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The Purpose of Truck Cab Lights

White pick-up truck with amber cab roof lights at night.

While they look awesome, many drivers don’t know cab lights‘ purpose. They are legally mandated on specific vehicles, and if you’re wondering whether or not you need them, finding yourself asking “What are cab lights for on a truck?” there is more to it than meets the eye.

At RECON, we sell premier LED cab roof lights for Ford trucks, Dodge Rams,  Chevy and GMC trucks, as well as the Hummer H2. Your truck may not meet the legal requirements to have cab lights installed by the manufacturer, which is where we come in. We have the best selection of aftermarket truck cab lights on the market, and they look way better than any OEM factory-installed part ever could.

Keep reading to learn more about cab lights’ purpose, and a quick bit about how to install truck cab lights at the end.

What Are Cab Lights for on a Truck?

Trucks over a certain size must have cab roof lights, as per the government. You frequently see them on large pick-up trucks, and tractor trailers. Trucks that are more than 80-inches wide are mandated to have cab roof lights.

The cab lights’ purpose is to alert oncoming traffic that an over-sized vehicle is approaching. This can be especially helpful at night on roads that are not very well lit, as well as on roads that do not have a median or divider. They can serve as a way to let drivers know it may be a good idea to move over to allow a safe amount of room for a truck to pass.

But, there are a few reasons to install truck cab lights even if the law does not require it.

Truck Cab Lights Enhance Your Look

When you check out the photos of RECON’s LED cab roof lights, you’ll see for yourself that they make your vehicle stand out. And, unlike when you get factory-installed truck cab lights, you have a variety of choices.

Personalize your truck to match your style. If you’re looking for amber lights, white lights, a smoked lens, or a clear lens, there are truck cab lights out there for you. If you’re in the process of upgrading your truck, there is no better time than now to install a set for the final touch of “wow.”

Your cab lights’ purpose will be to let everyone know you’re arriving in style, making a statement that you’re not like the rest. They’re great to show off at a local truck meet, but they’re also practical and functional. Truck cab lights give drivers the best of both worlds.

How to Install Truck Cab Lights

If your truck came with OEM factory-installed headlights, but they aren’t the look you’re going for, you can easily find a set to replace them. Most truck cab lights come with complete wiring kits and hardware and you will only need minor hand tools to complete an assembly.

But if your truck did not come with cab roof lights, that doesn’t mean that you have to go without. In fact, they will make a great upgrade to your truck and can transform your entire look, again, without any major work to your vehicle.

Buy a Complete Truck Cab Light Kit

Either way, we recommend making sure that the set you purchase does come with all the necessary parts. These parts include the light lenses, the light bulbs, the necessary wiring, and any hardware you will need to complete the installation. This way, you won’t have to go searching the internet for parts that you hope are compatible. You will have everything in one place once your order arrives.

Steps to Install Truck Cab Lights

When you buy at RECON, we supply customers with installation guides that break things down step-by-step and have technical support technicians that are available by phone to answer any questions you may have.

There are several key steps for how to install truck cab lights:

  • If you already have OEM factory-installed lights, carefully remove all components.
  • If you do not have OEM factory-installed lights, you will likely need to drill small holes in the top of your truck roof to fix the lights to the top securely and route wiring through the truck’s electrical system.
  • Ensure that the roof of your truck is cleaned off, with no dirt, debris, or residue in the area you will be placing the lights.
  • You will likely need to remove the interior fabric on the roof of your car in order to properly access the wiring.
  • Make sure that you space the truck cab lights out at even intervals on your roof.
  • Ensure that the truck cab lights are in the proper position- they should sit flat on your roof, not face out at a horizontal angle.
  • If you have OEM factory-installed lights, you will know where to place your new, upgraded set.
  • Once you have everything in position, ensure that you connect the wiring correctly, as per the instruction guide.
  • Once everything is connected, turn the power on in your truck to ensure that each light is working properly, that there is no flickering, etc.
  • If you chose strobing truck cab lights check the strobing function.

Choosing the Right Truck Cab Lights

Whether you need an installation for the legal cab lights’ purpose or are looking to make a statement with an aftermarket installation, there are several things to consider when choosing the right set.

We recommend purchasing a set with LED bulbs, as they will produce a brighter light that people will see further in the distance, compared to traditional OEM halogen or incandescent lightbulbs. Additionally, LED bulbs last much longer and are more durable so it’s less likely that you will have to replace them as frequently.

Select the color cab lights you would like, the type of lens (smoked or clear), as well as whether you would like them to have a strobing option. Here at RECON, we have them all.

Once you decide the look you’re going for, all that’s left to do is purchase. Complete the quick installation, and your truck will be lit in no time.

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How Long Do HID Bulbs Last And Other Facts

GMC pick-up truck with HID headlights

Two of the most common questions our technical support representatives hear at RECON are regarding “how long do HID bulbs last?” and “why are HID bulbs so expensive?” It is true that HID light bulbs are more expensive than their traditional halogen counterparts, however, they are well worth the investment. HID light bulbs are more technologically advanced, being a newer type of bulb to the market. They pose many benefits for drivers, last longer than traditional headlight bulbs, and offer superior function. HID headlight bulbs are quickly becoming the lighting option of choice for truck lovers everywhere.

