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Best off-road lights?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 nicky nighteyes

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 05:28 PM

So I am looking for some good off road lights to mount either on the front bumper or the roof. Any recommendations? good brands? things to avoid? funny anecdotes? Lets hear em....

#2 The Scooby

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 05:44 PM

ive got a cheap set of baja lights from like schucks, autozone, etc. like $40 i think, i dunno they came with a roll bar i bought for a truck i had. sold the bar and put the lights on my car.

Posted Image

Shean

#3 NoahDL88

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 06:55 PM

you pretty much get what you pay for. i've got KC's and i really like them, but i don't think that there that much better than the kmart autozone brand. hella's and piaa's are pretty expensive but work really well. the big issue around here is theft, so i painted mine red, but its cheaper to get the bargain brand. if your feeling really ambitious, you can use the single range push button in a dual range as the switch for the relay, its neet to shift the lights on, on the fly.

#4 75skunkaroo

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 10:38 PM

get the rally brand lights from walmart they're like kc's but about $17 each
-mike

#5 samo

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 11:38 PM

I have a set of Pilot Navigators. Certainly not the best brand out there, but they're VERY bright and have a great beam pattern. For $35, you can't go wrong!

#6 nicky nighteyes

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 12:06 AM

hmmmmm.
seems most of you guys like the cheapos, how bright are they?
btw theft is an issue too, so i am definitly leaning towars the less expensive ones.

#7 speedbump

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 12:12 AM

go as cheap as possible,Ive busted tons of trail lights,pricey and cheap.
Light is light when youre off road,who cares about beam patterns?!

#8 The Scooby

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 01:29 AM

mine are extremely bright, they are about twice or maybe 3 times as bright as my stock halogen high beams. they throw out alot of light.

#9 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 02:02 AM

I bought my lights from a fellow USMB member. Got them both for $35 shipped. eBay is a good place to shop too, but some lights do get pretty expensive.

I also got some real cheap rectangle lights from Harbor Frieght, they were on special for $3.99 a set, so i got 3 sets. Broke one set while installing them (yes, they're THAT cheap) but have the other 2 sets mounted to my roof rack.

The Spotties i got from Subafly (i believe thats who i gottem from) have only worked for me once. Everytime I wire them i end up blowing through fuses or burning through wire. I have them wired up to a relay now and all the fuses should be good... but now the switch is running my fuel pump.

The Cheap rectangle lights I got work without a relay, and put out alot more light than my headlights ever did.

Pix:
Posted Image

-Brian

#10 subaru_styles

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 02:29 AM

i scored the deal of a lifetime. i got 2 brand new pair of 8" Vision X rally lights. there huge! the are like $100 a set and i got 2 sets cheaper than that. just waiting to install them!....my experience with offroad and driving lights is to stay away from the really cheap ones. ones with plastic inner housing reflectors.. they do melt! get some good housings and throw some 100w or 120w bulbs in there.make sure to use a good wirring get WITH a relay! cheap ones usually dont come with one. i have a set of navigator 5 in light son top good set but are in need of changing out thoose crappy 55w H3's..also have a set of Tenzo driving lights. Awesome lights. thick glass and all metal housings. glass is LIGHTLY tinted blue so the shine pure white with normal bulbs. not the annoying cool blue or ion blue crap.

#11 GLCraig

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 02:44 AM

I had a set of hella 530s with the spot pattern on my old hatch. They were good with the 55w bulbs and even better with 100w bulbs. I'm not sure if hella still makes the 530s but I know they still make the 500s, which are also a great set of lights. They also offer polycarbonate lens shields for most of their lights.

One thing I've noticed about the the higher end light sets Like Piaa and Hella is they include a premade harness and a relay in with their light sets. I'm not sure if you will get that from a lower end set of lights.

#12 Hogsubie

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 09:25 AM

Pilot sells a seperate wire/relay set up you can use with their lights. I've seen them at Autozone. I don't know the price. I've actually got one that my brother took off his car.

#13 Sweet82

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:10 AM

I have 4 of the same cheapies the Subaru Junkie has, so far they are a great light and for the price they can't be beat!

For headlights I'm using the round "Baja's". I like them too!

Glenn
82 Summer, with more lights than I'll ever need........
01 Forester, with factory driving lights......

#14 RallyKeith

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:57 AM

www.rallylights.com

I will only buy Hella lights. I've bought the cheap stuff at walmart and autozone, and you get what you pay for. Hella lights can be expensive but you get some seriously good lighting. There are a lot of things that go into making a good light. Lens design and material, and reflector design and material. Hella uses only glass lenses for the best optics and only metal for the reflectors to get the most reflected light output. Also, Hella has some really good mounting solutions. No bouncing lights on your car, as long as they are mounted to something solid. When purchasing any light it is always key to remember that the smaller the lense the less light you get out. (In other words there is a reason that rally/off road lights are BIG.)

