Close up picture of one cool looking headlight on a white SUV.

Interior and Exterior Truck Lighting Ideas

If you’re looking for truck lighting ideas to give your ride a major upgrade, you’re in the right spot. Whether you’re looking for truck exterior lighting ideas or truck interior lighting ideas, there are endless ways to customize your truck with aftermarket parts and accessories to create a look that’s entirely unique. You can make your truck stand out on the road, while also adding extra elements of safety. When you shop RECON for all your truck aftermarket lighting needs, you get style and function all in one.

As truck lovers ourselves, we are always searching for the newest, most innovative lighting techniques to make our rides stand out. Customizing your truck is like creating a masterpiece. It takes time, dedication, and the very best parts. If you’re like us, you never stop looking for truck lighting ideas that can give your truck that special edge. That’s why we have taken the time to compile the ultimate list of truck lighting ideas all in one spot. Below, find a comprehensive overview of the very best truck exterior lighting ideas as well as the coolest truck interior lighting ideas. Once you find your favorites, head on over and browse RECON’s full selection of truck lights to find the parts you need to bring the look to life.

15 Must-See Exterior Truck Lighting Ideas

When you think of truck lighting ideas, it’s likely that your mind automatically drifts toward the major installations on your vehicle. The headlights and tail lights, for example. While customizing these major installations definitely provides a major upgrade to your truck, there are smaller details that can also make a huge difference in regard to your vehicle’s appearance. Adding aftermarket truck lighting to your ride doesn’t have to be extremely expensive or labor intensive. In fact, there are many lighting upgrades you can make with just the parts themselves and minimal hand tools. You can add a new addition to your truck’s lighting system in just a matter of minutes, getting your new parts and accessories up and running and ready to show off on the road.

1. LED Under Body/Rock Lights

Adding LED under body/rock lights to your truck gives you the opportunity to truly customize your vehicle. Available in almost every color you can imagine, you can build a look that’s unlike any other. They illuminate the ground beneath your vehicle as well as the under carriage and wheel wells. Whether you want red, blue, green, or a clean bright white light, you can find an under body LED light kit to match your style. You can even mix and match lights, putting one color on the front and one on the back, or get extra creative and choose a different color for every wheel well. Whatever you’re feeling, you can make it happen.

2. Add LED Light Strips to Your Running Board

Another easy way to customize your truck, which is both fairly inexpensive and simple to complete, is to add an LED light strip to your truck’s running board on both the driver and passenger sides. LED light strips come in endless colors, so again you can customize the look to your heart’s desire. Additionally, you can find LED light strips in different sizes, so you can create unique patterns. Not only does adding an LED light strip to your running board look awesome, but it provides an extra element of safety, illuminating the step when it’s dark out and decreasing the chance of slips and falls.

3. Add LED Light Strips to Your Truck Bed

Another one of our favorite truck lighting ideas here at RECON is to add LED light strips to your truck’s bed. You can add the lights virtually anywhere, whether you want them spanning the sides, below your rearview windshield, or on the bottom of the bed itself. Some drivers use flexible LED strips to highlight the top of the wheel wells in the bed.

4. LED Tail Gate Bars

You can also use LED strips, or purchase an LED tail gate bar, to add some light to the back of your truck’s exterior. This is another truck lighting idea that provides safety as well as style. You can choose to span the full width of your tail gate with a long LED tail gate bar, or just illuminate portions with mini LED tail gate bars. Whatever suits your style.

5. Add LED Light Strips to Your Front Grill

The amazing thing about flexible LED light strips is that they can go almost anywhere on your truck. Available in so many sizes, you can fit a light strip wherever you are looking for a pop of color and light. Many drivers choose to light up the grill of their truck using neon colors such as red, blue, and green.

6. Get an Illuminated Emblem

If you’re decking out your ride with LED light strips and under body lights, complete the look with an illuminated emblem. You can match the colors, or choose another to contrast. Illuminated emblems show off the pride you have in the MAKE and MODEL of your vehicle, while also looking awesome.

7. Upgrade to Strobing Cab Roof Lights

Whether you have a set of OEM factory installed cab roof lights and are looking for an upgrade or currently don’t have any and are interested in making the addition to your truck, grab a set that comes with a strobing light feature. The strobe function adds the ultimate flare to your truck, catching the attention of passersby well into the distance.

8. Upgrade to Projector Headlights

We know that sometimes you’re looking for a major upgrade–to give your truck a facelift. What better way to up your truck lighting game than to install a set of brand new projector headlights? They offer superior performance when compared to their traditional reflector headlight counterparts, providing better safety on the road. And, they come in a wide variety of styles so you can pick the part that matches the look of your truck.

9. Install LED Tail Lights

Once you make the switch to projector headlights, it only makes sense to upgrade your tail lights as well. LED tail lights are brighter than halogen tail lights, emitting a cleaner and brighter light that other drivers can see further in the distance. With features that include a blind spot warning system and strobing LED turn signals, they can make a truck that is years old look like it’s fresh off the lot.

10. Illuminate Your License Plate

Still, if you’re looking to keep it simple while searching for truck lighting ideas, but want to add major style to your vehicle, consider purchasing an illuminated license plate frame. You can keep it basic and straightforward, with lighting that shines on your license plate only, or go for an accessory that has all the bells and whistles. Find an illuminated license plate frame that comes complete with reverse lights and brake lights for extra safety.

11. Add Color Strobe Lights

You may have seen strobe lights in white or amber, and those are great options. However, you can also customize your truck with strobe lights that come in a variety of other colors, such as blue or red. Mount them on top of your truck or SUV with brackets and control them with an in-cab module so you can light up the night whenever the feeling strikes.

12. Get a Set of Driving Lights

Even if your truck didn’t come with OEM factory installed driving lights, you can mount a set of universal driving lights on the front for better nighttime vision. This is an essential truck lighting idea for any driver who likes to go off-road. Whether you take your truck or SUV mudding down dimly lit paths in the woods, or like to park your truck or SUV by your favorite out-of-the-way fishing spot, driving lights are a must-have.

13. Get Colorful Bed Rail LED Lights

If you’re not into the idea of using flexible LED light strips to illuminate the bed of your truck, there’s another excellent option. Bed rail LED lights also come in a variety of colors, and there are even models that provide you with the ability to select the color LED you want to shine at any given moment. Control the color and activation of your cargo bed LEDs with a handheld remote and turn them on whenever you need some extra light in the back.

14. Upgrade to an LED 3rd Brake Light

Once you make the switch to LED tail lights on your truck, the difference in light quality will be clear to see. In fact, you’ll probably love the look so much that your 3rd brake light won’t even compare. If that’s the case, it’s time to upgrade to an LED 3rd brake light to match the style.

4 Must-See Truck Interior Lighting Ideas

After you have the exterior of your truck decked out, it’s likely that you’ll notice the interior could use a few upgrades as well. There are just as many truck interior lighting ideas and ways to customize your ride. Again, flexible LED light strips provide the perfect opportunity to personalize the inside of your vehicle, as you can fix them virtually anywhere.

1. Fix LED Light Strips to the Door Sills

To give the inside of your truck a major burst of light, in whatever color you choose, run LED light strips along the interior of the door sills along the floor. You can set the lights to activate when you turn the dome lights on in your vehicle.

2. Light Up Your Truck’s Footwells

You can also use flexible LED light strips to add a personal touch below the glove box and under the steering wheel of your vehicle. The lights will cast a soft, ambient light on the floor of your vehicle in the color of your choice.

3. Upgrade to LED Dome Lights

If you do a lot of driving at night, the chances are that the traditional halogen lightbulbs in your dome lights just aren’t cutting it. The light can appear dull or hazy, and it doesn’t reach the deepest nooks and crannies and hard to see spots. When you upgrade your interior dome lights to LED bulbs that becomes a problem of the past. Get crisp, clear, ultra-high powered light all throughout your vehicle when you make the switch.

4. Choose LEDs with a Strobe Function

While you won’t want to activate the LED strobe function while you’re driving, having the setting option on your interior lights can make your vehicle stand out at the next local truck meet. Open your doors and select the strobe pattern of your choice, and watch as everyone in the lot flocks to your truck to see your aftermarket truck interior lightings ideas.

Tips for Installing LED Light Strips

There are many amazing things about LED light strips that make them an excellent way to customize the lighting in and on your truck. First, they are relatively inexpensive, while offering a vast amount of options to choose from. You can find flexible LED light strips in virtually every color and every size, and they don’t require extensive tools or hard labor to install. You can get flexible LED light strips up and running in just a matter of minutes while giving your truck a whole new look.

