Ebay LED Light Bar

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 17:10
ThreadID: 133242 Views:4649 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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Bought a Australian LED light Bar via Ebay which has 5 year warranty. Fitted it via the high beam as required by law. It supposedly has CREE LED's fitted and approx 18000 lumenems and is rated to be 1 LUX @ 1500m. I don't need 1 LUX at that distance nor did I really expect to get that sort of quality. I was expecting it to be brighter than it is, as I can see the high beam when I turn it on. My high beam is only 100 watt and the LED light is 180 Watt; therfore, I would have thought the high beam would be overshadowed by the LED bar. So my questions are, how do I check/confirm that I have got what was advertised and what I have paid for eg. CREE LED's? 180w? Not a Chinese import? Or am I expecting too much. The light only cost $220 it appers to be well made and I was happy with the supplied wiring harness etc. Your thoughts and suggestions welcome.
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Reply By: chaz r - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 18:21

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 18:21
I guess there isn't a way to check the chips unless you dissemble it. However, I do not believe 1 lux, the vendor just bragged too much! 1500M, even a lightforce spotlight won't make it!

Most of the spotties can only reach nearly 1000m, and top lightforce lamps would touch a bit further, but check out the big ass reflectors!

As far as I am concerned, CREE doesn't produce light bar, or any LED lighting stuffs. Nearly all LED stuffs in Australia are made in China, except the luxurious ones imported from US(could be china made if traced back). It seems Lightforce is the solely producer in Australia.

200AUD for a 180W is a bit overpaid, anyway.
AnswerID: 603505

Follow Up By: Gordonk - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:38

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:38
Hi Chaz Cree is only the led's in the bar not the brand itself. overall i am happy with it's immediate range I was just wondering if there was a way of checking the quality overall.
Sorry but I don't agree with you comment about over paid at $200. Not sure when was the last time you priced a LED light Bar but $200 is certainly at the lower end of the market in price. Anyway thanks for you feedback.

Gordon
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FollowupID: 873124

Follow Up By: mountainman - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 00:50

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 00:50
Check out the fyrlyhts
or however you spell it

not led yet
back up is best in business
beats any other light manufacturer by years
not cheap
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FollowupID: 873172

Reply By: Member - Roachie - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 18:25

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 18:25
Quote: "The light only cost $220...."

Therein lies your problem I would suggest.

Terms like "CREE" and "xxx Lumens" are bandied about like confetti and unless you have access to a laboratory you will never really know whether the advertsing claims are fact. The suppliers know this and they take a punt that they won't be found out.

Having said that, EVERY LED light bar I've ever had (and there has been a large number of them) has only been good for lighting-up the immediate area to the front of the vehicle. They do a great job of throwing a wide band of light off to the sides of the road, but you wouldn't want to be relying on them for distance lighting.

I've got a pair of Fyrlyt Nemises (250 watt each) halogen lights plus a quad-row light bar (60 x 3w LEDs = 180 watt). It is on a separate switch to the 500 watts of Fyrlyt. There are times when you don't need to see a kilometer down the road (like tootling along a winding bush track at 20k/h) and the light bar is GREAT for that.

Contrary to popular belief, I also think the white light emitted by LED and HID is NOT as good for our eyes (well, mine anyway) over extended periods of night driving. The bright halogens are much easier on the eyes.

In summary.....don't expect too much from your LED bar; or ANY LED bar!

Roachie
AnswerID: 603506

Follow Up By: Gordonk - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:17

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:17
Thanks Roachie, great feedback as usual from you, see you on here quite a bit. Agree with you on lighting up the immediate area, I don' need it to light up Kms away overall I'm happy with it just thought it would be better, but as you said $220 what do you expect. I'm on the pension so this is all I could afford as my Halogen Lightforce one broke. Anyway thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated. By the way love your GMC I have just moved to Gawler from Townsville hope to see it on my travels as I explore this state.

