Top Truck Exterior Lighting Trends for Overlanding

Top Truck Exterior Lighting Trends for Overlanding

Full-Size Friday Blog: Week 14

GODZ MFG's Guide to Elevating Your Overland Adventure with Premium Exterior Lighting Solutions

Are you aiming to enhance your truck’s night-time profile or boost its daytime visibility with the right exterior lighting? GODZ MFG is here to guide you through the practicalities of truck exterior lighting, from the sleekness of LED strips to the safety provided by tailgate light bars. We’ll walk you through selection, customization, and simple installation tips. Upgrade your truck’s functionality and style with confidence as we shine a light on the essentials you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Truck exterior lighting such as tailgate light bars, running lights, and LED upgrades enhance both aesthetics and safety, providing improved visibility and communication of the driver’s intentions to fellow road users.
  • Customizable LED lighting options for trucks offer flexibility in design and function, allowing for personal expression and increased safety through products like multi-function tailgate light bars and LED light bars with various beam patterns, sizes, and mounting locations.
  • LED technology in truck lighting presents multiple benefits, including energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, a longer lifespan, and increased durability, with compatibility across different truck makes and models, facilitating easy upgrades in exterior lighting.

Essentials of Truck Exterior Lighting

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Truck exterior lighting transcends mere visibility—it enhances aesthetics and bolsters safety. Key components such as tailgate light bars, truck bed lights, and running board lights play a significant role in this regard. These accessories, such as ultra-bright LED illumination, can be applied to different sections of mid-size or full-size pickups, transforming them into a beacon of safety and style on the road.

Truck exterior lighting proves essential, not only at night but also during daytime. It makes the truck more visible to other drivers, signaling your presence on the road and reducing the likelihood of mishaps. Now, let’s delve deeper into two essential components of truck exterior lighting: tailgate light bars and running lights.

GODZ MFG carries a diverse range of driving lights in both light bar, pod, and round configurations, with beam options ranging from diffused to flood to fog. Check out the incredibly informative Baja Designs 'Vehicle Lighting Zones' chart for tailored light selection based on your driving scenarios and preferences.

Vehicle Lighting Zones


Tailgate Light Bars: A Must-Have for Safety

Tailgate light bars extend beyond mere style enhancements for your truck. They serve a critical role in road safety by enhancing visibility, particularly when the truck is slowing down or changing lanes. These rear light bars make your vehicle visible from a further distance, drawing attention to critical signaling functions such as brake lights and turn signals, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents.

But that’s not all. Tailgate light bars offer multi-function lights that sync with the truck’s tail lights, providing additional:

  • Running lights
  • Brake lights
  • Reverse lights
  • Hazard lights
  • Turn signals

These integrated functions clearly communicate the driver’s intentions to others on the road, reducing the likelihood of traffic accidents.

Running Lights: Keeping Your Path Illuminated

Every overlander needs to equip their vehicle with running lights, also known as road lights. These are essential for increasing the visibility of your truck to other drivers during the day, particularly at dusk or in inclement weather conditions. But why just stick to the usual when you can enhance your truck’s look while improving safety?

Enter LED daytime running lights. These are not only energy-efficient and low on power consumption, but they also enhance your truck’s visual appeal with their modern and stylish look. Now that we’ve touched upon the essentials of truck exterior lighting let’s dive into how you can customize your truck’s look with LED lights.

Customizing Your Truck's Look with LED Lights

LED lights provide truck owners a wide range of customization options, harmonizing style, quality, and functionality. From transforming the overall aesthetics to adding a dynamic and vibrant effect, LED lights can truly make your truck stand out. For instance, underglow LED lighting upgrades can be activated via a switch or when the truck is set in motion, creating an eye-catching effect.

Moreover, with the availability of removable and flexible LED lights, truck owners can easily customize the look of their ride to match different style preferences, without the need for permanent changes to the lighting setup. But how do you choose the right LED light bars for your truck? Let’s discover that next.

Choosing the Right LED Light Bars

Selecting the right LED light bars for your truck involves more than just opting for an eye-catching design. You need to consider factors such as size, beam pattern, shape, and connector type. The size of an LED light bar is directly related to its illumination capacity, with larger bars offering more light due to more bulbs, but also costing more.

LED light bars come with different features and options, including a single light option as well as:

  • Beam patterns: spot beams (narrow and long-reaching), flood beams (wider), and combination beams (a mix of the two)
  • Shape: curved or straight, based on personal style preference
  • Mounting location: varies with vehicle size and user preference
  • Connector type: must match the vehicle’s wiring system for a successful installation
  • Fitting: specific to the vehicle or application

Considering these factors will help you choose the right LED light bar for your needs.

Speaking of installation, let’s simplify the process for you in the next section.

