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need off-road lighting advice

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Redgrom, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Dec 11, 2011 at 8:59 AM
    #1
    Redgrom

    Redgrom [OP] http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-builds/29

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    ATO front skid (need more but icon's might fail if I hang anything else from my truck) All-Pro front bumper thanks to a good deal here and a pesky encounter with a rock or 20, total chaos uppers.
    After a recent camping trip in anza borrego I realized if I want to drive in the desert at night I need to upgrade my lights. I am thinking about adding a 20-30 inch LED bar to my all pro front bumper and replacing my stock fogs I mounted in the bumper.
    Not sure if a set of piaa 510 in the bumper will be brighter than the stock fogs. Also would anyone advise a yellow bulb so I can use them while driving so I don't blind people?
    Another question would be should I consider HID's to replace the fogs and dedicate them to off road use only?

    Any advice would be helpful.
     
  2. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:08 AM
    #2
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    First off, the big led bars are awfully expensive, there are many lights out there that are much cheaper, second, piaa's are going to be brighter that the stock fogs, third, is beam patterns, most rigs use a set of spot beams (also known as pencil beams), for the distance, and also a set of floods (driving), to illuminate the closer and broader areas. fourth, since these are "off road", this implies that you don't intend to use them on the highway, hence no need for yellow lenses, just be considerate when you see people coming your way. I got turned on to a company called Baja Designs who sell lights under their 'Soltek' name, for the cost of a big LED bar you can have a prefab bar with lights of both spot and driving that is pre-wired. PIAA's are popular, Lightforce are considered some of the brightest out there, hellas and KC's are widely sold too.
     
  3. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:12 AM
    #3
    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

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    Yellow/amber is intended for cutting through dust (dust lights). It cuts though instead of reflecting.
    Most prerunning rigs have dust lights in front of the truck and standard on the roof. Depending on the lights you get, you can also get amber covers to swap out depending on conditions.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:17 AM
    #4
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    Convert the fogs to hid instead of piaa
     
  5. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:21 AM
    #5
    Redgrom

    Redgrom [OP] http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-builds/29

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    ATO front skid (need more but icon's might fail if I hang anything else from my truck) All-Pro front bumper thanks to a good deal here and a pesky encounter with a rock or 20, total chaos uppers.
    Thanks! I have already checked out the Baja Design lights and they look like a good option. I was considering their 4 inch hids in the fog location but pretty sure those would blind other cars even if I had a fog pattern.
     
  6. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:23 AM
    #6
    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

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    You're not going to blind anyone with HID fogs. They are low and pointed at the ground.
     
  7. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:25 AM
    #7
    Redgrom

    Redgrom [OP] http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-builds/29

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    ATO front skid (need more but icon's might fail if I hang anything else from my truck) All-Pro front bumper thanks to a good deal here and a pesky encounter with a rock or 20, total chaos uppers.
    Good point...
     
  8. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM
    #8
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    I would only run stock hid fogs, I think that aftermarket offroad fogs will be to bright for the street.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM
    #9
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    That's not quite accurate; the fogs are worse than the headlights in conversions for these trucks.

    The fog lights have no protection, no sort of bulb cover like the headlights--which means regardless of the glare others will still see the point source of light head-on. You may be reflecting the light at the ground, but light will emit directly from the bulb as well--have you ever stared directly at a halogen or HID bulb?

    Color of light doesn't affect how the lights will blind other people, only the brightness, aim, etc. The only reason it may be more tolerable is lower light output--the filter making the light yellow removes some of the light output.

    I wouldn't bother with "fog" lights for driving, especially at highway speed. Fog lights are only meant to illuminate the first 20-30 feet maybe in front of the car, which does nothing for you at speed. They might be useful off-road only on low speed areas to help see a trail.
     
  10. Dec 11, 2011 at 1:49 PM
    #10
    stunt man hans

    stunt man hans displaced viking living in New Hampshire

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    undercover se, pop&lock tailgate, rallye 1000 hela black magic lights, black grill craft grill lower. twm m1 abrams shift knob, ap ubolt flip kit & ifs high clearance skid , timbren bumpstops, pro comp 3 inch lift, goodrich ss braklines front and rear, lr uca's, customlightz.com fx-r 55 watt retrofit, ARB deluxe bull bar, vision-x solstice pods, black wet okole seat cover,weather tech digital floor mats window visors toyota hood guard, safari snorkel, full bed rug, full putco led swap hd led flasher cf18-08, pioneer bluetooth ipod navigation double din headunit, flowmaster 40 muffler custom center outlet exhaust, regear and arb lockers, arb rear bumper if they ever fucking release one lol and arb sliders coming soon as well as a new line-xtra paint job!
    the bulb itself in the factory foglight housing does not have a shroud or cover like the headlights?

    i don't have factory fogs myself so i have way of being able to check for myself. if it has the shroud or bulb cover i would say if the truck is not lifted you should be ok with hids in the stock fogs.

    if the srock fogs do not have a bulb cover i would say skip on the hids or if the truck has been lifted. the fog lights in my arb are higher than the headlights on my wifes new out back. point being they will be much higher than they would be if the truck was riding at a stock height and rake.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM
    #11
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    2005-2011 units do not. The factory bulb spec has a black tip to prevent glare. I haven't looked closely enough at 2012 models to tell you.
     
  12. Dec 11, 2011 at 8:57 PM
    #12
    stunt man hans

    stunt man hans displaced viking living in New Hampshire

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    undercover se, pop&lock tailgate, rallye 1000 hela black magic lights, black grill craft grill lower. twm m1 abrams shift knob, ap ubolt flip kit & ifs high clearance skid , timbren bumpstops, pro comp 3 inch lift, goodrich ss braklines front and rear, lr uca's, customlightz.com fx-r 55 watt retrofit, ARB deluxe bull bar, vision-x solstice pods, black wet okole seat cover,weather tech digital floor mats window visors toyota hood guard, safari snorkel, full bed rug, full putco led swap hd led flasher cf18-08, pioneer bluetooth ipod navigation double din headunit, flowmaster 40 muffler custom center outlet exhaust, regear and arb lockers, arb rear bumper if they ever fucking release one lol and arb sliders coming soon as well as a new line-xtra paint job!
    most every halogen bulb has the tip dipped in something to prevent glare but, usually there is still a reflector covering the bulb.

    either way a ton of guy's run hid's in their fogs and seem to like them. i don't agree with it but, thats just me. i alway's felt the xenons belonged in the proper housings that where designed for them.

    they are on average 2 to 3 times brighter than any halogen bulb so to not focus that light can have a seriously negative effect to other drivers vision at night especially on a dark road or the worst case scenario a dark road when raining yikes.

    a blazer retrofit can be done relatively easy and it's not to hard on the wallet either the light out put is at least 4 times that of the factory fogs.
     
  13. Dec 11, 2011 at 9:11 PM
    #13
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    So, if you didnt have any fogs at all, would you start with a eBay OEM fog kit for 80, plus a170 blazer fog hid retrofit, or some other hid fog that would fit in stock fog location? What are examples? PIAA fogs seem to be halogen, not HID.

    And most offroad fogs seem to come in larger housings than would fit in factory stock location.
     
