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Old 09-01-2019, 04:48 PM #1
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Spot on roof rack to prevent hood glare?

I've ordered my roof rack, now it's time to start figuring out the lighting... I've seen a few posts concerning hood glare. Would running a 40" light bar with strictly spots on the roof rack help with that or is a combo, spot/flood, a good idea? Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:03 PM #2
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I have the SSO rack with the 40” bar they sell and yeah there’s a little glare but no where in the realm of something to worry about like I see people talking about. And I have a super white SR5.

I think people are really over emphasizing the hood glare. I can’t speak for other racks but I have no issues with it.

And I used it last night on a 6 hour drive on a very dark freeway. I used it all of 10 seconds at a time until anther car came. Don’t worry about the glare.
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:06 PM #3
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Thanks, that's the same roof rack I just ordered. What kind of bar do you have and is it a spot, flood or combo? Thanks again for the input.
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:09 PM #4
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Itís the Heise brand they sell. I canít bring myself to spend $1k on a bar. Itís extremely bright for what it is. Iím very happy with the output for the price.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:44 AM #5
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Lights on top of the car are never going to be the best option. ditch lights by the mirrors and lights on the front bumper are going to be far better output for actually seeing where you're going
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:30 AM #6
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You can do it, just make sure to pick a bar with good optics and minimal spill light. Don't be afraid to return lights that produce significant glare, like the Extreme LED bar that is advertised a lot on here.

I used the Diode Dynamics stage series bar, which has fantastic optics for its price point. I put my ditch lights up there as well. Check out my thread for more info.









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Old 10-25-2019, 12:32 AM #7
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Quote:
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You can do it, just make sure to pick a bar with good optics and minimal spill light. Don't be afraid to return lights that produce significant glare, like the Extreme LED bar that is advertised a lot on here.

I used the Diode Dynamics stage series bar, which has fantastic optics for its price point. I put my ditch lights up there as well. Check out my thread for more info.









I like the combined low profile of your rack and lights, very nice.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:31 AM #8
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Avoid glare on the roof rack by not running lights up there. They don't really help your visibility at night because they provide light in the same area that your high beams already do. They light up the hood of your car and make it harder to see into the distance.

If you need a light bar, put it on the front of the car.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:37 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Dunakin View Post
I like the combined low profile of your rack and lights, very nice.
Thanks Ray. I made the brackets myself to fit as low to the rack as I could.


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Avoid glare on the roof rack by not running lights up there. They don't really help your visibility at night because they provide light in the same area that your high beams already do. They light up the hood of your car and make it harder to see into the distance.

If you need a light bar, put it on the front of the car.
This is true. Lighting on the roof is really not ideal except for projecting lights long distance at speed, which is what most experts will tell you. Here's Baja Designs:


Zone 5 - Racer Edition Spot: This zone is necessary for triple digit speeds, or wanting to see miles down the road. This is the only forward projection pattern we recommend mounting along your roofline (wider patterns can contribute to glare).


Most of us are not racing the Baja 1000. I admit that the reason I chose to mount lights up there was to simplify my installation, as my roof rack already has a drilled and recessed slot for mounting. This saved me from needing to buy hidden grill mounts and ditch brackets, cleaning up the overall look as well.

The first bar I tried (the dual control from ExtremeLED, designed to mimic the much better S8 light from Baja Designs) was described as a spot, but had such poorly controlled optics that it shone BRIGHT white light all over my hood unless I pointed it almost 20ļ up, completely eliminating the point.

That bar I ended up with (stage series from Diode Dynamics) utilizes total internal reflection (TIR) optics. The spill light on the hood is negligible; it's a gentle illumination rather than uncontrolled bright glare. It's still not ideal. However, the combination of all the lights (including my headlights and fogs) does a pretty good job of forward coverage for all speeds that I'm comfortable with at night.

Eye strain is a real thing, but my use case scenarios so far have been less than 2 hours at night (usually catching up to a group already at camp, etc.). I'm not racing the Baja 1000 all night. Having said that: if you have the choice, grill mounting is best for most scenarios. If you insist on a roof light, get one with good optics and don't be afraid to return lights that won't work.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:09 PM #10
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That's a great example diagram. Yea, it's not that roof lights won't work but people always seem to think that a giant lightbar on the roof will always produce the most light and have the most visibility which isn't true. Two good-quality fog light replacements can easily provide more visibility than one large cheap lightbar on the roof due to optics and foreground lighting.

Optics, like you mentioned, are huge. The cheap lightbars just spill light everywhere which is going to make roof-mounting exceptionally worst. I think with your setup you also have a small advantage in that the "lip" in front of the light bar might even act as a small cutoff?

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but had such poorly controlled optics that it shone BRIGHT white light all over my hood unless I pointed it almost 20ļ up
This is to light up the sky so you can see the stars better
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:34 AM #11
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Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post

Optics, like you mentioned, are huge. The cheap lightbars just spill light everywhere which is going to make roof-mounting exceptionally worst. I think with your setup you also have a small advantage in that the "lip" in front of the light bar might even act as a small cutoff?
To get the bar aimed, it's basically resting on that little tray lip; so not much cutoff action. It's set to converge with my low beam cutoff around 100 feet away. I really am impressed with it, I think it's the best "midrange" bar you can get before getting into big boy lights ($$$).
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