In this side-by-side product review Outside Pursuits leads you through everything you need to know in order to compare and choose the best LED light bar for your specific needs and vehicle requirements. These are the brightest, powerful LED lights that will illuminate ahead, or behind, your vehicle.
We’ll take a look at the top-rated LED light bars for the money. Also see: How To Choose The Best LED Light Bar later in the article. What is the best LED light bar?
Quick Answer: The 5 Top-Rated LED Light Bars 
- OFFROADTOWN 20” Quad Row 320W LED Light Bar
- Nilight 22” 270W Triple Row LED Light Bar
- Nilight 20” 126W LED Light Bar
- MICTUNING GlowStar 5-Row 20” LED Light Bar
- Auxbeam 22” 120W LED Light Bar
Best LED Light Bars
|OFFROADTOWN 20” Quad Row 320W LED Light Bar||Nilight 22” 270W Triple Row LED Light Bar||Nilight 20” 126W LED Light Bar|
|Brightness||32,000 lumens||27,000 lumens||12,500 lumens
|Watts||320 watts||270 watts||126 watts
|Special Features||80 bulbs, 20 inches, 4 rows||22 inches, 3 rows||42 bulbs, 20 inches, 2 rows
|Customer Ratings||3.8 / 5.0 Stars||4.3 / 5.0 Stars||4.2 / 5.0 Stars|
Also see: LED Light Bars Comparison Table
LED Light Bar Reviews
- 32,000 lumens
- 320 watts
- 80 bulbs
- 20 inches
- 4 rows
The bulbs are well protected with an IP68 rating. Officially, this means it is dust resistant and can be immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. However, in practice, all it means is that you have a very durable structure.
Added to this, you have a tough-as-nails 6063 aluminum casing, so it can handle being dropped or take a low-hanging tree branch with ease. And the coverage advantages of a curved LED light bar in their 50″ model.
The quality wiring means you get more brightness for your buck while generating less heat. This is enhanced by the thin, yet dense heat sinks and heat conduction silicone gel. With less heat comes a longer life, and OFFROADTOWN claim a 50,000 hour lifespan.
At just under $100, the OFFROADTOWN 20” Quad Row light bar is the most expensive item on this list, but also the most powerful and has the highest IP rating. All points considered, it is a quality, reliable light that is well worth the slightly inflated cost.
OFFROADTOWN also offer the same model in the following popular formats:
- QUAD Row 7 inch
- QUAD Row 30 inch
- QUAD Row 50 inch curved
- QUAD Row flush
- 27,000 lumens
- 270 watts
- 22 inches
- 3 rows
However, like the previous model, the Nilight light bar provides a combination of a spot light and a flood light so it is suitable for a wide variety of uses.
There is a small difference between the Nilight 22 inch 270 watt and the OFFROADTOWN model in terms of build quality. With a rating of IP67, it will be dust proof, but can only be immersed in one meter of water for 30 minutes, as opposed to the IP68 one and a half meters.
This difference doesn’t affect normal use, and the all-round build quality is of a very high quality. The silicone gel heat dissipation is very effective, drawing away the heat of the bulbs and increasing their life. It also has very strong attachment points, so it can survive quite a lot of rough and tumble.
The lower power and lumens results in a lower price. At just over 50 dollars, this 22 inch light bar is great value for money, and is extremely well rated by users.
Nilight also offer the same model in the following popular formats:
- 21 inch 100 watt
- 32 inch triple row
- 41 inch 200W light
- 126 watt combo beam
- 54 inch combo light bar straight
- 12,500 lumens
- 126 watts
- 42 bulbs
- 20 inches
- 2 rows
The build quality of the Nilight 20 inch 126 watt is similar to the more powerful model, with an IP67 rating. In layman’s terms, this means it can last for 30 minutes in one meter of water. Although it has a slightly lower rating, it is still highly resistant to the elements, with an effective waterproof design.
It also comes with a rotational mounting bracket, which lets you change the angle of your beam. Once the bracket it attached, you can simply slide the light itself on and off. This is great if you’re using it as a jeep light bar, as it can keep it safe from thieves when not in use.
This LED light bar is as tough as they come, so whether you need it for daily use, or for a midnight raid on a heavily armed drug kingpin, you can rely on the Nilight’s build quality and durability. Nilight produced their own eerie video showing just how tough it is.
At around half the power and lumens compared to the 270 watt model, the brightness doesn’t quite match up, but that doesn’t mean that you should automatically go for the more powerful option. I was surprised at how bright this light was out of the box and it is more than enough for standard use.
