4WD MODIFICATIONS - ELECTRIC & LIGHTS
Truck-Lite has teamed up with Narva to produce a second generation LED replacement headlight for vehicles using seven-inch round lights.
Truck Lite/ Narva LED headlights are direct swaps for existing halogen or sealed beam seven-inch (178mm) headlights. Many older 4WDs, old and new trucks and motorcycles have these fitments.
The supplied connector clicks directly to the existing halogen-bulb headlight loom plug.
LED technology provides a whiter, cleaner colour temperature, representative of daylight conditions and displaying truer colour tones. Due to the instant-start-up nature of LED, there is no
warm up time before full beam power is delivered.
Low beam (1.8A) and high beam (3.6A) power draw is around half that of halogen systems, saving alternator output for other vehicle applications.
The long-life nature of LED means that the lamp lasts
significantly longer than halogen equivalents and the quality of light output does not diminish significantly over time.
Each LED unit has a free form reflector and three lighting levels: park lights, low beam and high beam.
Complex reflector design is said to target areas of the road where traditional projector systems are unable to reach, providing the driver with optimum visibility, without compromising the safety of oncoming traffic.
The light housing is military-grade, die-cast aluminium that is corrosion and impact-resistant, and has an impact-resistant polycarbonate clear lens with non-yellowing coating. The assembly is sealed to IP68 waterproof immersion standard and has a breathable membrane vent.
The LED lamp has heat-handling properties that allow it to operate in open or closed headlamp recesses. It is also EMC-R10 / CISPR 25 and ADR approved, as required for original equipment headlamp applications.
Inside, the solid-state LED design has no filaments or bulb tubes, making it highly shock and vibration resistant.
The electronics feature over-voltage protection up to 600V and are sealed in epoxy, to resist corrosion or moisture damage.
The first generation of this lamp was manufactured for US military vehicles, including the iconic Humvee.
Narva is backing the Truck Lite LED product with a three-year warranty.
LED headlights on test
We fitted a pair of the Truck Lite LED headlights to our Project 75 Series ute. The job was straightforward enough, because the lights come standard with a three-pin plug that connects with standard seven-inch headlight sockets.
However, the plug is a tight fit in the socket and the standard rubber gaiter doesn’t shield the connection, so it needed a few wraps of insulation tape.
The only additional precaution we took was a careful check of the mounting ring tangs and small attachment screws, because the LED units are heavier than sealed beams or halogen-type headlight units.
The LED lights come with additional wiring to illuminate small parking light LEDs inside the housing.
When lit up the LEDs were obviously much brighter and whiter than the halogens they replaced. We tested them against halogens, using an identical stretch of road and found that the LED light intensity was much greater.
Low beam from the LEDs had a very sharp cutoff point; no doubt to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, so correct adjustment was critical to provide enough distance vision before that cutoff zone. The beam was much wider than the halogen beam, giving a much better view of the road edges
LED high-beam performance was far better than that of the halogen headlights and rivalled the beam distance of some driving lights. The high-beam setting retained the low-beam pattern, but added a longer-distance beam on top of it.
We noticed that the more complex reflector shape for a low-high-beam LED light added some uneveness to the light pattern, when compared with the blotch-free beams from most LED driving lights, but we feel that it’s a price worth paying.
Speaking of price, the lights are selling in the $400-$495 bracket – each – so they’re not cheap. However, with virtually shatterproof lenses and long-life LED bulbs they’re a long-term investment.
Check out our comparison video: