Best Underglow Kits: Make Your Car Stand Out at Night
Give your car a more vibrant appearance with these underglow kits
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PUBLISHED ON August 20, 2019
If you want to upgrade your car and make your ride look fancy at night, then consider fitting underglow lights in your undercarriage. They’re not just about making your car look cool. They also help light up the area underneath it, so it’s no wonder that they have gained popularity in recent years. If you are scouting around for the best underglow lighting kits for cars, our buying guide offers some insights on some of the top products that you should consider.
- Best OverallOPT7 Aura Strip Interior Lighting KitSummarySummaryFour-piece LED strips that flash multiple brilliant colors to the beat of your music.ProsProsDurable. Quick and easy setup. Produces brilliant, vibrant colors. Includes a wireless remote control for easy operation. Sound-active technology visualizes the beats in any song.ConsConsThe sound syncing and door assist features may not work. The lights aren’t that flexible.
- Best ValueAMBOTHER Underglow LightsSummarySummaryLED underglow light strips that can be installed almost anywhere on the car.ProsProsAffordable, lightweight and versatile LED strips. Waterproof. Wireless remote-controlled. Flashes multiple colors. Produces brilliant colors. Can be operated with remote control. Easy to install and operate.ConsConsIt’s a cheap quality product. Four strips may not be enough for large trucks. Short wiring. Not long-lasting.
- Honorable MentionXprite Car Underglow Light StripsSummarySummaryA combination of neon and LED underbody and vehicle interior lights for brilliant and vibrant lighting.ProsProsFast on and off response. Resistant to damage by road debris, water, and other road elements. Shines bright and wide. Includes a wireless remote control function for the power options and brightness levels.ConsConsThe unit develops lighting issues over time. The control box may break down with continued use. Weak adhesive tape.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy An Underglow Kit?
- Extra safety. Apart from your headlights, underbody lights can also be used to announce your presence to other drivers and pedestrians, especially during low-visibility conditions. They only glow at a limited range, but everyone on the road will be aware of where you are. They’re like an LED vest for your car.
- Customization. Underglow lights or ground effect lighting is a fancy way of accessorizing your ride to reflect your personality or mood. For example, you can make the lights flash in multiple colors to project your party mood.
- Repairs. Not only do the underglow lights enhance the look of your vehicle, they can also be used to light up the underbody whenever you need to conduct repairs or routine maintenance services.
- Efficiency. Most are made with LED bulbs that use only one-tenth of the power drawn by normal incandescent bulbs, and they are tolerant of road vibrations. A collection of the bulbs is enough to provide sufficient lighting to your car’s underbody.
- Versatility. Underglow kits can be installed on trucks, SUVs, passenger cars, performance cars, and even motorcycles. You also have the choice of installing them inside your vehicle on the doors or dashboard or on exterior parts such as the undercarriage, wheel wells, or bumper.
Types of Underglow Kits
LED Underglow Lighting
Light-emitting diodes are compact, lightweight, and energy-saving lighting systems that transmit light in a wide spectrum of colors. They are typically flexible and can fit in the nooks and crannies of almost any car. With extra wiring, LEDs can sync with your vehicle's audio system.
Neon Underglow Lighting
These lights are made of gas compressed tubes and come in over 100 colors. Neon tubes are highly customizable to meet the user's preferences and often feature sound-sync technology that synchronizes the lights to your car's audio system. However, they are fragile and most aren't designed for off-road driving.
OPT7 is an apex lighting equipment manufacturer that was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Orange County, Calif. The company was launched with the aim of making affordable and fun aftermarket lighting equipment that enhances the look of trucks and cars. OPT7 specializes in a wide line of automotive HID and LED lighting equipment for a vehicle’s interior or exterior. It comes up with a new product almost every month, and the OPT7 Aura Strip Interior Lighting Kit is one of its top-rated LED underglow kits.
XPrite is an American manufacturer of automotive lighting equipment and parts. It mostly centers its production activities around off-road LED lights and emergency warning systems. Some of its products include LED light bars, LED accent lighting, pod spotlights, and rear chase light bars. It’s an online-based retailer, and one of its best neon underglow kits for trucks is the Xprite Car Underglow Light Strips.
XKGlow is a renowned manufacturer of LED lighting equipment for the transportation and entertainment industry. It makes some of the best smartphone-controlled LED systems, motorcycle lights, marine lights, automobile replacement lights, decorative lights, off-road, and work lights. One of its best-selling underbody kits is the XKGlow Second Gen LED Undercar Light Kit.
Underglow Kit Pricing
- Under $50: Underbody kits within this price range are either neon or LED light strips that may not last long but do have great designs. The lights are capable of producing several colors that flash at intervals. A cigarette lighter or 12-volt plug can power most of the units here, and the strips come with adhesive tapes and zip ties for a secure fit on your car’s chassis.
- Over $50: Most underglow lighting kits within this range are advanced lighting systems that offer a stunning single-color lighting effect with a beam that's 150 degrees or less. They can come as a set of 10 LED bulbs that are mostly fitted under the wheel well. Most LED lights here also have an impressive lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. The lights can either be operated by a smartphone via a Bluetooth app or wireless remote control.
Size and Weight
Light strips should be long and flexible enough to go around your undercarriage and fit in your vehicle's contours to provide a better beam of light. LED or neon bulbs should be small enough to fit under the wheel well. On top of that, underglow lights should be lightweight enough to latch onto the vehicle’s body if they attach with an adhesive tape.
You need to consider the size of the light beam with any type of lighting fixture. A wide beam angle lights the asphalt below your vehicle and also illuminates the road. A unit with a beam angle of about 120 degrees will illuminate everything around your vehicle. Most light strips have a narrow beam, and the light will only be concentrated on your vehicle’s underside.
