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eBay, Rigid, Baja Designs offroad LED bar comparison

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  • eBay, Rigid, Baja Designs offroad LED bar comparison

    As suggested in another thread, I'm posting this up here. Hopefully a revised version of this thread can include the new 20" from TRS. If I do a revised comparison, I'll go ahead and take some pictures of the FX-R 3.0's, 04-06 Maxima fogs (with H3C 4300k HID bulbs), the BMW X5 LED fogs and any other random lights I have on the bench in the garage.

    The lights I'm using:

    Headlights: GE Nighthawk H4 upgraded bulbs

    Rigid Dually Pair: Flood Pattern (using these as reverse lights, so the aiming of these is low and wide)

    Rigid SR: I'm using two of the SR 10" Specter (driving beams) for this comparison since they put out a lot more light than the SR 20" bar.

    Ebay bar: Generic 22" CREE bar rated at 120w using (12) 10w LEDs. Combination flood/spot beam

    Baja Designs ONX bar: 20" driving beam bar (same light output as 15" bar, but has spacers to fit in a traditional LED bar space)

    I went out awhile back and took some pictures. All camera settings (shutter speed, etc) are identical, but it's still a basic point and shoot camera at night.

    This clearing is a little over 100' wide, and the farthest trees visible in the "All LEDs on" picture are 1600-1800' away. The ground disappears around 1300' away, so pretty much right at 1/4 mile. At the very end of the clearing, there's a house right at a mile away that you can barely see.

    Upgraded GE Nighthawk headlights, low beams only: $40

    Upgraded GE Nighthawk headlights, high beam only: $40

    Pair of Rigid Dually flood LEDs, aimed low and wide (they're my backup lights): $150

    Two Rigid SR Specter 10" lights (driving beam): $560

    Ebay bar (22" 120w CREE spot/flood combo): $170

  • #2
    20" Baja Designs ONX bar in Driving Beam(identical to 15" bar, just has spacers): $580

    All three front LED bars on (no headlights): $$$

    Light locations on front of truck: (Rigids on top, Ebay bar in middle, ONX on the bottom, and headlights are where they belong)


    • #3
      The LED bar contenders:
      #1 - (2) Rigid SR Specter 10" bars
      --10,200 lumens, driving pattern
      Price as purchased = $560

      #2 - 20" Baja Designs ONX
      --8,600 lumens, driving pattern
      Price as purchased = $580

      #3 - 22" Ebay 120w combo bar
      Ebay CREE LED bar
      --12,000 lumens, spot/flood combo
      Price as purchased = $168.50

      This is only a preliminary test, and more will come over time.

      Initial quality: Fit, Feel and Finish
      The Rigid bars are mid range. The hardware is high quality, the aluminum and finish feel nice. The Rigid bars are the only one in the test that include a wiring harness, switch, etc. The polycarbonate lens is thick and easy to replace. The aluminum is cast with what I assume is a painted finish. I've had these for several years now and the sun has faded the black finish substantially. Think Nissan Xterra plastic parts... The bars come with mounting brackets that are easy to use for many mounting options.

      The BD ONX bar is incredible. Everything about it is top quality. Machined, anodized black aluminum make this bar a work of art. Hardware is top quality. Mounting brackets are great as well, with a great adjustment feature where you don't have to loosen the light mounts to adjust, you just loosen the adjusters. This bar does not come with a wiring harness, but most people installing this level of light are typically wiring their own stuff. The polycarbonate lenses are easy to replace as well.

      The Ebay bar is about as expected. Aluminum and finish are both a little soft, but they look nice. The end caps are plastic and seem a little more flexible than I like. There is no wiring harness and the wire itself appears to be steel or some other non-copper based wire. The polycarbonate is pretty thin, but for the span, I'm sure it's adequate to protect from rocks and other stuff. The mounting brackets are a little chintzy, but they offer decent adjustability. I prefer the end mounts of the other bars for ease, but these would work wonderfully for mounting to tubing or flat plate.

