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Thread: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I'll try to be direct and brief. I'd like to buy a set of low/high beams that can be mounted to my bumper.

    Backstory: I had a 2011 Durango with the HID headlights and really liked the low beam headlights.

    Today: I have a 3 week old 2017 F150 with LED headlights and I don't think they are nearly as good on low beams.

    My want: To compensate for the poor low beams, I'd like to buy a set of bolt-on lights. Maybe something like the JW Speaker 8801.

    Does anyone know of a good compliant LED (or HID) light I can mount to my bumper and use with my factory low beams? If they had low and high beams (like the Speaker 8630, but bumper mountable)...that would be a huge bonus.

    I only want to consider safe legal lighting options, which unfortunately seem to be very limited in LED (And probably halogen and HID). My baseline hope is to meet the IIHS criteria for low and high beams with the added lights. I do realize IIHS isn't everything, but it provides a convenient goal.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 07-05-2017 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    You're right about the LEDs Ford is putting on their trucks lately: nice looking lights, but their objective performance ain't so hot, and no, they don't even come close to the rather good HIDs you had on your Durango.

    The JW Speaker 8801s, in low beam or high beam, are really good lights...but in order to have low + high beam you'd have to have either one of each (funny-looking) or a pair of each (expensive). You'd get a better result and better ROI if you buy a pair of stout heavy-duty PAR56 housings (these), discard the pathetic sealed beam they come with, and then take your choice of which LED 7" unit to install instead of the sealed beam. The "top dog" would be the JW Speaker 8700 Evo-2 (chrome or black), but the Peterson and the Truck-Lite are also solid choices. All of them are well made (in the USA if that matters to you) and all of them are fully legal. If you go this route, you would be wise to drill a couple of lines of 1/4" vent holes in the top and bottom of the PAR56 housings, about half an inch back from the rim flange, to allow airflow past the heat sink on the back of the lamp. The lamps are hermetically sealed, so there's no risk of water getting in through the vent holes, but they'll appreciate the cooler running the vents will allow (I note you're in TX, not known for its cool weather).

    It seemed to me, in the back of my mind, that JW Speaker used to offer real nice bumper-mountable versions of the 8700...I don't find them on their website, but this distributor page has what looks like an old listing (lens shown as glass, which was the case for the first version of the 8700, some years ago). You might phone up JW Speaker and see if they still make those but with the newest 8700 lamp, or if they still make the housing as a separate part, if you don't like the Grote housing linked above.

    As fas as IIHS: No, there are no headlamps that meet the IIHS criteria such as it sounds like you have in mind. The IIHS doesn't test headlamps, it tests cars. Any given headlamp on one car will get a different "grade" from IIHS than the same headlamp on a different car...or the same headlamp on a different unit of the same kind of car, for that matter. The proposed NCAP test, on the other hand, is possible to apply to headlamps themselves, and JW Speaker has been designing their lamps lately to get a good score on the NCAP test (which results in very "European-like" low beam patterns). The NCAP test is technically sound in terms of seeing and glare -- that is, it tests what it claims to test -- but it applies only to low beam. That's not such a big deal; all of the headlamps I mention here have very good high beams.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 07-05-2017 at 01:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Thanks Virgil! This is one of the things I love about CPF, the ability to get useful info. You went above and beyond.

    I've contacted JW Speaker directly to see if they have some unlisted method to pedestal mount the 8700 Evo-2 lights (like the 8700's you linked, but in the newest version). If they don't, I'm going to search for aluminum buckets so I can remove a lot of material without the worry of rust. Plus, aluminum should help dissipate the heat better, if that product even exists.

    It's too bad Ford didn't do a better job on their LED lights. The rear LED lights are just as bad. Their taillights only have 2 tiny red bars visible to traffic behind you. Mine have the Bliss (blind spot monitoring) and that is the worst version for rear conspicuity (real word?) at night. At least they have a decently sized reflector on it.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 07-05-2017 at 01:32 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    You're welcome. "Conspicuity" is a real word, and it means exactly what you used it to mean. There's a thread about the taillamps.

    (Please post what you learn back from JW Speaker; those were really nice housings they used to offer...)
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 07-05-2017 at 01:32 PM.

