When it comes to semi-trucks, safety is a top priority. And for good reason
It’s estimated that truck drivers drive a total of “140 billion miles every
Because many of these miles are driven at night, it’s important for semi-trucks to be equipped with effective and efficient lights to provide adequate visibility for drivers no matter the conditions.
Plus, LED light bars can come in handy when in a pinch, during emergency, maintenance, or loading situations for example. The good thing is, LED light bars come in a variety of patterns and designs to provide for maximum flexibility in use.
But with so many options out there, it isn’t always easy to know which type you need.
In this helpful guide, you’ll learn:
- What semi-truck light bars are
- When to use a light bar on your semi-truck
- The types of semi-truck light bars available
- The various factors that determine the quality and utility of a light bar
- Why it’s important to check laws and regulations before installing a light bar
LED Equipped has a large variety of light bars sure to suit the needs of your semi-truck. Continue reading to learn more about which light bar is perfect for you.
What Are Semi-Truck Light Bars?
A semi-truck light bar is a type of light design made to be mounted on a semi-truck. Depending on the type, light bars can be used for increased visibility, emergency signaling purposes, and more.
For example, a grille-mounted light bar might be primarily for driving at night on unlit streets, while a rear-mounted light bar may be used to signal a hazard, such as a truck under repair.
It’s important to consider how you’ll use your light bar before purchasing.
When to Use a Semi-Truck Light Bar
As mentioned, the reason you use a semi-truck light bar will vary depending on your specific situation. However, we’ve covered some of the basics below:
- Night-time driving: Light bars are commonly used on semi-trucks to assist with night driving. Light bars will help light up the road and allow other drivers to clearly see the semi truck. But it’s not just forward facing lights that will assist you while driving at night, in fact, many semi-trucks have light bars on their sides and backs. This can keep other drivers aware and focused and prevent collisions or other dangerous accidents.
- Emergency situations: Light bars can also come in handy during an emergency situation. For example, if your semi-truck breaks down and needs some roadside repair, a flashing light bar will alert drivers to the hazard. A good LED light bar would be perfect for that job. Not only will an LED light bar have the ability of different light patterns, but it can double as a steady stream light to light up your tasks when necessary.
- Loading or unloading: Sometimes, we don’t need light bars for safety, but just to get tasks done. For example, if you’re loading or unloading your semi at night, you may need some lights to see. A great option for this is an LED strip light that can be placed inside the trailer or box.
- Brake lights: One of the most common forms of light bars for semi-trucks is brake lights. Brake lights alert other drivers to slowing and potentially stopping cars ahead. Sometimes brake lights are the difference between a collision and a near miss. When it comes to semi-trucks, brake lights are even more important. Semi-trucks can take a while to slow down, but crashes involving semi-trucks aren’t pretty. Be sure to check your brake lights often.
Of course, when you get a light bar, you’ll begin to see all the different ways they can be used. That’s why LED light bars are a fantastic choice. They’re extremely flexible, plus, they’re super efficient.
Continue reading to learn what types of semi-truck light bars are available.
Types of Semi-Truck Light Bars
When it comes to semi-truck light bars, they sure come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Though it can be confusing at first, the variety is a good thing because it gives truck drivers a wide range of options and flexibility.
It’s important to remember that light bars aren’t always a cookie cutter approach. In other words, a light bar that works for one situation may not work for another. For example, a rear light bar is primarily designed to house the brake lights, whereas a grille-mounted light bar may be for night-driving.
Just some of the types of light bars you can get are:
- Rear light bars: Semi-truck rear light bars come in one of two designs, a single or double piece. The type you’ll want to get will depend on your truck. The rear light bar is a simple design that is found on every semi-truck. It’s where the “brake lights” can be found. In addition to acting as brake light warnings, the rear light bar can be programmed to flash during emergency or repair situations. These can also be called semi-truck tail light bars.
- LED strip lights: LED strip lights, though not always thought of as light bars, are a design of lights very similar to light bars. LED strip lights are, as the name implies, strips of LED lights that can vary in color and brightness. Many times, LED strip lights are used to add accents to a truck. In addition to the personality and style, these external strip lights can increase visibility at night. As mentioned above, strip lights can also be used inside the box or trailer when loading or unloading cargo.
- Mudflap light bar: These light bars go on the top of the bar holding the mudflap. They should be wired up with the rear light bar and act as the brake light. In addition, they can be programmed to flash in emergency situations.
