Preparing for an overlanding trip requires planning for yourself and your truck. Of course, essential supplies for drivers and passengers include water bottles and first aid kits. But when it comes to vehicle upgrades, you have to take a more precise approach to your plan.
This guide showcases everything you need to know about overland truck lighting before hitting the road. Make the right adjustments to your truck after reading this summary so that you can see the wonderful terrain around you without issue during your trip.
Bright headlights come equipped on cars and trucks to help drivers see clearly at night, but these headlights typically aren’t suited for overlanding. Optimal illumination is especially crucial at night when you have no nearby light sources to assist you. When on an off-road adventure, you will need to see the terrain around you clearly at all times to avoid accidents due to unforeseen changes in the terrain. When it’s bright and sunny outside, visibility is typically less of an issue, but nighttime overlanding requires an extra boost in headlight brightness for a safer experience.
LED lights from aftermarket manufacturers will help you boost a vehicle’s light output successfully. At Trail Grid Pro, we have Toyota Tacoma parts that include headlights designed to produce brighter light output in both low and high beam modes.
Matching Bulbs to Trucks
So, what are the primary factors to consider when buying headlights for overlanding? Of course, reading a product’s full description will help you understand the full features and capabilities of the device. In addition, there are two primary factors you have to look at before purchasing—make and model.
You can’t shove any random headlight into your ride, whether it’s a Tacoma, 4Runner, or another truck in your garage. That said, make and model aren’t difficult pieces of information to find, so tracking down the right bulbs should be easy for truck enthusiasts looking for an upgrade. Don’t forget that there’s more to preparing your truck’s lighting for overlanding than buying a good bulb.
Front and Rear Lights
The primary focus has been on headlights for a reason; you have to see what’s in front of you at all times to drive off-road paths safely. You don’t want sudden drops, dangerous obstructions, or nearby wildlife to suddenly appear in front of you when overlanding. That said, don’t forget about your rear lights!
When you’re reversing out of a tight spot in the terrain, you have to know what’s behind you to avoid dangerous accidents. Having cameras in the front and rear of the truck will help substantially with this process. Furthermore, high-quality LED lights in the front and back will provide the extra illumination to back up clearly, even if visibility in the area is low. Give your new head and rear lights a test run before your first overlanding trip to see whether they’re up to the task.
Weather Forecast Assessments
If you’re not driving at night during your overlanding trip, you may not see the value in installing brighter lights anywhere on the truck. However, remember that weather plays a key role in your visibility in the area. An area may be easy to maneuver on a sunny day, but if a dense fog rolls in, your ability to see far distances will be substantially compromised.
Even cloudy days can darken the terrain; having bright headlights ensures a stormy sky won’t leave you unable to assess your surroundings. It doesn’t hurt to check the weather forecasts before overlanding to guarantee that your hardware is ready to handle the conditions successfully.
Overland Beam Patterns
Another factor to look at beyond brightness output is the beam patterns of your truck lights. The primary beam pattern categories include driving, flood, fog, and spot. When it comes to expanding the scope of your visibility, spotlights are the perfect tool to assess first. A spotlight prioritizes a long-range beam of light that is narrower; it won’t illuminate everything around you, but it will be easier to see farther ahead.
Flood lights have a much wider beam pattern and prioritize short-range visibility instead of long-range. Thus, when you’re doing something around the car in the dark, such as camping or repairing busted tires, flood lights will brighten up the area around you so that you can work safely.
Similarly, fog lights have low distance visibility and are located below your normal headlights. As a result, these lights can illuminate the ground in front of you while driving, which is invaluable in thick fog and snowstorms. The ground can become difficult to see in such weather, but fog lights can give you the upper hand.
Finally, driving lights work in tandem with your headlights to produce great coverage on or off the road. Simply put, driving lights are tools for expanding the capabilities of your high beams, giving you the extra boost you need in low-visibility settings. Now that you know more about spotlights, flood lights, fog lights, and driving lights, you can prepare your truck appropriately before your next overlanding experience.
Everything you need to know about overland truck lighting doesn’t begin and end at the headlight setup. Overlanding often involves camping, so you must ensure your campsite has the illumination necessary to rest comfortably. Headlights are one way to illuminate a campsite, but you can also make further modifications to your truck to accommodate interior lighting solutions.
If your camper is attached to the truck bed, explore lighting options that will make it easier to create a cozy atmosphere when you’re away from home. For instance, some camper frames are strategically optimized to house lighting systems. Speak with your manufacturer about the customization opportunities with your hardware.
Last but not least, always make sure that any modification to your truck is legal in your area. Then, you can attach the best accessories to your truck for overlanding trips. With this information in mind, you can supply your vehicle with the best lighting solutions before overlanding, whether you’re traversing snow, dirt, or something else on your trek along the trail.