Beam Pattern for off-roading? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-10-2012, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Beam Pattern for off-roading?

I'm looking to add 2 pair of lights to the front of my JK: 1 pair on the windshield and one pair on the bumper, in front of the winch (on a custom bracket made by me!)

I'm curious what lights - specifically, light patterns, you guys have found most useful off-road. I'm not interested in driving lights with those skinny pencil beams - those bounce around too much. Being that I don't go very fast offroad, I need a mile of visibility or so, not several miles (the trails aren't straight that far!)

I'm considering HIDx 4" lights for one of the locations - not sure which one is best. It's a "Euro-beam" pattern - but I don't see a map of what that puts out anywhere on their site

What do you guys think about the most useful offroad light pattern?

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post #2 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 06:24 AM
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In my experience floods on the windshield A-Pillar put too much light on the hood creating a lot of glare which I didn't like. I would imagine some driving/spots on the A-pillar with more of a flood pattern on the front bumper would be a good combination of light.


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post #3 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 06:32 AM
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I agree

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 06:40 AM
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x3

Rigid Dually Floods on the A-pillar.



At least I didn't pay money for them. When I get cash, I'll be replacing those with spots and maybe relocating these to the back of my Gobi.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 11:37 AM
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If you value your night vision, you won't want to install any lights on the windshield A-pillars or on the roof, because they cause terrible glare off the hood.


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post #6 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 01:33 PM
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Unless you are desert racing at night, satay away from big lights. They kill your night vision, blind the guy infront of you and blind your spotter.

Rocks lights pointing infront of the tires are really all you need.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berserker View Post
Unless you are desert racing at night, satay away from big lights. They kill your night vision, blind the guy infront of you and blind your spotter.

Rocks lights pointing infront of the tires are really all you need.
That's pretty much where my mind is at these days. I don't run fast offroad either and can't see spending a fortune on the brightest LEDs all over my rig when really all I need to do is supplement my low beams. I don't want to blind other drivers on the road so I'm looking at a wide angle light on the bumper or in the fog position.

I've installed rock lights and put two under the front of the bumper cheated forward hoping to light up a spotter without blinding them. We usually do rocks with only parking lights on to give the spotter a better view but it can get hard to see hand signals.

When I am leading I just need a little better side illumination and more punch in the front. I think a pair of Duallys would be great if they had a dimmer switch. Duallys 2's would be a total waste for me.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 03:47 PM
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I spent toooo many hours researching that same issue, when I wanted to install some lights on my Jeep. Luckily all my friends already had some, so I was able to look at a few options, in the trail.

I found that the Rigid Dually Spot Light Beams worked remarkably well on the A-Pillar and the Rigid Dually Flood Light Beams worked good for the front bumper.

They are fairly small, bright as hell, and don't disrupt your view at all, and also did not leave a glare on the hood, and I have a silver hood, so it tends to show more light glare than a darker color.

The price is right, and they are so easy to install...

Good luck

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post #9 of 16 Old 07-12-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so spots up high & floods down low. Or maybe no spots at all...?

I do have rock lights, although they're not wired up yet. Am working to get all aux lights (and other electrical accessories) mounted up & have one big wiring party.

I do want more light. I don't need 8 big rooftop lights baja-style.
Quote:
I'm looking at a wide angle light on the bumper or in the fog position.
I agree - but which light pattern works for that? Is the HIDx a wide angle light?

I'm still not sold on LED's just yet - not for this & not for the landing lights on an airplane. They're getting close though!

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-12-2012, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep2.0 View Post
I agree - but which light pattern works for that? Is the HIDx a wide angle light?

I'm still not sold on LED's just yet - not for this & not for the landing lights on an airplane. They're getting close though!
HIDx, and any HID light is usually going to be more of a driving style light, or spot beam. They are going to work best to supplement and add to the high beam of your vehicle. Most euro and driving lights are going to have between a 10-20* beam pattern.

If you are looking for a wide and even light distribution then you are going to be better off looking at an LED light. LED lights will have more light spill which gives them less distance than an HID light, but gived a much wider field of covereage. If you get an LED style light then you will usually see the same driving lights combined with a few flood optics for around a 20-40* beam pattern.

You won't get the distance with an LED that you would with an HID light, but you have mentioned you are going slow and want coverage of a wide area. The HID-X lights advertise that it will have light output a mile or more away. This is typical for an HID light, so ultimately for what you have said everything is pointing to an LED light. The LED lights I have will light up two football fields. When I say light them up I mean if I parked in the center of an end zone it would light all the way to the edges of the field and beyond. an HID light will not do this as easy, however it will light the distance of several more football fields.

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Last edited by JeepinJon; 07-12-2012 at 02:35 PM.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info - got any light patterns? Some manufacturers have them, some do not. (HIDx does not, despite my sending them a note asking for one - no answer)

A little light pattern diagram would make it all clear.

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post #12 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 11:39 AM
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I'll chime in on this one.

When I first got the Jeep, I got Hella 500FF lights for the windshield and they worked great for throw and spread. Then I laid eyes on a set of Rigid Duallys, I had to have a set because they are mean looking and take far less current than halogens. So, got a set of floods with the idea in mind that they would go on my windshield to replace the Hella lights.

That didn't last long. The floods are just that, floods. The glare was negotiable but they put very little light where I wanted it at the height installed. I ended up moving them to the bumper hoop and now they put the light where I want it. As we speak, I am waiting for some spot pattern Duallys to replace the Hella set up so all of my aux lighting up front is LED. If you haven't pulled the trigger in the next two weeks i'll get you some night shots of both sets running...

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post #13 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep2.0 View Post
Thanks for the info - got any light patterns? Some manufacturers have them, some do not. (HIDx does not, despite my sending them a note asking for one - no answer)

A little light pattern diagram would make it all clear.
Based on the criteria you have listed, and keeping a similar price to a pair of Hid-X lights I would recommend the Rigid Dually D2 from Serious Offroad. This will give you a nice wide spread for low speed off-roading, while still giving you a very usable light for 100-200 yards down the trail. They have the best advertised price I have found, and are a vendor on JKO.

http://www.seriousoffroadproducts.co...ducts_id=90523

Jon

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post #14 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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I'd like to see the night shots. I'm a pilot & read an LED vs Halogen vs HID shootout last year & the LED's did not fare well vs the HID's at all.

I've seen the Rigid night shots on their website, but not comparing them to HID.
Anybody know where I might find something like that?

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post #15 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 08:23 PM
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-16-2012, 12:32 PM
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I picked up a pair of these 4 inch Bone edition light bars from http://stores.bulldog-lighting.com/-...Categories.bok They are extremely bright and were much cheaper than the rigids. Plus they are now built here in the usa!

I got my 50" up on the roof as well, I am in the desert a lot so it comes in handy, the 50 inch cost me $999

I like the LEDs, they are really bright, cost was close to the same as hid for the bulldogs since they cost less. i like how much smaller they are, i went with combo on the 50 and flood on the 4 inches down on the bumper.

I do know from the desert that a great number of racing teams are going to LED. The mounts I have for the roof are poison spyder with the Bulldog side mounts but the 4 inch lights use their bottom mount.

Ill try to find a picture somewhere

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