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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:00 AM   #1
ErikTheRad
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Harbor Freight off-road light comparison

Just trying to be helpful to my fellow Jeepers so I thought I'd share my Harbor Freight light comparison. This afternoon I bought 3 different lights from HFT, not knowing which lights worked the best. I bought the twin-pack of smaller rectangular lights ($9.99 for the pair), the round rubber-bodied work light ($7.99 each), and the chrome 6" round off-road light ($9.99 each). Took them home and tonite after dark, I hooked up each one to the Jeep battery to test brightness, range, and beam. IMO, the cheapest of the three (the $9.99 twin pack) was the clear winner. Bright light, focused beam similar to the stock headlights, and the beam easily lit up my back fence a good 250' out. The chrome 6" light was almost as good but there just isn't enough difference to justify the cost (twice as expensive as the twin-pack). The rubber-bodied work light? Don't waste your time or money. Dull light, unfocused, no range, just horrible. All three lights have the same basic mounting requirements, just drill a hole and mount with the included brackets. The twin-pack comes with wire, which isn't long enough to use for roof-mounted lights, but the included rocker switch is so cheesy I can't bring myself to even consider its use. I'll get a nice toggle and a relay from Radio Shack. Even still, these lights seem to be a bargain at $20 for the four lights I'll need.

Hope this helps somebody.

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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:07 AM   #2
CRJEeP_wj
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Cool thanks for the info. So you liked the rectangle lights the best? Ive been considering throwin some cheap lights on the jeep just wSnt sure about the HFs. Were there any other choices?
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:23 AM   #3
ErikTheRad
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Yeah, they have a $29.99 twin-pack of round lights with plastic grills, but I didn't check that set. I was trying to keep it extra cheap.

I was plenty impressed with the $9.99 set, a lot of light from such small lights and the price is quite nice.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikTheRad View Post
Yeah, they have a $29.99 twin-pack of round lights with plastic grills, but I didn't check that set. I was trying to keep it extra cheap.
I have a set of these mounted on my safari bar. They work great. I have 2 switches to control the relay for the lights. One switch is just on and off, but the other switch is the one I leave on all the time, it activates the lights when I turn on my high beams. It's a world of difference using those extra lights driving at night. I just have to pay extra attention to oncoming traffic, since I don't want to blind anyone.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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Some states have hefty fines for using of road type lights on roads. They might outweigh the usage while driving.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 05:12 AM   #6
CRJEeP_wj
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Im gonna have to go pick some up soon. Eriktherad You in marysville ca?
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Unread 06-25-2013, 12:27 PM   #7
coltman151
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So the little rectangle ones are more of a spot beam? That's a real good price and all the reviews on hf say they are good.

Also the website says they are 4.5 inches wide, is that about right? I think I can fit 6 of em on my roof if that's the case.

Thanks for showing me these!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
ErikTheRad
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Yes, I'm in Marysville Ca. I see you're in Oroville, we're practically neighbors.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 12:46 PM   #9
ErikTheRad
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The lens itself is 4 1/2", but the overall width is closer to 5 3/4". And yes, its more of a focused spot beam, not a flood light.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
gearheadnick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
Some states have hefty fines for using of road type lights on roads. They might outweigh the usage while driving.
I'm well aware of that. That's why I make sure I turn off the high beams as early as possible. Most of my nighttime driving is on secondary roads with less traffic or in towns where I don't need high beams anyway. I've passed a few cops that I know saw them lit up and didn't bother me. I account that to me being lucky
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Unread 06-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
CRJEeP_wj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikTheRad View Post
Yes, I'm in Marysville Ca. I see you're in Oroville, we're practically neighbors.
Yup. Is there a harbor freight in marysville or yuba city?
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Unread 06-26-2013, 04:50 AM   #12
ErikTheRad
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Originally Posted by wjCREEPjeep View Post
Yup. Is there a harbor freight in marysville or yuba city?
No but I work in Roseville near the Galleria, theres a Harbor Freight just over the freeway. I was just there again today and bought a second set of lights, a recovery tow hook, and a hi-lift jack. The Chinese get alot of my money through HFT..... I admit, as much as I can't stand most Chinese garbage, HFT is pretty handy for alot of stuff. Even handier that its right there on my way home.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 12:38 PM   #13
coltman151
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Got 3 sets of these coming
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Unread 07-02-2013, 01:20 AM   #14
billzcat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikTheRad View Post
Yeah, they have a $29.99 twin-pack of round lights with plastic grills, but I didn't check that set. I was trying to keep it extra cheap.
I had a set of these, the Harbor Freight "Long Range Off-Road Driving Lights". Mounted them up on my ZJ between the stock fog locations in front of the grille. Hated them. They are a super-long range spot pattern, no dispersion at all. The adjustment mechanism was a joke as well, they have little detents for the adjustment, so you can't fine-tune the spot pattern where you want it very well. When they got dirty, you can's wash the glass (grilles removed) without taking the whole light apart. And they got water in them.

On the plus side, they were super bright. In just one little spot.

I also had the $17.99 HF fog lights (the rectangle ones that look like stock ZJ fogs) and those were great, none of the problems that the $29.99 oval off-road lights had. Would highly recommend as a fog/driving/off-road light.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 01:25 AM   #15
ErikTheRad
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I just mounted the 4 lights to my roof rack, I'll get some pics up soon. Jeep is apart right now getting new springs, shocks, tires, and paint. Doesn't look real good at the moment.
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