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Lightforce vs Hella

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by DevL, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Feb 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM
    #1
    DevL

    DevL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have been doing my due dilligence on light research and I have found very differening opinions.

    On one hand there is a camp that says Lightforce is a joke, a fraud, and not worthy of consideration for top of the line lights.

    This camp states that quality control dropped off with a move to a China based factory with poor QC and Lightforce is denying warranty claims left and right... enough that certain companies quit carrying them.

    Their beam is pretty horrible... is just round and ringy... like a Maglight. The beam has lots of swirls and startbursts and things you dont want to see in a beam pattern. The 35W HID lights are not better than anyone elses 35W bulbs and ballasts. The only redeeming factor is that they can be focused super tight into a spot and shine really far. Compared to real driving, Euro, and fog patterns they are a joke.

    This group also says the Lexan lenses oxidize over time in sunlight, that their HID blubs are not commonly available types, that the only quality light is the 240 and that the 170 is only valuable if weight is a concern.

    The other side says Lightforce is awesome and everything its cracked up to be... sure the beam pattern is sub optimal, but who cares about a pretty beam pattern? The things are light, bright, and durable!

    Noone has highend lights near me, for me to get an idea of what the TRUTH is and, unlike automotive headlights and flashlights, there are not forums dedicated to offroad lights. I really dont unerstand why not either.

    A Hella 500 or 500 FF modded with a junky China HID kit is not an appropriate comaprison to the price range of Lightforce... the 4000i HID lights are the propper comparison. A 4000 retrofitted to HID is also not a valid comparison.

    Now from what I have been able to research, the beam shots I have seen, etc. The Hella 4000i stacks up favorably to the Lightforce units and is actually better for most users in this forum. They offer a selection of REAL beam patterns, they can be mounted from the underside of a lightbar and keep correct orientation with their swivel bracket mounts, have integrated ballasts, can use Phillips D1S 3200 lumen bulbs, etc.

    I just cant fathom buying $300+ per light offroad lights unless I can test them myself prior to purchase.

    I am debating between Lightforce 170 and Hella 4000i Compacts with driving patternfor behind the grill. And the 4000xi, LF 140, and possibly cheap Kragens for the fogs. I was all set to get the Lightforce for the IR covers, but my friends who all have nightvision say the spot only beam pattern is a joke and that IR LEDs are a far better option with much less visible signature and more usable light when driving at night with nightvision.

    The Lightforce 170s fit behind the grill but dont have integrated ballasts. The Hella 4000i compacts fit behind the grill... keep the drain hole pointed down, should theoretically have a higher out the front lumen output, better beam patern, etc.

    The downside to the 4000i is the use of a D1S bulb which has the ignitor integrated to the bulb, which makes it more expensive, and the ballast, being integrated, cant be swapped for a higher wattage ballast in the future once appropriate bulbs can be developed.

    It has caused me great consternation... If anyone has HID Lightforce or HID Hellas of any type in the Houston area please IM me.
     
  2. Feb 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM
    #2
    LilRedYota

    LilRedYota Well-Known Member

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    HELLLLLLA!
     
  3. Feb 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM
    #3
    elblako91

    elblako91 Well-Known Member

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    I have a sale pending on some hellas HIDed

    Heres a writeup for an idea of how cheap lights plus some HID's are bright

    Hella 500's
     
  4. Feb 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM
    #4
    Jigzor

    Jigzor Well-Known Member

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    Love light force. Wouldn't want anything different. I have standard 170s with halogen bulbs. They light up the road great! Couldn't imagine what they'd do if I purchased their HID kit for them.
     
  5. Feb 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM
    #5
    barlowrs

    barlowrs Well-Known Member

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    Love my LF as well, I have combo filters on them and the patter is perfect.
     
  6. Feb 19, 2011 at 7:27 PM
    #6
    scollins

    scollins Well-Known Member

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    I'm really impressed with my Vision X 8500's so far. But then again, we are talking about a light that is MSRP $400 each.......

    I'm running 3 lights total (1 spot flanked by 2 Euro's.) "Bright" is an understatement. One of these days, I'll have to get some comparison pictures.
     
  7. Feb 19, 2011 at 7:29 PM
    #7
    ColtsTRD

    ColtsTRD .....

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  8. Feb 19, 2011 at 7:41 PM
    #8
    elblako91

    elblako91 Well-Known Member

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    I just wish i could drop the coin for some LED's :drool:
     
  9. Feb 19, 2011 at 7:46 PM
    #9
    mandzach

    mandzach Well-Known Member

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    I am in the same boat. heard about the same thing as OP.

    Being in Vegas offers me oppertunity to talk to quite a few desert racers. Most are of the opinion that Hella HID's are really hard to beat. None of the racers I ever talked to even mention LF.
     
  10. Feb 19, 2011 at 9:12 PM
    #10
    Cortland

    Cortland THIS IS AMERICA!!!

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  11. Feb 26, 2011 at 3:30 PM
    #11
    DevL

    DevL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Lights that do not use a free form reflector but rather use the glass lens to disburse light r 20-30 percent less effective at throwing light. Light using an H series bulb start off with 10-20 percent fewer lumens. I know I am not interested in them for that reason.
     
  12. Feb 26, 2011 at 3:39 PM
    #12
    DevL

    DevL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If that is all that light force has to offer I'm certainly not interested in them. My lights are going behind the grill. Beam pattern, Aiming, and mounting versatility are all more important than impact resistance.
     
  13. Feb 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM
    #13
    malander

    malander That's some tight butthole

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    This may be a bit of a thread jack but I think it might have some relevance to durability. My question is how do Hellas and lightforces fair in extremely wet conditions (ie. Thunderstorms, car washes, etc.) I would be concerned about the wiring getting soaked
     
  14. Feb 26, 2011 at 5:26 PM
    #14
    DevL

    DevL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    All non marine lights have drain holes. If you put the drain hole at the top of the light they can fill with water. No lights will be 100% water proof. The Hella 4000i have a swing arm mount so they can be mounted below a bar and keep the drain hole down. This is frequently a problem when mounting lights behind the grill. I've not seen an integrated ballast hid that wasn't well protected from rain and splashing. Submerging is not a good idea.
     
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