Ask any car owner and they’ll tell you, there’s nothing quite like off-road driving, especially at night. The serenity of an empty road, some music, along with a cool breeze is simply unbeatable.
However, as much joy as it brings, driving through the night can be rather dangerous since your vision gets compromised. You can very well miss seeing animals, people, uneven patches, or even other vehicles with such darkness. Granted, headlights can help, but they’re not very efficient and often die on you when you need them the most.
The solution? Well, LED lighting of course! LED light bars are becoming more and more popular by the day thanks to their super bright illumination as well as long-lasting performance. Moreover, LED light bars are used to battle fog, especially during the early winter days.
The high demand over such lighting means a lot of models, specs, and brands to choose from, which can get pretty confusing. Today, we’re here to help you find the best LED light bar with a detailed buying guide and a list of the top 5 LED light bars available on the market. So let’s not waste any time and dive in!
- Best 5 LED Light Bars
- What Is An LED Light Bar?
- What Are The Types Of LED Light Bars?
- What Makes A Quality LED Light Bar?
Best 5 LED Light Bars
Nilight LED Light Bar 20 Inch
Kicking off our list, we have the widely popular Nililght LED light bar, particularly out of the NI06A series designed to provide enhanced brightness for off-road driving at night.
The folks at Nilight take pride in their years of experience in manufacturing LED lightings, and it really shows in the superior quality of this light bar made of advanced diecast aluminum 6063. It’s tough and highly reliable while allowing for minimal retention of heat to ensure an extended performance.
You’ll also find the lighting job on the Nilight rather outstanding thanks to the combination of both flood and spot beam pattern, which provides a long irradiation distance and broad view. The curved design also adds to improved visibility and in turn, safety.
The Nilight LED bar has an IP67 rating, it’s highly waterproof, dustproof, quakeproof, and anti-corrosive. Such protection means you can use it through all sorts of harsh weather conditions without worrying about its lifespan. It can withstand up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
This LED light bar also includes stainless mounting brackets that are rustproof and anti-corrosive. These brackets are adjustable, where the work light can be maneuvered to about 45°, giving you easier access to changing the direction of the light beam.
Nilight offers a working lifespan of more than 30000 hours, carrying CE, FCC, and RoHS certifications. The extensive range of applications makes it an excellent choice for any driver out there.
- Improved heat dissipation using silicon gel
- 45-degree adjustable bracket
- Bright combo pattern
- The waterproof aspect could be better
- Some complaints concerning bracket quality
Kohree Off-Road LED Work Light Bar
Following up with yet another positively received light bar, the Kohree Off-Road LED Light Bar has earned the trust of hundreds of users thanks to its top-class sturdy construction.
The Kohree light bar is built to endure harsh conditions, the black robust housing is made from diecast aluminum, which means you’ll see no signs of wear and tear even after years of usage. It resists erosion, corrosion, and does an impressive job fighting off rusting, all the while being waterproof with an IP67 rating.
The stainless steel brackets are tough to guarantee long-lasting tight mounting and the installation process is rather simple compared to similarly styled light bars.
The Kohree LED light bar delivers amazing brightness that doesn’t fade away as cheaper models do. The combinations of flood beam, as well as pencil beam, produces a wide range of illumination coverage to help you through all your adventures with 10800 theoretical lumens output.
Kohree promises a 50000 hours lifetime of efficient performance, and they back their product up with a 3-year warranty so you can safely fall back on it. This LED lighting is CE certified and manufactured in compliance with RoHS Euro standards.
If you’re looking for reliable LED square pods, the Kohree is definitely a solid option.
- Super bright
- 3-year warranty
- 50000 hours lifespan
- Simple installation
- Seals could be stronger
Senlips 126W 20inch Cree Bar LED Lights
Knocking on the affordability door, the Senlips 20inch LED Cree Bar delivers a beautiful experience for far less money than some of the other candidates on our list.
The combo beam pattern of spot 30° and flood 60° along with the reflective cup located in the middle of the light bar work together to deliver brighter illumination that’s more concentrated in a further irradiation distance. The LEDs produce 10500 lumens of cool white light to give to the best night-vision possible.
The strong aluminum housing is painted black to give an attractive look. It’s coupled with stainless steel mounting brackets and an IP67 rating to ensure their ability to resist any harsh environmental factors from rain to snow.
The firm brackets offer adjustable flexibility where you can easily slide the light bar from one side to the other, as well as move it up and down according to your preference. The installation procedure is also quite simple and you can fasten the light bar just about any place you want.
The Senlips LED Light Bar boasts a lifespan of 30000 hours of using time backed up by 12 months of warranty. If you’re on the hunt for a light bar that won’t leave a dent in your wallet, then Senlips could be exactly what you need.