      Beam Pattern:
      The Rigid bars are more of a long range flood. There are no hot spots, just a wide, tall, even light everywhere you look. Much wider than the other two, with more light to the sides and a taller beam as well. These bars excel at spotting deer in the fields as you drive down country roads. The reflections from signs is terrible as a result of the wide beam. I have no idea why the width doesn't translate in the photos considering the camera settings are the same. Maybe I need a better camera...

      The BD ONX bar is a long range spot beam with some flood thrown in for good measure. Distance is incredible, and I really like this beam pattern for driving down dark roads at night due to the longer range. Deer spotting isn't great, but you'll still see ones dangerously close to the road. Road sign reflections aren't as angry as with the Rigids.

      The Ebay bar is a combination of flood and spot. There are 12 lights, with two flood beams on each end and eight spot beams in the middle of the light. The resulting beam is very similar to the ONX in pattern and quite nice for general driving as well.

      Beam Color:
      The Rigid bars are rated at 5600k and are white with a decent bluish tint. I'm not a big fan of the blue as it's harsh on the eyes at night, especially in sign reflections. Your eyes naturally adjust back to darkness much more quickly after having seen warmer color lights like red and yellow, and the blue takes more time. This is the reason why many car companies use dark orange/red for the dash lights and instrument clusters. Same reason why you see red lights in submarines, boating, etc.

      The BD ONX is rated at 5000k and honestly, is more comparable to 4300k HID lights that I've seen. Very white with almost a tinge of yellow, but not quite. By far the best color of the bunch. Things seen at night look more realistically colored using this light.

      The Ebay bar is rated at 6000-6500k, which is pretty blue. Honestly, I think they're closer to the 5800-6000k range because they're quite close to the Rigid bars and I trust Rigid's rating more than the Chinese translation.

      Overall impressions:

      All lights put out a lot of light and even though there's a big difference in lumen ratings, all put out very similar amounts of light.

      The Rigid lights win for a wide beam pattern and compact housing. This light really compliments the other lights due to the extra wide output, though that's hard to see in the pictures. These lights are also much smaller than the other two, so if you're tight on space, these might be the lights for you. For the money, I'm not sure that these lights are worth the extra width, especially considering the price I got was hard to come by.

      The ONX bar wins for quality, distance and color. You can't see it in the pictures, but the distance is still a good bit farther than the Ebay bar. The light color is much nicer than the other lights as well. This is a light you buy to use hard for a long time when only the best will do.

      The Ebay bar wins for bang for the buck. It's got a great beam pattern, and even though the beam is more blue than I like, it's a good option for most people, assuming it lasts. It's cheap, and if it takes a beating, that's fine. If anything breaks, you throw it out since it's not serviceable like the other lights. You can buy three of these for less than the other lights, so the output would be much more than the others when the price is a factor.
      Last edited by soundman98; January 18th, 2014, 05:03 PM. Reason: remove odd url's


      • #4
        In the daylight: (ignore the front bumper, I'm slowly building it from scratch)

        Rigids up top on the hood, Baja Designs on the bottom side of the bumper.


        Only picture I have of the eBay bar: (ignore the pumpkins, I'm still working on HIDs for those holes)
        @ Matt & Andrew: Some Sealed7's would be really nice right now...

        Last edited by Speedrye; January 18th, 2014, 02:48 PM.


        • #5
          Dude sweet FJ. That's really nice looking


          • #6
            thanks for the review! i look forward to seeing the trs bar included with that!
            The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time


            • #7
              Originally posted by mdufficy View Post
              Dude sweet FJ. That's really nice looking

              Thanks! It's a work in progress, but it's getting where I want it to be. Still waiting to add some HIDs in the bumper, but I need the weather to cooperate some so that I can finish painting the last few parts.


