Before you begin shopping for an emergency vehicle light bar, you first need to determine where you are going to mount it. You want a good fit, after all, and that means taking a careful measurement of the mounting location.
So, what is the right spot to mount an LED light bar on your vehicle?
You have a few options, and though it may seem like the decision is one of personal preference, there are other factors to consider. Here, the professional team at LED Equipped explains the various mounting locations for emergency vehicle light bars, along with their advantages and drawbacks — the crucial information you need to make an educated choice.
The front bumper is a prime location for mounting an emergency vehicle light bar and is the most commonly chosen spot.
Compared to other options, the front bumper is the easiest place to mount an emergency vehicle light bar. Often, bumpers have pre-drilled holes – and if yours does not for whatever reason, you can typically drill them yourself without much effort or any specialized tools. Plus, the bumper can accommodate just about any size or configuration of LED light you want, and mounting the bar here almost always makes wiring simpler.
Choose the front bumper as your mounting location, and the light bar will be at roughly the same level as your vehicle headlights. As a result, you will not have multiple angles of illumination and as wide coverage of the road ahead as you would if you mount the LED lighting in another position.
Though the location comes with size limitations, the lower windshield is another popular spot to place an emergency vehicle light bar.
Mounting an LED light bar at the bottom of your windshield rather than on the bumper offers greater illumination. The location provides light at a different angle from that of your headlights, allowing for better visibility when you are out on the road. At the same time, the spot offers a discreet lighting solution.
Wiring is more challenging with a lower windshield mount than is with a front bumper mount. In addition, if you want to place an emergency vehicle light bar in this location, you may need to budget for extra hardware. And as we mentioned, the spot limits your choice in light bar size.
Above the Windshield
For many people, mounting an emergency vehicle light bar above the windshield can be a smart option.
Like the front bumper, the area above the windshield on most vehicles can accommodate an LED light bar of any size. Compared to the other choices, this mounting location also offers maximum illumination and visibility because of the large angle difference from your vehicle headlights. Furthermore, LED lighting positioned here is the most noticeable to other motorists.
Placing an emergency vehicle light bar above the windshield is more difficult than mounting one on the front bumper or the bottom of the windshield. The task may require extra drilling and additional equipment as well. Wiring is also challenging, much more so than with other mounting locations. And if you are not extremely careful in the placement of the fixture, you may end up with hood reflection.
Two or more LED lights can be better than one, and people often choose multi-light setups for emergency vehicles.
With LED lighting in multiple locations, you gain powerful illumination from a range of different angles. You will have no problems with visibility or attracting the attention of other motorists, and you can customize the configuration to provide your emergency vehicle with a truly unique look.
As you might expect, wiring multiple emergency vehicle light bars is a difficult endeavor, one that may require the expertise of an electrician. And though LED lighting is incredibly efficient, you might have to get a second battery to provide you with enough juice for any other power-hungry equipment you need to use.
LED Lighting Options for Emergency Vehicles
As you weigh the pros and cons of the different spots to mount an LED light bar, you may want to give some thought to other lighting solutions.
A light bar is not the only option for illuminating the roadways and getting noticed. You could choose to install any of the following types of LED lighting instead of or along with an emergency vehicle light bar:
- LED Grill Lights: Mounted on your vehicle’s grill, bumper or dashboard, grill lights offer ample brightness, yet are almost invisible when not in use.
- LED Running Board Lights: If your vehicle has running boards, lights in the grooves can provide you with effective illumination.
- LED Spotlights: Placed on your vehicle’s rooftop, spotlights create a concentrated beam of light whenever the need arises.
- LED Floodlights: If you often drive in inclement weather conditions like rain, fog, sleet and snow, you may want to mount floodlights on your vehicle’s bumper for clearer visibility.
Choosing Emergency Vehicle Lights to Meet Your Needs
With all of the mounting locations for emergency vehicle light bars and the many other LED lighting options to consider, making a decision on what to purchase may not be easy.
To ensure that the LED lights you buy are right for you, take the following steps before you start shopping:
- Check with your local law enforcement agency to learn the laws on emergency vehicle lighting. Regulations vary, and you might not be able to mount certain types of lights.
- Measure the mounting location or locations you have chosen for your LED lights. Be meticulous in taking measurements, as you want the lighting to fit well on your vehicle.
- Decide exactly how you want to go about mounting your vehicle lighting. Universal brackets are usually included, but some people prefer to use vehicle-specific or custom-made hardware.
- Find a lighting supplier – like LED Equipped – who is willing to stand behind their products. LEDs are extremely durable and long-lasting, but warranty coverage provides protection on the off chance your vehicle lighting has a problem.
When you shop for LED lighting, cost is an important factor – but it should not be the primary consideration. Many of the cheapest models do not work very well or last very long, and those with rock-bottom prices frequently lack a range of colors and flash patterns.
And let us not forget that LEDs have an incredible lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. You can use them several hours a day, every day, year after year, and they continue to function like new. LED lighting is a smart investment, and it usually makes good sense to spend a little more to get the features you need, as you will end up saving money in the long run.
Trust LED Equipped for Expert Advice
If you are having trouble figuring out what emergency vehicle lighting products or installation methods best meet your needs, turn to the experts at LED Equipped.
Our friendly and knowledgeable lighting specialists can help you explore your options and assist you in making the decision for your needs, your goals and your budget. We are always happy to answer questions and share our expertise – and you can trust us to provide reliable and practical advice.
LED Equipped has both accreditation and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We are a Shopper Approved seller, with 4.6 out of 5 stars and nearly 800 glowing customer reviews. We offer a vast selection of high-quality LED lights — all of which are backed by our exclusive 3-year warranty — and we are proud to be the preferred lighting supplier for law enforcement agencies, ambulance fleets, fire departments, utility providers, towing services and construction companies across the United States.
For more information on our innovative and affordable LED lighting solutions, or for personalized assistance in selecting the right emergency vehicle light bars for your needs, contact one of our friendly, knowledgeable LED Equipped team members today.