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long range off road light suggestions

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  #1  
Old 03-31-2007, 10:21 AM
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long range off road light suggestions

I'm in the process of preping my my '97 PSD 4x4 crew cab for life in Baja where the night life can be thick( cows, horses, mules and goat run free range in Southern Baja ). So to be defensive I'm wanting to add some long range off road lights for mounting on my stock '97 bumper to keep an eye up on the critter;-)

I'm about to pull the trigger on a pair of Long Range Daylighter Series lights by KC Hilites( model KCH623). They offer 385,000 candlepower with 150 watts. These are well priced at $120 delivered to my door. Any opinions on this product or suggestions/pointers to others in the $100-120 USD price range? Also should I use the included wiriing harness or splurge for the optional kit?

Thanks for the insight...
 
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:56 AM
86moneypit
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IDK about the wiring harness thats included, but i had a pair of KC Daylighters on a Bronco I owned and i loved the power the lights put out, I just wish i kept them when i sold the truck. But thats water under the bridge now i got my '00 F-150
 
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:11 PM
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Those should be what most would call a "pencil beam". Where they do light up, they light up very well. They just don't light up all that large of an area for my tastes. I much prefer the beam of a "driving light". It won't reach quite as far, but usually more than far enough for any halfway sane speeds, and do far better with lighting up the side of the road. They also reach around corners better.

For example, take rally racers. They will often have pencil beam light, but only to augment driving beam lights.

The pencil beams can light the sides up, but usually only very far away. The 150 watt bulbs will be nice and bright, but they don't tend to last very long (especially if they are H3's). If you get them, keep some spares.

I've got some Hella 55 watt driving lights (500 model). With them and my upgraded highbeams on, I have enough light and far enough beam to drive 70+ mph and feel safe. I drive in rural areas pretty often too, so I know the feeling.

The hella's I have were about $70, they have some others that are all metal which are pricier (mine have a plastic backing, Lots of use and they still look new though).

If you are limited to around $120, I would suggest what I did; Get the Hella's and upgrade you factory headlight wiring and bulbs. Get some GE nighthawk or Sylvania Xtravision bulbs (something clear, no blue coating) and either make or buy a new upgraded headlight harness to get more voltage to them. The combo is very nice. Make sure your headlight lenses are in good shape too. You will have some serious light.

Though not exact, here are som eillustrations to show the differences; left is driving beam, right is pencil.
 
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Last edited by tdister; 04-01-2007 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:23 PM
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After some thought I'm going to add a pair of Hella 500 driving lights and a center mounted KC 69 long range lite.

I'll be looking into replacing the OE head lamps as well- just to try to get every bit of light available.

Thanks for the insight...
 
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:30 PM
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Now THAT sounds like a good combo. If you are comfortable with wiring, and you decide to make your own headlight harness, think about adding an extra power wire coming off of the high beam circuit. Then you can use it to activate the relay for you aux. light combo. It just makes it nicer for switching back and forth. they will automatically come on and off with the highbeams. That way you don't have two switches to mess with for oncomming traffic.

Are you looking into the same lamps or a newer style? Stay away from cheap aftermarket stuff if you care about light output...
 
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:07 PM
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Well I'll start by looking into the pair you suggested( GE nighthawk & Sylvania Xtravision ). Do you have a online source?
 
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:19 PM
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Sorry, I guess you meant you would just change bulbs (lamp = housing to me).

I got my Nighthawks at Walmart. They're a bit brighter than the Xtravisions(I've had them also). Both get even brighter with the harness upgrade. They do have the filament in a slightly different position than an OE bulb. You might find that you need to adjust the lamp down just a bit, but I've never used them in a SD with the same lights as yours. Most any chain parts store should carry the Xtravisions. Expect a pair of either to run in the $20 range.

The only other thing to warn you of is that they don't last as long as a regular bulbs. That goes double when you put more voltage to them with the harness. 'How long' is impossible to say. I expect to have to replace mine yearly, but it's cheap insurance in my book.

Oh, I wanted to mention this earlier. Don't run overwatt bulbs in the Hella 500. Also, KC does make a Driving lamp (Summit has them) in a few different wattages (100 & 130 included). Never used them myself. Just wanted to add that in case you cared about them having a more uniform look.
 
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:02 PM
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Please do not get the 150's they are sealed beam lights, meaning if it dies you can't just switch the bulb. Get the 130's they are the halogen bulb which is easy to keep a couple in the cab. Also I highly recommend kc lights and they're support! sent me extra bulbs free when one of mine burnt out. 23 year warrenty. My current setup is 2 130watt daylighters on the outsides and 2 Hella HID ff1000 driving lamps in the center, I sold my set of 150's and upgraded to the hella's.

Before I had 2 sets I was running my stock f150 high beams and the long range kc's and it was tonnes of light for fast logging roads, gravel, and offroad everything I do and more but then I got greedy!

Ben
 
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:59 PM
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KC Daylighters and Hellas are both excellent, but you might want to look into a set of IPF lights also. Comes as a complete kit with wire harness, relay, one of the neatest switches I have ever seen, and they are priced a bit cheaper than the above 2.
 
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