Driving Lights Quality

Submitted: Monday, May 06, 2013 at 20:49
ThreadID: 102062 Views:2572 Replies:14 FollowUps:21
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Hi All,

In the process of getting our NT Pajero set up for our Kimberley via Tanami trip in June/July and costs are starting to add up which brings me to lights.

We're not "planning" on doing any night driving but am thinking we should be prepared just in case and was recommended the below lights by my local 4WD shop for $300 pair including wiring kit (I think installation was extra)

HID Driving Lights

I'm just wondering if the quality of these lights is any good and if anyone has had any experience with them?

Also seems odd that the price is less than half what I was quoted but other items I've researched the 4WD shop has been around the mark.

Cheers, Lloyd
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Reply By: desray (WA - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 20:56

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 20:56
I wouldn't bother with the extra lights for where your going. You say you wont be driving at night and even if you have to you wont be going fast enough to need them, not on the roads in the Kimberleys anyway.
AnswerID: 510480

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:15

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:15
I'll go along with that.

After several years with our car and only having driveen a few times at night we still haven't put any on.

Maybe we wont for a while as there are other things that we are saving for.

Phil
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Reply By: Member - J&R - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:02

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:02
You get what you pay for.
Save your money. You can drive at night with the standard lighting.

You can be prepared. If it were me, I'd upgrade the bulbs to new Philips, but not the blue ones (definitely not HID). And then drive to the conditions.

Let's face it, you can get almost everywhere in Aus on a pushbike.
AnswerID: 510481

Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 22:36

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 22:36
"You get what you pay for"

Maybe in the good ole days but not any more - businesses/manufacturers charge what they can get away with so price is no longer an indicator of quality or suitability.

I agree though that while extra lighting is nice to have, if cautious and care is taken not absolutely necessary.

Garry
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Reply By: Gronk - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:20

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:20
I wouldn't bother with the lights either...unless you plan on using them after you return ??

I have the exact same lights....had them for 3 yrs now and no probs with them....in fact I wouldn't pay extra for the "brand" ones......sure you MAY get an extra 50M out of them , but these lights are great...and great value at less than $120
AnswerID: 510482

Reply By: GimmeeIsolation - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:50

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 21:50
Lived up there for many years, I'm with everybody else. Don't fit them, you will not need them and should not drive at night anyway.
I did fit them myself because over the years there were occasions that I needed to drive at night/before dawn but you are on holidays.
If by some remote chance you need to drive at night to meet the Royal Flying Doctor (why else would you be driving ?) just drive slower.
There ARE stock that wander out day and night but at night they blend in and if you hit one you will be kaput.
When up that way, pull up in the arvo to sit back and enjoy the sunset and peace and quiet to recharge yourself, chill out and have a chat.
Save your coin and enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 510484

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 22:45

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 22:45
G'day Lloyd,

I've always had spotties on the front and needed them plenty of times.

If you are sure you wil only be travelling in daylight hours, it stands to reason you won't use them. If by chance you travel at night a set of spotties will be invaluable.

It doesn't matter what bulbs you have in your standard headlights, they will disappear to nothing travelling on outback roads, and you'll be struggling to see clearly more than a couple of hundred metres.

A set of a spotlight and a spreader will light up the road, and to the sides, to make driving so much easier at night.

The other option is standard headlights and sit on 60 kph max.

At the moment I have a set of Narva 225mm halogen. They cost $269 from Repco on special and I got the Auto Electrician to fit them up and it cost me about $50.
I don't have HID headlights, so I didn't get HID driving lights. They each have a different type of light and the two different lights at night can be distracting to the eye.

I hope this helps.

Hoo roo,
Steve
AnswerID: 510485

Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 08:54

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 08:54
Steve,

I'll also vouch for the Narva 225s. I fitted cheap Chinese 55W HID inserts to mine and the light they spear out is just ridiculous.

Having said that, I do a lot of night highway commuting where skippy rules.

My advice to Lloyd would be to not bother.

Bob
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Follow Up By: kiwicol - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 12:27

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 12:27
Have to agree with Lloyd. But I would go with the hella rally 4000. I have them on my truck as well as the 4by

If you go on ebay you can get them delivered to your door from Germany for about $360 a pair which is more than half of what you would pay here.

Most heavy transport use these lamps as they are metal frame and very robust.

I would also go for 2 pencil beams as your standard lights will give plenty of spread.

Col
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FollowupID: 788591

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 19:19

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 19:19
I have the spotties on the Cruiser because I do a lot of night running for work and when I'm not.

