Rigid Industries M Series Light Bar Review
Lightbars are a common accessory on 4wd vehicles and utes, but off road drivers aren’t the only people who sometimes need a bit of extra illumination. Lighting is also an essential feature on boats. Whether you need spotlights for spotting hazards in inshore waters or floods to light up your workspaces on deck, high performance lights are a must. Boars are a tough environment though, especially for electrical equipment, and a lot of standard products won’t survive for long in the conditions they’d face. You need specialist marine lights, like the M Series lightbars from Rigid Industries.
Rigid Industries are well known for their E Series lightbars and Duelly lamps, which are some of the best systems you can get for vehicle use. Their M Series lightbars take the proven technology and performance of the E Series and give it a nautical makeover to ensure it can stand the abuse.
Looking at the casing itself there are no issues there. The E Series already has an extremely rugged AA360 aluminium case and polycarbonate lens, with the whole unit being sealed to IP68 standard. IP68 means that it’s completely dustproof and won’t leak even if it’s completely submerged in water. That’s obviously ideal for marine use, although hopefully your boat won’t be getting completely submerged. Rough seas can still throw a lot of water around, but the M Series will shrug that off easily. Of course salt water has its own special issues, like corrosion, so the M Series has a few special features to cope with that. The casing is double coated, with a chromate conversion coating to prevent salt corrosion then a smart (and tough) white powder coating on top. A lot of the E Series hardware is replaced with 316 marine grade stainless steel, which is pretty corrosion resistant anyway and gets its own coating as well. The mounting cradle (or pivot mounts, in the 20 inch and larger models) is also 316 stainless.
The M Series is available in most of the same sizes as the E Series – you can get 4, 6, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 inch models. The 4, 6 and 10 inch models are all available in a choice of spot or flood beams; the larger ones use Rigid’s combo layout, with a central bank of spot LEDs flanked by floods, to give the best of both worlds. The light is amazingly bright, shaded a cool daylight white and projected using Rigid’s Specter reflectors which maximise the useful illumination. The LEDs are extremely efficient and thanks to the great heatsinks have a predicted life of at least 50,000 hours.
The performance of the E Series speaks for itself, and by combining that with the ability to survive salt water and the hardships of life on a boat Rigid Industries have come up with a real winner here. If you’re looking for lights for your boat, and only want to buy them once, give these a serious look.