While many trucks and SUVs have options for windshield mounts, a lot of vehicles don’t have specific brackets, and require some creativity to get them installed. Despite quite a bit of research into previous Grand Cherokee installations, it didn’t seem that anyone else had ever put a light bar on the roof, and I’d need to pave the path to accomplish such a thing. My plan was to get as wide a light bar as I could fit, packing in as many lumens as possible in a very sleek and minimally invasive housing, and mount it underneath my roof rack’s aftermarket crossbars. With just over 3” of clearance from the roof to the bottom of the crossbar, this without question limited me to a single-row kind of fixture at the maximum width I could manage to fit. After a fair bit of research it became clear that the 30” Black Oak LED single-row light bar was the perfect option for a clean and powerful light installation on the Jeep.
Delivered just three days after I ordered it, I was already blown away by Black Oak’s operation. Unfortunately the included brackets didn’t allow the setup to fit underneath the crossbars, but it only took one quick phone call to Jon at Black Oak’s customer service to get a pair of their low-profile “short brackets” in the mail. These light bar brackets are nearly half the height of the regular bracket, and allowed the light bar to fit without issue. I used the included hardware to drill into the front crossbar, mounting the LED underneath, and then spent a bit of time running the wiring harness down through the Jeep’s roof rack channel before tucking it into the tailgate and wiring it through the interior to a 12v relay that’s triggered by a switch on the dashboard. I’ll take a moment to note that this bar draws just over 10 amps, so using a relay is highly recommended as a safety measure against potential electrical fires in the vehicle. In just a few hours time with a few basic hand tools, the 30” bar was situated on the roof and wired up for use… and then the fun began.
It’s hard to describe just how powerful the punch of this light bar is. While the Black Oak website lists out the 16,500 lumen spec of this unit, it’s hard to relate that to anything for comparison. I’ll take a scientific stab at this by saying it packs roughly the same amount of light as the sun on a clear summer day. The bar throws out nearly a mile of light, and can truly transform the world around you on a dark night. I’ve now been running it for almost a year, and it has worked wonders illuminating the trails and remote backcountry roads ahead of me in some of the more desolate areas of North America. It’s no joke that when driving, what you can’t see can in fact hurt you. If you’re looking for a slim-lined and easily adaptable fixture to light the world around you, do yourself a favor and don’t overlook the power packed inside any of Black Oak’s Single Row fixtures.
Ryan McKee - 2180 Miles