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Thread: The best car mounted spotlights available

  1. #1

    Default The best car mounted spotlights available

    What i would like help with is this, I have a four wheel drive that i need extremely bright spot lights to mount on the front bullbar. money isn't an issue and i would prefer HID as the low current draw for mor light suits me. if anyone could let me know of any ideas that would be great.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    I've had fantastic service from Hella Ralley 4000 HID's. They're available in several beam patterns, one of which I believe is a spot. Note: These are ridiculously over powered for any kind of on-road use.
    Got Biodiesel?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by wadeo123 View Post
    What i would like help with is this, I have a four wheel drive that i need extremely bright spot lights to mount on the front bullbar. money isn't an issue and i would prefer HID as the low current draw for mor light suits me. if anyone could let me know of any ideas that would be great.

    Are you looking for a compact spot assembly or the really large housings? Do you want 35 or 50 watt HID?? Anything larger than ~6 inches is only for looks, the marginal improvement after that is very minimal.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by XeRay View Post
    Are you looking for a compact spot assembly or the really large housings? Do you want 35 or 50 watt HID?? Anything larger than ~6 inches is only for looks, the marginal improvement after that is very minimal.
    I think most standard car spotties are around 8-10 inches. which would suite me in size but if there is better available in a smaller size i would be keen to know about them. as for wattage... i am happy to go as high as necessary to get the best light output available

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    A lot depends on what your needs are. Do you want a very long range narrow/pencil beam or do you need more spread?

    In general, given the same quality of design and reflector then a bigger light will give you longer range since the increased reflector surface area is better able to concentrate and direct the light where it's wanted/needed. So, a 200mm light will outperform a 160mm and a 240mm will be better than a 200mm. The one apparent exception to this general rule is the Hella Rallye 4000 Compact Series which has remarkable performance for size.

    Here is a list of some lights that I've had experience with:

    Starting from the top. Largest light and longest range. Lightforce 240XGT. (Ignore the hate sessions that some people seem to have for this brand and evaluate on performance and suitability for need only). 240mm so a very big light suits larger 4WD's. 5200 lumens in 50w HID and 1 lux at 1500m. Very narrow beam but extremely intense. The coloured filters are a waste, as is the spread/combo filter. As a pure long range light they are pretty much unequalled and will take stones and laugh them off. Almost indestructible, I've hit kangaroos head on at 100km/h and had no damage.

    Hella Predator (Part No. 1367HB). Not quite the size at 220mm or the range (1 lux at 980m) of the Lightforce but a much better beam and only 35w. Excellent light. Downside is very expensive replacement parts costs. Glass lens can be easily damaged and comes with reflector. Covers are available and even though they reduce output slightly, are strongly recommended.

    Hella Rallye 4000 Compact (Part No. 1381). 170mm light with outstanding performance. 1 lux at 1000m from 35w HID. Free form reflector does tend to put a lot of light closer in and this reduces your ability to see at long range. Too much foreground IMO. Suffers from same cons as other Hella lights.

    A new player on the block. Fyrlyt. http://www.fyrlyt.com I haven't used these but specifications are impressive. 5000 lumens from a 150w halogen bulb and what appears to be a better beam pattern than the Lightforce. Slightly smaller (208mm) too, so more likely to fit. Composite body and alloy base are good design factors. Feedback on various forums all seems very positive. I'd be a bit concerned about the lifespan of a 150w bulb but there is a 100w alternative which offers 2800 lumens so still very, very good. Price is also a factor, at only $290 they are a fifth the cost of the top of the range Hellas, making them potentially excellent value and lens is replaceable. Well worth considering.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Thanks for the reply NFT5,
    i have had experience with all of the above with exception to the "Frylyt". and i was looking to see if i could get better than the 240xgt's but it looks like this may not be the case! ohh well i guess it means light force is the one. cheers again. but i will be sure to check out the frylyt first. cheers again

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by wadeo123 View Post
    ohh well i guess it means light force is the one.
    There are many reasons we refer to Lightforce as Lightfarce.

    I don't know a thing about Fyrlyt, however. Perhaps Scheinwerfermann may know more about them. If nothing else, at least they don't offer anything in HID.

