Rock lights are perhaps one of the more niche car accessories, and many don’t quite know their purpose. However, if you like to go the extra mile regarding your car’s appearance, rock lights are a great thing to delve into. Not to mention, they make your driving experience more convenient and aesthetically pleasing.
For the average consumer, there are only a few things to know; voltage, lumens, color temperature, and lifespan are mostly equal across the board, so most of the time you don’t need to pay too much attention to them. Let’s go over what they each mean briefly.
Voltage is essentially the “force” of an electric charge, and in bluetooth controllers is usually between 9V to about 30V of Direct Current (DC). Usually, you don’t need to pay much attention to this, as the controller itself is designed to be universal in its application (from motorcycles to larger trucks). On a similar note, most of the LEDs in our list operate at 9 Watts (watt being the unit of power), which is far lower than what a typical incandescent bulb would draw. Overall, in 99% of cases, there are no caveats in the controller setup process.
Another such term is “lumens”, which is the scientific unit of brightness. Oftentimes, manufacturers won’t specify the lumens of their LED bulbs, but rest assured that a 9W rock light is fairly bright—typically over 1000 lumens. For comparison, a standard 60W incandescent bulb (something you’re likely to find in your home) produces around 800lm.
Color temperature is a term that might raise a few eyebrows at first glance, but it’s not too complicated. Essentially, it is the temperature at which a very absorbant mass would emit radiation of a certain color. So, if your lights are 5000K, it means they are white-yellow; 1500K or so, and it is bright red. You don’t really need to know much about color temperature as the color of your lights is rarely omitted in product descriptions.
Speaking of color, you’ll be seeing “RGB LED” thrown around quite a bit; for those unfamiliar with RGB, it’s quite simple. It’s a system of representing colors on a display by using various amounts of three colors—red, green, and blue. As a result, the near-infinite number of combinations let you pick just about any color imaginable. As such, if a rock light kit is RGB, chances are you can select any color via a controller.
Finally, and this is perhaps a term that needs no explanation, a light’s lifespan simply means how long you can expect it to last. Usually depicted in hours (most often hours it’s in use), it is simply a benchmark for how long you can expect certain lights to last you, but a number you’ll see a lot is 50,000 hours.
Technical aspects aside, let’s get into the products themselves. Here we have five fantastic rock light kits—each with its own appeal. There is a nice balance of functionality and affordability, and, who knows—you might find one of these on your shopping list by the end.
|MICTUNING 2nd-Gen RGB LED—8 Lights||RGB Spectrum||$$||+++|
|SUNPIE RGB LED—8 Lights||Selection of colors||$$||++|
|Amak LED Rock Light Kit—4 Lights||One of White, Blue, Green, Yellow, Red||$||+++|
|LEDKINGDOMUS RGB LED—8 Lights||RGB Spectrum||$$||++|
|Wiipro LED RGB Kit—4 Lights||RGB Spectrum||$$$||++|
Mictuning offers a fantastic rock light kit, as well as everything you need to set them up in no time. As with most in this category, the LEDs are controllable through a phone app, and the “setup” is as easy as scanning the QR code on the box. The pods are easy enough to install as well, and offer a respectable 500 lumens; for comparison, standard factory low beams are typically around the 700 mark. When you add in the fact that you get eight right out of the box, the potential brightness starts to stack up.
All You Need
When you shell out a bit of extra money for a quality product, you would expect there to be no hassle in installing and using them—this is exactly the case here. Whatever different experiences customers had with the product, the ease of installation always seemed to stand out. From pads to screws, everything required to attach the pods to your vehicle’s underbelly is provided.
Once installed, users enjoy easily-manipulable lighting thanks to the remote bluetooth functionality. In addition, the pods aren’t designed with just sturdiness in mind—they are also waterproof. This is great for those that regularly deal with harsh weather, and makes sure dirt and rain won’t be an issue down the line. The lamps can be set to 15 different “scenarios”, which meets your needs if you’d like them to strobe, alternate, or even change according to your music (“Music Mode”).
