Dependable Under Pressure

Dependable Under Pressure

It can be overwhelming to figure out what matters most when buying an off-road vehicle light.  

If you’re anything like us, you love researching new products that will enhance your next ride. You can be found spending hours comparing and contrasting features, imagining how exactly the product will impact your experience on the road. But sometimes it’s hard to know which product is the “best.” That’s why we want to give you an insider’s view of what goes on behind the scenes at mpower® lights, far before our product is marketed or even packaged in the box.


Built Tough with Silicone  

We’ve all been there: you thought you made a wise purchase and yet had a product break sooner than expected. It’s frustrating, time-consuming and maybe even makes you question your trust in that brand. At SoundOff Signal, our drive for a flawless customer experience fueled the development of SoundOff Signal’s mpower Silicone Lighting: lights that don’t crack, scratch or buckle under pressure…Yes, it’s possible.  

SoundOff Signal’s mpower technology is the first optic-grade patented silicone lens that is virtually shatterproof, making it the most durable light on the market. This technology is a versatile, high-performance lighting system that is designed to be used in a wide range of applications. While we began this product development for police cars, firetrucks, work trucks, tow trucks and other commercial vehicles, when we pivoted to serving off-roaders, we knew we had to vet our lights by replicating the tough conditions they encounter.


Tested Extensively

Unlike delicate pieces of jewelry, complex electronics or other premium products that demand a light touch, each time you open a box from mpower, you can be confident they’ve been thoroughly beat up. And why wouldn’t they be?  

Darrin Kunkle, test validation specialist, says that when the team immerses all products in these extreme temperatures and conditions, they push the product to its limit to ensure the durability off-roaders are looking for. At our headquarters in Hudsonville, Michigan, many employees are off-roaders themselves, which explains our extra level of attention to detail and passion. “These people care about what they are doing,” Kunkle says. 

Expect your light to undergo these tests:  

Environmental testing: evaluating the behavior of a device or system to obtain assurance that it will not be compromised by environmental conditions or fluctuations when operating outside the normal environmental operating range. Testing helps identify if there are any weaknesses in a product’s design or performance that could occur particularly at extreme hot/cold levels.  

Thermal Shock Testing: simulating a products’ life cycle by exposing the product to rapid changes of temperatures ranging from -60°C to 170°C. This is completed by using a dual climate chamber that will transfer the product from one temperature extreme to the other, in less than 30 seconds. 

UV Testing: carried out to understand how polymer materials withstand the damaging effects of UV light. This includes color change, reduction in performance characteristics, brittleness and much more. Typically, when a new product is developed and its resistance to sun rays needs to be verified, some samples are subjected to accelerated UV testing in a UV testing lab, which artificially recreates a long period of time under UV radiation bombardment in a short and convenient timescale. 

IPX Waterproof Testing: exposing a device to water using standardized tests applied to obtain an IP rating IPX-1- through IPX-9. The IPX standard gives a clearer picture of how water resistant the item is.   

Electrical Testing: evaluating the parametric, functional or timing performance of a component when electrical power is applied. Tests can range from simple, manual measurements of electrical continuity for the component’s inputs or outputs to complex functional tests. 

Photometric Testing: Measurement of the quantity, color and spatial distribution of light sources. 

Corrosion Testing: determining the resistance of materials to corrosion under certain environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity and salt water.  

Durability Testing: pinpointing the characteristics of a system under various load conditions over time. This testing helps us to identify the stability of transaction response times over the duration of the test. 

All these tests assess product reliability in controlled environments, including high temperature, and high humidity, Kunkle says. The goal is to simulate conditions that could lead to the failure of a new product, so when they get in your hands, you know they won’t fail.  

Damon Mirate, product director, explains that these tests actually take into account the extreme conditions that off-roaders experience. As an off-road enthusiast himself, Mirate envisions the actual experience of off-roading in rough terrain and the situations that could arise. He then considers questions such as: is the bracket going to hold up? Is the light going to stay straight? How does the vibration of the vehicle affect the light? And perhaps most importantly, how does the actual light look after the test is conducted? Mirate then carefully plans tests to measure these conditions. 



Delivering What Matters Most: Top Performance 

Testing is well and good, but in the end, off-road enthusiasts just want to know the answer to one question: how will the light perform? Because mpower lights are made to be so durable, you can expect the light to last longer and stay looking bright and clean due to the sun’s UV rays feeding off of the silicone properties. But don’t just take our word for it. 

Terry L. Abel, fire chief and emergency management director with Islamorada Fire Rescue, says that mpower ORV lights are reliable, time and again. ”The lights draw next to no power, run for hours on end through the harshest conditions of rock, mud, sand and water, never stopping and continuing to shine bright,” he says. “A simple wipe of the lenses and the mpower lights are good to go for another round.  Friends and family love riding with us as we light the trails up so everyone can see what’s going on. Riding the trails, trailside repairs, whatever the need, the mpower ORV lights never disappoint.”  

