Home Hiking boots The best LED light bars you can buy

The best LED light bars you can buy

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Off-road and land configurations have steadily grown in popularity over the past 50 years. Your daily driver can transform into a ship that takes you on adventures far beyond your hiking boots by adding just a few pieces of gear. Among those bells and whistles are light bars that have improved the safety, performance and appearance of weekend Jeepers, Baja racers and pavement princesses. These lights make it through the darkest nights possible.

    What to look for

    There are a lot of numbers on a lightbar spec sheet, so what do they mean? Lumen (lm) is the most common way to measure brightness; it measures the total amount of visible light from the bulb. Candela (cd) tells you how far away from an object you can be while still seeing it. Lux (lx) measures the amount of light on a surface per unit area. And wattage (W) is how power is measured and should be taken into account when considering your car’s battery, especially if you are using other accessories simultaneously.

    Beam patterns

    While most off-road LED light bars come with a combination of spot and diffuse beam patterns, it’s crucial to know how each improves your visibility. Without spot beams, for example, the deer won’t be in the headlights until it’s too late. It gives you visibility further down the road, allowing more warning when the twists are coming, but you won’t be able to see into your peripherals as much. Flood beams project wider, making immediate threats more visible. You won’t be able to see as far down the stretch, but the sides of the road will be clear as day.

    What about the setup?

    There is no simplification when it comes to mounting and connecting your luminaires. It would be a lie to say that there is only one way. If you have a popular off-road vehicle like a Jeep, Tacoma, or Bronco, light bar manufacturers often make mounting systems specifically for your vehicle. This makes things much easier, but don’t count yourself out because aftermarket options are everywhere with varying levels of commitment (eg drilling holes in your car) and price points.

    Your electrical configuration will be the one that corresponds to your assembly, your battery and your frequency of use. Some common options involve spare switchboards, while others use whatever power mechanism that may come with the lights.

    The best LED light bars

    To note: The following prices are for 50 inch light bars, one of the most common lengths. Prices will vary by size.

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    Best overall

    KC Hilites Gravity Pro6 LED Light Bar

    • Classic look
    • Modularity
    • No hissing or vibration

    KC Hilites are to off-roading what Wranglers are to cowboys; these are the must-have classics. Constructed from aluminum, they claim 18,400lm, 6,700lx, 670,000cd and draw 160W. Functional and reliable with a hard-to-beat old-school look, and warranty coverage gives some peace of mind. The Pro6 can be rotated for custom beam throw thanks to its rigid Infinity Ring system allowing you to choose between an arched or straight configuration. With this system, you can also add or remove these linkable pods as per your requirement. The lights have a well-distributed beam and a well-thought-out reflector design that makes the most of the light output.

    Tested on some of the darkest trails in West Texas, I found they worked so well that we had to reset the lean angle to avoid a blinding reflection off the ground. I installed it on a Jeep Gladiator with official KC support. Installation took a few hours; the most complex part was the electrical connection which we wired to an aftermarket control panel. Having a friend to help with the setup would be great for fine tuning the lights. I didn’t encounter any vibration or hissing issues often experienced with roof mounted lights.

    lumens: 18,400lm

    Candela: 670,000 cds

    Powerful: 160W

    Beam pattern: Combination

    Best Upgrade

    Adapt E Series LED 50″ Rigid Light Bar

    • Adaptive Response Technology
    • Polycarbonate lens
    • Dear
    • Panel design limits customization

    Rigid Industries Adapt E-Series has some wild technology and it could be worth it if you’re trying to drop a lot of money. The lights have a two-pronged adaptive system including Active Power Management (APM) and Active View technology. APM takes into account how much power you have and allocates light appropriately so it doesn’t drain your battery. Active View technology uses GPS speed tracking to determine situation-specific beam patterns. The faster you drive, the more your lights project with spotlights. Attention will return to your tires with flooding as you go slower in a rock crawling situation.

    lumens: 38,896ml

    Candela: 939 827 cds

    Powerful: 358W

    Beam pattern: Adaptive combination

    Best budget

    Rough Country 50″ Black Series Single Row LED Light Bar

    • Great price
    • Easy assembly thanks to the panel design
    • Low profile
    • No lighting
    • Panel design limits customization

    The Rough Country Black Series lightbar might fit in your shopping cart if you’re not too concerned about customizing your setup. The low-profile, single-panel construction leaves no linking or swiveling options, but it certainly doesn’t lack in light output. It is exclusively made up of spot beams, offering ideal visibility from a distance but the edges of the road will not be illuminated. You’ll also lose out on other cutting-edge designs and engineering, but that price is hard to beat.

    lumens: 19,200lm

    Candela: Not listed

    Powerful: 240W

    Beam pattern: Spot beams

    Diode Dynamics SS5 CrossLink 8-Module LED Light Bar

    • Backlight color options
    • Available in a variety of power levels and beam patterns
    • Buy lamp covers separately
    • Some backlight colors may look too flashy

    This bar is the only linkable pod-style LED (that made the list) whose backlight color you can change. While you’re probably not looking to go out with purple or green on the trails, a quick switch to orange backlighting can be helpful in dusty, foggy, and snowy conditions. Due to the variety of output wattages and beam patterns available at the time of purchase, you will need to have a pretty good idea of ​​where and when you plan to use your lights. The good news is that they offer replacement lenses if you decide to change your mind later.

    lumens: 19,200lm

    Candela: 81,600 cds

    Powerful: 320W

    Beam pattern: Combination

    Baja Designs Universal XL 8-LED Linkable Light Bar Kit

    • Impressive warranty program
    • Modularity
    • Made of powder coated cast aluminum
    • Dear
    • 2 month delay

    If you think you might enter the desert racing scene, these modern looking lights might be calling your name. Baja Design’s XL Linkable LED Light Bar is housed in sturdy powder-coated aluminum and, like the KCs, can be easily adjusted and customized. Being fully submersible, you won’t have to worry about the elements affecting light clarity. With 8 linkable lights that feature a combo beam, they offer 25,200lm and draw 208W. That light output is insane, and quite honestly, you might not need it if your off-roader isn’t not so serious. Baja offers an impressive lifetime warranty and notably has good customer service.

    lumens: 25,200lm

    Candela: Not listed

    Powerful: 208W

    Beam pattern: Combination

    Housing material: Hard anodized and powder coated cast aluminum

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