So, I got a LED light bar. Yes. 60W of pure Cree 10W each.
Why you may ask. But some why’s do not have an answer. I collect flashlights. Whether its browsing on the streets of pataya, or the street markets in India, I pick up lights. The cheaper the better. From the street I have picked up stuff worth 500rs, and some worth 5rs.
And then there is the big beautiful world of “China”. When you buy a few, you get to know who sells trash, and, whom to trust.
So cree LED light bar was the natural progression. With so many sellers popping up here and there, offering anything from the Sun to the Big Bang itself, I wondered, whats the fuss. Is it a viable hobby for fun and some commerse. We Flashlighters often build stuff, assemble stuff, and sometimes even indulge in group buys. After all, my first “Light Saber came. But that’s another story.
Coming back to the light bar. Some research, and past experience with flashlights meant I had a good head start. I knew the 3W LED is useless for automotive purposes. You can get something with a 100 LEDs, and bask in the warmth of 300W, but all you will do is light up your bonnet, and few things in front.
For long range, you want a single powerful source, with good focus. Think of it this way. You have 55W halogen in your car, and 10W parking lights. Would 6 parking lights outshine your headlamp? No way, right!
So the research began. I know I can only put so many lights on my own vehicle. Rest of the stuff would have to be sold, traded or whatever. But then, there is the itch.
So the first light bar I got was a a high quality 60W light bar. More have followed. A friend down south wanted something big. 200W to be precise, and thankfully, my favorite current manufacturer obliged. I also got a few 12W LED stuff. 5 LED = 60W. You will see a review soon.
And now we come to the light bar Story, or a guide if you may say so.
LED light bars are LED lights arranged in a row. So you have 1 row light bars, most common for 10W LEDs. There is the 5W Epistar bar which is usually a two row bar. there is even a curved bar, though I cannot figure out the use for the same right now.
And then there are the work lights. These are rectangular or circular, and come with 3W LEDs. Very few manufacturers make them with 10W or 12W LED, and if you want these, I would strongly, no.. very very strongly suggest to go for atleast 10W.
Now with that out of the way, lets look at the other thing.
So you have light bars in Spot beam, Flood beam or Combo beam.
Spot beam is where all the individual LEDs are focused into a narrow beam. Good range!
Flood is wide spread beam
Combo is a mix of these two.
So whats the difference between flood and Spot beam. Well here, lemme show you
Do you see the side LEDs? You don’t right? Because there is a frosted glass. And this my friend, is the great Flood beam scam. Its the same LED and lens, but just a diffuser is added. This just cuts the light, and creates the flood illusion. And 90% of sellers use this con.
So how do you make a Flood beam or a spot beam. Well its easy. By moving the lens in front of the Glass, you can create spot beam or Combo beam.
See this pic for example.
The edge LEDs have a different beam pattern, wider if you look closer, without using the diffuser. This is true combo beam. My first 60W LED light bar has the diffuser, but length is same.
Then there is the mixed pattern. Here glass is diffused, but lens is also moved. This is used to get a 90+ degree flood beam. You have to put a diffuser here. Haven’t tested any of those yet, but this true combo is indeed a monster.
So this is what sums of LED automotive lighting for you.
Feel free to ask questions. I do not have any light bars with me now. I just have a couple of true 30 degree Work lamps with 12W LED. And review will come soon!