Lightbars help increase your visibility when driving at night or in areas with low lighting such as forests. The only downside to light bars is that they can make an annoying whistling noise.
The sound is created by wind passing through the cooling fins of the light bar. That’s why the sound gets louder as you drive faster. You’re not crazy, and there’s nothing wrong with your vehicle. You can silence the whistling noise of your light bar.
- Wind isolators
- Lightbar silencer
- Fabric light bar cover
- Wind diffuser
1. Wind Diffuser
You can purchase wind diffusers online or you might find one for sale where you purchased your light bar. There are two types of wind diffusers: clip-on and bolt-on. I’m more comfortable using one of the bolt-on types. I don’t want to spend my relaxing drive worrying if the clip-on diffuser is going to fly off of my vehicle. If you don’t mind taking a chance and want to save a few bucks, you can purchase one of the clip-on diffusers.
These wind diffusers eliminate the whistling noise by redirecting wind that would normally flow through your light bar. These curved plastic strips attach to the underside of your light bar. Once you’ve obtained your wind diffuser, you need to install it.
For the clip-on type, you’ll just pop it right on to the bottom of the light bar. After clipping the diffuser to the light bar, you’ll want to grab it and give it a gentle yank to ensure it is secured to the light bar.
For the more secure bolt-on light bar, read the instructions attached thoroughly before installing the wind diffuser. The wind diffuser will come with the appropriate screws or bolts for the job. Using your drill, drive the bolt or screw through the outer edge of the light bar.
Once the diffuser is in place, you’re ready to go. Jump in your vehicle and take a quiet, meditative drive around the block and enjoy the silence.
2. Wind Isolators
If you’re still experiencing a whistling noise when you zoom down the road, the cooling fins on your light bar may be vibrating unnecessarily. This is no fault of your own as some light bars have cooling fins that are more flexible than others to allow for cooling even when obstacles exist.
Wind isolators are often made of rubber. They are curved with protrusions that go in between the cooling fins. Take your wind isolators and clip them on to the light bar. Most isolators come in pairs, and two isolators are supposed to be sufficient for one light bar up to 30 inches. If you’re concerned with the appearance of your light bar, place the two isolators on the very edge of the light bar’s cooling fans. I care more about silence than aesthetics, so I placed four wind isolators equally spaced across the length of my light bar.
When used in conjunction with a wind diffuser, you can guarantee that the whistling noises will be no longer. I’m one for security, so I took the liberty of spreading some super glue on the top and bottom prongs of the wind diffusers before putting them on the light bar.
The superglue isn’t necessary, and I don’t recommend it if you’re planning on reselling your light bar sometime soon. I intend to keep my light bar for its entire service life, so I’m not worried about what the next person will think.
3. Light Bar Silencers
This may be step one for you if you’re not willing to install wind diffusers or isolators. It’s okay to be lazy sometimes. Lightbar silencers are just transparent light bar covers. These covers fix the issue of whistling by preventing wind from following through the cooling fins at all.
The aerodynamic shape covers the light bar’s front face completely, leaving only a small opening in the back. The opening in the back still allows air to flow out of the cooling fins so you don’t have to worry about the light bar overheating.
Not only do these transparent covers keep your light bar from screeching at you while you drive, but they also protect your light bar from debris. All it takes is one little rock being sling-shotted by another driver to break your light bar.
These covers are one size fits all, and if you’re not happy with the excess hanging off the end of your light bar, you can cut it down. The installation of these light bar silencers is quick and painless. No tools are required except your bare hands.
You’ll need to pull the edges of the silencer apart. With the silencer spread open, place it over the light bar. Since you can only spread one end of the silencer apart at a time, you’ll need to do one side at a time.
Once the first part is secured over the end of the light bar, you’ll need to pry the far side of the silencer open. Slip it over the light bar, and release your grip. The silencer should snap firmly in place. You can slide it down into position until it covers the entire light bar. Enjoy the peace and quiet you get after installing this light bar silencer.
If you need to cut down the silencer, open one end of the silencer and remove it from the light bar. Follow the same procedure with the other side. The easiest tool to use to cut down the light bar is a chop saw. Place the silencer on the bench of the saw, engage the saw, and pull it downwards.
Remember: measure twice, cut once. You should mark where you need to cut when the silencer is on the light bar. Cut just short of where you marked, then put the silencer back on the light bar. If it’s still too long, remove the silencer and cut it down once more.
Silencers can also come in different colors and patterns. You don’t have to change out your entire light bar to get blue, green, or purple lights. You just slip one of these silencers on, and it’s like a two-for-one special.
4. Light Bar Covers
These covers are not to be confused with the transparent plastic silencers that we were just discussing.
I’m talking about fabric light bar covers. These covers are meant to be used when the light bar is not in use. Unless your job is exclusively driving around at night, you don’t need your light bar every time you drive.
When you aren’t using your light bar, use a fabric light bar cover. These protective sleeves slip over your light bar. Just wrap the cover around your light bar, and secure it appropriately. Some may tie at the ends, while others can have Velcro or buttons to secure the cover.
Not only do these covers prevent that horrible whistling noise when your light bar isn’t in use but they also protect your expensive light bar from the elements. The covers are waterproof and dust-proof, and they protect your light bar from UV damage from the sun.
If you’re unfortunate enough to live in a state that tickets drivers for displaying light bars when they’re not in use, these handy covers can save you the cost of a ticket for a small investment.
5. Put it All Together
If you’re serious about stopping the whistling noise made by your light bar, you can put all of these great ideas together. You’re going to go in the order the products were mentioned.
First, install your wind diffuser. You need to put on the diffuser before the isolators because the isolators may inhibit good contact with the light bar. Mount your wind diffuser to the underside of the light bar. For clip-on diffusers, simply pop them into place. With bolt-on diffusers, mount the diffuser on the underbelly of the light bar.
With the diffuser secured, you can now apply the wind isolators. Insert the wind isolators into the cooling fins of the light bar. I recommend using two to four isolators per light bar. Using more than four isolators will restrict the airflow out of the cooling fins, and your light bar could easily become overheated.
Once your isolators are in place, it’s time to put the silencer on. You’re going to open one end of the silencer and slip it onto the left side of the light bar. Then, open the other end of the silencer and secure it to the right side of the light bar. Center the silencer so that it covers the entire light bar.
If you’re looking to hit the road and use your light bar, now is the time. You can safely use your light bar without restricting the light emitted from it, and you don’t have to hear that whistling noise.
Once you get back home, or daylight breaks, cover your light bar with the fabric cover. Keep the fabric cover on your light bar until the next time you intend to use it to light up your way.