Rigid Industries E Series Light Bar Review
Lightbars continue to be one of the most popular accessories for 4wd vehicles, just because they’re so useful. When you’re driving on trails or across rough ground at night a bit of extra illumination is essential, and a high-mounted lightbar is a great way to provide it. Of course they look good too; we all take a bit of pride in our vehicles, and having it properly fitted out gives it the right “go anywhere” look. Rigid Industries make a range of lightbars that perform as well as they look, and right now we’re going to take a look at their popular E Series.
The E Series is Rigid’s flagship lightbar range, so the emphasis is on quality. These definitely aren’t the cheapest lights out there, but you do get a lot for your money. The E Series is based on 2.1W high efficiency LEDs using hybrid optics – in other words the light beam is shaped by both the reflector and a lens. They’re also available as either spot, flood or combo lights, which is a nice touch and one we’ll explain a bit later. The bars come in a good size range, with nine different lengths available – 4, 6, 10, 20, 28, 30, 38, 40 and 50 inches.
So firstly, how do the lights look? Very nice, in fact. The casings are extruded from A360 aluminium then protected with a nice deep black powder coating. If you want them in white you’ll find that the M Series, marketed for boats, are basically the same lights except white. The E Series casing is one of the best protected we’ve seen; it has an IP rating of IP68, so it’s completely dustproof and waterproof. The rear of the casing forms an oversized heat sink, so the LEDs and circuitry are protected against heat buildup that could shorten their lives. These are very well put together lights. Each bar comes with cast alloy mountings which look stylish and seem pretty strong, if maybe not quite as sturdy as the steel ones on the Tough Toys lights we looked at. Optional mounting cradles are available too, if you prefer.
Now, how about the light? It’s pretty impressive! The small 4 and 6 inch bars are available in a choice of either 10° spot or 20° flood models. The 10 inch one offers the same choices plus combo mode – opt for this and you get the best of both worlds, with a bank of spot LEDs flanked by flood ones. Obviously the beam loses a bit of brightness compared to the single-mode ones but it still throws out a lot of illumination, with a long, tight central beam and a good field of light closer in. The longer bars come in combo mode as standard, and if you like a less cluttered appearance it’s a great alternative to installing both a flood bar and a set of spots.
Electronically these bars are also great. They come on instantly, with no warm-up time, and the circuitry has over- and under-voltage protection built in. The predicted life of the LEDs is 50,000 hours, which we can’t fault. You also get a complete wiring harness with each bar, including an off/on switch and a weatherproof plug.
Rigid Industries’ E Series are expensive lights, but they’re aimed at the top end of the market and the quality is superb. If you’re willing to pay the price for them there’s no doubt you’ll get good service from them.