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UTV Rear Chase Lighting Buying Guide

Ransom Carroll May 15th 2019

4 Things to consider before buying UTV Rear Lighting

This buying guide for UTV rear lighting is built to help you determine the thought process behind selecting rear UTV lighting for your SxS.

The things you want to consider before buying UTV lighting include:

  • Safety and Compliance
  • Lighting Color
  • Lighting Configurations
  • Lifespan / Durability

We want to call special attention to the KC HiLites multi-function Chase Bars. These light bars are the biggest bang for your buck and cover all of the considerations we talk about in this guide.

1. Safety & Compliance

Safety should be your #1 concern

A lot of drivers remember to think about what's in front of the car, but many fail to remember what is going on behind them. Not only does rear lighting offer utility to your vehicle but it will also keep your car more visible.

The idea is to actually move the lighting up higher on the rear side so trailing vehicles can use it as an indicator when following in groups.

Most SxS's do have some rear lighting, but most OEM lighting will not have enough lumens, is the wrong color, and is placed too low on the vehicle to inform a trailing driver fast enough to avoid a collision.

Compliance is a "per driver" issue

If you are interested in making your UTV Street Legal or are involved in any sort of side-by-side racing then you are probably familiar with compliance issues.

Street legal UTVs adhere to guidance under state laws and we recommend referencing the State Based Guide provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The last time we checked the interactive map was not working but you should be able to easily find related links for your state on the State ATV Information page.

Racing vehicles will have individual compliance issues to follow as well. Most rules are commonly known but the big one is having a "blue safety light" available in the rear for easier visibility to trailing cars in dusty high-speed events.

2. Lighting Color

The color of lights to use on the rear side of your UTV mostly depends on the function of the light.

Typically you might encounter the following rear UTV lighting functions:

  • Braking (red lighting)
  • Reversing (white lighting)
  • Proximity Indicator (amber/blue/green lighting)
  • Utility (repairs or ground visibility) (white)
  • Aesthetic

Cutting through dust

KC HiLites 28" Rear Chase Bar - Ambers Glowing

If you shine regular white light into a cloud of dust it simply reflects off of the individual particles and renders your expensive lighting setup useless. The challenge is to have a light that will pass through the dust and still provide enough luminescence to alert trailing drivers of proximity.

This is where orange or "amber" colored lights can really make the difference. Green lights also work here but amber lights reflect less off of the dust particles and allow for greater visibility for you and the group.

Reversing with OEM lights is a huge pain

If you have ever been strapped into your fancy custom PRP Seat and tried to twist your neck around to backup then you know how difficult this can be with OEM lighting.

Adding bright white lighting to the rear of your UTV is a huge convenience and can be more cost effective than a back-up camera… which would still need lighting to work properly.

Pro tip: Upgraded mirrors in combination with aftermarket reverse UTV lighting would be our recommendation.

UTV braking

Braking will always be indicated by a red color, especially if you are wanting to achieve "Street Legal" status.

Most side-by-sides are going to have rear brake lights so upgrading these would really only introduce the benefits of additional brightness and faster proximity indication to trailing vehicles.

3. Rear UTV Lighting Lens Configurations

Before we go into the configurations let's unpack the different UTV lighting lens types.

UTV Spot Lights

Spotlights case a narrow beam of light, usually no wider than 45 degrees. This lens type is more concentrated in one area, is easier to point, and has a longer range.

UTV Flood Lights

Flood lights are most commonly configured on the rear side of the vehicle and cast their beam into a much larger arc, typically up to 120 degrees. These lights can illuminate much larger areas of space with the same lumen and wattage output as spotlights.

UTV Driving Lights

Driving lights are not quite a spot or flood beam. If you are looking for "Street Legal" then you want driving lights because spot lights are super annoying to oncoming traffic (check compliance rating in product details). These are also an excellent choice for off-road because they provide enough field of view and distance coverage.

It's basically a happy medium between flood and spot lights.

UTV Combo Lights

Combo beam lights can be made up of any combination of the above lens types. The most popular option is a spot/flood combo light bar.

This light bar gives you both widespread flood lighting, for a bigger field of view, while maintaining the benefits of the long distance spot beam.

#1 Value Configuration... Chase Bars

The KC HiLites multi-function Chase Bars are the biggest bang for your buck and offer all of the functionality needed for the rear side of your UTV.

These chase bars are the "sweet spot" for rear lighting and deliver the full featured capability of having multiple types of singles or pod lights with the affordability and value of a light bar.

4. Top UTV Lighting Brands

Lifespan of LED UTV Lights are going to be specific to the brand and the type of light that you select. If you are shopping at UTVSource.com you can't make a poor decision.

We only sell the best brands who stand behind their products 100%. If we wouldn't run them on our personal side-by-sides, we won't sell it.

When you're deciding which brand UTV lights to buy, it's ultimately a personal opinion on light style and design…

Light durability could be offset with product warranty and in this case KC HiLites is top tier and offers a "no questions asked" 23 Year warranty for all of their UTV lighting products.

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