Driving lights

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:43
ThreadID: 3444 Views:1337 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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There has been a lot of talk about cheaper options for air compressors, but does anyone know of any cheaper options to the 4x4 store driving lights.

You see alot of no-name brand lights in Supacheap auto. Are they reliable compared with Hella, IPF, etc?
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Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:56

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:56
If they don't get dirty or hit by a stone maybe.....

I'm using 20 year old K-mart spotties and they're working fine.......

Cheapest option for more light is 130/90 globes in your standard headlights instead of 60/55 (more lighting power this way than adding a pair of 60 W spotties). 5 minute job too. I always put bigger globes in every car- whether they be 130/90, 100/90 or 75/70's.

Of course end result is directly dependant on the quality of the mirror in your headlight assembly.

You can also go the +30% Xeon globes instead of higher output Halogen. I don't like the colour of the beam of these though - you look like a young twit with a "hotted" up Excel!

Spotties will give you better spread than more powerful globes.
AnswerID: 13479

Follow Up By: Dolfn - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:59

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 13:59
thanks for that,
So the more expensive spotties are stroger then. Is that the bottom line?
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Follow Up By: Colin - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 16:57

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 16:57
PUTTING BIGGER BULBS IN THE STANDARD LIGHTS CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS ON A LOT OF VEHICLES AS THE WIRE LOOMS CANT TAKE THE EXTRA POWER DRAW AND WILL BUNRN OUT SWITCHS AND RELAYS. i fitted the xeon bulbs and found them to be fantastic specialy in the rain and fog you can leave them on high beam and get no reflection back even in the thichest of fog. I also run hella rally 4000 which really light up. Usual saying you only get what you pay for, spend the money and get something decent. Col
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Reply By: Truckster - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:32

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:32
Cheezy rolled onto his Lightforces at Tuff Truck... 2ice!

They are still working... Strong isnt the word.

I got Lightforce 240 Blitz's now myself, and love em.
Had Rally 2000's before that... Love em.. Would by either again.... 240s were cheaper.
AnswerID: 13483

Reply By: Bob Y. - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:33

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:33
Dolfn, the better quality lights, like Hella, Lightforce, Cibie, all use high quality reflectors, as well as solid mounts and generally better made. Thats why more expensive. Doesn't matter how powerful the globe, if the reflector isn't of high quality, then you don't get the extreme performance.

Also the better brands usually have options, such as clear or mesh covers, available to protect your investment, all at a price, of course!
We'll see you later...
AnswerID: 13484

Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:58

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 14:58
Lightforce are damn tough. No question about that.

Light output is based on a heap of variables but the main three are power, gas used and quality of the reflector.

Most use a Halogen or Xeon gas now - not too much difference but Xeon is better but more expensive. If you do a lot of heavy 4wding the Xeon globes aren't worth it - too expensive when they break from the vibration.

Given the same reflector - more power is better so long as your wiring can take it. Using 130/90's is pushing my luck a bit on the Zuk, but has been fine on the 260Z, the Excel, the Nubira..... etc

Better quality lights are tougher and should give a better light - but the question becomes how much "extra light" is worth how much "extra price".

Unless you drive around all the time with your driving lights on (illegal and annoying!) - then you will find that probably 90% of the time you won't need them unless you do a night fishing or 4wd run - where there's no oncoming traffic and no street lights.

PS make sure you have both headlight covers and spotty covers - spotties are usually heaps cheaper than original headlights. Original headlights can be over $1000 each!

I use stick on ones - they're like really thick Contact.
AnswerID: 13486

Reply By: flappan - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 15:11

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 15:11
Are the cheaper ones as reliable. Nup.

But you can buy 5 or 6 sets of the cheaper ones if necessary.

I ran cheap ones for years. worked OK, but spent half your time fixing them for one reason or another (globes, adjustments etc etc).

Bought a set of lightforce. After intial adjustment, haven't touch them since.

If you do decide to go the cheap option (not everyone can afford to have 100's of dollars tied up in lights) I would recomend a good quality wiring loom.

When I put the loom in for the new lights I tested them with the cheapies, made a HUGE difference, but still nowhere near as good as the lightforce 170's
AnswerID: 13487

Reply By: Leroy - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 15:29

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 15:29
Dolfin,

If you want cheap and good, look at the Narva Ultima. You can get a spot and spread for around $150 and they have good mounts that won't break.

Leroy
AnswerID: 13490

Follow Up By: Member - Moggs - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:15

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:15
I'll second that - put a pair of Ultima 170's on the Pathfinder and haven't had a problem. Got them for around $140 from 4wdwarehouse. Good mounting system, good light - but the best thing is every time I park in public I don't stress about having someone knock off the $300-$400 lights on the front bar!
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Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:33

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:33
Buy a set around $100-150. My $20 year old cheapo K-Mart ones actually were over $30 in their day (Stainless Steel and English Made) - rough calculation is about $200-300 now.

Anything more than that they will definately go walkies if you park outside or go to a shopping centre at night (like going to the movies).

Like someone said you can buy 5 or 6 sets if you need to to match the cost of one Lightforce light. Your choice. Much of it is bragging rights - like one said on another thread - do you really NEED a set of $1000 Lightforce lights - no but you WANT them......

If it was a safety issue, then maybe it's worth it, but if the driving lights were to blow/break, just drive slower......

CB Aerials and Spotties walk very very easy. Always remember that....

Maybe look at using Torx bit bolts to attatch them - the average scrote doesn't have them, but it means another tool in your bag.....

I still reckon that the better(Xeon so long as they aint red or green or something) or bigger globes in standard headlights are a REALLY good option - no-one knows so they wouldn't knock them off and they are a dirt cheap upgrade. I wouldn't buy a car (4wd or passenger car) without doing this within a week of owning it and I strongly recommend everyone do that as the starting point beofre blowing hundreds of bucks. For $20-30 it's the cheapest improvement you can make to your car.

Sure some cars (like my Viagra) have issues using 130/90 (only if I flash high and low simultaneously for over 4 seconds). But you can use Xeon +30% or 100/90 or 75/50...... Or pay to put in a heavier loom or dual wire and still be ok with it for heaps cheaper.

PS remember every auxiliary light whether spotties or just bigger globes can place unreasonable demands on your battery and alternator- not just your loom.
AnswerID: 13510

Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 10:25

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 10:25
Moggs and Suzi,

I also have those same worries about parking in shopping centres. My brother in-law had his IPF light covers stolen the other night but what bother's me more is that thieves also look in your car as well! But I see no alternative to taking off your spottie covers, removing you antena's and locking them in the car everytime you go shopping.

Leroy
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Reply By: GOB - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:51

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:51
dolfn personally I run 200mm nitestalkers on the patrol spread + spot nice white light own loom and relay hooked to high beam with switch to turn off driving lights not to pricey and perform well enough for my average eye sight .if you went with boosting globe size on headlights you need to be careful i did it to ea falcon buggered globe holder first time cooked reflector second time due to increased heat produced its a hard decision so goodluck steve
AnswerID: 13512

Follow Up By: Suzuki Viagra - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 14:56

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 14:56
XD-EA Falcons had problems with both the plastic and relectors - particularly in replacement "non genuine" parts. Some commodroes in the same era had the same issues - but these were mainly non genuine ones. A friend of mine cooked his XE headlight plastic in much the same way....

I'm using one genuine headlight surround and one aftermarket one and both seem fine.

Probably if I could use "pass" for more than 4 seconds I might generate too much heat for them too, or maybe just the Suzuki ones are better quality than the Falcodore ones.

Having said that there were no issues with the Daewoo, or the Excel either - which are both considered cheap and crap and have plastic surrounds.

Any metal surround will take it and not care at all - if you're running an older patrol or landcruiser it wouldn't matter at all. All my old Datsuns and Toyotas never had an issue either.
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Reply By: chopper - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 20:01

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 20:01
don't forget that the extra heat is also evident inside the light. I had a well used set of Rallye 2000's that i put 130 watt globes into, these cooked what was left of the reflective material in no time.

Bigger bulbs are not always the answer.

Nowadays i run Hella inserts with plus 50 globes (these are sensational) and Rallye 4000s also with plus 50s, way less strain on the system, clear light, still a good light when the spotties are off, and the whole setup is strong as houses.

I've been through the cheapies and they simply do not compare in the quality or amount of light thrown out by the "serious" brands
AnswerID: 13521

Follow Up By: Colin - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:37

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:37
Chopper totally agree. Col
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Reply By: Marty and Sam - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 15:28

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 15:28
I run IPF on the Patrol have had these lights for about 7 years now and just keep swapping them on to the new car when i trade the old one in i also make sure that they swap the wiring loom as well i also have anti theft nuts on the lights and the wife is always using the car to go shopping and they are still on it. I also run the Hella Rallye 4000 on my trucks the drivers reckon they are the best light's we have used yet they dont vibrate and come loose and fall apart like some others that we have tried. My opinion buy the best that you can afford and out of the cheaper ones Narva are probably the best.
AnswerID: 13582

Reply By: Member - Tony - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 21:21

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 21:21
I've got Hella 140's purchased nearly 20 yrs ago, and been on all my cars except one (so about 18yrs in use). I think they cost $59-95 back then. Second set, as the originals were stolen in a carpark. Got a spare set of covers ('cause they weren't on, hoping to not advertise "Hella" in the carpark... didn't work).

Great lights, still going strong. I'd suggest get the best you can afford.

Cheers, Tony
AnswerID: 13611

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