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Best Aftermarket Lighting Upgrades for Driving in the Snow

Best Aftermarket Lighting Upgrades for Driving in the Snow

9 minute read

Get your off-road vehicle ready for wheeling with Jack Frost with off-road snow lights that improve visibility for safer winter off-roading. The best off-road lights already help you keep the fun going when the sun goes down and greet the sun with you when you start out early on the next leg of your overlanding trek. They light the way on foggy days and help you create the perfect campsite to get away from it all. Just as specialized lights are already improving your off-road lifestyle in a myriad of ways, they can help you tackle the snow, slush, and ice that stand in your way.

Not Just for Winter

Off-road snow lights aren’t just important through the winter months. While that is when they’ll get the most use through much of the country, those in the northern part of the United States can see far longer snow seasons. Parts of the country with higher altitudes, like those with mountains, hills, and challenging terrain that calls to serious off-roaders, can also see snow outside of the coldest months as the altitude keeps temperatures low and helps the moisture in the air form into precipitation. It’s not uncommon for a driver looking for an adventure to leave their house on a pleasant day with shirt-sleeve weather, spend an afternoon in the snow and slush, then return home for a relaxing dip in the pool the same day.

Blinding White

One of the biggest dangers of driving in the snow doesn’t come from the potential loss of traction as you wheel through snow drifts, plow through slush, and roar over ice. It comes from light–both natural and manmade. Snow’s crystalline structure reflects and refracts light in unexpected ways. Sunlight alone bouncing through the crystalline structure can create a vast, bright white expanse that leads to eye fatigue. When powerful truck lights that aren’t designed for snow interact with the same snow, it can be blinding not just for other drivers but for you as well. When choosing the best off-road lights for snow, you need the right quality and quantity of light aimed properly for effective illumination that doesn’t create a hazard.

Ford off-road truck with aftermarket lighting driving in the snow

  • Temperature - Most modern road headlights are a bright white or silvery blue–warm colors that can cause the most eye strain and be the most glaring and blinding in low-visibility or low-light settings. While these are perfect for clear road conditions, falling snow or snow-covered terrain needs cooler temps that mimic daylight or a softer amber hue. This is the same reason so many fog lights are amber–this hue is easier on the eyes, even when refraction or reflection of the light comes into play.

  • Height - When driving in snow, low is the name of the game, whether the snow is falling or already on the ground. As with fog, off-road snow lights are often mounted low, positioning the light to hit the road while staying under the focus level of your own and other drivers’ eyes. Accessory lighting, like that delivered by pillar, rack, or mounted bars, should be aimed at an angle that directs the light to the ground instead of forward into flurries and banks.

  • Focus - It’s not enough to have the right color temperature of light or aim it properly. You need the right optics to deliver that light where and how you need it. Tightly focused beams like spots throw a narrow beam a long distance, which can cause issues in the snow. At the same time, area or flood optics can disperse the light too much to allow the mid-to-long-range light needed for navigating a trail. Driving/combo lights strike a balance between mid and close-range coverage, cornering lights give you more light up close for tight maneuvers, and rock lights can help you or your spotter find the lines you need for wheeling over, around, and through obstacles up close.

  • Amount - Driving in snow conditions can see you navigating with reduced visibility for your own driving and make you harder for others to see. The best off-road lights don’t pop up in ones and twos, and that includes off-road snow lights. You need aftermarket lighting that gives you plenty of light, properly focused and aimed, in the form of light bars, fog lights, and pods that customize your vehicle for extreme conditions.

Off-Road Snow Lights

There is no single “correct” off-road snow light build. The best off-road lights are always the ones that fit your budget and driving needs. There are a few great places to get started, however.

Fog Lamps

Fog lights are usually mounted in your bumper underneath your headlights. Low to the ground, they project light forward underneath hanging clouds of fog, or in the case of snow driving, under the bright flurries that reflect back normal-headlight-height illumination. This gives them the perfect angle to light the roadway immediately in front of you while keeping that light low enough to reduce the risk of blinding oncoming drivers. 

