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Thread: LED off-road lighting

  1. #1

    Default LED off-road lighting

    Besides VisionX or Phantom lighting, who is making LED light bars for off-roading?

    I've got an estimated $500 budget, want something that will give me more light than the current Hella 500s I have, and I like the size of the bars. I'd prefer not to have the round LED lights that are out.

    Anyone actually have real experience with these? I know the websites have photos, but I'd prefer someone not paid to sell their product.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* mossyoak's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    You wanting lighting for Baja long range lighting or intense flood for night rock crawling and tight trails?
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Check this thread. They are my atv lights, very bright. If you have any questions, feel free to post. They also make brighter ones. With your budget, you could get approx 4 of them.....which would be very nice because you could have 2 flood or trapezoid and then have 2 spots.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=265915

  4. #4

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Long range driving. Something out past my headlights, preferably. My brights are pretty good, but I figure if they can throw 100 yards relativel well, I'll be golden.

    Thanks for the pics, King! I should have specified, I'm looking for a "bar" instead of a square or round light since I want a low profile light that I can (potentially) mount in my grill. I have a light bar on my truck, but don't want to clutter it too much - it's mainly bumper protection.
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  5. #5
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    The biggest issue you will have in finding a 'bar' light is your budget. Here is another good place to look. What do you think of these?
    http://www.magnalight.com/c-283-led-truck-lights.aspx

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    The biggest issue you will have in finding a 'bar' light is your budget. Here is another good place to look. What do you think of these?
    http://www.magnalight.com/c-283-led-truck-lights.aspx
    Yep. $500 is about enough to make a nice one, but to buy one you've got to be ready to open the wallet much wider.

  7. #7

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    For OFFROAD USE ONLY................

    Cheap halogen lights + HID kit = 6,000 lumens for under $150.

    Not as much bling or gadget factor, but for maximum lumens/$ and lumens/pita, there isn't a better option.
    Last edited by Diesel_Bomber; 05-15-2010 at 04:04 PM.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    LED technology isn't to the point of really being able to compete with halogen or HID. Go HID if you really want an improvement.

  9. #9

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Diesel bomber, I know all about the HID kits. Not really impressed with their light pattern (or color) at this time. I've been doing lots of reading at some off-road forums about them.

    LightDoctor, I think you're probably about 50/50 on that statement. Some of the LED's are pretty damned amazing.

    The reason I'd prefer the LED is the location I want it mounted - in my grill. I have Tacoma, so the grill is "slatted" horizontally. I already have halogens on a light bar, but don't like how cluttered my front end looks.

    The $500 can easily go up - it's a big bonus I'm getting. I just want to try and keep most of it! But that other website has some really pricey ones!
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  10. #10

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mdinana View Post
    Diesel bomber, I know all about the HID kits. Not really impressed with their light pattern (or color) at this time. I've been doing lots of reading at some off-road forums about them.
    Don't blame you, there isn't much of a "beam pattern" to them. They make good work lights, which is how I use them. I also make sure and stick with 4300k only, none of the blue or purple garbage.

    Again, off road only.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    If you are inclined, you could design and make/have someone make something like this for you. See posts 64, 92, and 104. The maker went somewhere for a year and I think he should be back soon. He was planning on selling them.

    If you wait and buy one from him then thats great. If you design your own then I would make some changes. For starters I would use an optic on each LED. You could get different optics on each LED and create a semi-useful pattern. Second I would use XP-G LED's. Third I would probably make it as small as possible and incorporate some sort of active cooling (think water cooling with a radiator somewhere).

    I wish you luck in finding or making something.

  12. #12

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Spencer, thanks for the link. I've read most of it before, but it slipped my mind.

    I agree, optics would be nice. I wonder how robust they'd be though at the front of a car. Maybe sitting recessed would help?

    Also have to wonder if it'd be cheaper to DIY, or just buy commercial. Can you think any of the others here on CPF do that, who aren't on a mission trip? I wonder if the "regular" custom guys would do it for a competitive price.
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  13. #13
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    I'm currently saving to finish building my lights. My estimate of materials is about $380.

    I'm using housings (Gen. 1) I purchased from matthewm here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=258699

    It'll probably be cheaper by about $50 if I go the one driver route, using a TaskLED Hyperboost driver, but I'm running into a few problems, mainly with my limited electronics background.

    So if you can get decent housings cobbled together for relatively low cost (I paid $43 USD apiece for my two housings, but he was trying to get rid of them) and are good with the electronics, then you can do it less than $500.

    The lights I'm building are for maximum output, flood. You'll need much larger optics for tighter beams with the XP-G series of LED.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  14. #14

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    I realize this is not exactly what you're looking for, in that its not LED, and its not flat or low profile. They're Hella 700ff's, with H3 HID kits converted into them. But they're very very effective. I just wanted to share a tutorial I wrote regarding them. Again, forgive me because I know its not exactly what you're looking for, but they're VERY bright, and you could have 4 of them (20,000 lumens total!) for around $200.

    http://www.therangerstation.com/foru...771#post718771

    If you're dead sure you want LED, etc... Then i guess it isn't for you, but if you just want some very effective lighting, then its something to look into!

