Jump to content

Welcome to NCLR - Northern California Land Rover Club
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Login to Account Create an Account
Photo

Cheap off-road lights. What to do?

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1
lilcrawler

lilcrawler

    NCLR/AZLRO Club Member

  • NCLR Guest+
  • PipPipPip
  • 950 posts
  • KI6WSS
  • 2004 Land Rover Discovery
I've never been that much into off-road lighting, but since I moved to New Mexico, I think I need to upgrade my lighting. I know I am going to have to drive US-60 in the dark at some point, and due to not many cars, and plentiful elk, I need some lights that have a little bit more range than my Hella 500s.

I already bought some bigger Hellas from Lutz a while ago that are probably going to find their way on the truck this weekend.

I know people have been having good luck with cheap LED light bars. Which ones should I go for? Which have the best light and quality for the price?

Thanks,
Tyler
Tyler
2004 DII- Not modified heavily enough

I get below 15 mpg on Fuelly!
Posted Image

#2
ROVRMAN2

ROVRMAN2

    NCLR011- Rupert

  • NCLR Club Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,438 posts
  • KJ6IOF
  • 2005 LR3 HSE
  • 2004 DII HSE (deceased)
  • 2003 DII HSE (deceased)

Check with Tom Owen, he bought his thru Amazon.com. I got mine thru Amazon too. All made in China, quality and designs are similar. Glass lens are more expensive vs polycarbonate. Usually 50k light hours before they go bad, but I've seen some that have failed LEDs before that time span. I've heard rumors that prices are down b/c of the Chinese economy, that may not be true. I had a friend shop for LEDs on the mainland and he said they were more expensive there than in US because of their taxes.

Do some more research and go Amazon or E-bay.  


2005 LR3, sliders, ARB bumper,Superwinch X9,Front Runner roof rack,OME ladder,
100w PV,aux battery,M416 camper trailer, RTT, LED lightbar, Green Oval lift rods.
AlCan,Dalton,Edgerton,Top of the World,Cassiar,Baja Sur Highways approved.

#3
lilcrawler

lilcrawler

    NCLR/AZLRO Club Member

  • NCLR Guest+
  • PipPipPip
  • 950 posts
  • KI6WSS
  • 2004 Land Rover Discovery
Are Cree lights any good? That's what eBay seems to be flooded with.
Tyler
2004 DII- Not modified heavily enough

I get below 15 mpg on Fuelly!
Posted Image

#4
AdvRovr

AdvRovr

    NCLR Treasurer

  • NCLR BOD Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,302 posts
  • Lathrop
  • K6ADV
  • 97 Range Rover 4.0
Cree is the maker of the LED itself, and they're pretty good. There are other components that make a huge difference though, like the reflector, lens, solder quality, and housing. As to which ones are good vs bad, I don't know.

Chad // Instagram: @AdvRovr
2009 Range Rover Sport // 2001 BMW 330Ci // 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser // 1996 Triumph Tiger 900

FOR SALE: Built 1997 Range Rover 4.0 // 2006 BMW 330i 6MT 


#5
JFuller

JFuller

    NCLR Guest

  • NCLR Guest
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,090 posts
From the comparisons I have seen and my own personal experience there is a big difference between the name brand led and the knock off stuff. For example Pedram had some Rigid led spot lights on his Toyota that projected light a ridiculous distance. They were compact and looked to be of quality build. I purchased some led spot lights on Amazon, a pair for $50. They were me t to replace the incadesent lights in he side of my rack. They have an aluminum housing and are quite bright which is what I was needing. But, the beam isn't nearly as focused nor does it travel as far as pedrams. They work well as a flood light for around the truck at camp and are mediocre at spoting things at a distance.

