Buying Underbody Light Kits: Tips to Get a Good Deal
If you want to show-off your car along the boulevard, then there's no better way than to install underbody light kits on your ride. This modification, with so many colors and effects to choose from, will surely grab anyone's attention; just make sure they're not the cops. Read this guide to know the different types of underbody lights for your car, and how you can avoid a run-in with the law.
Neon vs. LED: A comparison to see which one's better
These two are the main types of underbody light kits available on the market today. You may think that there's no big deal between them because they provide the same function. However, they have significant differences you should definitely take note.
Neon underbody lights
- Neon is basically a cold cathode that produces light from electrically stimulated gases. One neon light tube can only produce a single color at a time. It uses more energy than a LED underbody light.
- Some neon underbody lights can be hooked to any compatible car sound system, and they will light up along with the beat of the music that's being played.
LED underbody lights
- LED or light emitting diode produces a brighter light than a cathode. In one LED tube, there are a number of small bulbs that can produce different colors simultaneously.
- The brightness of a LED tube can be adjusted, its color may be changed, and it can be programmed to have flashing or streaming effects.
- A LED tube consumes lesser power and lasts longer than a neon light.
LED underbody lights clearly have all the advantages compared to neon lights. Prices for these do vary though; they range between $140 - $180 depending on the brand and additional features.
State laws that cover underbody lights
It is important to know existing state laws before you buy an underbody light kit, and install it on your car. In California, the use of underbody lights on any vehicle is prohibited on all public roads. However, there are some states that allow any color installed on a car except for red and blue. To avoid any problems with the law, you should ask your local authorities.
Installation 101: Bringing the Glow Back In Your New Underbody Light Kit
It's Friday, and your new underbody light kit has already arrived. You can't wait to see how your car will look tonight now that you have it. However, there's still work to be done. Sweep your excitement aside, get your tools checked, and read this step-by-step guide on how to install your underbody lights.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Power drill
- Drill bit set
- New underbody light kit
Step 1: Check if all the parts included in your underbody light kit are complete. If you have bought a set of four lights, there should be a pair each of long and short tubes. You can segregate the hardware for each light so you can work faster.
Step 2: Open the hood of your car, and find a good location for the control unit near the car battery.
Step 3: Use the wrench and disconnect the terminals of the car battery. Remove the negative terminal first, and then the positive. Keep both cables safe and away from other parts.
Step 4: Take the light tubes and start the installation underneath your car. Use a floor jack and jack stands to lift your car if necessary. Position a short light tube underneath the front area of the vehicle. Mount it with the brackets, and screw the brackets in place. Do the same procedure to all the remaining light tubes. Remember that the long tubes must be positioned on the sides of the car.
Step 5: Check the wires included in the underbody light kit. Connect the wires starting from the control unit. Attach each wire to every light tube until the last one links back to the control unit. Seal the position of the wires with the wire ties. Do not let the wires touch any moving part and keep it away from the exhaust system.
Step 6: Check the toggle switch and the wiring kit included in the underbody light kit. Find a location for the toggle switch then take the drill bit set, and determine the size of the hole for the toggle switch.
Step 7: Drill the hole for the toggle switch and mount it in place.
Step 8: In the wiring kit, there must be a pair of wires present. Take the wire with a fuse block and connect one end to the positive terminal of the battery. The other end of that wire must be connected to the toggle switch. The second wire must be connected to the control unit, and then to the toggle switch.
Step 9: Reconnect the battery cables using the wrench. Turn on your car and check if the toggle switch and the lights are already working.
If everything is set, close the hood, and then get ready to show off your car with new underbody lights.