Lighting options

Kenny

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Kenny
How's the wind noise with the 5 rounds overhead?
Details on what you did there please.
Hammerhead 50” light bar, Rough Country 50” moounting bar - and 5 PIAA 540 lights. Minimal wind noise - HH Mount was a little challenging but got it done.
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lightsout

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Let me start by saying I own a LED Lighting company we specialize in high performance Sports lighting, my observation most of the high end LED off road lighting is over rated and way over priced, many of these companies fixtures are just Chinese components in a nicer package. The issue with the low end LED is not the LED components per se' it is the housing, water intrusion is the #1 issue. Personally I buy the cheaper fixtures and I calk and re seal them myself before installation.

Keep in mind you cannot drive on the roads with 99% of the current LED lighting available (very few have DOT certifications). LED's are not failing because of use since 99% of us rarely use them they are mostly failing from moisture getting past the seals.

I have a $40 17" Chinese bar on my bumper, two $25 5" Chinese cubes on the pilar and a Rough Country 40" bar on the between the hood hinges.

I resealed all of them before installation, however if I get 2-3 years use out of the Chinese I will be happy and newer and more reliable technology will be out by then. The 40" which I paid $200 (with mounting brackets) form Rough Country had a 5 year warranty from a reputable US company which prompted me to pay more. Mine have been on for over 1.5 years with NO issues.

Unless the higher end fixtures have a 3-5 year warranty and have a DOT certification do not pay the premium. Look there are always exceptions to these rules however they are far and few between. Save your money buy reasonably priced LED's also buy covers for them as most water intrusion enters via the lens seals. Most of the high end LED's have 1 year warranty which suggest they lack confidence in their products whereas the commercial LED industry warranty is a minimum of 5 years, 1 year warranty's are a cop out and these companies are laughing all the way to the bank.
 

spurly

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Let me start by saying I own a LED Lighting company we specialize in high performance Sports lighting, my observation most of the high end LED off road lighting is over rated and way over priced, many of these companies fixtures are just Chinese components in a nicer package. The issue with the low end LED is not the LED components per se' it is the housing, water intrusion is the #1 issue. Personally I buy the cheaper fixtures and I calk and re seal them myself before installation.

Keep in mind you cannot drive on the roads with 99% of the current LED lighting available (very few have DOT certifications). LED's are not failing because of use since 99% of us rarely use them they are mostly failing from moisture getting past the seals.

I have a $40 17" Chinese bar on my bumper, two $25 5" Chinese cubes on the pilar and a Rough Country 40" bar on the between the hood hinges.

I resealed all of them before installation, however if I get 2-3 years use out of the Chinese I will be happy and newer and more reliable technology will be out by then. The 40" which I paid $200 (with mounting brackets) form Rough Country had a 5 year warranty from a reputable US company which prompted me to pay more. Mine have been on for over 1.5 years with NO issues.

Unless the higher end fixtures have a 3-5 year warranty and have a DOT certification do not pay the premium. Look there are always exceptions to these rules however they are far and few between. Save your money buy reasonably priced LED's also buy covers for them as most water intrusion enters via the lens seals. Most of the high end LED's have 1 year warranty which suggest they lack confidence in their products whereas the commercial LED industry warranty is a minimum of 5 years, 1 year warranty's are a cop out and these companies are laughing all the way to the bank.
All good information, however I also consider the quality of the lens. A friend has multiple lights on his Grand Cherokee, some rigid and some Amazon. The Amazon lights throw light EVERYWHERE. He has a pair of floods that will light up the top of a 50 foot tree just 20 feet away, most of his light output is wasted in my opinion. Where as my Baja Design flood lights have a lower lumen rating, has more usable light because it keeps the light on the ground appearing much brighter.
 

lightsout

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All good information, however I also consider the quality of the lens. A friend has multiple lights on his Grand Cherokee, some rigid and some Amazon. The Amazon lights throw light EVERYWHERE. He has a pair of floods that will light up the top of a 50 foot tree just 20 feet away, most of his light output is wasted in my opinion. Where as my Baja Design flood lights have a lower lumen rating, has more usable light because it keeps the light on the ground appearing much brighter.

The lens does not control the beam it is mostly managed by reflectors as LED's chips have a maximum beam angle of 120 degrees (this is a issue with ALL LED CHIPS automotive, consumer or commercial/industrial) which is relatively narrow compared to the last technology. Reflector and optics are relatively cheap in fact probably the lowest cost component of the LED fixture it is just some companies offer more optical options.

Personally after I installed my bumper light bar it was in fact too narrow I wanted more side light which is why I added the two pillar cubes which I can aim out to the side when needed.

I have the bumper 17"bar which illuminates the ground then when I want to go a bit higher I use the Hood 40" bar, and for side illumination the cubes. This provides for a progressive lighting plan I can light 180 degrees or just 120 degrees. Also note some chips are 90 or 60 Degrees.