One thing to note, however, is that the app is only available on iOS (7.0 or newer) or Android (4.3 or newer) operating systems—in that sense, it’s not a universal application.
Unfortunately, this product does have a few downsides. We already touched on how easy these are to set up and use; however, buyers very often got these in conjunction with extension cables, as the 118 inches of wiring might be too short for larger vehicles. On a similar note, there are several complaints regarding the app itself, and how connecting to the lights can get a bit frustrating. These minor problems aside, Mictuning’s lights deliver on their promises.
| • Easy installation|
• Full spectrum of colors
• Many lighting options to choose from
• Quite bright
| • Phone app a little frustrating for some|
• Wiring cable only 118 inches (3 meters)
SUNPIE’s version of LED rock lights offers just about the same things; a phone app that controls 1-6 lights at a time as well as multiple lighting modes to choose from. The construction is also nothing to scoff at, and you have a few choices when it comes to appearance, too.
Sturdy Yet Flexible
As we’ve mentioned before, the construction is quite impressive; the pods themselves are encased in sturdy glass and die-cast aluminum for maximum protection. This design choice helps the lights resist water, shock, dust, and rust, reflecting the company’s slogan: “Install them once, replace them never.” In fact, they boast that this kit is beyond waterproof in that it can comfortably operate underwater. Like the MICTUNING product, these lights have various modes—they can strobe, change color slowly, and even flash to the music.
One small issue that buyers had with these is that their phone often couldn’t “find” the lights, but simply turning the box on and off seemed to do the trick. As noted before, you can only really control up to 6 lights (if they’re connected to each other) at a time, but you could simply leave the remaining ones as replacement lights should you need them. Of all the positives, however, buyers were pleased most with the easy installation. At the usual 50,000-hour lifespan, these lights shouldn’t see any problems for quite a while.
It should be noted that you must take a look at the SUNPIE app before buying, as the selection of colors advertised on product pages can be misleading.
|• RGB spectrum |
• Easy installation
• Quite bright
• Damage proof (water, rust, etc.)
• Multiple options to choose form
| • Some issues with phone appSome issues |
with power box
At first glance, you might question why these lights are on this list at all; they aren’t remote controlled nor do they have variation in terms of color customization and light effects. However, what they lack in these areas they more than make up in price and overall longevity.
Even if the lights aren’t to your satisfaction, Aukmak offers a 1-year money back guarantee, and a lifetime warranty on top of that. If anything, this should speak to the high regard that the manufacturer holds this product to. It’s not just them, though—countless reviewers were pleasantly surprised at both the durability and brightness of these lights, despite the fact that it comes in a set of 4 (as opposed to 8, which most on this list are). The installation is described as very easy as well, described by the makers as “DIY-style” due to the straightforward nature. As for how securely it holds, buyers often noted that they don’t think that even water could interfere with the strong seal on these lights. All in all, this product makes for some great “entry-level” rock lights due to its affordability, user-friendliness, and overall quality.
Some users did find, however, that their set came with very dim or, in some cases, burnt out lights. This criticism should be taken with a pinch of salt, as oftentimes these kinds of problems could be down to shoddy wiring; either way, if this is a concern, the manufacturer offers replacement and/or money-back. The fact that about 80% of the reviews on Amazon were 5 stars should tell you everything you need to know about the average buyer’s experience.
| • Durable|
• Warranty and money back guarantee
• Easy to install
| • No customizability of color or lighting mode|
• Some concerns about defective shipment
With that small non-bluetooth detour behind us, let’s take a look at some other RGB remote-controlled rock lights. The LedKingdomUS option is also a solid one, and much like the first two, does everything you might expect from such LED lights.
To be quite frank, these lights are quite similar across the board to the other RGB lights we’ve looked at; music mode, different lighting modes (strobe, single-color, etc.), and a remote-controlled phone app all underline this product’s functionality. However, there are a few smaller differences that might entice you to consider this one specifically. Firstly, the cable is 4.5 meters long (or just under 15 feet), which does seem sufficient for most cars and trucks. If you recall, the MICTUNING lights only came with a 3-meter cord, something that led people to buy extension cables. Another stark difference here is the phone app; despite the lack of instructions in terms of using it, buyers seemed to have little issues with the reliability of the app. This is a big plus when it comes to user experience.
