We can all agree on how the current weather is insane from coast to coast with rain and snow. We can't control the weather but we can control what to use on our working vehicles when shit hits the fan. My number one concern during a storm is not being able to see during my night time drive. This is my opinionate guide on what I look for when I am purchasing LED lights, mainly light bars.
Is it IP67 waterproof and what does it mean?
This is the scientific definition - IP stands for International protection, a standard drawn up by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). The first digit, 6, stands for its resistance to dust but also dirt and sand. No need to explain this because most of the time when you drive ANYWHERE, there will be all sorts of dirt, dust, sand, and crap hitting your truck and lights. Knowing your lights are sealed from these harmful particles being able to burn up your LED diodes will save you the headaches and cash.
The second digit, 7, states the certification for water resistance. 7 rating ensures "ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time according to the IEC. BUT do not plan on driving under water for more than 30 minutes. A quick drive through the flooded streets is good enough.
Metal or T9 Aluminum?
T9 - Solution heat treated, artificially aged, then cold worked. This is the material you should always look for as the minimum material in your light bars. You can drive over it with a truck and this thing will not bend or break.
You should find T9 aluminum in most off roading light products such as, RAZIR LED Light bars, Pods, and tailgates. Combined with it being IP67 it will be a complete beast out on the dirt paths.
What is CREE LED?
CREE LED is a popular light technology that can simulate the best natural white light and the warmth tone when needed. A lot of applications now will have color modules that allow for change in tone. The best part about using LED is that they will last for a very long time with a very high output! Most light bars and pods will have a color temperature of 6000k in kelvin also known as intense white. Look for CREE LED in your products to be future proof for the next decade.
How easy is it to install?
For me, I want to make sure I can install it quickly and go. Good thing is that a lot of lights will come with all the necessary adapters BUT you should make sure of your compatible sizes before you make a purchase. Plug n Play products are usually not plug and play because not every vehicles out there are made the same. Just make sure the adapters are there.
Here is a nice video of an installation done on a Toyota 4runner.
Most of the off roading guys only care about durability and lumen output so we created light bars just for these rock crawling and weekend off roading warriors. Once you find a trusted company to get your lights from you will have to decide on if you want a straight LED bar or a curved LED bar. There are various sizes and led bar mounts that can put the lights anywhere you want.