A Newbie’s Guide to Truck LED Light Bars

When you find your regular truck lights inadequate, aftermarket LED light bars are the best way to improve your current lighting setup. Whether you are planning to go off-roading, camping, hunting, or simply driving on a poorly lit road, there’s an available LED light bar that can cater to your lighting needs. 

LED light bar shopping is more complicated than it seems. There are many things to consider when you are shopping for truck LED Light Bars. What are they?

Purpose 

Certain activities require a specific lighting setup. You might need a LED light bar with more wattage for an activity like off-roading. There are different types and sizes of LED light bars ideal for specific driving conditions and truck models. 

Price

LED light bars, like any other truck accessory, are available in different price ranges. Know what works for your budget. Cheap light bars don’t have the same quality and features as high-end, branded LED light bars. 

Wattage

Check the wattage of the light bar that you are planning to buy. LED light bars with 120 watts to 240 watts can provide enough lumens to light up an unlit road. 

Weather Resistance

Most LED light bars are weatherproof. Make sure that the light bar can withstand the weather elements that you will encounter while driving. LED lights with a higher IP rating are more resilient to harsh weather conditions such as dust, rain, snow, and ice. 

Size

LED light bars come in different sizes. They range from sizes as small as 4 inches to as big as 52 inches. Depending on your purpose, small-sized light bars can be used to light up tailgate steps or the license plate, while larger-sized  LED light bars are often used for activities like off-roading and hunting.

Beam Type

LED light bars come in different beam patterns. They are the following:

  • Driving beam – designed to increase the brightness and range of your truck’s regular high beams. As the name suggests, this beam type is ideal for driving. 
  • Spotlight beam – ideal for off-road use. This type of pattern provides strong beams that can give intense lighting in long distances. 
  • Floodlight beam  – this type of light pattern is often used as work lights. It has a tall and wide beam pattern that illuminates a wide area at short distances. 
  • Scene pattern – produces a bright light that has broader coverage than floodlights. 
  • Combo beam pattern – combines the features of floodlights and spotlights. It has a broad and extended range of lighting coverage. 

Mounting Options

Your truck should be able to accommodate a particular LED light bar. For example, aftermarket truck bumpers have cutouts to place a small led bar. While larger-sized led light bars can be mounted on roof racks using light bar mounts.  

Product Reviews

Check out the product reviews and customer reviews of truck LED light bars. It will help you understand the pros and cons of various light bars. Also, watching product review videos on Youtube and seeing the light in action can help you decide which one to buy.

Get to know the two types of LED Light Bars:

  • Curved 

Curved-shaped led light bars can provide a better angle of illumination. They are ideal for night off-roading because of their expansive light coverage; they can illuminate even the truck’s sides. They don’t provide great distance compared to straight LED bars. 

  • Straight

Straight LED light bars have a straight and flat design, with the LED lights pointing straight. They can powerfully illuminate objects that are far away from the vehicle. It is also ideal to be used for night hunting or off-roading. 

Imagine having either of the two light bar setups on trucks with lift kits. You can confidently and safely drive on the darkest roads even through the harshest weather conditions like blizzards and heavy rains. 

LED Light Bar Mounting Options

There are many parts of the truck where you can mount a LED light bar. It all depends on the size of the light bar. 

  • Cab, Grille, and Hood

LED light bars are typically found on the truck’s front end. Some are mounted above the windshield, on an aftermarket truck bumper where holes are provided for small-sized led light bars, and on top of the truck’s hood. 

  • Rear truck bumper

Small bumper LED light bars are usually installed near the tailgate lights. They provide lighting while hitching up to a trailer at night or to light up the truck’s rear while backing up. 

  • Tailgate

LED Lightbars are installed on the tailgate to make your truck visible to other vehicles at night. It is placed above the rear bumper, serves as running lights, and is in sync with the truck’s brake lights. 

  • Spotlights

They are ideally used for work. This additional lighting gives a truck an extended range of illumination that can light up a road even through extreme weather elements.  They can be mounted on the roof, side mirrors, and on headache racks.

How do you install a LED Lightbar?

  1. Disconnect the battery to prevent electrocution while tinkering with the truck’s wiring system
  2. Prepare your toolbox. Check out your preferred mounting location.
  3. Mark the drilling position. Drill the hole based on the size of the mounting bracket.
  4. Mount the LED light bar to a mounting bracket. Tighten the bolts and screw once you have made the necessary adjustments to the position of the led light bar holder. 
  5. Connect the wires. Match LED light bar’s wires to the same color of wire on the relay switch. Once done, cover the wire connections with electrical tape. 
  6. Connect the battery once more. Check if the red wire is attached to the positive terminal. The black wire should be connected to the battery’s negative terminal.
  7. Test the lightbar. Make sure to turn the light on and off a few times to check if it is working properly.
  8. Check if the led light bar is mounted securely to the truck. 

Focus on choosing a led light bar that offers the best capability, price, quality, and features. A good lighting setup allows you to safely drive your truck even through the worst weather and road conditions. Whether you’ll use it for adventure, night driving, or work, there’s no denying that LED light bars are one of the best modifications that you can install on your truck.

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