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I wanna hear everyone's pros and cons of buy american light bar vs Chinese. For me personally I don't have the money to go out and buy rigid products.I also don't know if the quality is worth the cost (I can replace a cheap lightbar multiple time vs buying one quality one). I have led light bars on my truck all them being eBay and Amazon specials. Now I know some people only want to buy american and I try to whenever I can but, this is an instant I can't. So to start how does everyone feel about this.
 

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The higher end stuff will be just that... higher end. I have looked at rigid products before, and known some people who have them. My biggest fear with having them is parking somewhere and coming out to find them gone.
 

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it's always a what you get for what you spend. As you stated, you can replace a cheap one 4 times and still be under what one of the high end units costs. 1/4 the price, but lasts at least half as long and puts out sufficient light? Seems like a fine idea to me.

The whole "buy American" idea isn't as simple as people think it is. Our trucks are a prime example. Japanese company, but American built. So, we are supporting workers here in America, but the profits go to japan...
 

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I would say most of the light bars however are made in China. Even the high end stuff. It can be sold by an AMerican company and still made in China. However as the Other Sean Pointed out that is not all bad. At least the American company gets some of the profits.

What really pisses me off are companies that try to sell this made in America image. However gets all their products made in China and attempts to hide it by slapping "Designed in America" labels, and or big USA print on the product.
 

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Depends on what purpose.
Do you need high end lights for a daily driver?
No.
Do you need the most reliable lights when racing? Absolutley yes!
I try and buy American when I can( taps, drills end mills, etc.) but I buy what is the best for my needs.
Just so happens,I think that American made shocks( King,Fox)are the best but I also have Bilsteins on my Dodge.
 

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Coming from working in a related manufacturing field, I'll tell you the facts: Comparing light bars based on the whole "America vs Chinese" stereotype is pointless. Truth is, of all the countries on the planet, China manufactures a lot more products than anyone else, and they manufacture A TON of products - from really bad, cheap, disposable stuff all the way to really good, high quality, reliable stuff (and aside from the quantity, you can say the exact same thing with products made in America, too). Without getting all into it, quick example of high-end made in China is an iPhone, which is always high quality components, manufacturing, quality control, and performance.

Also, like @Nissan4Life mentioned above, there are many "American" companies based in America that sell products that are manufactured in China, or are assembled in America using China-sourced components. So as far as the "American vs. China" discussion, the bottom line here is that it doesn't matter where the item is made, what matters is the level of QC* (quality control), service, and support from the company selling the product.

*note, QC isn't just selling you the good products, but includes the quality of the components used during assembly, the quality of the actual assembly procedures, post-assembly functionality testing, etc. etc.

About the second part of your question: Is the quality of the premium brands i.e. Rigid Products (as an example) worth the cost? That just depends on what your definition of value is.

I bought Rigid lights, King shocks, PIAA lamps, etc. for my truck. I paid the premium price because I prefer using known brands, I prefer products that are proven performers, and I prefer brands where the company is established and has high marks for service and satisfaction. And yes, there is a "fashion" reason as well - they look good, people who know the brands know that they're not knock-offs or lower-end, and it makes my truck look good to me - which is what matters the most.

I'm not a fan of the whole "well I can replace my no-name lights 4 times for the same price as 1 set of Rigids" type of thinking. That opinion is strictly based on the illusion that you're spending less money for a product that you're assuming will be as reliable as the more expensive one. So for example say over the course of 2 years you had to replace the cheaper lamps 4 times. Great - then you just spent the same amount of money in the end with more hassle. You had to buy 4 times, install/uninstall 4 times, meanwhile the other guy with the Rigids has had trouble-free, reliable performance 2 years straight without having to replace once in the same time frame, at the same cost, with less hassle and labor.

Also, @whistler has a good point too - depends on the purpose. If you're just buying lights to look good in the neighborhood, maybe you don't need premium lamps, because if they fail you can just go home, order another cheap set, install them a few days later, and be on your way.

Now try that if you're in the middle of a remote mountain while on a camping trip with no stores and no internet and no Amazon delivery, or try that in the middle of a race, (like @whitsler) when your cheaper lights go out, and guess what - you have no more light when you really need it. Replacing is not an available option. GLHF.

Hope that helps you decide. I see this topic come up a lot due to my job, and in the end the bottom line really is this: if you can't afford it, then you can't. I'm not trying to be condescending or knocking on you personally, it's just the reality of your budget, and that's also what I say to prospective customers in my line of work. It's understandable that many people cannot justify spending on premium; that's why it's "premium".

So if "ebay/Amazon specials" work for you, then they work for you... unless one of the things you're looking for is being able to say a brand name (among other things of course) - then you go premium.
 

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Chances are, the cheap ebay ones will be JUST FINE. Sure it depends on the product, but most of these electronics are all made in China to begin with, yet for 50-75 bucks I can get a badass 50" lightbar that outputs a ton of light and will last years. Or I could pay 1500.00 for the same one that will make me feel like it'll last longer and make me feel like it outputs more light.

That said, If I was rock climbing or a skydiver, I'd then pay for the best of the best, but a light bar, a phone charger i'll take the cheap stuff all day long and love it
 

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I too come from a manufacturing back ground. We built spacecraft. Virtually everything is documented, inspected and tested.
All assembled in clean rooms and high bays where you had to wear those bunny suits.
I guarantee there are no Chinese parts on our satellites.
 

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I don't really have any preference for the American vs Chinese made stuff, i subscribe to the buy the best I can afford philosophy. That said my $150 50" amazon special light bar has lasted 3 years and has now fogged up, while my 20" Rigid E-series is going still going on strong and its been abused much more than the 50". The 50" lights up a lot of real estate, but my thoughts are the light output on the rigid is better than the amazon special although they both have cree LED's, never tried any other kind of LED.

Keep in mind now there are a variety of other companies out there now in the moderate price range without having to go straight to a rigid bar and might have better quality than the eBay/amazon specials.
 

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Certain things I am accustomed to.
My machinist tools for example.
I just bought a boring head off of EBay. I have two American ones made ones also.
These have not been made in years.
It was a choice between a German made one or this.
I paid $600 for it, used!
 

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Keep in mind now there are a variety of other companies out there now in the moderate price range without having to go straight to a rigid bar and might have better quality than the eBay/amazon specials.
I think that "middle ground" is ideally what a majority of us would prefer to have - not dirt cheap disposable no-name yet not premium priced high end... it's just a matter of figuring out which of those "middle" brands are of good quality and performance for the price.
 

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The cheap lights often have issues with moisture getting inside. Some inflated performance claims as well.

For small lights, get the nice stuff and be done.

For the big lights, it can pay to make the gamble. So long as the light is an accessory and not a necessity, a cheap one with good reviews. If it fails, try another. You can go through a couple of cheap ones until you get a good one and still be ahead of a high end one.

IF you are racing and the light is a necessity, just go straight to a Rigid and be done. It will work, it will be bright, you can't blame loosing the race on the light giving up on you.
 

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Go on amazon and check out your options. They provide ratings and reviews. A few include videos of lights being smashed with hammers multiple times, sawzalled, dropped from buildings etc and still working. 4.5 stars and hundreds of reviews and ratings are telling. I buy what I can afford and sometimes it's American, other times not. I never worry about being judged for my purchases and hope you don't either. Good luck!
 

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I have a cheap bar off Amazon. It's nowhere near as good as the name brand bars I have seen, but it has worked well enough for me for a couple years. (It doesn't have an easy life-see avatar) When I got it the "I can replace this 8 times before I'm up to Rigid prices" did cross my mind, partly because a friend had just had his light bar stolen off the front of his truck.
 
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