puddle lights

What Are Puddle Lights And Do You Need Them?

When it comes to headlights, taillights, and brake lights, drivers expect a certain degree of commonality. Meaning — every make or model will comprise these three things. Sure, the designs may vary and the type of headlamps will differ, but the location relatively stays the same on every sedan, SUV, or pick-up. That said, there are other automotive light features that have shown to improve the driver experience. They may not come standard. They may not even have much purpose. But lighting features, such as hidden LEDs and puddle lights, have become a trademark of many automakers.  

Keep reading to learn all about the origins of puddle lights and how this automotive light features draws your attention at night.  

The meaning behind the name

Puddle lights originated as the name suggests. Automakers began integrating puddle lights several decades ago to prevent drivers or passengers from stepping into a puddle, icy surface, or even worse scenario at night. These lights are typically located on the side mirrors and begin to illuminate every time you open your car door. Over the years, automakers have expanded its utility to include emblems and messages. More notably, you’ll remember some manufacturers began using this light source to highlight their brand’s logo. As seen with Lincoln, BMW, and MINI vehicles in recent productions. 

There are halogen, LED, logo, and custom puddle lights available for consumers to enjoy. Luckily, just about every automaker uses them in some form or another. For instance, when you go to unlock your vehicle using the touch-activated door sensor, you’ll notice the surrounding area will begin to glow. The use of these puddle lights effectively helps you see in the dark with clarity, thereby, creating a safer exit and entry point to your vehicle.

Can I install my own puddle lights?

If you’re a fan of the look, but your car doesn’t come decked out with this feature, you’ll find it’s no problem adding your own. Puddle lights have actually become one of the more popular after-market upgrades that car enthusiast splurge on. It not only elevates your car’s appearance giving it a more upscale feel, it provides evident safety benefits that all drivers can get on board with.

How much do puddle lights cost?

Puddle lights are both cost-effective and easy to install. They can range in price from $20 to $300 depending on what modifications you’re trying to make. If you’re simply just looking to replace your worn out puddle lights, you’ll find a range of affordable replacement options on Amazon. Just make sure you buy the right model and type for your vehicle. Auto enthusiasts who are looking to install puddle lights on their own will want to watch how-to videos on Youtube before getting started. That way you can better acquaint yourself with the installation process and how much it will cost to do the whole project. And of course, you could always rely on the experts, in which prices will generally vary between mechanics and dealerships.

In conclusion

While we can make a case that all automotive lighting is important, puddle lights do not fall high on the list. In fact, most drivers barely even know this light feature exists or has a specific name. It’s a feature we’ve become accustomed to, especially in higher end vehicles. What can be said is puddle lights really do make your car more distinct. Whether you value its utility or simply love the look, adding this light feature to your list of must-haves is not a bad idea.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure
Linzi Martin
Linzi Martin has worked as a content manager, consultant, and writer for the past six years. She's handled everything from blogs and articles to e-books and social media content. Her work has been featured in various publications including Apartment Guide, The Startup, and Voyage Magazine. Outside of work, Linzi enjoys staying active, frequenting new restaurants around South Florida, and spending time with her family.


    1. Very nice! My mother has two Mercedes SUVs and they both have this feature. I thought it was just a way for the company to display their logo, but now I know what those lights are for.

    2. All cars should come factory with underglow and puddle lights are a perfect gateway to that

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may also like

    More in:Enthusiast