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LED Light Bars – Everything You Need to Know About Beam Patterns

Installing a mini or full size LED light bar is a great way to boost the functionality of your work vehicle.

The high-intensity lighting can serve you by illuminating the road ahead, bringing much-needed brightness to the jobsite and warning others to steer clear of the area – all without taking much power from the battery.

LED light bars can operate for up to 50,000 hours, so you’ll want to be smart about your choice of which model to purchase. Exploring the various options available can help ensure you end up buying a product that meets your needs, and beam pattern is an important feature to consider.

Beam pattern is a term used to describe how far and wide the light of an LED will reach. Here at LED Equipped, our vehicle lighting comes with one of three patterns – a spot beam, flood beam or combination beam. Which one is right for you? To figure out the answer to that question, read the following informational guide.

Spot Beam Pattern

A spot beam produces a far-reaching, focused cone of light with a narrow spread of 10 to 30 degrees.

Advantages

Equip your work vehicle with a spot beam LED light bar, and you’ll have an easier time seeing objects that are far away and improved visibility for nighttime driving. And if you need task-specific lighting at the jobsite, switching on your light bar can be an effective solution.

Disadvantages

Due to the narrow spread of a light bar with a spot beam, you can easily overlook objects and obstructions that are off to the side of the road. In addition, you might find that curves can be more difficult to spot and safely navigate.

Flood Beam Pattern

A flood beam produces a bright, wide beam of light that spreads at an angle between 60 and 90 degrees.

Advantages

Install an LED light bar that features a flood beam, and you’ll be able to see and avoid upcoming roadside hazards. Plus, you’ll have ample illumination for driving down curvy back country roads and for improving the visibility across a large jobsite.

Disadvantages

A flood beam won’t illuminate the road ahead as far as an LED light bar that features a spot beam. Also, mounting a flood beam light on the rooftop of your work vehicle can result in a glare on the windshield and/or hood.

Combination Beam Pattern

A light bar with combination beam has the LEDs at the center produce a spot beam and those on the outside produce a flood beam.

Advantages

Clearly, the benefit in choosing a combination beam light bar is its versatility. With the flick of a switch, you can have either far-reaching or widespread illumination – so, you’ll have the lighting you need for any driving conditions and any jobsite situation.

Disadvantages

The lighting effects produced by a combination beam aren’t quite as powerful as those produced by LEDs with only a spot beam or flood beam. And, LED light bars that feature a combination beam tend to be among the most expensive options.

Choosing an LED Light Bar for Your Vehicle

After reading all of the information above, you probably have a pretty good idea of which beam pattern best meets your needs. However, that’s not the only factor to take into account as you select an LED light bar.

Before you make a decision on which model to install on your work vehicle, give thought to these important matters.

Laws on LED Lights

Does your city or state have laws regarding the use of auxiliary lighting for non-official vehicles? Most likely, yes – and if you don’t follow the rules, you could be cited by the police, forced to pay a huge fine or face other penalties.

Laws on vehicle lighting vary, so unfortunately there’s no way to sort your options by what’s legally allowed in your part of the country. To learn which types of LED light bars you can install on your work vehicle, you’ll need to check with your local law enforcement agency.

Light Bar Size

Have you measured the area where you’re planning to place your LED lights? If not, find a ruler and figure out the dimensions of the space you have available. You’ll want the light bar to be a good fit, and you may end up with the wrong size if you don’t measure carefully.

As you determine what would be an appropriately sized light bar, consider how many rows of LEDs you’d like to have. A double row will, of course, produce greater illumination, but a single-row bar offers a lower profile. The right choice depends upon the configuration of your work vehicle and your personal priorities.

LED Light Colors

What color or colors do you want your LED light bar to produce? The decision may not be entirely in your hands, as in many areas, certain colors are not legally acceptable for civilian use. For example, blue vehicle lighting is commonly reserved for law enforcement officers, while red is often restricted to ambulances and official vehicles of the police and fire departments.

If you are free to choose your LED colors, however, consider your driving and jobsite needs. White LEDs offer the brightest illumination in average weather, but amber can provide you with better visibility when it rains, snows or gets foggy. And to make sure your work vehicle gets noticed, you may want a dual-color light bar with white or amber along with red, blue or green LEDs.

Outfitting Your Vehicle with LED Lights

Is an LED light bar the only auxiliary lighting you need for your work vehicle? Many people opt for multi-light setups to ensure that they have ample illumination out on the road and at the jobsite – but then again, some local and state laws limit the number or placement of LED lights on non-official vehicles.

Once you know the rules and regulations in your region, you can decide which types of vehicle lighting best meet your needs. Your options include dash lights and beacon lights, which feature temporary mounts, along with visor lights, grill lights and running board lights, which are designed for permanent mounting.

Whether you’re only looking to install an LED light bar or you’d prefer a multi-light setup, LED Equipped is the vehicle lighting supplier to trust. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can answer your questions, offer expert advice and help you find LED lights that work for you and your budget.

We carry an extensive selection of high-quality LED light bars and vehicle lighting products, all of which feature advanced technologies, durable construction and top-notch performance. And though the products we sell are built to last, we offer both hassle-free returns and warranty coverage.

LED Equipped is Shopper Approved, with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and close to 800 reviews. We also have accreditation and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and we’re proud to be the vehicle lighting supplier of choice for law enforcement agencies, fire departments, ambulance fleets, utility providers, construction companies and towing services around the country.

We’d love to supply you with the vehicle lighting you need – and you’ll love how our LED lights come with fair, competitive prices. If you’re in the market for an LED light bar, browse our online catalog or reach out to the LED Equipped team today!