotlights. A relay and fuse holder will connect the lights to the battery. 

Step #1

Choose an accessible spot on your dashboard for the light switches that are accessible. Some drilling might be needed so be careful!

Step #2

Open the hood and choose a place in the engine where it doesn’t get that hot. If there is a hole near the spot, use it. Drill a hole for the relay or fuse holder to be used if it needs to move closer.

Step #3

Install a grounding wire that should be connected to a bolt for the grounding point. Preferably use a black wire to mark it as the grounding wire. Do this or else.

How-To Wire Offroad Lights

Step #4

Choose any wire for the lights to be connected. Get it and link it with an in-line fuse holder, then to a positive post near the relay. Connect the wire with the in-line fuse holder should it cannot be connected directly. The relay and fuse holder protects the cars electrical from surges that can damage the electrical system. 

Step #5

Wire the relay and fuse holder that is secured to the batteries positive terminal post. 

Step #6

Connect all wires from the relay and fuse holder to the switches by inserting it through the firewall hole in the hood. When the connection is soldered and wired so that the lights can be activated using switches.

Install the power wire to the battery

Install the power wire to the battery

Step #7

Secure the connections made, fuses, and tidy up all the wiring that connects to the lights. Make sure that water cannot enter and seal all the drilled hole. Use plastics to secure them inside and outside properly.

Step #8

Check all the wires and connections visually then turn the lights on to check. Proceed to adjust the fog lights or spotlights if they work properly. Adjust the installed light on the mounts, now all is done.

Conclusion

Should you consider installing off-road lighting as an option? All these steps to set up and install off-road lights are easy to follow, but an experienced car electrician might help!

Specific equipment might be needed for some complicated steps to be done, but DIYing is still an option. Equipping your SUV or pickup with a battery of off-road lights will allow better visibility too.

It’s also important to know what rules are there that guides proper installation of this lighting equipment. Whether you opt for it not, it does have advantages for SUVs and pickups.

>>> Stay tuned with Philkotse.com for more car tips and advice.

Norjan Ismail Abbas

Norjan Ismail Abbas

Author

Norjan enjoys writing about various topics, and car is among them. Don't ever ask him which his most favorite car is since he has none. He believes each car is beautiful in its own way.

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