LED Light bar recommendations?

RioDeColumbia Feb 5, 2015

  1. RioDeColumbia

    RioDeColumbia Bought an X

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Missouri
    so currently I have a 20" led light bar mounted in the mouth of front bumper of my X. However, sadly my light bar keeps to continue getting moisture/condensation inside of it. I have taken it apart several times, cleaned it out and resealed it, but the water just keeps getting in. So my plan now is to wait it out, and when the light bar finally goes out, I am just going to get a better one to replace.

    Anyway, I have been looking around, and I can't really seem to find a good light bar replacement. I want it to be a 20" so it will fit in the same spot. I know that rigid bars are amazing, but I just don't want to spend around $600 for a light bar. My price range is more in the $100-$300 range.

    So does anyone have any recommendation on what brand of light bar to buy would be? The help would be great!

    One company I hear was kind of good was Tuff Stuff LEDs, here is there link, but I have never heard of them.
    http://tuffstuff4x4.com/products/tuff-stuff-performance-40-single-row-led-light-bar/
     
  2. TJTJ

    TJTJ Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Location:
    NJ
    Part of the issue is that the REASON some bars are cheaper is that they are not made as well.

    There are things you can't really see that make a difference here and there.

    For example, there are IPX ratings for weather resistance...and, a cheap bar might fudge that, or, simply not list a rating, or, might list a rating that doesn't really apply, etc.

    There are seals, and machining tolerances, etc, that can be done well with attention to detail, which costs money, and then there are seals and tolerances that can be knocked out in less time using less durable and less expensive parts and connections.

    There are solder joints and potting that might be present in a decent light, and missing, or poorly done, in a less expensive light.

    And so on and so forth.


    So, if you want a "good light", then, you might have to pay enough to GET a good light.


    Obviously, all of us might say, hey, why can't they just make the lights I want for less money!

    And the answer, in real life, is that good costs more.


    PAYING more doesn't guarantee its better though....some ebay, etc, sources simply sell their exact same light for a few different price points...so their $200 bar might ALSO be for sale for $3000, etc.

    Buying a brand name, or at least a brand that we KNOW on the forums, is one way to at least get some bang for your buck.


    Another thing to consider is the ratings of these lights. I've seen "100,000 lumen" ebay specials that were dimmer than honest "10,000 lumen" bars....even with the same number of same sized/watt "cree led" etc.

    IE: The el cheapo lights tend to lie to you about their specs.

    :D


    I have not ordered from these guys, but, at least they are a sponsor here:

    http://www.extremeledlightbars.com/


    Try them for example.

    :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  3. ericcris10sen

    ericcris10sen First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    359
    Location:
    Zion National Park, Utah
    I have a small LED lightbar (Rigid) on my bumper and a large LED light bar (Wurton) up top. These lights have gone through some tough conditions. Mud, sleet, snow, rain, branches, rocks. I really like Rigid due to the fact they can take a REAL pounding and still work. I have yet to have an issue with either of these and as the guy above me said, if you buy LED lights for cheap, that's what you're going to get.

    I don't know how much you paid for the ones that are ruined, but if you paid $200-$300 for that one, and it's done and you're going to pay for another one, that's about the same price as a really nice one that will have a warranty and will last a long time.

    Look at the torture challenge for Rigid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXMzkh-NzJk That's why you buy nice LED lights. They can pack a punch and last a LONG time, rather than these really cheap lights. You're more than likely going to keep buying these ebay LED lights for years to come.
     
  4. Malin_Rebate

    Malin_Rebate Skid Plates

    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have a promaxx 12inch down bottom that I love to death but I really am glad I have my 2 sets of rules god duallys up top. I plan on getting a 30inch rigid in a bit but I prefer rigid over my promaxx. You will pay for rigid but you get home grown made in the usa which is tough!
     
  5. RioDeColumbia

    RioDeColumbia Bought an X

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Missouri
    I only paid about $100 for the current light bar I have, so it wasn't to expensive. It was my first light bar, and I didn't really know to much about them at the time, so I though it was a good buy, until I later found out otherwise.

    Basically I really just want a light bar that won't get water and condensation in it, and not have to pay a lot of money.
     
  6. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
    I have rigid's.

    Why, because when I got them there was not a lot of options out there. Do I love them? Yes. Would I buy them all again? No. Why, price. The warranty is great. I currently own 11 rigid led light bars. I have only had issue with 1. It got filled with water. You can ask people at WENT. But it still worked kinda. I called them up and yes they replaced it no questions asked. But I could still buy 4 led bars of the same size as the price of this one. So that means I still need to destroy 43 more lights to make the purchase worth while. Now Rigid does come out with a bunch of unique lights and these are defiantly worth it. Like the flush mounted defuse. Sorry everyone but these work better for backing up then the flood lenses does. But for a standard spot, flood, or combo single or duel row bar I would go with the below link.

    P.S. I still need to figure out how to mount the lense cover on a 10" rigid without breaking it. Gone through 3 covers. They warranty these too!

    I would check out these guys, I have heard good things.

    http://www.extremeledlightbars.com/



     
  7. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
  8. RioDeColumbia

    RioDeColumbia Bought an X

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Missouri
    Alright, thanks for the advice, I think that I am going to buy one of the extreme led bars. I read some reviews on them, and people seem to like them.
     
  9. GPD605X

    GPD605X Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,598
    Location:
    Gulfport, MS
    I love my TOTRON LED bar. I haven't had a single issue with it. IMO, $300 for a 40" bar is a fair price from what I've seen. A 20" should be good. Chris (NYX) at Extreme is awesome!
     