Gordon
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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:24

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 19:24
Good evening Mr Roach
When you are tootling down the road at night, and you turn on all those lights and blow the horns, how much does the truck slow down ?
Muzbry
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FollowupID: 873122

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 21:24

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 21:24
Hey Gordon,

I'm actually going to Gawler on Saturday morning.....there is a bloke there who is interested in buying my caravan mover, so I said I'd bring it down so he can try it out on his van.

If you see the big Chevy with a blue box trailer on the back, flag me down...hahaha

Cheers,

Bill
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FollowupID: 873129

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 09:11

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 09:11
This question may turn the tables a bit. But I needed the right time to ask and since you raised the eyesight issue . . . . . .

Roachie we haven't got an additional lighting on the car apart from fog lights. We get plenty of fog when driving home to Canberra after the night time footy in Sydney.

What would you say to one who gives the LEDs a miss and just gets some good quality halogen lights? Note no brands mentioned. Leave any money criteria off the table, it's important but I need my eyesight to stay longer than the money may.

I feel the same after a set coming at me is switched off. The remainig "flash" on the retina seems to stay longer with LEDs and The "blue" lights. You made me think of it for reflected lights atc off the bonnet, bull bar and antenna bases. Not as young as we used to be! Also don't need the 1500 meter throw.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 14:52

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 14:52
Phil,

I guess it comes down to personal tastes and experiences.

Over the past 40+ years I've had all manner of additional lighting on my various vehicles.

When HIDs came on the market I paid over $1,600- for a pair of H4 replacements for my Nissan's normal headlights (ie: high/low beam). Now I've gotta admit that over all those years of driving, I've wasted a lot of money on various gadgets and gizmos....but those TOP QUALITY (hahahaha) HID lamps were the BIGGEST waste of dough EVER!!!

Half the time they didn't even work at all and whilst the bloke who sold them to me was good at supplying replacement globes and/or ballasts, they were never much chop AND I used to get people flashing me very often, even when I was on low beam!! That is why the law stipulates that you can't retrofit HIDs into a vehicle not designed for them and without self levelling and washers.

So, I went back to standard halogen headlights and added HID driving lights of various sizes and brands....mainly Lightforce. Again, they had that "sexy" blue/white tinge....but to MY eyes they were rubbish.

So, that's why I've gone back to good old halogen for my main long distance driving lights (Fyrlyt Nemises) and supplemented by a 180w light bar for close up work. I've also used the fog light circuit on the Chev (there were no foggies on the truck, but the plugs were there) and fitted small LED bars. I'm waiting for some orange acrylic sheet to arrive from ebay and I will make new lenses for those 2 little buggars!

Roachie
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FollowupID: 873151

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 15:09

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 15:09
Thanks Roachie. We need some time to digest all that but I like the bottom line. We purposely try not to do any long distance driving at night, but there are times. Also on the multi lane highways the high beam is not used that much as there always seems to be someone coming. Inconsiderat bunch aren't they (:-)

The Nemisis is not a cheap solution but we shall see.

One question are the Fyrlyt's both spot or what?

Phil
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FollowupID: 873152

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 15:59

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 15:59
Phil,

I'd say you'd be better off just considering the Fyrlyt 150s, not the Nemises. The 150s are plenty bright enough for 90% of people.....they are 150 watt jobbies and are what I had for several years before I recently decided to send them back to Adelaide (where they are made) and have them upgraded to the 24 volt Nemises 250 watt units.

One of the unique features of the Fyrlyt lights is that you can quickly and simply alter from spread to spot. All you do is press the aluminium fitting (globe holder) in at the back and turn it 180 degrees.

There is a good video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuMxx8u22Ks

Cheers,

Roachie

PS: I have interest in Fyrlyt other than as a satisfied customer....
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FollowupID: 873154

Reply By: Top End Az - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 20:33

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 20:33
I have got a cheap light bar (low life's in Darwin won't steal them)234w, 32 inch for about $150 and friends with expensive ones, well up over $800 -$1400 etc. They are on mining wages, I'm not. But I'm happy with the light output for the price, again, no great distance but decent close to medium range.
The light output on the dearer ones at 6 times the price isn't 6 times better or brighter, but there is a lot more engineering and quality with the mounting brackets, ease of adjustment and wiring harnesses etc, and the whole units just feel more solid and upto he rigours of off-roading, corrugations and the like which is probably why they still have theirs and Im onto my 3rd cheap one due to broken brackets.
AnswerID: 603509

Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 00:30

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 00:30
Gordon in answer to your question - you can't really check... but I'd imagine they will be Cree's but just an older version.