With that said I will be replacing my bumper light bar for a DOT approved amber bar, just waiting for cost to come down on those, the cost for manufactures to get the DOT approval is $$$$ so early adopters will pay dearly. Then I can drive on public streets with the bumper bar on...
 

spurly

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The lens does not control the beam it is mostly managed by reflectors as LED's chips have a maximum beam angle of 120 degrees (this is a issue with ALL LED CHIPS automotive, consumer or commercial/industrial) which is relatively narrow compared to the last technology. Reflector and optics are relatively cheap in fact probably the lowest cost component of the LED fixture it is just some companies offer more optical options.
It appears you know more about LEDs than the average joe (like myself) but guess I'm curious to understand why you think the lens doesn't control the beam? I understand the conical shaped reflectors play a role in light output, but I can change the lens on my Baja Design lights and effectively get an entirely different light from spots to floods.
 

lightsout

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It appears you know more about LEDs than the average joe (like myself) but guess I'm curious to understand why you think the lens doesn't control the beam? I understand the conical shaped reflectors play a role in light output, but I can change the lens on my Baja Design lights and effectively get an entirely different light from spots to floods.

You are correct a fixture lens can have some impact but it is not a beam changing impact, what it can do to a small amount of light is redistribute assuming it is not clear, however even clear lenses have impacts in that all light is refracted to some degree in all lenses. The challenge with any reflectors or lenses is that they eat up lumens and can by significant amounts. Optical lensing whereas should be done on a chip by chip bases meaning each chip has its own lens. What I meant by Lenses is that a a fixture lens (not chip). A single fixture lens does not turn a directional output into a flood output unless it is diffused and even then the chips native beam angle is the still the predominent beam output angle even through a diffused lens.

Again Lenses and reflectors are the lowest cost components of any LED fixture, it is not exclusive to high end, it is just you are more likely to find more defined optics on higher end fixtures.

Look many of the LED suppliers that post here on the forum frankly are not fans of mine, I see through the marketing and performance BS. While many like KC, or Inspired and others discuss how great their fixtures are they are simply not 4-6 times better (as price suggest), they are still Asian made electronics inside Asian or Mexican made bodies (there are a few that may cast Aluminum domestically) and just assembled in the US. The difference being they are doing the specifications of those components. Do not get me wrong those mentioned and others make good products just not to the degree justifying extreme cost difference IMO.

Like I said the main issue I have found with the cheap LED's is not the LED components but the build quality of the body which is often an easy self fix.

LED lighting on a Wrangler since 99% is not street legal male this more of a cosmetic upgrade as very few of us offroad at night and those that do use theirs typically it is far and few between as to when the really need to turn theirs ON.
 

Miloe

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Hammerhead 50” light bar, Rough Country 50” moounting bar - and 5 PIAA 540 lights. Minimal wind noise - HH Mount was a little challenging but got it done.
Kenny, thanks for the info.
 
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You are correct a fixture lens can have some impact but it is not a beam changing impact, what it can do to a small amount of light is redistribute assuming it is not clear, however even clear lenses have impacts in that all light is refracted to some degree in all lenses. The challenge with any reflectors or lenses is that they eat up lumens and can by significant amounts. Optical lensing whereas should be done on a chip by chip bases meaning each chip has its own lens. What I meant by Lenses is that a a fixture lens (not chip). A single fixture lens does not turn a directional output into a flood output unless it is diffused and even then the chips native beam angle is the still the predominent beam output angle even through a diffused lens.

Again Lenses and reflectors are the lowest cost components of any LED fixture, it is not exclusive to high end, it is just you are more likely to find more defined optics on higher end fixtures.

Look many of the LED suppliers that post here on the forum frankly are not fans of mine, I see through the marketing and performance BS. While many like KC, or Inspired and others discuss how great their fixtures are they are simply not 4-6 times better (as price suggest), they are still Asian made electronics inside Asian or Mexican made bodies (there are a few that may cast Aluminum domestically) and just assembled in the US. The difference being they are doing the specifications of those components. Do not get me wrong those mentioned and others make good products just not to the degree justifying extreme cost difference IMO.

Like I said the main issue I have found with the cheap LED's is not the LED components but the build quality of the body which is often an easy self fix.

LED lighting on a Wrangler since 99% is not street legal male this more of a cosmetic upgrade as very few of us offroad at night and those that do use theirs typically it is far and few between as to when the really need to turn theirs ON.
Dude,

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RenegadeJeeper

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Having owned literally every cheap, crappy lightbar out there... And selling them off... My Baja Designs are literally night and day difference.
No question. Been driving Jeeps since 05 and can attest to the almost year I have on the BD.
Just my .02
 
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