Light Up the Night: Car Light Bar Guide

21 Mar

Long-lasting and efficient are two of the most prominent properties of LED lights. No matter if you’re using them to illuminate your garage, kitchen, or the road ahead, LED lights are a great solution. LEDs provide powerful illumination too and they do not generate nearly as much heat as some of their older counterparts.

Of course, the same goes for LED light bars which are made to be used in low-visibility conditions. They provide more than enough light to allow you to explore the bush at night without any concern. Even if it’s foggy you can rely on a light bar to keep you on the right path and help you get home safely. But what type of LED light bar is suitable for your vehicle?

Types of LED Light Bars



As its name suggests an off-road automotive LED bar is best if you have an off-road vehicle. Just like your 4×4, these light bars are rugged and can withstand the elements as well as the impact of flying objects quite well. An off-road car light bar is also more durable and powerful than a regular light bar as it is usually able to illuminate both far away and in close proximity. Off-road light bars can also be mounted on an ATV and on heavy tow trucks as long as they’re used on a beaten path, otherwise, the bar won’t be as useful.



A mini light bar is small but quite powerful. If you have a more compact vehicle and you want to accommodate a light bar on it, mini light bars are a great option. They may not be as rugged or as powerful as off-road ones but they still provide great illumination levels. If you mainly drive in the city and on the motorway then mini light bars are what you should consider getting.



If the power and form-factor of mini LED light bars aren’t your thing you can go with full light bars. They might add more weight to your vehicle but when you take into consideration the number of lumens and the angle at which they disperse the light you’ll see that the added weight is worth it. Usually, full light bars can be as long as 120 cm while mini light bars go up to 22 cm.



A mini light bar is a more compact solution than a full light bar but a visor light bar is the most concealing. If you want a light bar that is discreet then go for visor bars since they provide enough light to illuminate what’s in front of you without being in your face. Visor lights cannot be seen since they are mounted onto the visor which also makes them easy to install and operate. Don’t expect them to scare away a wild animal with the light they can produce though. Usually, the range of visor light bars starts from around 30 to 40 cm.

Important Light Bar Features


When looking for the right LED bar you also need to look into its features. One of the more important ones is the type of beam pattern a car light bar comes with. There are light bars with spot and flood beam patterns. Those with a spot beam pattern allow you to see far away but they don’t allow you to see what’s in front of you that well. With a light bar that has a flood beam pattern, you can see everything in front of you thanks to their wide illumination angle. You can also get light bars with a combination beam pattern that incorporates both a spot and a flood pattern.


When it comes to how bright of a light a bar can produce, you should pay attention to lumens. The more lumens a light bar can produce the brighter its light is. But bright light isn’t always a good thing. If you want to see stuff further away then bright lights are preferred but when you want to illuminate a wider area then you don’t need as bright of a light.

Waterproof Rating

Like all lights, light bars also come with an IP (ingress protection) rating. This is a rating that tells you how sealed off an automotive LED bar is against dust and water. This is usually a two-digit rating with a higher number representing a higher level of protection. The better the IP rating the more rugged of a light bar you’ll have and the longer it will stay on your vehicle.

Curved vs Straight

There are two types of light bar designs, curved and flat. A flat light bar is one that will give you a longer beam distance but that’s where its advantages stop. Curved light bars, on the other hand, are able to illuminate larger areas and are thus great for off-roading. Also curved LED light bars look cooler than flat ones. Remember, the design of a light bar is only important if it’s quite long otherwise it won’t make much of a difference whether or not it’s flat or curved.


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