What To Look For When Buying A Light Bar For A Jeep
1. Shape Of The Light Bar
Jeeps all have roughly the same body shape. There are differences between the CJ, TJ/LJ, JK and JKU, but they all follow the same basic shape. They all have clean, straight lines, with almost no curves. This means that, aesthetically speaking, a straight light bar would be the way to go. A curved light bar would do a better job illuminating the sides of the trails, but would throw off the classic look of the Jeep. We always suggest Jeep owners get the straight light bars. If you are concerned about lighting up a wider angle of the trail, you can always get 4" flood lights with lower corner mounts, or any other similar LED light pod.
2. Light Bar Quality
Far too many people don't think twice about spending $1500 on mud tires for their Wrangler, but then try to find the cheapest light bar they can. This often times turns out to be a mistake, for several reasons. Cheap light bars (like the ones you find on eBay) are often constructed poorly, and can fall apart after only a few years. You can even feel the sub-par quality of the parts when you hold them. They also do not protect against water/dust as well as a more expensive one; poor construction means moisture gets trapped in the housing, degrading the electrical components. The LEDS these cheaper manufacturers use are also very misleading. Cheaper light bars will use "over charged" LEDS; that is, because the LEDS are made using cheaper materials, they are not as bright as more expensive ones. To give the illusion of quality LEDS, the maker will often run a current though them that is more than the recommended; while this gives the illusion of more light, it also means that the LEDS burn out far quicker. So make sure to only buy light bars that use American made CREE LEDs, and that the light bars have an IP protection rating of 67, which offers protection in all but the most extreme circumstances.
Where you are planning on placing your mounts is another factor to consider when buying a light bar for a Jeep. Jeep owners are fortunate in that there are several options for them when deciding where to mount their light bar. There are the usual A-Pillar mounts-many of which come with lower corner mounts for spot and flood lights-but also mounts that fit on your roll cage, and even mounts for your hood! These hood mounts will restrict what size light bar you can buy, though. For example, if you choose to mount your light bar on your hood, you'll be restricted to buying a 20 inch light bar for a Jeep only. However, mounting your light bar here will almost eliminate the "train whistle" sound that can come from A-Pillar mounts that some Jeep owners complain of.
4. 4D Light Bar or 5D Light Bar? Or Something Else?
You'll also want to decide which quality of light bar you want. Do you want an older 4D light bar, with bare bones technology? Or do you want a newer light bar? KnightStar Lights has a full range of light bars for a Jeep, including the latest 6D, 7D, and triple row light bars. 5D light bars continue to be the most popular, due to their features and affordability, but the triple row light bars have become more and more popular since triple row specific mounts have hit the market.
5. Mall Crawlers and Concrete Queens
You probably won't need a light bar for a Jeep in this case. Might as well stick to the PIAA lights. Or just save yourself the hassle and keep your stock lights. We all know you're not going to do much with them.
So What Is The Best Light Bar For A Jeep?
If we had to choose just one, it would have to be a 52 inch straight 5D light bar. This light bar fits perfectly above the windshield, which means it will fit A-Pillar mounts, and 5D technology provides good lighting at an affordable price. Luckily, we have a special combo pack, with a straight, 5D light bar, A-Pillar mounts, and free spot lights! Check it out today!