Nilight also offer the same model in the following popular formats:
- 50 inch curved light bar
- 2 36 watt flood lights
- 2 136 watt lights
- 13,000 lumens
- 268 bulbs
- 20 inches
- 5 rows
In terms of build quality, it has thickened die cast aluminum heat sinks that enhance cooling, which helps with the longevity of the light bar. It has a rating of IP67, which is slightly inferior to the OFFROADTOWN, but relatively standard for an LED light bar.
This gives you good waterproofing, and it is dust and shock proof. The integrated rugged breather expels any built up moisture from the inside of the bar, keeping your light as clear as possible.
At around $50, the MICTUNING GlowStar sits around the middle of the price range, and that is about where it sits in terms of quality. The five rows of LEDs is a great touch and the flood is very impressive, but the OFFROADTOWN is the same length and offers over double the lumens.
MICTUNING also offer the same model in the following popular formats:
- 30 inch light bar
- 40 inch light bar
- 50 inch light bar
- 12,000 lumens
- 120 watts
- 40 bulbs
- 22 inches
One good reason for this is the technology used in the bulbs. The innovative 5D design uses fish eye lenses and reflectors to project light as far a distance as possible, while illuminating your immediate surroundings too.
Compared to other lenses, the Auxbeam 5D technology has the dual advantage of lighting the road more evenly and providing a wider light beam.
While all of the other LED light bars on this list use a combination of a spot light and a flood light, the Auxbeam is the only one which comes with two buttons, allowing you to switch between the two modes.
A feature that the Auxbeam model shares with the Nilight 20” bar is the adjustable mounting bracket. With a swing of around 45 degrees, you can change the direction of your light beam. This comes in very useful for lighting up work spaces that can be at different heights.
Like the Nilight 20”, the light can slide off and on the bracket, which is a good security feature when not in use. Like all of the other models, except the OFFROADTOWN, the Auxbeam has a an IP67 rating, which makes it impervious to dust and light water.
All points considered, this is maybe the most technologically forward light bar on this list, if not the brightest.
LED Light Bar Comparison Table
|Best LED Light Bars||Price||Brightness||Watts||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|OFFROADTOWN 20” Quad Row 320W LED Light Bar||from $32.99||32,000 lumens||320 watts||80 bulbs, 20 inches, 4 rows||3.8 / 5.0 Stars|
|Nilight 22” 270W Triple Row LED Light Bar||$54.99||27,000 lumens||270 watts||22 inches, 3 rows||4.3 / 5.0 Stars|
|Nilight 20” 126W LED Light Bar||$27.90||12,500 lumens||126 watts||42 bulbs, 20 inches, 2 rows||4.2 / 5.0 Stars
|MICTUNING GlowStar 5-Row 20” LED Light Bar||$36.91||13,000 lumens||268 bulbs||20 inches, 5 rows||3.8 / 5.0 Stars|
|Auxbeam 22” 120W LED Light Bar||from $12.99||12,000 lumens||120 watts||40 bulbs, 22 inches||4.3 / 5.0 Stars|
How to Choose the Best LED Light Bar
If you’re an outdoorsy type, I’m sure you’ve already come across LED lights for trucks. They are hugely popular for off-road drivers and home mechanics alike. We set out to identify the best value in LED light bars for the money versus what may appear to simply be just a cheap LED light bar.
In many cases, a light bar can work as a safety precaution, for lighting up any hazards that are dotted around remote trails, or spotting wild animals.
But that’s not the only reason to equip your vehicle with a light bar. You can simply use your extra light to turn night into day. This is especially useful for occasions when you need to do a bit of engine work at night.
So whatever you need a light bar for, this article will outline some of the best ones on the market at the moment. If you’ve ever been out in the sticks at night and found your headlights to be lacking, you’ll understand why so many people go for additional light bars.
However, in the same way you can’t put an 18-wheeler engine in a hatchback, you can’t just Frankenstein any old light bar onto your truck.
Below are some tips which aim to point you toward the best off road lights for you. It covers how to decipher the numbers and measurements that appear in the “at a glance” section of each product above, and has a few FAQs at the bottom which should clear up any remaining questions you may have.
Differences and Considerations for LED Light Bars
LED Light Bars vs. Halogen or HID
First of all, I want to point out what other products there are on the market, and address a few dated opinions on LEDs.
Not too long ago, halogen and high-intensity discharge (HID) light bars were all the rage, so how have LEDs overtaken them?
In recent years, LED technology has improved to the point that they are more or less inseparable from their rival bulbs in terms of brightness.
You might be shocked to see how such a small bulb can create so much light. What this translates into is a compact light that adds very little weight to your truck.
Another main factor is efficiency. LEDs are widely regarded as the most efficient lights money can buy. To put that into perspective, LEDs use around half the wattage of HID lights and as little as 10 percent of the power of halogens.
