10 Best ATV LED Light Bars of 2020 – Reviews & Guide was last modified: July 1st, 2020 by Lucas
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10 Best ATV LED Light Bars (Reviews) in 2020
The following top scoring products have been selected based on their outstanding characteristics in regards to light intensity, light quality, ruggedness and service life. We hope you’ll find something to suit your particular demands among our selection.
1. Auxbeam LED Light Bar 12 inch 72W LED Driving Light
This set of two 12-inch LED light bars from Auxbeam provide excellent brightness with a total of 48 Cree LEDs giving out 72.000 lumens. These are placed in cups that feature an innovative technology which significantly extends the area covered by the beam, both in distance and width.
The spotlights placed at the center of each bar can irradiate to an angle of 30 degrees and the floods up to 60 degrees, which will make this combo suitable for both winding trails that require a wide field of view and public roads, where you’ll be required to see as far ahead as possible.
The casing is made out of tough yet light aluminum and provides the IP67 level of water protection required for water crossings. This should serve you equally well in an arid environment since the sealing will work equally well at keeping the sand at bay.
It also features an extra-large heat sink, which combined with the high efficiency of Cree LEDs should give this unit more than 30,000 hours of constant running life.
2. Bangbangche 20'' 126W Flood Spot Combo Cree LED Light Bar
These Bangbangche light bars should offer all the illumination you require for safely navigating an ATV at night, whether through the mountains, desert or on county roads. The main bar is a combo, which features both spotlight and floods for a long irradiation distance and a wide field of view.
This is further supplemented by two pods that can be freely placed on the roll cage to cover blind spots or difficult angles in spotlight. Both the bar and pods house highly efficient Cree LEDs, which make maximum use of every Watt supplied by the ATVs battery.
This product is rated for more than 30,000 hours of constant use, and the solid construction of its aluminum casing will make sure that it gets there. The mounting brackets are made of stainless steel, as they need to be both tough and rust resistant.
Expectedly, it’s been rated for IP67 water resistance, and it also features an aluminum back heatsink to drive the heat generated by the dozens of bright LEDs into the air.
3. Nilight Light Bar 2PCS 20 Inch 126W LED Off Road Driving Lights
These 20-inch bars from Nilight are pretty popular with customers for how easy they are to install. Besides the whole operation being reported to last under 30 minutes, they have highly adjustable metal brackets, and a red working light is provided by the manufacturer to let you know when they are on when placed on the bumper of a Jeep or truck.
Otherwise, you will get the regular mix of spot and floodlights (with a somewhat larger number of spots compared to the units we’ve looked at so far) powered by 126W of DC coming out of the car or ATV’s battery.
The casing is aluminum, of the 6063 aircraft grade variety, and the lens is made of polycarbonate (PC) material. Although it has the adequate amount of certifications and ratings, some users complained that despite the claimed IP67 water resistance their units fogged out after being exposed to moisture. It’s been suggested that improper maintenance on their part might be at fault, or manufacturing errors in their particular product, regardless Nilight offers a 2-year warranty.
4. Nilight Led Light Bar 2PCS 4.5" 27w 3000LM Round Flood Light Pod Off Road
Sturdy and light, these Nilight pods might prove great for some nighttime all-terrain racing if you don’t want to weigh your ATV down with a potentially frail full bar that would offer more lighting than needed for this scenario.
Flood lighting is considered ideal for driving ATVs at night through uneven terrain since the wide field of view will help you get a better idea of the environment.
The pods have 9 LEDs each, mounted in flood cups and housed by a die-cast 6063 aluminum alloy casing. The little heat dissipation required is provided by cooling fins which keep these pods a little smaller and easier to place on the vehicle than other constructive solutions.
The IP67 waterproof rating is fully confirmed by people who used them in rainy conditions and they should work equally well when exposed to sand or thick dust, however, some folks expected for the product to come with more of the bits required for installation.