- Produces 10500 lumens
- Great value
- Highly resistant
- Lacks instructions
- A few cases of waterproofing issues
Auxbeam 7″ LED Light Bar
Another option for budget-conscious customers, this LED light bar is courtesy of Auxbeam, designed specifically to provide efficient illumination for a decent price.
The spot beam pattern bears high quality LED chips, projecting light with adequate brightness measuring at 3600 lumens. Granted, it’s not very powerful as the rest of its competitors on the list, but for the price, I’d say it’s decent. Not to mention, you can choose to buy the package containing 2 units so you receive brighter and clearer irradiation.
This LED bar is constructed of high-quality metal, both the body and brackets are made of 6063 aluminum. They provide great resistance to corrosion resulting from harsh weather conditions.
Installation is a hassle-free process thanks to the bottom mounting of the brackets which allows for simple fastening. Moreover, the back housing and front cover can be separated to make it easier for you to dismantle and replace parts.
The Auxbeam bar is IP67 rated waterproof, capable of withstanding immersion in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. It’s also dustproof and quakeproof, extending the working life for over 50000 hours.
This LED light bar is CE and RoHS certified, sporting a wide range of operating voltage to accommodate all sorts of vehicles and other applications.
- Decent price for 2 units
- Very durable
- Long lifespan
- Wide operation range
- Less bright than other models
- The fit could be tighter
AutoFeel LED Light Bar Kit
Finishing off on a high note, the AutoFeel LED Light Bar Kit offers such an incredible performance that we just had to make room for it on our list.
Right off the bat, you may notice the cost spike of the AutoFeel compared to our previous options, but don’t jump to conclusions just yet, they actually offer a pretty sweet deal!
This package includes 6 units: a 52 inch light bar, a 22 inch light bar, as well as 4 pods measuring 4 inches each. With such a versatile collection, you’d be set to handle any situation for years upon years to come.
The AutoFeel lighting kit adopts OSRAM LED chips, producing bright white rays for clear visibility. Thanks to the numerous lamp beads distributed on the cross of the frame of the LED bar, they also double as a signal light that can be used during daytime driving.
The bars combine spot and flood beam patterns to achieve a wider view far into the road. Additionally, you can adjust them to 0, 15, 90, and even 180 degrees, giving you ultimate freedom when it comes to directing the output light.
The AutoFeel LED light bars are IP68 waterproof and dustproof, with housing made from diecast aluminum alloy and a lifespan of over 50000 hours. Topping things off with 3 years of warranty, and we’ve got ourselves a reliable investment.
- Highly adjustable brackets
- You get 6 varieties of bars
- IP68 waterproof and dustproof
- 3 years of warranty
- Mounting is a bit tricky
What Is An LED Light Bar?
In the most basic sense, an LED light bar is a rod consisting of a series of lamps that apply LED technology to emit light. LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes, which is the actual source of light, utilizing semiconductors and electroluminescence to create light.
Such technology is perceived as new nowadays, but you’ll be surprised to know that the concept has been around for over 50 years. Only after the recent development of white LEDs, did it become increasingly popular as an alternative to other white light sources.
LEDs are arranged in a bar configuration, then this bar is attached to a vehicle, usually on its roof, to produce a continuous plane of light that illuminates the way in front of the vehicle, and sometimes the area surrounding it.
LED light bars require electric energy to operate and the degree of their brightness is measured in lumens instead of watts. LED bulbs have no filaments like the traditional incandescent lamps, this means they have much longer life spans seeing as they don’t burn out.
What Are The Types Of LED Light Bars?
Before making the decision of purchasing an LED light bar, it’s crucial that you first recognize the different types of LED bars, so you can pick what is most suitable for your needs. LED light bars do come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but at the end of the day, they’re built to perform the same job. The main categories of LED light bars are:
- Single Row LED lights
- Double Row LED lights
- Cubes or Square pods LED lights
- Round LED lights
- Mini or Puddle LED lights
Why you would favor one of these types over the other, comes down to a number of factors, for instance, the weather conditions, the nature of the terrain, and the reason you need LED light bars in the first place.
Under each category, you’re very likely to find combinations of patterns, particularly on the single and dual row LED lights, which we’ll be discussing later on. You’ll also see other features such as beam angle adjustability and bracket design. Be sure you include features that make the installation process easier.
What Makes A Quality LED Light Bar?
There are several aspects to consider if you’re on the hunt for the best LED light bar out there. Random picks will definitely leave you disappointed and short on some good money, and so, here are some points you should think about before busting out your cash:
When you’re shopping for lightings, you want to look for lumens, not watts. Lumens are the scientific units used in measuring the total amount of visible light reaching the human eye after being emitted from a light source, which is an LED light bar in our case.
