Whether by design or debacle, if you spend much time off-roading or overlanding in the backcountry you’ll eventually find yourself navigating on a dark wilderness trail at night.
Recently, I installed the Raxiom 50-Inch Straight Dual Row LED Light Bar on my Jeep Wrangler JK to provide more visibility in such situations. I got by with just my Jeep’s headlights in the past, but installing auxiliary lights to make it easier to see down the trail had long been on my list of mods. Beyond the advantages for night driving, extra light can come in handy in camp or if you need to do work on a vehicle in the backcountry at night.
Here, I’ll share my experience installing and using the Raxiom 50 Inch Double Row LED Light Bar, a powerful light bar that mounts above the front windshield of an off-road vehicle.
If you’re just looking for a summary: Raxiom’s 50-inch Light Bar is a sturdy light bar that puts out a good amount of light and is fairly easy to install. It’s not the highest end light bar on the market, but considering that light bars often run in the $600-$1500 range, Raxiom’s offering is a lot of light bar for around $325. It’s designed for use with a Jeep Wrangler JK, and Raxiom sells a JK compatible wiring harness and mounting brackets.
- Powerful light for the money
- Sturdy construction
- Easy to install on a Jeep Wrangler JK
- Occasionally makes a slight whistling noise
- No pre-made mounting brackets for non-JK Jeeps
Raxiom 50 Inch Double Row LED Light Bar Features
The light bar houses 100 3w High Intensity CREE LEDs, each capable of producing 300 lumens when factoring in the lens used to focus the light. This gives a total output of around 30,000 lumens of 6000K light — an impressive amount of light and illuminated space when turned on.
The version of the bar that I installed works simultaneously as a flood light and a spotlight, with the center putting out a 30 degree spotlight and the bulbs at the edges a 60-degree flood light cone. This means that directly in front of the vehicle, the light intensity is brighter, but that the light is also thrown wide (albeit at a shorter distance) to illuminate the surroundings.
I’ve only used the light for a few weeks now – a couple of times on the trail – but it looks and feels tough. The body is made of die-cast aluminum and the lens that covers the LEDs is made of sturdy polycarbonate.
A black powder coating should help it resist rust – but I’ll have to see how durable and waterproof it is over time. The bar has a waterproof rating of Ingress Protection Code (IP) 67, which means it could be submerged in one meter of fresh water for half an hour without leaking. There are light bars on the market with the higher IP 68 rating, but most seem to be at least twice the price.
As with any light bar of this size, the Raxiom light bar requires a bit of assembly. Mounting the light bar on your vehicle is fairly easy, but you’ll need to purchase mountain brackets that are sold separately.
This light bar is designed to fit perfectly across the top of Jeep Wranglers, and Raxiom makes several options for different mounting brackets for Jeep Wranglers (see the list below). It took me about an hour to get the brackets installed and the light mounted.
You’ll also need to purchase wiring to connect the light to your vehicle’s battery. I used Raxiom’s wiring kit, which includes a fuse and relay and makes it dead simple to install. It comes with a preinstalled toggle switch that you stick somewhere on the dash to turn the light on and off. Getting it wired up took another couple of hours.
While the switch is easy to install, it’s pretty easy to accidentally turn the lights on, and if it’s daytime, you may not even realize it’s on. I know because I’ve done it.
To address this, I plan to wire the light to a switch in my Jeep’s existing switch panel–where the sway bar disconnect and differential locker switches are already mounted.
You could also mount this on other makes of vehicle, but you’d need to find a way to mount it.
So far, I’m very happy with the Raxiom 50-Inch Straight Dual Row LED Light Bar. It was relatively straightforward to install with a purchase of a separately sold mounting bracket and wiring harness.
When I first got it installed, it made a high-pitched whistling noise when I was driving on the highway. I tilted the bar a bit more forward and the whistling almost completely went away. It still whistles slightly when I make a sharp turn going 15-20 miles per hour, but it’s not so annoying to be a problem.
If you decide to get this light bar, you’ll most likely want to pick up the bracket and wiring harness at the same time (assuming you are buying it for a Jeep Wrangler).
Here are some links to the brackets and wire harness: