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Comparing BD Squadron Pros vs DD SS3 Pros - Any requests?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by memario1214, May 18, 2020.

  1. May 18, 2020 at 2:47 PM
    #1
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    Thanks to some requests I have on hand a couple sets of lights for some testing! Before I run out and take some video and throw down my comparisons anyone have any suggestions for anything they would like to see.

    The competitors:
    • Baja Designs Squadron Pro - Spot pattern
    • Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro - Spot pattern
    20200518_154010.jpg
     
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  2. May 18, 2020 at 10:41 PM
    #2
    Dalandser

    Dalandser ¡Me Gustan Las Taco-mas!

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    Put Squadron Sports in the mix?
     
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  3. May 18, 2020 at 10:47 PM
    #3
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    I've done sports comparing patterns, but I certainly can do a video comparing sports to pros!
     
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  4. May 26, 2020 at 9:08 AM
    #4
    SearArtist

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  5. May 26, 2020 at 9:46 AM
    #5
    memario1214

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    Should be completing this next week. Full disclosure I know nothing about editing video so... there's a learning curve here for sure!
     
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  6. May 26, 2020 at 9:50 AM
    #6
    RadioTaco

    RadioTaco Well-Known Member

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  7. May 26, 2020 at 10:13 AM
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    SearArtist

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    Need to also test a 40” Onxy6+ spot bar and some LP9 Pro’s


    :anonymous:


    then I’ll decide if I should buy or not :D
     
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  8. May 26, 2020 at 3:38 PM
    #8
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    HA! Honestly, it's on my list of things to do! Just $$$ makes things take time unfortunately. Hopefully I will eventually be able to put anything and everything head-to-head for you all!
     
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  9. May 26, 2020 at 3:40 PM
    #9
    SearArtist

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    you got an S1 or S2 spot on hand? That would be nice to compare against an S2 pro or squadron sport. Since they all have around the same lumen output. I’d like to see how they compare on the beam pattern, distance, and brightness.
     
  10. May 26, 2020 at 3:46 PM
    #10
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    Yes, yes I do... :cool:

    Have a pair sitting right here, and had a plan for it to run against the squad sports - funny you should ask. I have some S2 Pros, but only in amber. Would have to just get some different lenses is all for head to head testing.
     
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  11. May 26, 2020 at 9:01 PM
    #11
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    Okay, okay... Lenses are on the way. I'll soon be able to compare S1, S2 Pro, Squad Sport all in spot pattern head-to-head. You're welcome :D
     
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  12. May 26, 2020 at 9:06 PM
    #12
    SearArtist

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    cool. Send me that S1 spot lens when you are done. I need it :thumbsup: I ended up with a spare set of wide cornering S1’s so I’m gonna mount them on my rear bumper. I have Rigid radiance scene flush mounts, so 1 wide cornering and 1 spot S1 should round out the rear lighting nicely. Just want see how the spot performs first :thumbsup:
     
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  13. May 26, 2020 at 9:23 PM
    #13
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    I "may" keep it just to have on hand for any one-off video requests, but I'll let you know if I don't!
     
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  14. May 28, 2020 at 1:04 PM
    #14
    Luong

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    Icon Front Coilovers Icon Rear Shocks Icon AAL JBA UCAs Stealth Custom Series F5 16x8 3.5BS Toyo Open Country AT2 305/70/16 CMC/Pinch Weld LED Taillights LED HeadLights C4 Fabrication Hybrid Front Bumper Baja Designs S8 Amber Baja Designs Squadron Sports x4 Baja Designs S2 Sports x2
    Sub'd. Interested in this review. Def would like to see the sports added to the mix.
     
  15. May 28, 2020 at 10:48 PM
    #15
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    In comparing the SS3 Sports in Spot, the much smaller Sport emitter paired with TIR optics leads to a far more concentrated higher intensity level of light than the SS3 Pro in Spot though the S3 Pro does cover a larger area. Just like a performance high efficiency halogen light in a good reflector optic, smaller light sources lead to better focus and higher intensity output. The SS3 Sport Spot is actually more suited to go head to head against the Baja's lasers. Baja's lasers have very primitive optics vs the highest efficiency and most performant optics on the market with the SS3s TIR optics. The winner for highest intensity output might surprise you.
     
