Are you interested in an LED light bar? But not just any LED light bar, you want the best light bars for trucks. You’ve come to the right place! We are going to educate you on everything LED light bars, so when it comes to actually purchasing an LED light for a truck, you will know exactly what to purchase.
As with any type of product on the market today, there is a myriad of options and features to choose from when it comes to LED light bars for trucks. From size to color to durability to beam pattern, the more you learn about light bars, the better your chances of securing one that you’ll enjoy and use.
LED Light Bars—A Brief History
If you want to purchase an LED light bar for your truck, then it’s highly likely that you’re already well versed in LED light bars and all of their conveniences. However, just in case you don’t know how great these bars are, let us inform you.
LED stands for light emitting diode. A light emitting diode, or LED, is a semiconductor diode that projects light forward in a form of electroluminescence when electricity is applied to it. Today, LED lights are found just about everywhere, including cars, the office, and in most electronics.
But what makes LED lights so great? Why do so many people have or want them? Better yet, why do you want an LED light bar for your truck?
It’s simple: efficiency. Sure, there are more factors to the equation, but mainly, LED lights are all about efficiency. Take a look!
LEDs have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, while halogen bulbs have an average lifespan of just 5,000 hours. Further, LEDs usually operate at 80 percent efficiency and can produce a significant amount of light with just a small amount of electricity. However, incandescent bulbs operate at about 20 percent efficiency, with 80 percent of the electricity being used going to producing heat.
For the clincher, LED light bars are known for being extremely durable. Particularly, these lights have no filament to burn out or parts to break. Therefore, there won’t be a need to replace them as often as traditional lights.
And the list goes on!
LED Light Bar Features
Let’s get started by listing a variety of features you will need to choose from when it comes to finding the best LED light bar for your truck. Some features will be more important than others. You will need to decide what you can and cannot live without when it comes to a light bar, as well as determine your overall budget.
The size of the light bar you choose to install on your truck should be of grave importance to you. First of all, how much light do you want illuminating from your truck? Answering this question will give you a better idea of options currently available on the market. Ultimately, the larger a bar is, the more bulbs it will have, giving off more light.
It goes without saying that bigger bars will cost more money. However, it should be noted that smaller bars are available, small bars that still produce a significant amount of light. Typically, these bars range in size from 4 inches to 50 inches.
Before you can accurately determine the best size for your needs, learn what you plan on using the boar for, and how much you are willing to spend on one.
While this feature is less prominent than others, it still needs to be discussed. All LED light bars come in one of two shapes: a curved LED light bar or a straight LED light bar. Which do you prefer? That’s what it really comes down to, as one shape has not proven to be more efficient over another.
Ask yourself, aesthetically, which shape of the LED light bar would look best on your truck?
This feature is important, and how you plan to use the light bar will be a huge factor. Unless your budget is relatively large, then you may be able to have the best of both worlds.
For example, when it comes to choosing the beam pattern, you have three options: spot, flood, or combination. The beam pattern should be chosen according to whether you plan to drive your truck on or off-road.
A spot beam pattern is narrow and reaches long distances, making it ideal for on-road driving. A flood beam pattern has a wider beam, making it great for off-road vehicle adventures. Or, if you want both feathers (and your budget will permit it), then it is recommended you buy a bar with a combination beam pattern. This option, as stated, will give you the best of both worlds, making your LED light bar perfect for all types of traveling.
Number of Rows
There are only two options to choose from when it comes to deciding how many rows you want your bar to have: single row or double row.
Mainly, how much light do you want your LED light bar to produce? Obviously, a double row LED light bar will produce more light, but this feature will also cost you more money. However, this is usually the popular choice among customers with trucks.
A single row LED light bar can still produce an efficient amount of light, but the real incentive here is that it will also keep you under the radar. Therefore, if you want to keep a low profile in your truck with a light bar, the single row option may be best for you.
Aesthetics can come into play, too. If you have a smaller truck, then a large, double row LED light bar may not look proportionate.
Not necessarily as serious as other features, choosing the color of your light bar can be fun.
Typically speaking, white is commonly chosen, but simply because it is the brightest color and is great for all driving conditions, all year long. However, amber light is great for driving in the fog and other low vision conditions. Depending on where you live, you may need to a light like this to help you see the road more clearly.
Finally, other colors such as red, blue, and green are usually chosen for emergency vehicles, and often create a lot of attention. The same argument as before hold up here: If you want to stay under the radar, keep a low profile, then a colorful light would not be best for your truck.
