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Pencil Beams

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by SteveLCetc, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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    Does anybody have experience with or know of a good website about pencil beams - brands, comparisons, etc? ???
     
  2. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Steve,

    That's a pretty specific and unusual light pattern, so you'll have a difficult time finding one site that compares several pencil beam brands. They're virtually unusable outside of the racing world, BTW.

    DougM
     
  3. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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    I had some old Hella's on a previous vehicle that they don't make anymore. I'm not looking for megawatts, but I was thinking somebody might have compared how narrow the beams are. They'd be great for those long desert straightaways on the Interstate.
     
  4. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Get a set of what Hella calls "Euro beam" pattern lamps and they'll be better for desert driving than pencils. You'll be able to see beside the road (animals, etc) as well as down the road with a range of 2500 feet. At 90mph, that's nearly 20 seconds of lead time - tough to overdrive that range. The pencil beams will not show much beside the road, plus they make for serious glare when those hot spots hit the road on dips and rises - you'll be nightblind when you turn them off for traffic. That's why I say virtually unusable. In competition, you have pencils on, plus others and you never turn them off to worry about the night blindness.

    I'd wager you can still get the Hella lights you had - what were they?

    DougM
     
  5. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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    You're right - I checked and the 550's are still available. I wonder which would throw a narrower beam - the Euro Beams or the 550 driving lights. Do you know?
     
  6. sjcruiser

    sjcruiser

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    I think Hella 500(round) and 550(square) driving & fog lights are available at most parts store in my area - so there must be quite a few out there; no ?
     
  7. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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    Yep - they must have just been out at the two local Pep Boys stores. They didn't even have the fog light versions. Guess I have to go to NAPA and pay their premium...
     
  8. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    The "euro beam" is merely a beam pattern just like fog, pencil, etc. To get specifics, go to www.rallylights.com and they have links with pattern angles on the Hella USA site. Personally, if you want serious lighting, go large diameter round lights - the biggest you can afford.

    DougM

    Whups - had an errant E in it.....
     
  9. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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    That link doesn't work...
     
  10. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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  11. bkgiii

    bkgiii SILVER Star

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    I'll get on my Cibie' soapbox again....I love 'em!

    Look at a Cibie' SUper Oscar / Pencil Beam. I think reflective range is upwards of 750m or so. I also think there's another model that may be close to 1000.

    Daniel Stern made a suggestion to me a while back, and I've yet to order them from him: Cibie' Oscar SC - order one in a driving or pencil, and the other in a cornering beam. According to Daniel, this provides a lot of 'out front' light together with better illuination from the cornering beam. Reminds me I need to call him.....

    Anyway: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html (no affiliation, etc.)
    ...and to review 'claimed' range, http://www.bmackay.com.au/topdog/dllightspecial.html (Ibid.)


    SteveLCetc: PM me, please.
     
  12. SteveLCetc

    SteveLCetc

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    Actually I did something like that with my Hella 550's on an old 4runner. I had the driving light hooked up with the high beams and a clear lens fog light type pattern hooked up independently. It worked very well, except the fog light was not that noticeable. I could sometimes see two green mile markers at the same time though - one close and the other, a mile away.

    Steve H
     
  13. mot

    mot

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  14. T Y L E R

    T Y L E R

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    [glow=black,2,2][quote author=SteveLCetc link=board=2;threadid=11164;start=msg101561#msg101561 date=1076278134]
    I could sometimes see two green mile markers at the same time though - one close and the other, a mile away.

    Steve H
    [/quote]

    I can see two with only my low beams on . One on the right side of the road ... one across the highway ... :p[/glow]


    [glow=black,2,2]T Y L E R

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  15. s79bj40

    s79bj40

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    i have to say cibie super oscar for driving too. I think they have a better beam spread pattern than the hella rally 2000 and IPF eqiv. But if you really want pencil. Try LightForce www.lightforce.com I have heard plenty of good things about them and the recent comparison in 4x4monthly made it clear they are King of Spot. Hail lightforce.
     
  16. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Also did the "one of each" approach with the Hella Rallye 3000s. 1 Euro beam with 100w bulb for around a mile and a half reflective range, and the other a fog pattern for excellent lateral viewing of animals. The Euro caused the night blindness thing even after I dropped it to 55w - and that was in my 30s a decade ago.

    I still can't see pencils on a road vehicle, or an offroad vehicle. On a road rallye vehicle - yes by all means.

    DougM
     
  17. cary

    cary

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    I'll throw in my thoughts since I have a lighting fetish.

    1) Pencil beams are for a specific purpose, high speed desert racing where they also use other lights at the same time. They stink for road use.

    2) I am also a cibie fan. I have used the Oscar + driving lamp which have a great spread and supplement stock lights well. These guys have great prices on Cibie stuff and show the beam paterns. http://www.cibielights.com/cibie/cibie.html

    3) If you use hella, skip the 500 series. They are really cheaply made compared to the quality I expect from hella. Start with the 1000 series which are similar in size and much better construction.

    4) Great examples of how different light patterns actually work at night can be found on Hella Germany's site. http://www.hella.com/produktion/Hel...ghtTunnel/InfoLightTunnel/InfoLightTunnel.jsp
     
  18. bkgiii

    bkgiii SILVER Star

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  19. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    I'll add a comment to Cary's. Agree the 500 is their "Target/Kmart/NAPA" base model, though I've had good luck with the fogs as long as you don't overpower them. But using the 1000 model and up as your only considerations ignore's Hella's somewhat confusing product line nomenclature. For instance, I have a set of the FF200s on the Subaru. Seems like it would be lower than the 500, but they're actually high end medium format all metal lamps with Hella's Free Form technology, blah blah and sell for 3X the 500s. So peruse the Hella site before making a purchase so you can make sense of their nomenclature.

    Either way, carefully consider the choice of pencil beams for a road driven car.


    DougM
     
  20. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    Doug,

    What if you have a "pencil neck"? Can you use them then? :rolleyes: