Written By
Published Oct. 7, 2021

LED light bars are a preferred choice of illumination for off-roaders as they’re far more powerful than any stock vehicle’s headlights. Coming in different sizes, power options, and configurations, these are just some of the many features to consider when purchasing a set and in our guide below, we’re going to cover popular options from well-known manufacturers, tell you which are our favorite, and how to pick the right light bar for your application. So keep reading to learn more about the best LED light bars, including our top recommendations, features you need to know about, and answers to your most frequently asked questions. Let’s get after it.

Best LED Light Bars Reviews & Recommendations

The Nilight LED Light Bar is a versatile option as this 20-inch LED light bar offers a spot (30 degrees) and flood (60 degrees) combination beam pattern that works very well for near and far-field applications. It’s constructed using military-grade aluminum with waterproof rubber pads and silicone sealing strips that prevent fog build-up in all kinds of weather. Even its wires and casting are well protected with a series of rubber pads and EVA strips, a nice alternative to cheaper LED light bars with rust and corrosion-prone metal.

We also like the fact the Nilight LED Light Bar’s LEDs have a 30,000-hour lifespan and an IP67 and IP69K waterproof rating makes torrential rainfall harmless. It includes an adjustable mounting bracket that slides up, down, left, and right easily — good for a 45-degree adjustable angle.

Specs
  • Brand Nilight
  • Model 60005C-A
  • Weight 3.52 pounds
PROS

Spot and flood combination beam pattern

Adjustable mounting bracket

Constructed using military-grade aluminum housing

CONS

Not 5000K color temperature

One of the smallest units on this list at only 10 inches, the Baja Designs 70-1003 S8 outperforms its diminutive size, using eight 40W Cree LEDs to deliver 6,350 lumens of high-intensity lighting. It comes with driving and combination beam patterns, which offer 42-degrees and 9-degree beam angles, respectively, working well to illuminate the trails at close range and at mid to far range. A 5000K color temperature also replicates natural daylight and sits well between warm and cool white for a more comfortable view of the road.

This is the most commonly used LED light bar beam combination, especially when driving in foggy conditions. It also comes in 20-inch, 30-inch, 40-inch, and 50-inch configurations and a hard-anodized finish and aircraft-grade aluminum housing combined with an IP69K rating leave torrential rainfall and off-road obstacles in the dust. A polycarbonate lens with tight sealing and MoistureBlock protection ensures no fog buildup. All in all, the Baja Designs 70-1003 S8 LED light bar is a dependable unit that works equally well for daily drivers or off-roaders.

Specs
  • Brand Baja Designs
  • Model 70-1003
  • Weight 1.7 pounds
PROS

5000K color temperature replicates natural daylight

Comes in 20-inch, 30-inch, 40-inch, and 50-inch sizes

Aircraft-grade aluminum housing

CONS

Average brightness (4000 lumens)

The Rigid Industries 120313 LED Light Bar is a rugged workhorse. This 20-inch LED light bar comes in a dual row formation for even greater lighting power, along with several beam combination patterns, including spot, driving, diffused, hyper spot, and various combinations for narrower and broader coverage. It also promises up to 170 percent greater lighting output over its predecessors, making it one of the most powerful units in the class.

On the construction side, the Rigid Industries 120313 LED Light Bar is as durable as it gets starting with an aluminum alloy housing, UV resistant powder coating, and all of the electrical compliance safety standards you can get including over/under voltage and reverse polarity protection. It is also SAE J575 compliant for shock vibration resistance/IP68 waterproof rated for dust and water protection, and the impact-resistant polycarbonate lens is well sealed, good at preventing fog buildup. Kudos for a limited lifetime warranty, one of the more generous warranty lengths we’ve come across with an LED light bar.

Specs
  • Brand Rigid Industries
  • Model 120313
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Multiple beam patterns

Aluminum alloy housing

UV-resistant

SAE J575 compliant for shock vibration resistance

CONS

Very high cost

The Northpole Light 20 Inch Spot Flood Combo LED Light Bar makes our list, thanks to a well-rounded feature set. It starts with a combination 30-degree spot and 60-degree flood pattern to work narrow trails or light up a camping site, which is one of the more popular configurations available for LED light bars. On top of a high utility spot/flood pattern, it’s built to last as it’s constructed using aluminum with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and stainless steel adjustable mounting brackets.

IP67 dust and water ingress protection rating ensures protection against immersion in as deep as 1 meter of water for at least 30 minutes. It doesn’t, however, come with a male adapter for the wiring harness, and it isn’t the easiest to install for amateurs. All in all, if you are looking for a rugged and durable spot/floodlight combination, then the Northpole Light 20 Inch Spot Flood Combo LED Light Bar is an excellent choice.