Installation Process Simplified

When installing LED light bars on your truck, prioritizing safety is paramount. Therefore, it’s important to disconnect both the positive and negative terminals of the truck’s battery before starting the installation to prevent any electrical hazards. Also, always ensure personal safety by using proper safety measures and personal protective equipment during the installation to avoid injury.

For the installation, prepare a common toolset that includes:

  • Drill
  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdrivers
  • Heat gun
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves

Route wiring from the light bar to the switch through the firewall and along the vehicle’s frame, avoiding any moving parts and heat sources for a safe installation.

Install the switch for the LED light bar in a location within the cab that is easily accessible but doesn’t interfere with the vehicle’s controls or driver’s convenience. Properly ground the light bar to a metal surface on the vehicle to ensure a stable electrical connection. Include a fuse in the wiring setup near the battery to protect both the light bar and the vehicle’s electrical system from potential overcurrent problems.

Use the brackets that come with the light bar to determine where to drill on the top or front of the truck, securing the light bar in place. After mounting the light bar, reattach any removed panels and perform a thorough check of the work before reconnecting the vehicle’s battery and testing the functionality of the installation.

Making a Statement with Color and Style

The process of lighting customization for your truck can be enjoyable and fulfilling. Tailgate light bars, for instance, offer a range of colors, sizes, and styles for a sleek or flashy appearance based on personal preference. LED wheel well lights, with their ability to illuminate a truck’s fender wells and rims, provide truck owners with the opportunity to create a unique look using single or multi-color lighting and dynamic patterns.

The range of LED light colors available allows truck owners to choose hues that best match their personal style and vehicle’s aesthetic design. Some popular LED light colors include:

  • Blue
  • Red
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • White
  • Yellow

Customizing a truck with various colors and designs of LED lighting not only enhances the vehicle’s style but also improves its visibility on the road, ensuring it stands out and is more easily distinguished by other drivers from any other vehicle.

Now that we’ve covered customization, let’s discuss the advantages of upgrading to LED technology.

Off-Roading Lighting Essentials

Off-roading offers a thrilling experience, where appropriate lighting can significantly enhance the adventure. Single-row LED light bars are well-suited for off-roading due to their compact size and lower profile, ensuring they don’t hinder ground clearance. Flood lights, on the other hand, are critical in off-roading for their ability to illuminate a wide area, providing visibility for terrain and obstacles close to the vehicle, especially at lower speeds.

LED lights designed for off-roading should be durable and waterproof, capable of withstanding vibrations, impacts, and environmental stresses. Off-roading LED work lights offer various beam patterns, including spotlight and floodlight, with some providing a combination for flexibility in different off-road scenarios. But how much do these lights cost? Let’s explore that next in our section on light bars across the price spectrum.

Light Bars Across the Price Spectrum

Opting for light bars doesn’t necessarily mean a hefty expenditure. Manufacturers such as:

  • Baja Designs
  • GT Lighting USA
  • KC HiLiTES
  • Oracle Lighting

All produce LED light bars catering to a diverse market. These manufacturers offer products with a variety of features, sizes, and levels of durability, accommodating different customer needs.

Despite the differences in cost, high-quality options are available across the various price brackets, ensuring that buyers don’t have to sacrifice quality. Each price point provides a range of light bar selections, ensuring buyers can find a product that aligns with their budget.

Now that we’ve covered the price spectrum, let’s summarize our key points.


In this illuminating journey, we’ve explored the essentials of truck exterior lighting, the importance of tailgate light bars, and running lights for safety and visibility. We dived into the world of customizing your truck’s look with LED lights, learned how to choose the right LED light bars, understood the installation process, and discovered how to make a statement with color and style. We also appreciated the numerous advantages of upgrading to LED technology, discussed the compatibility of LED lighting with various truck makes and models, uncovered the essentials of off-roading lighting, and navigated through light bars across the price spectrum. With this newfound knowledge, you’re now equipped to transform your ride into a beacon of safety, style, and functionality. Check out the carefully crafted collection of lights offered on the GODZ MFG online store today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are auxiliary driving lights?

Auxiliary driving lights are designed to improve visibility during night time driving and inclement weather, providing long-range illumination ahead of the vehicle.

Why do people put light bars on trucks?

People put light bars on trucks to improve visibility for other drivers, especially when making sudden stops or driving at night. Tailgate light bars are often synchronized with brake lights or used as running lights for this purpose.

What is the best light bar for a truck?

Based on popular opinion, some of the best LED light bars for trucks are the JEGS CREE LED Double Row Light Bar, Hella ValueFit Design 6 LED Light Bar, Baja Designs OnX6+ Straight LED Light Bar, ORACLE Lighting LED Light Bar, and Hella Black Magic Series Slim Spot LEDs. Consider these options when making your purchase decision.

Are LED lights worth it on truck?

Yes, LED lights are worth it for your truck's interior lighting and exterior safety lights, as they produce whiter, cooler light that is better for illuminating the road and surroundings. Always opt for bright white LEDs for exterior safety lights.

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