I don't know what you consider a fortune, but I LOVE my PIAA 520i (crystal ion beam) fog lights. They are amazing in foul weather and dust. I think I paid ~$250 for them. Well worth it. In fact, they let me spot a deer in the rain once, probably saved me a couple grand in bodywork.
The PIAA kit is easy to install, looks great and includes the lights, relay, switch, wiring, stoneguards, and mounting hardware.
Pay attention to the beam pattern you buy ... don't mount fog lights high on the body or driving lights where fog lights should go.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
- Samuel Adams
HID lights are the "best" offroad lights but they do cost a fortune. Personally, I'm a big fan of (and run) KC lights but PIAA and Hella are good brands too. KC's lights have a no-questions asked 23 year warranty that even covers bulb burnouts that no other light manufacturer offers.
Good to know Jerry. KC slimLites were going to be my next Jeep purchase because of the clearance where I want them. Which of the slimLites do you think are the best all-around? Not looking for fog lights though.
Well, I was considering the 130 watt driving lights, which are just under $200. That's about what I want to spend. Is there a certain pattern I should look for for off-road use? I'm thinking wide and bright, but I'm a noob so not sure.
My two KC lights each have a different pattern. One is for long-range and the other has a wide pattern. Together, they work very well. One lights up the road a long distance ahead, the other lights up the close-up terrain. The national sales manager for KC I was talking to at a trade show recommended that combination to me and I like it very much.
Personally I don't like any lights mounted up on the windshield. To me, they create more glare when mounted up high like that. So much so that some manufacturers like KC have come up with special mounts with light shields on them to try to reduce that glare. My mounts are mounted just above my winch which to me is a good height.
i use Lightforce lights on the front bumper. Love 'em. If Lightforce is OK with all the Baja and desert racers, works for me. Nice, light and very strong. I kept breaking KC lights at the base hitting tree branches or protruding rocks-- there is this rounded stud that holds it all together and if you rip off a light, then the whole housing is toast.
The HID and other high-zoot lights are fine, but remember they require passing air to help keep them cool. Slow crawling will cause a melt down.