LED lightbars

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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mlrailguy
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LED lightbars

Post by mlrailguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:59 pm

Wondering what guys are using, and how well do they actually work? Do they cut through dense dust for instance? Do they light up dunes good enough to see drop-offs in time?

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Leatherneck
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Leatherneck » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:06 pm

The light at I have works great till you hit the heavy dust then you see a lighted wall of dust.

Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:15 pm

mlrailguy wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:59 pm
Wondering what guys are using, and how well do they actually work? Do they cut through dense dust for instance? Do they light up dunes good enough to see drop-offs in time?
An opinion :wink:

Dense dust, like fog, is going to reflect the glare of your flame throwers back to you so you mount them low.

Did you know you can get too much light out there and blind people either coming towards or you or wash out the ground in front of you/them? I had a pair of "searchlights" :roll: on my blue buggy at one time; I was asked by friends and others to "please don't use them". I think a couple of airplanes tried to land on the dunes as I was pretty close to an airport at the time :wink: :lol: . They also put out so much heat that I think you might have been able to get a tan at night if you stood in front of me with that pair on.

Depending on where or how high you mount them you might see looks to be the top of the hillock or small dune but not what is behind it. Bright lights have a tendency to flatten things out; I've seen what looked as tiny hillocks end up being a drop-off.

Unless you purchase the wide beam LEDs (I think they still sell them) your beam is going to be very narrow spot on the face of a hill or dune. One of the reasons they have a stack of lights so they can aim them in a pattern to be able to see more. Aiming those lights kind of like a fan so you can see but accidentally blind or cause others not to see isn't a good idea either.

I have a pair of fairly powerful lights mounted on the front bumper but seldom ever use them. Kind of got to the point where going out at night is asking for problems. We used to play hide and seek out on the dune at night (CB required for the "gotcha!") but now days no; all too often people don't watch where they are going doubling up on that kind of driving at night or don't even use their lights (EGO). One of the guys who used to ride with us darn near drowned when he drove into a ground water lake. His lights skipped over the edge/bank of the water which did not reflect back from what I was told. Just a dark spot like the shadow might be on the other side of the hillock.

Also you might want to mount them forward or so that the lights don't reflect back to you off your front beam, fenders or other shiny stuff on your toy.

Lee

My opinion is worth slightly less than you paid for it.

mlrailguy
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by mlrailguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:41 pm

Yea, I've gotten to where I don't like going out in the dark. That's for the young guys who still have good eyes.

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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:39 pm

mlrailguy wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:41 pm
Yea, I've gotten to where I don't like going out in the dark. That's for the young guys who still THINK they have good eyes.

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Leatherneck
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Leatherneck » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:42 pm

First time I saw the light bars at work were at a race in Prom, the guys lights looked like they were bright enough for a few football games to be going on at once. I really like them just not in the dust.

mlrailguy
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by mlrailguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:46 pm

You are correct Ol'fogasaurus

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dustymojave
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by dustymojave » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:09 pm

Apparently my 1st try at answering this before Leatherneck didn't post up.

I find it important to have wide beam lights mounted low in front like headlights for the road. Then pencil beam lights are for long range. They should be mounted up on top and aimed way out ahead, not at the ground in front of the car. They're for long distance.

Yellow lights, like fog lights, cut through dust WAY better than white lights. Many of the light makers offer yellow lens covers for that reason. It's also why offroad race organizations require rear facing "dust lights" that are yellow. Green and blue also work well for that, but blue is for police emergency vehicles and they (including BLM and Forest rangers) can get pissy about finding them on civilian vehicles.

Attend a night off road desert race and you will find that many racers and pre-runners have their offroad lights pointed most any which way. Some have so many lights that, like Fogey said, the ground in front gets washed out and they can't tell what they're looking at, but haul the mail anyway.

I found long ago that lights mounted too close to your line of sight tends to make the trail ahead look like an airport runway, when in truth it's big whoops, washouts, rocks, ditches, and whatever. Lots of light does NOT necessarily make for good vision. Plus...If it's too bright in front of you, nothing else is visible at all. Anything coming from the side is invisible. Just like water that we need to survive, too much is not good.

If you do lots of hill climbing, it makes sense to have a hill light, that's aimed high and straight forward, but is only turned on when approaching a hill to be climbed.
Richard
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craigpeter
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by craigpeter » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:06 am

Different people have different thinking. Everyone doesn't like to use the same one. Currently I am using Super Power LED Headlight (Flashlight) from a reliable source https://productz.com/en/lighthouse-30le ... flashlight. Here is the specification what I got from it: Number of light sources- 30; Bulb type- Light emitting diode; Colour- Black.

Overall not bad.

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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:49 pm

There was a "thing' on lighting updates on one of the car shows just recently and stuff I had never heard of was discussed. Two of the many interesting things were said:

1: Upgrading to the new styles of lights doesn't necessary give you more distance just brightness. Re-aim lights after converting to protect yourself and others for on road use. I've been blinded several times on the freeway by un-re-aimed headlight conversions.

2: The shape of a stock housing/reflector doesn't/may not work well with some of the new lighting conversions (LED for example and it may be the same for some of the other lighting upgrades. I think they mentioned H4 bulb up-grade conversions into stock older headlight buckets; not the whole in-cased headlight conversions); you may have to convert to the reflector shape designed for the type of light you are converting up to. They said that the reflector shape is a big problem with some of these conversions ending up with the light will/can be diffused differently which can end up with blinding oncoming cars or pedestrians'.

I agree pretty much with what Dusty said but also: off-road lighting still has to be set up or covered if you are doing on-road driving. In WA and some other states (see the URL) the light heights ranges are 24" to 54". https://itstillruns.com/height-regulati ... 96942.html It used to be that out of spec lights (e.g., off-road lighting) and too high or too low road height mounting of the lights have to be covered on the street or at least that used to be a requirement. On my blue buggy the low mounted lights which are covered when not on the dunes.

Lee

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chuckput
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by chuckput » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:55 pm

I wanted to keep an old school look with my Baja which to me meant KC Daylighters. After getting a full set of halogen Daylighters, KC Hilites came out with a conversion insert for for the old housing (Gravity series). I can't say that they are better or worse than lightbars, but I believe the output is certainly better than halogens. I am not a high speed night driver, I just want to see where I am going ! And I am old!! I like what I have for their look (when off and covered) and their performance for my needs.

In line with Dusty's "hill climb lights," I did buy a couple of LED pod lights that I mounted high and pointed to the sides because I found I wanted a little extra light out the sides to see side trails.

Oh, by the way, I have some KC Daylighter halogen insides for sale. :-)

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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Leatherneck » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:27 pm

Chuck, any pics for comparison?

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chuckput
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Re: LED lightbars

Post by chuckput » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:10 am

No pics comparing LED to the halogens. Just seat of the pants observation.

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Re: LED lightbars

Post by Leatherneck » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:23 am

If anything glad the LED’s came out so I would stop burning myself. I need to move mine to a better location, that good glare is a bugger

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