Flashlights as driving lights?


I drive to work in the bush (Australia) I have a 2000 model Avalon. It’s an old car now, but it’s smooth and reliable and cheap to maintain. I drive about 80 kilometers round trip each day.

In winter there are heaps of kangaroos. I hit one today, it smashed my blinker and bent my car up a bit. I need better driving lights. The high beams are OK, and the low, but the fog lights are USELESS.

Anyway I was thinking of replacing them then I thought what about the head of one of these?


I can solder some heavy gauge wire and connect it up, make it a bit more water proof and maybe even use the original fog light casing? I just need to know, I mean this thing can take 3 28650’s, which would be over 14 volts, so the 12v from the car should be OK. I don’t think the amps would kill my electrical system any worse than the halogen fog lights they are replacing. I will point them outwards so I can get a better vision on the side of the road as I drive along.

What does everyone think, stupid Idea or not?

Or you could use this form of light. Waterproof and ready to mount without extra work. Maybe someone could recommend specific model to you.

Input Voltage 41577

But getting the 42 kilovolts DX says it wants might be tricky. A car electrical system is about 13.8-14V (12V nominal).

Or DX might check their figures better - this is clearly nonsense.

This one at least gives an actual working voltage range.

You are probably better of going down the HID path. They are quite cheap. I bought a pair ex Sydney H11s for my Mazda6 for about $50. (35watt 6000K)

I’ve heard HID are unreliable?

My H1s as low beam started off on my mazda 626. Had them in for about 3 years. Took them out and now they are low beam in my Mazda 6. They are cheap ones from Jaycar. (Brand X) The new ones from Sydney had Phillips globes. Because there is no filament they are more robust to vibrations. I havn’t had any problems so far with either set and they are basically plug and play. I think if you stick to a brand name like Phillips etc you should be OK.

Since no one is answering your question, I will give my non-expert opinion. Yes, it should work fine. Your car’s electrical system will be around 14+ volts when running.

I wouldn’t think it is required, but a capacitor between the plus and minus wires going to the light would help absorb voltage spikes and smooth peaks and valleys. I don’t know what size capacitor to recommend though.

I definitely wouldn’t try that. The HID route is a pretty good one these days, as commercial kits have been around a good 10+ now. In the older versions, they were touchy and floppy on rough roads. If it’s too pricey for you, I’d see about simply getting better bulbs compatible with your headlight sockets and then add some driving lights.

My thought is that unless you already own (and have spent the $$$) the flashlights you are so much better off buying & wiring up some proper driving lights.
First you would get a hardened glass lense that is fairly durable and scratch resistant, your choice of output wattage, beam pattern - fog, driving, pencil, flood - size of unit, etc.

I have some experience w LED mini light bars and while they are useful, some of the units I have seen and played w have suspect quality (hmn, just like so many budget lights) you are talking probably $200 US or more to get the output to spot critters that you are looking for.

There are some do it yourself choices that are also very interesting and would come in less $$$ than ready built incandescent or LED units but less cumbersome than the flashlight approach you were thinking of.

there are a few very good threads on pirate 4x4 on building your own led light bar using torch drivers xm-ls and tir optics, I’d suggest having a look at them, if you can stomach the abuse over there, some of the people there are real elitist but the information is very good.

Unless you plan on retrofitting your headlights, HIDs are generally a bad idea. The optics, or lack of optics in regular headlights will cause an intense glare to drivers in front of you and on the other side of the road. A proper HID headlight system looks like this:

As opposed to a simple switch into an incandescent original headlight system which would could like this:

Also PLEASE do not go for blue/purple HIDs.

Sorry, I didn't read your top post completely before my reply. If you're going to just switch your fog lights to HID you'll be fine. I was thinking more along the lines of changing your headlights to HID.


Are there any jurisdictions in the U.S. that still enforce the laws about non-police vehicles and blue lights? Around here they sure don't. Blue lights and train horns are effectively legal these days.

Frankly, I don’t know what’s going on with the traffic enforcement these days in the USA. I see so many cars violating NHTS vehicular regulations, running about without a care. Lighting is one of them. I had a @#$%&! with super bright HID lights blasting in my rear. I let him pass and then double flashed my high beams in protest. What does he do? He slams on his brakes to try getting me to crash into him. Then the arm comes out of the window with the predictable gesture.

Anyway, not all HID systems are created equal. My Audi A3 has bi-Xenon/HID lights and they do not cause nasty glare to oncoming drivers. It may be an issue with kits as they’re designed to fit a wide range of vehicles while leveraging non HID enclosures.

Some good info here……


I ended up getting some HID lights ($100) 35watt H7 bulbs to replace my high beams. Low beams will stay halogen.

I just did a test fit and wow, they put out a TON of light… just don’t start your car while they are on, it’s bad for them! I might still look at replacing the fog lights to HID too.