What is the brightest off road light for the money

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Crawdad, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Crawdad

    Crawdad

    Messages:
    232
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    87
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    Orem UTAH
    I have seen a lot of interesting info on LED light bar's, on bright off road spot's, and other interesting ideas.

    If my single purpose was to see wildlife as far away as humanly possible while driving on a country road at night, what would you use?

    All input appreciated.
     
  2. 72RatCamaro

    72RatCamaro

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Rigid Industries FTMFW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    PNGCRUISER likes this.
  3. yoopercharged

    yoopercharged

    Messages:
    1,132
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Marquette,MI
    For the money, Hella 500s are very hard to beat. I'd stick with a driving light.
     
  4. CycloSteve

    CycloSteve SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,742
    Media:
    1,053
    Albums:
    45
    Likes Received:
    918
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    Stuck between a rock and a hard place
    PNGCRUISER likes this.
  5. Mark W

    Mark W

    Messages:
    6,197
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    The Greatland
    For the money? 100 watt aircraft landing light bulbs in whatever 2o buck a piece housing you can find.


    LEDs are not in the running yet for tossing light down the road. HIDs are coming down, but still more expensive. And they have a warm up time which is a draw back for a light you want to flick off and back on for passing traffic.


    Mark...
     
    Marine7 likes this.
  6. sky90

    sky90

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    I recall recent light shootout on a 4wd mag- HID good for penetration (the top light had 1lux@900m), while LED is evenly brite & good spread.

    1lux is enough to read newspaper.

    HID better for highway, while LED is excellent for wheeling. :D

    me thinks going to get LED with changeable lens ;)
     
  7. Mark W

    Mark W

    Messages:
    6,197
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    The Greatland
    He asked about affordable high performance long range lighting.

    Affordable

    High Performance

    Long Range.


    LEDs simply are not in the equation. Soon, hopefully. But they are not here yet.

    HIDs are. But they still lose on the "brightest for the money" comparison. And for my uses, I really don't like the warm up lag that the HIDs have.

    I'm watching the development of both LED and HID and waiting... but a good 100 watt halogen spot beam is still hard to beat for affordable down the road light on a dark highway or back road.


    Mark...
     
  8. sky90

    sky90

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Here you go, 'penetration' per 31 lights shoot out-
    Halogen 100w (6-8 amps) max out around 1lux@500m/1600ft
    HID 50w (4-6 amps) max out around 1lux@900m/3000ft
    LED 4-9 amps max out at around 1lux@200m/650ft

    Apparently, the overall design of the light, especially the reflector profile, determine its overall effectiveness, not just wattage. Personally, fit-for-purpose always trumps price, sorry :grinpimp:

    Personally, I had 2 animal strikes (cant avoid), had them coming out of the bushes, maybe having a decent spread of light is useful too. :D
     
  9. TexasJack

    TexasJack SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,312
    Likes Received:
    719
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas / Ft.Worth
    Might want to get a light with a grid cover on it as well. Lights don't do you much good when wheeling if they get broken by a branch...voice of experience. I have the PIAA Halogens on my truck and they work well....really reach out a long way on a dark road.
     
  10. Mark W

    Mark W

    Messages:
    6,197
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    The Greatland


    The OP specifically says that price is a concern for him.

    What sort of lighting do you run on your rig to serve this need?


    It is a no brainer... or I would assume that it is... that reflector size and quality matters as much as wattage. As does the quality of the bulb.


    What exactly is "penetration"????? I have never seen that term used in reference to lighting before.

    I have yet to use or even see a drivinglight or "spot" beam that does not throw more side scatter illumination than any low beams do. For road use, you get plenty of light in the bushes with this sort of light.


    Mark...
     
  11. S.CarolinaFZJ80

    S.CarolinaFZJ80 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,344
    Media:
    19
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    843
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Just get a set of Light Force 240's. Great light output and not terribly expensive plus when and if one ever plans to get HID, you can simply upgrade using their HID retrofit kit.
     
  12. KliersLC

    KliersLC

    Messages:
    3,539
    Likes Received:
    324
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Find a set of the old KC 130w daylighters. They are usually dirt cheap used and you can still get the replacement bulbs. I have two on my rig and two in reserve. They will flat outshine anything within $200.
     
  13. timer00

    timer00

    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    NEPA
    Ditto love mine :D
     
  14. PNGCRUISER

    PNGCRUISER

    Messages:
    166
    Media:
    14
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Waxahachie, Tx.
    Lightforce 240 Blitz HID:cool:
     
  15. BirfMark

    BirfMark

    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Winner winner, chicken dinner.

    I picked up a set from Carquest a few years back, best lights I ever paid $20 for.

    -another Mark.
     
  16. mhanssens

    mhanssens

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    $60.00 HID offroad kit i built:

    $29.99 for offroad lights from harbor freight tools with an H-3 style lamp

    +/- $25.00 HID conversion kit "ebay"

    the "offroad lights" from harbor freight come with a switch and wiring etc

    this is the cheapest i have done and found
     
  17. Wilson

    Wilson

    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    Paradise, Ca
    I've been happy with the kragen HID's (7"~$140 ea) on my buggy. We did a HID retrofit on my wife's passat and the hi-beam lag is a bummer for flashing, but the warmup is not too bad, since the low's stay on constantly.
     
  18. lndcruz

    lndcruz

    Messages:
    1,604
    Media:
    5
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Anniston, AL
    I love my Hella 4000s with a 4300k hid kit. They are ultra bright and cost about $250 with the cheap HID kit.

    Back when I still had depo halogen headlamps
    [​IMG]
    low+high
    [​IMG]
    Low+high+4000 hids
    [​IMG]
     
  19. sky90

    sky90

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
  20. Crawdad

    Crawdad

    Messages:
    232
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    87
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    Orem UTAH
    I really appreciate all the input. I am trying to accomplish two tasks here at the same time. 1st, my 80 has the Toshiba HIR bulbs for headlights and it's better than stock, but not great for offroad applications. I really need to mount some decent lights on my bumper but don't have a lot of $ to throw at lights.

    2nd, a friend of mine hunts the northern plains all year and we are toughening his 2005 excursion due to a lot of scrapes and dings. He has had some close calls on those lonely 2 lane roads in the middle of the night with wildlife and he wants to sunburn a moose at 1000yds at 65mph just in case... so a little research can settle both of our needs.

    I think we are going to try the cheap housings with the HID conversions as well as a set of the 130w aviation or hella type lights for starters. Both of us are interested in the LED setup, but the price is a little off-putting for now.

    Thanks again, great to be part of such a great group with so much knowledge.

    Crawdad. (randy)
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.