To get a better sense of lumens, a standard 60-watt bulb, like the ones we use at home, produces about 800 lumens of light, that’s equal to approximately 64 candles, where a single candle delivers 12.57 lumens of light. Accordingly, we can conclude that the higher the number of lumens, the stronger and brighter the produced light is.
Top-notch LED light bars will have more lumens, and consequently, a brighter emission of light. If you want to receive higher light intensity, you’ll need to look for LED bars with extra lumens. However, you should note that lumens are costly, so LED light bars producing more lumens will have you paying more money.
Once again, LED light bars are available in multiple types of patterns. First, we’ll be focusing on the two most commonly used patterns, floodlights and spotlights.
Owing up to the name, floodlights are designed to project a broad blanket of light that covers as much area as possible. On the other hand, spotlights provide concentrated beams of light that reach as far a distance as they can.
Floodlights are better suited for driving on roads with several obstacles and potential risks, while spotlights are more useful for roads offering less danger. Sometimes you can find LED light bars equipped with combinations of pattern types. This is done to achieve the benefits of each type, protecting light even further and broader to give a wider range of visibility.
Ideally, you’ll get an LED light bar with a mix of floodlights and spotlights to ensure massive coverage over a larger area, thus, minimizing your oblivion to any kind of road hazards. Other beam patterns worth mentioning are driving and scene. The scene type is engineered to project light more extensively compared to floodlights, whereas the driving pattern travels a little further than scene light.
Following up on the beam pattern, we arrive at its angle. You’ll find LED light bars with a beam angle adjustability feature to be incredibly helpful, especially if you’re into exploring different terrains.
You want LED light bars with an option to change its angle at least through a 45° tilt. This will allow you to set the direction of the light at an angle that most suits whatever terrain you’re driving through.
Moreover, if you like to go camping with friends, or if you feel like stopping for some alone time, you can illuminate the spot you’re setting up at by adjusting the beam angle accordingly.
The last thing you want to worry about with LED light bars mounted onto your vehicle is overheating. Unfortunately, it’s quite an expected threat to face since we’re basically cramming up many high-powered lights together in one place, turning them all on at the same time. It should come as no surprise that things will get pretty hot in there!
The solution to such a problem lies in integrating a heat sink to absorb unwanted heat, as well as cooling fins to speed up the process of reducing the temperature of the light bar. Additionally, you’ll do good to look for LED light bars constructed using specially treated aluminum that reflects heat rather than absorbing it as regular aluminum does. Doing so will support your cause of cooling down the light bar.
IP Rating and Durability
One of the key points you must take into account when buying an LED light bar is the IP rating. IP ratings are international protection markings that are used to evaluate the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies.
This simply means IP ratings tell you how well an LED light bar is protected against all sorts of external factors. Typically, you’ll experience a range of harsh weather conditions during your adventures, from heavy rains and snowstorms, all the way to scorching hot days. Not to mention, the amount of dust bound to accumulate all over your light bar.
Withstanding such harsh conditions is directly related to durability, which you can get an idea of its degree by noting the IP ratings. High IP rating guarantees that your LED lighting bar will resist whatever beating crosses its way.
As a quick reference, the IP rating is expressed as IPXX, where the first X is a digit representing protection against solid objects such as dust, and the second X is a digit showing waterproof qualities.
Housing and Brackets
The housing of an LED light bar is the first line of defense against the various environmental factors, so it makes sense to pick one that’s made of highly reliable and dependable materials, ideally, aluminum 6063. It makes for a very sturdy housing while allowing for the addition of cooling fins to promote quick dissipation of excess heat.
As for brackets, well, they’re the parts that keep your LED light bar well mounted to your car, truck, or whatever sort of vehicle you’re using it for. You absolutely have to check for the superior quality of the light bar’s brackets, as well as that of the screws meant to fasten and hold down everything securely in place. Otherwise, it’ll all just fall apart and you’ll end up with scrapes.
We’re not going to sugar coat it, LED light bars are quite expensive. They may have gone down a bit over the past few years, but to the majority of users, they’re still costly.
However, if you look at it as a long-standing investment, the prices are surprisingly justifiable. I mean, you can comfortably get about 50,000 hours of usage out of an LED light bar, and if you count in the provided safety, this gadget becomes rather invaluable.
When shopping for the best LED light bar, I believe it all comes down to durability and versatility. This is why the AutoFeel LED Light Bar Kit takes this one home, delivering incredible adjustability, a package of several light bar types, as well as a high IP68 rating to resist harsh environmental factors. It may be more expensive than other options, but for the overall value, it’s a true bargain!
However, if you’re searching for a dependable LED light bar that doesn’t break the bank, then I’d highly recommend the Nilight LED Light Bar.