Light bars are a fun and useful lighting upgrade for some off-road trucks, especially if you like to stay out after the sun starts to set.
With so many light bar options to choose from, how do you know which is the right one for that new steel bumper on your truck?
Check out these pointers on off-road light bar features to determine which one will look great yet product lots of light for your off-road truck!
Light bars come in many sizes, from just big enough to fit inside inserts in certain off-road replacement front bumpers to long enough to span across the whole windshield.
Naturally, how these differently sized options look will be different, too.
First, decide where the bar will be positioned, then research the different lengths to choose a good one based on where the light will be mounted.
Light brightness is measured in lumens.
Standard headlights for off-road trucks light at around 700 lumens or 1200 lumens with the brights on.
Light bars with bright white lights can be found with as high as 20,000 lumens, though varieties around 10,000 are more common.
Bars with colored lights have lower brightness.
Buy higher lumens depending on where your bar will be positioned on that new steel bumper as well as how bright and long the beam pattern needs to be to provide desired illumination.
There are four beam patterns used on cars and trucks:
- Flood Beams
Light bars usually come with either spot beams that shine on smaller more focused areas in front of the vehicle or flood beams that flood a lot of light all around the front of an off-road truck.
Light bars can also be found with combination flood and spot beams that can be switched as needed.
Straight or Curved?
Though most light bars are straight, you can also find some slightly rounded types that look a little fancier on off-road replacement bumpers.
Some makers say the curve spreads the light beam over a slightly wider path in front of the vehicle while others say it makes no difference.
Choose the one that appeals to you.
Single or Double Row?
Light bars are made with one single row of lights across the span or two stacked rows on most off-road truck bumpers.
Two rows of lights might be beneficial since they produce twice as much light as a single row bar does; however, they are more expensive and a lot larger on the vehicle.
If you want a more streamlined look and don’t necessarily need more light, the single row bar will likely be the best choice.
Where To Mount It?
As mentioned above, there are multiple places where light bars can be mounted on your off-road truck.
The standard place is on the roof just over the windshield; however, some can be mounted on the hood and some can be mounted on the front center or in the corners of the front bumper if it is made with space for smaller light bars.
How much light and how far it reaches depends on where the light bar is mounted and how big it is.
Water-Resistant or Waterproof?
All light bars are water-resistant, just like any other automotive light fixture.
If you do a lot of off-road driving through water or mud, it might be wise to invest in options that are waterproof to avoid electrical problems.
Choose waterproof light bars if installing them anywhere on the front bumper so they won’t be affected when fording water.
Lots of Light Bar Options to Choose From
If in the market for a light bar for your off-road truck, there is a lot of choice in the matter.
Depending on the usage of your truck and the qualities needed in a light bar, consider this list of options to help pick the right ones.
Whether placing one over the windshield or in the bumper, the right light bar upgrade will make any truck look great while providing all the flood and spot lighting needed for safe after-dark wheeling!