  8. #8

    Grinser2 Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    [QUOTE=Alaric Darconville;3968743]There are many reasons we refer to Lightforce as Lightfarce.

    Umm, Ok. Well i had a bit of a flick through the links you put on here and now... i have to say i wish i tittled this forum diffrently!

    I think i need to recap here a little... i live in far northern queensland australia the closest population to me is over 10 hours drive. i am completly sorrounded by dirt roads some of which stretch for hundreds of kilometers in a straight line and in other points are filled with bends and hills. I do huge ammounts of pig hunting and roo shooting as well as highway driving. i do not required my spotlights to meet any perticular standard other than my desired performance as, like previously stated i am miles from nowhere! I will however be fitting a led light bar to my car to cater for wide spread high output close up light. so what i am asking is? (what is the absolute best car mounted spot light available) I.E what will give the best light at the furtherest point regardless of size.

    Keeping in mind. i work in a mine where rallye 4000's and Rallye Predator spot lights are used. and one of our major dramas with these products is that our roads out here are extremly corrogated and the hella lights tend to rattle to pieces. i have been using lightforce for years now and have absolutly no complaints. these lights have stood up to a hell of a lot more than any hella light i have delt with. and i have delt with a s$%t load. but at the end of the day my main intrest is if there is anything better.

    i would seriously look into custom designs for example there is one light which i am not sure if it is well known on here but it is called (nighteater) i know for a fact these lights out perform just about anything on the market but are extremley hard to get a hold of. so if anyone knows of anything similar please let me know

    thanks for all of your input

  9. #9

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    I recommend Hella 4000's all day long. I had 5 on the roof of my old race truck and converted all of them to 55watt HID. 3 Pencil beam, two "euro" beam. The output was outstanding. I couldn't outrun that configuration. I have 4 red ring china HID's now that are all right, but not as good as the hellas were. A Pair of Hella 4000's converted can be had for about $250.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    You can look at these 50 watt units, XV36-H1 or XV36-H2 www.xevision.com
    Lightforce used to buy true 50 watt (output) ballasts from us until a few years ago, before they went Asian.
    H1 Red bezel, the H2 silver or Gold bezel.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    I recommend Hella 4000's all day long. I had 5 on the roof of my old race truck and converted all of them to 55watt HID. 3 Pencil beam, two "euro" beam. The output was outstanding. I couldn't outrun that configuration. I have 4 red ring china HID's now that are all right, but not as good as the hellas were. A Pair of Hella 4000's converted can be had for about $250.
    So, you converted Hella 4000s, which had been designed for an incandescent light source, to use an arc-discharge source? You ruined the beam pattern and installed an illegal product. The only way to "convert" them to HID is to replace them with their HID counterpart, which uses a different reflector. (Ever wonder why Hella doesn't just make an 'HID kit' themselves? They know they're illegal, and unsafe, and ineffective.)

  12. #12

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    So, you converted Hella 4000s, which had been designed for an incandescent light source, to use an arc-discharge source? You ruined the beam pattern and installed an illegal product. The only way to "convert" them to HID is to replace them with their HID counterpart, which uses a different reflector. (Ever wonder why Hella doesn't just make an 'HID kit' themselves? They know they're illegal, and unsafe, and ineffective.)
    +1.

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    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default

    Check out Rigid Industries 50inch led light bars. 19600lumens pretty much lights up everything infront of you.
    Many land rovers owners came back with very positive reports.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by Benchiew View Post
    Check out Rigid Industries 50inch led light bars. 19600lumens pretty much lights up everything infront of you.
    Many land rovers owners came back with very positive reports.
    All that close in lighting ruins your night vision for the distance viewing. Many things to consider, where the light is and how much light. You can have too much light and it can be in the wrong places. LED is not very effective for spot lighting (pencil beams).