  10. NoahSki

    NoahSki Wheeling

    Messages:
    435
    Location:
    Savannah Ga
    ^^ I AGREE
    No point in buying a lightbar for over a grand when you can get one that's rated the same with the same Cree led's but just doesn't have the name on it.. My totron is performing just as well as my friends rigid that he paid 4x as much for. I don't plan on putting it in a hydro press of smashing my roof into a tree..... Lights will be the least of my problems at that point.
     
  11. TJTJ

    TJTJ Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Location:
    NJ
    Well, yes and no.

    The no name ones more often than not, lie about what's in them, lie about the specs, and cut corners on the construction and longevity....TO make them cheaper.

    So "The same Cree LED" can be a different Cree led, in a mount with less heat sinking, with thinner wires, and weaker solder joints, with gaskets that weather more quickly and allow water in more quickly, and so on and so forth.

    On the "Cree LED" issue alone, there are many different Cree LED, for example there are MTG2, XML, and XML2, XPG and XPG2, XRE, XPE and so on and so forth. ONE MTG2 LED might put out as much as 3,000 lumens all by itself...whereas one XRE might be hard pressed to put out 200 lumens. An XPG2 might be able to be stretched to give 600 lumens, and an XML2 might be OK at 1,100 lumens, but to do those max numbers, the ground path and heat sinking, etc, needs to be perfect. Add to that that for the same sized reflector, the XPG2 , being smaller than say the XML2, will have more throw, even though the lumen output is lower (Makes less light but can throw it farther). The MTG2 might make 3k lumens but, being a huge LED, its pattern is very floody/not much throw....so "Cree LED" is like saying "Ford Motor Vehicle", it could be a fiesta or an F350, etc.



    The focus of the light will almost always be a pattern that puts almost all of the light right in front of you, where it make you THINK you have "Really Bright Lights!", but which, in reality, is not projecting the light off into the distance where you MOSTLY needed it to see things out of range of your head lights.

    The bright light right in front of you stops down your pupils, and makes your eyes adjust from night vision to day vision (BECAUSE its so bright close up), so, outside of that bright proximal pool, you see even less than before.

    In racing, its referred to as the newbs having great illumination of what they are crashing into, and the experienced guy's having great illumination of what they need to avoid crashing into.

    :D


    So paying a lot is no guarantee of quality, in fact, some of the ebay sellers sell the exact same light at different price points to catch those who think the more expensive one might be better. A name brand is going to typically put more work into their lights, and the stuff you can't SEE, such as the quality of the soldering and the durability of the gaskets chosen, and the thread overlaps on the threaded parts, and so on and so forth...might be better than the guy who sells the same LOOKING light for a lot less, by NOT sweating those details.

    ALL LED light bars suffer from too much proximal light, as the reflectors are very shallow, and you need more depth on an LED to get throw, as opposed to an HID or halogen, etc, which uses a shallow reflector and wide bowl for the same purpose....so only the best of them have much range to begin with, especially compared to an HID.


    Can you buy a **** ton of el cheapos for the price of one good light? Sure, and if you didn't really NEED the lights anyway, or to see better, its just an affectation or decoration, or, not having those lights is not going to be a big deal if they fail...sure, get disposable lights, and replace them as such.

    If you only use them for slow speed crawling, so seeing past your high beams is not needed, etc, the pool of proximal light can be fine and dandy too.


    After that, its just a question of your type of use/build and what fits your needs.


    So, weight all that, and get what makes sense.

    :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  12. RioDeColumbia

    RioDeColumbia Bought an X

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Missouri
    So how do Totron light bars compare to Extreme Led bars? Like is there a huge difference, or are they pretty similar inbuilt and quality? Also, does anyone know where the best place is to buy a Totron Light bar? I was looking on their website, but you can't purchase anything on it so I am not sure where you can actually buy the light.
     
  13. TJTJ

    TJTJ Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Location:
    NJ

    For most of the Chinese lights, you can't even compare them meaningfully, as they change how they are made based upon what gaskets or screws or wires were cheapest that week. The same factory might make one "brand's" light one week, and another's the following week, and so forth.

    If you buy "Made in America", you will typically have better luck, and, help avoid our kids/grand kids needing to Learn Mandarin, etc.

    Buying from an American Co that specs what is sent from China is next...as at least SOMEONE cared about how they were made, and drew a line in the sand as to the specs needed.

    :D
     
  14. RioDeColumbia

    RioDeColumbia Bought an X

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Missouri
    Ah, ok. Then I think I am going to stick with buying an Extreme Led bar then.
     
  15. GPD605X

    GPD605X Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,598
    Location:
    Gulfport, MS
    I got mine from Extreme so that may be the brand that he sells or used to.
     
  16. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    ♪We buried the hatchet, but left the handle stickin' out♫

    Diggin' up old threads here vs acting like a noob. <I am a noob tho so don't let that fool ya

    I'm really thinking that I already have enough wind noise from the windshield/wet box that I don't really want or like the idea of a roof bar.
    I think I want a 20-22" bar on the bumper and maybe some nice ditch lights and both are reasonable through Extreme that's been mentioned many times in this post.

    Question is, these posts were from 2015 so does anyone have any knowledge of why I shouldn't go with Extreme? Better options? Are you happy with your roof bar noise? Do I really need more than high beams, 24k lumen spot/flood combo 22" bar and 7650 lumen ditch lights?

    Tanks

    L
     
  17. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    I personally find the use of the roof bar to be minimal. The ditch lights, and the bumper bar are generally plenty. That said, I'm not usually the lead dog on a night run, which means it's a dust thing. When you are the lead dog, and you're not eating dust, the roof bar is pretty nice. And yes there is wind noise.
     
    Xterrorista likes this.

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