• 2012-02-12


The headlights, fog lights, and driving lights your truck is equipped with from the factory provide great illumination on the road. However, off-roading provides a whole new set of lighting challenges that stock lighting just isn’t cut out for. If you take your vehicle off-road frequently and want to get maximum visibility at night, it’s time to take a look at LED light bars. These aftermarket add-ons let you mount a variety of LED lights for improved range of illumination to make off-roading easier and safer. In this guide, we’ll review the different LED light bar configurations available, how they mount, and why your vehicle could benefit from them.


LED light bars are comprised of an array of LED lights mounted inside a durable enclosure. These items don’t replace any of the existing lights on your vehicle but instead supplement them, usually for off-roading or show truck purposes. Just as the headlights on your vehicle have both high and low beam options, LED light bars can be configured to spread light in a variety of different patterns and angles. Some common configurations of LED light bars can be seen below.

Spotlight: This is one of the more common uses for a LED light bar. The LEDs are configured to point a very powerful and focused beam of light at a tight angle to see things far away from the vehicle. Because LED light bars come in many different lengths, sizes, and shapes, these can be mounted in just about any location on the vehicle.

Floodlight: This type of LED light bar is designed to provide a wide beam of light ideal for illuminating areas closer to the light source. It's generally pointed  lower than the horizon to maximize visibility near the vehicle. A flood light will illuminate a large area nearby, but not at as great a distance as a spotlight would.

"Multi-pattern" Light: As the name implies, the multi-pattern LED light bar contains both spotlight and floodlight beam patterns built into the same bar. Usually, the flood pattern is positioned at the extreme ends of the light bar while the middle section is configured to produce a spotlight beam. This design provides a versatile combination of lighting patterns in one bar.


LED light bars can be mounted in many different positions on your vehicle. Since LED light bars are usually sold by length or size, application-specific brackets are often sold separately. On most applications, brackets are available to mount bars on the front end, across the top of the windshield, and on top of the roof at both the front and rear. In addition to mounting brackets, some aftermarket accessories such as bumpers, grilles, and grille guards are manufactured so that an LED light bar can easily be mounted to them.


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