5. Nilight 25" 162W Led Light Bar Flood Spot Combo Waterproof Driving Lights
Nilight is seen as providing good value for the money and this 25”, 162W model makes no exception. Nearly all people who bought it are satisfied with the level of brightness it puts out and the durability and water resistance of the casing.
The same die-cast aluminum was used as with their other models, with rubber inserts for better shock protection and a silicone sealing to give it a water protection factor of IP67. The lens is made out of impact resistant PC, and the color temperature of the LEDs is between 6000K-6500K, which gives it a slightly blue-ish tint.
Spotlights and floods were used in fairly equal number so it might be slightly more specialized for off-road use than some of Nilight's other LED bars, that put an emphasis on long distance beams.
The most common complaint we’ve spotted regarding this product has to do with the poor quality of various pieces of hardware used in its construction, such as the screws that connect the front bezel. However, all of them can be replaced with a visit to your local hardware store.
6. Nilight 7" 36w Spot LED Work Light Off Road LED Light Bar
Given its large size of 52 inches, this Nilight model will probably only fit comfortably on the roll bar of a two-sit ATV, but once there it will give a whole lot of light, up to 30.000 lumen’s worth of it, which is plenty for the price range.
It’s LED’s might not be the best on the market, but where quality lacks, Nilight makes up in quantity, with dozens and dozens of diodes placed on two rows, with floodlights on the edges and spots casting a long beam in the center.
People who bought it find the bar to be quite durable, with aluminum used for the casing and PMMA acryl for the lens. Over the more common PC material this will offer better protection against UV rays at a slight expense to scratch resistance, so you might want to look into this product if you live in a sunny area.
You would expect that so many lights will cause heating problems, but customer reviewers reported that the heat sink works well enough to keep the unit cool through hours of use.
7. Nilight 7" 36w Spot LED Work Light Off Road
If you’re after a couple of small and unpretentious cubes for the bumper of your truck or to supplement the headlights on an ATV, then this product should make a good purchase. Each pod contains 6 LEDs mounted in spotlight cups, with a total power requirement of 18W, 3W per diode.
They have a flush mount design, which means that they will fit smoothly into the body of your ATV, without leaving any unsightly spaces in between. Judging by the comments this product received, mounting them should be fairly easy, and their design peculiarity won't demand any additional skill on your part to install.
However, the front plate will basically conform to the vehicle’s body, leaving little room for adjustments, so you’ll have to buy additional brackets if you want them to pivot.
The casing is made from the same aluminum as with all the other Nilight models, and an extra-large heat sink works to dissipate excess heat at the back.
8. Nilight 2PCS 18W Spot LED Work Light Driving Lights
A close relative of the NI23E, these pods perform the same basic main function. Namely, that of secondary headlights to be implanted into the front mask of a Jeep or on a bumper. Of course, you can also use them on an ATV with the appropriate mounts, and they come packaged with all the nuts, bolts and washers you will need to install them.
However, the electrical wiring and switch will have to be purchased, but even with this additional cost, the product will prove very easy on the wallet.
Where they differ from the E version is shape, with these being taller, and requiring four screws to mount. Otherwise, you’ll get the same solid aluminum and PMMA construction that received words of appreciation from users.
The product was subjected to the occasional complaints Nilight models receive, regarding insufficient waterproofing and trivial manufacturing faults, such as the paint being chipped in places. The manufacturer does offer a substantial warranty, and an occasional faulty unit can be returned as per the rules of the particular retailer you are purchasing from.
9. LED Light Bar, Northpole Light 52" 300W Waterproof Spot Flood
This 52” Northpole Light model seems to be well appreciated by customers for being tough and easy to install. It comes with the appropriate mounting brackets and screws, but the wiring and switch will have to be purchased by the user.
This might be seen as an advantage, especially if you are buying this as a replacement unit for an older light bar since chances are you’ll still be having all the appropriate bits from your previous set-up. There shouldn’t be any compatibility issues, as most models are standardized to work well between 9 and 30 V.
