You’ve definitely seen underbody glow kits if you’ve seen the Fast and the Furious movies,
attended a SHOWnGO Night, or been to just about any sport compact show ‘n’ shine
within the last year or two. Today I’m gonna show you how you can make your ride show off
more mojo-glow than the competition.
Most of the underbody glow kits on the market are made of a quartet of glass or acrylic tubes
that you attach to strategic mounting points along the front, back, and sides of your car’s
underbody. The tubes contain a mixture of exotic gases that glows when an electrical charge
is passed through it. Think of the sign outside your neighborhood pizza shop and you’ll get
the idea. By altering the mixture of gases inside the tubes, neon kit manufacturers can offer
them in several colors (although the kits can’t actually change colors—see below for a kit that
does) and can strobe, fade, or even pulse to the sound of your stereo. For around 150 bucks,
they can turn an otherwise run-of-the-mill ride into a heapin’ spoonful of attitude at night.
For a few bucks more, you can get a kit that uses LEDs (light-emitting diodes) to generate
light instead of a mixture of gases. I’m convinced that LEDs make the world go round—you
simply can’t take two steps without bumping into one. I’ll bet that the monitor you’re
reading this on has at least one of the glowing little buggers, and so does your ‘puter,
your TV, your VCR, your DVD player, and so on. But the LEDs in an underbody glow kit are a
lot brighter and more fun than any appliance power light!
A typical single-color LED kit from PlasmaGlow has 170 digitally controlled LEDs for ultimate
brightness. Like its neon gas cousins, it has a digital control box that gives you the power
to strobe, fade, and pulse your kit to your stereo. The main advantages to LED kits are a
brighter glow and better resistance to breakage because there’s no gas to escape in the event
that a tube gets cracked.
For the ultimate in underbody bling, PlasmaGlow sells a 7-color LED kit with 500 LEDs
that can be made to dance in any of 9 modes, in any color, for a total of over 60 different
combinations. Watching a car with a 7-color kit is the next best thing to a trip to Vegas!
Whether you go for gas or diodes, your underbody glow kit is pretty much a plug-n-play install.
First, you’ll need to hook up a distribution block to your car’s electrical system. Then you
mount the four tubes under your car, making sure that they are up high enough to escape any
attacking curbs or speed bumps. Next, connect the tubes to the distribution block, and you’re
done. The manual that comes with your kit will explain the wiring requirements and any features
specific to your kit, like how to use the remote control unit. Sounds pretty easy, huh? It is,
but remember the #1 rule when it comes to working under your car: use a set of sturdy
jack stands to hold your car up while you’re under it. Don’t be a dumbass like my buddy Flatface
Freddy (may he rest in pieces) and try to install one of these using a tire jack!
All in all, just about any underbody glow kit will look pretty good, but if you really want to
stand out, you might want to shell out a few extra bucks for the PlasmaGlow 7-color LED kit.
It has a lifetime warranty, and PlasmaGlow even offers add-on kits for wheel wells and a wireless
There are also the interior glow kits. Smaller LED or neon tubes are available to tuck under the dash or seats. Neon wire kits are also available to really make your interior light up. The kit can be placed in a number of different places: Dashboard, Speakers, Doors, Central Console, Stereo, Speakers, Back Shelf - wherever!
THE POINT: Underbody glow kits are a great way to make your ride stand out at night.
Whether you go for neon tubes or LEDs, they’re easy to install and a lot of fun to use. Now
that you’re convinced you want to trick out your ride with lights, prepare yourself for a lot of extra attention!
Mr. X — Bigger, Better, Faster