Pros and Cons of Cheap Light Bars

August 8, 2022
Natalie Thorburn



Pros and Cons of Cheap Light Bars

It’s usually the case that the more money you spend on something, the better your experience with the product will be. Sure, that’s not always true, but it’d be foolish to say there’s no difference between a high-quality product and some knock-off you can get your hands on on the flea market. And it’s not always about the build — sometimes, it’s about making the customer feel like they’ve struck gold with wonderful customer-relations policies, support, and so on. But what about light bars? Can you get away with a more affordable option without sacrificing much of what makes their pricier counterparts stand out?

We ought to make it clear right off the bat that this isn’t one of those bargain light reviews, not at all. Instead, we’ll look into all the pros and cons of budget light bars in general and see whether they’re worth the hassle and whether you should maybe save a few extra pennies and go for a pricier option. But, enough chit-chat — let’s get into it full throttle!

The Pros

First, the good news. Here are some of the most obvious and most important pros to owning cheaper, low-quality bar lights.

They Are Cost-Effective

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way first, just for the sake of having a complete list of all the pros — if you buy cheaper LED visor lights, well, you’ll save a few bucks. You knew that, yes, but you maybe didn’t think about the big picture. Namely, if you go cheaper now, you can get some juice from your squeeze without busting your credit card balance, allowing yourself to dedicate more of your budget to other things you might need, like additional equipment for your vehicle. Once you’ve got a beast of a machine in your garage, you can tune it up and get a more expensive visor light bar when you can actually afford to go whacko mode.

They Are Starter Business-Friendly

Another pro of going cheap is a bit specific and may not apply to you, and that is that, if you’ve got a whole fleet of vehicles to equip, well, choosing a pricier solution might blow that bill sky high. So, if you’re just starting a, say, trucking business, you might consider cutting on some expenses and taking it easy at first. You know, just until your business starts blooming.

They Are Easy to Install

Then, cheaper options, like those LED interior light bars, are usually easier to install. Yup, there’s only a few cords and some cable management for you to do, and voila — you’ve got it all set up. That’s not the case with those robust, heavy-duty emergency lights and sirens. Those require some actual installation work, which, you’ve guessed it, takes a lot of time and costs money too — a lot of money.

They Are Energy-Efficient

This pro ties in with the first one since it has to do with the budget more than anything. Namely, cheaper, low-power bar lights are not as demanding energy-wise as their more expensive brethren. They also produce very little heat and won’t put a huge toll on the battery, which means less electricity wasted and more money in your pocket. Also, it can be friendlier to the environment if you’re concerned with global warming and want to keep your community pollution-free.

The Cons

Now the sad part — the part where we disappoint you just a little bit by talking about the cons of cheap light bars.

Not Suitable for All Types of Vehicles and Work

First of all, as we’ve mentioned already, going cheap usually means sacrificing some of the quality that you really need, especially with visor emergency lights, for example. If you’ve got a tow truck company to run, you really should take quality into consideration and maybe cut on something else instead of lights. Why? Well, it’s dangerous work you’re doing, and you need to make sure everyone is safe on the road. Also, if you stay stingy for too long, your low-quality equipment will start to break, so you’ll actually lose money buying cheaper bar lights.

They May Not Be Legal

Next on our list of cons is something that’s, unfortunately, not in your power. Yup, we’re talking about the law here. Namely, there are certain places where officials simply demand you buy certain types of light bars for your vehicles. That means that you can’t just go splurging on whatever you want — you actually have to meet the road standards and make sure all aspects of your business are greased up and working as smoothly as possible. There’s no room for thriftiness there, so those lights you got on e-bay just might not cut it.

They Can Be a Safety Hazard

Speaking of road safety, even if there are no rules and regulations imposed on you by the law, you still have to take everyone’s safety into consideration. What kind of area do you live in? What’s the weather like? What are the roads like, and who do you see on them? Some cheap bar lights might not be bright enough in bad weather, which can defeat their purpose (and force you to buy new, more expensive ones).

The Weather Can Mess Them Up

Also, what happens when winter comes, and everything freezes over? Do you remember what we said above about cheap lights not producing a lot of heat and being not as demanding power-wise? Well, those cold, low-quality lights you bought will start to break down rather quickly when snow covers them up, so you’ll have to replace them before you’ve even had a chance to use them.

The Verdict

To cut a long story short, the point is that you have to consider everything before making a decision, as the line between a pro and a con can be rather blurry. Think hard about what your goals are, what your budget is like, and what the state of the roads in your area is. Only with everything taken into consideration will you be able to make the right decision and meet both your needs and the standards set by the local government.


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