- Customization: You can choose glow lights that can change color or change the lighting mode from flashing to a steady light. It can be more fun if the lights feature a music mode and can flash according to the beats of the music playing in your car.
- Ease of Installation: The best glow lights feature a strong adhesive tape on both sides for versatility in case one side comes off. Also, the installation hardware should be easy to use.
- State Laws: When it comes to choosing underglow kits from the color output to the lighting mode, ensure that you abide by the laws in whichever state you reside. It’s important to know if it’s legal to have flashing lights and what colors can flash.
Best Underglow Kit Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: OPT7 Aura Strip Interior Lighting Kit
The OPT7 lighting kit offers a brilliant combination of SmartColor with all three primary colors to produce a vibrant hue that’s appealing to the eye. The four LED strips are flexible enough to curve around any surface and are weather resistant. The lights will stay on through a heavy downpour. Additionally, the lights feature SoundSync, a bass-activated technology that flashes lights according to the beats of your music.
The lights can be controlled with a wireless remote and are programmed with E to Z controls: multiple flashing modes, variable speed control, one-touch color selection, multi-color mode, and hardware door-assist white lighting. It will only take about five minutes to install the lights because you only need to plug in the car charger adapter and the lights will come on. The kit also comes with three different-sized adapters that can be plugged directly into your fuse box.
A major drawback of this product is that you may buy a model with a sound-syncing feature that doesn’t work at all, or it may work for some time and then the light will fade away or just change to one color. The door assist feature that’s supposed to light the LEDs when you tap the door may also not work. Moreover, the lights aren’t as flexible as most LED underbody lights.
Best Value: AMBOTHER Underglow Lights
These flexible LED lights feature four strips that can be wrapped around the four major contours of a car’s underbody. They glow with eight preset static colors and have a sound-active mode that changes color according to the beats of the music blasting from your car. New LED chips within the unit contribute to their bright and uniform lighting. The unit also features a wireless remote control that works within a 32-feet range.
These lights are waterproof and maintain their excellent performance in rainy weather. The lights are also easy to install because of their lightweight design, dual-side pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes, and the 12-volt plug that can be fitted in almost any car. They can be installed in your vehicle’s interior, undercarriage, car rear, front grille, dash, bumper, under footwells, and various other places on your vehicle.
A major downside of the lights is that they are a cheap product. They may stop working in less than a year or lose some of the lighting features like the sound-sync mode. Also, they have short wiring and may not fit around the underbody of some large trucks or SUVs. If you have a large car, you may have to install them in your interior or only on one side of your car’s exterior.
Honorable Mention: Xprite Car Underglow Light Strips
The Xprite underglow light kit produces bright and uniform neon light due to its intelligent combination of three-in-one RGB chips and high-intensity SMD LED chips. It has a durable construction with a flexible rubber tubing that’s weather resistant. It also resists damage from debris and other road conditions. The kit includes a wireless remote control that operates within a 100-foot range, and it features fast on and off lighting response and adjustability.
The unit has a multi-color function featuring four lighting effects, eight preset static colors, two preset fading patterns, and two preset jump functions. It also has four music modes that flash the light according to the rhythm of the music. The kit includes two three-foot and two four-foot LED strips, and it’s easy to install the lights anywhere in your car’s interior or exterior due to its quick-connect plug and pre-applied adhesive tape.
A major downside of the lights is that they have weak adhesive tape and after some time may get ripped off by your tires, especially when driving at high speeds. The control box may break down with time, and you may not be able to control the lighting modes. Also, some of the color-changing buttons may not change to the proper colors as the unit gets older.
- Safety comes first when installing underglow lights. Be sure to read the installation manual or watch a few online videos on how to safely install them. If you are not sure about the installation process, drive to the nearest auto shop and have a professional install them for you.
- Underglow lights may be distracting to other drivers, especially when they are flashing and it’s dark or raining. Switch off your underglow lights when you don’t need them, and maintain a steady light if you are using them for safety during low-visibility conditions.
- Do not install light strips and neon bulbs on exposed parts of your vehicle. They may get stolen. Install them where it’s almost impossible for anyone to guess where the light is coming from, and direct the bulbs downwards to enhance the underglow’s brightness even when the bulb is hidden.
Q: How long does it take to install an underglow kit?
A: If you buy the plug and play strips that connect to the 12-volt plug, then you should be able to set the lights up in less than an hour. You only have to attach the underglow kit to your car’s chassis and drill a hole to connect the cable to the power source. However, some neon lights may have complex installation processes, and it’s prudent to have a professional install them for you to avoid getting electrocuted or damaging your car’s electrical and sound system.
Q: Is it legal to drive with flashing lights?
A: It’s illegal in some states for a civilian to drive with flashing lights. Also, be aware of flashing restricted colors such as red and blue. These colors are limited to police and emergency services. Don’t use flashing lights until you confirm that its legal in your state.
Q: Can I install an underglow kit on a motorcycle?
A: It’s possible but LED or neon bulbs are more space-efficient on a motorcycle than LED strips. Pick a model with a flip switch to turn the lights on and off when you need them. A Bluetooth or remote control operated one will force you to stop your bike to customize the lights.
If you are looking for a lighting system that brings out the fun in your entertainment system while at the same time makes your car look bright and fancy, then consider our top pick, the OPT7 Aura Strip Interior Lighting Kit. Its remote control activates multiple colors and includes bass-activated technology to enhance your overall driving experience.
We recommend the AMBOTHER Underglow Lights for anyone on a tight budget who doesn’t want to compromise on the quality of the lighting system. The kit is affordable, produces vibrant colors, and can be used in a car’s interior and exterior.