This needs 300W of electrical power to operate, with 3W per single LED unit. All those little bulbs will generate 22,000 Lumens of brightness, in both flood and spot beams, and might very well do that for a long time, as this product is rated for 30,000 hours of service and there aren’t many complaints regarding its durability or construction quality thus far.
10. Yitamotor 240 Package
Besides a 42-inch bar that provides combi lighting, this Yitamoro package comes with two additional 18W spotlights together with mounting brackets and wiring harnesses.
It has the usual aluminum casing fronted by an impact-resistant polycarbonate lens and features an extended heat sink at the back. The bar itself provides just short of 22,000 Lumens, supplemented by the two spotlights.
According to the manufacturer, a special moisture breather technology was used to prevent fogging, which seems to work as advertised since customers are yet to complain about condensation or low water resistance from the bar or spotlights.
Like any workable product, it’s rated at IP67 of waterproofing, and this also holds up to real life usage. Unlike other models in the same price range, the Yitamotor is guaranteed for 50,000 hours of continuous use.
The most common complaint we found regarding this product refers to the lack of installation instruction and (only rarely) the bars not fitting properly on the brackets. However, most folks seem to see this as an opportunity to exercise their experience and intuition, since this unit installs the same way as any other.
This Year’s Buying Guide
Needless to say, the first thing to look for when hunting for some good ATV LED lights is that they suit your particular needs. Consider where and how you usually drive your ATV and direct the purchase accordingly. For example, a large heat sink won’t justify the added weight in a cold environment, while you might want to stick to small and sturdy pods on durable mounts if they’re going to be subjected to strong bumps and vibrations from driving fast through rough terrain. With this in mind, what design solutions are usually employed?
Common Types of LED Light Bars for ATVs
The full-sized bar that also works well with trucks and SUVs offers great functionality on roads and highways since it contains a large number of individual LEDs for both spot and flood beams. It’s great if the ATV is used for farm work but might, however, prove too heavy and cumbersome for especially demanding off-road tracks.
LED minis can be described as miniature versions of the above. They generally come as two or more bars and might offer the best medium between size and brightness, as they are big enough to fit a variety of LEDs.
LED lamps are small and can be mounted on swivels to give you a spotlight that’s easy to focus. The similar LED pod generally features only floodlights, which might not be that much of a downside if you’re exclusively using the ATV on rough terrain.
There are also amber LED lights for use in foggy conditions. These might best be bought as secondary units to a regular bar since the light they give isn’t very effective during nighttime.
The Beam Pattern
There are spot or flood lights to choose from, with the best light bars for ATV offering a combination of both. The spots can penetrate far, but this comes at the expense of the area they can cover. Since ATVs tend to move slow through winding trails, these are not considered as useful as floodlights, which put out a short but wide beam.
You might be required to use spotlights on public roads, however, and they might be very useful to ranchers or in a desert setting. When the two are combined on the bar, spots occupy the central part, flanked by floodlights.
A Rugged Construction is Essential
Since they are expected to be used off-road, a rain protection factor might not be enough to keep ATV lights safe from water. A waterproof rating of IP67 will allow them to go entirely submerged down to 3.3 feet, is be a requirement for crossing small creeks.
The water resistance factor is also indicative of dust protection, so it can be used as a guide for how well suited the unit will be for use in a desert environment or on a beach.
The housing is commonly made of cast or extruded aluminum, which can be anodized to protect it against corrosion, while the mounts require a tougher metal, such as steel. It’s particularly important that the mounts stay rust-free since they are usually designed to pivot. This is best achieved by adding Chromium or Nickel to the steel’s composition.
Depending on the manufacturer, the LED bar brightness is expressed in either lumen produced per Watt of power or in the total light output of the unit, the latter making for an easier estimation when bigger models are compared.
