Quality vehicle lights

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prototype3a
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Quality vehicle lights

Does anyone know of or have experience with some quality lights designed to be mounted on a vehicle?

For example…

https://www.ruralking.com/3-pack-auto-light-set

… and I don’t just mean stupidly expensive products. I mean, products that actually use good LEDs, optics, drivers.

I’d love to have some that use a single LH351 with high CRI and 4000k or 5000k to mount to a riding lawn mower.

toddcshoe
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Most light bars like the one you linked to are horribly blue and grossly overstated as to their output. I personally haven’t found a single one under $100 that is worth, well, $100. They are god awful and blue. Even car manufactures are under the impression that blue is the new white.

I live out in a fairly rural area, an easy hour drive to any city of more than 15000 people or so. Every redneck with hand tools and a hundred dollars has one of these evil light bars on their trucks. Even seen them mounted on the roof of cars. Somehow these genius’s have figured out how to wire a relay properly, so they come on with their high beams. I know they didn’t figure this out themselves so I assume YouTube had something to do with it. They love to “forget” they had them on when coming toward you on a twisty back road. Helping them “remember” with a hot rod C8 is wonderfully effective.

I have seen some really well done light bars. Not exactly budget friendly. More than I am willing to spend on a light bar. I was thinking of building my own. I may still but honestly haven’t found a need for that much light. I still run Halogens in my headlights and driving lights. I’d say probably 5000K or so. There won’t be any upgraded LED headlights going into my truck or car until they come up with some decent ones that don’t cost a fortune or eat themselves within a month.

Quality LED’s are there for making great light bars. They just skyrocket in price as the quality increases. The only thing I would really like to see at night is where the deer are and which way they are moving. Which for some reason is always out in the middle of the road. A bluetooth FLIR camera that displays on my phone would be phenomenal but most likely, cost prohibitive.

If you find some good ones at reasonable prices, please share.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

Lightbringer
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toddcshoe wrote:
I live out in a fairly rural area, an easy hour drive to any city of more than 15000 people or so. Every redneck with hand tools and a hundred dollars has one of these evil light bars on their trucks. Even seen them mounted on the roof of cars. Somehow these genius’s have figured out how to wire a relay properly, so they come on with their high beams. I know they didn’t figure this out themselves so I assume YouTube had something to do with it. They love to “forget” they had them on when coming toward you on a twisty back road. Helping them “remember” with a hot rod C8 is wonderfully effective.

What is it with those people actually trying really really hard to be douchebags?

Get those same idiots with the saaaaaaaaaaaaame lightbars even on cars, in the city, with ample street-lighting, lighting up all of creation with that garish horrible blue-white light that screams “Cheap!!” anyway?

And where are the cops for that?

Maybe instead of your C8, use a WK30 on the front dash with that alternating red/white police strobe. Evil

That’ll put the fear of B’harni into em.

Man, I miss my old 4×6 H4s. 90W/130W bulbs lit up a wonderful blanket of light on low, and a wonderfully intense spotlight on high. I never needed fog-lights, driving-lights, nothing, when I had those.

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Cereal_killer
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toddcshoe wrote:
. The only thing I would really like to see at night is where the deer are and which way they are moving. Which for some reason is always out in the middle of the road.

You don’t need lights for that, just need a nice brush guard / push bar!

 RIP  SPC Joey Riley, KIA 11/24/14. Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

toddcshoe
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Ya don’t see many cops out here. Once in a while but not often enough to deter these mouth breathers. Missouri has weird laws. No flashing lights of any color on any part of your vehicle. You even have to wear a motorcycle helmet but, you don’t have to wear eye protection. You don’t even need blinkers or mirrors on your scoot. You can carry any knife or firearm you wish but, get caught with brass knuckles, felony. Strange, I don’t get it.

Maybe one of those big crash bars they use in Australia. Some of those look like you wouldn’t even notice hitting a deer.

