LED strip and driving lights

Submitted: Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 14:54
ThreadID: 109362 Views:3071 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
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Gday,
My new toy should arrive any day now (Suzuki Sierra) which I plan to set up for beach fishing.
The first thing I need to do is set up some lights.
At the moment I am using a strip light about 300mm long I bought from Jaycar which works fine and costs around $20, but I've noticed they are selling them on ebay in all sorts of configurations for a couple of dollars and heaps longer. The trouble is I don't understand all the terminology. like 5050, smd, 3528 etc etc..........
Does anyone know of a good cheap strip light or can simply explain what it all means so I can work out what I need?
Also has anyone recently found any really bright and CHEAP driving lights?
I realise in a lot of cases you get what you pay for but while I have 2 Harley Davidsons in the shed, a boat, and 2 4wds the Mrs is a bit reluctant about be pouring money into another toy.....so yes CHEAP it must be.

Cheers
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 15:52

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 15:52
Hairy,

Some 7" LED driving lights in latest Autopro catalogue. $279 ea. Doesn't say how many lumens.

Latest Altronics cat. has LED lights, about 125 mm sq. and 4K lumens with 3 amp draw for $129 ea. Spot or Flood.

3528 strip is 8 mm wide, and draws 3-400 mA/metre. 5050 is 10 mm wide & draws 1.2 A/metre. SMD stands for surface mount device. Heaps of electronic "stuff" is now SMD, that's why they can make some gear so compact.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 15:56

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 15:56
Gday Bob,
So does that mean the 5050 chews a lot more power and would be a lot brighter?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 16:11

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 16:11
Yeah, probably about 3 times as much, Hairy, but if you had 2 M of 5050 over your kitchen/cooking area, you'd prob need sunnies on at night. :-)

Maybe you could use 5050 over a work area, and lighter 3528 in other areas? Even 5050 would only burn 4-5 amps while you set up camp and cooked a feed.......just depends on your battery size I suppose.

Bob



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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 16:18

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 16:18
What if I put a dimmer switch on it and only turned it up while rigging up?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 17:27

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 17:27
Ha ha, I don't have a ticket to give you that sort of advice, Hairy.

Probably need Alan or Robin to give you the oil on that. Dimmer might work, but whether it reduces the amps, I don't know.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 00:06

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 00:06
Hairy,
Dimming an LED is not always easy. The simple way is to drop the voltage with a resistor but a) that wastes energy and 2) the LED driver tries to correct the reduced voltage so 'fights' the resistor.
I would install a suitable LED for the work area and a separate one for the wider camp area for setting up.

Re driving lights: My original Oscars, seen in my signature photo, were not all that good, vibrated like crazy, and possibly obstructed radiator airflow. I replaced them with these HID's with good results. They illuminate a couple of hundred metres with enough spread to see roos in the verge. A bluish-white light that puts my headlights to shame. Couldn't see a need for throwing a beam 2km ahead, the Troopy would take 10 minutes to get there!

I have purchased from Delonix a couple of times. Good people to deal with.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 18:08

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 18:08
In any White LED lights the difference in price is reflected by two of the most important parts..... The LED itself and the LED driver, pay more and you get better.

The biggest killer of LED's is heat and a good quality drive and heat sink adds to their reliability.

BTW all white LEDs are graded similar to diamonds on colour and light output.... It's a bit like John West and his tuna, the cheaper tuna get sold on to low end companies or cat food.
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Reply By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 19:15

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 19:15
Hairy, have a look at these blokes for your driving lights;

http://stores.ebay.com.au/AU-omgcar/7-Off-Road-Light-/_i.html?_fsub=5716970018&_sid=802872898&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 21:12

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 21:12
Hairy,
A led light bar would be best for beach driving as it gives a good wide beam and makes it easier to see the dips & rises on the beach at night.

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 21:56

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 21:56
For information, the NSW RMS has stated that additional lights must be installed as "pairs" or engineering approval obtained. So, the pictured Suzi would be OK with the twin lights on the woosy little "bar" at the front, but the light bar would not be, unless approved by RMS engineering.

Actually, the lights on the bar might be a problem, as the bar is not a standard item for the car, and they are "outside the profile of the vehicle" - the terminology used for the recent push against bullbars in NSW. Some with lights, antennae, rod holders etc that are forward of the profile of the bar are illegal.