I chose the Narvas for the price and quality but I know they have excellent backup if something goes wrong with the product Australia wide.

I'd say to Bob, if he has a spare $350 put on a set because if he needs them he'll really appreciate the benefits of increased visibility.

Hoo roo.

Steve
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FollowupID: 788693

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 23:19

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 23:19
Lloyd
The cheap lights just don't have the "quality" of more expensive ones, ultimately they will fail, mountings, lenses, glass screens etc...
The more corrugations you put them through, the quicker the failing. So I found after using some cheap Chinese HIDs for 2 years. Then I stuck a HIDs into my old Cibie Super Oscars, and been very happy ever since. One of the Super Oscars was 30 years old til a roo took it out.

However, I would not buy any spotlights just for the above trip as you shouldn't be driving at night, you should be set up in camp by approx 2 hours before sunset. It is diabolical trying to set up camp, cook and clean up in the dark.
I use my spotlights on long trips back home at night in western NSW, they are magic. But when we do go camping or doing long tours we rarely if ever drive at night. The same can be said for a Bull/roo bar, a waste of money on a camping trip.
AnswerID: 510486

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 23:22

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 23:22
Hi Lloyd,


Those lights you referenced are exactly the same as I fitted to the Troopy 12 months ago except I paid twice the price! They replaced a pair of big Oscars which vibrated madly and blocked air to the radiator. They have been excellent, far superior to the headlights.


As the guys have said, you rarely need to drive off-road at night, however there can be occasions where you may need to. I have found it necessary a couple of times on the blacktop to reach a destination in the early evening. And should it be an emergency, I am unlikely to want to keep the speed down to 60kph. They also serve as a backup to the headlights should a lamp fail. The difference in light colour to the headlights is of no consequence..... they completely override the headlights anyway.


So sure, you don't have to have them but they can be useful. And those you are considering are good value. Just be sure to wire them well with adequate sized cable and a relay controlled from your high-beam circuit so they go off when you go to low-beam.
Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 510487

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 23:25

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 23:25
PS.
You can see the old Cibie Oscars in the photo below blocking airflow.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 07:59

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 07:59
Lloyd,
I have the same lights and as Allan and they are a good. Have had them for nearly 4 years and they have never given any trouble. They have been over many rough tracks and corrugations with no ill effects in that time. Lights have now been on 2 vehicles and look like new.

I also don't use them much these days. They are really good on unfenced roads and especially if the property owner is running Brangus cattle.

The only thing I would recommend is one spot beam reflector and one flood beam reflector.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 08:28

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 08:28
My beam pattern is "Eurobeam" which is something of a compromise between 'spot' and 'flood'. It seems OK for my slow old Troopy (or is it me that's slow & old? LOL)
I do not need to see 1km up the road, I am more concerned at what is waiting in the wings to jump out at me!
Rockape's recommendation of one spot and one flood is probably a good idea.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 08:47

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 08:47
Lloyd and Allan,
I have to make an editorial retraction and apology.

Sorry but my lights are these from Derek at ABR Sidewinder.

Here is the link. HID spot and flood lts
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Reply By: Joe G2 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 06:40

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 06:40
I have just bought 4 of the exact same lights from another seller for $49.95 each + $34.00 postage. I have had the same lights fitted to some of our trucks for almost 2 years now and could not be more pleased with them, they are all flood lenses.
Enjoy your holiday.
AnswerID: 510492

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 07:08

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 07:08
Price is no indication of quality in aftermarket lighting , we have just fitted a 124w LED light bar to the bulbar of our new FJ Cruiser , $209 from Evilbay , exact same bar ,same packaging ,same specifications ,same Cree LEDs ,same factory in China ,Autopro charging $599.......
AnswerID: 510493

Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 09:02

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 09:02
I paid $146.99 plus $28 postage.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/290882413636?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Nyerrh!

