The 5 Best LED Truck Bed Light Kits & Strips to Light Up Your Pickup!


Best truck bed light kits

With most modern trucks now coming with cargo lights you would think that there isn’t much of a demand for aftermarket truck bed led lights, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

And there’s two main reasons why.

Firstly, cargo lights don’t always do the best job, particularly if you have items in the bed which are obscuring the light source. Think tool boxes, cargo, and covers… all can get in the way.

Secondly, LED lighting can look really cool, especially if you choose a fluorescent and neon color other than neutral or white.

In this guide, you can learn all you need to know about LED truck bed lights including what the best kits are, where you can buy, what they will look like, plus some information on wiring.

If you’re keen on customizing and modifying your truck, then these are the best lighting kits are going to take the look of your ride to the next level.

The Best Truck Bed Light Kits & Strips

The simplest way to get some light into your pickup’s bed is to use the aftermarket kits, most of which are available on Amazon, requiring a couple of hours of your time to fit them.

Some just come as a basic LED light source strip or individual pods, whilst others come in various colors, with a couple of recommended products that will even pulse to the music.

I’ve taken a look at the different types, offering my preferred recommendation in each category below.

1. Best Truck Bed LED Light Strip Kit (Value for Money)

The best value for money strips that you can easily fit to the insides of your truck bed I would be the Megulla brand. It offers a very cost-effective solution with a massive 2,400 lumens of brightness, and an ease of application that trumps most of the other products on the market.

All you do is peel and stick under your truck’s bedrail, it’s that simple. Alternatively, you can use the included mounting brackets instead of, or in addition to the tape.

But of course, as with all other kits you will need to wire it up.

Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive than other brands, but the reviews are lots better with hardly any negative comments.

You can view the reviews for yourself, plus the latest prices on Amazon – click here for the Megulla lighting kit.

They’re a great price, very bright, and offer a superb solution for any truck where you need extra lighting in the bed area.

How Easy is it to Install?

I don’t own this kit, but I spoke to a Ram owner who recently bought it. His feedback was that it was very simple to install by simply running power and ground wire straight to the truck’s battery so no need to worry about ignition issues.

You can stick the lights under the bedrail using the adhesive backed strip, plus also use mounting brackets if you want. For extra stability I would recommend also using plastic zip ties to tidy everything up.

If you have basic wiring skills then you won’t find it any problem to install these LED strips, but I would be prepared to put a couple of hours aside to complete the job.

Is it Bright Enough?

100% yes, and in fact it’s one of the brightest kits on the market, with a powerful 2,400 lumen rating. However, it only comes in white, so it’s not going to satisfy those that want to turn their truck into a pulsing party vehicle, but for practical purposes it hits all the right buttons.

You get high quality bright white lights that will illuminate the entire floor space of your bed, with sturdy workmanship and construction.

Pros

  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Easy to fit peel and stick installation
  • 2,400 lumens of brightness
  • Water resistant up to an IP67 rating
  • Lights tested to 30,000 hours of usage
  • There is a music-activated option available 

Cons

  • Only comes as white light, with no additional colors
  • No remote control, push button activated only
  • Can be slow customer response time for replacement parts
  • You might need to purchase more wire if not long enough

2. Best Quality Design, Ease of Install, & Max Brightness
(TOP RECOMMENDATION)

If you spend a little more money you can be the proud owner of what are the best quality, longest-lasting, and brightest pickup truck bed lights on the market. They are very simple to install too.

To see for yourself, go look at the Underglow kit on Amazon, it’s my preferred choice if you really want something that quite simply beats everything else on the market from a quality and brightness perspective.

In simple terms, if you love your truck and want the bed lighting to look like an OEM solution rather than something you’ve done yourself, then this is the product for you.

It looks stunning, floods an amazing amount of light, is of exceptional high quality, and will actually look like it was installed in the factory, rather than being installed and wired up yourself. It’s professional, long-lasting and is worth every single dollar you spend on it.

How Easy is it to Install?

Of all the kits, bars, and strip lights I’ve reviewed today, this is without doubt the simplest to install, primarily due to the quality of instructions and support that it comes with (watch the video below).

You don’t have to worry about messy wires running down the truck bed or fitting switches, but instead just touch the lights and away you go.

Let me also share with you one experience that I read from one of their customers though, as it’s worth telling you about.

