4WD MODIFICATIONS - ELECTRIC & LIGHTS
Hella Rallye 4000 Metal LED driving lights are the successors to the company’s original LED models and continue with the company’s preferred reflector technology.
We checked out a pencil beam and spread beam combination and found the pair produced good distance, but not very wide spread.
At Outback Travel Australia we’ve been testing driving lights for many years and have marked the tradition from halogen globes, through high-intensity discharge (HID) globes to LEDs. Today, LEDs are almost universally used.
Traditional driving light design has a central globe centred in a shaped reflector, to deliver either a long, ‘pencil’ beam, or a shorter, but wider, spread beam. When LEDs arrived, the bulk of driving light makers grouped multiple LEDs in tiny reflectors, but several European light makers stayed with reflector technology and a typical three-LED central light source.
A reflector can compensate for a less-bright light source, but it’s a big ask to make up the difference between three LEDs and 20 or more LEDs. Our testing shows that multiple-LEDs produce more light output than three, even with a high-quality reflector to focus that three-LED source.
In Europe that doesn’t matter, because light output from auxiliary lights is strictly controlled, whereas in Australia and many other open-space countries there’s no such restriction.
So, how does Hella’s latest Rallye 4000 Metal driving light pair compare with multi-LED competitors? In terms of sheer brightness, not so well, but if you’re after good distance and modest spread they fit the bill. A plus for the reduced light output is far less glare from road signs and other reflective surfaces.
Another plus for the three-LED design is very small current draw that can be important on vehicles that have low or highly variable alternator output.
As the ‘Metal’ title suggests the new Hellas have a die-cast zinc housing, reflector and mounting bracket. All metal pieces are matte-black powder-coated. Interestingly, there’s a heat-dispersing metal strip behind the clear-glass lens on each light. The glass lens needs a flying-stone protector when not in use.
Threaded holes in the adjustment backing plate accept knob adjusters
The mounting is a return to Hella’s central spigot style, in which the housing can be adjusted for angle and direction, by moving it on top of a base plate receiver. The adjustment is locked in place by a pair of tool-free, knurled knobs on each side of the central mount.
The only downside of this design is that if the knobs are wound out too far, it’s very tricky to get the threaded ends to engage again with the housing backing plate.
Pricing we found on-line in June 2021 suggested around $900 for a pencil/spread combination.
Check out our video test: