Light bars are common aftermarket parts put on a vast majority of cars and trucks. There has been a sudden rise in the use of them in the last five years. If you have seen a modified vehicle recently, you have probably noticed a lightbar attached to either the hood or the grill.
These added lights are great for increasing visibility at night and are a popular addition to many off-road enthusiasts. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as different watts and lumens. How do you know what kind of light bar is right for you? Finding the right one for you would depend on the kind of driving you plan on doing.
So how many watts does a good light bar have? Even though there are quite a few different factors that go into it, a good LED light bar should have a minimum of 120 watts, although 240 watts would be better in most situations. If you want to go overboard though, you can go all the way up to 800 watts or more.
What Type Of Light Bar Do You Need?
Light bars typically range from 4 to 50 inches in length. The longer the bar the more you are likely to pay because they can fit more bulbs. This makes for a brighter light with a few exceptions to some top-performance bulbs. They can come in a variety of shapes, some of them having more of a curve than others, however, this is more for aesthetic purposes.
It has very little effect on the brightness of the light itself. The biggest factor in choosing the right light bar would be the beam pattern. Three options available on the mainstream market are flood, spot, and combination. The floodlight option is better for on-road driving, the spotlight is better for going off-road, and the combination is a mixture of the two.
The combination option will be the most expensive choice, but will also be the most versatile.
How Many Watts Is Enough?
Having enough watts is important, but you want to make sure you’re battery is equipped to put out that much power.
If your vehicle is running while the light is in use it shouldn’t drain your battery while the alternator recharges it automatically. Watts are the unit of measurement for the amount of power used by the light bar and lumens are the unit to determine the brightness.
This is important to remember when choosing the best fit for you. For most purposes, a standard light bar should have no less than 120 watts if you are going off-road. For on-road travel, you may want to use a lower wattage to keep from blinding oncoming traffic and causing an accident.
For better visibility without breaking the bank, a 240 watt light bar would be the next best choice. It would provide enough lumens to penetrate the dark and allow you to see the trail ahead. Some light bars can be over 800 watts with more than 780,000 lumens, which is more than enough for any adventure.
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What light bars do we like?
Thankfully, LED light bars are not crazy expensive, even for decent ones! Below are some of the LED light bars that would fit into what we have talked about in this article.
- The low wattage option: Northpole Light LED Light Bar
- The midrange option: TERRAIN VISION 12 Inch Led Light Bar 240W
- The high wattage option: AUTOSAVER88 648W 50″ Curved LED Light Bar
Light bars come in a variety of options. Higher quality products can have fewer watts and put off more lumens. The lowest amount of watts for a standard light bar should be around 120 watts and a good one should be in the 240-300 range.
Light bars that fit that description will provide enough brightness to get you through the darkest nights, without spending too much money.