  15. #15

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    XeRay has a good, correct, and important point: if you are trying to see in the far distance, you want to tightly limit the amount of light in the foreground. A brightly-lit foreground causes your pupils to constrict, and your distance vision range nosedives.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    So, you converted Hella 4000s, which had been designed for an incandescent light source, to use an arc-discharge source? You ruined the beam pattern and installed an illegal product. The only way to "convert" them to HID is to replace them with their HID counterpart, which uses a different reflector. (Ever wonder why Hella doesn't just make an 'HID kit' themselves? They know they're illegal, and unsafe, and ineffective.)
    Yes, yes I did. Why? Because Hella offers the very same lamp and reflector with the bulb I used. There is no beam pattern to a spotlight, the lens is clear with no ribbing and the housing is circular. The beam pattern is a circle. An illegal product you say? Only if used on the road, and considering that desert racing takes place in well, the DESERT it is completely and absolutely legal. I'm well aware of all the issues created by using a plug and play kit on the road and in a conventional headlamp; they do not apply in this instance. (Beam pattern, cutoff, reflector/bowl shape)

    Go do your typical trolling in another thread, you wont get anywhere here.


    What I love about the typical poster here, is that they don't understand that there are some of us who need complete and utter saturation of light far out in front of us. That is why many racers use a pair of dim halogen lamps illuminate the foreground, and HID lamps to throw light far.
    Last edited by viper37; 06-23-2012 at 09:38 AM.

  17. #17

    Buttrock Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    Yes, yes I did. Why? Because Hella offers the very same lamp and reflector with the bulb I used. There is no beam pattern to a spotlight, the lens is clear with no ribbing and the housing is circular. The beam pattern is a circle. An illegal product you say? Only if used on the road, and considering that desert racing takes place in well, the DESERT it is completely and absolutely legal. I'm well aware of all the issues created by using a plug and play kit on the road and in a conventional headlamp; they do not apply in this instance. (Beam pattern, cutoff, reflector/bowl shape)

    Go do your typical trolling in another thread, you wont get anywhere here.


    What I love about the typical poster here, is that they don't understand that there are some of us who need complete and utter saturation of light far out in front of us. That is why many racers use a pair of dim halogen lamps illuminate the foreground, and HID lamps to throw light far.

    While they may work for you, I would have to say that a pencil beam light IS a beam pattern....as opposed to saying it doesn't have a beam pattern. (The reflector and emitter dictate the pattern as well as the glass or other lens/cover might)

    IE: A Pencil Beam describes the beam shape...as shaped like a pencil.

    So, if the reflector is set up to focus the light collected from an emitter at a particular depth in the reflector for example, moving the emitter to a different depth will change the pattern.


    After that, its really about HOW it changed it. If the change is acceptable, sure, you can be happy with it. As a halogen and HID capsules tend to put the emission source in a different location, as they are shaped differently, typically at least in depth relative to the reflector bowl...the light will therefore be focused in a different pattern.

    When I had an HID capsule swapped for a halogen in my headlights a while back...the HID capsule's depth change essentially flipped the beam upside down, and took away the sharp cut off....so that the edge lighting had more diffusion. (it was less focused)

    Obviously, on a round beam, "flipping" in of itself would not be a problem. Of course, as the new depth for the capsule is random...the "flip" might not be a flip. It might just make the beam broader or tighter for example...and probably less focused, as the odds of the new depth being the same as the old (optimized) depth are slim.

    So, most people are OK with a less focused spot beam, as a little circle of light way off in the distance is not as useful as a flood of light off in the distance.

    For high speed driving...depending on the terrain...you might WANT close up light to see ruts, rocks, etc, better, and give reaction time to pick your lines, etc....and, you have to be going pretty damn fast to ONLY need to see details at spot beam distances. So, as some people DO go pretty dam fast, on terrain that only requires you to stay on the trail or road...and not need to plan whoop de doop approach/landings or obstacle avoidances, so sure....that's what works.

    For most people, a wall of light that illuminates everything close up, to mid range, to long range is perfect....as you don't NEED night vision if the road is lit up....you can use day vision.

    If you are driving so fast that the lights can't throw far enough to provide adequate reaction time...THEN you need night vision to try to see out that much farther.

    At ~100 mph, to get~10 seconds of reaction time, you need to see things about ~500 yards away.

    Most racers have a roughly 1/10 of a second reaction time, and a second is typically enough to for micro adjustments of brake/gas steering, etc. At 100 mph, that means that what they see 100 yards away is what they need to set up for to have time to set up for it...minimum.

