Truck Works Will Light the Way to the Right Choice for You!
When it comes to exterior truck lights—or any other vehicle’s exterior lights for that matter—you have multiple options available to you in terms of type, light pattern and configuration. It’s also important to note that what works for one vehicle may not necessarily work for another, especially if the lighting applications and/or requirements are different. For you to get the most out the investment that is your truck, you may decide to upgrade or customize your ride’s exterior lighting. That’s where Truck Works comes into play.
Our professional team here at Truck Works is made up of devoted truck enthusiasts who love working on trucks, SUVs and other vehicles, so we know a thing or two about selecting the proper exterior lights and lighting components. We also enjoy educating our customers about exterior lights and countless other vehicle components, so we invite you to peruse this page to learn a bit more about lighting. As always, we welcome you to call us at (816) 842-4222 or contact us here if you have any questions!
Different Exterior Light Patterns
Before you go out and purchase any old exterior light for your ride, you need to know what type of light pattern you’re looking for. When it comes to motor vehicles, there are four types of exterior lights:
- Driving Lights – The light pattern used for driving lights creates a rectangular-shaped ray of light that extends deeper and wider than the headlights, which makes these lights a great complement to the high beam headlights. Driving lights’ wattage is higher than that of factory headlights, which enables the driver to easily see elements on the edge of roads and even trails. A large majority of our driving lights conform to SAE, DOT and ECE standards for street legality.
- Fog Lights – Fog lights are typically placed underneath the headlights and boost visibility in times of fog or bad weather. Fog light patterns illuminate the area closest to the ground without lighting up the floating particles in the driver’s field of vision. The fog light lighting pattern gives off a ray of light that is considerably wide, short and does not extend very far, which makes it work well in times of rain, snow, dust and fog.
- Flood Lights – The flood light lighting pattern produces a horizontal and vertical light ray pattern. These types of exterior lights are commonly used for back-up lighting and illumination while working.
- Long Range Lights – The long range light pattern produces a beam of light that’s highly focused and extends far out to the horizon. These exterior lights produce the brightest light ray pattern and offer the most candlepower of all exterior lighting options. They are most commonly used in racing, agricultural and commercial environments as well as off-highway settings.
Types of Lights
As far as types of exterior truck lights are concerned, you’ll find that there are three main categories automakers and aftermarket light manufacturers use: halogen lights, HID lights and LED lights.
- Halogen Lights – The effectiveness of exterior truck lights has a lot to do with how light from halogen bulbs is focused. Prior to the 1990s, specially crafted lenses (that also served as the lights’ protective housings) were used to focus the light from tungsten and halogen bulbs. Nowadays, headlights’ outer casings are crafted using polycarbonate as opposed to glass because polycarbonate is more resilient and lightweight. To focus the light produced from the headlamp bulb, special reflectors and projector lenses are typically used. While halogen lights are cost effective and boast a working life of between 500 and 1,000 hours, they pull in approximately 55 watts of power, which is mostly converted to heat instead of light.
- HID (High Intensity Discharge) Lights– HID lights utilize a combination of rare metals and gases to create bright white rays of light when heated. You’ve noticed vehicles with these types of lights before; they’re the ones that have the white glow with a surrounding tint of blue on the edge. When compared to halogen lights, HID exterior lights are two to three times brighter, which can be aggravating to other people out on the road when glares from these lights meet their eyes. While HID lights are brighter than traditional halogen lights, they need less power to work; they pull in around 35 watts of power and generally last up to 2,000 hours. HIDs have trace levels of xenon, an inert noble gas that guards against flickering and allows for sufficient amounts of light to be produced prior to reaching maximum illumination. This type of exterior light tends to be more expensive than other lighting options thanks to the rare elements it uses.
- LED Lights – LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are typically used in exterior vehicle lighting as fog lights, brake lights and indicators. These lights are small and can be formed into an array of shapes and even smaller sizes. LED truck lights last a long time (some LED light manufacturers say their bulbs can last up to 15,000 hours!). Another advantage of LED truck lights is the fact that they waste very little energy, converting most of the energy they pull in to produce more light instead of heat. What’s more is the fact that experts say LED lights decrease reaction time by 30% when they’re used for brake and indicator lights.
LED Light Bars
LED lights used to be confined to uses in items like computer screens and signboards. Today, LED light bars are used pretty much wherever regular halogen lights have been used for years, including homes, offices, public buildings, commercial spaces and, of course, vehicles. LED light bars are easy to install, require small amounts of energy to operate and are more efficient in many areas than traditional lights. We discuss their main advantages below.
- Durability – Despite their small size, LED lights are quite durable and function for extended periods of time. Additionally, these lights require virtually no maintenance and do not need to be replaced nearly as often as traditional bulbs. Further, these lights typically come with a far-reaching warranty in case of complications, which is something regular light manufacturers usually fail to offer.
- Power – LED light bars are far more powerful than regular electrical filament lights. Not only are they more powerful, but they also provide enhanced illumination for an extended amount of time.
- Low Energy Consumption – LED light bars require much less energy to operate than their electrical filament cousins. They also last a whole lot longer.
- Environmentally Friendly – LED light bars use less energy than traditional lighting solutions and do not produce nearly as much heat. This makes LED lights a green, environmentally friendly option.
- Various Options – In addition to being available in many different sizes, watts and candlepower strengths, these light bars are available in straight, curved and even multicolored models.