Driving Lights

Submitted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 13:51
ThreadID: 57167 Views:4348 Replies:12 FollowUps:24
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Can anyone tell me how they have found driving lights made by either, Hella,Narva, Nightstalker etc and any major issues. I have always used IPF but this time cutting back on costs. Am spending around the $250 this time. I know you get what you pay for but I think $250 is enough to spend on driving lights. I have looked at light force but up there with price with the IPF's. I left the last lot of IPF's on lux as one had been cracked by stone. What's your thoughts on the cheaper brands, taking into account I dont live in the country and only go away a few times a year. Regards Steve M
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Reply By: Gossy - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 13:54

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 13:54
dont quote me on this but I remember reading in a forum in here that the Nightstalker is just a rebranded light of one of the bigger brands but much cheaper. If this is the case then Nightstalker could be very good value for money.

It's also worth doing a search on Google as one of the 4wd magazines did a very good test on lights a few years back. Measured lux, spot and spread and was quite informative and unbiased.

cheers,

AnswerID: 301450

Reply By: JustT - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:15

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:15
I'm running nite stalker roo lite's (180XP??), they were $240 ish, and that included a wiring kit. (I think TJM had them on special recently for less)

After running Lightforce 240's on my last car, they're not as good.
They vibrate more, they need adjusting more often, and the light output and focus isn't as good.

However for the amount of night driving i do, i couldn't justify $500 for a set of lightforce. I'm happy enough with them overall.

AnswerID: 301459

Reply By: Notso - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:16

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:16
Depends whether you want to fry eggs at 100 paces or not. I've always used Hellas of various configurations so have nothing to compare with. They have always suited my needs, but I'm sure there are better brands around.
AnswerID: 301460

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:26

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:26
Stephen,

When you go away, how do you go away?

Do you spend most of your time camping?
If so, you could plan your trips so you set up camp before nightfall and therefore would not be traveling at night.
In this sort of case, you don't need driving lights.

I have a pair of IPF's on the Jack and used then for the first time in ages last weekend, traveling to Moonta on York Peninsula. I only switched them on because I had them and the standard high beams (which have upgraded globes) are quite satisfactory.

Driving Lights are handy if traveling at night in country areas known for roo or livestock populations, but I generally pull over and set up camp well before sundown.

Bill


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AnswerID: 301463

Reply By: Ircon - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:48

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:48
Stephen,
I have a set of IPF 900s which I paid over $500.00 for about 4 years ago. Took them of my last car and don't think I'll need them on the new one.
One wide and one pencil beam, anti theft nuts, clear plastic stone protectors (one is cracked - did its job) and two White and Black covers which have never been used. Also got the complete wiring harness etc. Apart from the one cracked protector everything is as good as new and in top condition.
I was going to put them on e-bay but you can have them for $200.00 if you are interested.

ross.payne@issystems.com.au.

Rosscoe
AnswerID: 301467

Follow Up By: Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:11

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:11
Hi there Rosscoe, will get back to you on that one. Wifes buying them for my birthday so knowing her she will want new ones, you know in the box looking pretty BUT I will speak to her when she gets home later tonight and let you know. Can you give me the dimensions of them so I can check they will fit or not in space provided on bullbar. Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: Ircon - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:37

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:37
Stephen,

Same as my missus. I understand.

Have to measure them tonight. I have a 100 series LC with an OEM Toyota nudge bar. The mounting holes are too small for a start but that's not a huge problem.

They will fit but it'll be very tight.

One of the reasons I am not going to use them is they take up most of the grill area and as I will be towing a 2500 kg Caravan I am bit worried about cutting down the air flow too much.

Rosscoe
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Follow Up By: Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 22:59

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 22:59
Hi There Rosscoe, spoke to the wife and she did say a big thankyou for the offer and offering to me before you put on ebay BUT she wants to get them new for me as they are for my 40th so feels she cant buy me second hand ones for my birthday. So again thankyou for the offer. I am getting the 900 IPF's I think the model number is 900dc ??. Got a price of $347 everything + the clear lense covers and the special lock nuts. Yeah I know, an extra $150 could have thought of other things to get with that like another BFG for the spare (well close to it anyway) or some tyre deflators (staun) + a new tyre repair kit etc. Oh well cant argue with them eh. All the best thanks again. Hope you get a good price on ebay for them. Might get more then $200 hopefully. Regards Steve M
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Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:50

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:50
Stephen ,

If you decide to buy Hella , get the model number and email Hella Australia - ask them if you can drive through a creek or river crossing without them leaking .