The best LED light bars for ATVs use highly efficient diodes, like Cree or Epistar to give the highest brightness for the lowest energy cost possible. Besides putting less of a strain on the vehicle’s battery, this also decreases the working temperature of the LEDs and circuitry, significantly extending their lifespan.
Since excess heat can decrease the lifespan of an LED, the best manufacturers use heat sinks made of highly conductive metal to effectively cool down the frame. An oversized heat sink that features similar ridges and patterns to the ones on your computer can extend the bar’s lifespan to over 30,000 hours and is definitely something to opt for if weight isn’t a particularly great constraint.
While it is expressed in Kelvins, “light temperature” doesn’t refer to heat per se, but to how warm the color will appear to the eye. A good reference point is the temperature of daylight on a sunny day, which is 5000K.
This will make an artificially lit area look natural to the eye, but is generally disfavoured by LED light bar manufacturers, as cooler hues of around 6000K have been found to appear brighter and to offer a crisper image.
However, the slight bluish tint of cool lighting tends to tire the retina over many hours so you might want to skip on this fake brightness if you’re aiming for comfort.
Understand the terms
Before going out to purchase a led light for your ATV, make sure you know what the device should do. Most of the time, to give you an impression of how bright the LEDs can shine, the manufacturers use a unit called Lumens, and this measures light intensity. Products that shine out more lumens are brighter.
Traditional light bulbs can be measured using watts, but because LEDs produce light in different colors, lumens is the better way to measure the intensity. Two light sources that produce the same amount of light can have different efficiency and use very different amounts of watts to produce the same brightness.
On all-terrain vehicles, you can mount LED lights that shine between 1000 and 3000 lumens. Look for the ratio between lumens and wattage, to save some power. Some manufacturers will have their models designed to shine bright at first but then the LEDs will lose in intensity. Watch out for those models.
Know what you’re using the bar for
One of the aspects that impacts the use of a light bar the most is the shape that it has. An ATV light bar usually takes two shapes – either straight or curved. There are also some small lights that are rectangular or round, but these aren’t put into the same category. Straight bars are cheaper and they’re designed to shine right in front of you.
A curved bar will give great vision at night for those that go off-road, as they offer you the chance to see everything around you.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Are LED light bars street legal?
While there are some ATV LED light bars that can be used on streets and highways, they are DOT approved and they need to comply with certain rules. One of these is the fact that they need to have a controlled beam pattern that allows the user not to disturb other vehicles that come from the opposite direction.
Furthermore, to mount these bars you often need professional help, as they have precise installation requirements. Designed to work both on roads and in off-road situations, they should allow you good control, a good range off-road, and a short range while on the road.
Of course, when using them on the road it’s imperative to dim the lights down, and during the day it’s indicated that you should keep them off. Also, don’t try to use them during rough weather like storms to make yourself more visible because they can still harm the traffic.
Q: How do you wire a LED light bar?
Start by finding a location that will let you mount the wires and the ATV light bar safely. Mark where the holes will be and then check that you won’t damage anything when drilling the holes. Mount the lights using the hardware provided, and don’t overtighten them.
After that, route the wiring harness with the lighting side going from the battery to the light, and do it in a safe manner. Connecting the harness to the light make sure to stay away from heat sources or moving parts when doing that. The wiring path provided by the manufacturer should give you a safe option.
You might need to unplug the switch from the harness in order to make the routing process of the harness easier. You will need to drill a hole for the switch as well and place it in that hole. After securing the relay, make sure the light works safely by testing it.
Q: How long will a light bar run on a battery?
LED lights aren’t supposed to drain too much wattage from the battery, and as a result, if you only use them when you need them, in the night, or on a really foggy day, you will have a normal battery life. Keep in mind that the battery recharges if the engine is on and running and if you want to save some battery life, don’t use the lights while the engine is turned off.
