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4WD MODIFICATIONS – ELECTRICS & LIGHTS

These days very few people travel without a portable fridge and camp lighting and that dictates some form of auxiliary battery power – we check out dual battery systems. We also compare HID and LED driving lights; Hella, Narva, Lightforce, M-Performance and others. See our real world tests on video and read our reports here.

Lazer Linear-18 Elite light bar

Lazer Linear-18 Elite light bar

The Lazer Linear series is designed specifically for unobtrusive, low-profile installation on bumpers,  ‘roo bars and roof racks. The Linear-18 comes in Standard and Elite power levels and we tested the Elite version.

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Stedi ST4K 80-LED double-row light bar

Stedi ST4K 80-LED double-row light bar

We were very impressed with the ST4K light bars we’ve tested previously – 32 LED and 52 LED – models, so we had high expectations for the 80-LED model. We mounted it on our 75 Series roof rack and went bush.

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Lazer Triple-R 24 light bar

Lazer Triple-R 24 light bar

The Lazer range was relatively new to Australia in mid-2020, but is well known in Europe for its motorsport involvement – particularly on rally vehicles that need powerful lights. The Triple-R 24 1100mm bar we tested proved ideal for roof-rack mounting.

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ARB Intensity Solis lights

ARB Intensity Solis lights

ARB has expanded the Intensity range with the introduction of 225mm-diameter Intensity Solis spot and spread lights. Both lights have five-step variable-intensity control.

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Lazer driving light integration kits

Lazer driving light integration kits

Fitting driving lights to modern 4WDs can be a challenge, but Lazer High Performance Lighting has integration kits to fit light bars into grilles and above windscreens, with and without roof racks.

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Lazer Triple-R Elite LED pair

Lazer Triple-R Elite LED pair

Lazer lights are produced in the UK and so meet EU regulations. However, they feature a ‘boost’ function that increases beam distance, but is for off-road use only. In Australia, there’s no such restriction.

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Stedi ST3303 28-inch light bar

Stedi ST3303 28-inch light bar

When we tested Stedi’s original ST3303 21-inch (533mm), 32-LED bar we were very impressed with the distance and spread from this compact unit. We thought light bars couldn’t get much better, but we were wrong.

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Lightforce 230 HTX2 ‘hybrid’ driving lights

Lightforce 230 HTX2 ‘hybrid’ driving lights

With its top-shelf HTX range Lightforce pioneered high-performance hybrid driving lights that combined HID distance globes with spread-beam LED globes. The original 230 HTX driving light was replaced in late 2019 by the HTX2 model.

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Ultra Vision Nitro Maxx 180 LED

Ultra Vision Nitro Maxx 180 LED

Ultra Vision has released what it claims is the most powerful, longest-beam LED driving light on the market. It’s aimed at truckies and those who do a lot of outback night driving.

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EFS Vividmax 225mm LED pair

EFS Vividmax 225mm LED pair

EFS’ Vividmax 225mm (nine-inch), round VMDL-9180 driving light delivers a combination spread and spot beam that provides clear, bright illumination out to 500-600 metres, our testing has shown.

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Stedi Type-X PRO LED pair

Stedi Type-X PRO LED pair

In 2016 Stedi released the original Type-X that disrupted the high performance driving light market. With the introduction of the PRO Edition Stedi said it is again redefining the driving light category.

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Narva Explora double row LED light bar

Narva’s Optic Drive reflector shape focusses LED beams more precisely than small ‘pocket’ reflectors, eliminating much of the wasted, scattered light that conventional LED light bars emit.

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Narva Enhanced Optic LED driving lights

Narva Enhanced Optic LED driving lights

Narva has addressed the LED wattage issue with the return to reflector design in its Ultima LED Enhanced Optic 175 and 225 models. The 175 employs two of the latest 15-watt Cree LEDs arranged centrally in a choice of spot-beam or spread refactor housings. The 225 model has three of these LEDs.

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LightForce Striker LED pair

LightForce Striker LED pair

Striker LEDs driving lights were released by LightForce in May 2018. These middle-distance rectangular lights suit small frontal profile vehicles.

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Ultra Vision Nitro 140 Maxx Combo pair

Ultra Vision Nitro 140 Maxx Combo pair

Our test pair of Ultra Vision 140 Maxx driving lights were the largest round lights in this company’s range, measuring 235mm across and 240mm high, including the mounting brackets and the side-mounted angle-adjustment screws.

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Headlight restoration made easy

Headlight restoration made easy

Many older 4WDs have plastic-faced headlight housings that have oxidised, giving them a distinctive hazy and yellow appearance. That ‘fogging’ and discolouration greatly reduces brightness and beam size, which is a dangerous situation for the driver and others on the road.

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Stedi ST3303 light bar

Stedi ST3303 light bar

Stedi has packed 32 10-watt Cree LEDs into a 545mm (21.5-inch) light bar that can fit onto most nudge and ‘roo bars. It has brilliant distance and spread characteristics, as our test video shows only too clearly.

