“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
Picking the right LED spotlight for your off-road rig can be a bit overwhelming as there are so many options to choose from. My hope with this article is that I can offer you two options to choose from. Now before we get into the details, I would like to mention that I have had set of both of these lights mounted on my Jeep Wrangler for almost a year as of the writing of this article, so my knowledge of these lights comes from long term use.
The first thing that should be considered when buying a set of off-road lights is your budget and these two lights really could not be further apart from each other in price difference. The Rigid Industries D2 Hyperspot LED Lights are on the very high end of the price range, selling for just over $210. The Auxbeam LED Spot light on the other hand, go for just around $59 for the pair. That’s big difference, especially if you are considering purchasing several lights. You can buy eight Auxbeam spot lights for the price of just two Rigid’s and that is pretty significant if you are an average guy like me.
Both of these cube LED lights measure around 3 3/16” wide and are just under 3” tall. They are both aluminum and feature good heat sink designs. The most significant difference between the two housings is that the Rigid Industry lights are powered coated, while the Auxbeam lights are painted. Now when they are brand new, you can’t tell the difference, they are both black and shiny. However, after a year of use I can say they now look very different. The powder coating on the Rigid lights has held up very well and look almost the same as when I purchased them. The paint on the Auxbeams on the other hand, has faded significantly and now looks more flat dark gray and not the shiny black they once were. So if you are concerned about the look of the lights, the Rigid might are the best option here.
So both lights have similar looking lenses and they both use four 5 watt LEDs. The Auxbeam touts their lens as being a Philips 4D fish eye design, while Rigid calls theirs a Specter Optics that they have patented. Honestly, when you look at them, it’s difficult to see much of a difference. The front lens cover on both lights also looks identical, but what I can say is that after a year, the Auxbeam’s have started to yellow. Both have some mild scratches and abrasions from trail and road use, but the Rigids are still a very nice clear plastic.
The Spot Beam
Okay, so here is where we start to compare apples and oranges. These lights market themselves as deliviering different spot beam patterns. The Rigids are a 10 degree beam and the Auxbeams are 30 degree beam. So to be fair, it’s really not a perfect comparison. However, these are spot lights, not flood or driving light. The goal of using a spot light is to throw a focused beam of light straight ahead. If you want a wider light, then you would go with a flood, diffuse or driving style beam. Spot lights are a nice compliment to your overall off-road lighting system. I use diffuse lights mounted on my windows and have the Rigid Industries spot LED’s mounted on my bumper and the Auxbeams spots mounted on my roof rack. Hands down, the Rigid hyperspots throw a more focused beam of light down the trail than the Auxbeams.
Left: Auxbeam, Right: Rigid Industries
Now here is where there is really a big difference. With the Rigid Industries light you get a full wire loom that has battery connectors, a relay, an inline fuse, and weather proof connectors. All very well built and everything you need to hook these lights up straight to your battery. With the Auxbeams, you get one black and one red wire that are about 10” long. It’s up to you to figure out how to wire them. Now you can pick up a wire loom that has everything the Rigids does for pretty cheap. I have an SPOD system on my rig and I only require a power and ground wire, so the Rigid wire loom is priced into the price of the lights, but I didn’t use it. So it really comes down to what your needs are.
The Mounting Hardware
The mounting hardware that comes with both lights is more than adequate. I have never had any issues with mine slipping while out on a rough trail road and they are fully adjustable to whatever angle you prefer. I will say that the Rigids D2’s are a little easier to setup, because they are designed to hold the mounting nut inside the light, whereas the Auxbeams Spots you have to have something thin to keep the nut from moving while you are screwing the bolt in…. shoving a screw driver in there works well.
So which lights are right for you? As I mentioned, I am running both on my Jeep. If money was no option, I would probably have all Rigid Industries lights on my rig just because I like the powder coating and the intensity of the spot beam, but for now the Auxbeams are helping supplement my off-road lighting needs.