The customer tried to install the kit in their truck, and actually ran into some problems so took their truck to an auto shop to get it done. The Underglow company actually called the auto shop and led them through the entire install process until it was successfully completed.

That’s what you get with this product; a company that will go the extra mile to help their customers and won’t leave you high and dry once you’ve purchased.

Is it Bright Enough?

Hell yes, and the four lights (which admittedly doesn’t sound like much) offer an insane amount of coverage across the entire bed.

To see for yourself go have a look an Amazon as there are loads of photos of this kit in action – and not just from the manufacturer, but also from previous customers who have fitted the LEDs and have then shared the results online.

Pros

  • Made from almost indestructible UV stable, thickened polycarbonate
  • Comes with simple to follow step by step instructions
  • Comes with a plug and play harness that runs direct to the battery
  • No switches to install and no wires to splice
  • Draws minimal power from your truck
  • No need to install a clunky switch, instead uses capacitive touch lens
  • No distracting halo effect 

Cons

  • I honestly can’t think of any

3. Best Multi-Colored LED Truck Bed Lights

If you want the nightclub vibe to come to your truck then this is the kit for you because rather than just being one solid color, it offers a spectrum of shades depending on your current mood.

Go take a look at the LinkStyle kit on Amazon, including the latest prices and most up to date reviews.

With one press on the remote control you can access a huge range of RGB colors, with a 48-piece truck bed rail light system that will let everyone know where the party’s at.

They are great quality LED RGB lights, are bright at night, and look great once installed into your truck’s bed.

How Easy is it to Install?

You get a double-sided adhesive or can use screws, so it’s a very similar installation process to the other kits on the market, but what really lets this down is the lack of instructions.

Now for many truck owners that might not be a problem, but for first-timers you might struggle to get the job done in an afternoon and need to watch online videos and ask for help from the LinkStyle support team.

People who have previously bought this kit say that they found the routing of wires and installation very easy, but I would still have preferred some instructions to be included.

Is it Bright Enough?

These are rated at 2,400 lumens which means that are very bright, making it a cinch to find things in the dark.

Truck owners who have bought this kit on Amazon have left very positive reviews, with one person in particular loving how bright it made the work area in his truck, meaning he found working at night far easier than it was before.

Pros

  • Comes with a remote control to change the colors
  • Water resistant up to an IP67 rating
  • Rocker switch included for internal on and off functionality
  • Helpful manufacturer who responds to questions quickly
  • 2,400 lumen brightness rating

Cons 

  • Remote can sometimes find it hard to connect signal
  • No installation instructions included
  • No warranty information included 

4. Best Budget Truck Bed Lights

If you really don’t want to spend big bucks, but still want something that comes with great online reviews then look no further than the Xprite 8 piece set.

These aren’t strips, but instead come as 8 connected rectangle pods that you run inside of the bed.

Because they aren’t arranged in a strip, you won’t get a continuous line of light, but instead 8 pods of 3 LED lights each with 24 inches of wire spacing between each section.

If you’re just getting into customizing and modifying your truck with LED lighting, or just want something low cost then this is the kit for you.

It’s not multi-colored, instead is singular, but you can choose from white, green, yellow, blue, red, pink, or purple. It’s cheap, simple enough to install, and is sold by a brand renowned for good customer service.

How Easy is it to Install?

The lighting pods can either be attached using the 3M tape backing which comes with the kit or by screwing in if you want a more permanent and sturdy installation.

Despite the fact it’s not a strip design, it’s still possible to be quite fluid with the configuration due to the connectors between each light unit, so you can extend the wiring depending on what layout you want to achieve.

What sets this kit apart aside from the low price is the 21 feet of included wire. That’s a lot more than other light kits so should mean most truck owners won’t need to use an additional wiring.

Once set-up you run the power wires into the truck and activate the cargo lighting using an on and off switch which you can fix to the dash or elsewhere in the cab.

Is it Bright Enough?

Bright enough for most would be the answer to that.