How Long Do HID Bulbs Last?

HID headlight bulbs last up to six times longer compared to halogen bulbs. This is a significant benefit to many drivers, as it means less frequent replacement and less worry about the bulbs burning out. Drivers can often go years without needing to replace HID headlight bulbs, making them a convenient and worthwhile purchase option.

The lifespan of your average halogen headlight bulb is just 500 to 1,000 hours, while HIDs last between 2,000 and 3,000 hours. There are other headlight bulbs on the market that last longer than HIDs. Xenon bulbs may last up to 10,000 hours, while LED headlight bulbs can last for up to 30,000 hours. However, every type of bulb will not work with every headlight installation or meet your unique needs as a driver so it is crucial to look at the pros and cons of each before you make a decision on which to buy.

When asking how long do HID bulbs last, it is crucial to know that their lifespan is closely connected to how many times you power on the bulbs. While the longevity of other types of bulbs may depend on running hours, HIDs depends on how often you use them. If you make frequent short trips at night, they are not likely to last as long.

The Benefits of HID Headlight Bulbs

With so many options for headlight bulbs, truck lovers often wonder about the benefits of buying HIDs specifically. HID bulbs produce a better quality of light compared to traditional halogen headlights, emitting a blue/white light that provides a better line of vision at night and in inclement weather. They perform better in bad weather compared to halogen bulbs and also draw less power from your truck’s battery while they are running.

HID headlights produce more than 3,000 lumens which are more than twice as many lumens as traditional halogen headlight bulbs. This makes the light from HID bulbs brighter and more efficient. The light from an HID headlight installation will reach further into the distance than halogen bulbs, will provide a greater scope of coverage in your peripherals, and provide even and focused illumination. HID headlights are said the be among the brightest lights on the market. They are also considered to have the whitest light and the best reach. Additionally, HIDs have a better selection on the color spectrum. Drivers can choose bulbs ranging from 3,000K to 30,000K while LED lights generally only offer options ranging from 3,000K to 10,000K.

If you frequently drive at night or in poor weather, HID bulbs are the ones you want, and if you live in a colder climate where it frequently snows HIDs are also the best bulb for you. This is because HID bulbs emit light in the infra-red spectrum. Infra-red light can help melt frost, snow, and ice off the lenses of your headlights in bad weather. LED lights do not emit this type of light and are therefore not beneficial to melting away debris in the winter months.

Cons of HID Headlight Bulbs

While there are many benefits to buying HID headlight bulbs for your truck, they may not be the best choice for you under certain circumstances. Many people ask “why are HID bulbs so expensive?” and the reality is that they do cost more than traditional halogen bulbs. For this reason, if you don’t do a lot of driving at night and don’t require the maximum power HID lightbulbs provide, they may not be the best option for you as a driver. Economically, they may not make sense.

Additionally, aftermarket HID installation kits are not street legal in every state. It is crucial that you check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to see if there are restrictions where you live.

Other potential disadvantages to using HID headlight bulbs include the fact that they generally do not perform as well as other types of lights in foggy weather. This is due to the blue hue of the light that the bulbs emit, which gets scattered in the fog. When this happens the light can reflect back towards your eyes, instead of penetrating the water droplets and providing the illumination you need. If you frequently drive in foggy weather HID headlight bulbs may not be right for you.

Advances in Automotive Lighting Technology

Why are HID bulbs so expensive compared to halogen bulbs? Part of the answer lies in the technological advances that have created HID headlights over the years. Halogen lightbulbs have existed since the 1880s. They are not a new technology and therefore are very easy and quick to manufacture. As long as cars and trucks have had headlights, halogen bulbs have been the installation of choice.

HID lightbulbs, however, are much newer compared to these traditional halogen components. HID lights first came to use in the 1990s, more than 100 years after halogen bulbs. It’s said that the first car to ever use HID installations was the BMW 7 series, but their use has grown in popularity ever since. First widely used in luxury car brands, now drivers everywhere have access to HID technology.

What to Do about Worn Out Headlights

Whether you have halogen headlight bulbs, HID bulbs, or LED bulbs, there will likely come a time when you do need to replace them. Headlight bulbs may break, burn out, or start to fade over time. While a halogen bulb is the most likely to simply burn out and require a sudden replacement, with HID bulbs you may notice that their power begins to fade over time.

HID bulbs lose approximately 70% of their power over their lifespan, meaning they will not provide the same quality of life as they did before. When you notice your lights starting to dim, it is best to replace them as soon as possible before they burn out to avoid being down a headlight on the road. Not only can losing a headlight bulb negatively impact your vision, but you may receive a traffic ticket from law enforcement as well.

If you currently have a halogen headlight installation and are looking for an upgrade, considering purchasing an HID conversion kit. Even if your truck came with halogen bulbs installed from the manufacturer, the process to convert your headlight installation so that it is compatible with HID lightbulbs is not complicated and does not require too much time. In fact, you should only need minor hand tools and the proper ballasts and wiring components to get up and running.

