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Old 08-04-2022, 01:59 PM #1
Predatorsniper2005 Predatorsniper2005 is offline
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Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)

Overview: First, I want to start off by adding a note that I contacted Diode Dynamics (DD) with some questions regarding adding a light bar in the upper grille portion of my T4R TRD ORP. Since the 2020+ T4R have the TSS sensor in the lower grille blocking basically 30% of a lower type mounted light bar. I decided to install one in the upper grille using the TRD Pro Grille kit from Taco Vinyl (awesome kit by the way). Disclaimer: Before I contacted DD, both Lasfit and Auxbeam sent me one of their light bars for review (more to come later on those bars as a comparison). At the time, I didn't fully understand what type of beam pattern (spot, flood, driving, fog) I needed to satisfy my lighting desires! Running the Lasfit and Auxbeam light bars, I was getting a combination of driving, spot, and flood type beams. When I spoke to DD, I planned to get aftermarket fog pods and ditch lights. I spoke to Craig Carroll at DD, he said if I plan to do that, then get a light bar that enhances or complements your factor LED high beams. So, DD sent me their DD Stage Series 18” White Light Bar in the Driving pattern for review, and to develop the mounting system/brackets for our T4Rs. There is a great need for the 2020+ T4R to run a lightbar up front all stealth like. The upper grille seemed to be the best solution for me.

Stage Series 18 inch White Light Bar

Quality: I have both a Lasfit and Auxbeam light bar, even though for the price I'd say those are quality light bars, but the DD light bar is built better. The DD 18" Stage Series bar heavier than my other light bars, and it is by far the brightest light bar I've tested to date. The mounting brackets and how you adjust the aim or how you level this light bar is amazing. It has a pivoting mounting point on the back, and the front brackets have a slot for it to pivot and lock down. Once its locked down, it won't move.

Bracket/Mounting System: I was able to use the factory holes used to hold the lower grille portion to the frame bar just below the upper grille (see pics). I removed the (2) factory clips and installed bolts in that location. I purchased a steel mending plate from Lowe's, and cut the metal to fit. I did drill out the mending plate holes to a larger size for the mounting location on my 4Runner, the other hole sizes worked great for the light bar mounting bracket. From there I just adjusted the light beam height to my desired angle. Please reach out to me, or message me on mounting options, or how I came to this mounting location. Also, I didn't need to mount this light bar right up against the grille since the beam type is driving. If you choose a flood type pattern, you would have to change the way you mount this to get it as close as possible to the back of that upper grille piece. Combo might be the same. I choose driving because of my other aftermarket lights. As you can see, this light is perfectly centered left/right & up/down.

Accessories: This light bar comes with multiple mounting options and brackets. The standard bracket system worked perfect for the T4R in the upper grille. DD did send me some Amber colored lenses, super easy to install, but it kills the lighting output on this bar. I was very surprised by this test. Reading on their website and watching YouTube videos, switching to amber was said to lose you about 10% output according to their lighting meter testing equipment, however, it seems to me, more like 50% loss of output. Now, I have the 3" SS3 Pro Amber pods for my fog lights (I purchased), the output is insanely good! But for this lightbar, I wouldn't recommend the Amber lenses unless you drive in a ton in inclement weather or are running on dirt/dusty trails to need this type of color.

Performance: Now the factory LED High beams on my 22 ORP are really good. However, I got way more distance and light with this DD light bar. You'll see in the picture, the wooden fence is at 100 yards, the next set of trees is 250 yards, then if you can zoom in, see the brick house in the back! That is over 600 yards away! None of the other light bars even came close to this performance, and they were 22" bars, this is only 18"!

Review: The quality and light output from an 18" light bar is insane. For $280 you get a massive amount of light upfront, and it fits perfectly behind my upper grille. Easy to install, easy to center and aim. Just costed me a few bucks at Lowes to make 2 straps with basic tools. What stands out on this light bar is the mounting system and how the bar adjusts up and down, DD was really thinking this through. It only took me a few seconds to aim this thing right into the sweet spot. You can see in the pictures just how much usable light this thing puts off. You can read how this bar has the new TIR optics and an industry leading warranty (8 years). This light bar is heavier than the other light bars I've used, not a cheap light bar. Powder coated black body. I'm thankful when I spoke to the DD reps to understand the lighting zones on my T4R, I didn't need the addition of flood or spot optics on my light bar, those areas are covered by my other accessory lights (ditch and fogs). So, if that is something you need, look at DD's other beam pattern types to fit your needs.

Summary: I think most would agree that Diode Dynamics is a high-quality lighting company that is trying to compete with Baja and Rigid and they are doing an excellent job at that. DD lights are much more reasonable in priced than Rigid or Baja. Oh, did I mention, they're made in the USA, just outside of St. Louis Missouri? I love the opportunity to support a local brand any chance I get. Once I had the chance to test this light bar, I was so impressed, I went out and purchased a set of their SS3 Pro Fogs and some SSC2 for my ditch lighting desires. Best decision I've made so far on my lighting choices for sure. Excellent price and value, the quality is top notch.
Attached Images
Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2313-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-vvqu8271-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-wxpy5512-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-capture-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-gbsw2329-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-gzdx4948-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2373-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2374-jpg 
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:01 PM #2
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Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2375-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2376-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2377-jpg  Diode Dynamics 18" Stage Series Light Bar Review (Upper Grille Mount)-img_2330-jpg 
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Old 08-05-2022, 01:29 AM #3
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I'm not that impressed with the SSC2's. My max flogs are great though.
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Old 08-05-2022, 01:45 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasTRDPro View Post
I'm not that impressed with the SSC2's. My max flogs are great though.
OP,

My SSC2's are pro's. I got the amber in the fog pattern. I'm ordering the combo light package with the clear lenses since these have the ability to swap lenses. I will have those next week. I agree, the lighting output isn't what I wanted, but I didn't like the 3" pods on top of my hood, way to large. I need something smaller and more compact. Something more stealthy. So, what else would I pick? LOL!
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Old 08-06-2022, 12:50 PM #5
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How stable is that mounting solution? Im interested in doing the same but worried about wobble.


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Old 08-06-2022, 05:58 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91foxbody View Post
How stable is that mounting solution? Im interested in doing the same but worried about wobble.


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Hello, the strap is over .100" thick strait steel. I purchased 2 straps so I could double them up if I needed to. When I mounted this, I didn't need to double up the material. Its solid!
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Old 08-06-2022, 09:56 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasTRDPro View Post
I'm not that impressed with the SSC2's. My max flogs are great though.
yup ssc2's is meh...the ssc3's are okay. I use the ssc2's as backup lights and ssc3's as fogs.
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