Are you planning on taking your truck off road? Will you be driving in rough environments? Will your light bar get wet?
You will discover that most light bars offer some level of protection, some sort of water resistance feature. However, if you’re planning on getting your truck completely submerged, then you should pay particular attention to this feature. For example, you may need to purchase a light that is entirely waterproof. You don’t want to corrupt any of the electronics inside your light, which could be expensive or even impossible to repair.
Don’t make the task of wiring an LED light bar more difficult than what it needs to be. In order to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible, ensure you have the right connectors for the job. LED light bars come with either ATP or DT connectors. Simply match the connector type with your wires—you’re good to go!
Best Light Bars for Trucks
There are hundreds of LED light bar manufacturers. However, just because a company makes and markets a product, doesn’t guarantee it’s reliable or efficient. Further, you may find one manufacturer or type of light bar to be better than another one due to a specific feature that works for you and your needs.
The following are a list of some the highest ranking light bars for trucks on the market today. You may agree or disagree. Yet, these products have proven to be beneficial and useful for most truck drivers.
Lazer Star Pre-Runner LED
This light bar is said to boast a 900—4,200 lumens, depending on the model you decide to purchase. You can get this bar with a spot, floor, or combination beam pattern, as well as a single or double-row bar. The product comes ready to install and is available in the following sizes:
- 12 inch
- 20 inch
- 30 inch
- 40 inch
- 50 inch
- 54 inch
Xtreme Off-Road Brite-Lites
Considered more of a “fun” bar, features of the Xtreme Off-road LED light bar manufactured by Bluhm Enterprises include:
Available in multiple lengths, this light bar has a lifespan of 30,000 hours, and all necessary hardware to mount is completely included.
Rigid Industries Radiance
This light bar is known for its choice of backlit color, which comes in white, amber, red, green, and blue. Further, a combination of spot and flood beam patterns for optimum lighting is provided, as well as the following sizes:
- 10 inches
- 20 inches
- 30 inches
- 40 inches
- 50 inches
Lightforce creates lights that are both modern and eco-friendly. Their lights are considered to be very “rugged” with a waterproof membrane that can be submerged in 9 feet of water. This product uses white light, ultimately helping with eye fatigue. Sizes available include the following:
- 10 inches
- 20 inches
- 30 inches
- 50 inches
Simply put, this is a good choice for those who plan on taking their truck off-road.
Baja Designs ONX6
Baja Designs offers high-quality products for race lighting, as well as off-road light bars for off-road driving use. Their ONX6 is known as a “powerhouse” in the industry, as it packs a 7,350 lumens per 10-inch section, as well as high-speed spot reflectors. This bar is available in the following sizes:
- 10 inches
- 20 inches
- 30 inches
- 40 inches
- 50 inches
Though significantly more expensive than other bars, they are a great product for serious drivers whose main concerns are durability and performance.
Tusk Combo LED Kit
For years now, Tusk has been well known for their high-quality parts and affordable prices. Their Tusk Combo LED light bar kit is no different. This combo unit comes in a flood and spot set up, along with an easy-to-use installation guide.
Further, the product comes with a rubber mount to help reduce vibrations, and overall has a great lighting solution for most needs. Better yet, the quality is high, but the price is not.
Remember, the above light bars are just a sample—not even a fraction of what is available on the market. To find the best bar for you and your needs, decide what you want your truck to have, and then start searching for it. The only way to ensure you get a quality product, one that you will get a lot of use out of it, is by researching various manufacturers, and then by reading customer reviews.
There is one feature that is not considered too often, or consistently overlooked: safety. When choosing an LED light bar for your truck, you should always choose a bar that is safety—as well as legal.
Every state has different laws in terms of what is “allowed” on the road when concerning light bars. It is recommended that you stop by your local Department of Motor Vehicles to gain a better understanding of what type of bar you’re allowed to use.
While LED light bars to offer a wide variety of incentives, they can be impairing to other drivers on the road. Therefore, always make sure you are conscious and considerate of your surroundings.
An LED Light Bar for Everyone
Essentially, if you want off-road LED light bars for your truck, you should have no problem finding one. The task is finding the bar that will give you exactly what you want. Whether you want a bar that is durable, affordable, colorful, small or large, etc., you may have to spend some time making a list of features you want, and then researching which manufacturer offers that product inline with your budget.
The last thing you want to do is waste your time, money, or energy. Therefore, before you make a purchase of any kind, make sure you’ve found the best bar for your wants and needs.