Susquehanna MotorSports Carries a very wide selection of Hella lighting, including several forms of true HID, map lights, and replacement bulbs (like higher power headlamp bulbs), all at great prices. This IS the place where motorsports people get their stuff. From Rally, to Baha, to LeMans teams.
www.rallylights.com

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PS- No I don't work for them.... Yet

#15 nicky nighteyes

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 01:59 PM

ooh tough choice, maybe I will go with a mid-range option. Although I admit I have been checking out rallylights.com over the few days, RallyKeith: how do you protect your lights? mesh? standard covers? any idea which ones are the strongest?

oh and btw
SubaruJunkie:
where did you get your front bumper?

thanks for all the advice guys

#16 Glenner55

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 11:24 PM

I have mounted a pair of Cibie Oscar Plus long range driving lights on top of the front bumper of my 98 GT, they sit just inside the headlights so they don't block the radiator. They are wired to the high beam circuit so they will only come on with my high beams. They have a seperate switch so i can disable them and use only the high beams when I need less light. Have them professionally installed with a relay to protect your electrics and don't use anything bigger than a 55 watt bulb. With a large lamp, they're as big as a 7 inch headlamp, the reflector size will create a lot of light without the need for high wattage bulbs. As noted in another reply to your post you get waht you pay for. I've used Cibie lights for 20 years on a variety of cars they're among the best.

Cibie lights are avaiolable on the internet at www.cibie.com but they aren't cheap.

\

So I am looking for some good off road lights to mount either on the front bumper or the roof. Any recommendations? good brands? things to avoid? funny anecdotes? Lets hear em....



#17 Snowman

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 01:58 AM

Anybody shop out of the Northern Tool and Equipment catalog?

In my sig, the four lights on top, which are 100 watters that are supposed to be spots but are more like floods cost $8 each! They also have some super-duper 55-watt driving lights that I used to have on the bumper for $12 a pair. They actually put out nearly as much as the 100 watters do because of their better reflector design. The square 55-watt lights on the bumper now are a set I bought at Wal-Mart (yeah, I know they're evil, I didn't have a choice) for $25. Even though they cost twice as much, they aren't as good of a light.

My advice no matter where you shop: Buy cheap. Lights WILL get broken no matter how much they cost, and the expensive ones are more likely to get stolen. I REALLY depend on my lights, as I drive 800 miles each way to school and back, often with nearly the entire trip in pitch black with the possibility of a caribou herd running across the road, and the cheap ones have worked fine for me.

#18 ILOVESUBARU

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 02:11 AM

i have a pair of KC daylighters for 35.00 really good shape...let me know

#19 nkx

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 04:46 AM

ive got daylighters too. they come with everything you need right out of the box (switch, relay, wires with the terminals already attached, wire loom, and very comprehensive instructions).

i mounted mine on the bumper by cutting a 2" hole through the bottom where i wanted to mount them to make room for the clamping piece that goes on the bottom and the wrench. theres an aluminum "washer" that i added for a bit more stability, seeing as most of the bumper is plastic and styrofoam.

#20 Rooinater

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:41 AM

for offroad lights you definatly get eaht you pay for. my dad runs procomp 130's which are similar to the KC lights. and about the same price. i'm buying kc's. they are bright andvery durable. if you are planning on using them on the trail i would reccomend the higher quality ones. visability and lighting are way better. and you won't be breaking them if you mount them in a place that is less vulnerable to being hit while offroad.


Jared

#21 oobnuker

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 06:47 AM

I've got a pair of 55w Hella's, and a pair of 100w Walmart Cheapos. All wired to their own relays, and wired in to the high beams. One flick of the high beams for instant 310w forward lighting...

The lights:
http://www.bankrupts...?album=5&pos=26
http://www.bankrupts...?album=5&pos=15

The relays:
http://www.bankrupts...?album=5&pos=12
There are some other pictures in the gallery with other shots of the wiring, etc.

#22 gravelRX

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 06:49 AM

I vote for the Hella 500's from Susquehanna motorsport. They turn the road into DAYTIME in front of the car. Fogs are in the center with driving to the outside. I made the mount removable and the wires go through a trailer hitch plug for removal when I'm in the seedier parts of town.

Posted Image

I still overdrive them a bit when going down the parkway at night. Great for spotting the furry little suicidal creatures before they get it the grill. About 75.00 a set shipped and includes wiring, switch and relay. Jay

#23 75skunkaroo

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 10:47 AM

if ya feel like getting real crazy, go get the wally kc knockoffs, go to your local aircraft supply place, and pick up some airplane landing lights. you'll need fat wires and a few relays, but when its done it's like drivin around at noon.
make suree you have a beefy alternator if you do tho

-mike

#24 VaporTrail

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:07 PM

I've got lot's of forward facing lights (9 total), and the brightest ones for me are the 6x9 (5x7 glass lense) KC's. I just scored another set on eBay, so the new ones will be replacing the other smaller KC's I have.

with a XT6 alt, when I turned on all 9 lights, it started to whine :)

#25 RallyKeith

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:15 PM

I vote for the Hella 500's from Susquehanna motorsport. They turn the road into DAYTIME in front of the car. Fogs are in the center with driving to the outside. I made the mount removable and the wires go through a trailer hitch plug for removal when I'm in the seedier parts of town.


I still overdrive them a bit when going down the parkway at night. Great for spotting the furry little suicidal creatures before they get it the grill. About 75.00 a set shipped and includes wiring, switch and relay. Jay


They now have what are called the FF1000's. Entire kit is only $107. Little bigger lens with Free Form technology gets a lot more light out, plus the mounting setup is really easy to adjust. I'm probably going to get a set for my legacy. They also sell plastic stone sheilds for $11. In some states the laws require a light like this to be covered when on public roads, but they don't say the cover can't be clear! (my brother got away with it once in NH or VT.)

Keith




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