What is the Purpose of an Amber Light Bar and How Does it Work?

If you’re in the market for a light bar then you might have noticed “amber” color light bars. Why would you want your light bar to be a shade of orange? There are a couple of reasons why you would want an amber colored light bar. Desert racers are what’s driving the light bar industry forwards, they need lights that perform in all conditions. One of the conditions when off-road racing is being in someone’s dust with almost no visibility. Standard light bars struggle in this situation which is how the “amber” light bars came to be.

Driving in Dusty Conditions

When dust particles are in the air they can reflect light that is shined on them. If you’re in someone’s dust your lights will literally light up the dust making it nearly impossible to see through. This effectively makes your expensive light bars completely useless. The solution to this is finding a way to not light the dust up, but for the light to cut through it and light up the trail. How the heck do you get the light to “cut through” dust? This is where the idea of an amber lighting comes into play.

Orange or “amber” light bars can penetrate through dust, snow, fog, rain, or any other low visibility conditions. This is simply due to how orange light behaves with it reflects off of objects. Unfortunately, many amber light bars have fewer lumens than standard light bars. We have heard that green LED light bars also cut through dust extremely well, but we have yet to confirm if that’s actually true.

If you don’t own an amber light bar there are a few solutions to make driving in the dust, fog, rain, or snow easier. If you have a roof mounted light bar don’t bother using it in those conditions. It will just light up everything directly in front of the windshield making it nearly impossible to see anything. If you can move the light bars to the bumper then you definitely should. Mounting the lights low will stop everything light up in front of the windshield and make it much easier to see.

Summary

Basically, it just boils down to this: white light reflects off stuff very easily and amber light doesn’t. If you already own a white light bar you can apply amber tint to it, however, we would recommend selling it and buying an amber light bar. Amber tint won’t work as well as a true amber light bar. Check out our full Light Bar Buying Guide to find some of the best amber light bars.

About Bryce Cleveland 225 Articles
Bryce is a die hard car fanatic. When he's not working on his Jeep Cherokee, he's beating it up in the desert. He started Dust Runners Automotive Journal in 2014 and continues to write content for it as much as possible.

1 Comment

  1. It’s interesting that amber light can penetrate through dust and snow more effectively than a white light. I didn’t realize that this could be so helpful to an off road truck but it makes sense that any extra visibility is helpful in some situations. I’ll have to look into getting amber lighting for my truck because I’m going to start driving more at night and I want to ensure I’m able to see the vehicle in front of me on dusty roads.

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