Automotive Aux driving lights for Ford Ranger

Wellington-Ont

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Hi there,

What a great resource this is. Can't remember how I found it, but it was a link from some auto forum. Have perused Dan Sterns site, and found it very informative.

I want to add a pair of lamps to a CARR license plate light bar I have on order. The stock Ford headlights are terrible, especially the high beams. I bought a pair of Philips platinums, but not much better. In fact, one of the bulbs is not as bright as the other. A waste of money.

First question is, using the stock headlight, is there a way to get more light? Higher wattage, or HID? Not sure what's legal.

The first thing I want to do is add a pair of so-called driving lamps. I do a lot of distance driving in hilly, curvy terrain. There is a lot of good stuff out there, which make an intelligent decision for me difficult.

I'm thinking I need one light that will light up the shoulders, and a bright spot for the straights.

I had a pair of rectangular PIAAs on a Focus that did that. The light that lit the shoulders was a slit of light that did a good job. I had a pair of H3 100W bulbs in them.

Looking forward to your suggestions. Links would be helpful, too.

Regards, Paul.
 

Alaric Darconville

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I bought a pair of Philips platinums, but not much better. In fact, one of the bulbs is not as bright as the other. A waste of money.

I'm not familiar with the "Philips Platinum"-- did you mean GE Nighthawk Platinum? The GE NHP is a good bulb-- brightness differences could be a ground or power issue to the lamp assemblies.
First question is, using the stock headlight, is there a way to get more light? Higher wattage, or HID? Not sure what's legal.
It'd help to know what year Ford Ranger you have. (Installing HID capsules in a fixture designed for a filament bulb, irrespective of model year, however, is still illegal.)
The first thing I want to do is add a pair of so-called driving lamps. I do a lot of distance driving in hilly, curvy terrain. I'm thinking I need one light that will light up the shoulders, and a bright spot for the straights.
Auxiliary high-beam lamps-- the pair would be better to be a matched set.
I had a pair of rectangular PIAAs on a Focus that did that. The light that lit the shoulders was a slit of light that did a good job. I had a pair of H3 100W bulbs in them.
You THINK they did a good job, but then again, you were using PIAA, so it's not likely. Subjective impressions of the lighting quality can fool you.
 

Hamilton Felix

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I have on occasion, mounted a pair of Cibie 5-3/4" high beams in housings suitable for a PAR46 sealed beam, then installed them as auxiliary high beams -- or driving lights -- whichever you choose to call them.

At least on a small pickup, you have a little space to mount lights.

For stock headlights, go with heavy wiring and relays before you do anything -- certainly before you even think about higher wattage bulbs. Stock wiring is barely adequate the day it leaves the factory. And Ford's definition of "adequate" likely allows more voltage drop than would your definition or mine.
 
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-Virgil-

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Need way more info in order to answer the question helpfully...what year is your Ranger, are you trying to get more light when you're in traffic (with low beams) or when you're on empty roads (with high beams), and in what kind(s) of weather? Did you write in to Stern and see what he recommends? PIAA's stuff is generally overhyped and overpriced. "HID kits" in halogen-bulb headlamps (any kit, any halogen lamp, any vehicle) do not work safely or effectively, which is why they are illegal. See here.

What exact bulbs did you put in your headlamps? There's no legitimate Philips product called "Platinum", and if one bulb is dimmer than the other (and the dim side remains the same when you swap the bulbs left-for-right) then it tells us your headlamp wiring is sorely in need of an upgrade.
 

Wellington-Ont

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Need way more info in order to answer the question helpfully...what year is your Ranger, are you trying to get more light when you're in traffic (with low beams) or when you're on empty roads (with high beams), and in what kind(s) of weather?
2010 Ford Ranger.

Lows are not too bad in traffic. On empty country roads, lows could be brighter. The low beam pattern seem okay.

The brightness of highs on country roads is very inadequate. Very noticeable when going from lows to high beams. Output is much less on highs.

Wet weather stock lights very poor. Lots of deer around, so I slow 'way down.

Did you write in to Stern and see what he recommends?
No, I haven't.
PIAA's stuff is generally overhyped and overpriced.
Yes, I agree. I think I had the extremes. Very expensive! They were brighter than the stock bulbs in my Focus, but would burn up in a couple of months. Canadian Tire wanted to cut me off with replacements because I was in there so often.

"HID kits" in halogen-bulb headlamps (any kit, any halogen lamp, any vehicle) do not work safely or effectively, which is why they are illegal. See here.
Thanks for the link.

[/QUOTE]What exact bulbs did you put in your headlamps? There's no legitimate Philips product called "Platinum", and if one bulb is dimmer than the other (and the dim side remains the same when you swap the bulbs left-for-right) then it tells us your headlamp wiring is sorely in need of an upgrade.[/QUOTE]
Yes, they are GE Platinums. I'll swap them out and see.

