Being outdoorsy doesn’t mean sacrificing your love of technology. The more time you spend on any hobby, the more professional equipment you’ll want to gather. So each adventure can be better than the last. 

The accessories that used to seem like frivolous bells and whistles become must-have items for your off-road vehicle. 

Take lights – unlike a car or truck, ATVs don’t come with the same degree of lighting. If you’re spending more than daylight hours outside, it’s not frivolous to install LED bars or spot lights to illuminate the path ahead. 

Take a look at features to consider when shopping for ATV, UTV and SxS lighting.

1. Brightness

LED lights are the most efficient bulbs in the industry. They can be as small as a grain of salt and emit a large range of colors.  

LEDs are designed to shine light directly – meaning the fixtures themselves may not need internal reflectors or diffusers to trap and direct light. Due to the size, LEDs create very little heat, compared to an incandescent bulb that releases 90% of its energy as heat. The energy efficiency of LEDs means they last for a significant amount of time. 30 times longer than incandescent.

ATV lights are built to have a long reach and last through any drive. Some manufacturers may use substandard lights that are jazzed up with design features to increase brightness – but they’ll burn out sooner rather than later. 

Heise HE-5X7B1 Front Facing Headlights

2. Durable Construction

ATV lights are taken through the harsh conditions. This is why every component of your ATV needs to be constructed with durable materials. If you use your quad in off-road conditions, choose lighting and wiring with a minimum of IP67 rating against dust and moisture. Cast housings are great, but aluminum casings are much tougher than anything out there. The lighting mounts and hardware must also be corrosive proof.

3. Heat Sinks

The typical light’s lifespan can be severed by excessive heat levels, especially in hot and humid areas. Sonic Electronix recommends looking for ATV lights that have hefty heat sinks to manage those high temperatures. In fact, the more ridges and fins you can find, the better. Fins and ridges dissipate heat away from your circuits and the LEDs too. In some state of the art ATV lights, you are more likely to find PCB metal-core that cools down the circuits.

4. Beam Pattern

If the lighting you’re looking at offers Beam Patterns, there are a few types to consider to see if this personalization is worth the purchase.  Spot patterns are famous for their light saturation, but their width is quite dismal. On the other hand, Flood patterns are ideal for providing lighting to the sides, but their penetration or reach is just under half that of spots. A good light bar should be able to offer both options, a setting for both and an SOS flash function. 

5. Mounting Capability

Take note of where you would want your lighting to be located. Ensure that any installation equipment wont be in the way of accessing the ATV engine or wiring. Additionally, look for mounts that wont bungle your steering capacity or unbalance your ride.

6. Warranty

No matter what product, the warranty says a lot about the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Choose ATV lighting that offers you an extended period warranty of at least a year, so you have all season to weather and road test your light equipment.