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    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I'll let you know what they say. I contacted them through their website late on Tuesday with what I was wanting. They haven't responded yet, hopefully because they are cobbling together a great solution and want to perfect it before they reach back out to me.

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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    You're right about the LEDs Ford is putting on their trucks lately: nice looking lights, but their objective performance ain't so hot, ….
    Perhaps better headlights are coming soon from Ford? I saw this in an agenda for a DVN Jaunuary 2017 workshop.

    SESSION 1 • FUTURE LIGHTING TECHNOLOGIES

    Ford, Stephen Helwig – Thorsten Warwell
    “New Lighting technology at Ford & Lincoln: Premium headlamps in the US”


    BMW, Christian Amann
    “New Functions and technological innovations at BMW, a true improvement for road safety“

    Audi, Michael Hamm
    “Today’s and Future Technologies meet Rules and Regulations”.
    http://www.drivingvisionnews.com/pdf...hester2017.pdf

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    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    I'll let you know what they say. I contacted them through their website late on Tuesday with what I was wanting. They haven't responded yet, hopefully because they are cobbling together a great solution and want to perfect it before they reach back out to me.
    Someone from JW Speaker reached out to mype last week, but I missed the call. I'll get in touch with her this week and see what they recommend. I'll report back.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I was able to chat with customer service this morning.

    They suggested their best pedestal mounted product for my application would be the 8632 Evo (JW Speaker part number 0551983). In this model, I would select "12-24V DOT/ECE LED RHT High & LowBeam Headlights with Turn Signal, FP & DRL - 2 Light Kit". Link: http://www.jwspeaker.com/products/le...ution/0551983/

    I asked about the 8700 Evo J2 (their newest product), she said it can be mounted in one of their discontinued light brackets (JW Speaker part number 3157021). I found some in stock at an offroad truck supply store, but they are almost $200 each. JW Speaker doesn't currently offer any method to pedestal mount the 8700 Evo J2. I have found that some motorcycles come with 7" headlights....I don't know if this light will fit perfectly inside one of those buckets. You can buy some pretty nice looking 7" motorcycle buckets for $50+ and bumper mount it.

    So, now I just need to decide if I want to buy the readily mountable 8632 Evo or throw caution to the wind and try to cobble together a bucket and the 8700 Evo J2's.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Better performance from the larger 8700 Evo 2 (not the J2, that's a Jeep-specific lamp not applicable for what you're doing). It's a shame JW Speaker doesn't make the pedestal-mount housings for it any more, but your motorcycle housing idea is a good one if you buy a good quality unit. But given the chitzy quality of many aftermarket motorcycle headlight housings, you would likely have an easier time and wind up with a better result if you revert back to the ones I linked back in post #2 of this thread. :-)

  10. #10
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Any update to this? Wanting to do something similar

  11. #11
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Yes, I've decided to do it. My only delay is my wife wants me to wait for school to start before blowing a wad of cash on truck lights. Our summer expenses are higher than our family expenses when it's not summer.

    I hope to order them in a couple of weeks and then mount them up as quickly as I can.

    It looks to be a straightforward install, I'm pretty good at wiring accessories.

    Sorry about not updating yet. I'm big on researching before I buy, so this thread was to find help on some good lights. Virgil came to the rescue pretty quick....quicker than I was ready to spend the $$$.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Today, I'm ready to order the lights. This project has been prioritized due to the time change and darkness is falling earlier.

    Since this thread started, Sylvania has begun to offer a Zevo 7" low/high beam headlight. With it being newer, I'd expect it to be more efficient and perform better than older products (though, that may not be the case). Before I jump on Amazon and get something coming in, does anyone know how they would compare to the Truck-Lite or JW Speaker lights? Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OYR8MVO

    This is a project I'll only do once on this vehicle, so I want to do it right the first and only time. I'll have this truck for 5-6 years, I'd hate to live with any regrets for that long.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 11-08-2017 at 03:51 PM. Reason: De-tokenized Amazon URL

  13. #13

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    Since this thread started, Sylvania has begun to offer a Zevo 7" low/high beam headlight.
    That headlamp has been available since before this thread started. Also, it's not Sylvania's product, it's their rebox of the 701C from Peterson, which is about on par with the Truck-Lite lamp.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I wouldn't buy anything labeled sylvania just on principle, with that said, I love my Trucklites =)

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