You’ve got your lights bar - you’re ready to roll - and now you need it installed.
One of the most popular searches on Google is "how to install an LED light bar on roof." This can be a stressful task for most people. Big brands like Nilight and Rigid have installation videos online, but still, it can be tricky depending on what vehicle you have.
You have several options for installation. You can buy it and have it installed by a professional at any service station, call your buddy who has installation knowledge or install it yourself.
What You Will Need
The best option will depend on your budget, skill level, and how much time you have on your hands. Having a professional install it will likely cost you twice as much, but if you don’t have any wiring knowledge and are uncomfortable trying to do it yourself, this is the best option to avoid making mistakes.
However, many people want to install their LED lights themselves. It’s important to do your homework BEFORE attempting DIY installation to make sure you don’t damage your bar or even to avoid injury to yourself. There are several things you’ll have to consider:
- Cost- You will need the right supplies including wire, a relay switch, fuses, and mounting brackets. Many off-road lights come with all of the materials but some do not. If your bar didn’t come with a wiring harness, check with your local automotive store and ask for assistance to help you choose the proper gauge and amp wire for connecting your light. Some off-road vehicles have specific mounting brackets specially designed for the make and model of your vehicle especially if your installing the bar in the tailgate area. You may consider buying these to ensure the very best fit. Rigid specifically builds custom brackets for certain models so they might be worth having a look at.
- Tools - You will need a good set of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, drill bits (the right size and sharp enough), a drill, wire cutters, wire strippers, electrical tape, crimpers for your specific connectors, measuring tape, and something to mark the drill holes you will make. If you're installing the bar in the tailgate area, you might need an extra pair of hands.
- Time - Depending on your experience, it could take anywhere from 20 minutes (expert) to several hours (if you’ve never done it before) to measure and drill the holes, mount the product onto your vehicle, and wire the light to your battery before you can hit the road with your new toy.
Note: Check your local and state regulations regarding the use of auxiliary light bars on vehicles to make sure you don’t have to remove your lights after you take the time to properly mount it. In most cases, a cover will suffice.
If you’ve decided to install your bar yourself, read on for detailed instructions on how to approach DIY installation.
Installing LED Light Bars: A Step by Step Guide
Now that you’ve bought your bar and are ready to install them yourself, where do you start?
Here are the steps on how to get the job done:
- First, you want to test the bar immediately before installing it. So make sure when you take the product out the box you check to see everything is working properly. You do this by connecting the light bar directly to your battery (make sure that the voltage output of your battery is within the specifications).
Connect the red wire to the positive terminal on your battery and the black wire to the negative terminal on your battery. It should work fine. If not, contact the seller or manufacturer of the product. Note: Never connect your product to AC current because this will result in damaging your light! Also remember to always remove the ground (black) terminal first before removing the positive terminal to reduce the risk of shorting out your battery.
- Make sure to clean and wipe everything down where you will be mounting brackets or making connections. Remove all dirt, grime, and buildup to ensure a clean and strong connection.
- Now you’re ready to measure where you will attach your bar to your vehicle. If your car has pre-drilled holes, then this is super easy. Otherwise, you have to measure the position of the holes on the light against where you will drill into your car. Double check your work and measure twice so you only drill once. You don’t want to end up with extra holes in your car!
- Once the holes have been drilled, you’re ready to secure the mounting brackets to your vehicle with the first set of screws. Note: Don’t attach any stud mounts to plastic parts even if they seem strong. Vibrations over time will crack the plastic around the hole.
- After securing the mounting brackets to your vehicle, you are then ready to mount the light to the mounting brackets with the second set of screws. Remember to make a good strong connection, but don’t over tighten as this can lead to cracking. After you have secured everything, give the device a little shake to make sure it’s well connected. You don’t want it to fall off later while you are driving.
- After mounting is completely finished, you are ready for wiring it. Please make sure if you have installed it in the tailgate area that it is 100% secure. Begin by connecting the light to your relay switch. Connect the red wire on the light to the red wire on the switch. Do the same for the black to black wires. You can either solder them together or use butt connectors. When finished, wrap the connections with electrical tape. Remember to route your wires away from high heat areas.
- The next step is to connect the wires from the relay switch to your car’s battery. Remember to add a fuse between the switch and battery. In the event there is a power surge, it will pop the fuse rather than damage the product. The red goes to the positive terminal and the black to the negative terminal.
- Finally, switch it on and step back to admire your work. Congratulations, you’ve successfully completed your LED light installation!
With this easy LED light bar install, you’re now ready to get a light bar and reap the benefits of having excellent night illumination. Browse our high-quality, durable and bright bars and choose ones to suit your needs.
Whether it's a Rigid or Autofeel brand, most of the bars require the same installation process.
Ready to give it a try?
For the best LED light bars reviews, head to our homepage.