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Projecta Jump Starters

Projecta Jump Starters

Projecta’s range of Emergency Jump Starters has grown, following the introduction of two models that feature lithium ferro-phosphate technology, for maximum safety when recharging.

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Hot-rodding your lights

Hot-rodding your lights

We’ve been long-term testing Hella’s 400 Compact halogen lights on the OTA Team LandCruiser 79 Series. Darrell and Linda White wanted more light, but didn’t want to upsize from the Compacts, so they hit upon a solution.

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Livid Lighting Xplorer

Livid Lighting Xplorer

This compact LED driving light is very well made, from cast aluminium and with a stainless steel U-bracket. It delivers a very useful spread and spot beam from a package that should fit to almost all vehicles.

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Livid Lighting Hyperdrive Mk2

Livid Lighting Hyperdrive Mk2

This range of LED lights is German-engineered and Taiwan-made, combining LED globes with optical lens materials, for improved light output from 80W globes.

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Narva LED replacement headlight globes

Narva LED replacement headlight globes

We’ve been testing two sets of these Narva Ultima LED globes for months and we love ‘em, but they’re not ADR-approved, so if you go down that route, make sure your headlights are adjusted carefully.

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Hella LED replacement headlights

Hella LED replacement headlights

Many older 4WDs, bikes and even new North American-brand trucks are fitted with seven-inch round headlights. These can be replaced by Hella’s LED low/high beam headlights and there’s also a dedicated high-beam unit for four-headlight applications.

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Stedi Type-X

Stedi Type-X

A Stedi Type-X pair of LED driving lights produces a NATA-accredited photometric laboratory tested 13,310 lumens, which is considerably more nett light volume than many prominent brands that cost up to three times the price.

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LightForce Venom LED

LightForce Venom LED

Designed, tested and made in Australia, the 75W LightForce Venom LED produces a 5000-Kelvin light temperature beam of one lux at distances up to 850m.

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LightForce Genesis LED

LightForce Genesis LED

New from LightForce, the 140W Genesis LED is said to redefine LED performance, with a 1053m range from a pair of lights and 5000-Kelvin colour temperature.

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Narva LED festoon globes

Narva LED festoon globes

The LED takeover of automotive and camping lighting is complete: LED festoon globes can now replace conventional incandescent ones.

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Redarc Green Power BCDC charger

Redarc Electronics has released the next generation of its award-winning BCDC in-vehicle battery charger that’s designed, built and tested in Australia. The new BCDC 25-amp model includes features that make it the most advanced product on the market, according to Redarc.

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Daylight running light kits

Daylight running light kits

Once the exclusive domain of prestige European cars, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) have become a common sight on many new passenger and commercial vehicles.

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LED Light Bar Tests – 2013-2017

LED Light Bar Tests – 2013-2017

Light bars are often easier to mount than large, round driving lights and can even be fitted to roof racks. However, while LED light bars give good spread beams, they don’t have the beam distance of HID lights.

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Projecta’s multi-source battery charger

Projecta’s multi-source battery charger

Projecta has unveiled its class-leading IDC25 ‘Intelli-Charge’ 25A 9-32V, three-stage DC/Solar Battery Charger.The unit is the most advanced of its type currently available on the Australian market, Projecta claims.

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Combination HID-LED driving lights

Combination HID-LED driving lights

We’ve checked out combinations of HID distance and LED spread lights. This pairing offers the best blend of distance and beam width. One method is with the one pair of lights, but the other combines a bar and two driving lights.

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How Lights Work

How Lights Work

Lights that lit the way for 4WDs used to be variations on the same incandescent-globe theme, but now there are HID and LED lights. Here’s how they all work.

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LED replacement headlamps

LED replacement headlamps

Truck-Lite has teamed up with Narva to produce a second generation LED replacement headlight for vehicles using seven-inch round lights.

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Hella Rallye 4000 Xenon test

Hella Rallye 4000 Xenon test

There are driving lights, then there are good driving lights, reckons leading truck journalist Steve Brooks. ‘Hellava good light,’ is how he describes his Hella Rallye 4000 Xenons.

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Medium LED Driving Lights Video Tests – 2013 to 2017

Medium LED Driving Lights Video Tests – 2013 to 2017

LEDs – light emitting diodes – now dominate the headlight and driving light arena, having already taken over the flashlight, head torch and camping light business. LED lights are bright, white and directional, and have unprecedented durability.

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Dual Battery Systems

Dual Battery Systems

These days very few people travel without a portable fridge and camp lighting, and that dictates some form of auxiliary battery power, Allan Whiting from Outback Travel Australia reports. The best way to ensure your fridge will run overnight, when the engine isn’t operating, is with a deep-cycle battery. If the fridge is connected to the deep-cycle battery all the time, it will keep the power flowing as long as it has sufficient charge.

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Upgraded Lighting

Upgraded Lighting

No 4WD wagon or ute comes with lights that are adequate for night time bush driving. For that work you’ll need upgraded lighting.

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