For Adam J. Geaneas, southeast regional trainer and personal user of mpower Silicone Lighting, the lights stood up even when his truck’s paint job didn’t. “The Jeep has hit trails, weathered extreme temperatures and traveled thousands of miles with ZERO issues. The Jeep has already had to have paint work done from road damage, but these ORV lights just shrug off the debris thanks to the silicone. I have been so happy with the mpower line I added them to my van as well, since we travel cross country with it. I know I will have dependable, reliable lighting any place I may go.” 


Ready to experience mpower? Click here to check out our lights today!

Do You Really Need an Interior Lightbar?

Four Reasons Why Off-Road Enthusiasts Say Yes

We get it: whether you’re planning to head out on your next trip or simply outfitting your truck with accessories, you’re always on the lookout for the best possible lights. As off-roaders ourselves, we know that lights need to do more than perform the basics to illuminate our path. They also need to weather tough conditions, be easy to install and illuminate exceptionally well in the dark. Enter our Interior Lightbar.

After we noticed that exterior bars were the predominant offering for most off-roading Jeeps, trucks and SUVs, we realized we had the chance to offer a new light that would stand up to the elements and provide excellent optics. Now our best-selling product, we leveraged our 30 years of experience in emergency vehicle lighting at SoundOff Signal to create an Interior Lightbar that serves the unique needs of off-roaders.

Read on to hear what’s unique about our lightbar and why Brad “Jeepin Bubba” Cohron tried out our lightbar on his Jeep.


Sleek look, protected from the elements

According to our customers, much of the appeal of our interior lightbar lies in its stealth character. With this lightbar being mounted internally, it is no longer vulnerable to damage on the trail. mpower® wanted to offer a light that was protected but powerful.

Jeepin Bubba said it delivers on this count. “The features that stand out most to me is that the lightbar is not in the line of sight, and it snugs to the glass, not allowing light to flood into the cab,” he said. “I like the convenience of it being mounted on the inside of the windshield, it limits the ability of wind noise or theft, and I can still use an automatic carwash!”

Available for several models of leading off-road vehicles, the mpower Interior Lightbar in-cab mounting eliminates annoying wind noise and drag. As you take on the trail, you can focus on the experience, knowing that your light is not interfering with your aerodynamics. Unlike exterior lightbars, our lightbar is not going to change the airflow heading over your vehicle, nor cause any unwanted wind turbulence or buffeting in your soft top.


Increased visibility, for nighttime off-roading

Available in a one piece or two-piece split models, the lightbar offers intense forward and off-axis illumination. So, what does that all mean? The light harnesses a combination of a flood and spotlight and provides the best of both worlds for off-roaders. With over 10,000 lumens in the one piece and 8,000 in the two-piece plus a spread over a 90-degree pattern, you’ll get light delivered in the front, as well as to the left and right.

What’s more, the lightbar offers dual function: with 60 amber LEDs for dusty environments and 60 white scene LEDs for intense illumination. A switch to shift colors is located right on the lightbar itself, above the driver’s seat. Wondering if the light limits your view through the windshield? Most users report they don’t notice any obstruction, and some say that the bar takes up far less space than a sun visor.

So how does this all play out on the road? Expect an intense white that illuminates 100 meters or more ahead, or a huge spread of dust cutting amber.

Jeepin Bubba said the dual function gives him peace of mind in terms of safety. “I love that it not only has a bright white option, but it also has an amber option that helps when it’s dusty on the trail,” says Jeepin Bubba. “Most of the mountain roads we take tend to get tight, windy and foggy/dusty. As the one who is typically the trail leader, I like to run the amber setting in both day and nighttime, as it’s not overwhelming but helps give oncoming traffic more warning.”


Easy to install

With simple plug and play wiring, the lightbar mounts directly to the interior using the sun visor clips. So, unlike exterior lightbars, there is no need to drill through the roof or A-pilar. As you open the box, you’ll see only a few wiring components in addition to the lightbar—don’t be intimidated, with a few tools and an hour or two, you’ll be ready to take the light on a ride. A detailed instruction sheet is included with every lightbar.


A thrill to take on the trail

Here’s what Brad “Jeepin Bubba” Cohron had to say when he took the mpower Interior Lightbar out on an adventure:

“I recently went to Coppinger Cove for the first time. It has a reputation of being a place you can get easily lost in and is not where you want to get caught in the rain, due to MANY water crossings. My group was trying to find the exit when a heavy thunderstorm came on and it suddenly went from looking like day to nighttime. The interior lightbar helped me to navigate the obstacles ahead, not to mention it looked absolutely epic during the storm. I absolutely love having it on my Jeep.”

