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Thread: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

  1. #1

    Default [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Hey guys,
    Im after a set of LED off-road lights for my trail rig. I have IPF 968's on there now with the 100w bulb, and well its not cutting it. The 100watt bulb doesnt look 100w at all. So I thought, I use MatthewM's LED housing on my mountain bike ( small 2LED light ) and thats pretty bright... So why not LEDs for the rig? I know about the light bars out there, but the price is VERY steep.

    With that being said, what about buying cheap Chinese LED lights. Utilizing the housings, or hell maybe even disassemble the lights, check the thermals out and soldering and maybe leave them as be. Id really like to upgrade them if possible... So with that being said, is it worth to buy the cheap LED lights and then mod as needed/necessary?

    Here are some:

    eBay Item number: 120885686056

    This one seems to have a thicker housing

    EBay Item number: 160767443432

    Do not link directly to eBay - Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 04-04-2012 at 08:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    Hey guys,
    Im after a set of LED off-road lights for my trail rig. I have IPF 968's on there now with the 100w bulb, and well its not cutting it. The 100watt bulb doesnt look 100w at all. So I thought, I use MatthewM's LED housing on my mountain bike ( small 2LED light ) and thats pretty bright... So why not LEDs for the rig? I know about the light bars out there, but the price is VERY steep.
    The 100W bulbs that are in there may be starved for voltage depending on the wiring, so going to a lower wattage bulb may actually improve the performancw. Or, you could install relays and heavy duty wiring, but throwing good effort after bad money is still a waste.

    If the bulbs are the IPF "Fatboys", get those out of there as they are abysmal underperformers. (Also, IPF is known for putting out some standard-wattage bulbs with patently false markings such as "55W=85W" and similar.) One reason they are underperformers is that they have poor beam focus, and the large envelope reduces the filament temperature, lowering the filament luminance.

    But to try to go to LEDs, remember that thermal management is a huge issue even today. The cheap lights that are out there often aren't even close to having decent thermal management.

    Maybe Hilldweller or Scheinwerfermann can recommend some genuinely good auxiliary lighting that won't break the bank.

  3. #3

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Thanks man.. Maybe I'll go with the standard bulbs and see what they get me.. any recommendations on good h3 bulbs? what about retro fit an HID in there? I dont think I can get an h3 bulb short enough to fit in the housing.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    Thanks man.. Maybe I'll go with the standard bulbs and see what they get me.. any recommendations on good h3 bulbs? what about retro fit an HID in there? I dont think I can get an h3 bulb short enough to fit in the housing.
    If you mean just throwing in some HID capsules and ballast (one of those "HID kits"), no. An HID capsule has two hotspots away from the center (at each electrode, basically), and the overall shape is an arc; the lamp assemblies are designed for a single hotspot from a straight filament. You'll mess up the beam focus for sure. Additionally, such a kit is illegal per se; that the lighting equipment is for "off-road use only" is immaterial.

    If the lamps you are using are designed for H3 bulbs, then the Osram Night Breaker or the Narva Rangepower +50 would be two good choices.

  5. #5

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    pssst. Read the first post

    Off road lights for my rig.. hence the OFF Thanks for the recommendations. I live in Md near that store too.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    pssst. Read the first post

    Off road lights for my rig.. hence the OFF Thanks for the recommendations. I live in Md near that store too.
    Psssst. Read the words "illegal per se". This is a legal term meaning "illegal in itself". If they can fit regulated vehicle equipment, they are illegal, even if marketed as "off-road only" or installed in unregulated vehicle equipment.

    Besides, putting an HID kit in already bad lights won't make them better, whether on- or off-road.

  7. #7

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    I'm still "unenlightened" so maybe you can explain that. I've read lots of posts about how it's illegal and unwise to "upgrade" your standard on-road automotive lighting with HID or LED retrofits, but how is it illegal to install an off-road HID kit in an off-road auxiliary light housing for off-road use?

