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Old 08-16-2019, 01:30 PM #1
mogg851 mogg851 is offline
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Harbor Freight Roadshock Ditch Flood Light

I know, Harbor Freight, let the flaming begin.

I'm new to this, and cheap, and wasn't sure how much I'm actually going to use these so I couldn't justify the nicer ones price tag, and I've spent my money on other upgrades. I'm just a tinkerer so I generally don't buy high end unless I know I'm going to use it enough to make it worth while. I couldn't find any results for these on the forums so I figured I would give back and see what others thought. If I find I use them enough and need more output I can always upgrade later. I already had my Rago "Blemished" low pro brackets and HAM antenna mount here, and found a few times I was out late that being able to see more off to the sides would have been handy. Ok, onward:

Coupon a while back priced these out at $20 for each and another $20 for their wiring harness, so $60 total.
https://www.harborfreight.com/3-in-led-flood-light-64322.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/off-road-light-wiring-kit-64330.html
The lights individually seemed to be well built, and heavier than I had expected, but I have not felt the weight of other brands lights to compare it to either. While I didn't open them up to check for thermal compound, heat syncs, or gaskets, the metal casing has plenty of fins which should do an ok job at dissipating some heat. There are 2 nylon nuts that drop in between two fins to receive the allen head bolts to secure the light housing to the mounting bracket, on on each side of the housing. The bracket and light housing had a few detents to add some resistance to movement once tightened down to keep the light aimed where you would want it.

The switch that came with the harness was garbage, standard circular backlit rocker switch that was flimsy and didn't have a satisfying click.


When I purchased my ditch brackets I threw in one of Rago's fitted switches for the blank and will be using that. I just cut the terminals off the switch end of the harness and soldered to the harness that came with the new switch after routing through the firewall.


The harness itself seemed well built, completely covered in a plastic out sheath that made it easy to work with and might offer at least some dust protection. The harness was pre-wired to a connector for the bottom of the relay, which I'm sure is nothing special, battery terminals with inline fuse holder(with 5A-30A fuses), the white connector attaches to the shorter cable to route through the firewall to the switch, and the DT style connector output. I've not used these DT Connectors before so I can't speak to their longevity, but they seemed to seat together snugly.

A separate harness was supplied to split the output to both flood lights:


I ended up cutting the section of the main harness to the DT Connector as it was upwards of 6ft. longer than I needed. It was at this point I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find that it was made with aluminium wire, and not copper, but at $20... I cut a number of inches back from the connector and pulled the plastic shielding back enough that I could properly heat shrink the wires and the plastic cover back in place for a "splash resistant" fitting.


Ran the splitter along the firewall at the top, connected terminals, etc. As I had the low profile brackets, the mounting bolts for the bracket that came with the light were a little long for my comfort, but probably would have worked. I had some shorter bolts/nuts from another project and used those. They included a rubber pad to go between the mounting bracket on the light and the Rago bracket and a healthy amount of pigtail (almost 12" I think) from the light to route down the bracket under the hood and into the connector against the firewall. In this next picture you can see the white connector coming through the firewall grommet for the switch as well as the end of the driver side pigtail from the flood light.



And how do they perform?
I've been exploring the national forest roads of central Oregon, usually after work, so occasionally I end up out well past sunset. It's nice having some more light, and I'm using them as ditch lights, so being able to see a split or another road off to the side without having to turn down it has been very handy. I also like the high temperature of the light output compared to the stock headlights, and when I'm on my way back it's helped to spot some deer further on the sides of the road earlier than I would have been able to with just the headlights/fog lights, but they are only used on under-traveled roads with no other cars around. I took some coverage comparison shots, just used my phone camera, but it should give a decent idea.

Low beam headlights only(stock):


Lowbeams with foglights(stock):


Highbeams (stock):


Highbeams (stock) with floodlights:


Lowbeams (stock) with ditch lights:


Lowbeams with foglights (stock):


Highbeams (stock) with ditch lights:


I'm sure they are not as bright as Rigid/KC/Baja Designs/etc. but they are also 1/5th the cost. I've had them on a few weeks now, and no sign of dust or water behind the lens. Taken them through a fair amount of dust in a few sittings and one sitting through the drive in bay style car wash. I would argue that if anyone is un-sure of spending on the high end units, test these and see how much use they get. Worst case you are out $60 and some time, but I feel like we always want more lights and they could be re-used as rear facing or off the side of rack, or...?
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:07 PM #2
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Output def seems weak. But you did a great job. It's more then functional and now upgrading will be super easy if you decide that's even necessary.

I've been using several harbor freight tools for damn near a decade without replacement. A lot of it's shit, but if it works why pay triple? Plus you just return it if it's crap.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:20 PM #3
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I like harbor freight. No hate here.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:24 PM #4
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Nice work man! Just Rock Em and get out in the outdoors.. i buy all kinds of harbor freight items, they usually always work if you know how to tame the expectations.. some are really really good.. CClamps, rolling tool carts, sockets, sand blaster for example!

Where did you get power for the lights? fuse box or did you go directly to the battery?

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Old 08-16-2019, 03:43 PM #5
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Nothing wrong with some of the Harbor Freight stuff. I’ve had some of their tools for 20+ years. My bench top belt sander is going on 24 years. Their floor jacks are very reliable too(14 years no problems). A year ago I purchased one of their higher end Vulcan MIGMax 215 welders designed to compete with Lincoln and Miller. It’s been flawless at about half the cost.

Nice job on the lights!
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:46 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosco11 View Post
Nice work man! Just Rock Em and get out in the outdoors.. i buy all kinds of harbor freight items, they usually always work if you know how to tame the expectations.. some are really really good.. CClamps, rolling tool carts, sockets, sand blaster for example!

Where did you get power for the lights? fuse box or did you go directly to the battery?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
The supplied terminals on the wiring harness went straight to the battery. As it had an inline blade style fuse socket and I don't have a fuse block setup (yet) I just went with that. The relay handles the high current and the cabin switch is the low current signal. I just checked the manual and they speced the two flood lights to use the 5A fuse. So far so good.
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