Installing Truck Light Bars: With and Without Drilling
Truck light bars help you see further at night and aid you during off-roading. Installing a truck light bar is easy and may or may not require drilling. Unfortunately, finding the perfect light bar for your needs isn't always easy, especially with so many options, but Leonard Accessories has plenty of truck light bars that are easy to mount with or without drilling.
Choosing a Light Bar for Your Truck
There are a few factors you must consider before choosing a light bar for your truck. These factors include mounting, size, and the type of lighting.
First and foremost, it's important to consider the mounting. Think about where you want to mount the light bar before you select one. Some popular locations include the front bumper or the roof of a truck. With mounting, you also want to consider how it's mounted. Will you use the roof racks or existing components? Or will you need to drill? These are essential questions to answer before choosing since drilling will open up your truck to potential corrosion or water leaks if the holes aren’t sealed and protected properly.
Size and Shape
Light bars for your truck may be as small as 10 inches or as large as 54 inches. Depending on where you want to mount the light bar you may have some limitations. Larger light bars cost more than smaller light bars because you're getting more light. You'll also want to choose between curved and straight light bars, which comes down to preference.
The type of lighting is also important when choosing a light bar. Beam patterns come in three options that include spot patterns, flood patterns, and combination patterns. Spot beam patterns are narrow but reach great distances, flood patterns project a wide beam, and combination beam patterns combine elements of spot beams and flood beams.
The color of the lights on a light bar is also something you need to consider. Many light bars give you options like red, white, yellow, blue, and much more. Depending on how creative you want to be, you can find dozens of color options, but brilliant white light is most popular.
Steps to Install a Truck Light Bar with Drilling
Many truck light bars require a bit of drilling during the mounting process. You'll have to drill several holes to install the mounting hardware. Some light bars may even require drilling into your dashboard if you have a switch to turn it on. Below you'll find the steps to install a truck light bar with drilling.
1. Choose the Mounting Location
Always start by determining where you want to mount a light bar. Your options include the bumper, roof, and even the rear bumper.
2. Mark the Location
Mark the location you're going to install the light bar. It's a good idea to use markers to mark where the drill holes will be. Don't worry about leaving marks on the truck because you'll be drilling there anyway.
3. Drill the Holes
Once everything is marked to your liking, drill the holes using the drill bit you need for your specific mounting kit. Most mounting kits require a ⅜" drill bit.
4. Install the Bracket Bolts
After the holes are drilled, install the bracket bolts where you drilled the holes. Then, lock the bracket into place. You can use some additional hardware if you want to make it more secure.
5. Run the Wires to Your Battery
The next step is to run the wires to your vehicle's battery. To run the wires you can drill more holes to make it look flush or you can run them through the cabin with a switch. There are many options but make sure you test the light bar once everything is connected.
Steps to Install Truck Light Bar Without Drilling
Drilling holes isn't always easy and may reduce the resale value of your truck if you remove the light bar. Moreover, drilling is hard and presents many unique challenges for people who don't usually work on trucks. The good news is that there are a few steps you can follow to install a light bar without drilling.
1. Choose the Mounting Location
The first step when installing a light bar is always choosing the mounting location. When you want to avoid drilling, it's best to mount the light bar to the roof using roof racks. Many light bar mounting kits will come with components that connect directly to the roof racks.
2. Mark the Location
Once you've established the location, mark the location. Use something that won't leave a permanent mark on your vehicle like masking tape.
3. Measure Your Roof Rack and Mounting Brackets
After finding the right location, measure the roof racks of your truck and the mounting brackets. You want to make sure everything is compatible because light bars that are too big may damage the roof racks.
4. Mount and Secure the Light Bar
Follow the instructions provided to you by the light bar manufacturer to mount the light bar. Then, check to ensure the light bar is secure. Also, locate the wires and prepare to run them into your vehicle's battery.
5. Connect the Wires
Connect the wires to your vehicle's battery terminals. From there, test the truck light bar by turning it on and off a few times.
Benefits of Your New Truck Light Bar
Truck light bars aren't made for looks or to look cool. Many truck light bars will enhance the appearance of your truck but they'll also help you see in dark areas and make your vehicle easier to notice.
Your Vehicle is Easier to Notice
Light bars are bright and usually mounted on the bumper or roof of your truck. When you turn on a light bar in the fog or other stormy conditions, it's easier for vehicles to notice you. Having other drivers see your vehicle reduces the risk of an accident from incoming traffic.
The most noticeable benefit of a truck light bar is more illumination. Whether you're driving through an area that's pitch black or foggy, you'll have no problem seeing what's in front of you. More illumination helps you take your truck to places you can't usually go, especially when you're off-roading in remote areas.
Truck light bars enhance the look of your truck. A light bar helps a truck look more aggressive and rugged, which is perfect for off-road builds. Light bars also don't impact the factory style of a truck, so you can add additional modifications without worrying about the style clashing.