Looking for the perfect LED light bar for your vehicle? Though this may seem like a daunting task, finding the right LED light bulbs for your bar, we have made it relatively easy for you! We have put together a convenient guide to help showcase the various types of bars, whether you are searching for LED light bars for a truck or car.
This helpful guide offers some insight into the different features available when choosing a light bar. For example, are your currently familiar with the shape, size, or beam pattern that would best suit your desires? You soon will be!
If you are serious about purchasing an LED light bar, then this LED light bar comparison guide will give you the education you need to ensure you get the best product without wasting your time, money, or energy.
An Introduction into LED Light Bars
Before we get started, it could be beneficial to give you a little bit of background into LED light bars.
LED, or light-emitting diodes, have been growing in popularity for decades, mainly due to the fact of their efficiency, as well as a long list of other advantages connected to using these specific types of lights.
Simply put, an LED is a semiconductor diode that, when electricity is applied to it, propels light forward in a form of electroluminescence. LED are used just about everywhere, and can often be found in automobiles, offices, and a vast majority of electronics.
Back to the efficiency factor, though. Just to give you an idea: LEDs generally operate at 80 percent efficiency, while regular or incandescent bulbs operate at about 20 percent efficiency. Further, LEDs have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, while halogen bulbs have an average lifespan of 5,000 hours.
It really is no contest as to why LED light bars are so popular.
However, before you choose to purchase a bar, learn about your options.
LED Light Bar Comparison
When it comes to choosing an LED light bar, the options seem limitless. For example, there are varying sizes, shapes, beam patterns, and manufactures to sway your decision.
To start, we will begin with size.
The size of the LED light bar you choose for your vehicle will ultimately depend on the vehicle itself. It goes without saying that you will want a bar that is proportionate and appropriate for your particular car—especially if aesthetics is a factor important to you.
Further, the larger the light bar, the more bulbs it will have, meaning larger bars will provide brighter light. Bars range in size from 4 inches to 50 inches. Not only should you be considered with the size of your vehicle, but the size of your budget too. Yes, a larger light will cost more money.
When choosing the shape of an LED light bar, there are really only two choices: a curved LED light bar or a straight LED light bar. This choice will come down to personal preference more than vehicle and/or budget.
Neither shape really has an advantage over the other. The shape factor is simply all about aesthetics. Choose the bar shape that is more appealing to you.
Where do you plan on mounting the LED light bar? This is a question you should have the answer to before you make a purchase—really before you even start shopping.
Some individuals prefer to mount the bar on the top of their vehicle, while others choose to place it on the bumper or above the windshield. While all of these options are acceptable, you need to ensure that wherever you place the light, it will function according to your needs.
Next, you will need to consider beam pattern. There are three different types of beam patterns to choose from:
A spot beam pattern has been known to be much narrower, allowing it to reach a longer distance. Therefore, this option is frequently chosen for on-road driving. Flood beams offer a wider light, making it the ideal choice as off-road lights for off-road driving. Or, if your budget allows it and you plan to use your LED light bar for multiple purposes, then consider a combination beam pattern. A combination beam pattern is equipped with both flood and spot LEDs.
LED lights come in different colors, and some colors may offer an advantage over others. For example, a white light will provide the brightest color and is most popular for all driving lights. Yet, an amber light is best for fog and low visibility conditions. Other colors such as blue, red, and green are known as “attention-getters” and are often used by medical or emergency vehicles. Color changing light bars are popular with emergency vehicles because they can utilize multiple of the attention gathering colors.
Color, perhaps more than any other feature, is a personal choice and should be chosen according to your intentions with the light bar. It is important to note that the color of the LED can affect the price.
Number of Rows
There are two different options to consider when determining how many rows you want your LED light bar to have: single or double.
Obviously, the double row will produce more light, are often the more popular choice, but will also cost more money. However, if you want your vehicle to be more low profile, then a single row LED may be appropriate for you. Again, for this feature, consider your particular type of vehicle and which row would look best.
LED Light Bar Manufacturers
As with any type of product, there are many manufacturers to choose from when looking at different LED light bars. It is best to not only see the bars in person, but to also read reviews left by other customers, and compare what one company may offer over another.
Below, you will see just a small handful of LED light bar manufactures that are popular on the market today.
Consider a leader in the industry, KC HiLiTES offers a line of LZR light bars that are considerably bright with 3-watt LEDs. This line has proven to be durable, offers a spot beam pattern in lengths ranging from 2 to 6 inches, while the combo beam pattern is available in lengths ranging from 10 to 50 inches.
