Whether you’ve been an avid off roader for years, or you’re just starting to get into the hobby of off roading, having some of the best off road lights on your rig can make your off highway experiences that much better. While your factory lighting seems plenty good enough for cruising down the highway in the darkest of nights, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same feeling when your off road adventures extend well into the night. When on the trail during the day, you need to bring your A game to avoid trees, boulders and any other obstacles that aren’t hard to find, and when the sun goes down those trail hazards are that much harder to spot and can potentially cause expensive body damage or mechanical damage do your drivetrain. This is where having some best off road LED lights is extremely beneficial to light your way.
The aftermarket for off road lighting has been around for decades, but recent years have seen a dramatic pivot to LEDs in place of older, more traditional halogen bulbs. That’s a good thing, too, because LEDs are generally more weather resistant, longer lasting, cooler running, and less power hungry than the alternatives. Here, we take a look at some of the best LED off road lights currently on the market, covering everything from spot lights to combo beam pattern light bars, at a variety of price points to suit most every budget.
What are the best off road lights?
Figuring out what the best off road lights for you depends on a couple of factors. The first one that comes to mind is budget. There are a number that seem to pop up on a daily basis making the claim that they have the best off road light bars on the market, and at price points that are, quite frankly, shockingly low. For example, you can find a 30-inch LED light bar for under $50, while others that seem similar can approach $1000, and as with many aftermarket accessories, you get what you pay for with lights. While your off road activities might not require the lighting performance of that $900+ LED off road light bar you saw on that trophy truck that won the Baja 1000, the $50 option might be outperformed by your stock lights.
With that mind, we would suggest you do some research to get the best one you can afford with the best performance. You are likely to be much better off having a very good 20-inch light bar, rather than a mediocre 30-inch light bar and some cheap flood lights in the long run.
Another factor to consider is what you need the lights for. If you want lights that cover a wide path ahead, a quality LED light bar is ideal. But if you want to be able to focus the light in a specific area and perhaps cover some ground that your stock headlights can’t quite handle, a pair of pod lights that can be mounted and pointed anywhere would likely be a better choice.
Chances are, we’ve got some options below that will suit your needs at a price you can afford.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Choice - Rough Country 54” Curved Dual Row CREE LED Light Bar
- Promoted Product - Rugged Ridge 3.5” LED Round Lights
- 2. Best Auxilary Lights - Baja Designs Squadron Sport Spot LED Light Pair
- 3. Best Auxilary Backup Lights - KC HiLiTES C Series LED Backup Flood Light Pair
- 4. Rough Country 20” Black Series 20” CREE LED Light Bar
- 5. Rigid Industries E-Series 20” LED Spot/Flood Combo Light Bar
- 6. Rigid Industries E-SRS PRO 30" SPOT/DRIVE LED Light Bar
- 7. COWONE 7-Inch 105W LED Round Spot Light Pods
- 8. KC HiLiTES Gravity G6 20W LED Daylighter Driving Light System
1. Editor's Choice - Rough Country 54” Curved Dual Row CREE LED Light Bar
If you need tons of illumination, bigger is often better. Our staff favorite is the Curved Dual Row CREE LED Light Bar from Rough Country. This is hands down one of the best Cree LED off road lights on the market in terms of bang-for-your-buck. It cranks out 46,800 lumens and over 520 watts of brightness in this flood/spotlight combination light bar. The die-cast aluminum housing is IP67-rated for protection, and each individual LED carries an IP68 rating, denoting even better resistance to water – no need to fret a little bit of rain. But what really seals the deal for this light bar as our favorite in the list of best off road lights is the Daytime Running Light mode, which could be a lifesaver in certain conditions – especially if your off-road rig is older and doesn’t have modern DRLs.
Promoted Product - Rugged Ridge 3.5” LED Round Lights
Achieving proper nighttime illumination takes a bit more of a sophisticated approach than simply throwing maximum lumens over the area ahead of your vehicle. That’s what makes these Rugged Ridge 3.5” round LEDs so great: they feature a clever design with four bright white high-beam LEDs around an amber-tinted low-beam LED with a “cross-hair” reflector, all set behind an optimized Fresnel optic lens. The result is piercing off-road illumination, with a distinct, cool look to boot.
Ensuring that the lights keep shining no matter what the trail throws at them, each of the LEDs is contained within a virtually-indestructible black thermoplastic housing featuring an IP67 dust- and water-resistance rating. That means you don’t have to sweat a bit of rain, mud, or dust finding its way into the electronics – plus Rugged Ridge offers a five-year limited warranty to back them up. And with 900 lumens from just the main white LED beam alone, these 3.5” round LEDs provide plenty of illumination to help you find your way back to camp.
*This is a sponsored placement.
2. Best Auxilary Lights - Baja Designs Squadron Sport Spot LED Light Pair
You can’t really go wrong with Baja Designs – one of the most recognized brands in off road lighting. These Baja Designs Squadron Sport Spot LEDs are small, but they pack a punch with 1,800 lumens each, using four CREE XP-G2 LEDs. Their small size means you have a ton of flexibility when it comes to mounting them – just stick them wherever – and they’re perfect for near-field, side, and backup illumination, making them the best LED off road lights of this kind. Plus, they come with Baja Designs’ Limited Lifetime Warranty, which counts for a lot.
