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What is an LED Light Bar?
An LED light bar is a type of auxiliary light used for both highway and off-road driving. In contrast to traditional forms of auxiliary lights such as round LED driving lights, lightbars consists of a single row or double row of LED lights, and is usually between 3 and 48 LED’s wide. Also known as LED bar lights, they are usually mounted onto a bull bar, in front of a roof rack or above the windscreen using a special bracket.
LED Light Bars vs Other Auxiliary Lights
The technology and shape of our range of LED light bars offers several performance advantages compared to other types of 4x4 auxiliary lighting.
Firstly, the rectangular shape of the light bar is only possibly due to LED technology. Older-style Halogen and HID lights use a single globe in a necessarily circular housing. This meant that each light could generally only do one thing well (spot light or flood light). LED technology, which uses many tiny LED “bulbs”, has given reflector engineers significantly more options when they are designing the light beam. The LED bar light is where this benefit is most apparent; with their long, rectangular shape, it is nowadays possible to craft a light beam that is an even mixture of spot and flood, with no perceptible dark spots in the driver’s field of view.
Secondly, with LED being a solid-state technology, light bars are significantly more durable than Halogen or HID, which contain glass bulbs, filaments etc. LED lights are very shock and vibration-resistant, which is handy if you take your 4wd off road or drive across corrugated surfaces.
Third, LED light bars can be fitted into places where round LED driving lights cannot be. For example, LED bars can be fitted along roof lines without significantly increasing the height of the vehicle. Some aftermarket bull bars also contain cut-outs where you can fit LED lightbars.
What Separates High Quality LED Bar Lights from Cheap Ones?
High quality light bars differ from cheap ones in several ways.
Firstly, high quality light bars use genuine CREE LED chips or OSRAM LED chips, to ensure maximum light output, longest lifespan and best colour temperature. Cheap options, particularly those often available for sale on eBay, will use a lesser-known brand such as Meanwell, or even fake knock-off CREE or OSRAM LED chips.
Secondly, the reflectors play a very important role in ensuring even light distribution and longest travel. A high quality LED bar light will have reflectors designed and extensively tested by an expert reflector engineer, and the reflectors will be perfectly matched to the LED chips. Conversely, a cheaper light will often be manufactured by a factory that has tried (and usually failed) to copy someone else’s design, leading to inefficient use of the available light, black spots in certain parts of the beam, etc.
Thirdly, the other materials used, and the way they are manufactured and assembled, will be far superior in good quality LED lightbars. Using quality materials, and manufacturing and assembling them to a high standard, provides several benefits. For example, it will be much more resistant to impact and vibration, will be more waterproof, and will be less likely to fail due to constant exposure to the elements.