I'll check to see if there is voltage drop at bulbs.

Thank you.
 

Wellington-Ont

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Yes, you are correct. The 9007 bulbs are GE Nighhawk Platinums. I'll swap them and if it's the bulb or voltage issue.

The vehicle is a 2010 Ford Ranger.

Yes, I agree that the PIAAs are very much overpriced for what you get. They tend to burn out much sooner, too.

I'll check for voltage drop at the bulbs, and if necessary talk with Daniel for his recommendations.

I'm trying to get more light with the high beams. Low beam in traffic seems adequate around town. Out in the boonies, the lows, and particularly the highs, are inadequate.

I'll check with Stern for advice.
 

Wellington-Ont

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I received this informative post from Mr. Stern:

The headlamp optics in the '10 Ranger aren't the world's best, and the high beams are weak, but the lows are not awful. Better bulbs will bring up the intensity and punch a little; use these (and only these):
http://store.candlepower.com/bfcopo90hbpo1.html .

Hilly country and empty roads sounds like you need a set of auxiliary high beam "driving" lamps. Don't pick by wattage (what goes in the back), pick by beam photometry (what comes out the front). The Carr LightWing is a good mount; you have to mount it good and rigidly. I would put on a set of Cibie Oscar Super Compe complex-reflector lamps; one wide beam and one long beam. The resultant composite beam is more useful through a greater range of speeds and a greater range of road geometries than two of either type of lamp. These are $192/ea, all glass and metal, professional-grade lamps, see attached. They use an H1 bulb. Recommend you use a 55w ultra high efficacy bulb; the best one is http://store.candlepower.com/bfcopotphxtp1.html but there are other good ones; I stock a Narva Rangepower+50 H1 at $15.50 that's quite excellent. See attached for dimensions and beam overview.

You'll want to wire these up such that you can switch them on only when the high beam headlamps are on, and they go off immediately when you switch to low beam or turn off the headlamps. Good pro-quality ready-built wiring harness (made by Hella -- their heavy-duty one, not the consumer-grade item) is $66.

Make sure the headlamps and aux lamps are aimed correctly per http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

Any thoughts on Mr. Stern's advice? Other alternatives?
 

Alaric Darconville

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Any thoughts on Mr. Stern's advice? Other alternatives?

I wasn't sure if the GE Nighthawk Platinum was better than the Philips X-Treme Power (my heart wanted to believe the Philips was better regardless), but if Daniel Stern says it is, then I suppose it is. I'm not sure I'd jump to replace the NHPs right off, though, unless Scheinwerfermann also concurs with Mr. Stern.

You can't go wrong with installing a set of high quality relays and good wire. Again, as you have described the difference in brightness, the swap will tell you if it's wiring or not. As new a vehicle as it is, the dealer may be able to inspect the wiring and grounds to ensure all is OK-- although the new relays would mask the problem, there's still a lingering problem to deal with.

And now I know that if he's recommending a "mix" of auxiliary high beam lights (one narrow/one wide), that mixing the two isn't a bad thing. I'm assuming he's recommend the narrow one on the left, wide one on the right (assuming Right Hand Traffic), but you should clarify with him which beam goes on which side.
 

Wellington-Ont

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I had an Oscar given to me several years ago by a friend. Those lights are BIG. At the time I did not have a use for it so I gave it away.
 

-Virgil-

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Stern's advice looks sound to me. Night Hawk Platinums don't look like bad bulbs, though they are overpriced ($60/pair last time I looked!) and I prefer the Philips burner. Assuming both NHP bulbs are good, go ahead and run them til they burn out, then get the Philips XPs. Swap the bulbs side for side and see if the dim one moves, indicating a faulty bulb, or if it stays on the same side, indicating a wiring problem. Those Cibie SC lamps he proposes really are quite excellent and well made, and I agree with the philosophy and reason of running one long beam (on the driver's side) and one wide (on the passenger side). There have been at least three sizes of lamp marketed by Cibie under the "Oscar" name; the biggest is the Super Oscar, which is about 9" diameter and I don't recall how deep, but very deep. The Oscar Plus is about 7" diameter and not terribly deep, and the Oscar and Oscar SC are 7" diameter and somewhat deeper than the Oscar Plus. See if you can get hold of a dimensional drawing of the Oscar SC, but I can't imagine it not fitting comfortably on that Carr bar; most of the lamp housing is forward of the mounting point so you shouldn't have any rearward clearance problems.
 

Diesel_Bomber

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I really like how Stern recommended another company's product because it was better than the similar product he himself sells, potentially shorting himself the sale.