I have been lucky so far. Haven’t hit a deer since I was in my early 20’s (47 now). I have had enough very close calls to last a lifetime. We have a super high concentration of deer around here. Great hunting but, it’s unnecessary. You can easily mow one down with the high beams on and the horn blowing. Could be the worlds best selling deer call. If you happen across a dead deer you can call the sheriffs office and they will even give you a tag for it so you can have it processed. If it’s injured you can dispatch it and then go get your tag as well. I have a deep freeze full of deer meat and I never fired a shot. Smile

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will34
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My rigid industries D series pro and Dually XL performs very well for the price. They have been known to be expensive in the past but they have dropped their prices considerably compared to more innovative and racing rated lights such as baja design. On amazon and ebay you can often find them much cheaper than MSRP.

I have these as foglights and I can drive with just these on.
https://www.amazon.com/Rigid-Industries-202113-Light-Universal/dp/B074TV...

Run D are a cheaper, decent quality alternative. but for the small price difference i’d go with rigid.
https://www.amazon.com/RUN-D-Cube-Driving-Lights-Degrees/dp/B00T9GNAYE

Auxbeam is the best of the cheap bunch, this one has good reviews and has side-firing leds. Useful for your application:
https://www.amazon.com/Auxbeam-Shooter-Light-Philips-Combom/dp/B074W3×2D4/

And if you aim to save as much money as possible, go to vipon and search for LED lights. find the one with the best review/price ratio.

Cheap lights are actually not that bad, but sometimes people expect miracles for $20. You just have to know what you’re paying for. I’ve taken cheap led bars off roading and they did just fine, when you’re out there stuck in the sand or the mud the last you’re going to care about is CRI and tint shift. All you want is sheer brightness.

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I ordered 2 of these lights about a month ago for one of our forklifts at work. They are very bright and should be just what you need for a mower. They have just a hint of cool blue color, but I think they appear mostly neutral. At about $7 each, they are definitely budget.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0796TN823/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_I8n-Db0NGDZDR

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Hey, whatever happened to the home-grown lightbars here on blf? Someone did ‘em up bigtime, had plenty of beamshots and everything…

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Lightbringer
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toddcshoe wrote:
Ya don’t see many cops out here. Once in a while but not often enough to deter these mouth breathers. Missouri has weird laws. No flashing lights of any color on any part of your vehicle.

Nah, not permanently mounted. Just your handheld WK30 strobing while you’re holding it on the center of your dashboard where a Dash Laser would be.

If Festus or Cletus “reports” you and you get pulled over (unlikely, I’d imagine), you got nothing in your car but a flashlight rolling around in the glovebox. Nothing permanently mounted behind the grille or on the dash, no “trick” headlights or marker-lights, nothing. Everything’s bone-stock. Not even a plug-in magnet-mount doodad or anything. LOL

“I have no idea what he’s talking about, but it looks like he’s been drinking…” Evil

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prototype3a
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Rigid Industries is the brand I couldn’t think of the other day. I had forgotten that Auxbeam made these sorts of things.

TBH, this is the sort of thing that I think would be most useful.

https://www.amazon.com/Rigid-Industries-98000-Diffused-Back-Up/dp/B00FS8...

I want to keep the power draw fairly low as the alternator isn’t very strong and I need to make sure the battery stays charged. I honestly think a pair of floody ~300lm lights would be plenty but I can’t seem to find anything like that.

The stock headlights on the tractor are dim and fairly tightly focused so you really can’t see what you’re doing when weaving between trees and such doing yard work in the fall/winter.

leaftye
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The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

Lightbringer
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Actually, this is what I was referring to…

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/55515

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prototype3a
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I’m starting to think I should just get off my butt and build my own using 4x LH351 in series, direct driven with a current limiting resistor.

Lightbringer
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Too much voltage fluctuation. I had an external voltmeter (analog 0-1mA movement) that displayed 10V-15V, dropped 10V with zener+diodes, and it was quite accurate, and always on.

