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Old 05-11-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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Extra driving lights

As I get older(62!), my night vision has deteriorated. The stock ford headlights only reach out so far, and when I bought my SMB in 2005, I asked about driving lights. I was told that the Hella 500's were the largest lights that could be bumper mounted. I didn't opt for the Trojan bumper, so the lights were mounted on the stock bumper. Hella 500's really don't add much light beyond the standard high beams.

Anyone have any thoughts on how I can get more light out in front of me. I've had some close encounters with large animals and would like to avoid anything like that if possible. I'm not driving fast at night, but would just like to have a little advance warning when Mr. and Ms. Elk decide to cross my path.

Tom
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:04 PM   #2
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Re: Extra driving lights

SMB west offers Hella Xenon lights. Pricey but they throw a lot of light out there. They install for around $1600.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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Re: Extra driving lights

It sounds like you do not want driving lights, as they are designed to fill the area close to the vehicle and not throw the light into the distance as you want.
Change the glass in the lamp from driving light (light deffuser) to a spot light class, usually totally clear. That will throw the light a lot further but not as wide, that way you get the distance you want from the spot beams and use the stock high beam to fill.

So, change this style glass


To this


Depending on who you talk to, it will be called 100 different things, but the basic principle is you do not want a diffuser. On the Hella Rallye 4000 Series Lights posted, the top is called "Cornering Beam Lamp"or "pencil" the the bottom "Euro Beam Lamp" (which is far from anything legal in Europe).
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: Extra driving lights

Incidentally, in my opinion, the Hella 500s they put in the bumpers are junk. I'm not a high end light guy either- my Jeep has some round OEM headlights hacked into spot-light cases. I even cut a relay in and it didn't help the Hella lights any. Unless I want some ambient light in camp they're less useful then the amber parking lights.

I don't think you need bigger, just "better", where better could be a $50 replacement with the lenses mentioned above. I never understood it, Hella has a good rep, why are these lights so poor?
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:09 AM   #5
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Re: Extra driving lights

Jage, I agree, the Hella 500's don't add much, in fact it's a good thing the switch for the lights is illuminated, otherwise I'm not sure I would know that they were on. I would just like to have some extra lights out front, but don't want to spend a boat load of money either on the lights or the mounting scheme. Hope I'm not asking too much.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:24 AM   #6
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Re: Extra driving lights

What about changing the headlights themselves for more light??
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:33 AM   #7
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Re: Extra driving lights

I could get higher wattage bulbs, but that usually increases the "low beam" output also. And call me old fashioned, but I don't like to blind the folks driving towards me. Unlike the new generation of buttwipes that insist on high discharge projector bulbs or xenon bulbs on their SUV's. You know the ones, the only time they've been "off road" is when they jump the curb looking for a parking spot at the mall.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:52 AM   #8
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Re: Extra driving lights

I'd give these guys a call:

http://www.rallylights.com

I've dealt with them once before on an HID conversion and they were very helpful. They have a good reputation for quality and knowledge, and they'll help you choose over the phone if you want.

You're probably looking for an HID driving light. HID lights are bright, clear light with an incredible throw - I have a single 35W HID as my motorcycle headlight, and it lights up the road better than 99% of the cars out there. It just throws a solid blanket of light over the road!! Mine was just a cheap conversion into the stock headlight housing, too - that'll work most times if you have projector style headlamps. Won't work with reflector-type housings.

Driving lights have about a 10-15 degree spread and should go out front pretty far. Pencil beams are more narrow, will go farther, but won't light up the shoulder.

Something like the Hella Rallye 4000 would put out a ton of light. You'd have to be very careful when running them on open roads - I can't speak as to whether that's legal or not. Either way, aim them carefully, these things'll blind oncoming cars.

Good luck,
Mike.

(Just saw your post about HIDs - stock HIDS or a well-done conversion will blind oncoming traffic *less* than regular incandescent bulbs. It's conversions into reflector housings and poorly-aimed lights that are the culprit.)
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:32 PM   #9
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Re: Extra driving lights

You can change your Hella 500 or 700 bulbs with HID's. Very easy to install and step by step instructions. Cost me less than $100 and they are very bright. Here's a link to how I did it. Good luck!

Ray

LINK: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...p?f=14&t=3971&
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: Extra driving lights

That's pretty much the same setup I used to replace my stock headlights Ray. LOVE the new lights and on low beam they are less blinding to oncoming cars then the stock units. I've gone out myself in another rigs and approached the SMB at night. No problem. Never been "flashed" by oncoming cars either. It's all in the aiming. There's a post here on the conversion I did.
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