Installing a LED tailgate light bar to your truck allows you to standout even more on the road. Most light bars allow you to select between various lighting modes, which illuminates the rear of your vehicle in red, amber or red light.
The best LED tailgate light bar is the OPT7 Redline, which uses 90 LED’s within a watertight silicone tube to produce bright light output.
Compared to a forward facing LED light bar, tailgate light bars provide driving, braking, signalling and reversing lights to the rear. This is made possible by connecting to a trailer adapter in order to run the lights in sync with the vehicle.
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Tailgate Light Bar Comparison
|Tailgate Light Bar||LED's||Amber|
|Putco 91009-60 Blade||2,000||Yes|
Installation of a LED tailgate light bar is far easier than you would expect. Most are as simple as peeling back the adhesive and sticking it onto your tailgate. Once its in position, you can connect it to the trailer adapter to run the lights in sync.
All tailgate light bars will have a red light output but others also include white for reversing and amber for turn signals. However, its worth noting that this will come at a premium price tag but it’s totally worth paying the extra.
Below is a list of the best LED tailgate light bars that illuminate the rear of your truck whilst driving, braking, using your turn signals and more.
The Best LED Tailgate Light Bar
1. OPT7 Redline Tailgate Light Bar
The OPT7 Redline is by far the most popular LED tailgate light bar and for good reason. It’s available as a 48 or 60 inch unit that provides a more stylish running light, brake light, turn signal and reverse light. The Redline model also has the benefit of being able to sync with your factory lighting using a universal mounting system.
Compared to factory lights, the OPT7 Redline provides up to 5 times the amount of light output, which may be an essential feature for many truck owners.
Other features of the OPT7 Redline include:
- Syncs with your factory lights
- Uses 90 triple-core Alpha LEDs
- IP67 waterproof rating and watertight silicone
- Uses a rigid aluminium frame and casing
- 30,000 hour lifespan
- Connects easily with an OEM 4-pin connector or hard wired
- Supplied with a 3M adhesive system
- Includes a 2 year warranty
The OPT7 Redline is the best LED tailgate light bar for the money that is simple to install and comes with a two year warranty. Once the light bar is installed to the tailgate, simply plug in the connector to the trailer adapter and you are fully setup.Check it Out
2. Putco 91009-60 Blade Tailgate Light Bar
For those looking for something a bit more special, the Putco LED tailgate light bar is the answer. It includes over 2,000+ high power COB LEDs and channel light beams for an enhanced light output in white, amber and red.
As with many of the alternatives, the brand offer two sizes that include a choice of 48 or 60 inch lengths. Both are completely waterproof and come with an impressive three year warranty for complete peace of mind.
Other features of the Putco 91009-60 Blade include:
- Operates running, brake, reverse and amber turn signal lights
- IP69K waterproof rating
- Tinted polycarbonate housing
- Includes a 4-prong harness
- Available in 48 or 60 inch lengths
- Only 3/8 inch wide
- Includes a 3 year warranty
Although the Putco comes with an expensive price tag, it’s built to the highest of standards. It also comes with the highest waterproof rating and is one of the brightest on the market with the desirable amber lighting. It’s one of the best LED tailgate light bars but if you are on a budget, the OPT7 alternative is the better option.Check it Out
3. Nilight TR-04 Tailgate Light Bar
For those looking for an affordable tailgate light bar with the desirable amber lighting, the Nilight TR-04 is perfect. It’s available as a 49 or 60 inch construction but the 60 inch is the best option that includes 504 LEDs, which are lined up in a triple row.
In terms of the installation, it simply sticks into place using the sticky tape attached to the rear of the housing, which can be placed straight onto the tailgate. You can then connect the standard flat 4-pin and the reverse wire to a 12V DC power source.
Other features of the Nilight TR-04 include:
- Lifespan of over 30,000 hours
- Silicon sealed for durability during all seasons
- Plug and play with a standard 4 pin connector
- 6 lighting functions with red, white and amber lights
- Sequential strobe light functionality
- Includes a 2 year warranty
Overall, if you require a cheap LED tailgate light bar, the Nilight is the best option. Compared to similar priced alternatives, it offers more lighting modes, is suitable for all weather conditions and is more long lasting with a lifespan of over 30,000 hours.Check it Out
4. Recon 26416 Tailgate Light Bar
The Recon is another brand that produce a range of light bars and the 26416 model is by far their most popular. It’s a one-piece fully sealed polymer construction that provides excellent protection against even the worst of weather conditions.
This particular LED tailgate light bar is only available as a 60 inch unit but the brand state its suitable for most full sized trucks and SUV’s.