Of course, you can’t use the app if you can’t seem to download it, and this, unfortunately, is a problem some users faced. You have to scan the code on the box, which links you to an application—several users could not get it to download on their devices. As with all of these, make sure your phone’s operating system is covered by the app to have the best experience.
|• Consistent brightness|
• Various modes
• Easy to install and use
• Decent cable length
• App is relatively user-friendly
|• Some issues actually downloading the app|
• Can’t control all the lights at once
Our final choice is the Wiipro, and it is unsurprisingly an RGB rock light kit. It’s a bit pricier than the others in this category, but has some features that might sway buyers in their direction.
Emphasis on Reliability
There are a few things that stand out about this product, and it’s something that isn’t inherently related to the lights themselves. The product comes in two options: 4-pod and 8-pod kits, with the cheaper option (per pod) being the pack of 8. The other is something that is always nice to see as a buyer—a 2-year warranty. Not only does this give some peace of mind, but speaks to how confident the manufacturer is in their product.
On top of this, the lights are very easy to install—some users even say it takes as little as 10 minutes to get them up and running. The best thing, perhaps, about these pods is their wide application; there is a flood of reviews from motorcycle owners that seemed to enjoy the rock lights. One odd thing to note, however, is that the photos shared by these reviewers seemed to showcase a different, circular light, when the Wiipro is more of an octagon—not entirely sure what happened there. All in all though, this product is solid across the board; the only real caveat is the shorter cord (3.5 meters), so owners of longer trucks might need extension cables.
| • Various modes|
• Quite bright
• Easy to install and use
• 2 year warranty
• Choice of 4-pod pack
|• Some complaints of lights not working out |
of the box
• Region-lock issues with app (research before
Q: How many lights can I control at once?
A: Unfortunately, if you get an 8-pack of lights, it’s not likely you’ll be able to control them all at once with a single controller box. Typically, a controller is hooked up to 3 or 4 lights, but this of course can vary among the more premium purchases. Regardless, it’s probably not possible to have, say, 10 flickering rock lights at once.
Q: Are all lights with the same wattage equally bright?
A: While it may seem clear that power is directly related to output, and thus brightness, this isn’t technically the case. While you could have a very bright white light from, say, 9 watts, it doesn’t hold true across the color spectrum. A dark red glow will probably not be as outwardly bright as a yellowish light, for example, so keep that in mind when looking at the specs.
Q: Are rock lights completely legal?
A: This is where it truly depends on a number of factors. In many states, having blue or red lights anywhere on your car is illegal, as those are police colors. Similarly, green is often banned for similar reasons. You’d have to make sure with your specific state’s or country’s vehicle light regulations, as they can vary. California, for example, is known to be a bit more lenient with neon underglows of many colors as long as they don’t interfere with anything on the road.
It’s about time to wrap it up; we’ve looked at five of the best rock lights on the market and delved briefly into their use and what to look for. If you find yourself taking trips with your friends or family (in separate cars, that is) frequently, rock lights might be a no brainer for you. Even if you don’t, the stylish look of a neon underglow on the underside of your truck is understandably appealing.
Basically, if you’d prefer remote bluetooth rock lights that offer a limitless selection of colors, all four of the RGBs on this list are strong contenders. The only real standouts are the MICTUNING lights—which made it as our #1 choice—and the Wiipro, which is a bit pricier but with a focus on convenience and overall quality. Functionality and design across all four of these are quite similar, though, so you might find yourself picking one of them out of necessity, availability, or maybe if there’s a deal on it going.
If you don’t really care about various lighting functions and customizability, the Amak 4-pod option is a very strong one. Durability, convenience, and proper lighting make it perhaps the best basic rock lights on the market. Not to mention, they are far more affordable than the remote-controlled LEDs you might come across, so definitely consider the Amak as well. All in all, though, you can’t really go wrong with any of these.