Here is an overly long and overly wordy comparison video of the just of what I'm talking about.
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=1vShTn7bWes

#6
lilcrawler

lilcrawler

    NCLR/AZLRO Club Member

  • NCLR Guest+
  • PipPipPip
  • 950 posts
  • KI6WSS
  • 2004 Land Rover Discovery
I talked to Graeme yesterday, and I think I'm going to go with this one. http://www.ebay.com/...47df418&vxp=mtr

I don't have the money for a rigid industries lights, and Graeme recommended Eyourlife. It's going to be better than my high beams, which is more than I can say for my Hella 500s. I'm going to go ahead and order this one, and I may post up a review here later.
Tyler
2004 DII- Not modified heavily enough

I get below 15 mpg on Fuelly!
Posted Image

#7
DHappel

DHappel

    NCLR Trip Ambassador

  • NCLR BOD Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,963 posts
  • Walnut Grove, CA
  • KK6TBH
  • '07 LR3 with stuff
  • '96 D1 Roadster
  • '94 RRC
  • '96 D1

For the money I don't think you'll go too far wrong with that bar.  Mounting location will be as important as anything - the rack-mounted stuff often causes so much glare on the hood it's nearly unusable.  There's a reason cars have headlights in the front.

 

As for Cree, Chad is right.  They simply make the LED itself.  Michele used to rep them when she was in the LED industry.  And like he said, the reflector is CRITICAL in getting good light output and pattern and plenty of other stuff makes a big difference in overall build quality.  

 

If you were racing or on an extended trip where you couldn't easily deal with a failure I'd push you toward one of the high-end brands like Baja Designs, Lightforce, or to a slightly lesser degree Rigid.  But for a non-critical application it's hard to justify spending 5 to 10 times the cost of the Chinese clones even if they aren't as good.


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#8
lilcrawler

lilcrawler

    NCLR/AZLRO Club Member

  • NCLR Guest+
  • PipPipPip
  • 950 posts
  • KI6WSS
  • 2004 Land Rover Discovery
I took the plunge. We'll see how it works out.
Tyler
2004 DII- Not modified heavily enough

I get below 15 mpg on Fuelly!
Posted Image

#9
GraemeWare

GraemeWare

    general old hooligan

  • NCLR Club Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,009 posts

Tyler,

 

It is tough being a 'poor' student.

 

Graeme


Graeme Ware -- San Carlos, CA

1990 Range Rover Classic - LT230 Transfer box, Warn winch, 2" lift, 235/85-16 Dunlop MUD Rovers, "Blue Submarine"
1996 Discovery 1 (R380 Manual Transmission, Ashcroft under-drive, RoverWare rear bumper, 33x12.5-15 BFG ATs) -- we call her "Katrina" -- Fordyce 7.5 mile survivor
1999 Discovery 2 (D1 CDL Linkage, 265/75-16 BFG A/T KO, RoverWare front and rear bumper)
1993 Jaguar XJS convertible; 1971 Triumph GT6; 1959 Morris Minor convertible
other assorted British pot metal ...


#10
lilcrawler

lilcrawler

    NCLR/AZLRO Club Member

  • NCLR Guest+
  • PipPipPip
  • 950 posts
  • KI6WSS
  • 2004 Land Rover Discovery
Graeme, I have budgets. This includes a Land Rover budget, which was added to when I sold a winch...
Tyler
2004 DII- Not modified heavily enough

I get below 15 mpg on Fuelly!
Posted Image

#11
DiscoChef

DiscoChef

    NCLR Club Member

  • NCLR Club Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,250 posts
  • KI6QBY
  • !998 D1
  • '06 LR3
  • '63 109 2A Regular
  • 95 LWB Sold
  • 95 LWB, '67 109

I bought a conversion set for the Hellas 4000's from Ledram and they work great! It was only about $80.00  


Enrique
KI6QBY

NCLR #10 Current Director & Founding Member
1962 Series IIA Reg. Waiting to be restored :(

1967 Series IIA Two Door Pick Up, Daily Driver
1992 RRC SOLD
1995 LWB SOLD
1995 LWB RubiconReady, SOLD
1998 D1, 4.6 Relocated to KY 

1998 D1 Arles Blue. Dismantled 
06 LR3 HSE ARB bumper with Warn Winch

1992 SWB Da Yeti. Dusy Ready


#12
TomOwen

TomOwen

    -

  • NCLR Guest
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,818 posts
  • Atherton, CA
  • KG6DHD
  • 1996 Discovery 1

Sorry to jump in this late Tyler.  

 

I have the 40" version of the light bar you bought. It throws out a lot of light (tied for the light competition at an Annual... fwiw ;-) and have been very happy with it form *MY USE*  For me, as a poser, I was very glad to have it the first time I was coming into White Rock Lake in the dark. This thing lights up EVERYTHING in front of me...awesome.

