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Auxiliary Lights Primer

 
Old 03-17-2017, 09:41 PM
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Default Auxiliary Lights Primer

Hey Guys,
I'd like to add some more lights up front and while I can handle the wiring, I don't know beans about lighting.
They'll be used primarily off/dirt road and/or at 3AM in the middle of nowhere(pavement) in MOOSE country.


I like this mount, but wish it was chrome:
http://www.autoanything.com/lights/60A4998A0A0.aspx


I need to know approximately what to buy/what equipment to start looking at.
I was thinking I'd do two and see how it worked, but I'm open to doing 4.
I thought I'd put them on an ON/OFF switch in the cabin, relay wired off my high beams.
Low beams + ON = 0
HI beams + ON = 1
Low/HI beams + OFF = 0


What type bulbs/temperature is best? LED? Halogen? something else?
What size/diameter should I look at(for starters)?
What brand is good(or which to avoid)?
Should they all be the same, or should I do 4 and have 2 of one function and 2 of another?
What else should I think about?


Thanks In advance,
TomJV

Last edited by tomjv; 03-17-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:25 AM
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Myself, I have a combination of HID and LED driving lights. The HID's are 6" PIAA pod lights, the RS600. The HID are best for long range, but the warm-up time is the killer. Sometimes at night I still need more light, even with sporatic traffic. So I solved that by adding a set of 7" PIAA LP570 pod LED lights. They are bright, but not like HID's, and don't throw light as far as the HID's. But I can switch them on and off at will without any danger of damaging the bulb. The HID's I just have wired with the harness and switch they came with. The LED's I have on a wireless remote. I have some pics in my albums showing the beam patterns. The HID's are about 4300 Kelvin. The LP570 LED lights are 5000 Kelvin.
The first pic are of the HID's, the next is the LED's.

Attached Thumbnails Auxiliary Lights Primer-15oct24_0035aw.jpg  

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Old 03-18-2017, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Scarlet View Post
Myself, I have a combination of HID and LED driving lights. The HID's are 6" PIAA pod lights, the RS600. The HID are best for long range, but the warm-up time is the killer. Sometimes at night I still need more light, even with sporatic traffic. So I solved that by adding a set of 7" PIAA LP570 pod LED lights. They are bright, but not like HID's, and don't throw light as far as the HID's. But I can switch them on and off at will without any danger of damaging the bulb. The HID's I just have wired with the harness and switch they came with. The LED's I have on a wireless remote. I have some pics in my albums showing the beam patterns. The HID's are about 4300 Kelvin. The LP570 LED lights are 5000 Kelvin.

Thanks for all the good info. That's exactly what I'm searching for. So it sounds like you leave the HIDs ON(in the proper circumstances) due to the "warm-up time" and I gather switching them ON and OFF is not good. They throw some NICE light.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:28 AM
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Yea, the HID's are the way to go for distance with a decent spill over (the light that "scatters" or bleeds off on the sides. However, technology is improving with the LED lights. There are some that are approaching or near the performance of good set of HID's. But they are expensive. In the pictures above, I have each set of lights aimed at a center point in the road. If want a little more spread you can aim them a little farther apart. The thing with HID (in simple terms) is that they don't operate the same way as Halogens. The actual bulb does not have a filament. It has gas inside it, and is ignited by a ballast. It takes a minute or two for the gas to get up to temperature before it gets to full brightness. repeated cycles of quick "off and on", as in the case of oncoming traffic, will cause the bulb to burn out prematurely. Besides, they are to bright for general use. I've had mine on the truck since late December of 2011. So far so good. With LED lights, there is no "bulb" to burn out. Just a chip with a LED. They can be cycled, generally, pretty much at will with out damage. I have a place out in West Virginia. So that is primarily where I use my HID's. My LED lights I can use on back roads with minimal traffic. HID's burn in the 4100-4300 Kelvin zone. LED's usually start around 5000 Kelvin. Just depends on your needs, and what you like. Do some research.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:42 AM
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So I'd avoid anything "CHEAP" because you get what you pay for.
Also if you plan to use these while driving, I'd honestly leave off a roof bar. They look great and do add some light, but the problem is they also blind you a bit since the light hits the hood. Unless you do a SPOT lightbar on your roof (above the windshield) i'd avoid those.

Color temp can vary. If you honestly want the best light source stay in the 5000k range. However there are NOT a lot of companies that play in this range.

Baja Designs does though, they sell lights for baja racers (duh) so they play in the 5000k range light. Below is a photo of my truck with our XHP series LED headlights which are 6500k and you can see my pillar lights are a different temperature. THOSE are the Baja Designs ones, and are 5000k So there is a bit of difference.

Baja makes some great products but they are pricey. HIGH HIGH quality and a tremendous amount of light output.

They work great for driving lights, and they sell them in a driving light pattern. I have the combo ones on my pillar and they work great.

Another idea for more light is a lower mounted light bar as you've been researching. I'd probably put in 4 lights over 1 light bar as you get more flexibility with how the lights are lined up. Although you'll save money putting in a light bar.

Again if you want quality, check out Baja Designs. Check out their light bars even. They sell them in a few sizes and they have AMAZING light outputs (they have to, they use them in baja racers which don't have headlights).

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Old 03-20-2017, 07:59 AM
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Ditto on the Baja Design's. Like he said, quality LED is pricey, but worth it. Also, I would check out KcHilites. www.kchilites.com. another is Rigid, www.rigidindustries.com. I have a '12 Polaris Ranger 800HD. I use a variety of Spot and driving lights on it. The roof lights are Two sets of Spot lights. The inner pair are the D2 Hyperspot, and the outter pair are the regular D2 Dually spot. Then on the front brushguard I have a set of the 6" E-series driving lights, and on the front of the cab I have a set of the SR-M2 mini driving lights, and a set on the back for reverse. I use them to throw light to the side. Just food for thought. Here are few pics.
Attached Thumbnails Auxiliary Lights Primer-16oct05_0010ew.jpg   Auxiliary Lights Primer-15oct01_0079bw.jpg   Auxiliary Lights Primer-16nov21_0019aw.jpg   Auxiliary Lights Primer-16nov21_0177aw.jpg   Auxiliary Lights Primer-16nov23_0110aw.jpg  

Auxiliary Lights Primer-16nov21_0219aw.jpg  

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Old 03-20-2017, 11:59 AM
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Anybody know what temp the stock LED headlights (2015 F150 Larry)are?
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4TruckLEDS.com View Post
So I'd avoid anything "CHEAP" because you get what you pay for.
if you want quality, check out Baja Designs. Check out their light bars even. They sell them in a few sizes and they have AMAZING light outputs (they have to, they use them in baja racers which don't have headlights).

Baja Designs KICK BUTT! I'll likely go for 4 of them, Squadron or XL.
Thanks for the tip!
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:25 PM
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:54 PM
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For you Raptor guys (2017+) they have an amazing Raptor kit now. Just PM me for info as it's not on our site yet. 2-3 week leadtime on them but it's a sick kit.
PM me for any other Baja Designs questions. We have a great relationship with them. It's one of those hidden gems that nobody knows about but everybody should. Small but holy hell powerfull
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