  8. #8

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    The difficulty is that regulated items of vehicle equipment must be compliant with all applicable Federal safety standards if they are physically able to be installed on a vehicle certified as compliant with all applicable Federal safety standards. The phrase "Off-road use only" is legally meaningless.

  9. #9

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    even if you only use them, well off road? As in never used while on pavement?

  10. #10

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    This is news to me too, but I think I get it. Kind of like selling quaaludes "for veterinary use only" does not make them legal.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    even if you only use them, well off road? As in never used while on pavement?
    It is the kit itself, no matter how used or not used. So, yes.

  12. #12

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Now I got ya. Its not so much doing the lights, but the kit by itself isnt good to go.. thanks.

  13. #13

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    I'm still unclear on exactly which aspect is illegal. Re the thousands of HID kits on eBay is it illegal to:
    make?
    sell?
    buy?
    install?
    use?
    a HID retrofit kit in an off-road light on an off-road machine? Or is the issue only for dual-purpose machines that MAY be used on-road?
    Please be specific. I thought this application was exempt from the federal regulations.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfcreek View Post
    This is news to me too, but I think I get it. Kind of like selling quaaludes "for veterinary use only" does not make them legal.
    Because even manufacturing them is illegal now, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    Now I got ya. Its not so much doing the lights, but the kit by itself isnt good to go.. thanks.
    Right. And once it's illegal (it started that way!) it cannot be made legal.

    Quote Originally Posted by guy48065 View Post
    I'm still unclear on exactly which aspect is illegal. Re the thousands of HID kits on eBay is it illegal to:
    make?
    sell?
    buy?
    install?
    use?
    a HID retrofit kit in an off-road light on an off-road machine? Or is the issue only for dual-purpose machines that MAY be used on-road?
    Please be specific. I thought this application was exempt from the federal regulations.
    Making and selling is illegal. Importing them is illegal. Once illegally obtained, they are illegal to sell. They start out illegal, so subsequent changing of hands doesn't strip that property, which makes installing them illegal, hence use is also illegal.

    There are plenty of "off road" lamps. The issue isn't the lamp, the issue is that the replaceable light source the "HID kits" use will fit in regulated vehicle lamps.

    To put it another way, let's use an electrical code type analogy. I'm sketchy on the laws on it now, but if you recall the old, horribly dangerous, practice of putting a penny in a fuse box if there were no spares available (even the Boy Scout Manual suggested doing that at one time!), it may now be illegal. Pennies are legal, obviously, so putting it in the fuse box is illegal because of the electrical hazard. That doesn't make the pennies illegal in themselves.

    On the other hand, an extension cord with two male ends on it is illegal in and of itself in most sane places. One can buy 16ga wire, one can buy replacement plugs, but one cannot make the 'finished product' itself.

    Again, it's not whether the vehicle itself is on/off/both/none/every-road. The individual vehicle and its own lamps are not at issue, it's that the 'kit' will fit in an item of regulated motor vehicle equipment.

    Now that the knackerman has hauled the remains of that unfortunate horse to the glue factory, we should try to examine what better lighting options there may be for the OP.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 04-05-2012 at 07:34 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    I can't understand how so many (eBay, Amazon, brick&mortar retail stores, etc) are selling these kits in violation of federal laws. IF these kits are illegal in every way for every purpose, how do they get away with it?

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by guy48065 View Post
    I can't understand how so many (eBay, Amazon, brick&mortar retail stores, etc) are selling these kits in violation of federal laws. IF these kits are illegal in every way for every purpose, how do they get away with it?
    Occasionally, they don't. The NHTSA sometimes gets involved.

    Regardless of the haphazard enforcement, they're still illegal. Regardless of the legal situation, they're still unsafe and ineffective.

    Again, I think we've taken this as far as it can go. There are countless threads that discuss this, and about the same count of them end up this way, derailed from the original topic.

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    Default Re: [ Off-road LEDs ] Poential mod possible??

    Closing the thread.

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