Cheap "good" spotties ref:(PostID: 14262)

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 12:12
ThreadID: 14482 Views:1868 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Post 14262 renewed my interest in getting some cheap spotties (the wiring was already hooked up from the previous set that obviously broke). I had a night run in the pines scheduled for Sat night so I went into to Supercheap to see how I could throw some money away.
I looked long and hard at all these cheapies, and then came accross these "Nighvision" Don't know if anyone else has had any experiences but:

They are made totally out of metal (no plastic)
They have stainless bolts with big rubber "o" rings top and bottom
Spring washers
All the cables, crimps, relay and switch
Plastic see through protectors that have rubber seals around them
100W glove in each light

and they cost $129.
Put them on, they worked a bloody treat out in the high paced run to the power station at night. Through water and some small jumps.
The next day we did the power line run up in sawyers and they got totally submurged (see picture in my rig pics) for a few seconds (the water was over the windscreen wipers in the deepest section) and apart from a little water behind one of the plastic protectors (which I have now cleaned out) they still go great!

Will let you know how they are going in a few months time eh. But they sure copped a pounding first weekend out.
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Reply By: Savvas - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 13:26

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 13:26
Hi Jeff,

I did have the Nightvisions (5") before my current set. They are good for the price and you'll get a couple of years out of them.

However, the long term problems I found are -

1. The plastic covers go yellow after about a year, depending one exposure to sun.

2. Be careful not to overtighten the clamping rings on the rubber seals. The bits on the end snap off without much warning.

3. Condensation was always a problem and water entry into the body in bad weather.

4. The rubber washers do perish.

BUT for the price they were good value and I got about 3 years out of them. At the time I picked them up at Big W for $50. Supercheap had the same ones then for $110.

I've gone to Repco's Ziel brand now and they are much more solid with a much brighter light output. The mounting on them looks identical to Cibie's. Because I bought them at launch time, I got the 220mm lights at $89 ea. They are now about $120 each (I think).

Funny thing is that Ashdown, a Repco division, are the importers for Nightvision. But I haven't seen Nightvision for sale at Repco.
AnswerID: 66951

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 15:16

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 15:16
Oh well that's good to here, thanks for that, I'm happy with a couple of years, would'nt really expect more than that for the price. I'll watch out for the over tightening as I did do it up pretty (very) tight after I took the cover off to dry it out.
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FollowupID: 327721

Reply By: colgout - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 14:52

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 14:52
I am using a pair of Night Stalker from Opposite Lock, They are $138 pair, I ask the shop owner and he throw in a heavy duty relay. No wire or switch though. I brought this mainly because of the recent 4WD Monthly review. They reckon this is a giant killer and I am happy with their performance after using them a few time.

Definitely worth considering.
AnswerID: 66958

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 20:56

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 20:56
I have a pair of rectangular night stalkers here that were on my truck when i bought it. I have relaced them with my XGS Light Force. If anyone is interested make me an offer. I can COD them anywhere. Cheers Rob
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FollowupID: 327781

Reply By: rolande- Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 08:55

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 08:55
Have you looked at the Hella range, can get spotties or fog, admittedly a bit smaller than above, for $115 as a complete kit, will probably last longer than the SuperCrap kind. Just an idea
Rolande
AnswerID: 67078

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 12:13

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 12:13
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that the cheaper Hellas had plastic bits in the mounts?
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FollowupID: 327841

Follow Up By: rolande- Sunday, Jul 11, 2004 at 00:52

Sunday, Jul 11, 2004 at 00:52
Jeff,
You may well be correct, the set I saw were all metal but that doesn't mean this is the case accross the range
Rolande
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FollowupID: 328000

Reply By: Gossy - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:02

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:02
Wouldn't it cost less to buy good ones now, rather than upgrading every few years? Hard to go past the Lightforce range for brightness and toughness. Just have a look on the internet and you won't find one bad comment about them. I have a set of Cibie Oscars which stay on the car all the time, and a set of 240 XGS Lightforce which I fit when going away (don't want them stolen!). The Lightforce make the Cibie's look like a flat torch so I have angled them out to the side (to light up the bush) as the Lightforce are quite directional with its beam. Trust me when I say that it is best to spend a bit more and get the quality the first time. Once you compare, you would never buy cheap spotties again.
Cheers,
AnswerID: 67127

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:09

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:09
Gossy, yes and no.

Reasons for cheap spotties:
1. Don't have $400-500 right now. I do have $120.
2. There is a hell of a lot of more important things to spend the other $300 I could save up.
3. I don't have to remove my spotties around town because no one will want to steal them and if they do it's not such a big deal.
4. Who's to say they will break in 2 years, if they do I won't be too upset, but they may last 4 or 5.
5. Who's to say if I buy Lightforce or IPF that they won't fill up with water in a water crossing and die or that I won't hit a branch while offroad and smash one, or a roo?? Or the missus hits a car in the car park.... (notice that the missus would hit the car, not me LOL).
6. I try not to drive on the highway at night where I can, so they don't get a lot of use anyway.
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FollowupID: 327861

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:12

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:12
Oh and I agree with you get what you pay for (somtimes and to a certain extent).
But a "bit more" is well over twice the price. That's not a bit more, that a whole %hit load more.
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FollowupID: 327862

Reply By: Gossy - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:21

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 16:21
yes I agree with you. 4wd'ing is an expensive "sport" so any $ saved is a bonus. when/if you do upgrade to quality spotties though just keep in mind what I said. Strong mountings, strong casing's and submersible without flooding are all aspects are the more expensive one's. Hella 4000's and Lightforce have different (but both effective) breathing systems which enable the lights to be completely under water and no flooding at all occurs.
Anyway I guess what I am trying to say is, the problems you may have with the cheaper lights (broken by roo's, entry of water etc) don't happen with the expensive ones. I guess it comes down to "you get what you pay for". Bad manufactured lights wouldn't last long on the market anyway due to the competition so I would imagine that the lights you have now will still last quite a while. Enjoy,
AnswerID: 67130

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 17:41

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 17:41
LOL, you know the saying, "It's not weather your in the ..., it's the depth that varies".
It's ok, we have a love/hate relationship, I love her, she hates me! Well only when it comes to the 4wd, I'm lucky she didn't smash them when she first saw them! :-)
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FollowupID: 327888

Reply By: Bitsumishin - Mike A (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 17:28

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 17:28
Re Followup 1 above about point 5. How about Point 7 If this missus smashes the spotties when she reads what you've written about her.
AnswerID: 67136

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