Regardless of the beam pattern chosen, all products are designed to be resistant to dust, water, shock, and vibration.
GT Lighting USA
An up and comer in the industry, GT Lighting USA is known for their unique sizes of light bars, such as the following:
- 8 inches
- 14 inches
- 22 inches
- 33 inches
- 42 inches
Dues to these sizes, there is much flexibility offered when it comes to mounting the bar. All of these bars are available with spot beam patterns. Better yet, all bars come with mounting and installation hardware already included. This factor is important for those shopping on a budget.
Custer Products has made a name for itself throughout the industry by manufacturing a very comprehensive selection of automotive light products. Their LED light bars are significantly light and available in 7.5, 14, and 22.5-inch lengths. These bars can either be stud mounted or flash mounted, as well as rotated 180 degrees with the included brackets.
Rigid Industries has made it known that their products are solely designed, engineered, and assembled in the United States. Their LED lights are available in spot, flood, or combo beam patterns, with lengths ranging in size from 4 inches to 50 inches.
Another item to note regarding Rigid Industries: their products’ durability. They have showcased their LED light bars being sawed, crushed, shot, and frozen, yet still managing to function. This is the clear option for you if you require a heavy duty product.
Baja Designs has a real passion for this industry, which is clear in the design of their products. They offer two different lines: the OnX series and the Stealth series.
The OnX series comes in 8-inch size increments, ranging from 8 inches to 51 inches. These lights bars are available in both spot and combo light beam patterns. The Stealth series is available in 10-inch size increments, ranging from 10 inches to 50 inches.
Both options offer LED light bars that are fully serviceable and feature optics and lenses that can be customized. Further, these bars can be submerged in up to nine feet of water.
Bulldog LED Lighting
Bulldog LED Lighting has been leaving their mark in the industry since 2011. They offer a series of LED light bars available from 10 inches to 50 inches. These bars are offered in spot, flood, or combo beam patterns, and use 3-watt LEDs.
The most unique feature offered by this manufacturer is that their products can be ordered in white, blue, red, or amber LED colors. These bars are durable and waterproof up to nine feet.
Oracle Lighting delivers high quality LED products. They are most proud of the accolades they have received, believing that they are easy to trust based on their awards.
Perhaps even better, is the fact that their LED light bars can be purchased in a variety of lengths, such as:
- 8 inches
- 12 inches
- 13.5 inches
- 22 inches
- 32 inches
- 42 inches
- 52 inches
All of these light bars are water, dust, and impact resistant, offering a strong polycarbonate lens, which is perfect for the most extreme environments.
Originally, Weekend Concepts got their start in the industry by developing off-road lighting systems for motorcycles, before focusing more on LED products.
Now, the manufacturers offer LED light bars in a myriad of lengths, all available in either spot, flood, or a combination of beam patterns. This company prides itself on the durability of its products.
Extreme LED Light Bars
This company is known today for producing durable LED light bars, making them an ideal choice for drivers who plan on using the light bar for off-road vehicle adventures. These lights also have a long lifespan, above other options.
Extreme LED Light Bars is known for using Cree LEDs, which is universally considered to be the best and most innovative bulbs available today.
Eyourlife is another company known for its bright LED light bars, which use Cree LEDs. However, these lights are notably more affordable than other manufacturers who use Cree lights.
The one agreeable downside to Eyourlife products is that they are not as durable as other options. The choice that comes into play here is durability over price. Which is more important to you?
One fact that should always be considered, regardless of vehicle, budget wants, needs, etc., is safety. When choosing an LED light bars for a truck or anything else, remember to be smart, safe, and legal in your purchase.
There are different laws in place regarding the use of LED lights, laws that change from state to state. Before you incorporate an LED light bar into your daily routine, become familiar with these laws. It is recommended that you visit your Department of Motor Vehicles to understand what you can and cannot do with an LED light.
Further, you should be aware that when on the road, an LED light can affect the vision of other drivers, so be cautious and courteous.
The Choice Is Yours
Ultimately, only you can decide which style, size, and beam pattern of an LED light bar are best for you and your needs. Now that you are more familiar with the various options, you should feel more comfortable choosing a bar to fit your expectations.
If you are knowledgeable about the product before making the purchase, then it is more likely you will get exactly what you want without wasting your time or money. The best advice we can offer you is to decide which features are most important to you—i.e. durability, beam pattern, size, color, price, etc. Then, create a realistic budget, which will allow you to know what you want exactly and how much you can spend. Remember, everyone’s personal preference is different. What are you looking for in an LED light bar?