They will flood your bed with light as far as I can pick up from the existing online reviews, but unfortunately, I can’t find any information on what the lumen rating is.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest with the best online reviews
  • Water resistant up to an IP67 rating
  • Comes with 21 feet of wire so ample enough for most trucks
  • You can choose from 7 different color options

Cons

  • Not a continuous strip of lighting, but spaced pods
  • No information available on warranty period
  • No information available on lumen brightness rating

5. Best Sound & Music Activated Kit

If you want to make a statement, then nothing is going to say that more than the OPT7 Aura 12-volt 8-piece kit. It’s sound activated and comes with a variety of control mechanisms and functions that aren’t commonly found on truck bed led light kits.

Put simply, your pickup can be turned into a nightclub with this LED strip kit, but if nothing else is going to be a massive head turner.

But you don’t have to have the 16 colors flashing on and off all the time, and you also don’t have to sync the lights up to your music.

It will also work as a simple and functional set of pickup truck bed lights if that’s all you want for illuminating your work space.

How Easy is it to Install?

If wiring isn’t your thing, then you will be relieved to find out that this works either as a fuse hooked up to the battery, or you can opt just to hook them into your cigarette lighter. You have two options here for power.

You mount the LEDs on the underside of the bed lip using the 3M backed tape strips that the pods are attached to. It’s simple enough to do if you’re reasonably good with DIY, but I must say that the installation instructions aren’t that great if you are a beginner to truck modifications.

My buddy set this exact same truck bed light kit up 2 months ago, and I was there when he did it. He cut the wires and the ran them into the dash cluster via the factory loom. You don’t have to do it that way, as in most cases it will work just fine with no modification.

He just has a massive amount of customization already on his truck, so this was the best way to install the LEDs. You probably won’t have to go that far though as it’s a well put together kit that 9 times out of 10 will fit flawlessly.

I love the ingenious way in which you can optionally place a small rocker switch against the tailgate door. That means as soon as you open the tailgate, the lights come on (in simple white mode only) with no need to use the remote or internal switch in the cab. It makes life a lot easier, but you will need to drill a hole to get it working properly.

Is it Bright Enough?

This depends on what your definition of bright is, and unfortunately there is no lumen rating on the product description, but from what I have seen, they light up the bed very well and aren’t blinding like some of the factory-installed cargo lights can be.

This LED light kit is bright enough so that you can see what you’re doing in the bed in any low light area and won’t have any issues finding exactly what you need.

Pros

  • Synchronizes with your audio to move in time to music
  • More features than any other light kit on the market
  • Comes with an automatic tailgate switch that activates when opened
  • Can also be operated via a wireless remote or interior switch
  • Water resistant up to an IP67 rating
  • Offers multi-colored lighting with 16 colors
  • Comes with relay and fuse for battery connectivity

Cons

  • Only comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Fits with 3M tape backing which over time can become a little loose
  • Not as bright as the advert shows, but still bright enough for most
  • Installation instructions not that easy to follow
  • You might need to buy wiring extensions on longer beds

What are the Best Truck Bed Lights for You?

I can appreciate that I have offered a wide range of recommendations above, but having split those into 5 different and distinct categories it should make things a lot easier for you.

The question you need to ask yourself is what type you want, and how much money do you have to spend. Based on that you should opt for one of the following types:

  1. A kit that offers value for money
  2. A kit that is the best on the market, regardless of price
  3. A kit that is simply cheap
  4. A kit that offers multi-colored variations
  5. A kit that can be activated by sound and music

In the above section you can find the best product in each of these categories. 

FAQs

Will installing truck bed lights void my truck’s warranty?

Whilst I don’t have knowledge of every single truck warranty out there, as far as I know, it’s just a switch your adding in most cases, perhaps a couple of drill holes, and running of some wires, so can’t see how it could have any bearing on invalidating a warranty.

To be absolutely certain you should check your own agreements and documentation though.

Are LED truck bed lights against the law?

No, but there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of, the main one being colors. If your lights flash red, yellow, or blue they could be confused with police, fire, and ambulance vehicles – do that, and you might get pulled over.

Laws will differ from state to state, so if unsure contact your local transport authority.

Will these kits also work underneath Tonneau covers?

Yes, they will, as most of the adhesive backing that comes with them will easily stick to fiberglass and other materials, plus come with waterproofing housing.

Are they water resistant and waterproof?

Read the manufacturer descriptions carefully but be aware that water resistant and waterproof are two very different things.

To be extra sure water won’t damage the LEDS you can also use some RTV silicone if there is any exposed copper and soldering. In most cases this won’t be necessary, unless you have made your own DIY lighting strip or bar.

