Roo Systems LED Light Bar Review
Roo Systems is an Australian 4wd specialist that started out 15 years ago making custom exhaust systems and chips for off road vehicles. Since then they’ve developed a wide range of 4wd accessories, which are known for good quality at an affordable price. This range now includes LED lightbars, which is where we get interested. Roo Systems have six bars available right now, with sizes starting at six inches and going up to a big 50 inch bar. The intermediate sizes are 6, 12, 22 and 40 inches.
The Roo Systems lights are around the same price point as the Tough Toys ones we looked at, so they’re a lot more affordable than something like the Rigid Industries E or SR Series. The quality seems pretty good though; the casings are nicely made from aluminium with a black powder coating, the mounting fittings are stainless steel and the front lens is tough polycarbonate. We did notice that the casings are only sealed to IP65 standard though. That means they’re completely dustproof and can withstand a jet of water – so rain, road spray or a standard car wash shouldn’t do them any harm – but we’re more used to seeing IP67 or IP68. The Tough Toys lights we’ve tested are all IP67, so it can definitely be done at this price. The Roo Systems lights should be fine in most weather conditions but this is one area where they don’t quite match the competition – a light from Tough Toys isdefinitelygoing to be fine.
Still, we didn’t let the IP rating put us off, and had a look over the rest of the light. It does seem solidly put together and pretty robust, so unless it gets terminally soaked – and to be honest you’d probably have to dunk it underwater to manage that – it should last a while. To make sure the lights themselves last as long as the casing Ro Systems have used encapsulation technology, which they say protects the LEDs from heat build-up that can cause failures. The case makes a good heatsink too, and it has cooling fins built in along the back to shift as much energy as possible.
Now, how does it work as a light? The answer is pretty well. The LEDs are fully UV-screened, so there’s no worries about that, and they put out a nice, clear white beam. Roo Systems didn’t list the colour temperature of the LEDs they use but we’d take a guess at somewhere in the 5200K range. That means you get a beam that’s pretty close to daylight, and a nice clear view ahead. These bars are set up to give a flood beam, so you’ll get plenty of coverage off to either side of your track. If you want visibility far out in front consider adding a couple of spots, but for driving across country any of these bars would work great.
There’s nothing about the Roo Systems lights that makes them really stand out, but if you’re looking for a sturdy, effective lightbar at a good price they’re definitely an option to consider. We’d be perfectly happy to have one on any of our vehicles. If you do a lot of water crossings the extra security of a higher IP rating could be important to you, but for most tasks the Roo units will do you just fine.