Specs
  • Brand Northpole Light
  • Model 126C-C3CR-HS-2X18F-C3CR
  • Weight 6.29 pounds
PROS

30-degree spot and 60-degree flood pattern

IP67 rated for dust and water ingress protection

Shatterproof polycarbonate lens

CONS

Does not include male adapter for wiring harness

Not the easiest to install

Honorable Mention

The OffroadTown LED Light Bar offers excellent utility across the board as this 30-inch LED bar offers a dual-side 150-degree floor beam and 30-degree spot beam pattern for near and far-field illumination, good for 49,000 lumens on 490 watts. Unlike the Baja Designs 70-1003 S8 LED Light Bar with 5000K color temperature, this LED light bar offers a 6000K color temperature, more on the cool white side, and a favorite with general automotive lighting, especially interior lights (e.g. 1156 and 1157 LED bulbs for daytime running and backup lights).

As for durability, the OffroadTown 30-Inch LED Light Bar is built tough with 6063 aluminum alloy housing and a 50,00-hour LED lifespan. It outpaces traditional incandescent bulbs by a wide margin while consuming very little power and its shockproof design is also complemented by an IP67 waterproof rating, which allows it to be submerged in deep waters for as much as 30 minutes with no effect. Our only knock on the unit is that it only comes with a one-year warranty, which is paltry compared to the Rigid Industries 120313 LED Light Bar’s limited lifetime warranty.

Specs
  • Brand Offroad Town
  • Model 708266
  • Weight 9.13 pounds
PROS

IP67-rated, 6063 aluminum alloy housing

6000K color temperature for excellent visibility

50,000-hour LED lifespan

CONS

Short warranty (one year)

How We Selected LED Light Bars

For this review, we researched and evaluated more than 40 LED light bars, factoring in several criteria. Our primary criteria include overall construction, lumen count, wattage, beam type, beam angle, and auxiliary features such as adjustable mounting brackets and dual-row configurations. A heavy premium was paid to any LED light bar good for near and far-field applications, which spot and flood beam pattern combinations do very well. We also weighed the bar’s manufacturer, whether the company’s customer service was on point, and its reputation in the field.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Here are some of the more important criteria to consider when buying LED light bars.

Lumens

Lumens are a measure of brightness in LED light bars. The higher the lumen count, the greater the brightness. Look for LED light bars with a minimum 5000-lumen count, which is good for roughly 250 square feet of coverage.

Wattage

Wattage is a measure of the amount of power needed for an LED light bar to operate. Look for LED bars with a respectable brightness to power ratio. Note that wattage is a bigger factor if you plan on using your LED light bar with the engine turned off, as opposed to running off of your vehicle’s battery.

Color Temperature

Look for LED light bars between 5000K and 6000K color temperature. A 6000K color temperature is classified as bright white and offers the best combination of brightness and visibility, best discerned by the human eye. The lower end of the spectrum (3000K to 5000K) covers golden yellow to alpine white, whereas the opposite end of the spectrum (8000K to 12,000K) offers ice, pure, and purple/bluish hues. This has long been the standard for automotive lighting applications.

Beam Pattern

Our preferred LED light bars carry combination beam patterns. In addition to single spot and flood beams, go for LED light bars with a combination beam pattern for near and far-field illumination. Spot beams produce a narrow distance for narrow roads/trails and flood beams cast wider coverage, best for off-road driving.

Water Resistance

An IP rating for dust and water ingress protection is a must. Look for a minimum IP67 rating, which means you can submerge the unit in as deep as 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without causing damage. This ensures it stays operating even under the heaviest torrential rain.

FAQs

Q: Are LED light bars illegal?

For off-roading, no. If you attempt to use them on the street, they can be. Certain municipalities have strict laws on the books in regards to additional forward-facing illumination. Most don’t allow on-street usage.

Q: How much does a good LED light bar cost?

Depending on your application, a good, well-made LED light bar can cost between a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

Q: Can I make my LED light bar waterproof without it coming waterproof?

There are some kits but they’re not the most well-made. We’d suggest that you purchase a light bar with a IP rating of 67 and above.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best LED light bars, our choice is the Nilight LED Light Bar. It offers a powerful combination (30-degree spot and 60-degree flood) beam pattern, holds an IP67 rating for dust/water ingress protection, and includes an adjustable mounting bracket that offers excellent agility directing light exactly where you need it. It also places a premium on durability with military-grade aluminum housing, waterproof rubber pads, and CE, FCC, and RoHS certification for peace of mind.

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