Buyers Guide

LED lights have been around for over 50 years, despite many people thinking of it as a new technology. The reason why it’s considered a modern commodity is mainly down to the more recent advances in white LEDs, which have gone on to replace legacy lighting systems.

Those advances have become very popular in the automotive industry, with truck owners and manufacturers being able to take advantage of the power saving, brightness, color variability, and long-lasting nature of modern LED lights.

But they do tend to be more expensive, in most cases costing much more than neon or halogen lamps.

However, that increase in cost should not be viewed in isolation as they can pay for themselves over the lifetime of your truck considering how long they last and can even add to the re-sale value of your vehicle.

LEDs can be installed as purely functional lighting on a truck, such as the headlights or to supplement the cargo lights in the bed.

They can also be used for decorative purposes in the interior cab and on the exterior bodywork including under the rail, in the bed, or even underneath the truck itself.

The kits available to buy online tend to come with water resistant seals and casing to protect them against road vibration or high impact events.

These are just a couple of reasons why they so popular with people who want to modify and customize their truck, as they will stand up to a lot of punishment, look great, and last for a very long time.

With a new truck, you might have pre-installed LED lighting which can come in different colors to serve multiple varied functions. When you already factory-installed LEDs you have the peace of mind that the manufacturer will have adhered to the law in your country and will include them as part of the vehicle warranty.

But if you are buying DIY or after-market truck bed cargo lights you won’t always have that guarantee, so it’s important you know the legal implications of fitting you own kit and choosing a product that comes with a warranty.

When you are choosing the best truck bed lighting system to suit your own vehicle, make sure you do your research first and also have a basis working knowledge of LED technology as you might have to do some wiring yourself.

Here are my top tips on how to choose LED lights for your pickup truck’s bed, including an overview of what the technology means, aspects of installation, and loads more essential info you should read before you buy.

What is LED?

As mentioned previous, it’s been around for some time now but in more recent decades has started to replace lighting functionality in a wide variety of applications including house lighting, external lighting, TV, and in the automotive sector.

how LED lights work
This is how LED lights can work in your truck’s bed or cargo hold.

I won’t go into too much of the technical detail (these guys do it better), but for a very basic overview here’s how it works:

  1. The lights work by using a light emitting diode (LED)
  2. The LED is a semi-conductor chip in a reflector
  3. Power runs to the chip which then lights it up
  4. The LED light doesn’t heat up like standard lights
  5. Instead they emit photons, not heat, shine brightly, and can last for years

Compared to more traditional lighting formats such as halogen lamps, LEDs only use around 25% of the same power and can continue to last for up to five times longer.

Being brighter than halogen lights, LED lights are great for trucks which are frequently driven in hazardous conditions, and many emergency service vehicles will have LED lights as standard.

Here are some key differences between the two types shown in the table below.

LED lights vs halogen
LED lights vs halogen lights and how they compare.

As you can see, choosing to fit LED lights to your truck, whether that’s in the bed or as functional lighting will give you far better value for money as they simply last so much longer.

Aside from that, they are also much safer because they offer improved visibility when used as front and rear lamps. And of course, that also means that they will also be far brighter when you are searching around in the bed of your truck. They also won’t get hot like traditional lights do.

If you do decide to use LED lights for decorative purposes, the different colors available can be used to great effect. They are also far better than neon lights as they don’t require as much power, don’t heat up, and won’t break as easily making them perfect for the different activities you might use your truck for.

The Different Types of LED Truck Lights

As already discussed, there are two main uses in the automotive and vehicle sector; functional and decorative. The functional lighting includes items such as head lamps, indicators, fog lamps, and brake lights.

The decorative uses relate more to fender markers, colored accessories, and wheel lights.

Type 1: Functional LED Lights

There will be legal requirements in any state or country about how the lights on your truck work, including what you can and can’t do.

These laws can relate to the usage and installation of:

  • Front, rear and side lights
  • Parking lights
  • Signal lights
  • Emergency flashing lights
  • Fog lights
  • Tail lights
  • Reverse lights
  • Floodlights
  • Tow lights
  • Internal lighting

Type 2: Decorative LED Lights

These are purely down to the discretion of the truck owner and are purchased and installed in order to change the look of the vehicle, and in most cases are fitted to express the individuality and personality of the truck owner.