Check out the video below, or learn more about the Interior Lightbar here


5 ways to cut through lingo and make sense of specs when shopping for off-road vehicle lighting

Have you ever been confused when shopping for lights and looking over the specifications? Ever wondered “are lights with more lumens better”?  Well, you’re not alone. It can be hard to sort everything out, especially since there is such a specialized vocabulary in lighting. There’s also misleading or incomplete information out there. We hope this guide helps you to make an educated purchase. 

For the remainder of this article, we will be referring to the lights as lamps so that we can provide accurate information. Light is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible. Whereas a lamp is a device that emits light.  


Defining the basic terms

Raw lumens, otherwise known as total available light, indicates the complete light output radiated from the LEDs. In other words, it’s the raw potential of the lamp. However, it does not take into account the design or engineering of the lamp such as the shape, reflectors used, lens material, optic design, etc.  



Lux, otherwise known as light at a distance, really gets to the point of what an illumination lamp is all about. Lux describes the amount of light on a surface at a specified distance. The closer to the lamp, the higher the lux values, and further away you get the lower the lux values. But what’s important to remember when you’re shopping and considering lux numbers is beam pattern and what you’re trying to illuminate. If you’re looking for a flood lamp, your lux numbers may be lower compared to the numbers you will see with spot lamps, since spot lamps concentrate light to a smaller surface area



Understanding how we measure lux

In the lighting industry, ABC measurements are used to describe the performance of a lamp. 

A. Lux @ 10 meters is used to tell you how bright objects would look 10 meters away from the front of the lamp. The higher the number, the brighter the object. 

B. Meters @ 1 Lux measures the distance from the lamp to an object when you have 1 Lux of light bouncing back from the object. So, this tells you how far away a person would be from the lamp when they have 1 Lux of light (which is about the minimum amount of light to read a newspaper). To a driver of a vehicle, the person bouncing back 1 Lux of light would be highly visible. 

C. Meters @ .25 Lux is a standard like B., but now the distance away from the lamp is when the driver is just able to make out the person or object. They begin to appear as the light bouncing back is visible. However, the person at that distance would not have enough light to read a newspaper. 


Wondering if big lumen numbers mean a great lamp? It depends

So, as you can see, raw lumens are not always beneficial to you when you’re trying to decide which lamp is most effective. When raw lumens are used as the “scale” of how bright a lamp is, it is often a poor indicator to actual performance.  

In fact, if a lamp has high raw lumens and low A,B,C numbers, may be an inefficient lamp or it could indicate an unfocused light. The goal of a good design is to have the lowest raw lumens with the highest A,B,C numbers. So, judge the lamp by the output, not the input! 

Let’s now see how this information applies to two mpower® products: 

mpower® ORV 12” Lightbar 

Designed with a hybrid 10° spot/flood beam pattern for optimal illumination on all your outdoor adventures. 

LED Color     Raw Lumens     Lux @ 10m     Beam Distance @ 1 Lux     Beam Distance at .25 Lux    
White  8,292  1,190  345 meters  690 meters 


Since this is a spot lamp that concentrates the lumens into a smaller area, you’ll see that the lux @ 10 m is a very high number, and the distance that the beam travels is extensive. Here, lux is the better measurement in terms of telling you about performance, because they convey concentrated light at distance. Raw lumens tell the story of the power of the individual LED inside the lamp. 12 LEDs creates 8,292 lumens, or about 683 lumens each. 


mpower® ORV Chase Light Kit 

Offers both a white cargo illuminating lamp and a dust cutting amber lamp and can be set to steady burn or flashing. 

LED Color     Raw Lumens     Lux @ 10m     Beam Distance @ 1 Lux     Beam Distance at .25 Lux    
White  2,832  64.48  80 meters  160 meters 
Amber  2,160  37.84  61 meters  123 meters 

Per kit assembly (two lights) 

Notice that compared to the spot lamp, this lamp has lower A,B,C numbers. But it’s important to consider that this is a warning lamp, so the light is being dispersed onto a much broader space to be able to be seen from many angles. These lamps can also dual purpose as near field flood lamps to concentrate on illuminating the space closer to your vehicle, which explains why the beam distances are shorter here than with the lightbar. 

With a flood lamp, it is important to look at the ISO-plot or bird’s eye view of the light showing the amount of lux in the area around the vehicle.  

Example of an ISO-plot chart for our mpower® 6×1 Light


You might also see candela mentioned when you shop, which is the amount of light in a certain beam angle or direction. Candela is used primarily for warning lamps, chase lamps, and taillamps since the light needs to be observed in particular directions. 



