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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Off-Road Lighting: 7 Things You Might Not Know

 photo by maxrlx via iStock

You might think that lights are a simple thing and once you have them on you do not need to worry about them again. Well, to some extent, that is true. However, on certain occasions, they do need some attention to ensure you use them safely while getting the most out of them. 

So, in this article, we are going over the things you should do to ensure you know everything needed about off-road lighting and how to use it. 

Clean Your Lights

Off-Road Lighting

 photo by panchof via iStock

By “clean your lights” I don’t mean give them a good scrub when washing the truck. If you have been driving on the motorway or country roads for some time, chances are the lights are full of bugs. Similarly, if you’ve been driving on dirt roads all day the lights will be full of dirt. 

You would be surprised at how much of a difference bugs and dirt can make to the throw and power of your lights. Therefore, before hitting the tracks at night give them a good clean.

Off-Road Lighting: Convoy for Night Driving

off road convoy

 photo by Onfokus via iStock

We all know that when a vehicle behind us runs with the high beams on, the glare from the rearview mirror hinders the view of the road in front. However, that does not mean that when driving in a convoy during dark hours the vehicles behind should only run their normal vehicle lights. 

You see, when at the back of a convoy, a small dark void is left between you and the vehicle in front when the road is not adequately lit. Therefore, the vehicles at the rear should also run their bigger lights to avoid any accidents. 

The drivers of the trucks upfront can fold in their door mirrors and flip the rearview upwards. This will eliminate the glare. 

Light Adjustments

4x4 in the snow

 photo by alptraum via iStock

Adjusting lights can be a bit tricky but once you’ve done it you will probably never have to do it again. As a rule of thumb, roof lights should point in the distance to illuminate the road upfront. 

Spotlights mounted on the grill are typically pointed slightly to the side to provide vision of branches or rocks at the sight of the road while also illuminating in a shorter distance. 

Spend some time on your roof and front grill to get everything dialled and then tighten them well so they stay in place. 

Off-Road Lighting: Dusty Tracks at Night

Off-Road Lighting Dusty Tracks

 photo by georgeclerk via iStock

Driving in dusty conditions with your lights on can decrease your vision as dust reflects light. When driving in a convoy on dusty tracks at night stay far behind the vehicle upfront to get out of their dust. This will help you see much better.

Situations Where Night Driving is Safer

People driving at night

 photo by 97 via iStock

Believe it or not, there are some situations in which driving at night is safer. For example, on tight tracks during the day you cannot see if someone is coming around the corner. However, at night, you will see their lights before them. 

Similarly, when coming over a hill you cannot see if there is someone also driving up it on the other side. At nighttime, this is no longer an issue as you can see their beams. 

Off-Road Lighting: Idling with All Your Lights On

Off-Road Lighting Idling

 photo by kasayizgi via iStock

When idling for long periods with a big light bar and spotlights turned on, you will slowly drain your battery even if the vehicle is running. 

Of course, there are some situations when you need the lights on while idling, for example, winching, cutting firewood, or watching a friend tackle an obstacle. For short periods, you will be fine. However, if you leave them on for long you may have issues.

Cheap Lights

Lights on an old truck

 photo by thad via iStock

Is cheap off-road lighting something you should get? Well, for driving off-road at night they will increase your vision without a doubt. So, if you have no other option go for them. 

However, on the motorway or empty country roads, the light projected by them will be bright but won’t reach far. Therefore, you will be able to see directly in front of you, but you will have no idea what is going on in the distance.

Cheap lights are good for the bush but are not recommended for country road or motorway driving.

So, from the above tips, you can get a better understanding of how to maximize the potential of your lights while also using them safely. 

What do you guys think? Are there any other tips about lights that we have left behind?

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