Cree LED Light Bar vs Rigid

Are you interested in adding a light bar to your vehicle for the first time? If so, you may not know the difference between Cree LED light bars vs Rigid. It’s hard to tell if you don’t know what you are looking for.

Model

Lifetime Hours

Lumens

Warranty

Price

Our Rating

Cree LED Light Bars

40,000-50,000

28,880

Limited lifetime warranty

$

Rigid LED Light Bars

Over 50,000

16,389

Limited lifetime warranty

$$

You see, Cree and Rigid are some of the most common names in the light bar industry. So, it’s only natural that you would be torn between the two while browsing the internet for the newest set of lights that’ll light up a dark off roading path. Let me give you a little insight on both products.

Cree LED Light Bars


  • 40,000-50,000 hours of lifetime
  • 28,880 lumens
  • Extruded Aluminum housing
  • Aluminum mounting brackets
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pros

  • More affordable than most Rigid light bars
  • Deep cone technology
  • 100% dust proof-perfect for off roading
  • About 50,000 hours of life

Cons

  • Not D.O.T Approved
  • A lot of complaints about moisture in the bars

Let’s Check Out Cree

Cree provides their users with a light that shines brighter while using less wattage than their competitors. Their light bars are known for their high efficiency and brightness, which has led them to become one of the top names in the light bar industry. So what else is it that makes them stand out from Rigid?

Affordability

Unlike Rigid, most of Cree’s light bars are under the $200 price range, whereas I have seen Rigid ones go up to $1000. As someone who usually sticks to a budget, I can appreciate a company that makes affordable products for their consumers.

Warranty

Cree offers a limited lifetime warranty. This covers defects in workmanship and materials for the life of the unit as long as the product was properly installed and under normal conditions.

Illumination

Cree has high praises for the amazing illumination that comes from all of their light bars. Take for example their 50” curved Cree LED. I have seen high praises for the brightness of these lights.

This bar also has a luminous flux of 28,880 lumens. The illumination that these lights produce enough light for construction sites, agriculture vehicle lighting, heavy equipment lights, and mining.

Lifetime

Cree bars are meant to last over 40,000 hours to about 50,000 hours. Realistically, if you are running your lights 3 hours per day, you’ll have 16,666 hours of run-time, which comes out to around 46 years.

If you are spending a decent chunk of change, you should expect your product to last, such as this one. With Cree, you’re getting that peace of mind.

Composition

Most of Cree’s products have an extruded aluminum profile and aluminum side mounts. The oversized heat sink and housing will keep the bar safe from the harsh environment, especially if you’re getting them muddy or wet.

The polycarbonate lens also helps to keep your lights safe from tree branches that may hit it or anything else that it comes in contact with.

Rigid LED Light Bars


  • Over 50,000 hours of lifetime
  • 16,389 Lumens
  • Aluminum alloy housing
  • Powder coated stainless steel mounting brackets
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Virtually unbreakable
  • Over 50,000 hours of life
  • They have under/over voltage protection
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • They’re all torture tested

Cons

  • More expensive than most competitors
  • Some light bars don’t seem as bright as Cree’s

Let’s Check Out Rigid

Rigid is a huge name in the light bar world. Most of the time, if you ask someone about a light bar, they’ll mention Rigid. They are another company that says their light bars have a brighter illumination while using less wattage. Not only that, but theirs come in multiple optics for numerous applications. Let’s check out what they have to offer us, shall we?

Affordability

I am quite disappointed to say that these light bars are far more expensive than Cree. Even their smaller bars run either at the same cost as a large Cree or higher. Don’t let this get you down though. Cree is a big name and known for their reliability.

The cost of these kind reflect on all of the technology, time, effort, construction, and durability that comes with it.

Illumination

The Rigid lights offer a peak beam intensity of 472,500 cd and 16,389 lumens in their 50” light bar (the same size as the Cree mentioned above). If that isn’t bright enough for you, you can also find ones specifically meant for large construction sites, boats, and more.

There are 27 LED’s in a 50” bar that takes 257 watts, 17/8 amps, and has forward projected optics that optimize the light output. Back lighting is also available in blue, red, green, and white. There are also two branding plates and a dedicated wire that runs back-lighting without the use of primary LED’s.

Lifetime

Rigid lights last over 50,000 hours of use thanks to the 120+ raw lumens. The LED driver circuitry sends 97% of the power directly to the LED’s and the custom designed heatsinks that are conveniently oversized, keep them running much longer, cooler, and brighter. These also prevent damage to the LED’s and the components that surround it.

One of the great things about these light bars is that if there is damage to any part of the light, only the LED’s in that section will fail. It’s not like other bars that if they get damaged, all of the lights stop working.

Warranty

All of Rigids products have a limited lifetime warranty against workmanship and materials. If your product is powder coated, you get a 2-year warranty on the finish. There is also a 2-year limited warranty against accessories, covers, kits, and mounting covers.

Composition

Most Rigid products are made from an aluminum alloy housing with powder coated stainless steel mounting brackets and hardware. The lens is made from a high impact polycarbonate material and the whole light bar itself has been torture tested.

When they do a torture test, they make sure the lights and the housing is going to withstand the most epic off roading experience. This ensures that all of their products are living up to the standards promised to consumers.

What It Looks Like

So Which Is Better?

Overall, if you are looking for a product that is going to give you the most for your money, I would recommend the Rigid light bars. I know they’re expensive, but you are also getting a high quality product that has been thoroughly tested for quality and durability through torture tests.

This 50” light bar is one of their products that I would recommend if you are really looking to light up the night. I have been off roading more times than I can count and I wish I knew about this particular one before-hand.

As always, please feel free to leave a message if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

Leave a Comment: