How to install an LED light bar on the roof of my truck?

If you are like most off-road and truck enthusiasts, one of the things you’re probably REALLY interested in is installing LED lighting. This whole market of upgraded lighting has exploded in the last 2 years and everyone is very eager to get their truck’s upgraded as soon as possible! One thing that has become a trend though in the last few months is redneck style roof mounting… You’ve probably seen it done where you live and heck, maybe you’ve done it yourself.

The white truck in this picture mounted the light bar on the roof incorrectly. The black truck is done right.

The white truck in this picture mounted the light bar on the roof incorrectly. The black truck is done right.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I hate the look, but I can’t blame some people! They buy a 50″ light bar for their truck and it comes with brackets – so you mount it on your truck, right? I believe the secret to successful lighting upgrades is education, so I’m going to show you the right way and the wrong way to install a roof mount light bar on your truck, the biggest trick is getting a hold of a vehicle specific roof mount kit. If you installed your light bar like this, then you did it wrong:

THE WRONG WAY:

When you use the “universal” brackets that come with the light bar and just mount them to the top of your roof skin it LOOKS STUPID! Don’t do it! These “universal” brackets are a cheap way to mount your light bar, and then guess what happens – your truck looks cheap!

Listen, I don’t mean to belittle your manhood because you didn’t know any better, but now you don’t have any excuse. Let me show you the proper way to mount a light bar to your truck, it’s important to find a good vehicle specific light bar bracket kit, or fabricate something that works the same way, the end result should be something like this:

THE RIGHT WAY:

GMC Canyon Roof Light Bar Canyon LED Roof Mount Light BarOn this Canyon, a set of N-Fab roof mount light bar brackets were used for the install. The first thing you’ll notice is that it looks better than the first set of pictures. Getting the light bar up and off of the roof makes the whole setup look great. Secondly it allows you to position the light bar in a more usable way. Getting the light bar up and away from the roof allows the light bar to not be blocked by the roof skin right in front of it.

Here’s another example on another vehicle of how to properly mount an LED Light bar on the roof of your truck:

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar

XPI light bar has two sets of holes on each side that both bolt on the mounting feet. Since we’re doing a roof mount, we got to choose which hole to use and decided on the top one. That brought the Light Bar closer to the roof.

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar Roof Mount install

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar roof mount install completed.

 

photo 2 (1)Probably the best way to find out which vehicle specific light bar bracket to use is to first contact Headlight Revolution. They know what works and what doesn’t and can definitely get you set up with not only a light bar bracket, but also the right mounting and wiring components to make it all work.

 

Wiring: When you get the light bar properly mounted to your roof, and all the holes are sealed to become waterproof, it’s time to run your wiring. DO NOT just run the wiring loosely through the door jam.  The best way to do this is to drill a new hole in your roof near your roof mount brackets and run the wiring down directly into the cab of the truck. This is the best method because it is the shortest distance for the wire to travel, and it has the least chance of getting smashed in your door jamb.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

 

However, if you’re really not sure how to do the install, you should either be prepared to drill holes in your roof as a learning experience, or hire a local professional install shop to do it for you.

If you need any help with what bracket kit you need for you truck, just ask!

GMC Canyon Roof Mounted LED Light Bar

If you have a GMC Canyon or Chevy Colorado, and you want to put a roof-mounted light bar on it you’ve probably found that nobody makes a vehicle specific kit. A friend of mine wanted to add this type of Light Bar setup to his 2007 Canyon and I found a product that actually works really good!

Canyon LED Roof Mount Light Bar

You’ll need these items to make it work (Click the links to see each part):

For this installation we actually installed Nut-Certs into the roof, drilled a hole through the roof for the wiring to go through, and used stainless steel cap bolts from the hardware store. All I wanted to help with was to show pictures that it can be done, show you what size light bar to use, and some pictures to give you an idea of how it all goes together.

We used the Vision X brand XIL-801 Flood Beam LED Light bar, it’s 42″ long and fit perfectly on the roof of this Canyon. We got all of the parts to do this install from Headlight Revolution, so if you want to replicate this install contact Headlight Revolution at this link: HERE.

How to Roof Mount Install the new Vision X 51″ XPI LED Light Bar

Have you seen this new LED light bar technology from Vision X? They’ve invented a light bar that uses individual reflector style LED optics instead of the traditional style, and THEY ARE NOT ALL STRAIGHT! This is a totally innovative way to design a light bar, just check out the effect when turned on:

The other thing that is different about the new XPI series of LED light bar is the mounting method. There was no option for side / end-cap mounting, only with the supplied brackets, and these supplied brackets are not designed to mount on the roof using an N-Fab bracket kit, so we got creative and made it work! Here’s how we did it:

 

Vision X 51" XPI LED Light Bar install parts

These are the install parts that came with the Vision X 51″ XPI LED Light Bar.

The Vision X 51" XPI LED Light Bar mounting

The Vision X 51″ XPI LED Light Bar comes with two options for mounting. Bottom style “foot” mounting like this.

The Vision X 51" XPI LED Light Bar

This second option is installing mounting feet to both ends.

 

We wanted to do something a little different. With roof brackets already installed on the Tundra, we wanted to do a roof mount install. If you’re like us and want to install the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar on your roof, keep reading and we’ll show you what we did.

Bolt size for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

By bringing the Vision X bolt that was included with the XPI light bar to the hardware store, we were able to find its size. M6x1.0

Bolt size for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

The bolt we decided on was a Hex Flange Bolt, M6 x 1.0P x 16mm

Bolt and washers for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

We also picked up some locking washers and a pair of heavy duty Grade 8 washers (not pictured here).

Bolt and washers for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

On the right you’ll see the bolt that was included with the XPI light bar. The one on the left is the one we put together. We wanted something stronger and longer to support a roof mount install.

lock tight for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

We added some lock light to the bolts.

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

XPI light bar has two sets of holes on each side that both bolt on the mounting feet. Since we’re doing a roof mount, we got to choose which hole to use and decided on the top one. That brought the Light Bar closer to the roof.

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

With one side bolted on, we went to the next side.

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Roof Mount install

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar roof mount install completed.

This style of mounting method worked, but I don’t think it would be recommended by Vision X! If you want to copy what we did, beware that you do so at your own risk!

After doing the install and driving around with it mounted on the truck for a while, here are some new tips and tricks:

1. Install a rubber washer between the light bar and the roof mount brackets. This will help with any vibration you might have and keep some positive pressure on all of the hardware.

2. If you have vibration issues try removing the long metal bracket that supports the underside foot-mounting system. To do this you have to break the seal on the end caps, which voids the warranty, but then you won’t have that loose metal bar clanging around. Be careful, we can do it for you if you don’t want to try it!

3. It’s really easy to point the light bar up too high or down too low. Play around with it, keep the tools in your truck and mess around with it at night until you get it just right!

If you want to order a Vision X XPI (Xmitter Prime Iris) light bar please contact Headlight Revolution for all of your LED needs!