- Under bumper light bars: Under bumper light bars are another way to add personality to your vehicle while adding extra night time visibility. Be sure to check with your local regulations before choosing a color (more on that below).
- Emergency light bars: Emergency light bars are most often seen on the roof of emergency vehicles and first responders, such as police, fire, and ambulances. Emergency light bars are often used to warn other drivers of urgency or danger. In other cases, emergency light bars will be used by construction or utility vehicles to warn of a slow-moving vehicle or other hazards. Semi-truck drivers use emergency light bars in the case of breakdowns or other emergencies. LED light bars can also be used as a source of a steady stream light.
Semi-Truck LED Light Bars
When it comes to semi-trucks, LED light bars are the best choice for efficiency, durability, and flexibility.
LED stand for “Light-Emitting Diode”. Put simply, a diode is a device designed to allow electricity to flow in one direction. When diodes are made with certain materials, they produce light. Depending on the design and materials used, LEDs can produce a variety of colors, brightness, and light patterns.
What makes LED light bars such great choices for semi-trucks? Well, for one, they are programmable, meaning they’re often designed with a variety of light patterns available at the click of a button.
LEDs are also an extremely efficient source of light, so they don’t put a lot of drain on your battery. Many truck drivers also love LEDs for their durability over the long-haul.
What to Know About Semi-Truck Light Bars
Knowing a few things about semi-truck light bars will give you insight into knowing which ones are right for your truck. The most important thing to keep in mind when considering semi-truck light bars is what you’ll be using them for.
Lumens vs. Watts
Many people who are familiar with buying traditional lights will know that watts are usually the most important factor in analyzing a light’s brightness.
However, with LEDs, the most important factor is lumens. Lumens refers to the light output and will give you a more accurate reflection of how bright the light will be.
A reason for this is because LEDs put out a higher amount of lumens per watt than other forms of light. This is why LEDs are so energy efficient, they convert a small amount of energy into a large amount of light.
Just remember to choose your desired lumen output based on the specifics of your truck and the tasks at hand. It’s also important to remember that because LEDs are so efficient, most of them will be bright enough for your needs.
Maintenance & Installation
Most LED light bars will be easy to install and maintain. However, it’s important to remember to get an LED light bar and mount rack that will hold up to the demands you intend to put them through.
It’s also important to consider where you want to mount your LED light bar and choose a mounting system that is compatible with your truck.
Many LED light bars also include a way to control the patterns, colors, or brightness of the light. So, you may want to consider how you’ll wire the lights to allow for control while driving.
Lastly, consider where you will mount your lights. The uses you intend it for will be a determining factor here.
Colors & Features
The colors & features you choose in an LED light bar will largely depend on your local laws and what you’ll be using the lights for.
Some LED light bars will have a few light patterns, while others may have 15 or more. In addition to light patterns, some LED light bars may allow you to adjust or change the color or brightness.
Know the Laws and Regulations
The state you live in and the states your regular route takes you through will help determine which type of light bar you get for your semi-truck.
This is because many states put guidelines on which colors can be used on non-emergency vehicles.
For example, most states only allow red to be used by police, fire, ambulance, and other first responders, while other states it may be red and blue. Of course, these restrictions are only for flashing and forward facing lights, as red is the standard color for brake lights.
Certain states will also put restrictions on purple lights, as these designate a funeral procession or medical officer.
Because semi-truck drivers often drive across state lines, you’ll want to do some research into the states you frequent. Though it may take a little more time, it could save you a lot of hassle and money later down the road by avoiding a ticket.
Though there are a lot of different choices when it comes to light bars, armed with a little knowledge, you’ll be able to make the right decision to give you light and safety for any task.
You can browse LED Equipped’s large selection of LED light bars, sure to provide solutions to even your toughest lighting needs.
In summary, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Semi-truck light bars are useful for a number of tasks, and can provide safety while driving at night.
- It’s important to invest in a high-quality light bar designed to tackle the jobs you intend it for.
- Semi-truck light bars are useful in emergency, maintenance, and loading/unloading situations.
- There a variety of semi truck light bars, including rear light bars, mudflap light bars, and LED strip lights.
- LED light bars come in a wide variety of options, and are durable, efficient, and long-lasting.
We hope this helpful guide shone some light on your light bar questions and brightened your day.