3. Best Auxilary Backup Lights - KC HiLiTES C Series LED Backup Flood Light Pair
Reversing while off-road can be just as hazardous as going forward, especially in the dark. You can take some of the risk out of the equation with proper illumination, like from these KC HiLiTES C-Series LED Backup Flood Lights. Designed to “flood” the area immediately behind the vehicle with light, they cast a wide, even 120-degree beam pattern so you can see every obstacle in your path. They’re housed in durable diecast 6063 aluminum, and if you’re still relying on your truck’s dull, factory reverse lights for backup illumination, they’re practically a must-have, making them some of the best off road lights for the money.
4. Rough Country 20” Black Series 20” CREE LED Light Bar
When it comes to the best Rough Country off road lights, their 20” Black Series CREE LED Light Bar delivers plenty of illumination at an affordable price, making it the best off road light available if you’re on a budget. Endowed with 40 high-intensity CREE LEDs, this puppy puts out an impressive 9,600 lumens at 120 watts – plenty enough to illuminate the trail ahead under most conditions. This is definitely one of the best CREE LED light bars from Rough Country that you can get and the build quality proves it. With features like an IP67 water- and dust-resistant aluminum housing, a moisture breather to keep moisture build-up in-check, and noise silencers to reduce wind noise, its earned its place on our list of best off road lights.
5. Rigid Industries E-Series 20” LED Spot/Flood Combo Light Bar
Rigid Industries make some of the best off road driving lights on the market, illuminating the night bar better than the best cheap off road lights you can find. If you have the cash to spend on one of their 20” LED light bar, the Rigid Industries E-Series 20” LED Light Bar is what you want. It’s got the same flexible combo spot/flood illumination pattern as the Rough Country unit above, but a more sophisticated patented Hybrid optics system that combines clever reflector and lens design to throw light exactly where you need it – everywhere you need it. It’s rated at 9,200 lumens at 110 watts, and features a top-quality powder-coat finish and 304 stainless mounting brackets. There’s a reason you’ll find their lights on some of the fastest trophy trucks in the desert.
6. Rigid Industries E-SRS PRO 30" SPOT/DRIVE LED Light Bar
If you want a bit more light than those 20” options can deliver, this Rigid Industries E-SRS Pro 30” Light Bar is up to the challenge. All around one of the best off road lights on the market, this light bar projects a whopping 32,700 lumens of illumination at 311 watts, with patented Specter optics that offer the “highest intensity per watt or square inch on the market.” Their words. Like many off road LED light bars on the market, it features a combo spot/flood pattern, but one that’s designed to cast your light further with a ultra-concentrated spot beam well over half-a-mile. If money is no object for your off-road upgrades, this Rigid Industries LED light bar, is one of the best off road lights you can buy.
7. COWONE 7-Inch 105W LED Round Spot Light Pods
If you’re looking for an alternative to a light bar, or you need to supplement one with some extra spot light coverage, try these COWONE 7” Round LED Spot Light Pods on for size. They look fantastic, and can easily be mounted on most aftermarket bull bars. They feature both high-beam (6,000 lumens) and low-beam (4,000 lumens) illumination modes, and the diecast aluminum housings are IP67-rated for superior water and dust resistance. These are easily some of the least expensive and easiest to mount, making them some of the best off road LED lights you can get.
8. KC HiLiTES Gravity G6 20W LED Daylighter Driving Light System
Another well-known, trusted name in off road lighting, KC HiLiTES offers these Gravity G6 Daylighter Driving Lights, and they’re some of the best you can get in this form factor. Mount a pair or two on your bull bar, your roof, or your A pillars for superior off-road spot lighting. They feature an IP68-rated water- and dust-resistant housing for excellent protection against the elements, and each of these 6” round bad boys puts out 2,452 lumens in spot mode – 2,104 lumens in driving lamp mode – for plenty of firepower.
Am I better off getting a light bar or running auxiliary lights?
This really comes down to personal preference when you consider all factors. Obviously you have to consider price. Most auxiliary lights are less expensive than light bars, and mounting is usually less complicated. The tradeoff is that with a light bar you get a wider light pattern for better visibility, especially when running a large curved light bar.
Will I need to upgrade my electrical system by adding off-road lights?
Years ago when all we had were halogen lights, we’d likely recommend upgrading your battery, alternator or both if you added a lot of auxiliary lighting. With the LED light bars of today, there is minimal draw on your electrical system so upgrading your charging system isn’t necessary unless you have a lot of other accessories drawing power off of it.
What makes the more expensive lights better than the cheaper versions?
There are a number of factors that can make the high dollar LED light bars better than the rest. First you have the build quality and then the optics that allow the light to project. Do a YouTube search for difference in performance of the off-road lights you’re considering for purchase. Chances are that you’ll find the comparison and be surprised at the results. From some of the tests we’ve seen, the more expensive LED light bars aren’t necessarily any brighter, but deliver a better pattern that projects substantial farther than the less expensive versions. If you’re a rock-crawling trail exploring off roader, this might not make any difference to you. If you run at high speeds for fun, you’ll find that you can quickly outrun the projection of the lower priced lights really quick.
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Updated 07/21/2021: Updated product descriptions, replaced OOS items, added FAQ quesiton, added additional resources
Updated 05/13/2021: Added a new promoted product recommendation.
Updated 03/11/2021: Added an FAQ, ranked products in list and updated some product descriptions.