Just cranked, the alternator would put out around 14.5V solid, eventually drop to around 14V(ish), and only rarely under heavy load drop to the nominal 13.8V. That’s a lot of voltage fluctuation over any resistor (Vbat – VLEDs) that could vary… who knows, maybe 4:1 or more.

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Expriamere
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Hi all,

Long time listener, first time caller.

I’ve actually been trying to design a high quality vehicle “pod” type light after discovering the same as @prototype3a – existing off-the-shelf options are really terrible.

Everything below is heavily inspired by the great work in the DIY Lightbar “El Jefe” thread and the Prototype Offroad Spotlight thread.

Goal:

  • Small form factor “pod” light, to replace existing Fog Lamps.
  • Maximum throw with some spill. Downroad plus ~15 degrees to each side. Picture: What beam profile would I want to minimize my chances of hitting a deer AND minimize rain/fog backscatter/reflection on remote trails (Forest Service Roads, Camping ,etc).
  • If possible, use existing fog light wiring – Factory H3 / 55w. (Replace existing, not adding to.)

Current plan:

1. Bridgelux VERO29 29mm COB BXRC-50E10K1-D-7× 80CRI, ~177 lm/w, 36V input, 4000 or 5000 temp.
2. Ledil Stella RS (TIR-ish?) silicone lens
3. Ebay Waterproof 100W LED Driver 3A
4. Massive finned aluminum heatsink and housing, as seen the lightbar thread.

If I can use factory harness, I think each pod would be about $90 which is comparable with retail options, and output would be a bit insane.

Thoughts? Improvements? Safety Concerns?

and no – I will never use these on a road with traffic.

Scallywag
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toddcshoe wrote:
I live out in a fairly rural area, an easy hour drive to any city of more than 15000 people or so. Every redneck with hand tools and a hundred dollars has one of these evil light bars on their trucks. Even seen them mounted on the roof of cars. Somehow these genius’s have figured out how to wire a relay properly, so they come on with their high beams. I know they didn’t figure this out themselves so I assume YouTube had something to do with it. They love to “forget” they had them on when coming toward you on a twisty back road. Helping them “remember” with a hot rod C8 is wonderfully effective.

The only reason I sometimes want blinky modes on my L6…

leaftye wrote:
http://mtnlitebar.com/

I’m glad someone linked it before I got around to it!

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Lightbringer
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Expriamere wrote:

Way back, I had these 55W driving lights from Harbor Freight that I’d order by the 6paks. Lenses got beat to Hell so far down, sandblasted, busted by low-flying rocks, you name it.

Absolutely amazing pencil-beam but were a true pain in the ass to aim.

Clamp-fit, ie, you aim them on a swivel left/right and angled up/down, then tighten the nut on the bumper-bolt that held them. And of course as you tighten, this or that would deform and throw off the aim. So like old-timey pushbutton radios where you’d have to “tune past” in one direction, lock it, and hope it’d be set right, it was the same, you had to figure out the “drift” and set them accordingly.

I’d have to find an empty parking lot with big white wall on the opposite end, and aim them there before some rent-a-cop would come snooping around.

Anyway, something like that, and I’d swap my foglights in a heartbeat. Fogs are pretty useless to me, brights are still only really useful at moderate distances, but those HFS lights I used to get, I could keep them on all the time and get amazing visibility. Far out, and distance would “dim” them to oncoming cars because they were aimed flat and low. By the time they’d be close enough for the brightness to be objectionable, they’d be sitting well above where the hotspot was aimed.

Of course, I never really needed them in urban settings, but on lonely unlit stretches of road, I never had to flick on the brights (and then do the on/off/on/off/… dealy whenever a car would be headed my way) as those gave me plenty of visibility without blinding anyone.

So… something like that but in LED form, figure even 10W should match the lumen output of a 55W bulb.

