When wrapping up Project Frank Burns, our long-term SCX10 project, I realized that the truck had lost all of its lighting. The original light kit had been hacked and cobbled back together numerous times and didn’t find a home on the new Power Wagon body. I don’t run much at night but for those “just-before-dusk” beauty shots I wanted some form of lighting to make the photos pop and to light up the trail for the trip back to the car. The Ridgeline bumper on the front of the truck has provisions for this 2″ LED light bar built into it making the choice simple.
Inside the bag is the light bar itself, mounting hardware and the brackets needed to mount said light bar into or onto most any project. Thanks to the design of the Ridgeline bumper I would not be using any of the brackets. Wiring is as simple as plugging the pre-installed male receiver plug into a free channel on the receiver as the unit can be powered by as little as 6 volts. If brighter output is needed the lights can be powered directly from a 3s lipo as the LED’s can handle 12v with no issue.
Installation of the bar was as simple as removing the bumper, unbolting the faux winch fairlead, and bolting the light bar in its place. In all honesty it took more time to route the wires into the receiver box and tidy up the wiring than it did to install the hardware itself. I am powering my lights directly from the Castle Creations BEC using a y-harness. This will give me constant power without taking anything away from the receiver or servo.
For its initial test I turned the shop lights off and shut the door to create an analog of night despite it being midday. This little guy puts out some lumens! The swath that the bar is able to illuminate is impressive. For most conditions this would be more than enough to light a walking path while returning to the trail head. The light disperses to cover the track width of the truck and can be used on the rocks by itself but for my level of vision running at night isn’t possible (night blindness keeps me off the rocks after dusk). If running all night is your cup of tea, consider pairing this 2″ mini-bar with a full width brow bar or a roof mounted unit for lit-like-noon levels of night driving.
During testing I did misjudge a few rocks resulting in a several tooth gnashing impacts to the bumper and light bar itself. After several packs I am happy to report that the light bar is still scratch free and burning bright. I suspect that with repeated abuse the light may suffer some cosmetic damage but given its mounting location within the bumper I wouldn’t expect to see any physical damage occur unless the light bar takes a direct impact from a sharp object that can focus its energy directly into the lens.
Overall, I have zero complaints about the Pro-Line 2″ LED Light Bar. It is simple to install, works extremely well and doesn’t break the bank. For most running conditions the bar lights up enough trail to make slow crawling in the dark much easier and unless the truck is driven off a ledge and onto jagged outcroppings of rocks I would expect the bar to continue to look and perform like new for quite a while. The 10 LED array supplies an ample amount of light without being power hungry and is a nice finishing touch for most any project.