 

However, I was on the trail going fairly slowing... and that trip I parked the truck on the shore and flipped the switch hoping to light up the other side of the lake!...hmm... not so much.

 

Eventually did a little more research and found that these light do a great job of throwing a lot of light out front, but *not* as far out front as Rigids and other legitimate brands. When we used to drive our Disco along the back roads and rice fields to Chico, I ran the 550's on top for the same reason you are looking at on 60.  Things happen faster at freeway speeds so I wanted more light further down range. 

 

I think in combination with your pencil beams up front (Brenton's HID's are like Lay-zzerz!)  you'll be in great shape.  Be sure to reduce the glare off the hood/ dash and the other upgrade I like was to go to high-end (sylvania perhaps?) high beam bulbs in my head lights.  

 

Hope some of this helps and feel free to reach out if I can answer any specific questions

 

Tom


:lr:
Tom Owen
NCLR Vice President

__________________________________________________________________________
'96 Discovery I, 122k, 5sp, RoverWare Bumper, Winch, ARB, BFGs, LEDs, OMEs, SD, etc...

On a slow transition from Carpool to Trail with the help of this Club

Y2K Toyota Land Cruiser Series 100
; Cooper A/T3s, PacaSport, glitter, hair-bows, jolly ranchers and juice box stains...

@TomOwen


#13
Teds

Teds

    WJ6SPK

  • NCLR Club Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 899 posts
  • 2001 Range Rover
  • 2006 LR3
  • 2009 M1101 trailer

I have a 42 inch curved Chinese light bar from eBay as well and it is stupid bright for about 50 to 100 yards. At less than $200, it was a bargain as I wasn't going to be spending $1000 for something I use once a year. It claims driving lights in the center and floods on the side. Sounds like you want driving lights which project farther forward without as much disbursement.

 

I also upgraded my headlight bulbs with some brighter ones that increased lighting by about 50% while still keeping the stock reflectors.  Philips H4 Xtreme bulbs. They won't last as long, but burn much brighter and work great.

 

Also, I bought a wiring kit with switch on amazon that had the relay and everything ready, so it saved me a bunch of time on install. Hardest part is figuring how to mount it to the rack as I bought some Fourtreks clamps to attach to my SD rack.


  • TomOwen likes this
2001 Range Rover SE - SD rack, Warn XD9000CE, front axle guard, steering guard, sliders, ladder, coils, 33in KM2s
2006 LR3 SE - ARB bumper with Superwinch EP9, roof rack, Sasquatch Rods

#14
lilcrawler

lilcrawler

    NCLR/AZLRO Club Member

  • NCLR Guest+
  • PipPipPip
  • 950 posts
  • KI6WSS
  • 2004 Land Rover Discovery
I direct wired mine up to a jump pack, and it seemed very bright. I'm waiting on a switch before I can wire it up to the vehicle.
Tyler
2004 DII- Not modified heavily enough

I get below 15 mpg on Fuelly!
Posted Image

#15
TomOwen

TomOwen

    -

  • NCLR Guest
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,818 posts
  • Atherton, CA
  • KG6DHD
  • 1996 Discovery 1

I direct wired mine up to a jump pack, and it seemed very bright. I'm waiting on a switch before I can wire it up to the vehicle.

Tyler, that rack had the light bar (40") mounted to it. Mounting feet against the bottom of the flooring, same set-up as my current rack.  Wiring came out of the cowling, up the inside gasket of the A-pillar (D1) and to the lights. I put a connector under the hood so I could remove the rack if/when needed... super easy... I liked it there because it was relatively protected by being behind the front of the rack, also helped reduce glare off the hood quite a bit.  Not sure if you are considering this location but here ya go....   :-)


:lr:
Tom Owen
NCLR Vice President

__________________________________________________________________________
'96 Discovery I, 122k, 5sp, RoverWare Bumper, Winch, ARB, BFGs, LEDs, OMEs, SD, etc...

On a slow transition from Carpool to Trail with the help of this Club

Y2K Toyota Land Cruiser Series 100
; Cooper A/T3s, PacaSport, glitter, hair-bows, jolly ranchers and juice box stains...

@TomOwen





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users