  15. #15

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtrhd0024 View Post
    I realize this is not exactly what you're looking for, in that its not LED, and its not flat or low profile. They're Hella 700ff's, with H3 HID kits converted into them. But they're very very effective. I just wanted to share a tutorial I wrote regarding them. Again, forgive me because I know its not exactly what you're looking for, but they're VERY bright, and you could have 4 of them (20,000 lumens total!) for around $200.

    http://www.therangerstation.com/foru...771#post718771

    If you're dead sure you want LED, etc... Then i guess it isn't for you, but if you just want some very effective lighting, then its something to look into!
    Thanks. I've seen a similar write up already on another Tacoma forum (probably the same one you did!) - in fact, I have 2 Hella 500's on there right now. The biggest reason I want to go LED is to get less "clutter" on the light bar. If I just wanted light, I'd do the HID switch in a heartbeat - the price is pretty amazing for light output.

    In some ways, I'd still rather do that, to be honest - the price of LED's is pretty staggering. LED's are also a bit better if you're doing the on/off often (not highway, but crowded off-roading in the desert or something similar)
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  16. #16

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    My own take, so far, based on what I see off road, is that the LED bars, due primarily to a lack of optics, and the small reflector space available for optics if used, limits the throw of these sources.

    The lumen outputs, and their use as a closer range flood, even if they say for example that the middle LED are for throw, or its a "spot pattern" etc...is excellent, as they excel at putting a bright pool of light right in front of you.

    For long range use, that same bright pool tends to make the person WITH the lights THINK that their lights are AMAZING, as they are so bright, its OBVIOUS that they are very very bright, and they are typically thrilled with the new light bar.....but, the problem is that all that proximal brightness kills your night vision (It looks like daylight right in front of you), so you can't see as far into the darkness...as your pupils are stopped down to protect you from the glare. Of course, you don't realize that when driving, until its too late...or ever, if nothing bad ever happens.

    So, for long range work , really good halogen and HID are a lot better at present. For a flood pattern, the LED light bars are great.

    For long range lighting, you don't want to waste light on the areas your headlights already cover, you want to put the light out where the headlights are falling off, and where the new (long range) lights will ADD range to your close range lights.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 12-14-2013 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Remove reference to link-spam (so as not to propagate it)

  17. #17

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    have you tried http://www.rіgidіndustrіes.cоm/ They are cheaper than Vision X or any Top Tier Offroad LED lights.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 12-14-2013 at 12:16 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    My own take, so far, based on what I see off road, is that the LED bars, due primarily to a lack of optics, and the small reflector space available for optics if used, limits the throw of these sources.

    The lumen outputs, and their use as a closer range flood, even if they say for example that the middle LED are for throw, or its a "spot pattern" etc...is excellent, as they excel at putting a bright pool of light right in front of you.



    So, for long range work , really good halogen and HID are a lot better at present. For a flood pattern, the LED light bars are great.
    Hey TEEJ, I hope it doesn't seem like I am trying to argue, but I bet you'd change your mind if you had a chance to try some of the newer LED lights when your wheeling. I know the old ones didn't throw too far but some of the newer ones give HID and halogens some good competition in the distance game. The Baja Designs Squadron XL is a pretty new product that is an example of this. With the optics options, you can create a comfortable balance of flood and throw too.

  19. #19

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    I went with e-bay offshore LED light bars because of my budget and am reasonably happy with them so far

    I'd have prefered to use a ridgid industries bar but they're $$. I also wish these were warmer as they're 6000k.
    As was mentioned they put out a ton of light and might augment your halogen lights for close range.
    I would also suggest mounting them in front of the vehicle because with mine on my roof basket it tends to light up the windshield and hood which really kills my night vision.

    I have more pics if interested.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Bigtoy302 on here makes an LED lightbar - have a look for Rydelfab lightbars.

    6x XML in a nice compact bar.

    I have no experience with the bars, but bigtoy302 is very communicative, and there is a build thread here on CPF somewhere, they are on my list of things to buy.
    flashlight collector by day
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  21. #21

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by calflash View Post
    Hey TEEJ, I hope it doesn't seem like I am trying to argue, but I bet you'd change your mind if you had a chance to try some of the newer LED lights when your wheeling. I know the old ones didn't throw too far but some of the newer ones give HID and halogens some good competition in the distance game. The Baja Designs Squadron XL is a pretty new product that is an example of this. With the optics options, you can create a comfortable balance of flood and throw too.
    LOL

    Sure.

    It would not be an argument, as I did say it's what I saw, so, if I saw something different, then THAT'S what I saw, and, so forth.

    Of course, some one would have to send them to me to review, or, get them, and show me how well they worked on their rig, etc.

    So far, If I take a lux meter and walk away, they are too bright too close, and too dim too far away, etc.

    If there are new versions, I'm in, but, I'd need to see it.



    For example, the "Balance of Flood and Throw" immediately sounds like flood up close while you need to see far...unless you can flip a switch, etc, and have ONLY the throw ones lit up and the flood ones off, when you need to see far?

  22. #22

    Default Re: LED off-road lighting

    Beyond LEDs, the makers are now beginning to experiment with LARP (laser-activated remote-phosphor) headlamps. BMW recently demonstrated a LARP high beam booster which doubles the 1-lux reach from 300 to 600 meters, compared to the "basic" LED high beams, and without adding any light anywhere at all close to the car. That technology will likely eventually sift down to the aftermarket. Not any time soon, though.

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