If you’re really into 4wd vehicles then it’s pretty much certain that at some point you’re going to want to add some extra lights. The manufacturers put on all the ones you need for driving around town or on a normal road, but the standard setup tends to show its weaknesses when you get a bit more adventurous. Luckily there’s a great range of extra lights available, including the classic lightbar to mount on top of your cab.
Lightbars aren’t always what you’re after though. They’re a fantastic way to throw some more light out in front when you’re driving, but sometimes they can be slight overkill. On the other hand sometimes you want a tightly focused beam of light and bars tend to be more of a flood. That’s where spotlights can come in handy. They have other uses too of course. Many 4wd and Ute owners need their vehicles for work, and often have to do stuff around the tailgate or in the Ute bed. If you’re having to do that in the dark you don’t want to be struggling with flashlights, and a couple of mounted spotlights shining down into your work area are going to be very welcome.
If you decide spotlights are for you, the first thing you need to decide is what sort of beam you want. Narrower beams light up a smaller area but give usable brightness at a longer distance; they’re ideal as extra driving lights. A wider beam is better for giving bright light over a larger area, which is perfect if you have fiddly work to do. You also need to think about what type of lamps you prefer, although these days we’d recommend LED lights for almost everyone. They’re more reliable than traditional bulbs or HID lamps and use less energy too.
How do you plan to mount your spotlights? There are loads of options here. If you want them as driving lights you’ll probably be looking at fitting them to your bumper, bullbars or cab roof. You’ll need to make sure you have a rock solid mounting for them, because any vibration is going to be obvious and even distracting. Work lights could be at the rear corners of a Ute cab or above the door on a 4wd wagon, and you have a choice of fixed or easily adjustable mountings so you can make sure the light falls exactly where you need it.
Fitting spotlights is a job that most people can do themselves, with a bit of research helping out if you’ve never done anything like that before. The main point to remember is never to drill until you’re sure you’ve picked a good mounting location and you’re not going to damage anything important. Pay attention to detail when wiring your new lights into the vehicle’s electrical harness, too. Make sure your setup is within the law and isn’t going to overload any fuses. Don’t forget the battery either. As you add more electrical accessories to your vehicle the battery is going to start to struggle. So keep track of the total current drain and consider going to a dual battery setup if you haven’t already.
Spotlights are a great accessory and there’s a huge range available. You’ll definitely be able to find something that does the job for you. Just work out what you need and how to fit it, and you’ll have them set up in no time.