              • #8
                "Aurora" LED lights seem to be nipping at heels of rigid in build quality and light output. Might be worth looking into those too - especially usability of the beam patterns
                2013 Jeep JK Wrangler - 4.10, Eaton e-locker. Sealed7, Hella Micro-DE
                1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D.
                Mini H1 in 7" housing


                • #9
                  something can be said for rigid's support system as well.. couple years ago, they started having issues with water getting into the bars but not coming back out, they really didn't do anything until there was a massive thread about rigid light failures on the raptor forum... 'rigid aquarium' after that rigid has always left kind of a bad taste in my mouth....
                  The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time


                  • #10
                    Nice, I definitely didn't expect the Ebay lights to shine the brightest! And for the price, I'd definitely go with that if I could lol. I didn't notice a color difference from the pics, but the bluer color is a downer. +rep


                    • #11
                      Really suprised at the eBay bar. I've been wanting to put a 20" down on my bumper only because I can fit one without any cutting/modding. I dont do any offroading and also I don't want to be "that guy" with a light bar on the street

                      They do look cool though. :sigh:
                      ***MH1 Retro***
                      "America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."
                      - Tennessee Williams


                      • #12
                        Seems as though most led light bars are very similar in output but the price range is huge. I am currently running a 30" TUFF Led bar from amazon and my kid has a 50" in the same brand. The output is awesome and the quality seems to be good. Time will tell how long they last. Great reviews on amazon. My truck at work has two expensive Vision X bars on it but these cheap ones from amazon put out more light.
                        1996 F350 - Morimoto Mini H1 6.0 - Denso ballasts - 5000K Morimoto H1 3fives - V3 switchbacks DRL/Turn- V3 tail/turn - 30" led bar - Twin 5" bars.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gold94corolla View Post
                          Nice, I definitely didn't expect the Ebay lights to shine the brightest! And for the price, I'd definitely go with that if I could lol. I didn't notice a color difference from the pics, but the bluer color is a downer. +rep
                          The eBay bar surprised me as well. In the end, I chose to keep the Rigid and Baja Designs bars on the trucks and the eBay bar is hanging out in the garage doing nothing for now. The color was just too blue for my eyes and I didn't feel it was adding much to the lighting of the truck.

                          I drive back roads with lots of deer most of the time, so I use the bars on the street (illegal, I know...) but I'm very careful not to blind other drivers if I even see a hint of lights coming at me. In the end, I run amber lenses on the Rigids and left the BD alone. The amber lenses cut output by close to 50%, but they're incredible on wet roads and rain. I'm really thinking of putting the eBay bar on my FR-S behind the grill though...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Speedrye View Post
                            I use the bars on the street (illegal, I know...) but I'm very careful not to blind other drivers if I even see a hint of lights coming at me.
                            Up here in Alaska a very high percentage of vehicles run auxilary lights including State Trooper cars. Most people call them "moose lights". Works best when you wire them up with a on-off-on switch. Wire them up so that one position is on, center is off and the other is a high beam trigger so when meeting traffic you aren't hunting for switches.
                            1996 F350 - Morimoto Mini H1 6.0 - Denso ballasts - 5000K Morimoto H1 3fives - V3 switchbacks DRL/Turn- V3 tail/turn - 30" led bar - Twin 5" bars.


                            • #15
                              I have 2 30" eBay bars, dual row 180w, only one installed but I am very happy with them (not to mention they were $200 shipped for the pair)
                              Not that it's much to compare to anything at all but here's some output pictures
                              My girlfriend does occasionally run it on road to watch for elk, general rule is to not use it on roads with lines painted in them
                              I have it on a dual throw switch so it's either on, off or on with high beams
                              stock 05 ram headlights

                              headlights with 30" bar

                              Same thing again

                              I also put 2-7.5" 36w double row eBay bars behind the grille of my dad's Ram but I never got around to taking output pictures of them
                              Last edited by Stangshcky12; January 19th, 2014, 10:56 AM.