The Next Innovation in Rock Lights – A Review On Lux Lighting Systems for the 5th Gen 4Runner
If you haven’t seen what bad rock lights look like, then you may not know what really good ones would look like. To see my experience with bad rock lights, see my article here. Now that we have glazed over the bad, let’s dive into what rock lights are like when done right.
There are many options when it comes to rock lights and one of the leaders in lighting, in general, is KC Hilites. The KC rock lights are very innovative with their circular design and simplicity of mounting. However, what if you take innovation and kick it up another notch, that is when Lux Lighting Systems comes in.
Find it online:
- Lux Lighting Systems Max RGB: Check Price
The rock lights are sold as RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and individually or kits of 4, 8, or 12, depending on your desired application. I went with the Max RGB 8 pack as I like using them to not only light up the trail while off-roading but also as camp lights. Being able to change to a yellow or red just helps to keep night vision and also to not attract bugs. I went with 8 as I want maximum coverage.
The RGB kits also have a control unit that all the lights wiring connect to. With this setup, you only have to connect the power wires to your switch and power source in my case a sPod.
How It Works
The lights are turned on and off using the sPod, however, the color selection is controlled with a key fob remote. This not only changes the color but can also flash and do other disco options when you’re ready to get your vibe on. They also have an option for a smartphone controller as well.
The BIG innovation of Lux over all the other options is its LED unit design. The ceramic-based LEDs are enclosed in a polymer body that not only seals out all the elements but also helps diffuse the light out.
The other big innovation also sealed in the polymer are some powerful magnets that I assume are neodymium. It allows for direct attachment to the body or frame. The magnets not only make mounting super easy but also act as the heat sink, dispersing the heat to the mounting surface. This keeps the lights extremely compact and can be mounted just about anywhere. Even if you wanted to mount them to the top of the plastic wheel well, you only have to add in a small metal plate to attach the magnets to.
Step 1. Attach Magnets
The installation process is super easy with the magnets; really just stick them in the general area that you want them and just leave a little slack if you want to adjust their location later. The kits come with 10- and 20-foot leads for the lights. Start with the longer leads in the rear as of course, they have longer to travel to the engine.
Step 2. Run Wires Under 4Runner
The hardest part of the install is running the wires underneath the truck avoiding suspension, drivetrain, and exhaust, and pulling the wires up from the top. There are a lot of sharp edges on some of the heat guards to avoid as well.
The kit included two packs of zip ties to snug everything up. I also used a home wire fish to help pull the cable. It made short work.
Step 3. Attach Wire In Controller
The RGB leads have 4 wires in each…red, black, green, and blue. Each of these corresponds to a spot in the controller. I am not sure why, perhaps to keep the unit compact, but there are only 4 spots for wires in the controller.
Step 4. Link Wires
Luckily with some effort and OCD, you can link two wires together for each one. No idea how they would get 12 wires in if you went with that option. They have a few options for controllers and even have a controller with different zones for the lights. Not sure why you would want that, perhaps to cut some of them off to have a dimmer light around camp perhaps.
Step 5. Route Wiring & Mount Controller
Wiring to power is super easy as I just ran it to the sPOD and that was it. I mounted the controller to the top of my fuse panel in the engine bay. Initially, I was going to drill and bolt it down, however, I forgot that the fuse diagram is under the lid. Instead, I used some 3M double-sided tape and it hasn’t budged with 100s of off-road miles.
Step 6. Test Lights
Once fully installed, turn them in the dark and adjust the lights to their optimal location, can’t do that with any other light!
I honestly could not be happier with Lux Lighting Systems.
They are of fantastic quality, super easy to install, and are super bright. The biggest issue with RGB lights is white. It is hard to get a true white and these are as closest to white as I’ve seen in an RGB.
We also did an install video of the white-only lights on a Tacoma, with a side by side of the RGB on the 4Runner. See that video here.
In the side-by-side, the white has a purple hue but I realized later that it was not on white, but in between the 2 colors. If I could go back, I would get the app phone controller to better choose colors instead of scrolling through with a single button. The image also shows that the white lights are a bit brighter than RGB but both are super bright.
There are tons of colors you can go with for your camp light, but I’m looking forward to Halloween for some epic trunk-n-treating setups!
Also, extremely important to mention that Lux Lighting Systems is a small business based in the USA, which is always awesome to support. They truly make a quality product and I would not hesitate to recommend them.