In the recent years there has been a large invasion of cheap LED light bars and I too have found myself to be a victim of these companies claiming to have the best LED product and it fails within a year. However, I will share some tips that you can use to prevent yourself from falling victim to one of these "Fly-by-Night" Off-road light bar companies.
The first red flag is the LED light bar advertisement. So, your scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed and you see a crazy & outrageous discounted price on LED light bars. If you can get a 50-inch LED light bar, plus a 20-inch LED light bar, and four 3-inch LED light cubes all for $149.99, it's almost certain that the items you are buying are poorly made products.
You can expect the life expectancy to be under two years and the primary failure mode will be moisture behind the lens causing the LED's to burn out prematurely.
Some other advertisement red flags are:
- $919 is the regular price of the LED light bar and it’s on sale for $159 but only for a limited amount of time.
- It's says “Limited Time Special”, 50% off their LED light bars
- If it was truly 50% off, they technically wouldn't be making any money on the sale as typical retail margins run about 50%.
The second red flag is the name of the company, if the name of the company is a derivative of the following: Superior LED Light Bars, Quality LED Light Bars, Extraordinary LED Light Bars, Cheapest LED Light Bars, LED Light Bars USA, LED Light Bar Supply, Best LED Light Bars, then chances are they are selling junk.
But ok, let’s say you clicked the link because you were curious, here are some other suspicious things that should make you not from those companies.
- You click the add to go to their website and almost instantly, a coupon pops up saying you can get 20% off your first order if you provide them with your email address, then chances are they are selling junk. The only exception would be around the holidays where everyone is having sales on their products.
- The pictures are not professional, meaning there is no white back drop and the pictures are taken in the grass, on a concrete sidewalk or on the back of a pickup truck.
- You are offered a warranty for additional money. This typically means they are drop shipping the LED light bars from an unknown supplier that has a track record for poor quality products.
- No product specs are listed, or the specs seem a little far-fetched. For example, a 50-inch LED light Bar that produces 80,000 lumens using only 120 watts…that is either a lie or the Universe’s most efficient LED light bar.
- Life spans says 30,000 hours
- The shipping time is not listed or hard to find but when you do find it, it says it takes 5 to 10 days. Plus 1 to 3 days to process the order.
- They sell LED light bars in odd pairs, and you know what I’m talking about. It’s the advertisements that say, “Limited Supply – Three 50 Inch LED Light bars for $99.99”.
- What could you possible do with three 50-inch LED light bars?
- The titles of the LED products are incredibly long and describes everything and anything like:
- "Ultra slim high output osram LED light bar single row spot flood combo off road truck ATV marine boat RV heavy equipment air planes helicopters UTV's spaceships aircraft carriers F16 fighter jets etc".
- "7D hyper beam ultra-spot race 4X4 truck SUV motorcycle jeep boat marine agricultural LED light bar".
- “DRL POD 20w LED light white spot beam + cross style DRL function wiring harness dual control switch for off road motorcycle Jeep ATV SUV Truck Marine Vessels heavy equipment 12v 24V”.
- “WIDE APPLICATION: The work light can be compatible with almost all Jeeps, 4x4, Trucks, Motorcycles, SUVs, ATVs, Cars, Boats, etc. Many indoor and outdoor uses: Garden Lighting, Backyard Lighting, Back-up Light, Off Road Lighting, Construction Lighting and so on”.
- If you are still unsure just read the title out loud, if you end up sounding like a robot, then it is a cheap product from a drop shipper.
So now you're probably wondering what a LED light bar drop shipper is. A drop shipper is someone who doesn’t invest any money into products and has no physical inventory of the product. A drop shipper operates by purchasing someone else’s product and then resell’s it to you at a higher cost. So, it’s not a scam because you do get the product but it’s a shady business practice because they are over charging you for the same product that you can buy for the same price that they can.
Here are some quick clues to figure out if the company is a light bar drop shipper:
- All the items listed above.
- The dimensions of the product are in millimeters or centimeters.
- If it was a true company, they would have the dimensions in inches.
- You google the companies name and they have a poor rating from the BBB.
- On the Better Business Bureau's website you can search "LED Light Bar" to find other companies with bad review.
- You go to their returns page and it says a refund will take 4 weeks.
- The description or title of the product is written in "broken English".
- In their About Us” section, they say they are a US manufacture of LED light bars but then they also say that their factories have "achieved certain certifications”.
- You can’t call them and if you can call them, they have difficulty answering technical questions.
- The biggest clue is the shipping time:
- If the shipping time is not listed or hard to find but when you do find it, it says it takes 5 to 10 days. Plus 1 to 3 days to process the order.
But Off Brand, I read a review where the guy stated that the LED light bars are really bright and worth the money. We have all seen these reviews and the writer of the review isn’t lying and is correct, they probably were really bright LED light bars and worth the money in his opinion. The problem with that person’s review is that they didn’t compare the LED light bar to anything else, so when you turn on a cheap LED light bar in the dark, then yes it will be really bright. If they compared that LED light bar to an Aurora LED light bar, then they would not be leaving that type of review.
So, are their advantages of cheap LED light bars? And the answer is, “Yes”. This is primarily due to the low initial cost of a cheap LED light bar. A cheap LED light bar can be almost half the cost of an Aurora LED light bar. However, what is not taken into consideration is the huge disadvantage of buying a cheap LED light bar. The disadvantage is the fact that the LED light bar will ultimately fail prematurely generating more evening and weekend LED light bar replacement events when you should be relaxing. The only thing worse is having a LED light bar fail when you are on a off-road trail at night and I have personally been in that situation and its not a good situation to be in.
So, if you spend a little but more and purchase an Aurora LED light Bar you will get a quality product that last. Nothing says cheap like pulling up to your next vehicle meet in your rig that you invested thousands of dollars into with condensation in your LED light bar. Be sure to check out our full range of Aurora LED light bars and outfit your vehicle correctly.