LED lights are extremely long-lasting, meaning that you won’t have to worry about replacing them frequently. Additionally, they are durable and impact resistant, which means they’re sure to last through whatever you and your truck go through together. They also don’t pull a lot of power from your truck’s battery, which is great news for drivers who like to keep their vehicles in accessory mode while they show off their truck lighting ideas to friends and family.

You can find LED light strips with dimmer controls, color rotation, strobing features, and more to truly customize the inside or outside of your truck. Here are a few things to keep in mind when installing LED light strips and using them for all your truck lighting ideas.

  • It’s best to keep your LED lighting visible only as ambient lighting, otherwise, it may cause eye strain. This is true for truck interior lighting ideas as well as exterior lighting purposes. For example, fasten the light strips under the railing of your truck’s cargo bed so the bulbs are not directly visible.
  • Space your lights out evenly, and use an equal number of lights on each side of the vehicle for a balance and symmetrical appearance. This will keep your truck looking neat and fresh.
  • Make sure you thoroughly clean the area of the truck you are fixing lights to before installation.
  • You can secure LED strip lights to many areas of your truck using zip-ties. This is generally a safer method than using adhesive strips that may be vulnerable to the heat your truck produces while driving.
  • Ensure that the LED light strip wiring is long enough to reach your module box for connection. If not, you may need to purchase extension wires.
  • Keep lights away from any moving area of your vehicle or any area that gets hot during operation.
  • Make sure your module box is also in a safe area, particularly an area that will not get wet.

Ambient Interior Lighting

Another popular choice among those looking for truck interior lighting ideas is to opt for customized ambient lighting. While this can be a more intense undertaking than adhering LED light strips in a few key areas, many drivers swear that it makes all the difference.

Ambient lighting is a cohesive lighting theme that highlights aspects of your truck’s interior for a purely cosmetic purpose. That is, while it isn’t legally necessary and it doesn’t pose any safety features, it makes the inside of your truck look amazing. Ambient lighting is a soft glow that showcases your truck’s center console, cup holders, door handles and door sills, and the dashboard. You can also illuminate areas such as the air vents, or opt for an illuminated emblem on your steering wheel. The possibilities are truly endless.

If you’re going for an ambient lighting look, it is best to stick with one color and keep it consistent throughout the interior of your truck. This provides a cohesive, clean look. However, some drivers do like to switch it up and may opt for patterns such as one color for the driver’s side and one for the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Or, you can get a light kit that comes complete with a control module that allows you to switch the color of the lights as you wish.

How to Pick the Best Lighting

With so many truck lighting ideas, it can be challenging to know where to start. We suggest you start with one small project or area of your vehicle to upgrade at a time. For example, you may wish to install LED tail lights, an LED 3rd brake light, and an illuminated license plate frame at the same time so that the back of your truck gets a whole new look at once.

Or, you may choose to focus on the interior and choose an ambient lighting theme and replace your dome lights with new LED bulbs for brighter light and more power. Whichever option you choose, you can’t go wrong. After you finish one area of your truck, select your next project, and move on from there.

By the time you’re done adding custom truck lighting ideas to your vehicle, it will look like you have a whole new ride. You will have a truck that is truly unlike any other driver’s on the road.

Lighting That Shows Your Truck Pride

Another great way that you can customize the lighting on your truck is to select branded accessories, that show off the pride you have in your MAKE and MODEL vehicle. For example, consider getting illuminated door sills that show the MAKE and MODEL of your truck, or lights that will display the logo of your vehicle on the surrounding pavement when you open your doors.

Shop RECON Today

RECON is the one-stop-shop for all your aftermarket truck and SUV lighting needs. We have everything you need to upgrade your ride, ranging from major installations such as projector headlights down to the smallest details that make all the difference like replacement bulbs.

Additionally, RECON offers customers a limited warranty on most items and provides free online installation guides to help you on your journey to building a better truck. We also have a dedicated technical support team, separate from our general customer service line, who is standing by and ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the installation process or function of your new aftermarket truck parts.

When you shop RECON, you become part of the family for life. We’re fellow truck lovers, just like you. For this reason, we stock parts that fit truck and SUV MODELS dating back to the mid-1990s along with a huge collection of universal parts. We believe that no truck is ever too old or too new to customize to your liking. You’ll find everything you need right here at RECON.