Black Ford Raptor with ORA triple bezel fog light kit installed

Our Raptor Triple Bezel Fog Kits helped build our reputation in the off-roading community as one of the top aftermarket performance parts suppliers in the country. Designed to create a finished OEM-quality appearance when mounted in the Ford Raptor’s unique bumper cutouts, these kits are powered by some of the best lighting brands in the business. Featuring light pods and cubes from the likes of Baja Designs , Diode Dynamics , or RIGID Industries , you’re getting efficient, bright LED light delivered right where you need it for safer off-roading. 

Light Bars

The lightbar is an iconic part of creating a custom truck or SUV with an “off-roading” appearance. Traditional light bars featured multiple round bulbs arrayed across a roof or bumper-mounted bar. While modern LED light bars are still available in this traditional configuration, straight bar-style housings are becoming more common due to their low profile that offers less opportunity for damage from road or trail debris. The important thing to remember when choosing off-road snow light bars is that longer bars will perform better than shorter ones simply from having a wider area of light projection.

The RIGID Adapt 50-inch LED Light Bar gives you a broad projection area that throws plenty of light in eight selectable patterns to let you tailor the output for the best driving experience. It also features their innovative Adapt mode that can adjust your lights with the speed of the vehicle, offering illumination that reaches further as your speeds increase but also lowers output at slower speeds for improved safety. Performance is adjustable for flood, driving, and area lighting, giving you a powerful tool that is flexible enough to use as an off-road snow light when called for and a general-purpose driving light the rest of the time.


Light pods are versatile supplemental lights that give you almost unlimited customization options to find the best off-road light solution for your truck or SUV. They can be mounted on bars, pillars, racks, bumpers, and more. Comprised of multiple LED bulbs in a single housing, they are efficient options when you have a limited budget or just need a little more light for specific applications.

Baja Designs is one of the top innovators in off-road light pods, offering multiple sizes to fit a variety of needs and mounting options. The Baja Designs LP6 is one of their most popular, featuring six bright LED bulbs in an impact-resistant, waterproof, and submersible housing that’s as tough as they come. They provide 5000k-quality light that mimics real daylight to reduce eyestrain and focus the light output through changeable optics that are available in both clear and amber colors. The Amber driving/combo light gives you an eye-friendly yellow-hued light that offers a good balance of closeup light to identify hazards and mid-range light to keep you moving down the trail.

Supporting Supplemental Illumination

Your off-road snow lights will increase the power drain on your vehicle. Upgrading your electrical system makes sure you have the power and the control you need to stay safe and charged up out in the field. 

Second Battery

While modern LED lights are efficient, when you get enough of them, they can still drain your system. Adding a second battery gives you increased power storage capacity not just for the best off-road lights but also for other electrical accessories like communications equipment, refrigerators, and supplemental heaters. Second battery setups like the Genesis Offroad DIY 4Runner Kit let you securely mount a high-performance off-road battery and wire it into your electrical system.

Switches and Controls

Some aftermarket lights can be wired into existing circuits, while others come with a controller of their own. The problem is that you may not always want your off-road snow lights on, and the cab can quickly become both crowded and confusing as supplemental control panels start to add up, each intended for only one or two light sources. The Switch-Pros SP-9100 gives you a sharp-looking, illuminated system that routes all your lights into one effective and easy-to-read panel. This makes it easy to control which lights you’re using and when.

Not Sure Where To Start?

There are a lot of lighting options out there–both in vehicle-specific designs and for universal fitment. Finding the best off-road snow lights can be challenging, but you always have a team of experienced off-road experts ready to help. Whether you need more information about a part you’re considering, installation advice, or help planning your lighting upgrades and the electrical system modifications that go with them, we’ve got you covered. There’s a pro ready by the phone to help you days, nights, and weekends. Get the off-road snow lights you need, backed by old-school service from Offroad Alliance today.

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