The headlights, fog lights, and driving lights your truck is equipped with from the factory provide great illumination on the road. However, off-roading provides a whole new set of lighting challenges that stock lighting just isn’t cut out for. If you take your vehicle off-road frequently and want to get maximum visibility at night, it’s time to take a look at LED light bars. These aftermarket add-ons let you mount a variety of LED lights for improved range of illumination to make off-roading easier and safer. In this guide, we’ll review the different LED light bar configurations available, how they mount, and why your vehicle could benefit from them.
A 40 inch LED light bar
LED light bars are comprised of an array of LED lights mounted inside a durable enclosure. These items don’t replace any of the existing lights on your vehicle but instead supplement them, usually for off-roading or show truck purposes. Just as the headlights on your vehicle have both high and low beam options, LED light bars can be configured to spread light in a variety of different patterns and angles. Some common configurations of LED light bars can be seen below.
This is one of the more common uses for a LED light bar. The LEDs are configured to point a very powerful and focused beam of light at a tight angle to see things far away from the vehicle. Because LED light bars come in many different lengths, sizes, and shapes, these can be mounted in just about any location on the vehicle.
: This type of LED light bar is designed to provide a wide beam of light ideal for illuminating areas closer to the light source. It's generally pointed lower than the horizon to maximize visibility near the vehicle. A flood light will illuminate a large area nearby, but not at as great a distance as a spotlight would.
As the name implies, the multi-pattern LED light bar contains both spotlight and floodlight beam patterns built into the same bar. Usually, the flood pattern is positioned at the extreme ends of the light bar while the middle section is configured to produce a spotlight beam. This design provides a versatile combination of lighting patterns in one bar.
LED light bars can be mounted in several positions on your truck
LED light bars installed in both a bumper and grille.
LED light bars can be mounted in many different positions on your vehicle. Since LED light bars are usually sold by length or size, application-specific brackets are often sold separately. On most applications, brackets are available to mount bars on the front end, across the top of the windshield, and on top of the roof at both the front and rear. In addition to mounting brackets, some aftermarket accessories such as bumpers, grilles, and grille guards are manufactured so that an LED light bar can easily be mounted to them.
LED light pods fit into smaller mounting areas on your truck or SUV
LED Light Pods
A more compact alternative to the full sized LED light bar, LED light pods can be mounted in tight quarters to provide an LED lighting solution in positions a full sized bar wouldn’t fit. These are ideal for mounting on your truck’s cab pillars, hood, or even side mirrors. If you’d rather not mount a full-length bar, or if you have bars mounted and want to get the maximum amount of illumination possible, LED light pods are a great option.
Covers may be required on an LED light bar depending on local regulations
By now you might be wondering why LED light bars aren’t a factory option. Shouldn’t more light lead to safer driving both on and off the road? While it’s true that your own field of vision would be improved, it’s important to be considerate of other drivers. At a certain point, extra lighting on your vehicle produces a glare that is detrimental to the vision of oncoming motorists. It is for this reason that many states have implemented laws requiring LED light bars to be covered while your vehicle is on the street. Make sure to familiarize yourself with local laws governing the use of off-road lighting prior to installation.
If you have questions about LED light bars, pods, or any other automotive lights, contact our team of experts today. They’re standing by to help you choose the best lighting solution for your needs.