Light bars are designed to be power-efficient, and as a result, they should work decently with most kinds of batteries. If you, however, feel that your battery is getting drained, you can change it for a more powerful one.
Keep in mind that having other devices and products that drain the battery will cause it to wear off quicker. An ATV doesn’t have the battery of a car and if you’re not paying attention, you can find yourself stuck in the woods with no power.
Q: Does a LED light bar need a relay?
Designed with performance in mind, some large LED lights work using a high current circuit. However, ordinary switches and wires that you can find on an ATV work on a low current circuit, and that means you need a relay that will allow the low current to control the high current circuit without the wires melting and without having a large amp draw.
Small light pods don’t require a relay, but bigger ones that draw a lot of power will benefit from one. But no matter the size of the lights and how much power you think they take to operate, having a relay is always the safest option to ensure that all the wiring stays intact.
Make sure that when installing the relay or any other electrical component you know what you are doing and you follow the instructions provided. Also, make sure to connect the relay to the correct power source.
Q: Do LED light bars have different voltages?
Most of the LED light bars made for trucks or cars are able to run within a 13.8 DC voltage supplied by the battery of these vehicles. This can be done with no modification, and as a result, you will often see a 9-30 VDC or 10-70 VDC input voltage range for most light bars. Low-voltage units are suitable for road use during the day, while high-voltage light bars require more power and they are good for off-road activities, even at night.
In the aforementioned voltage ranges, you can operate LEDs in a system that requires 12V, 24V, or 48V, if this voltage falls within the range specified on the bar. However, don’t live with the impression that more voltage means more light by default. The current determines the amount of light an LED light gives off. This amount of light is controlled by an LED driver that controls the brightness and color temperature.
How to wire an ATV LED light bar
For some, the best part of having a new product arrive at the door is the setting up and inevitable tinkering that follows. Most of us, however, aren’t as keen on getting into the technical aspect of things and will regard the installation as a chore.
In the case of LED light bars at least, it shouldn’t necessarily be that way, especially as these units are notoriously easy to install. Strictly following the instructions provided by the manufacturer should get you all the way, while also paying some attention to the following advice.
When working with any sort of electrical system, we must first disconnect it from its power source. The battery might work on “safe” DC current, but it can still short if wrong connections are made. To disconnect the battery, always remove the ground terminal first (which is the negative one,) followed by the positive terminal.
Make sure to choose a compatible wire
Electrical wires are rated under the American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard, which takes into account the length of the wire and the amount of current projected to pass through it (measured in Amps).
The manufacturer should provide you with the second figure, meaning how much current the LED bar you purchased requires. Knowing the maximum amperage and the length of wire you need, the adequate AWG value can be found by checking any of the tables available online.
Keep in mind that you can always go for a wire with a higher gauge than the maximum needed, but a lower value will be risky.
When checking the relays and switches for compatibility, the maximum amperage figure is used instead of the AWG.
The casing is not the only part of the light bars that needs dust and waterproofing, and that IP67 rating won’t mean much if compromised by a leaky connector. If the manufacturer doesn’t already offer a connector wire that allows for proper sealing, then it would be a good idea to buy one from a specialized marine store or retail site.
Make sure that the wire going from the LED bar to the battery is as short as possible and try to run the wire along firewalls and the vehicle’s chassis in order to avoid any high heat sources.
Steps to take
The first step is to link the light to the relay switch, which means you will have to fuse the light bar’s connectors to the appropriate set of wires coming out of the switch. These are conventionally color-coded red and black, and all connections should be made between wires of the same color.
It’s highly inadvisable to solder any wires together since this procedure will often prove too flimsy for the purposes of off-roading. Use butt-connectors instead, and make sure to cover any exposed piece of wire in electrical tape afterward.
The second step consists in connecting the relay switch to the battery. Conventionally, the red wire from the switch goes to the positive terminal on the battery, and the black one goes to the negative. After you’ve done this, the connection should be ready to test.