Cree is the top manufacturer and they are always updating their technology. I don't see many light bar manufacturers keeping up with the developments and putting the new super LED's into their lightbars.

I can only guess why we are not seeing some of the newer and better value LED's in the marketplace. - maybe people would not buy a lot of the older stock if the manufacturers release a fantastically bright lightbar using newer cheaper LED's....It makes little sense to me. I am holding off buying a LED lightbar until I see much better performance for the money.
Some light bar manufacturers are beginning to use the newer (2 year old) Cree XM L2 LED - they are much brighter ... but you have to specifically search for the XM-L2 models.

Interestingly enough, last year I bought a Jetbeam Torch with a single XM-L2 in it runs on 4 rechargeable AA batteries and it throws more light the one of those 6" Lightbars from Supacentre in fact it is brighter than the headlights on some cars. .......worth doing the homework on.

http://www.cree.com/LED-Components-and-Modules/Products/XLamp/Discrete-Directional/XLamp-XML2
Kerry W (Qld)
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AnswerID: 603516

Reply By: Malcom M - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 08:02

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 08:02
You're bringing up a lot of different points but what is your main concern?
You were happy to pay the dollars and if you managed to incinerate trees out front you'd be terribly happy and would not be looking any further.

So your only concern should be 'what is the light output'
Well you can A:/ buy/borrow a lux meter and measure it for yourself.
B:/ get out into a forest track at night and fire up the hi beams on their own and then the bar on its own. Compare the illumination impact on the surroundings...

I run 360w of led spots and the additional illumination over the hi beams is staggering.
AnswerID: 603520

Reply By: Prydey - Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 22:35

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 at 22:35
I bought a 20" light bar about 6 months ago. It was quite a frustrating experience as I found it hard to weed out all the rubbish from something semi decent. As Gordonk has mentioned, pretty much all LED bars promote lots of big fancy numbers like wattage and lumens. I don't know much at all about light terminology, which is why it was frustrating. Apparently the wattage only relates to the power draw (40x3w led's = 120w) and lumens measures the light at the source. Also, the lumen figure is often just the maximum potential possible based on the maximum rated output of each LED. Its a minefield.
Long story short, i looked at plenty of reviews and decided on a brand called 'Cosmoblaze' which reviewed quite well up against the big names like great white, Rigid industries etc. here is one page i came across http://lightbarreport.com/ need to scroll right down toward the bottom to see 'best led lightbars by size'.
Cosmoblaze aren't as cheap as ebay ones but also about half the price of lightforce etc.
Once again they 'claim' 1 lux at over 500m, but on my car i would say its closer to about 300m. I do a reasonable amount of night driving and while i can't compare it to traditional spot lights, it certainly improves forward vision over standard high beams. It is 6000k (brightness) so on the bright side (5000-5500 considered best) but after driving for some time with the lightbar on, when i turn it off, the highbeams look like candles in a tunnel.
I have a FG falcon. The high beams are very good standard. The lightbar does shine slightly further but also much much broader, which is great for spotting kangaroos before they reach the road. There is no real aiming required either being such a broad light beam and no noticeable bounce on rough surfaces.

While on the topic of lights, i'm not a fan of changing factory globes in low beams. while they all claim 'ADR approved' none have been tested in the exact application of every vehicle. Different reflector designs, diffuser designs, light shapes/mounts etc all play a role, and its easy to tell the cars that have modified their low beams when they are coming toward you.

I would recommend lightbars to people, but you do have to do a little bit of homework and determine what you are looking to achieve as well.
AnswerID: 603574

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