Make the Switch to HID Bulbs

If your truck is still using halogen headlight bulbs, make the switch to a set of newer, brighter, longer-lasting HID bulbs today. Many drivers wonder if it’s worth it and ask “how long do HID bulbs last?” The answer makes them well worth your while, as they have a lifespan that is up to six times greater compared to those traditional halogen bulbs. Additionally, many ask “why are HID bulbs so expensive?” However, when you see the difference in performance you will see that they are worth the investment.

HID bulbs offer many advantages over halogen bulbs, providing better sight at night and in poor weather. This is crucial for many truck drivers who demand the very best from their vehicles. Making the switch to HID bulbs is easier than you think–there is often no major work that needs to be done and a simple version kit will do the trick.

When you purchase HID lights, you will see that the difference is like night and day. Get ready to see further into the distance, with greater peripheral vision, and a clearer line of sight. Best of all, you likely will not have to worry about replacing the bulbs for years to come. You will get many miles out of your new installation and your truck will get the fresh upgrade it deserves.

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Most Popular LED Lighting Upgrades for Ford Truck Owners in Florida

truck upgrades in florida

If you’re a lover of trucks in Florida or looking for Ford truck upgrades, LED lighting is the perfect place to start. Aftermarket LED light upgrades provide you with many benefits, in addition to looking awesome. By selecting a variety of different parts, you can create a look that stands out like no other truck on the road.

Here at RECON, the options are limitless. Projector headlights, LED tail lights, 3rd brake lights, bed lights, puddle lights, and more. There is no LED aftermarket truck light that you can’t find. Available in a variety of styles and colors, our Ford truck upgrades give you a distinct appearance.

Check out some of the most popular LED lighting upgrades for trucks in Florida below, and get some ideas for how to customize your ride. Continue reading Most Popular LED Lighting Upgrades for Ford Truck Owners in Florida

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The Most Popular Types of Trucks in Texas

texas trucks

For all the Texas truck lovers out there, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular trucks in Texas. Not only that, but there are some great ways that you can customize your truck to be sure you stand out from the crowd. It’s no secret that trucks in Texas are extremely popular. RECON truck accessories provide the opportunity to help make your vehicle look even more rugged, more robust, and cooler than ever, so yours looks unique. Continue reading The Most Popular Types of Trucks in Texas

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Do My Truck’s LED or HID Headlights Blind Other Drivers?

Truck LED headlights close up.

The question many drivers have is whether or not their aftermarket truck headlights blind other drivers. If you’ve recently installed HID and LED headlights, you know that they’re much brighter compared to the traditional halogen bulbs. So are they blinding to other drivers on the road?

Road safety always comes first, so while you may be able to see what’s ahead of you better with your new aftermarket truck headlights, you want to ensure that other drivers can maintain a proper line of vision as well. It all comes down to the quality and the positioning of your bulbs.

The Problem with Poor Quality Aftermarket Truck Headlights

One of the biggest mistakes that truck owners make is purchasing HID or LED headlights that are poor quality, usually in hopes of saving money. HID and LED lights do tend to be more expensive than their halogen counterparts, but with good reason. Not only do the aftermarket truck headlights have a much longer lifespan than traditional halogen bulbs, but they provide a much better quality of light too.

If you try to skimp on the bulbs, you may be sacrificing quality and putting other drivers in danger. It’s important to always purchase your aftermarket truck headlights from a reputable, professional brand to ensure that you’re getting the best quality lights possible.

Poor Quality Bulbs Can Be Too Bright

While the purpose of HID and LED headlights is to provide better illumination, when you purchase poor quality bulbs, you may end up with a light that’s too bright. When the light becomes too bright, it can pose a danger to other drivers. Those in oncoming traffic may be blinded by the lights, making it difficult for them to see what’s in front of or around them.

Drivers in front of you may suffer from the bright reflection in their rearview and side mirrors, too, causing the same effect. The effect that blinding headlights may have is why it’s essential to make sure that the aftermarket truck headlights you purchase are high quality.

The Positioning of Aftermarket Truck Headlights

If you’ve followed our install guides before, you know that a crucial part of installing HID or LED headlights is to ensure the proper positioning after installation. If your aftermarket truck headlights are angled incorrectly, they can blind other drivers.

It’s vital that when you make the switch to your new headlight bulbs, you use the proper conversion kit, which helps assure that the lights are correctly aligned. Bulbs that are aimed too high, too low, or too far off to the side will not only fail to provide you with an adequate line of vision, but they may blind other drivers as well.

The Bottom Line When It Comes to HID and LED Headlights

If you’re wondering whether or not your aftermarket truck headlights blind other drivers, you can take your truck to a shop for them to evaluate the positioning. However, if you have purchased high-quality bulbs from a reputable sale center and installed them correctly, they should not pose a risk to anyone else on the road.

If you’re looking for the perfect aftermarket truck headlights, visit RECON today and use our handy install guides or customer support representatives for all your lighting needs.