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Thread: Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

    I have asked this of 4wder's & they really don't know, probably because they don't use them much. I'm wanting to get a 40 inch sized bar & wan't to run it for many hours at a time on long drives. I assume the expensive bars can do this frequently without problems but what about the cheap units?
    For example cheap 400watt 40-50 inch size bars sell for 250-300 USdollars. Yet some brands of same size can go up & over 1500 dollars.


    I have also read the cheap units are significantly below their advertised output to prevent heat damage so maybe they are fine?


    Finally do you have upgrade vehicle alternator? Mine is 90A & with a 30-40amp draw from the light bar surely you must, i have read about the alternator burning out & the starter battery going flat because the typical driving rpm is not enough for alternator.

    please advise thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saul M View Post
    I have asked this of 4wder's & they really don't know, probably because they don't use them much. I'm wanting to get a 40 inch sized bar & wan't to run it for many hours at a time on long drives.
    Those 40" bars, cheap or not, aren't meant for "long drives" if those "long drives" are on public roads, even absent other traffic. They don't produce a beam pattern compatible with road usage.

    There is plenty of good aftermarket lighting in the form of auxiliary high beams, and you can still find decent auxiliary low beams, but those LED bars are meant for low-speed off-road type activities. They flood the foreground with too much light to be useful for higher speeds.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

    Listen to Alaric.

    Some light bars that size will fry, some will dim and reduce draw to cool off, some can be turned on in segments depending on how much light you need.

    Where are you going and what are you driving that you need that much light for so long? I've got a 160 amp alternator and I wouldn't do that to it....
    I've got two medium sized LED cubes and two small ones that I use offroad when I need them. My LED headlights and foglights provide more than enough light on the road.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    My LED headlights and foglights provide more than enough light on the road.
    Of course, fog lamps themselves aren't for "many hours at a time" unless you're really spending hours in deep fog, at night, and at 25mph or slower. That can get pretty fatiguing!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Of course, fog lamps themselves aren't for "many hours at a time" unless you're really spending hours in deep fog, at night, and at 25mph or slower. That can get pretty fatiguing!
    My commute is about 40 minutes and about half of it is subject to frequent fog. And, yes, it can be taxing. We get some nifty fog in the GA hills.
    We had a couple of days recently where I was creeping along the interstate at about 10 mph. Bless those pointy-headed people at JW Speaker for making a good foglight though.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can cheap LED light bars be ran for many hours straight frequently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    Bless those pointy-headed people at JW Speaker for making a good foglight though.
    If only it were a warmer white, if not selective yellow. Being on the interstate, you really need a *rear* fog lamp, though. There's probably someone behind you with a 40" lightbar trucking along at 65mph.

    (To some, this might at the outset look like derailment, but rather it demonstrates the need for careful light selection to match the driving conditions.)

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