To OP, I suggest that you check with RMS (or equivalent in your state).
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 07:05

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 07:05
I'll 2nd that. Save being defected.

Spot lights on roof racks are also a defect offence, even on the rear.
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 14:52

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 14:52
I know that in Qld that has changed, to keep up with technology they allow light bars.

(LOL, prior to the update their formal advice to people with light bars was to put a strip of black perspex in the middle of the bar so it appears as a pair - I kid you not)

So it is worth checking but I would suggest common sense to prevail.
CJ
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 15:34

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 15:34
Sorry old photo, This is what it looks like now.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 15:45

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 15:45
Did that hailstorm just happen?

Hope your zook doesn't get pock-marked.
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 15:52

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 15:52
Yeah Frank about an hour ago,
The Zuks alright it was the Commodore and Aurion were the worry.
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Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 06:03

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 06:03
Rigging up at night, we've found that less is more in the light department. Something like a Stanley fat max head torch which has a removable light refractor gives a more gentle light so that everything else doesnt reflect back at you.
Similar with driving lights. Depending on the amount of surf and mist, driving lights and even high beam can be completely useless on a beach at night. A decent set of yellow fog lenses will be much more beneficial. The brightness of led/hid coming back at you in surf mist leaves you blinded. Of course on those few clear nights you can light up the planet. Maybe think about a handheld spottie for when you are looking about? They are very useful when looking for gutters and beach exits - much easier than turning the car around all the time. And for a small amount of money you can really light up the blokes that think they should be leaving their spotties on when driving towards you.
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 14:55

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 14:55
gbc
Interesting viewpoint, but I believe quite the opposite.
Good light at night is a must, the better the safer.
I agree that when there is a mist it is not effective, but that does not mean you shouldn't have decent light the 95% of the time there is no mist.
CJ
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Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 16:19

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 16:19
Looks like we drive on different beaches then. Good luck with that. Teewah where I spend my time has mist any time there is swell and an onshore (se is prevailing) breeze which in my estimation would be 95% of the time which would make you nearly 100% wrong? Like I said the first time, if there isn't any mist, fill your boots with lights - you must have missed it?
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Reply By: Penchy - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 07:26

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 07:26
I have some ebay stip led lights under my awning and in the back cargo area. I also have 4 of the below lights mounted on my rack and they outshine my halogen LF Strikers for the first couple of hundred metres. Good lights for what I paid for them.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2X-6-INCH-12V-24V-45W-LED-Flood-Beam-OffRoad-Truck-Boat-Driving-Working-Lights-/281136474237?pt=AU_Car_Parts_Accessories&hash=item41750a287d#ht_2890wt_1124

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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 20:14

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 at 20:14
Thanks for all the replies........Ive bought a couple cheapies off ebay and a couple led dimmers to go with them.
It sounds like its probably not the ideal set up but I figured for 2x 500mm (5050)lights plus dimers delivered for around $10 it was worth a shot. Im a bit stuck for time at the moment and haven't properly read all the replies but will do over the next while ........and let you know how the cheapies worked out compared to the others.....

Cheers
Hairy
AnswerID: 538532

Reply By: kcandco - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 20:34

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 20:34
Hi Hairy

On my van i have 2 x 1 m strip lights with dimmers. They work very well. At full blast they provide a great light and if dimmed to the lowest setting just give a soft light. I found the voltage and amperage drops, so at low setting very little power is used. One thing I would suggest as a MUST DO is to solder the connecting wires to the led strips. Don't use the plastic clips. I have found over time the connection diminishes and once they are glued in place it is an arse to solder. I have just been through this process myself. The clips were good for a few months and then started playing up more as time went by.

cheers Kc
AnswerID: 538609

Reply By: kcandco - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 20:35

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 20:35
Hi Hairy

On my van i have 2 x 1 m strip lights with dimmers. They work very well. At full blast they provide a great light and if dimmed to the lowest setting just give a soft light. I found the voltage and amperage drops, so at low setting very little power is used. One thing I would suggest as a MUST DO is to solder the connecting wires to the led strips. Don't use the plastic clips. I have found over time the connection diminishes and once they are glued in place it is an arse to solder. I have just been through this process myself. The clips were good for a few months and then started playing up more as time went by.

cheers Kc
AnswerID: 538610

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