Heretic Studio Lighting Review: A Detailed Look At Heretic Light Pods & Light Bars

Heretic Studio Off-Road Lighting

Why You Need To Know About Heretic Studio Off-Road Lighting – Insane Light Output & Obsessive Attention To Detail

We all know the big names in the off-road lighting industry: Baja Designs, KC Lights, and Rigid Industries to name a few. In such a saturated market, how does any new company stand out? Heretic Studio is quickly making a name for themselves with high-quality lighting that they make completely in-house, right here in the U.S.A.

Heretic Studio operates out of a small shop in Utah and its team obsesses over the details. They produce both universal and vehicle-specific light pods along with bars for the most popular vehicles and UTVs.

I’ve had the opportunity to run both their 20″ light bar and 4Runner-specific fog light pocket kit, both in the amber color. These lights have been absolutely killer in terms of lighting performance and durability. After running some trails behind friends and having gravel tossed up at them, they still look great.

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What Makes Heretic Studio Different

Heretic Studio Light Bar Amber Lens

Heretic Studio’s slogan is “Beyond Lumens” and if you’ve ever seen one of their lighting units, they truly are. In addition to using top-tier LED and lighting components, their lights are literal works of art.

For all of their lights, the entire housing is made out of a single block of 6061 CNC billet aluminum. These blocks are machined with integrated fins for ultimate durability and heat dissipation. All of this means that the light housings are super rigid and don’t flex at all.

Heretic Studio Fog Light Amber Product Shot

There is no plastic used on the Heretic Studio lights. The only component that’s close to plastic on their lighting units is the poly-carbonate lens covers. This is actually a better option than glass for its improved impact resistance from road or trail debris.

Heretic Studio Light Bar Construction

Once you have any of their lights, you’ll want to show them off. The light housings are probably the nicest ones that I’ve seen. I really like the all-black, anodized aluminum construction. The small details like precise chamfering of the aluminum to engraved logo deserve to be put on display and not hidden behind a bumper housing or grille.

I think the bright silver stainless steel lens cover bolts provide a great industrial look and some contrast from the all-black light housing.

Heretic Studio Amber Light Bar Brightness

Heretic Studio believes that claiming to be a top-tier lighting product doesn’t stop at lumen count. They strive to have the best designs for both reliable and high-quality light output. Running their 20″ light bar and fog light pocket kit for the 5th Gen 4Runner, I can attest to the light output being precisely aimed and not just thrown all over the place like cheaper, inferior lighting.

Heretic Studio lights are premium lighting products, and you definitely get what you pay for. They have a weighted feel that’s substantial enough without being bulky. From their fit and finish to their lighting performance, you won’t be disappointed.

Light Bars

Heretic Studio Amber Light Bar Mounted In Bumper

Heretic Studio offers their light bars in white or amber color and sizes ranging from 6″ all the way up to a massive 50″. They are not SAE/DOT compliant, but no light bar is. Light bars are dedicated off-road lights and should not be used with oncoming traffic.

I’m currently running the 20″ light bar with the popular combo beam pattern. This is the ideal mix of both flood and spot lighting types. In real-world driving, that means lighting up your immediate surroundings and probably half a mile down the road. Despite being one of their smaller light bars, this thing is insanely bright. I honestly can’t imagine how bright the larger sizes are.

All of the light bars use the common DT 2-pin connector type, so they can easily be wired up to your switch panel or with their optional wire harness.

Heretic Studio 20 Light Bar Amber

One unique customization you can make to the Heretic Studio light bars is the engraving. If you don’t want the default engraved company name, you can contact them to request custom engraving.

Specs For 20″ Heretic Studio Light Bar:

  • Wattage: 120W
  • Amp Draw at 13.8V: 11.3A
  • Voltage: 9V-36V
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Dimensions
    • Light Only: L 21” x D 1.5” x H 2”
    • Light W/ Bracket: L 22” x D 1.5” x H 2.4″
  • Lumens: 14520 lm
  • Lux At 10m:
    • Spot: 4125 lx
    • Flood: 878 lx
    • Combo: 2826 lx
  • Candela:
    • Spot: 412500 cd
    • Flood: 87750 cd
    • Combo: 282600 cd
  • Beam Distance:
    • Spot: 1285 m
    • Flood: 592 m
    • Combo: 1063 m
  • DOT Compliant: No
  • Prop 65: No
  • SAE/ECE: No

Light Pods

Heretic Studio Fog Light Amber On Close Up

Heretic Studio offers their light pods as both a 4Runner-specific fog light pocket kit or universal pods for applications such as ditch lights. For the latter, there are several options to choose from including the popular 2×2 and 1×2 pods seen across the industry. All of the pod lights are offered in white or amber color and in either the spot, flood, or combo beam patterns.

When I first received the Heretic Studio fog light pocket kit for the 4Runner, I was blown away by the quality. The fog light pocket kit is currently only offered in the combo beam pattern. It uses Heretic Studio’s Quattro light pod and has the same light pattern and characteristics as the light bar mentioned above. The fog light pocket kit comes with a stainless steel custom-built bracket that comes powder coated and fits perfectly in the factory fog light location. They are a completely plug-and-play kit.

Heretics Fog OEM Product Comparsion

The Heretic Studio fog lights are twice as bright as the factory halogen fog lights. Due to their high light output and pattern, these fog lights are not SAE or DOT compliant.

Compared to the newer factory LED fog lights on 2021+ 4Runners, the Heretic Studio fog lights aren’t less bright, just a different lighting pattern. These aren’t intended to be a wide light with a clean cut-off to supplement your low beams. Rather, the combo beam pattern adds to your lighting further down the road for better far-sight visibility.

Specs For 5th Gen 4Runner Fog Light Pocket Kit:

  • Wattage: 24W
  • Amp Draw at 13.8V: 2A
  • Voltage: 9V-36V
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Lumens: 2904 lm
  • Lux At 10m:
    • Combo: 500 lx
  • Candela:
    • Combo: 50025 cd
  • Beam Distance:
    • Combo: 447 m
  • DOT Compliant: No
  • Prop 65: No
  • SAE/ECE: No

Final Thoughts

Heretic Studio Lighting

If you’re in the market for top-notch off-road lighting, look no further than Heretic Studio. I’m a huge fan of their craftsmanship and that signature deep amber color. Originally, I looked at the usual brands but was unimpressed with the “amber” lights really being more on the yellow side. I have pretty bright white lighting already and wanted my dedicated off-road lighting to be on the opposite end of the spectrum.

In addition, I feel that a company’s customer service is often overlooked. Although you hope to never have to contact them, if you do, the experience can make or break your decision to buy from a company again.

For example, take one of my light bar’s mounting bolts. The nylon nut came cross-threaded and the bolt broke in half. Within minutes of submitting my question to them about the specific size to buy a replacement, they offered to ship out a replacement free of charge. Let me reiterate, they literally went through the trouble of sending me a single bolt and nut – pretty awesome of them.

Heretic Studio 20 Light Bar

A small detail that I really appreciate is the ease of lens cover replacement. In the unlikely event that they become damaged, the lens covers can easily be removed by removing the outward-facing allen-head screws. This isn’t only for replacing the lens cover either. If you want to switch between amber or clean covers, these can also be purchased separately.

Summing up, both my 20″ light bar and fog lights look great and have performed reliably in all environments. I honestly can’t say enough positive things about these lighting products! I would highly recommend that you take a look at Heretic Studio if you’re in need of some awesome off-road lighting.

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