Bob
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 09:18

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 09:18
Different bar , yours only 120w and non adjustable mounts width wise,,lol
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 12:38

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 12:38
Yeah the extra 4 Watts is really noticeable ;-)
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 13:33

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 13:33
Nothing to do with 4 extra watts , different mounting system , so no need for extra holes in bar .....
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Reply By: NTVRX - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 09:26

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 09:26
G'day Lloyd, I have a NT VR-X Pajero with xtreme sports D/lights 9000. One is a spread beam & one a pencil beam. Great lights. When I go on trips like yours I make sure the protective covers are in place or if I am worried about losing them over severe corrugations I take the covers off & turn the lights around (prevents stone strikes). Having said that,I don't drive at night or very early mornings because of wild life. The trip you doing,I would be more concerned about higher priorities than driving lights. Enjoy your trip. Robert
AnswerID: 510498

Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 13:06

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 13:06
No experience with those lights Lloyd but I agree with the general tenor of comments. Driving lights are one of the most over-rated pieces of 4WD equipment these days. Times have changed - 20 or 30 years ago when poor output sealed beams were standard they were a must. The covers on my (small) Hellas have been removed on probably a handful of occasions in 14 years.
AnswerID: 510510

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 14:55

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 14:55
Over rated ? If you ever really get the chance or need to drive at night out in the centre of QLD you would be singing a different tune , yes standard headlights have improved since the sealed beams of yesteryear but nowhere to the extent that aftermarket lighting has ,,
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 18:04

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 18:04
I understand what you're saying. By spotting Qld drivers from a few kms away you can prepare early. Or are you suggesting that Qld wildlife is not as smart as elsewhere?
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Reply By: cookie1 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 19:29

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 19:29
We generally set up camp around 3pm, collect a bit of wood for a fire, few beers, dinner. We found a perfect spot near the flooded Cooper Creek and was very relaxing.

About the time I finished cooking tea we had millions of bugs come from nowhere and it really was intolerable, couldn't eat, couldn't talk, nothing, bugs were in our drinks over our food etc etc you get the drift.

We were forced to pack up very quickly in the dark and get out of there, well all I can say is thank goodness that I had some good spotlights as I have never seen Kangaroos on the Birdsville track, but I did this night as well as an owl etc.

Without the lights there is a likelihood that there may have been some fauna killed that night. It gives you the ability to see a little further than ordinary so that you have plenty of time to take evasive action.

I don't normally drive at night in the outback so they don't get used that often.

Have you looked at Lightforce? I have them and can honestly say that I have found them very good.

Cheers
AnswerID: 510528

Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 14:04

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 14:04
Love how some who lack ability and confidence to drive at night think everyone else should not drive at night too...... and warn others against it!

We do a lot of night driving so good lights are important to us.
AnswerID: 510582

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:08

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:08
Yes, it's like someone who never gets punctures recommending that others should not carry a spare wheel. LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:17

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:17
Agree!!
I also do a lot of night driving, so I fit excellent quality lights. but that aside no matter how good the planning those times you may still end up driving at night mean good lights are invaluable.

A set of Lightforce Genesis halogen can be bought for around $450-, brilliant quality lights for not a lot of dollars and may save some grief.

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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:33

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:33
Absolutely agree as well.

We often have to make use of short breaks so leave after work and arrive at the campsite well after dark. Of course I slow down but good lighting allows better anticipation at any speed.

We've also had to travel at night when places we've planned on staying are unexpectedly booked out or unpleasant for some reason.

Finally, on our last trip to outback Qld, the, sun didn't "go down", it "switched off"! We were a little later returning to camp and having good floodlighting reduced the stress from the mobs of roos.

I have exactly the same lights as in the ad and am very happy with the quality. One Euro and one spot. Two Euros would be my choice if buying again.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:37

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 15:37
They look serious John.
Do you notice the vehicle slow a bit as you turn them on due to reaction force from the emitted photons? LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 18:35

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 18:35
LOL Alan :)

If they slowed me up with that lot it will only be worse with my new 2013 GXL Troopy that's coming as I'm putting all HID on it, so plenty more photons to play with :)

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, May 09, 2013 at 11:26

Thursday, May 09, 2013 at 11:26
Lloyd,

Don't have any experience with those lights, but they are sold by a number of different outlets, and seem sturdy enough. Good price too.

Driving lights are a form of insurance, always there if you need them. As well as the increased light output, and better vision, they also aid in reducing eye strain for the driver, and any passenger who might be still awake(or too scared to sleep anyway!!!)

I do 25-30 hours/week night driving, and with a combination of LED light bars, and HID driving lights, rarely get eye strain, and with good vision, driving is less stressful.

Doubt if the nay-sayers would cancel their comprehensive insurance, just because they'd never had an accident.

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - evaredy - Friday, May 10, 2013 at 16:41

Friday, May 10, 2013 at 16:41
I have just purchased some Vision X LED Spotties for that very reason, They were pricey compared to some that are out there, but I wanted something that could handle some rough going and give good light. I will not be doing very much night driving, but I want them there just in case.
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