Are you looking for a light bar to equip your 4×4 vehicle with, but don’t know which one to buy? LED light bars are the ultimate lighting solution for off-roading applications. They provide the brightest illumination over the widest area. Still, choosing the ideal one for you can take a fair amount of consideration. This is especially true if you don’t know anything about LED bars, or even light bulbs in general.
There are many LED bar Australia manufacturers that provide products with different beam patterns, colours and sizes. Knowing how to mount them is also part of the process. That being said, it’s time to learn all of this, plus more!
About LED Lights
First things first – LED lights. LEDs, also known as light-emitting diodes, are semiconductor diodes that project light in the form of electroluminescence when a current passes through them. While it may sound confusing, all you need to know is that LEDs have become all the rage in the past few years, especially in the off-road world. Nowadays, you’ll see LED lights on off-road vehicles, trucks, in the workplace, and even in many household appliances!
But what makes LEDs so great? Well, they’re extremely efficient, for starters. To get a better idea of how efficient they are, all you need to know is that they have a lifespan of 50.000 hours, whereas traditional halogen bulbs have a lifespan of 5.000 hours. Additionally, traditional incandescent bulbs work at about 20% efficiency, with 80% of the electricity they use lost to heat. On the other hand, LEDs typically operate at 80-90%, producing a lot of light using just a fraction of the electricity other bulbs use.
What to Consider in LED Bars?
No matter whether you’re looking for LEDs to use as flood flights or driving lights, you’ll want to go through all y our options. To do that, you need to consider all the different features. While some of them might not be too important to you, others will ensure you get the most out of the LED bars.
Worth noting is that there are specific laws regarding LED light bars and how you can use them. For that reason, make sure you do your research before making an expensive purchase.
Most people would argue that size is the most important feature to consider when choosing a LED light bar. It goes without saying that the bigger the LED bar, the more powerful it will generally be. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but it’s uncommon. LED light bars range in size from 10cm to over 100cm. it also goes without saying that the larger the bar, the more expensive it will be.
Although the shape of the bar isn’t too important, as most come in a horizontal setup with up to three rows, it can still impact how the LED bar serves you. There are curved and straight LED bar setups, and their names basically speak for themselves. Neither setup has any significant advantage over the other, so it mostly comes down to personal preference.
Choosing the beam pattern is a big part of the selection process. There are three basic choices – flood, spot and combination beam patterns. In case you didn’t know, the beam pattern refers to the area the produced light will occupy. Spot beam patterns are focused and narrow, but go over a longer distance. Flood beam patterns, on the other hand, provide immediate but wider illumination. Combination beam patterns provide both types of illumination. Combination beam LED bars are the most expensive, so unless you plan on buying one, think about how and why you’ll be using the LED bar before choosing a spot or flood beam pattern.
This doesn’t refer to the actual colour of the bars, but the colour of the light the LEDs emit. Some colours provide advantages over others, but it will all depend on how and where you intend on using the light. For instance, white light is the brightest and is ideal for most types of driving. However, a more yellowish light can be better suited for driving in low visibility conditions. There are green, red and blue colours that are generally used by emergency vehicles, as they grab attention easily.
Connectors and Mounting
Although it may seem like a complicated task, mounting a LED bar to your vehicle is relatively straightforward, as long as you have the right connectors. Worth noting is that LED bars come with either DT or ATP connectors, and you’ll have to match your connector type with the wires. Moreover, you have to consider where you’ll mount the LED bar. Depending on the type of bar and the type of vehicle you have, you might mount it on the roof, on the bumper, or just above the windshield. The ideal place will depend on how you intend on using your vehicle and your LED light bar.