Not only are LED bars efficient, but they are also incredibly long lasting. Expect LED lights to not only outlast other kinds of bulbs, they will probably outlast your truck. The average lifespan for LED bulbs is around 40,000 hours, which is enough to justify the higher price, when compared with halogens and HIDs. That said, most of the products on this list claim a life of up to 50,000 hours. That’s just under six years if you never turned it off!
LEDs are durable. They rarely come loose and can take a battering that comes with the off-road terrain. Similar to their durability is the fact that an LED light bar will house around 100 separate bulbs. If one blows, it doesn’t affect the overall brightness all that much.
All of these points make LEDs the obvious choice when compared to halogens and HIDs. Although they are more expensive to begin with, the extra life and reliability you get out of LED light bars outstrip any other kind of light on the market today.
Lumens (lm) are the units used to measure the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. You might have heard of candlepower in flashlights that boast the light of 1,000,000 candles. Lumens are just the standardized version of candlepower, with 1 candlepower equalling 12.57 lumens.
Watts refer to how much power your light bar takes to function.
wattage in LED light bars as a whole is measured with a simple calculation. Take the wattage of each LED and multiply it by the number of bulbs on your bar.
The rule of thumb tells us that the higher the wattage, the brighter the light, but there is a bit of wiggle room there. A more efficient light bar could produce more lumens than one with poorer quality LEDs or reflection.
Rows is another aspect where you might think that the higher the number, the better.
However, for example, a single row has an advantage over four rows. The lower the number of rows, the more concentrated the beam, which gives it more of a spot light than a light bar with more rows. Evidently, the higher the amount of rows, the wider the scope of your light, creating a flood light effect, rather than a spot light effect.
Another way of switching between a flood light and a spot light is with a beam angle.
There are two main angles. A wide, approximately 90-degree spread, works as a flood beam. This is great for lighting up a work station or large space, like a late-night barbecue. Flood beams are also very useful for when you’re driving on roads with potential risks to the side of them. Anybody who has collided with wildlife will know how important peripheral lighting can be.
Spotlights are the other main type of angle. These work best for when you’re driving on roads with less obstacles as they focus a narrow beam and illuminate what’s directly in front of you to the maximum.
You can find a range of light bar sizes, but bigger is not always better. The bars on this list are all around 20 inches, which is a great size for a standard jeep or truck. If you’re thinking about going for the 50 inches variations, think carefully about it, because these are generally only suitable for full-size rigs, not personal off-roaders.
Having said that, a longer bar can fit more bulbs on it, so as a general rule, a longer bar is a brighter bar.
A great little feature you can find on Amazon is the sizing guide, available on the product page of all of the reviewed light bars, which lets you check if the light bar will fit your vehicle, including the year, make and model.
One issue with all kinds of light bars is the possibility of overheating, and despite all the advantages of LEDs, they are more affected by environmental heat than other bulbs.
Of course, steps have been taken to remedy this problem. All good LED light bars come with heat sinks, which keep LEDs cool and extends the life and reliability of your light bar.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About LED Light Bar
Question: Are light bars always legal?
Answer: Light bars are intended for off-road driving and, by law, should be used as such. As a rule of thumb, you should never use your light bar on normal roads. This is a national law, but be aware that there are also more detailed state-specific laws.
Question: How do I maintain my light bar?
Answer: LED light bars are pretty rugged and require very little maintenance. Both the casing and the wiring are design to take quite a beating, so you should have no problems for the entire time you have your light bar.
At most, you could give it a wipe down with a cloth after being out on the trail, to keep the brightness at its maximum level.
Question: Are light bars financially viable?
Answer: In a word — yes.
To begin with, the LED light bars here are don’t exceed $100. Once you’ve made the initial payment, all of the light bars on this list will last for an incredibly long time, and you will probably change your vehicle before you change your light bar.
Question: Lumens or Watts? What is the best brightness indicator?
Answer: In side-by-side comparisons between light bars, you can rely on either to tell you which product has a brighter light. At least 99% of the time, whichever product has the highest number wins.
To get a more accurate picture, always look at lumens, as that is the measurement of brightness recognized by the International System of Units.
I hope this guide has helped you to choose the right LED light bar for your needs.
A light bar is a great addition to off-roaders, and you get a lot of benefit for not so much money. Getting one with LED technology further increases its value.
Whether you need a light bar for repair work at night, or to spot any deer before they become part of your fender, there is an option here for you.
Thanks for reading The 5 Best LED Light Bars. We hope our review article will help you pick the right product for your needs from among our top picks for best offroad and safety LED light bars. Wherever you’re headed stay safe out on the road and enjoy your travels.
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And if you’re shopping for other gear take a look at these related review articles from Outside Pursuits:
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Last update on 2019-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API