Biggest problem will be the front glass, guaranteed. They will get sandblasted, pelted with rocks, etc., on a regular ongoing basis (ie, every time the car’s in motion). And so close to the ground will be that much worse. And I even made grilles out of hardware-cloth to try to keep bigger rocks from busting the glass, with at least a half-inch cushion vs right up against the glass. Even used to cut sheets of plastic to stick in front as disposable tear-offs to try to minimise sandblasting. Still a pain…

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Expriamere
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Lightbringer – Excellent points.

For mounting, I will definitely try to do something more sturdy than the HF swivel clamp. I need to put more thought in to that.

Thank you for bringing up the front cover issue. Quoting kevininthefro from the DIY lightbar thread:

Quote:
Using the light bar frame as guide to drill the faceplate (.220” thick acrylic). I’ve noticed light bars on other cars starting to yellow with age, just like old headlights, so instead of using polycarbonate like everyone else, I used acrylic, which does not turn yellow in the sun. Polycarbonate is stronger than acrylic, but even acrylic is 16x stronger than glass and I don’t think the yellowing is worth it.

This is my plan for the front cover. Hopefully the acrylic can survive for a while. Maybe it can be made to be easily swapped out. It is relatively cheap, especially in smaller pieces.

Rat_Racer
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Expriamere wrote:
Hi all,

Long time listener, first time caller.

I’ve actually been trying to design a high quality vehicle “pod” type light after discovering the same as @prototype3a – existing off-the-shelf options are really terrible.

Everything below is heavily inspired by the great work in the DIY Lightbar “El Jefe” thread and the Prototype Offroad Spotlight thread.

Goal:

  • Small form factor “pod” light, to replace existing Fog Lamps.
  • Maximum throw with some spill. Downroad plus ~15 degrees to each side. Picture: What beam profile would I want to minimize my chances of hitting a deer AND minimize rain/fog backscatter/reflection on remote trails (Forest Service Roads, Camping ,etc).
  • If possible, use existing fog light wiring – Factory H3 / 55w. (Replace existing, not adding to.)

Current plan:

1. Bridgelux VERO29 29mm COB BXRC-50E10K1-D-7× 80CRI, ~177 lm/w, 36V input, 4000 or 5000 temp.
2. Ledil Stella RS (TIR-ish?) silicone lens
3. Ebay Waterproof 100W LED Driver 3A
4. Massive finned aluminum heatsink and housing, as seen the lightbar thread.

If I can use factory harness, I think each pod would be about $90 which is comparable with retail options, and output would be a bit insane.

Thoughts? Improvements? Safety Concerns?

and no – I will never use these on a road with traffic.

Baja Designs (if you just want to buy, and afford)
They use 5k LED’s and LEP. Their light’s specs also give cd, along with lumens.

Lightbringer
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I heard plus and minus about yellowing, and here’s something I just pulled outta my… hat.

https://www.emcoplastics.com/acrylic-faqs/

So some types of “acrylic” can be extremely resistant to yellowing, only it has to be sourced right, and you can’t just grab any crap sold on AX and think it’ll work.

I’d keep the unit as weatherproof as possible, and just have removable inserts that’d take all the hits. They get sandblasted, yellowed, etc., just pull ‘em and stick in new ones.

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Expriamere
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Rat_Racer wrote:
Baja Designs (if you just want to buy, and afford)They use 5k LED’s and LEP. Their light’s specs also give cd, along with lumens.

Yes, they are definitely the premium option. But their 8600lm offering is $486 per light (so almost $1000 for a pair). They do have cheaper ones, but the output is not impressive (after seeing what COBs are capable of)

I’m hoping we can figure something out for under $100 per light, with as much or even way more output.

Expriamere
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Lightbringer wrote:

So some types of “acrylic” can be extremely resistant to yellowing, only it has to be sourced right, and you can’t just grab any crap sold on AX and think it’ll work.

I’d keep the unit as weatherproof as possible, and just have removable inserts that’d take all the hits. They get sandblasted, yellowed, etc., just pull ‘em and stick in new ones.

Good to know!

Yes, making it modular / fixable is part of the plan.