Looking for a new LED bar for your truck but don’t know what to pick between curved vs straight light bar? Then don’t worry, we’re here to help you out.
When you’re in search of a light bar, things like brightness, compatibility, beam pattern, length, and even total reach enter into place.
But what about the shape of the bar and how does it affect all of the previous factors?
Curved vs Straight Light Bar: Which One Is Better?
Top 10 Best Straight Light Bar
The Best Curved Light Bar Comparison Table
Well, you’re going to learn all that with this article. From the main differences about each type of light bar to the best models you can find on each, and a little more – take a look below to find out!
What is a Straight Light Bar?
When you want to have extra illumination at night, take your truck to an off-road adventure overnight, or just have something to increase the lumens of your headlights – a straight light bar is a product to have.
It usually goes by the name of the fog or spot beam. The light goes on the top of the truck or bumper.
And it works cleanly for almost any purpose that involves illuminating the road or area ahead even if there’s rain or fog.
As the name says, the bar has a straight design and can go from 12 inches up to 50 inches in length or more – depending on the model.
Overall, these lights have tons of different advantages to offer. Below, you’ll find the Nilight NI18B, a straight LED bar that will teach you a lot more about these lights.
01. Nilight NI18B Straight Triple Row LED Bar for Trucks
Top 3 Features
- 42-inch bar length
- 43,000 lumens
- IP67 waterproof build
As one of the most sought-after LED bars in the market, the NI18B from Nilight will make your truck immensely more practical.
Especially if you’re an off-road adventurer, then you will find this type of light a perfect addition to your truck.
Offering 43,000 lumens of total brightness, this light will indeed illuminate your path wherever you go.
The broad 42-inch design makes it possible to focus the beam on a straight and narrow yet long path.
This is only possible with the addition of high-end LED chips and spot-beam reflector cups. Your truck will deliver a uniquely bright performance with this bar.
Not only do you get the chance to brighten up your path ahead with this model, but you also get the chance to make it work anywhere you go.
You can get more than 30,000 hours of lifespan with ease.
This happens thanks to a die-cast aluminum alloy cover that makes it super sturdy and reliable.
It works well with an IP67 waterproof rating and efficient cooling performance for an extra lifespan.
Add the rugged mounting brackets, and this light will never let you down.
Perfect for Off-Road Adventures
The unique spot-beam design of its straight shape, a fantastic 42-inch length, and the ability to withstand any use make it a superb choice for off-road use.
But there’s a lot more you can do with it, such as mounting it on construction machinery, boats, ATVs, and even as a house light. It will work well either way.
- Super-narrow yet far-reaching light
- Excellent brightness for the size
- Will last a lifetime with no drawbacks
- Installs easily on any vehicle
- Assembly instructions can be deceiving
What is a Curved Light Bar?
Also known as a radius bar, this type of accessory produces light by using hundreds of small LED bulbs. But these LED bulbs are arranged inside a metal or plastic bar.
In contrast with regular light bars, this one has a curved shape.
The purpose of this curvature is to have a wide beam pattern that helps achieve maximum reach to the sides.
This type of light is ideal for people who want to see everything happening on their sides while driving a truck on dark areas.
There’s no need to get extra LEDs to illuminate the front-right and front-left sides of the truck because the curved bar makes it happen.
Below, you’ll have a bit more info about one of the highest-quality curved bars in the market: the Triple Row Curved Bar from Nilight.
02. Nilight Curved Triple Row Flood LED Bar for Trucks
Top 3 Features
- 78,000-lumen capacity
- 52-inch length
- Triple-row LED bulbs
Curved but gigantic, the Nilight triple-row LED bar will make your truck a much more exciting vehicle.
It works well for the road as well as commuting, fieldwork, or even off-road adventures if needed. There’s nothing about this curved bar to overlook.
The first thing you’ll notice is an outstanding 78,000-lumen capacity. Along with the 52-inch design, it offers a tri-row LED system.
Add the high-end LED chips, and you’re likely to get one of the brightest lights you’ve ever seen.
But it is not only how bright it is, but also how wide it illuminates. It boasts a curved design that shines at a wider angle.
Along with the broad reflective plate on the sides, it can tackle multi-angle refraction to give more of an ambient performance.
If there’s something you can’t dismiss on a LED bar is quality construction.
That’s why this model manages to deliver an IP67 waterproof construction.
Using die-cast aluminum and advanced groove design, it will prevent water from entering as well as any rust from forming.
The fantastic seals on the screws and the magnificently shatterproof crystals will also ensure maximum lifespan.
And with the high-end LED chips, you can expect no less than 30,000 hours of illumination from this bar.
The last thing you’ll love about this light is the ultra-long 52-inch design.
It will cover the entire windshield or bumper of your truck, making it look a lot more enticing than any small model can.
