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HIDs behind the grill - how much light loss?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by bjmoose, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    I know a number of folks have installed lights behind satoshi and grillcraft grills.

    It makes for a very clean look - one that I like.

    But it seems that -- much like with a slatted "shade structures" blocking the sun and providing partial shade -- that grill's gonna block a bunch of light. Light that I potentially paid mucho-denero to throw down the road as far as the eye can see.

    I searched, but no one seems to have made any kinda comparison.

    How much light is lost when lights are behind the grill instead of in front of it? Anyone got any comparison pics?

    EDIT: installed two 7" kragen HIDs behind grillcraft black MX mesh. Skip ahead to post 19 below to see results.
     
  2. t4daddy

    t4daddy Well-Known Member

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    No pics, and there as to be some loss, but you can not tell by the beam. I have a billet grill with 55watt HID converted HellaFF 500s behind it.
     
  3. acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    Overcompensate with wattage, problem solved :)
    [​IMG]
     
  4. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    What grill is that, Chris?
     
  5. acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    That is a Grillcraft IIRC and I chose that one for precisely the reason you stated, I didn't want to lose a bunch due to the grill. With that being said, of Homer's choices, if i was going to go with a satoshi I would have picked the mesh with the largest openings. IMO, it probably isn't a humungous amount of light lost but I didn't hang these for looks, I need these on the roads I drive and I do ALOT of night driving.

    Dang, how often does one get to use the word 'humungous'????
     
  6. t4daddy

    t4daddy Well-Known Member

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    Looks similar to mine, got it off EBay for cheap.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    Not much of a Chrome guy but that looks pretty sweet!
     
  8. t4daddy

    t4daddy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I've since lost the badge. I wouldn't mind a color matched grill surround and flat black grille, but it's not high on my list either.
     
  9. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Any other insights out there?
     
  10. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Ima try one more bump...
     
  11. rpking

    rpking Well-Known Member

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    I'm also on the fence about this. I drive at night more than I do in the daylight, I just took advantage of the 30% discount from BAMF and ordered a behind the grill light bar mount, after I did I started to wonder about the loss of light from any kind of a grill. But I hate the looks of most bumper mounted light bars, so I guess I will have to live with the loss of a little light. I like the looks of the Homer Satoshi grills just don't know which one would be best Satoshi or something else.
     
  12. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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  13. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    ...and maybe darker?
     
  14. rpking

    rpking Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I would say darker. Those are some tight holed grills. I wonder about air flow through one of those, I bet your engine temps would be a little higher also. Damn lights behind the grill idea anyhow!!!! Now what am I gonna do??? :frusty:
     
  15. acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    I have four lights behind my grill and have not had any problems with engine temps at all and i live a in a summer hot climate. I have a 'billet' style grill on mine which i feel obstructs the light less.
     
  16. ae111black

    ae111black Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 550's behind some 3/4" expanded mesh and I'd say I'm losing about 5% but I'm running 55W halogen's
     
  17. 2006KJ

    2006KJ Well-Known Member

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    when i do my satoshi im going to use this mesh
    http://customcargrills.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Woven_Wire_XXL

    says it's 80% open area compared to 70-60-50-40% of other patterns (go to universal grills to the left on that link to see others.)

    i figure that grille with black magic hella 1000's will look good and not stick out too much.
     
  18. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    I dunno. I started thinking maybe I'd get the max amount of light by mounting the lights in front of the bumper, like this:

    [​IMG]
    Trouble is, my front CBI receiver mount is incompatible with the NFab light bar (or pretty much any other bar that mounts to the front aluminum bumper attachment bar) - so I'd end up having to custom design/fab/weld some kind of custom light bracket.

    That's more work than I wanna do.

    Alternatively, I have in hand a BAMF behind-the-grill bolt on bracket I know will work.

    Think I'm gonna just go with that, a grillcraft grill, and 4 Kragen HIDs. I'll still have roughly the same amount of light with that set up as with 3 lights out in front of the grill - and many folks are happy running just two or three HID lamps.
     
  19. bjmoose

    bjmoose [OP] Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    OK, so it turns out that four 7" HIDs won't fit. So I mounted two of them back there. Here are the results, looking down my street.

    Low Beams:
    [​IMG]

    High Beams:
    [​IMG]

    High Beams plus two 7" Kragen 35w HIDs (NO grill)
    [​IMG]

    High Beams plus two 7" Kragen 35w HIDs (through grillcraft mesh grille)
    [​IMG]

    Looks cool, though:
    [​IMG]

    Bottom line? Light loss behind grille IS quite noticeable. For maximum light, DO opt for some mounting option other than behind-the-grille. However, even behind the grille, they throw more light than the stock high beams, and unlike the high beams I can opt to point them a little outboard for a little more light at the sides of the road.
     
  20. acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, I honestly didn't think it would make that big of a difference but it does.
     
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