Rock Lights: A Guide to What They Are & How to Install Them - Stinger

Rock lights, also called underbody lights, are LED lights specifically designed to be mounted on the underside of a vehicle, typically near the wheel wells or frame. 

1. What is the purpose of rock lights?
Their primary function is to illuminate the ground directly beneath the vehicle for enhanced visibility while off-roading. Rock lights also add a unique and stylish look to your vehicle, especially with customizable colors and lighting patterns.

 

2. Why are they called rock lights? 
Rock lights get their name from their primary purpose – illuminating rocks and uneven terrain during off-road driving, particularly at night. Rock lights are essential for safe off-roading.

rock lights jeep with whip light

 

3. Where is the best place to put rock lights?
The best placement for rock lights depends on your priorities: maximizing visibility for off-roading or achieving a stylish look. Here's a breakdown for both scenarios:

For Maximum Visibility (Off-Roading):

  • Primary Location: The most crucial spots are near the front wheel wells, angled slightly forward to illuminate the ground directly in front of your tires. This allows you to see obstacles you might miss with headlights alone.
  • Secondary Location: Adding rock lights near the rear wheel wells, angled slightly backward, helps see potential hazards behind the tires.

For Style and Customization:

  • Wheel Wells: A common placement for a subtle look. Mounting them here provides some illumination underneath while adding a visual accent.
  • Undercarriage Glow: Rock lights mounted flat underneath the vehicle can create a cool lighting effect. This might be more for aesthetics than hardcore off-roading visibility.
  • Creative Options: Some enthusiasts mount rock lights in the engine bay (with proper heat resistance considerations) or even inside the wheel wells for a unique look.

 

4. How many rock lights do I need?
The number of rock lights you need depends on your goals and the size of your vehicle, but usually the minimum is 4 rock lights.

Visibility for Off-Roading:

  • Basic Coverage (4-8 lights): This is a common starting point. Place two lights near each front wheel well to illuminate the area directly in front of your tires. You can optionally add two more lights near the rear wheels for more complete coverage underneath the vehicle.
  • Enhanced Visibility (8+ lights): For more intricate terrain or a larger vehicle, consider adding more lights. You could place additional lights along the frame rails or towards the center of the vehicle for a wider spread of light.

Style and Customization:

  • Subtle Look (4-8 lights): If you primarily want rock lights for aesthetics and occasional off-roading, a smaller number strategically placed can achieve this. Consider mounting them near the wheel wells or underneath the vehicle for a subtle glow.
  • Showy Illumination (10+ lights): If you prioritize a dramatic lighting effect, you can install more rock lights and explore options like RGB lights with color-changing capabilities.
    ford f150 rock lights

 

5. Are rock lights durable and waterproof?
Yes, most rock lights are durable and waterproof. They are specifically designed to be mounted on the underside of a vehicle and withstand exposure to the elements, including rain, snow, and mud. Rock lights typically have a sealed housing made from a durable material like plastic or aluminum that prevents water from entering the internal components. Rubber gaskets and seals are also often used around the lens, housing seams, and electrical connections to create a watertight barrier. Stinger's own ENLIGHT10 rock lights have an IP65 waterproof rating.

 

6. What are good rock light brands?
Stinger has its own lines of rock lights. Let's see which one makes sense for you.

  • Stinger Rock Lights are great for new users as they are easy to use and affordable. They come in a pack of 4 lights and in 4 colors: redbluegreen, and yellow *SPECIAL PROMOTION*: For a limited time while supplies last, all orders $499 and above get a free pack of 4 lights.  Features include:
    • IPX68 waterproof aluminum housing to handle extreme and wet environments.
    • CREE LEDs for intense brightness that can effectively illuminate the ground underneath your vehicle even in low-light conditions.
    • Versatile Mounting offer flexible installation options for your off-road adventures.jeep rock lights
  • ENLIGHT10 Rock Light Kits are ideal for those seeking a highly customized and stylish look. They can be programmed to create dazzling RGB light displays.
    • Customizable Aesthetics: Add a unique and stylish look to your vehicle with endless customizations to match your vehicle's design. Enhance your car's overall appearance and make it stand out in any crowd.
    • IP65 Weatherproof Rating: Reliable in extreme environments, including water, dirt, dust, and debris. The IP65-rated silicone coating on the rock lights comes with a fully weatherproof Bluetooth controller.
    • Versatility: These rock lights can be installed on various parts of your vehicle, such as the undercarriage, wheels, or interior, providing flexibility and versatility in customization.
    • App & HEIGH10 Radio Integration: Use your smartphone to control the colors and flash patterns of the LEDs simultaneously using the ENLIGHT10 app on your smartphone or HEIGH10. Check out how easy it is to use the ENLIGHT10 app (iOS, Android ) below:


7. How do I install rock lights?

Installing rock lights involves drilling, wiring, and mounting the lights to your vehicle. We know installing rock lights can be intimidating for first time users, so we've created a step-by-step install video of our ENLIGHT10 rock lights.

 

If you have a Jeep, our Jeep Wrangler rock light install video may be more relevant to you.

 

8. Are rock lights and underglow lights the same thing?
Underglow lights are similar to rock lights but their primary function is aesthetic. While many underglow light kits utilize rock lights, they also often incorporate RGB & neon strip lights that display a myriad of lighting patterns and colors.

 

9. Do rock lights drain your battery?
Rock lights can drain your battery, but the extent depends on a couple factors:

  • LED Technology: Rock lights are almost always LED lights. LEDs are known for their low power consumption compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. This means they'll use significantly less battery than other types of lights.
  • Usage Time: A few minutes of use won't be a problem, but extended periods can drain your battery, especially if the vehicle engine is not running.

Here's a breakdown of scenarios:

  • Low Risk: Briefly turning on your rock lights while off-roading for a short time is unlikely to cause any battery drain concerns, especially with a healthy battery.
  • Moderate Risk: Leaving your rock lights on for extended periods, even with the LED efficiency, can eventually drain your battery if your engine is not running. It's important to turn them off if you plan on using them for an extended period while the vehicle engine is not running.

 

10. Can you drive around with rock lights?
Whether you can legally drive around with rock lights on depends on the laws and regulations in your specific area. Here's a breakdown of the key considerations:

Safety Concerns:

  • Distraction: Bright or flashing rock lights can distract other drivers, potentially creating a safety hazard.
  • Impersonating Emergency Vehicles: In some areas, red or blue lights are reserved for emergency vehicles only. Using rock lights of these colors could be mistaken for impersonating an emergency vehicle, which is illegal.

Legality:

  • No Federal Regulations: In the United States, there are no federal regulations specifically prohibiting rock lights. However, each state has its own laws regarding vehicle lighting.

  • State and Local Laws: You'll need to check the laws in your state and potentially your local municipality to determine if there are any restrictions on using rock lights while driving. These restrictions might specify:

    • Color: Certain colors, like red and blue, might be prohibited.
    • Brightness: There might be limitations on how bright the rock lights can be.
    • Location: The placement of the rock lights on the vehicle might be regulated.
    • Activation While Driving: Some states might explicitly prohibit driving with rock lights turned on. They might only be allowed for off-road use.

 

Overall, rock lights are a valuable addition for off-road enthusiasts who prioritize safe navigation in low-light conditions. They can also be beneficial for anyone who wants to improve visibility around their vehicle or add a stylish touch.

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