    Some rally drivers can do all that in half the time, etc, but, that's the general rule of thumb....the driver and equipment and terrain/course dictate the details.

    The real benefit to long range lights is the ability to plan the entire line...so you don't accidentally run your self into a bad set of obstacles that would require slowing to navigate...and allow a fast sweep through the limiting factors with minimal adjustments, etc.

    So while you might be able to initiate a reaction in a second or less as far as steering/brake input, etc...you might need to have the rig STOP if there's a unavoidable problem, like a bridge being out/blocked by a bull, etc.

    So, you need to add the time to COMPLETE the avoidance maneuver to the line of sight....to allow execution of the resolution, etc. If that's ~ 10 seconds, then that's about another 500 yards at 100 mph, and so forth.

    That's why ~1,000 yard beams are in demand typically for desert racing for example....that works out to a reasonable lead time for reactions at high speeds.

    On the other hand, if you are traveling at 50 mph, you can get by with half the range...etc.


    The advantage of the pencil is it can get the light down range further, but at the sacrifice in coverage. The floodier beams show more of the terrain at at time, and can warn of an impending path crossing by an animal better, etc.

    If the HID capsule in a halogen reflector is a bit floodier due to a loss in focus...it can work better off road at intermediate speeds, but potentially worse at higher speeds.

    So, if racing...probably better to just use high performance lights designed for what you need.


    If just avoiding roos in a DD, it might not matter.




    That's a generic version for anyone reading. If you find that HELLA offers an HID version of the lamp and they use the same HID capsule and the same Halogen in the same lamp...its possible that they worked the mount and/or choice of emitters to work within a particular range...but that's unusual, and I had not heard of that until this thread.

    So you found that the HELLA 4000 lamp was designed to use either emitter?
    Last edited by TEEJ; 06-23-2012 at 10:23 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Hella no longer sells the reflector bowls by themselves. When they did, the part numbers were the same for the 4000 and 4000 HID. I know because I've ordered them before customers before.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    Hella offers the very same lamp and reflector with the bulb I used.
    Not correct. The housing's the same, but the actual optical surface -- the working surface of the reflector -- is different for halogen vs. HID. It is not the same.

    There is no beam pattern to a spotlight
    That is not correct. A spot beam is a type of beam pattern. So is a fog beam, a flood beam, a low beam, a high beam, etc.

    the lens is clear with no ribbing and the housing is circular
    Yes, but neither of those two facts means "there is no beam pattern".

    The beam pattern is a circle.
    But you just said there is "no beam pattern", so how can the beam pattern be a circle if there's no beam pattern? ;-) Please think more carefully before posting.

    Go do your typical trolling in another thread, you wont get anywhere here.
    Consider this your only warning to watch your mouth. Mealymouthed language like this is not acceptable. Go—right now, please—and re-read the rules of this board. You are expected to follow them.

    Thank you, that will be all.

  20. #20

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    Hella no longer sells the reflector bowls by themselves. When they did, the part numbers were the same for the 4000 and 4000 HID.
    That's incorrect on all counts, actually. Hella part numbers for the lens/reflector unit (what you are calling the "reflector bowls", though the reflector has never been available without the attached lens) are as follows:

    1F8 162 870-011 for H1 halogen pencil beam version of the Rallye 4000
    1F8 165 949-011 for Xenon pencil beam version of the Rallye 4000

    Both part numbers show up as current-production, orderable items with plenty of stock available.

  21. #21

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    That's incorrect on all counts,

    As I've said before, I have ordered the reflectors by themselves. I order them through Fibertech which orders Hella parts directly from Hella, not a distributor. Please don't tell me what I am and am not doing, I am quite certain the little chrome bowls that I keep getting in the mail and putting into housings with broken bowls are in fact identical. I may have done this a few times, after all I do own an offroad shop.

