The 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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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON June 18, 2021
There are so many different ways you can customize your car. One of the coolest options is installing an underglow kit. Sure, a paint job or exceptional speakers can turn heads — but an underglow lighting kit will literally make your car shine. These kits attach to your vehicle’s exterior, creating a glow of colorful light that glows from the undercarriage. With an underglow kit, your car will stand out and offer increased visibility.
Underglow kits are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to their wide range of customization options and new technology that makes these lighting setups even more fun than before. You can even find specialized kits made just for trucks, SUVs, and all other kinds of vehicles. Wondering if you should upgrade your car and add one? We’ve got your buying guide and the best underglow kits available right here.
Four-piece LED strips that flash multiple brilliant colors to the beat of your music.
- 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
- Sound syncing and door assist features may not work
- Lights aren’t that flexible
These bright, neon-like effect LED light strips are extremely affordable.
- Made out of durable ABS material
- Wireless remote lets you change the LED lights’ coloring and adjust the brightness
- Lights can even be sound activated
- Only water resistant—not waterproof
A combination of neon and LED underbody and vehicle interior lights for brilliant and vibrant lighting.
- Fast 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
- Unit develops lighting issues over time
- Control box may break down with continued use
- Weak adhesive tape
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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 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.
- $50 and up: 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.
Trying to choose between LED lights and neon lights? While both shine brightly and with brilliant colors, you’ll want to think about the amount of power each variety uses. All underglow light kits are powered by your car’s battery, so you’ll want to choose one that won’t completely drain your battery power. LED lights are the most energy-efficient choice, though they tend to be more subtle than neon lights. LED lights also tend to be slimmer and take up less space overall.
How you turn on, control, and even customize your underglow lighting is part of the fun of putting it to use. Many kits will turn on automatically whenever your car’s battery is on — so your car’s undercarriage will light up in accessory mode or any time there’s power available to use. However, others can be controlled more precisely: many modern kits are “smart” and can be controlled via an app right on your smartphone so you can turn lights on or off, set customized display modes, and even get the lights flashing.
- 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 Kits Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- 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.
- Not all underglow kits are waterproof. Some are just water-resistant, and others may not be able to handle much, if any, moisture at all. Make sure to look at the water-resistance or waterproof rating for your underglow kit, so you know how it’ll perform in wet weather.
- Want to customize your underglow kit? Some allow you to create custom color patterns, flashing routines, and other specialized light displays. Check out the instructions before installing your kit to see just how much potential you have to customize how your vehicle looks.
Q: How long does it take to install an underglow kit?
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?
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?
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.
Q: Is an underglow kit hard to install?
Most car, SUV, and truck underglow kits are pretty simple to install. Many are plug and play, or as simple as connecting the light strips to a power source. Some, however, are more in-depth and may require additional tools — or even professional installation at a local shop. Double-check the installation instructions before you pick out a kit.
Q: Will an underglow kit kill my battery?
Adding an underglow kit to your vehicle will definitely use up more battery power. Traditional neon kits can drain your car’s battery pretty quickly. However, if you opt for a more energy-efficient LED underglow kit, you won’t notice such a significant impact.
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 AlexTong LED RGB Underglow Neon Lights Kit for anyone on a tight budget who doesn’t want to compromise on the quality of the lighting system.