KC HiLiTES, the dominant force in auxiliary and off road lighting! As the original manufacturer of off road lighting, beginning with the Daylighter, they have a rock solid reputation for quality and p ... read more
KC HiLiTES, the dominant force in auxiliary and off road lighting! As the original manufacturer of off road lighting, beginning with the Daylighter, they have a rock solid reputation for quality and performance. Specializing in Jeep, Truck, SUV and Off Road aftermarket lighting, their product offering continues to evolve, offering a complete line of auxiliary Fog and Driving Lights, Off Road Lights, Flood Lights, Light Bars, Light Covers, and Wiring Kits to accommodate your lighting needs. KC lights are available in Halogen, HID and LED light sources.
From the privateers to the pros, KC has been pioneering higher-quality off-road lighting since 1970. Since the beginning, KC’s involvement with motor sports has been critical to the process of designing, engineering and manufacturing the most advanced auxiliary lighting available. Their competition HID lights are now found on many winning off-road race vehicles including Scott Douglas, Curt LeDuc, Ron Whitton, Randy Merritt, Rick Doetsch, Todd Wyllie and many others. As the original manufacturer of off-road auxiliary lighting, KC HiLiTES not only set the standard for the category – they created it.
KC was started by Pete Brown in his garage in Saugus, California, as he was looking for some improved lighting for his pickup. He started using landing lights from aircraft, adapting them to his truck, and then figured out the way they mounted wouldn’t stand up to the rigors of the now growing off-road community of race buggies and pickups. Available lighting at the time was limited to 55-watt halogen lamps that were in his words, “really disappointing” in the desert. He made a few sets for friends, and KC was in business. Working with neighbors out of his garage, he assembled the lights, built the wiring harnesses and sold the packages to off-roaders and local shops.
KC’s Daylighter, as it came to be known, would serve as the backbone of KC’s development for years to come. KC designed the special patented isolated rubber mount for the Daylighter when they noticed too many failures due to the severe vibration within the metal housing during his off-road adventures. Many long hours were spent with GE engineers, learning about the intricacies of lighting, sealed beams, filaments, the varied types of construction, wattage and what candlepower was really all about. At that time, they devised a way to completely encircle the bulb in rubber, helping isolate it.
The 70’s and 80’s brought more innovations in lighting, and KC was at the forefront. Many race teams using KC’s included pioneers Walker Evans and Ivan Stewart. In the 90’s, KC developed the now-famous HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting system, based on the same Metal Halide concept used to illuminate giant sports complexes. KC offers HIDs for off-road use, and they’re also great for commercial and industrial applications. Many ATVs and Rhinos are now running HIDs, LEDs and other KC lighting products.
Today, KC is all about quality. Their lights are built tough, to last. Inside and out, KC has never accepted anything less than the highest quality materials and workmanship for their products. Their reflectors are meticulously polished to produce the brightest possible reflective surface. Bulbs are specially designed for the intended applications. KC light housings feature only the finest, toughest finishes. All stainless steel housings are polished and sealed for enduring beauty, and long life. Their chrome and black housings are triple plated and polished. Their black painted housings are tough enough to withstand brutal salt spray tests. KC’s nylon composite housings feature an extremely tough combination of plastics and resins. It is this absolute commitment to total quality that allows KC to back every KC product with their industry leading 23-year warranty.
Today the company is owned and run by Michael DeHaas, Brown’s stepson. A couple of KC’s newer and very popular products, developed by DeHaas and his team, are the SlimLite and Rally 800 series of lights. The six-inch diameter SlimLite is available in chrome and black powder coated finishes. Offering long-range illumination with up to 300,000 candlepower, and driving light configurations from 120-150,000 candlepower, and fog lights at 25-60,000 candlepower, the SlimLite series offers a variety of options for every application.
KC Rally 800 lights, featuring 8” diameter housings, come in stainless steel in either black or polished finishes. Their slim profile and full pivoting base allows for wide range of mounting options. Rally 800 lights are available in Long Range or Driving beam patterns, with super bright 130-watt halogen or ultra bright HID models.
Recognizing that off-road lights need a good place for mounting, KC developed a new series of Lite Bars. Their products are an attractive alternative to bulky bumpers and grille guards. They feature a great looking black powder coat finish.
DeHaas and his team spend many weekends at off-road races, working with racers to develop high quality, super-bright lighting to help them win at night. The scariest part of off-road competition is when the sun goes down, there’s no moon, and you are relying strictly on your lights to reach speeds over 125 miles per hour. DeHaas has spent many hours at the races, and in race cars, helping him develop a second-sense when it comes to lighting design.