If you’ve ever found yourself on an unfamiliar trail in complete darkness, you know the frustration of working with less-than-ideal illumination. On unlit terrain, you can easily wind up in situations where you need extra light. That’s why an off-road light bar can be such a great addition. With extra brightness and better illumination, an LED light bar can help you see upcoming obstacles, terrain changes, and the path ahead of you better.
As an added bonus, it’s also a helpful way to help others off the beaten path see you, too. And, of course, a light bar will only make your rig look better. No matter your reasons for equipping your off-road vehicle with one of these illuminating accessories, the benefits can be pretty significant. Take a look at our picks below.
- Best Overall: KC HiLites Gravity Pro6 LED Light Bar
- Best Value: Rough Country Black Series LED Light Bar
- Honorable Mention: Diode Dynamics SS5 CrossLink LED Light Bar
- Best Compact: Rigid Industries Radiance Plus Series LED Light Bar
- Best Curved: Rough Country Black Series Dual Row Curved LED Light Bar
I chose the following as the best LED light bars by seeking out highly rated and well-reviewed picks from reputable brands such as KC and Rough Country. From there, I compared light bars in brightness, or lumen level, fitment for different makes and models, and ease of installation. I also took a look at crucial off-roading and outdoor details and features, such as waterproofing or water resistance, visibility, and beam patterns to determine which offered the best durability and performance. Additionally, I looked at users’ reviews and comments on these light bars to assess how they held up in off-roading situations.
Best LED Light Bar Reviews & Recommendations
The KC HiLites Gravity Pro6 LED Light Bar is my top pick because of its standout performance, durability in the face of unpredictable weather, and extra brightness. It’s an investment, but one that really stands out when you’re looking for extra light. The Rough Country Black Series LED Light Bar is another great choice, and it’s one with plenty of value thanks to its affordability and long list of features.
Things to Consider Before Buying an LED Light Bar
Before you pick out any LED light bar, make sure to look for these important considerations, features, and details. They can make the difference both in the effectiveness of your light bar and the fun and safety of your future off-road adventures.
One of the most critical components of any LED light bar is how brightly it can shine and how well it can illuminate what’s ahead. Choose a product that offers a high enough lumen count and a solid number of lights. If you only want one light bar, make sure it has a lot of lumens for maximum brightness. The individual lights, either in the form of LED bulbs or chips, also matters as each contributes to the light emitted.
In addition to the number of lumens and individual lights, take the overall size of the light bar into consideration. Light bars can be slim and somewhat small, or they can be wide, curved, and cover the entire width of your vehicle. There are a lot of options in height, width, and even shape when it comes to LED bars, so think about how much area you’re hoping to illuminate. Wider, longer bars will cover more space, while thinner and shorter bars will only give you a few extra feet of light.
Where and how your LED off-road light bar is mounted matters. It affects the angle of your light, how well the area in front of your vehicle is illuminated, and how secure the light stays while you’re on unpredictable terrain. While there are a number of mounting options and each light bar offers its own specific mounting style, think about the position you prefer as you shop. Additionally, make sure your chosen light bar has all of the components and hardware you’ll need for mounting. Some can require additional purchases for hardware or wiring harnesses.
You never know what you’re going to face when off-roading. You could wind up in mud, an unexpected downpour, high winds, or extremely bumpy terrain. To make sure you’re getting a reliable and durable light bar, look for one built with outdoor protections. Think about the types of environments you drive in most often, and try to find protections that meet the surprises you come across. Details like waterproof housing, water-resistant components, dust protection and resistance, and corrosion protection can ensure your lights stay functional for many miles to come.
An LED light bar can run anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to more than $1,000. If you’re looking for a relatively small light bar, you can find options priced between $150 and $350. However, if you’re looking for a lot of light and want something more capable or with a higher lumen count, you’ll need to step up to the $375 to $600 range. The heaviest-duty and most premium LED light bars for off-roading are significantly more expensive; these can cost $1,000 to $2,000 or more. However, these models also tend to require specialized installation and are made to fit specific vehicle makes and models.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.