LED light bars seem like all the rage recently with cars and trucks, providing significant lumens at a low energy expense. Now every month that goes by I see more and more light bars replacing ATV headlights or additional light on a front rack. In fact, I even replaced the headlights on my Yamaha Warrior for 2 LED flood lights.
While investigating brands and styles I created a list of my favorite ATV LED Light Bars based on price, style, performance and life.
Update: Light Bars have been added to my ongoing list of the Best ATV accessories. This list will continue to grow as I review more products.
Halogen vs Led Comparison
Before making the purchase, it’s important to understand the benefits of an LED light bar vs a normal halogen light. A simple comparison can be found in a normal 60W light bulb in your home. An incandescent halogen light bulb puts out about 840 Lumens, which equates to about 14 Lumens per Watt. An LED bulb creates about 70 Lumens per Watt, meaning it would only take about 12W to create the same output of light, which is a 500% efficiency over the Halogen Bulb.
A visual example can be seen below showing the difference between a set of halogen and led lights. The left picture demonstrates the output of a 10″ LED light bar and the right picture shows a normal halogen bulb. As you can see in comparison to the Halogen light output, the LED light appears not only brighter but also more white which helps to highlight dangers in the roadway.
Spot vs Flood LED Light
There are 3 types of LED light dispersion available in today’s light bars – spot, flood, and a combination of both. Depending on your needs, one light may work better than the other. Most light bars less than 20″ long will be either flood or spot, and most Four wheeler light bars are less than 20″ long so it is important to understand the differences.
Most manufacturers use a 60 degree shroud to disperse light in a flood pattern while the spot light uses 30 degree shroud to get a more narrowed focal point. See image to the right. Depending on your set up, each style may suit you better. My recommendation if you will not be keeping your stock lights is to use a flood led light. This will give you the most light on the road in front of you so you can see any immediate hazards. Those who are just adding an additional light source to their quad would be better of using a spot pattern to see items off in the distance. Your existing headlights will ensure you can still see the road in front of you.
Best LED light bars
Light bars come in all different sizes to match your needs, whether that is multiple small lights or one large light. Each size is distinguished based on three things, it’s length, wattage and lumens.
Length – the length you normally see related to an LED light bar deals with the dimensions of the LED array and not the housing itself. Something to be aware of when purchasing a light bar as it will likely measure about one inch wider than the description says.
Wattage – Most light bar leds are rated individually to the same wattage – 3w. something to be aware of are claims of higher or lower wattages to ensure you are getting a quality product.
Lumens – this deals with the brightness of the light bar and is normally the difference between most purchase decisions. We all want the most light output, that’s likely why we choose an LED light in the first place. There is a direct relationship between the length and wattage ratings and the lumens or brightness of a light bar.
In general, most manufacturers utilize led chips that produce the same amount of light per watt, 70 lumens per watt, meaning most low cost options will operate in about the same light range as more expensive models (aside from durability and design). So we did not differentiate low cost vs high dollar options – 1. Because I am cheap and 2. The light output differs minimally between brands. Listed below are my favorite options:
Nilight LED Light Bars
This is the best selling brand on Amazon for a few reasons: Nilight LEDs have a bunch of setups for whatever you need, prices are great and they last. What’s most interesting about their products is they carry most light sizes in different face color variations and also different designs. If you are looking to keep a black-out look, they carry the same 12″ light bar with a black face plate and the clear. They also carry both flood and spot light combinations. There are thousand and thousands of positive reviews for Nilight on Amazon, as well as elsewhere on the internet. I, myself, am a owner of the 12″ light bar on the front of my Yamaha Grizzly. The prices are very reasonable, between $15 and $200 depending on the size and number of LED lights you need. Check Out Nilight LED Light Bars below.
Auxbeam LED Light Bars
The Auxbeam LED Lights are actually somewhat of a known brand with ATV owners. The 12″ (72W) model includes both flood and spot beams to light up the road directly in front of your quad as well as any dangers in the distance. Most 12″ light bars don’t have this functionality because of space limitations. The mounting frame is sturdy and includes all of the hardware to get you up and running safely and quickly. The light output is extremely bright and exceeded most reviewers expectations (I have never owned an Auxbeam light bar but I have seen a few in my day and they are amongst the brightest out of the box. Of the 500+ purchases and reviews, over 94% gave this light 4 stars or better! Check Out Auxbeam LED Light Bars below.
MicTuning Light Bars
Mictuning is somewhat new to the LED lights market, but have made an impact pretty quickly as one of the highest selling brands on the internet. They have multiple size options to fit your needs, they are relatively cheap (the 20″ model only costs under $30), and they’re durable. Depending on the size, you can find a combo beam pattern (Spot and Flood) which are extremely bright and the review photos blew me away. The Mictuning also utilize a lower kelvin rating for their beam color (around 6000k). This means whiter light output versus the blueish color you see on a lot of HID set ups. Check Out Mictuning LED Light Bars below.
Depending on the quad you ride, the location and method by which you install your light bar may differ. Most riders, if replacing existing headlights, will utilize the same mounting points as the uninstalled headlights (see example 1 below). With utility ATVs, people normally utilize the front rack to install a larger light bar (see example 2). It all depends on your style and what purpose you want the light to serve. I found a few examples below to help give you an idea of how and where you want to install your light bar.
ATV LED light bar examples: