Light up the Night with Golight

Feb. 06, 2006 By Mike Martin

“Seek and ye shall find.” Said the wise man…

Well in this case he was right on the money. In the midst of a search I came upon a lighting product that I had not experienced in my many years of duning. My eyes zoomed into the pages of to reveal a 12Volt 370 degree rotational, 500,000 Candle Power search light with the ability to tilt 135 degrees vertically, all with the use of a wireless controller! This means, that at the mere touch of a button, all of the light that I need can be placed right in the area where I need it. That’s what I call convenience! No more being at the top of the hill with my headlights pointing off into the distance while I stare down at the darkness below. How many times during those night rides have you needed the light where it wasn’t, and had plenty where you didn’t need it? I know, too many times…

My first concern was the size of the unit and where it would fit. I could envision it on a larger vehicle like a truck, or a rail, but how about a smaller side by side vehicle like a Yamaha Rhino? Well, after contacting Golight for the dimensions of their Stryker model light I had a good idea just where to mount this fixture. Fortunately, I’ve learned to let my present good equipment mounting ideas make way for future better ideas.

Upon receiving the Golight Stryker unit (model 3049), I opened the box and laid out the contents. Included was the fixture, a rock guard cover, a wireless dash mount remote, a wireless hand-held remote, batteries for both remotes, a stainless steel mounting plate (under the light), mounting screws, a bushing, and a complete instruction guide. The gloss black housing of the fixture and guard are constructed of the highest quality UV ray resistant high impact material on the market. The remotes themselves are covered in a rugged but flexible waterproof material that is easy to grip and handle

Now that I physically have the fixture I can better determine where to mount it based on aesthetics, and usability. The footprint of the fixture is roughly 6 inches square, and there is a rubber gasket around the bottom of the base for sealing purposes, so the unit must mount on a flat, fairly smooth area. Since the frontal area of the vehicle roof contained neither of those factors, I decided to build a mounting plate. Note: don’t plan on mounting these fixtures upside down; it will void the 5 year warranty.

I began by tracing around the outer edge of the fixture base on a sheet of paper; I then took the tracing to a copy machine and increased the size 105% to allow for a small ledge around the base gasket. I taped the outline to a piece of aluminum plate and cut it to size. Next I removed the stainless steel mounting plate from the base of the light and mounted it with #8 stainless steel screws into the aluminum plate. Whether or not you need to build a mounting plate, be sure not to forget to install the rubber bushing to protect the insulation on your wiring to the fixture. I painted the aluminum plate black to blend in with the roof and threaded it to accept 5/16” mounting bolts from underneath the roof.


I purchased a set of 2 prong trailer connectors from an auto parts store, one for the fixture and one to stay on the roof; this allows for the removal of the fixture so that the vehicle will fit under the upper bed in the transport trailer. Even though the light isn’t polarity sensitive, it’s wise to be sure that the positive wire is the insulated lead on the connector.

Getting the power wires to the fixture did require some time and disassembly. The front cross bar was removed to gain access to the passenger side for some drilling that needed to be done through the bracket and into the downward bar. This passenger bar has an existing hole just below the top of the fender making it easier for access to the battery. When threading wire through blind holes I inserted a stiff, tight spring for use as a bushing. To conceal the wiring on the underside of the roof between the fixture hole and the cross bar I purchased some wire-mold connectors and painted them black.

Now, back to the wiring…According to the instruction manual the light needs to be on its own 15amp fused circuit. I purchased a fuse holder, fuses, and a 30amp rated automotive relay at an auto parts store for under $10. The next step was to locate an ignition power source to power the coil on the relay, and then connect the 15amp fused load through contacts of the relay to the Golight Stryker.

Once everything was reassembled and tightened, I installed the batteries in the remotes and installed the dash remote. I connected the two prong connector at the mounting plate on the roof to the connector under the light and moistened the edges of the rubber base gasket for a good seal. The light slipped on snug and secure. What a breeze…The mounting plate hooks in the front of the base as you slide the light back, then the rear drops down followed by the insertion of a stainless steel screw and that’s it!

Looks good…Now its time to fire it up! But unfortunately for me, I’ll have to wait another 3 hours until its dark enough to be able to appreciate the light that this thing puts out…

Wow! I’ve seen a lot of spotlights in my day, but not one that hold a candle to this. I can’t wait to see how it will perform in the dunes…

And perform it did! During the
daytime hours of riding the rock guard was in use to prevent any damage to the glass lens. The first part of the testing exposed the fixture to sand, extreme dust, water, gravel, sun, the vibration of off road riding, and whatever we could encounter during an off road excursion. Our next test began just before the sun set behind the hills. According to the literature from Golight, the Stryker models RF remotes allow for operation of up to 100 feet away. We started our test at 100 feet; we then progressed to 200 feet, and finally a point near 250 feet, all the time remaining within line of sight of the unit. At no time in this test (even while in motion) did we experience any interruptions between the remote and any of the fixtures functional abilities.

As darkness overtook the area I tested the Stryker while driving through rolling sand hills before settling into one of the sand bowls. I then turned off the vehicles lighting to rely solely on the Golight as my only source. With the beam pointed ahead of the vehicle at a downward angle, I was able to clearly scan the hill far ahead, while having the entire area from the dash of the Rhino forward about 20 feet in front of me brightly lit. As I continued to maneuver through the darkness I became more familiar with the operation of the controls. I no longer felt the need to position my vehicle in a direction of interest; at the mere push of a button everything became highly visible. Even in conditions where the terrain continually changed, I could easily locate a neutral position to best utilize the light for the riding conditions. I also found this light is great for lighting the area behind the vehicle, for those unplanned moments backing down the hill.

Located on the RF remotes is a button that controls the speed of the 12Volt high torque automotive grade rotating and the tilting motors. The slower speed seems to me a bit more user-friendly while the vehicle is in motion, while on the other hand, when the vehicle was motionless, the high speed function was preferred to get the light where it was needed quickly.

An important fact that I have yet to mention is that the beam produced by this fixture contains no visible dark spots, unlike any spotlight I have ever used. I compared the beam to several other vehicles with added off road lighting during the night and found nothing that even came close. For such a small light, this thing packs a heck of a punch.

From my experience with this product, I feel that Golight has what it takes to provide the ultimate off road lighting solution for any vehicle making its way into the night. For access to the whole line of Golight products you can visit them at Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!