Whether you use it for off-roading, commuting, or simple trips, you’ll love how attractive it makes your truck look.
It also fits nicely on most vehicles, so you won’t have any problem setting it up either.
- Matches well with any rounded-edged car
- Withstands almost any use
- Illuminates amazingly bright and wide
- Requires little effort to set up
- Produces a lot of wind noise
Straight vs Curved LED Light Bar: Factors to Consider
So you already know what each type of LED light refers to, with examples and everything.
Now let’s explain how they differ and how you can get the most out of each. In this section, we talk about all that:
Size & Looks
The first thing you’ll want to know is whether they have different lengths. And the answer is obviously yes.
This happens because curved LED bars have a curvature that affects the overall length.
If you calculate the length by tracing a straight line from one side to the other, a curved bar will have the same length as a straight one.
But if you measure by following the curved shape, then it will be longer, of course.
Apart from that, you won’t find curved light bars of less than 40 inches. But straight bars are available from 12 inches onward.
It is also essential to add that boxed cars like Jeeps and Hummers, for example, will look better with a straight bar than with a curved one.
In contrast, other vehicles with rounded windshields and bumpers will wear a curved light bar a lot better.
So while they look almost the same, the shape difference may also make them ideal for different types of cars.
The beam pattern refers to the total coverage of the light. But this doesn’t measure only the distance the light can reach, but the shape of the area it covers.
Here, you will find that straight bars have a thinner or smaller beam pattern. But this narrow pattern means the light can reach further.
So you would be getting a narrow yet far-reaching light pattern with straight LED bars. That’s why they are usually called spot beams.
In contrast, curved lights cover a wider area. Because the LED bulbs are not focused on one point, they can illuminate a wide area around, including the front and sides at the same time.
These lights, however, don’t reach too far and often are limited by the power of the LEDs. They’re called flood beams.
So if you’re looking to reach the farthest with your light, then a straight model is your best bet. But if you prefer a wide coverage, then a curved bar will work correctly.
After considering their size and beam pattern, you may want to know between the straight vs curved light bar – which one is the brightest. Here, however, it depends on many factors.
If you place a curved and a straight bar of the same length in the same truck, they will perform the same way.
The lumens will not change, and the temperature (color of the light) will look almost identical.
Many other factors come into play here, such as brand, construction, number of LED bulbs, and so on.
But generally, curved and straight LED bars of the same length will probably offer the same performance.
Mounting & Compatibility
Will the installation of the LED bar change between a curved and a straight model? Once again, there’s no significant difference.
A straight and a curved light bar will have the same length and the same method of installation.
This happens because even though curved models have a different shape overall, they’re specifically designed to match the standard installation system on trucks.
So you can easily install a curved model wherever a straight one fits.
In case you’re getting an extremely long light bar, you may notice a difference.
But these are not so common, and if you find one, it probably comes with its own adapter.
That should make the installation a bit trickier, but nothing you won’t be able to do.
So generally, both straight and curved bars offer the same experience when mounting them. You won’t have to worry about this.
Curved Vs Straight Light Bar: Buyer’s Queries On Online
Are you still confused about straight and curved LED bars? Then don’t worry – this section will probably get rid of that confusion:
Can you use a straight light bar as fog light?
Yes, you can use the straight bar as a fog light without problems. Of course, they’re generally designed to provide a long-reaching beam with high color temperature (about 6,000K).
So if you want better fog-light results with your straight LED bar, we recommend getting a warm 3,000K or 4,000K model.
How are curved light bars measured?
They’re generally measured by using a tape measure from one side of the bar to the other side. It is important to remember that mounting brackets are not part of this measurement.
Only the area where the LED bulbs are located count for the measure.
Where to install a curved LED light bar?
There’s no particular place for a curved light bar. But it is generally advised to set them up on the upper windshields.
Especially on trucks, the broader beam of a curved bar will provide a higher reach if installed on top.
Are curved light bars better?
Between the LED light bar curved vs straight, we can’t really say that the curved performs any better. It’s mostly about needs and opinions.
But if you’re looking for something that has a wide beam instead of a focused or narrow beam, then nothing works better than a curved model.
Straight vs Curved Light Bars: Which One to Choose?
Now that you’ve gone through all the different factors that differ between each, it’s time to choose which one is your best choice.
It is safe to say that most people will fare better with a straight LED bar than with a curved one.
Especially off-road drivers who need a focused and more intense light will probably find straight ones better.
But if you’re looking for a beam that can illuminate a wider area, then a curved model is your best bet.
And if you want to make your truck look a little more stylish, then it also works wonders for that (as long as it is not a Jeep or Hummer).
Overall, the winner between a curved vs straight light bar is the one that best meets your needs.
So choose the one you find more useful and enticing. That should be enough to prevent any regrets.