    As for watching my mouth, how am I in the wrong? His posts are always of a condescending and holier-then-thou nature, I'm simply returning that. I'm certainly not trying to be disrespectful, however it is difficult to remain so when such attitudes are held as acceptable.
    Last edited by viper37; 06-23-2012 at 09:36 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    As I've said before
    OK, but Hella doesn't agree with your recollection of what you ordered. Just for fun I dug back through the revisions to the Rallye 4000 part and subcomponent family clear back to its introduction, and the reflectors have in fact never, ever been available as a separate service part without the lens.

    I order them through Fibertech which orders Hella parts directly from Hella
    I log directly into Hella's databases in the US, Germany, and Australia, so I'm pretty comfortable with the solidity of my information.

    Please don't tell me what I am and am not doing
    I am telling you you'll be doing no further flaming, baiting, or trolling -- stop it now or you may find yourself taking some involuntary time out from this forum to rethink how you behave here.

    I do own an offroad shop.
    I don't know you or your shop, but your offering this up as some kind of support for your assertions does put me in the position of having to state that some of the least-accurate lighting "information" I have seen/heard has come from owners and staffers of offroad/4x4 and "speed" shops.

    I am quite certain the little chrome bowls that I keep getting in the mail and putting into housings with broken bowls are in fact identical.
    An incorrect assertion remains incorrect no matter how often you repeat it, and lamp reflectors do not involve chrome and are generally not very prone to breakage.

    As for watching my mouth, how am I in the wrong?
    Re-read the rules as many times as it takes for understanding to dawn. Pay particular attention to rules #4 and #8.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 06-23-2012 at 11:38 PM.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    As I've said before, I have ordered the reflectors by themselves. I order them through Fibertech which orders Hella parts directly from Hella, not a distributor. Please don't tell me what I am and am not doing, I am quite certain the little chrome bowls that I keep getting in the mail and putting into housings with broken bowls are in fact identical. I may have done this a few times, after all I do own an offroad shop.
    Chrome? You're not getting Hella if you're getting chrome bowls. The reflective surface is vapor-deposited aluminum (atomic number 13), not chromium (atomic number 24). A reflector with a chrome surface could never come close to the performance of a reflector with a vapor-deposited aluminum surface.

    Again, the actual shape of the reflector for a halogen light source is necessarily different from the shape of an arc-discharge light source, considering the different characteristics of those two light sources (a filament has a single hotspot in its center; an arc has two hotspots at the electrodes). The difference may not be so easy to spot with the naked eye (or perhaps nearly impossible to do so), but there IS a difference, and therefore two different part numbers, which I see have been provided by Scheinwerfermann.

    As for watching my mouth, how am I in the wrong? His posts are always of a condescending and holier-then-thou nature, I'm simply returning that. I'm certainly not trying to be disrespectful, however it is difficult to remain so when such attitudes are held as acceptable.
    I don't believe I'm displaying a holier-than-thou attitude, I believe I'm simply presenting the facts. When I see people giving advice that can result in property damage, personal injury, or death, however, I try to respond with information in an effort to prevent such things. Having correct information and offering good advice is not trolling. Were that the case, Scheinwerfermann would need to invest in some solar cells to keep his deep-cycle batteries topped off, since he'd be the king of trolls.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    Quote Originally Posted by viper37 View Post
    An illegal product you say? Only if used on the road, and considering that desert racing takes place in well, the DESERT it is completely and absolutely legal. I'm well aware of all the issues created by using a plug and play kit on the road and in a conventional headlamp; they do not apply in this instance. (Beam pattern, cutoff, reflector/bowl shape)
    The illegality is inherent in the HID 'kit' itself (they are "illegal per se"), irrespective of the use of them. It doesn't matter whether it's installed in a road-going vehicle or a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, as they are designed to allow an HID capsule to be installed in a lamp that is designed only to accept a particular halogen bulb (in the case of the Hella 4000, the H1, which uses a P14.5S base). There are no arc-discharge replaceable light sources using a P14.5S base, therefore, an arc-discharge burner would have to be rebased to fit where the H1 would go. There are no provisions in the law for "intended use", and the "for off-road use only" disclaimers on vendor sites have no legal meaning.

  25. #25

    Default Re: The best car mounted spotlights available

    This thread is now far afield from the topic and is beginning to morph into a flame war. For that reason, it is now closed.

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