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How to Upgrade Your Dodge Ram's Lights

By:  Zach Wright  / Sep 25 2019
How to Upgrade Your Dodge Ram's Lights

In some respects, your Ram 1500 is an extension of your toolbox, offering you a hand to aid you in whatever you’re doing; from hauling and towing to lighting and work bench, the Ram 1500 has you covered. The lights on your Ram 1500 are responsible for guiding you at night, providing extra light at your job site, and helping you see off-road. This guide will go over everything you need to know about Ram 1500 lighting.

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Having an efficient lighting system for your truck is a must, especially when driving at night or even during inclement weather when the road has almost zero visibility. There's a variety of Head Lights, Tail Lights and Signal lights you can choose from. Whether you prefer a Halogen lamp or LED lamp, we have it here.

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Types of Ram 1500 Lights

Your Ram 1500 comes from the factory outfitted with lights inside and out, but can also be upgraded with aftermarket lights. Ram 1500 lights include:

  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • Third brake lights
  • Fog lights
  • Parking lights
  • Off-Road lights/Auxiliary lights 
  • Door sill lights
  • Interior lights

Ram 1500 Headlights Explained

Out of all of the lights on your Ram 1500, the headlights are arguably the most important. Your headlights are the primary provider of illumination to help you see where you are going, whether you are on or off-road. Over time headlights can yellow or fade, reducing their effectiveness at lighting up the path ahead. While they can be cleaned, they will never provide the same amount of illumination as they once did. 

Aside from that, older Ram trucks used a halogen bulb from the factory, while newer lights use an LED light, which is much brighter than their predecessor. Whether your Ram 1500 has dirty headlights or are not as bright as they once used to be, a set of aftermarket Ram headlights will provide you with a much brighter light. Aftermarket headlights almost always tend to be brighter and stronger, and are relatively easy to install. 

Aftermarket Ram headlights can offer you a drastically improved looked as well as visibility. With numerous options that include anything from CCFL, halo lighting, LED accents, smoked projectors, and more, your Ram 1500 will look and feel like a whole new truck with a set of new headlights.

Ram 1500 Tail Lights Explained

Although you don’t see your own Ram’s tail lights on a routine basis, other drives do. Tail lights are an important safety feature and an integral part of the Ram’s design. Like any other part on your vehicle, over time the tail lights can wear out, becoming dim and throw off the look of your Ram. Luckily it is fairly easy to upgrade the tail lights. 

Aftermarket Ram 1500 tail lights are typically LED, which offer bright illumination and a long lifespan. You can change up the look with smoked lenses for a darker and subtler appearance. If you want extra lighting while backing up, you can also add a set of Baja style reverse lights that will essentially add mini headlights to the rear of your truck and go on when the truck is in reverse.

A popular mod for many Ram owners who go off-road or have their trucks on work sites is tail light guards. Tail light guards are a stainless steel construction of thin bars that go around your tail lights and protects them from damage and breaking. These are great for keeping tree limbs from damaging your tail lights.

Ram Third Brake Lights Explained

The third brake light is another safety light, designed to notify drivers behind you that you’re stopping. On the Ram 1500, you can swap out the stock third brake light for an aftermarket one to either replace a faulty stock unit or to upgrade the look of your truck. 

There are a few different options when it comes to third brake lights for your Ram 1500, but the main choice you’ll have is whether you want a smoked, chromed, or clear third brake light. Aside from that, there are minor style differences amongst the other options available.

Ram 1500 Fog Lights Overview

Fog lights help your Ram 1500 to cut through hazy conditions, allowing you to see the road ahead. Your Ram comes with fog lights built into the truck, however, you can add extra fog lights that mount onto your Ram. These extra lights will be much brighter than the stock lights and provide 2 to 3 times the amount of visibility the stock ones offer. 

Installing a set of fog lights on your Ram 1500 can be a little tricky as you will need to drill for a mounting point. Some lights won’t require any drilling, but most do. Aside from that, you will also need to run some wiring, which can be tricky at certain pinch points. If you take your time, measure twice, and watch a few videos online, you should be able to do it yourself, but if you don’t feel confident, take it to a mechanic or body shop to complete the install.

Aftermarket Ram 1500 Parking Lights Explained

Parking lights are those side marker lights on the front and rear quarters of your Ram 1500. There are not many aftermarket options for these lights aside from tint kits. If you care to make them darker to blend in with the body, you can. Outside of that, there are not many upgrade options for the parking lights.

Aftermarket Ram 1500 Auxiliary & Off-Road Lights Explained

One of the great parts of owning a pickup truck is being able to fit it with additional lights to give you enhanced visibility wherever you go at night. This is especially important to enthusiasts who enjoy going off-road and exploring, camping, or hunting. There are several different types of off-road Ram 1500 lighting that includes, light bars (LED light bars), light cubes (LED light cubes), halogen round lights, LED round lights, and bumper lights. 

When it comes to any off-road lighting, the LED variant will always be your brightest option and offer the most longevity. Ram 1500 light bars are the most common off-road lighting upgrade, adding a long or short LED light bar to your truck. These light bars provide an absurd amount of additional illumination and allow you to clearly see anything in front of you for 25 ft . Ram 1500 light cubes are small square cubes, made up of LED lights that can mount to either the bumper, roof, or side of your Ram, providing you another decent bump in illumination.

Ram 1500 round lights are the classic style of off-road lighting and can be found in either halogen or LED formats. While the LED round lights tend to be brighter, the halogen round lights provide that classic off-road look that became popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Ram 1500 Bumper lights are not as effective as the other off-road lights mentioned, however, they do provide an increase in visibility. Bumper lights will either require you to cut/drill your stock bumper to accommodate for the new lights, or to completely replace your bumper with one that has additional lights in it. 

Ram 1500 Door Sill Lights Overview

When you open the door on your 2009 and newer Ram 1500, you are hit with the logo for your truck. However, with a small aftermarket upgrade, you can make your door sill plates illuminated. Swapping the stock door sill plates for an illuminated set will ad a nice personal touch to the look of your Ram 1500.

Ram 1500 Interior Lights Overview

While there are not many lights in the interior of your Ram 1500, you can upgrade the few that are there. You replace the stock bulbs with upgraded LED bulbs that will make the interior of your cabin much brighter and easier to see. Over time the stock bulbs will slowly fade, making it hard to see inside, which is why a small upgrade like a set of LED interior lights can make a huge difference.

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