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  16. Jun 7, 2020 at 8:16 PM
    #16
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    Aaand we're live! :D

    Here's the video! I will do what I can to post up some pics later. I took a handful with fixed camera settings to ensure consistency.

    https://youtu.be/gwHUpzBzksU
     
  17. Jun 7, 2020 at 9:33 PM
    #17
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    LOL, you cannot even tell the Baja Design lights are on when the high intensity Diode Dynamics lights are on. Baja uses open face legacy reflectors which are dated in the LED market, and poor performing. Hence so much spread/scatter in their spot optic. Pretty clear in the video that their optic isn't limited to the 9 degrees that Baja claims, and throws light everywhere, which is not much of a true spot light, typical of the open face reflector design. While one might prefer the additional spread, it demonstrates a lack of control in the optic, and what that means is a lack of focus which translates to lower distance projection, which is the point of a spot optic. If you were to put a lux meter out at those trees in the distance, Diode Dynamics would register drastically higher in intensity, hence why you could not tell the Baja lights were on when both sets were on simultaneously.

    Diode Dynamics uses Total Internal Reflector (TIR) optics, Baja uses dated open face legacy reflectors that have poor pattern control and intensity.

    [​IMG]

    Superior distance projection is all about superior light control and focus. To do that you must control 100% of the light, not just some of it, as an open face reflector does. TIR optics control all the light to point it where it is designed to go vs significant scatter losses. The only other way to achieve controlling 100% of the light is to reverse aim your LED into a reflector for superior focus (larger reflectors perform far better than smaller ones). Focus and intensity will be even better than TIR optic, producing significantly higher intensity numbers with far lower input. The lights that do so are the KC Gravity series, like the Pro6 and their numbers put both pods to shame while using half the input power, although in the case of the Pro6 the lights are significantly larger.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  18. Jun 8, 2020 at 6:25 AM
    #18
    SearArtist

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  19. Jun 8, 2020 at 1:20 PM
    #19
    memario1214

    memario1214 [OP] Hotshot Offroad Moderator Vendor

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    Like we have said before I am here for the education and discussion! I want people to be educated on their purchases!

    I do have a test upcoming that will be a little more "even" IMO between these two in that I will be comparing a BD XL Racer in the High-Speed spot 6deg with the SS3 pros, and will be curious to see what kind of production we get out of that since on paper they are in the same pocket. I agree with what you have said though, and I am not necessarily expecting to get a dramatically different result. KC is certainly on the list of those to test as well! :D

    As an aside... Recommendations on a lux meter? Thinking I could add that into these overviews as an additional data point.
     
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  20. Jun 8, 2020 at 7:42 PM
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    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    It is great to show side-by-side products so people can understand what they are purchasing! And for selling them, it is great to have first hand experience to help customers make informed decisions.

    Both Diode Dynamics and KC are really good at publishing actual performance specs making it easier to do some preliminary comparison. In spot pattern, the lux @ 10m spec lists:
    SS3 Pro: 1,315 lux
    SS3 Sport: 1,510 lux
    KC Pro 6: 2,150

    This is great for checking specs on peak intensity, which will directly translate to distance projection. But it doesn't tell you much about the pattern size when comparing between the models. The Sports are higher intensity than the Pros due to the smaller emitters and a highly focused optic, but the pattern is also smaller. I haven't personally tested the Pro 6 in Spot, but I have in Driving and they have noticeably larger pattern than SS3 Driving pods, I'd expect the same from the Spots.

    A lux meter would be a great addition to give quantifiable data! One of the problems with video demonstrations is the camera is always trying to adjust exposure to make the peak light intensity in the video relatively consistent, which is counter productive in this case. So if you video two competing lights at separate times, the camera is going to adjust the exposure to try and effectively match the lower output light to the same peak brightness as the higher output light in the video by making the image brighter, which can be misleading. This is where a good lux meter would come in to qualify the difference. Pictures and video can still be a good tool to show the different types of patterns though. As you demonstrated with Baja vs Diode Dynamics, they are both listed as Spot but the light output pattern is not really the same. Some may prefer the additional light outside of the spot pattern and others may want the maximum performance offered by keeping all the light focused within the Spot pattern.

    For a lux meter, you will want one that is specifically designed for LED. The spectrum is very different for incandescents and even different colors of LED light, meaning a basic incandescent meter will be inaccurate. If you are looking at only testing white LED lights, I'd suggest the Extech LT40, the sensor is integrated into the unit so you only need one hand which can have pros and cons. If you see yourself testing selective yellow lights (or other colors than white) in the future, you need a multi-color LED light meter, which are more expensive. For that I would suggest the Extech LT45 (one of the meters I have). Both meters can also do incandescent as well. You can find them for cheaper elsewhere, I just linked the manufactures site.
     
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