Then move onto another brand .

My $2300 Hella Predator HID lights are very expensive fish bowls .

Willie
AnswerID: 301468

Follow Up By: Gossy - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:06

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:06
are you saying that yours leaked? I hope not for your sake at that price. I believe they have an awesome light output though.
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Follow Up By: Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:08

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:08
Hi There Willie, I hope you just hit the 0 button once extra by mistake. $2300 christ for that much I would want the bullbar to go with it LOL. Thats pretty bad eh to spend that much for them to take on water. But thanks for the heads up looks like hella's off the list even in the cheaper range. Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:36

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:36
willie maybe correct Steve
if I recall correctly, when i was being looking for some lights, BIL who has own autoelect business wanted me to fit HID Hella's which were around 600 plus fitting each...and i couldnt afford them either, even at brotherinlaw's cheap price...obviously Willie had just won lotto

Prices are still dear i believe for HID
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Follow Up By: Mogul - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 21:12

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 21:12
Never had a problem with my 4000's after many drowings.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 23:07

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 23:07
Oh What a Feeling!
Image Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 08:35

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 08:35
Hey Phil ,

Nice photo ! I have seen a similar one in one of the 4x4 mags when they took the then new Hilux on a test drive to Cape York .

When I filled mine up the first time , it was with very muddy water and I was never able to get them totally clean . Now I keep a roll of plastic bags in the car , speciffically as Hella raincoats .

The HIDs are brilliant lights , especially for an old fart who has failing eyesight and is having trouble spotting roadside roos at dawn and sunset . But what a pathetic design . If the wiring came though the bottom instead of halway up the back , there would be an airlock . As it is , they fill halfway immediately .

A quote from the Hella NSW sales manager
"Please note that the Predator lights are designed to the highest standard, however they were not designed to be submersed. If you are looking at making river crossings where the lights will be submerged then we do have a light that has been specifically designed for this function called the Hydrolux."

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 08:40

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 08:40
Phil ,
I forgot to ask you what model Hellas were in the photo - I could not see it in your rig section .
Thanks ,
Willie .
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Follow Up By: Member - David T (SA) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 09:53

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 09:53
Hi
I bought Hella 4000's last year and yes after 4 X 1 metre crossings to Twin Falls they were full of water. I got in touch with the local Hella manager who said the 4000's were not sold as waterproof but then offered to change them over to the Hydrolux which are twice as expensive but guaranteed waterproof to 1 metre (if you are 1 metre above the driving lights you are in trouble!!!). I returned the 4000's got the Hydrolux at no extra charge and very friendly service. The manager just said he wanted me to be happy with his products.
The 4000's were a disappointment but I cannot fault Hella service. I did approach them in a friendly way, was not confrontational and actually did not expect the service I got.

Cheers

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, May 02, 2008 at 10:26

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 10:26
has'nt anybody on here ever heard of silicone...if ya can build houses with the stuff it must be good enough keep water out of the spotties...:)))
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Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 10:45

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 10:45
Unfortunately MN1 you cannot seal them completely. They get hot when in use and air expand, so it just makes a new crack in your silicone seals and it is it. If you submerge your cold spotties into water you need to wait quite a while before they get damaged even if they not specifically design being underwater. But if they put under water hot, then air inside shrinks creating vacuum and water came inside spelling doom, unless they been specifically design to withstand such treatment.

Cheers
Serg
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:08

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:08
Willie,
Those lights were on a friends car - brand new in the year 2000. I'm not sure whether they were the Hella 2000's or 4000's?

MN1,
You can spend $2300 on a set of lights, and then have for fork out $8 for the Selleys All-clear!! I'd demand that $8 be taken off the price :-)))

Serg,
I don't know anybody who does deep water crossings at night.

Cheers
phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:24

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:24
Yep, Phil, exact reason why I am not so paranoid with water sealing and happy with 100-something Narva. There was explanation of theory.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:27

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:27
David T ,

I also contacted Hella in a non confrontationalist manner .

I was told the immersion / flooding was not covered by warranty , but if I wanted to get them out of my car ( big job ) and freight them to Melbourne at my expense then they would " have a look at them ".

Hella continue to advertise their driving lights in 4WD magazines and I think that they are ripping people off with false advertising . I spoke to their sales rep about this and he said that it was OK , as most 4WDs never went off road !

There is no warning on the packaging saying that the lights should not be submerged .

Hella stink .

Willie .
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Reply By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:56

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 15:56
I have put cheap Chinese made cr@p 2 years back. For that price (they been discounted twice and there was 25% off in K-Mart, $30 if I remember correctly) I thought I could not go wrong. Let me tell you – I went wrong and throw then away in 12 month. Now I have Narva (also got them with 20% off from Autobarn) and quite happy with them – bright, light and easy to adjust. I recon that IPF will not outperform them much (LightForce will – they have way bigger reflector, but cannot justify price), but my Narva will be doomed if I manage to submerge them especially when on, while IPF most likely will survive. This is where big difference in price came. Does it worth for you? Your call.

Serg
AnswerID: 301471

Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:19

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:19
I don't know what model IPF's your talking about, But my 930's on the Patrol throw out more than twice the light than the Narva's on my young blokes Zuke.

Dave....
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Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:25

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:25
Put better bulb inside and make proper wiring (8G including negative to battery) – you will be surprised indeed. And still heaps cheaper.
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Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:02

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:02
You can buy Cibie Oscar 180s for $265.00 or Super Oscar 220s for $285.00 as kits, both 'buy it now' on Ebay.
AnswerID: 301472

Follow Up By: Dave B (NSW) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 19:54

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 19:54
I have had the same Cibie Oscars on my last 5 vehicles and have had them since 1975.

No cracks or problems with the mountings as you get with plastic bodies.

Bullet-proof and a real good light.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:31

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:31
I also had the same set of Cibie Oscars on three cars and now they are on another members car as good as new ( I replaced the reflectors after the second car ).

I only changed to HIDs because of my failing eyesight .

Cibies are bulletproof and I never had one leak .

Willie .
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Reply By: Gossy - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:11

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:11
Noooooooooooooo. Not cibie oscar. I was so dissapointed with them I moved them over to the Camry. The Camry (with upgraded globes from ARB) are better output! Just drove over to Canberra from Adelaide for a wedding and very dissapointed (left at 3am). I knew they were average but I couldn't believe my Camry had better reflectors than a dedicated light.
AnswerID: 301476

Reply By: macbushy - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 18:18

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 18:18
Been bit of a fan of Cibie Super Oscars myself.
Tried the hellas etc, but corragations killed most of them.

Hunting around (ebay inclusive) you could get a set for $280 (from memory)
The spot is fantastic (melt sml jap cars @ 150mt if u inclined too), driving lens good.
AnswerID: 301505

Reply By: stefan P (Penrith NSW) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 18:43

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 18:43
G'day Stephen

Like you I have a rare need for driving lights, So I bought some Narvas, Yes they are 'cheap' on special for $99 when I got them usual is around $160 I think. I have found them to be perfect for my needs, I have had them under water once and they didn't leak.

Stefan
AnswerID: 301510

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 22:43

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 22:43
Stefan,
I'm the same as you. I got the $99 rectangular Narvas because the fit nicely under the headlights on the 79series, and I didn't want to waste money on expensive lights that would get stolen.

But no matter how much I tighten them up, they still droop down when you hit some corrugations. I reckon they're only worth $100 still.
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FollowupID: 567653

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 23:19

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 23:19
I got Narva's and saved up for the Lightforce XGT's, will never go back to anything Less I think
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Reply By: Gossy - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 09:59

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 09:59
it would be interesting to know just how much more is costs to make all the models that each manufacturer makes water proof. If done on bulk on the factory floor I'm sure it wouldn't cost much at all.

Every manufacturer would have to admit that 90% of their products will finish up on a 4wd. Maybe this is a good business opportunity for a manufacturer to have an advantage on their competitors.
AnswerID: 301639

Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 10:49

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 10:49
Not that easy. Not only it required seals everywhere including cable entry, but also it need to be put into consideration that air inside expands when hot and shrinks after use – so air should be able to go in and go out while water not.
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:36

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 11:36
Moronically stupid design is the biggest problem .

Hella have their cables coming into the light halfway up the back cover . This allows immediate water entry to the half full point .

If they had the cables coming in the bottom , there would be an airlock in the lights which would prevent water incursion during water crossings .

Willie .
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