Stand alone Hi/Lo beams

JTMcC

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I'm looking for input.
I have decent aux. Hi/Lo/+ driving lights on a 2002 Dodge 3500 that have improved my night driving a considerable amount, the factory lights all work and are at this point only an emergency backup if my "better" lights fail, they haven't been used in years except to check their function regularly in my 1/2 mile driveway.
I also have a 2005 Cadillac SRX, all lights function properly but my old 1 ton work truck has better lighting with old school halogens in (large) buckets + the cheap Hella aux Hi's. This truck has the large real estate and the alternator output to live happily with those lights.

The older Caddy, has of course less real estate to mount larger lights. But, I would like to add aux lights (both Hi and Lo beam), that will improve my Daughters ability to see both in town and during the long rural drives filled with critters crossing the road. It needs to be an improvement over stock lighting, but the stock lighting will remain in place to be used if need be. I have the ability to properly route and install reliable relays with soldered and shrinked connections and install hi quality switches.

I'm willing to install "large" lights in buckets if that yields great results. Better still would be slim self contained lights that better fit the front of a smaller car.

I'm willing to entertain separate Hi & Lo beams, IF they provide much better performance.

My budget is somewhat flexible, it would be nice to keep the expense of the lights (less relays, wiring, switches, etc, I have a lot of those) around $1,000.00, even less would be a bonus.

Looking hard at JW Speaker, open to other good options, but don't want to spend Speaker money unless I'm getting my best available option. Certainly willing to spend that $$$ for really good lights.

I have on hand multiple solid 5.75" low profile buckets, know well of solid 7" buckets (if need be), and we own a welding/fab company and have had the front facia/grill/bumper off of this car and can easily & cheaply fab any brackets needed even for large heavy lamps.

Skinny, low draw JW Speakers (or others?) would of course be best, but I'll go as big as needed.
Thanks.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Because you plan on these lamps replacing the factory lamps' functions, you MUST get lamps that are, by lens marking and real design, for those functions you are replacing. A lamp marked SAE Y is not a high beam meant to run alone, rather an auxiliary high beam, meant to be use in conjunction with the factory high beams. Similarly, an SAE Z lamp is an auxiliary low beam, not a standalone low beam. I'd limit my selections to JW Speaker or Truck-Lite high/low beam LED headlamps, myself.

Be prepared to get a lot of attention from police, though-- because it will look very unusual and may appear to be someone driving around with their off-road lamps on instead of using their normal lighting. One thing that will help (a little) is making sure that the other exterior lights like front position, sidemarker, registration plate lights, and tail lamps switch on when the 'relocated' lights are turned on, to prevent accidentally running around at night with just headlighting.

Also, and this is extremely important, those new lamps must be positioned such that they don't obscure the factory lamps; the turn signals and front position lamps still need their full range of visibility and the factory headlamps must also be able to work unimpeded throughout the range of test points in the beam (you don't want the non-working relocated lamps to shadow the factory headlamps in an emergency).
 
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-Virgil-

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Yeah, it's kind of hard to see this bumper-mount-lights idea as a good one, for all the reasons Alaric mentions. It's not a terrible idea, just hard to do really well and beneficially without introducing new safety hazards and issues.

If the factory headlamps are in poor condition, replace them. If you find them inadequate, replace them with the HIDs offered as original equipment (complete assemblies, not an "HID kit").
 

JTMcC

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Nobody mentioned HID kits, or placing lamps in front of the factory lights.

I just ask what Speaker option is the best Hi/Lo in a stand alone self contained bucket. I'll continue my search.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Nobody mentioned HID kits
That note about HID kits may have been for the benefit of people that see this thread after a search but aren't familiar with the right way of doing things, they see "get HID" and think it means they should look for an HID kit.

or placing lamps in front of the factory lights
And nobody said you'd be placing them *in front of* factory lights, but remember that the required viewing angles of turn signals and front position lamps, and the requirements of headlighting itself means that it may require a wider separation of these stand-alone lamps from existing lighting than you might realize.

I just ask what Speaker option is the best Hi/Lo in a stand alone self contained bucket.
If you have good 7" buckets and the real estate to mount them on the vehicle (keeping in mind not to render required lighting functions inoperative by improper placement), then get these and opt for the "Smart Heat" version (they say it's for "transport only" but there's no real reason to not sell them to you).
 
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-Virgil-

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Nobody mentioned HID kits, or placing lamps in front of the factory lights.

Yeah, and nobody mentioned increased pedestrian hazards or airbag impact sensor calibration issues or undesirable aerodynamic effects or radiator airflow blocking, either, until just now. But somebody did mention impairing the effectiveness of required lamps and lights, increased police attention, and other things that need to be considered and that you hadn't mentioned.

When you ask a question in a forum with a sizeable real-expertise presence, sometimes the answer you get is more like the answer you need than the answer you think you want. That can be a little bruising to the ego, but...well...that's how it goes sometimes!
 
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