Tips for Purchasing the Right Light Bar

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If you spend any time off-roading after dark, then an off-road LED light bar is a definite must when it comes to safety equipment. These bars are typically attached to the top of the vehicle, most often to the roll bar over the cab. Keep the following in mind when you are shopping so that you can choose the perfect light bar.

Tip #1: Go with a versatile light pattern

Most LED light bars give you a choice of two patterns—side lights or spot lights—in a single light bar, while incandescent light bars only provide one option. Side lights are the most useful because they light up the road in front of you as well as the sides, which means you can see nearby hazards as well as any animals that may run out in front of you. Spots are less useful but have their moments, especially when you really need to focus your view. Avoid bars that only have a spot. Instead opt for the bar with the widest light pattern and consider the addition of a spot option as a fringe benefit.

Tip #2: Consider the power consumption

An incandescent light bar is going to draw more power off the battery as compared to an LED bar. This means that the incandescent bars are really only suitable for operation when your vehicle is running and the battery is constantly recharging. If you need you light bar to double as a task light, such as when you set up camp after dark, opt for an LED model. These use less electricity so they are less likely to run your battery down quickly.

Tip #3: Invest in the extra options

There are a few options that you will likely appreciate on any light bar. First and foremost, if you opt for an LED version choose one with multiple light intensity options, as well as light pattern choices. This will make the bar much more versatile. Also, always have the controls wired internally into your vehicle so you can control the bar with a flick of the switch. It's a pain to get out to turn on your light bar when it is needed. Finally, upgrade to corrosion or rust resistant mounting hardware. Rust can destroy not just the mounting hardware, but it can also spread to the roll bar the light bar is attached to.

For more help, talk to an auto parts dealer in your area.