Where and how you fit the lights, including those truck bed light strips that are recommended in this guide, can also be prohibited by law in the area you live.

It entirely depends on your own state and national laws, so check those (here’s a great guide) before you purchase.

The most popular applications and areas where people fit LED lighting to their truck include:

  • Bed and Tonneau cover
  • Bumpers and fenders
  • Cab interior, dashboard and seating
  • Cab exterior
  • Door frame and handles
  • Underbody
  • Wheel wells and arches

Features

LED lights come with many different features, some of which can be quite confusing if this is the first time you have looked into purchasing them.

Given that this guide is all about truck bed lights, let’s focus on the features found in the smaller strip and bar kit lighting systems.

The different features can include:

  • Strobe lights
  • Blinking lights
  • Chasing lights

There will be different sizes and shapes available, some of which will be sold as a solid truck bed light bar, whilst others will be as pods attached to a strip.

You will be able to choose from:

  • Wide and diffuse beam
  • Thin and focused beam
  • Single, multi or patterned color

The type of housing should also be a consideration, with water resistance being the most important for external installation or bed kits.

The more popular kits right now are those which have a chrome finish, as they just look nicer, but trends can change, and it’s your own personal choice ultimately.

And lastly, the way in which the lights are controlled will vary from kit to kit with some using a remote control, other via a wired-up button in the dash, or those that have a delayed shut-off.

Warranty & Brand

Always look to see that the kit you are buying comes with a long-term warranty. With truck bed light kits, the warranties can be relatively short but certainly don’t settle for anything less than a year.

In terms of brand, the bars and strips recommended in this guide aren’t typically manufactured by the leading LED light brands due to the kits being quite a niche product.

When choosing your product find out what their exchange and refund policies are, plus whether they are prepared to send out replacement parts in case any of the light strips or pods are damaged, which can and does happen during the postal process.

At the very least pay very careful attention to the online reviews. With Amazon you can see whether the person reviewing has actually bought the product or not as it will say “verified purchase” next to their review.

The best LED truck bed lights will be the ones that have an average star rating of at least 4 and above. I wouldn’t go below that, and in fact none of my recommendations in this guide fail that most basic of tests.

Installation 

How you install your new lights will very much depend on what type of lighting product it is, and how adept you are at wiring.

Many LED lights can be fitted to the light housing already in the truck using a conversion kit. That’s more relevant to functional lighting though and will often be “plug and play”.

With decorative truck LED lighting many of the bed lighting bars and kits can be glued, bolted, or clamped on, with some coming with magnetic strips for a really easy installation.

However, unless you are running your LEDs via small consumer type batteries, there will be some element of wiring involved.

Once the truck bed light bar or LED strips have been added, you will have to connect the wires up to your vehicle’s electrical system and might even have to upgrade some of the fuses.

All of the truck bed lighting systems, bars, and strip kits recommended in this guide have been selected in part due to the fact they come with very comprehensive installation instructions. Most will have instructional YouTube videos available online if you get stuck.

How to Hardwire Truck Bed Lights

If you’re not sure where to wire the truck bed lights, then there are plenty of tutorial videos available on YouTube. For example, you can see this instructional video below from the LEDGlow brand which show exactly how to do it if you choose to buy one of their kits.

Conclusion

Over the last decade there has been a massive increase in popularity in custom LED lighting for trucks which has come hot on the heels of the manufacturers replacing the more traditional halogen and neon lighting used for functional purposes.

LED lights offer much improved visibility, and that’s the primary reason why they are so popular now as DIY kits that you can install into the bed and cargo areas. Given the improved visibility they offer, the lack of heat, and long-lasting lifespans, it’s no wonder so many truck owners choose to fit them.

But there are also people who want to add personality and character to their ride which is why the neon and luminous truck bed light strips are such a popular customization choice.

With differing colors and functions including music-activated light bars, plus the ease at which you can now install them, it’s a trend that’s only set to continue.

If you want to brighten up your truck or just make a statement, then I hope you have found this guide to what the best truck bed bar lights are useful and helps you to make a more educated purchase today.

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Josh Henderson

Hi I'm Josh and I'm a huge pickup enthusiast. I started this website in 2018 in order to share all my projects and custom mod tips that I've done with my own Ford F-150.

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