AuxBeam light bar review

Alaska’s northern latitude results in some very dark days and nights. It’s also very easy to get into remote areas where things just seem darker. LED light bars and other types of auxillary lights are very popular. These lights are also frequently destroyed by the extreme cold, gravel, and rocks.  The abundance of snow also makes the LED light color hard on the eyes.  The LEDs, typically do not put off enough heat to keep the snow and ice melted off the front of the lights.  AuxBeam provided me their 22” cross-series light bar to review.  I was a little apprehensive because I know how harsh the conditions are and I did not expect much.  I recently completed a round trip from Fairbanks to Anchorage through dark and snowy conditions which really left me wanting more light.
 
I installed the light bar on the lower portion of the bumper on my 2007 GMC Yukon XL. The included bracket, wiring harness, and switch made installation quick and simple.  The wiring harness did not have the necessary connectors between the light bar itself and the wiring harness to make it a simple plug-and-play install though.  I used some connectors that I had left over from a previous install that I had completed which made it easy to run the wiring harness, install the bracket, and position the light.  The entire installation process still took me less than one hour, even with the -5 degree temperature outside.
The next morning I hit the road long before sun up for an ice fishing excursion.  The light performed really well providing a huge shower of light long down the road.  I did not notice any clear beam pattern but the light sure spreads out everywhere, which is what I needed.  The light also throws out far past the reach of my high beams, even with upgraded halogen bulbs.  The bulbs have run for a total off about 3 hours so far and there is no noticeable signs of wear despite the various gravel showers from the road.  There also has been no sign of condensation build up inside the lens, like many inexpensive light bars suffer.  The light bar has two modes – daytime running light mode where it lights up but does not project light and night driving mode where it projects loads of light.  The lower bumper mounting position did a great job of really highlighting the inconsistencies of the road surface.We will see how the lights fair after some longer term exposure to these harsh Alaskan conditions.
Overall, I found the AuxBeam cross-series LED light bar to be a great bargain and performed very well.  If you’re 9looking for an inexpensive light bar to improve backcountry and trail visibility, then I recommend you pick up some AuxBeam lights for your rig.
Pros:  value for the price; quick install by someone with 12v electronics experience; included hardware has security features to deter theft; light greatly improved nighttime visibility
Cons:  light bar and wiring harness lacked matching plugs; switch felt cheaply built; there were no installation instructions; light color is a tad harsh on the eyes in winter conditions – could use amber lens covers.
*** Update *** 4 March 2017 ***
I’ve been using this light bar for over two months. It gets used daily since Alaska experiences a great deal of darkness this time of year and I have good things to report. The lens has zero signs of moisture inside!  This was my biggest worry but so far we’re looking good. Also, the lense has held up well to being blasted by road debris. Overall, I am very comfortable giving this light bar my recommendation to buy if you’re looking for a light bar for a great deal.
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Episode 119 – Christmas Gift Guide 2016

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On this episode of The 4×4 Podcast, Dan, Craig, and Rich talk about all the things that they would love to find underneath the Christmas tree.

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Episode 118 – Raptor vs RAM TRX

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On this episode of The 4×4 Podcast, Craig re-joins Rich and Dan to talk about some interesting bits of news.

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Episode 117 – Just Catching Up

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On this episode Dan and Rich just catch up on the many weeks since they lost got together.  Rich has been out exploring on his KLR dual sport bike but also bought a new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck!  Dan has been out fishing, camping, hunting, and generally just exploring all over Alaska.  Craig was unable to make it for the show due to some technical difficulties but he’ll be back in the future.

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Episode 116 – Oregon Trail Offroad hits the road

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On this episode Dan flies solo an interviews the team from Oregon Trail Offroad one last time before they depart on their big adventure.  Sorry about the huge delay between episodes.  Starting a new position and going into a big work trip pulled me away from the show for a bit.  But I’m back and ready to get back into some more regular show production.

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Episode 114 – Fuel Economy

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On this episode Dan, Craig, and Rich focus in on how to improve fuel economy.  While we admit that none of us buy offroad rigs for fuel economy, its good to know what will give you the most bang for your buck when trying to improve your own fuel economy in your rig.  Everything from cutting weight to improving aerodynamics will help.  Or if you’re in the market for a new rig, maybe we have just the right one for you.  What do you think of the new Ram ecodiesel?  We have an article that indicates you can eek out more than 31 MPG from the 1500 series truck!  Madness?!  Maybe not!

Photo credit to Autoblog

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Episode 115 – Travel The World Overland with A2A Expedition

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On this episode Dan interviews Graeme and Luisa Bell about their new book, Travel The World Overland.  The Bell family has been staying at a dream location on the Mexican Baja peninsula for a few months hiding from the snow and working on their latest book, Travel The World Overland.  The book is currently available on Kickstarter but the deal closes on 28 May 2016.  You must act fast to pickup a copy of this hardback book full of beautiful photos and overland travel information that will help you learn from their mistakes and experiences.  To pick up your copy head over to http://the4x4podcast.com/traveltheplanet

 

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Episode 113 – Steven Lutz from Rugged Rocks

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On this episode we interview Steven Lutz from Rugged Rocks and Rugged Routes.  Rugged Rocks is a leader in pushing development of Nissan off road aftermarket performance parts through industry partnerships and original product design. If you’ve blown your Nissan Titan rear axle and need new gears, Rugged Rocks offers all of the OEM gear ratios, and more! If you have a suspension lift on your Nissan Titan with oversize tires or a Nissan Xterra or Frontier with a Titan swapped front drivetrain and you’re looking to regain lost power and improve gas mileage, then you’ve come to the right place! Rugged Rocks offers Nissan Titan ring and pinion gears for both the front, M205 and rear, M226 differentials in ratios up to 4.56! They also have Doug Thorley headers for many Nissan 4x4s such as the 3.3L V6 Xterra and Frontier as well as the 3.0L V6 Pathfinder and Hardbody. If you’re serious about taking your Nissan 4×4 Pathfinder, Xterra, Frontier, or Hardbody rock crawlnig, then you’ll want long travel suspension, a solid axle conversion and deep crawler gears and preferably dual transfer cases or doubler. You’ll also want some of our heavy duty motor mounts to keep that motor securely attached to the frame! Here at Rugged Rocks, Rugged Rocks has got your Nissan covered!

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Episode 112 – A2A Expedition with Graeme and Luisa Bell

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This episode we present to you an interview with one of the most famous families in the overland traveling world:  Graeme and Luisa Bell.  Graeme and Luisa decided to exit the rat race of South Africa to explore.  Their trip was named A2A alluding to their goal of traveling from Argentina to Alaska.  Graeme has also written a fantastic book titled We Will Be Free.  I absolutely recommend that you pick up your own copy of We Will Be Free at their website http://www.a2aexpedition.com/#!author/c16nk.

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Episode 111 – The Pioneering Spirit

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This episode of The 4×4 Podcast features an interview with Jared and Jen from The Pioneering Spirit.  Jared and Jen have shared a life of adventure from the beginning.  Now, they are striking out on a completely new adventure together.  The short version of the story is that they are having their Jeep JKU Wrangler Unlimited converted into a Bruiser with a 4BT diesel motor.  Then they are going to ship their loved Jeep to South Africa, pick up a Conqueror trailer and then explore Africa for a few years…and then maybe more!

 

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