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Author: Subject: Budget HID lights
Doug/Vamonos
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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 08:04 AM
Budget HID lights


Hi. I have four large halogen lights on my light bar. I want to upgrade to HID. Does anyone have experience with the budget red ringed HIDs I see on ebay and other sources? I saw some on a truck the other day and the guy said they've been dependable but I didn't get the brand. Lots of lookalikes. Thanks.
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StuckSucks
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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 10:33 AM


Have you considered LED light bars? They're the latest technology, run fairly cool, throw a ton of light, and are almost indestructible. The curved, combo flood/pencil beam is a great way to go - you will not be unhappy.



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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 11:07 AM


I agree at looking at LED's rather than HID's.



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David K
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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 11:22 AM


Doug, HID hs been surpassed now by LED. However, being the new kid on the block, LED is the most expensive.

I have run the 'red ring' HIDs... They were originally marketed at Kragen auto parts stores (now Auto Zone or O'Reilly?)... so we called them Kragen HIDs (made in China).

They are very bright and have a 'Euro' beam (aka Driving beam) which is perhaps the best for replacing what your headlights on high beam do. HIDs are brighter than 100 watt halogen and only use 35 watts. The important part really is the COLOR TEMPERATURE. You want around 5000°K which is white, just a hint of blue. Higher color temperatures yield light that is too blue and not as bright. Halogen is closer to 4000°K which is yellowish-white.

The other lens choices are Spot (Pencil) beam [for long distance, but narrow] and Fog beam [short distance and very wide, great for cornering, slow off-road visibilty, and fog].

The complaint I had with the 'red ring' Kragen/ Chinese HIDs was the ABS plastic lamp body... With vibration on the graded washboard roads, mine cracked.

That may have been because my light bar shook too much. Most are happy with those HIDs, and being around $100 each or less (7" model) are a cheap way to have super bright lighting.

HIDs do take a few minutes to achieve max brightness. So, when you first kick them on, they are not at the brightest.

Here are the Kragen HIDs and Hella halogen (100 watt). Notice how much 'whiter' the HIDs are?





On Shell Island...



Against my garage...
High beams, the Hella Spot beams (round), the Kragen Euro beams (bright, wide).



========================================================



Since the above photos... I changed the Hella 4000s from halogen to HID... and then replaced the cracked Kragen HIDs with these Cree LED metal lamps... VERY BRIGHT!



I have since replaced the Hella Spots with LED driving beams (putting them on the outside and the LED spot beams in the center.




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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 03:27 PM


LED all the way. Flood/spot combo with cree bulbs. Compare lumens and get the highest IP rating.







[Edited on 5-7-2017 by chippy]

[Edited on 5-7-2017 by chippy]
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Doug/Vamonos
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[*] posted on 5-8-2017 at 05:56 AM


Thanks all. Very good pics David. I have essentially the same type of light bar with the four KC Hilites now (135 watts each). I'll look into the Cree LEDs. Did you use a kit to upgrade the Hellas? I have an upgraded 200 amp alternator so have plenty of power to play with. And my lights are wired into my high beams with relays so they are easily turned off and on for oncoming traffic. I also have a 24" LED bar that I haven't mounted yet. Need to weld the mounts to my light bar first. I have a thing for lights...

[Edited on 5-8-2017 by Doug/Vamonos]
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[*] posted on 5-8-2017 at 06:49 AM


A good resource for understanding lighting is http://www.danielsternlighting.com/
He is up to speed on bulbs to replace the stock bulbs in your headlights. He also is up to speed on typical driving lights. Not so much on LEDs.

For my lighting I always upgrade my stock headlamps before adding the aux lighting. My aux lights are Hella Halogen which I find adequate for my sedentary driving.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2017 at 08:28 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Doug/Vamonos  
Thanks all. Very good pics David. I have essentially the same type of light bar with the four KC Hilites now (135 watts each). I'll look into the Cree LEDs. Did you use a kit to upgrade the Hellas? I have an upgraded 200 amp alternator so have plenty of power to play with. And my lights are wired into my high beams with relays so they are easily turned off and on for oncoming traffic. I also have a 24" LED bar that I haven't mounted yet. Need to weld the mounts to my light bar first. I have a thing for lights...

[Edited on 5-8-2017 by Doug/Vamonos]


Because HID (and LED) use far less power than halogen, no changes needed. I have more light while using less power now.

No kit. I went to a guy who advertised converting halogen to HID at his garage.
Here are the pics:


















Instead of yellowish halogen, now pure white HID to match the red ring HIDs.



FOLLOW UP:
Lens made for halogen bulbs are not ideal for HID elements as the light is produced at a different point. It is always best to get a lamp with a bulb already matched. Now with LED, I must recommend you shop for CREE LED lamps to be truly happy. The round ones I have now can be found on the Internet for $60-90 each and they are brighter than the red ring HIDs and do not need time to warm up. They use 60 watts (12: 5 watt LEDs) and have a metal housing with coolong fins.


COMBO


SPOT


LED (outside pair) and HID compared.




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[*] posted on 5-8-2017 at 09:10 AM


Doug, I run two 135w KC spots and a 24" LED bar. The spots are aimed for down range hiway driving one on the right shoulder and one on the center line to scatter light optimally down range. The light bar is mostly used to see rocks on the dirt roads at night. They all are switched thru the hi beams and relays. Just keep what you have and add a bar. Perfect setup!



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Doug/Vamonos
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[*] posted on 5-8-2017 at 11:42 AM


Thanks. The reason for looking into upgrades is my KC lights have stupid plastic lenses that have aged to yellow. I polished them once which helped but not enough. KC doesn't offer glass for my lights. I have two spots and two driving lights. The four lights and high beams provided plenty of light but I still get annoyed by the yellowed lenses. I'll weld on the tabs this weekend and try the LEDs. I'm sure it will help.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2017 at 11:48 AM


Don't stare into the lights!



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[*] posted on 5-19-2017 at 12:54 AM


Buy LED lightbars with CREEE led's.

If racing.... get the good ones
If fun and travel.... buy inexspensive with the most lumens.
My 70 dollar 32 inch bar lights up the night (with CREEE LEDS)
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