Other features of the Recon 26416 include:
- SAE & DOT approved for street use
- Universal fitment for all pickup trucks
- Plug and play installation
- 60 inches in length
- Includes 90 days warranty
- 3M adhesive tape installation
- Red LED running, parking, hazard, turn and brake lights
- White LED reversing lights
The Recon 26416 LED tailgate light bar is a great all-rounder that is ideal for the majority of pickup trucks. Compared to some of the cheaper alternatives, the Recon 26416 uses the 3mm diode LED technology compared to the weaker SMD type. This superior LED bulb provides a far brighter illumination, which is far more desirable.Check it Out
5. Partsam LED Truck Tail Light Bar
The cheapest LED tailgate light bar on the market is by the Partsam brand. Their tailgate light bar uses 60 red and 30 white LED’s for bright illumination at the rear. In terms of the functionality, there are modes for parking, driving, turning signal and brake lights.
Other features of the Partsam Tailgate Light Bar include:
- Durable rust resistant flexible strip
- IP67 rating and suitable for -20 Fahrenheit weather
- Peel and stick installation using 3M tape
- Universal fit for the majority of pickup trucks
- Includes one year warranty
- Available in 48 and 60 inch lengths
The Partsman LED tailgate light bar is ideal for those on a budget and provides great resistance to water or extreme temperatures. The lack of LED’s mean that they will not be as bright as the alternatives but it’s a fraction of the price.Check it Out
6. MICTUNING Truck Tailgate Light Bar
Another affordable tailgate light bar for truck is by the MICTUNING brand. It’s a dual row of LED’s that provide a much bright light output when compared to a single row alternative. In terms of the LED lighting, there are 120 red and 60 white lights, which are suitable for running, brake, reverse or turn signal lighting.
An impressive feature of this LED tailgate light bar is the fact that it has a running life of up to 100,000 hours. Considering the low cost of the unit, its far more long lasting than many of the premium options available on the market.
Other features of the MICTUNING Tailgate Strip include:
- Dual row of premium LED chips
- Powered through a 12V supply
- Supplied with self-adhesive tape
- 60 inches in length
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Syncs with the vehicles lighting
Overall, it’s an affordable tailgate light bar that promises to provide long lasting light output to the rear of your truck. Although it may not be as high quality as some of the alternatives, you will certainly save yourself money.Check it Out
LED Tailgate Light Bar Buying Guide
Adding a tailgate light bar to pickup trucks is a very popular modification. Not only does it serve the purpose of making you standout on the road but it also greatly improves the appearance of the truck. When compared to alternative modifications, adding a tailgate light bar is relatively affordable and easy to install.
The majority are available in sizes ranging from 48 to 60 inches but before purchasing, you will want to ensure that it will fit your truck. To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding tailgate light bars.
Number of LEDs
When purchasing LED tailgate light bars, many people may desire for the brightest light possible. In order for this to happen, it will require additional LEDs, which usually come in rows. This does come at a cost but the difference in light output can make a huge difference.
The Putco Blade (recommended in this article) includes an impressive 2,000 LED’s, which compared to the Partsam with only 90 LED’s is a big difference. Many brands may also include an amber light within one of the rows for turn signals.
In order for light bars to work in all weather conditions, its important that they are waterproof. You should ensure that it has a waterproof rating of at least IP67. More expensive examples such as the Putco Blade exceed the minimum and it has an IP68K rating, which makes it a great off roading light too.
Along with being able to resist water damage, it must be able to withstand some impact damage. Polycarbonate housing is very desirable as it will protect the LED’s and also be scratch resistant, which won’t effect the light output.
Length and Compatibility
Almost all tailgate light bars are universal fitting and compatible with all pickup trucks. The most popular light bar lengths are either 48 or 60 inches and we highly recommend that you take a measurement prior to purchasing. The last thing you will want is the disappointment of the tailgate light bar being too small or too big.
In terms of compatibility, most tailgate light bars can be connected to the trailer adapter or hard wired. Modern trucks that have complex signaling system may come into some issues but apart from that, installation may only take a few minutes.
Installation of the Tailgate Light Bar
As mentioned earlier, installation is fairly straight forward and most follow the same installation procedure. Below are brief steps to installing a tailgate light bar:
- Prepare and clean the mounting surface
- Peel back the adhesive sticker
- Ensure that the light bar is in the center of the tailgate
- Place the light bar on the tailgate
- Allow the adhesive to harden
- Connect to the trailer adapter or hard wire
It really is that simple and it doesn’t require any difficult tasks unless you want to hard wire the connection. If you are noticing flickering, ensure that the connection to the trailer adapter is secure and there is no dust or debris inside the adapter.
Installing LED tailgate light bars is a popular modification that makes a huge difference in both daylight or in the dark. All of our recommendations cover a range of different types that include single or multi-colored light bars.
There is a wide range of cheap tailgate light bars available but don’t expect any bright light or long lasting durability. Paying slightly more for superior build quality and better quality LED chips used inside the housing is highly advised.