4WD MODIFICATIONS - ELECTRIC & LIGHTS
The automotive lighting world was turned on its head by the introduction of LEDs back in the late 1990s. At that time the Europeans, who were leaders in halogen and HID globe production and reflector technology, were undisputed leaders of the driving light scene.
However, their reliance on reflector technology didn’t work with the early low-output LEDs and simple multi-LED arrays set in tiny, cheap reflectors outperformed them, at far less cost.
Complicating the equation was restrictive EEC regulation over driving light output and pattern. Cheap LED lights that sold well in Australia wouldn’t have been allowed in Europe, where reflector and lens controlled beam shape was critical for compliance.
In the Australian market, until the recent arrival of more powerful LEDs, reflector shape and quality took second place to the sheer number of LEDs that could fit into a light housing. Now, in the early 2020s, reflector technology is re-emerging, in concert with brighter LEDs.
That said, LED quantity is still important, because even the best LEDs can’t replicate the brilliance of an HID globe. Today’s top-performing LED lights and light bars combine reflector and lens shaping with multiple LEDs.
Lazer lights are produced in the UK and so meet EU regulations. There seems to be a general feeling that lights made in Europe with E-approval are limited on output, but where Lazer requires more than the 215k cd intensity limit on a product, it can add E-Boost to circumvent the restriction. In Australia, there’s no such restriction.
We’re testing a range of Lazer products and we started with pair of the company’s Lazer Triple-R 750 Elite lights. Each rectangular light houses only four 11-watt LEDs, set in relatively large reflectors and draws only 3.2 amps.
Rectangular driving lights used to very popular, because of their low profile and the Lazer units should appeal to people who want compact lights. Each 750 Elite measured 230mm long and 103mm high and deep.
Further easing fitment is a sliding foot design that allows the lights to be mounted off-centre from an above or below mounting, or attached by using end caps, like a light bar.
Even better for some buyers is a range of grille integration kits for the 750s, allowing the lights to be inset in popular 4WD grilles, without the need for a bar or front bracket. This feature is particularly important for buyers of many modern 4WDs that have front radar, camera and lidar units. In some cases these vehicles cannot mount traditional bars and lights, because of interference with grille-mounted transmitters.
Manufacturing quality seems to be first class, with powder-coated aluminium bodies, polycarbonate lenses and vacuum-metalised reflectors. The housings are water-resistant-rated for one-metre-deep immersion.
Lazer 750 Elites are well made, won’t stress variable-output alternators and are fitment friendly, but they’re not cheap. The pair we tested had a RRP of $1070.
We checked whether that ask was justified in terms of beam quality and quantity on our regular test route.
The claimed beam distance of 500 metres at one lux was proved, as was a one-lux beam width of around 60 metres. Quarter-lux figures are around double those distances, so picking up highly reflective material at one kilometre and 120-metre width would be possible.
It’s not hard to get more distance and spread from less expensive LED lights, but the mounting convenience of the Lazer system may be more important than outright performance.
Check out our video test: