What are Puddle Lights and What is Their Purpose?
Eugene Madondo

What are Puddle Lights and What is Their Purpose?

Puddle lights are a feature on some vehicles designed to improve safety and convenience. These are small lights installed on the underside of car doors or side mirrors. When the door is opened or the vehicle is unlocked (often remotely), these lights illuminate the ground around the doors. The primary purposes of puddle lights are:

  • Visibility: They light up the area near the vehicle's doors, helping occupants see where they are stepping as they enter or exit the vehicle. This is especially useful in dark conditions, reducing the risk of stepping into puddles, ice, or other hazards that might cause slips or falls.
  • Safety: By illuminating the vehicle's immediate surroundings, puddle lights can also make the vehicle more visible to passing pedestrians and drivers, reducing the risk of accidents in parking lots or on the roadside.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Many manufacturers design puddle lights to enhance the vehicle's appearance. Some even project the brand's logo or other patterns on the ground, adding a touch of elegance and personalized style.
  • Convenience: For vehicles equipped with keyless entry systems, puddle lights can automatically activate, making it easier for drivers to locate door handles and keyholes in the dark.

Overall, puddle lights blend functionality with aesthetics, offering practical benefits while also serving as a stylish accessory for modern vehicles.

Ford 09-14 F150 & 10-15 RAPTOR Ultra High Power LED Mirror/Puddle Light Kit RED

Can you put puddle lights on any car?

Yes, you can install puddle lights on virtually any car, even if it did not come with them from the factory. There are aftermarket kits available for this purpose. Installing puddle lights involves a few steps and considerations:

Choosing the Right Puddle Lights

  • Compatibility: Ensure the lights are compatible with your vehicle's make and model.
  • Brightness and Color: Choose lights that provide sufficient illumination. Some regions have regulations on the color of exterior lights, so check local laws.
  • Design: Some puddle lights project a simple light spot, while others can project logos or designs. Select according to your preference.

Installation Options

  1. Professional Installation: For those not comfortable with automotive electrical systems, professional installation is recommended. A professional can ensure the lights are correctly wired and integrated without interfering with other vehicle systems.
  2. DIY Installation: If you have experience with car electronics, you might opt for a do-it-yourself installation. Most kits come with instructions. Basic steps typically involve:
    • Mounting the lights to the underside of the door or side mirrors.
    • Wiring the lights to the vehicle’s electrical system, often connecting them to the interior light circuit so they turn on with the door or with the unlock signal.
    • Ensuring the wiring is secure and protected from the elements to avoid short circuits.


  • Power Source: Puddle lights need to be connected to a power source that is activated with the car doors or with the remote unlock feature. This often involves tapping into the vehicle's existing door or interior light wiring.
  • Waterproofing: Ensure the lights and wiring are waterproof to avoid damage.
  • Legal Compliance: Verify that the installation complies with local vehicle equipment regulations, especially concerning light color and intensity.

Tools and Materials

You might need various tools and materials for installation, including wiring kits, electrical tape, wire strippers, and possibly a drill for mounting the lights.

While adding puddle lights to any car is generally feasible, careful planning and adherence to vehicle electrical principles are crucial to ensure a safe and effective upgrade.

When should puddle lights come on?

Puddle lights are designed to enhance visibility and safety when entering or exiting a vehicle, and their activation is typically tied to specific actions related to the vehicle's doors or its remote access system. Here's when puddle lights usually come on:

  • Unlocking the Vehicle: Most commonly, puddle lights are activated when the vehicle is unlocked, either by using the key fob or a keyless entry system. This provides immediate ground illumination, helping occupants safely find their way to the vehicle in dark conditions.
  • Opening the Door: Puddle lights can also come on when any of the vehicle’s doors are opened. This feature ensures that the area around the doors is well-lit, allowing for safe entry or exit by illuminating potential hazards on the ground.
  • Locking the Vehicle: In some vehicles, the puddle lights may briefly illuminate when the vehicle is locked, serving as a visual confirmation that the vehicle has been secured. They usually turn off automatically after a short delay.
  • Approaching the Vehicle: Some advanced systems equipped with keyless entry may activate the puddle lights when the key fob is within a certain proximity to the vehicle, even before the vehicle is unlocked. This feature adds convenience and safety as it lights up the area around the vehicle as the owner approaches.

The exact behavior of puddle lights can vary depending on the vehicle's make, model, and the settings configured by the owner or manufacturer. Some vehicles allow owners to customize the behavior of puddle lights through the vehicle's onboard settings menu, including their brightness and duration of illumination.

Why you should consider RECON puddle lights for your truck

RECON aftermarket LED puddle lights are a popular option for truck owners looking to enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of their vehicles. These lights are designed to replace or supplement the existing puddle lights or to be added to trucks that didn't come with factory-installed puddle lights. Here's why they are considered a good option for truck owners:

Enhanced Visibility

  • Bright Illumination: RECON LED puddle lights are known for their high brightness. LED technology ensures that these lights provide clear, bright illumination, making it easier for drivers and passengers to see the ground when entering or exiting the truck, especially in dark conditions.

Durability and Quality

  • LED Efficiency: LEDs are highly energy-efficient, which means they draw less power from the truck's electrical system compared to traditional bulbs. This efficiency contributes to their longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacements.
  • Built to Last: RECON lights are typically designed with durability in mind, featuring waterproof and impact-resistant construction. This makes them well-suited for trucks, which may often be used in rugged or harsh weather conditions.

Aesthetic Appeal

  • Custom Looks: These lights can add a custom, high-end look to a truck.
  • Clean, Modern Look: LED lights offer a clean, white light, which can modernize the look of any truck. This is a stark contrast to the yellowish hue of traditional halogen bulbs.

Easy Installation

  • User-Friendly: At RECON we design our LED puddle lights with the end-user in mind, ensuring that they can be installed with minimal tools and electrical knowledge. Many of our products are designed for plug-and-play installation, making it easy for truck owners to upgrade their vehicles without professional help.

Safety and Convenience

  • Increased Safety: By illuminating the ground around the truck, these lights help prevent accidents by making it easier to avoid puddles, ice, or debris when getting in or out of the vehicle.
  • Convenience: The bright light provided by RECON LED puddle lights can also assist in locating the truck in a crowded parking lot or in navigating around the vehicle's exterior in the dark.


  • Wide Range of Options: RECON offers LED puddle lights for a wide variety of truck makes and models, ensuring that most truck owners can find a set that fits their vehicle.

Choosing RECON aftermarket LED puddle lights is often about balancing aesthetics, functionality, and safety. These lights are not just about making a truck look more attractive; they also contribute to the safety and convenience of the vehicle, making them a popular choice among truck enthusiasts and those looking for practical upgrades to their vehicles.