That man has integrity.
 

Wellington-Ont

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I really like how Stern recommended another company's product because it was better than the similar product he himself sells, potentially shorting himself the sale.

That man has integrity.

Yes, I am impressed, too.

Does Cibie have an English site? I have only been able to access a Chinese version.

I'm trying to find info on the differences between the various versions of the Oscar. Mr. Stern recomments this version:

Cibie Oscar Super Compe complex-reflector lamps

Are any of you using these?

I like his recommendation on using both a wide and pencil version. I drive in hilly, curvy, often wet terrain with many deer stepping into the roadway.

Regards, Paul.
 

-Virgil-

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Cibie is a brand, not a company. It belongs to Valeo, the large French-based global auto parts conglomerate. There is no official Cibie website, though a Japanese 4x4/offroad shop has for years owned the cibie.com domain. They offer a strange mix of what look like real Valeo-made Cibie lamps and Cibie-branded stuff not actually made by Valeo, and they seem to make liberal use of the "Oscar" name for the latter category. I don't know what site you might have seen in Chinese.

I think Stern has spec sheets for all the various (real) Oscar lamps; you might ping him for them. The Oscar Super Compes are the newest ones and from what I have seen they have very well engineered optics.
 

spexmaniac

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In my foolish youth I used to be into road rallying, which for those who don't know always takes place at night on remote country roads, the rules only allow 2 spotlamps max. The best makes then were Cibie and Hella.
Cibie used to do 3 lens patterns fog, drive and spot.
fog is a short wide beam designed for fog/snow/mist/spray
Drive was a long range with some spread, a good all round compromise
spot is a ultra long range pencil beam.
Most cars ran 2x spot, some ran 1 spot and one drive and occasionally some ran 2 drive. (the theory was if your going quick down a country lane the further you could see the better and the flare of the spot and main beam headlamps would fill in the roads boundries)
the demon tweeks website will fill in some blanks for you as they carry a huge range of cibie and hella http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk
the complex reflector is pressumably a new take on drive lamps type output.
Another lighting company that his impressed me (and I'm currently using) is Lightforce, made to survive the aussie outback they have some unique features, some models have a focus mechanism that varies the lamp from flood to spot (like a mag lite) others have snap over lens adaptors allow changing from fog to spot in seconds, they are well built and I have been really impressed, worth a look.
If the dim bulb is a wiring fault, I would be doing some serious compalining at your ford dealers.
hth
John
 
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-Virgil-

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Lightforce

Oh, boy; here we go again. See previous discussions here, here, here, and here.

made to survive the aussie outback

Made in China or Taiwan entirely of plastic and using non-automotive bulbs and not approved or certified for any kind of on-road use and hyped up with silly colored plastic filter plates that don't actually do anything useful, let alone what the maker promises...

...and marketed out of Australia.
 

Wellington-Ont

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Thanks for the link. I've read them and have decided that Lightforce lights are not for me. I'll be sticking with Cibie and Hella.

Hella because I re-acquired the lamp that I gave to a friend. It turns out that it is not a Cibie light, but a Hella 1000 Ralley lamp. It's a spot lamp.

I'm planning on mounting it in the centre of a light bar with an Oscar on either side of the Hella.

I have been considering using the Hella as the "spot" and 2 Cibie clear fogs to brighten up the shoulders.

Any thoughts on that idea?

Regards, Paul.
 

-Virgil-

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Fogs don't have enough distance reach to be useful at anything like normal dry-weather speeds, and spots tend not to be very useful except on very long arrow-straight roads.
 

Wellington-Ont

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Fogs don't have enough distance reach to be useful at anything like normal dry-weather speeds, and spots tend not to be very useful except on very long arrow-straight roads.

So if I want to use the Hella 1000, should go with Mr. Stern's suggestion with the 2 Cibies, and add the Hella in the middle?

Or some other configuration?
 

-Virgil-

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So if I want to use the Hella 1000, should go with Mr. Stern's suggestion with the 2 Cibies, and add the Hella in the middle?

If I were in your shoes (er, tires) that's probably what I'd do. A single spotlight in the middle will (obviously) extend the distance reach of the overall beam distribution.
 

Wellington-Ont

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Quote: Remember, the stock setup has power for the headlamps going from battery through firewall to dashboard, through tiny contacts in headlamp switch, up steering column, through tiny contacts in low/high beam switch, back down steering column, back through firewall, forward to the headlights...all through really thin wire. I'd say if you use good quality relays and do the wiring neatly, your reliability and performance will improve. End quote.

Can anybody tell me if this headlight powering procedure is used in the 2010 Ford Ranger?

Thanks, Paul.
 
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