Getting to the bottom line: five ways to approach shopping for lights for your off-road vehicle


  1. All that said about lux, lumens and candela – no single measurement is the “be all, end all” when it comes to light measurement. It is important to consider all these measurements plus beam pattern and design.  
  2. In addition to light output, you should also consider mount options, installation ease, functionality, durability, price and more when you are shopping for the right product.  
  3. Knowledge of “how it works” vs. saying “it’s brighter” empowers you as a buyer! 
  4. In the end – perceived brightness probably matters more than everything else—turn the light on and show it off!  
  5. Last but not least, check out what lights mpower has to offer!  


How SoundOff Signal’s history serving first responders brought new light technology for off-road vehicles (ORV)  

Our strong track record supporting first responders

One rainy night, a motorist calls 911 after getting into an accident with another vehicle. An unmarked police cruiser is the first to arrive on the scene at the dark intersection of two country roads. Suddenly, the plain-looking police vehicle lights up the night. Its previously “invisible” lights send bright warning lights far down the road to alert other motorists of the hazard ahead. The lighting also helps the officer see the accident scene and helps other motorists see the officer.

With over 30 years of experience in emergency vehicle lighting, SoundOff Signal (SOS) is proud to contribute to the safety at scenes like these. Headquartered in Hudsonville, in the automotive state of Michigan, we’re known for our keen focus on solving customer problems. With nearly 400 employees focused on customer service, design, engineering and manufacturing, we take pride in being a company that can provide our customers with US designed and manufactured products and excellent, personalized service.

That’s why we’re known among first responders for our top-notch products. Terry Abel, chief of Islamorada (FL) Fire Rescue reports he was “sold on SOS products at first use…. We have never looked back since then,” Abel says. “In fact, we have been getting everything spec’d out with SOS products since 2019. This includes command vehicles, logistics trucks, engine, ladder, EMS SxS vehicles and the Utility Mule. We are also retrofitting our older trucks with SOS products, and most of the community’s public works and wastewater trucks either have been or are in the process of getting SOS lights.”

So, with this established customer base, why did SoundOff Signal decide to move into the off-road vehicle market recently?

Well, we knew we had to respond to a known problem.


Leveraging our expertise to push off-road lighting to another level

The creation of mpower® Silicone Lighting as a family company came because of a gap in the market: ORV lights made with traditional polycarbonate lenses do not hold up to weather elements and rugged rides, causing water corrosion, lens cracking or breaking, discoloring/yellowing, poor light output, whistling noises, bends in lightbars and more.

Simply put, ORV enthusiasts were tired of dealing with faulty lights, especially the cost of replacing them. That’s why we decided to take our emergency vehicle silicone technology and design a product line specifically for the off-road vehicle owners in mind.

mpower lights are enabled by Clear Duty® moldable silicone. This optically clear silicone elastomer provides high transmittance and low haze, while meeting demanding environmental challenges. These lights offer unique properties, including:

  • High light transmittance for better optical clarity and longer optical path length
  • High hardness with reduced surface tack to enable tougher, more rigid injection molded parts
  • Material toughness for accurate part fixation and high IP rating
  • Low haze and scatter, maximizing light output in a given direction
  • Design flexibility, allowing for lens and other functional aspects not possible in rigid plastics

We all know that law enforcement, fire, EMS & amber vehicles (utility, construction, tow, department of works, etc.) go through many harsh environmental impacts. To bring the right safety to the first responders and passersby, they need lighting that will stand up to high speeds, extreme cold temperatures (think snowplows in Alaska and Minnesota winters), and extreme hot temperatures (think fire trucks at a large fire or departments in the hot desert sun).

Inspired by this level of performance, we set out to create a new product with a smaller footprint, intense lighting, high quality and a long life. The light would need overall durability to withstand dirt, wet and extreme weather, gravel impacts and other road conditions. In addition to being rugged, the light’s materials needed to offer good photothermal stability to avoid yellowing from intense UV exposure.


Unparalleled performance:  unbeatable lights for your next off-road adventure

In addition to withstanding punishing use and brutal weather conditions, mpower products have powerful head-on and off-angle illumination, so you could say they are literally built for wherever you go and whatever you might stir up on your next adventure!

mpower Silicone Lighting is …

Silicone lenses and optic design deliver something polycarb lenses can’t. Gravel pitting, scratches and cracks can’t touch them. Period.

The hybrid optic offers unmatched spot and flood output. Not only do the lights beat many leading off-road lighting giants in raw lumen output, but they also never dull. Why? The silicone’s high UV and thermal stability prevents yellowing, keeping your lights shining brighter – longer.

The design and durability of these products demand attention and stand out from the crowds.

Streamlined design for stackable, anywhere-you-can imagine mounting on your vehicle. Plus, the low profile means less wind resistance and noise.

Leave the road behind with mpower Silicone Lighting and see what happens.