Driving off the beaten path can be a rewarding experience. Whether you’re after the thrill of off-road or the calm majesty of exploring, you are likely going to find yourself out there in the middle of the night, with lackluster lights and a pressing need to get home. Your high beams won’t cut it in the wilderness, but that’s okay, because you were smart and invested in a good quality light bar. With a flick of a switch you can bathe the land in sunlight, or the closest we can come to it on a budget.
I’ve been looking at a number of light bars over the last few weeks, and I have finally come to the largest options. The big 50″ light bars. The kinda bars that give the sun a run for its money. Sure, you’ll need to go out into the wild before turning them on, lest you blind oncoming motorists, but let me tell you, it is worth it. If you are looking for smaller options take a look at the 12″, 20″, 30″ and 40″ solutions, but if you have a big SUV or a bigger rig, this is the place for you. You could also put one of these on an ATV, in theory, but that might make you a super villain.
There is a myriad of design philosophies in the light bar game. I ran through them in my Light Bar breakdown article, and came to the conclusion that LEDs are the best option. All of the other solutions come with longevity issues, and while they have many fine qualities, not lasting as long as LED light bars is too major a black mark on them.
There are a variety of little factors to take into account when buying an LED light bar, the most important of which is the IP rating. The IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating, is a two digit number that tells you how rugged your Light bar is. The first number refers to the dust and particle protection, and with LED light bars it’s all or nothing. 6 is the top rating, and don’t settle for less than that. The second number is the water resistance, and the highest rating is 9k, but 7+ should be good for everything bar diving. You will also want a well rounded warranty, a number of companies are putting “removed from box” as a void condition on their warranty, meaning simply taking it out to fit the thing is enough. A good quality light bar will have a good quality warranty, remember those two things.
Best 50″ LED Light Bars – 2018 List
Eyourlife 300W 52″ LED Light Bar
Yeah I know, 2″ over the limit, but I ain’t going to be pulling them over for that. Unless they flash the full force of 30,200 lumens at oncoming traffic. The big boys of the LED light bar world, sure there are larger bars, but they tend to be prohibitively expensive. Eyourlife is one of those great low end light bar companies that provides good customer service and a wide range of inexpensive options. This bar will cost you a surprising $69.99. Granted, it’s on offer at the moment, but if you’re in the market for a cheaper light bar solution you can’t go wring with this one. IP rated at 68, which may as well be the top, so you needn’t worry about water at all. Reported lifespan is 50,000 hours too, so on the high end of the spectrum. If you can find this bar at this price I would not hesitate to recommend it.
Size: 57.1″ x 6.7″ x 6.1″ in bracket.
Auxbeam Curved 50″ 288W LED Light Bar
Another one breaking the mold a little with this excellent options from Auxbeam. Curved lights allow you to see more of the area around you, making them better suited to general off-roading than their straight counterparts. This one’s base price is $125.99 and is an excellent options, if only for Auxbeam’s top notch customer service. The Eyourlife is better in terms of raw Lumens, IP rating and price, though I must point out that the Eyourlife is normally priced at $189.99. The raw output of the Auxbeam is still an impressive 28,800LM, and it covers a wider field. IP rating is Auxbeam’s usual 67, so great for everything bar night diving and submarines. If I were going to buy a cheaper option right now I would say go for the Eyourlife, but were it not for its discount I would rank the Auxbeam as a little better. As it stands, this is a great option, out done by a better price.
Size: 52.8″ x 8.7″ x 4.9″ in bracket.
Rigidhorse Curved 50″ 288W LED Light Bar
No affiliation with Rigid, I think, but Rigidhorse is nearer their end of the quality spectrum. I found this light bar for $139.99, which is astounding considering their normal asking price is more than $400. I can’t think of much of a reason for that price though. The IP rating is the standard 67, great but not the best for water, the max Lumen output is 28,800LM and the lifespan is around 30,000 hours. It is curved though, so your vision range is fantastic, but beyond that this is all pretty standard as far as LED light bars go. Their warranty is a year as well, so it begs a few questions. Regardless, if the price stays this low it should be well worth your money, if it goes back up then pick up an Auxbeam or an Eyourlife in the same price bracket. If you’re in the market for a $500 light beam their are better options out there, such as the final two on this list.
Size: 52″ x 8.5″ x 5.2″ including bracket
Rigid Radiance 50″278.7W LED Light bar
For once Rigid do not top the list. This is a neat product though. While it is not at bright as others on the list, it makes up for it with some interesting tech and unsurpassed customer service. Rigid are the only company, as far as I know, that provides the consumer with a lifetime guarantee. That will be worth its weight in gold, make no mistake. They are also the only firm that offers IP 68 rated light bars as standard, and you can find these bars for as little as $400. Max output is 15876LM, with a 19.9 amp draw. Your DC requirements are lower too, 9-15V is enough. So if you really wanted to you could fit this thing to an ATV, but I would not recommend it. If you have the cash and value long term service then I would say go get a Rigid, the Radiance series is their entry level option, if you want crazy output lumen then you’ll need to look at other products in different lines.
Size: 6.25″ x 7″ x 50.5″ including bracket.
KC C-Series 50″ 300W LED Light Bar
Another firm with top class customer service, KC provide a whole host of LED lighting solutions, from tiny 6″ all the way up to the mighty 50″. Their 50″ solution comes in at $681.52, though I have seen it slightly cheaper on third party retail sites. It’s IP rated at 67, so not quite as durable as the Rigid, but still strong enough to handle what you throw at it. At 27,000LM it’ll light up the night, and has a max range of little under a mile. It does have a 25 amp draw though, and that has an effect on the longevity of your battery. While their warranty is limited, unlike Rigid, it is 23 years long, and unless you’re a wizard that should be enough for anyone. I could not find concrete info on the lifespan of the product, but one would assume it sits between 20,000 and 50,000 hours. Depending on your needs, this could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Size: 51.38″ x 3.09″ x 3.40″ in bracket
There’s a few 50″ that are guaranteed to perform. Bear in mind the differences in warranty between the low end options and the high end options. The low end options have amazing output brightness, and the curved options of Auxbeam is a bargain with its horizontal range, but you only get a years warranty. The bottom two should cover you for as long as you are using the light bar, and may end up paying for themselves in the long run. Regardless of which option you go for I am certain you will be happy with your choice.