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Tail Light & Headlight Buying Guide

By Mike Cote - September 22, 2021

Lighting systems have come a long way in the last few decades. Gone are the days when your only option for better lighting involved shining your brights. Technology has advanced this important vehicle system to make your driving experience better and safer. We want to make sure you know all the highs and lows of illumination so you can make an informed decision about the best replacement lighting for your ride. When it comes to the world of bulbs, housings and halos it’s easy to get lost in the dark. Let us brighten your way with this informative guide to shopping for lights.

Benefits of Headlight and Tail Light Bulbs for Off-Roading

Freeways, main roads and even most side streets are lit to boost visibility. But when you’re in the backcountry at night, all you’ll have is moonlight. And that’s nowhere near enough illumination to see the path ahead. With hazards such as tree roots, large boulders and even wild animals, you can’t afford subpar headlights or tail lights on an off-road vehicle. Upgrading your lights and bulbs ensure that you can tackle whatever lies ahead.

Different Types of Lights for Your Truck

Headlights come in two different styles: crystal and projector. Also called reflectors, crystal-style headlights are the OEM versions on most trucks. They use a bulb inside of a steel bowl and mirrors to reflect beams of light head. Projector styles use lenses to produce bright, evenly-dispersed beams. Meanwhile, LED tail lights are becoming more common, and for good reasons – visibility, efficiency and improved lifespans.

Best Headlight Bulbs

Many retailers offer both halogen and LED headlight bulbs. Swapping to higher-performance bulbs can improve your lights’ brightness and dependability. LED bulbs are popular for their energy-efficient lighting, durability and ease of replacement. Popular options include Sylvania’s ZEVO and Putco’s LED bulbs.

Best Tail Light Bulbs

LED tail lights are standard issue on most late-model vehicles. With that in mind, you have many replacement bulbs to choose from. Putco’s Plasma LED bulbs are one great example: They fit several factory lights, use less energy and last up to 50,000 hours.

New to Headlights & Tail Lights? Start Here

How to Shop for Headlights

With a variety of styles and lighting options like LEDS, choosing the best set of headlights can be tough. Learn what to look for in our guide on how to choose the best headlights.

How to Shop for Tail Lights

Adding style and function with LED tail lights can be a great upgrade for just about any vehicle. Let us guide you to the best tail lights after reading through our comprehensive guide.

How to Shop for Headlight Bulbs

LED and Halogen bulbs are available in a variety of sizes and color outputs. Find the best option for your lighting needs.

Install Guides & How-to’s

How to Install Headlights

Learn what to look for when installing aftermarket headlights on your vehicle.

How to Install LED Tail Lights

Make sure your tail lights are working properly with how-to guide on installing LED Tail Lights.

Advanced Topics & Comparison Articles

Lights Tech Center

Learn about the different styles of lighting available for your vehicle.

Car Lights FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions about lighting here.

Light output is measured in lumens

LEDs can last over 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs

Auxiliary lights can be added to just about any vehicle


High-quality headlights and tail lights are essential on any off-roading vehicle. AutoAnything offers an impressive selection of lights and bulbs that fit your truck’s specs and deliver the visibility and performance you desire.