  14. Dec 12, 2011 at 5:27 AM
    #14
    Icepuck72

    Icepuck72 Well-Known Member

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  15. Dec 12, 2011 at 9:24 AM
    #15
    stunt man hans

    stunt man hans displaced viking living in New Hampshire

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    good advice i love my vision-x solstice pods they are epic and built like a tank. solid billet aluminum with built in heat sinks makes up the body of the unit and lens cover. they also have interchangeable diffusers and an easily replaceable type of polycarbonate lens that is over 1/4 inch thick.

    the round solstice imo would be a better choice for an truck that sees frequent off road duty. they are completely sealed and would weather well in any location especially the factory fog holes. however they are all constructed the same way my pods happen to be the square variety.

    the blazer retro is nice because they are sealed and have a decent beam pattern but, imo much much better projectors can be had for the same money or just a tad more. the problem is that they are not sealed units so if you pick a projector other than the blazer first off make sure it's a closed design projector then jb weld it together and seal it on the back side in the same fashion jb weld and silicon. that should yield full functionality and protection from the elements but, its still a risky job that would require some skill and experience. that would yield the most light basically a set of headlights but, just lower on the bumper.

    edit: this is what i plan on doing to the fog lights in my arb i actually might run a quad set-up so when my low beams are on all 4 will activate and run there lowbeams and when you hit the high beams all 4 projectors will drop their shields and go full retard lol.
     
  16. Dec 12, 2011 at 9:48 AM
    #16
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    Have you seen my retrofit thread?!?! The fog light retrofit is a pain in the balls!! Not overly difficult, just slow and tedious.

    You can just drill the back of the fog light housing, epoxy the Blazers in and call it a day pretty easily but a full out retrofit is a bit more involved.
     
  17. Dec 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    #17
    stunt man hans

    stunt man hans displaced viking living in New Hampshire

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    THE LIVE FREE OR DIE STATE
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    undercover se, pop&lock tailgate, rallye 1000 hela black magic lights, black grill craft grill lower. twm m1 abrams shift knob, ap ubolt flip kit & ifs high clearance skid , timbren bumpstops, pro comp 3 inch lift, goodrich ss braklines front and rear, lr uca's, customlightz.com fx-r 55 watt retrofit, ARB deluxe bull bar, vision-x solstice pods, black wet okole seat cover,weather tech digital floor mats window visors toyota hood guard, safari snorkel, full bed rug, full putco led swap hd led flasher cf18-08, pioneer bluetooth ipod navigation double din headunit, flowmaster 40 muffler custom center outlet exhaust, regear and arb lockers, arb rear bumper if they ever fucking release one lol and arb sliders coming soon as well as a new line-xtra paint job!
    it depends on what your trying to accomplish imo. ie, what color and beam pattern your looking for and their intended use. i built my set-up with different situations in mind. i wanted to have superior lighting abilities in any weather so each set of lights serve there own purpose to the fullest when i decide to run them.

    what is the lighting situation on your truck as it sits? like i said i built my lights according to situation. for example the pure white light from the 5k 55watt headlights cut's through snow amazing and really beyond those i don't need anymore light at all. in dust however they do not do so well much better than the factory halogens but, thats what led me to do the s2k retrofit in my arb fog lights 3000k bulbs which are yellow to piece through the fog and dust much better they are like yellow headlights mounted a little lower. my leds are hooked to my high beams so when i hit them the solstice pods activate.

    that throws out a huge amount of light for the darkest roads or conditions but, will blind you in fog snow or dust. i plan on in the future swapping out my black magics behind my grill for a set of light force lights with yellow diffusers on them to further increase the light in foul weather as well.

    my lighting has gotten so much attention lately i have people following me places to ask me questions about my headlights its wild. on a dark road i light up at least 6 full lanes across and it is intense light.

    if i where you i would start with a set of the leds either vision-x or rigid i prefer the vision-x personally but both are good. the rigid lights can be had in amber which is also nice so you get the benifits of an led set-up and the amber light which may prove more useful to you in the desert. however they are not as bright as there white light counterparts. mount them low in a suitable location ala factory fog light holes and you will have a bomber set of fog lights. this will of course have you fabbing some type of small bracket to hold them in place securely but, you could do that with your eyes closed.

    a true retrofit with tweaked projectors is probably the single baddest up grade lighting wise you can do to your truck. bjorn over at customlightz.com made me a set of fx-rs like i have never seen before. i have seen plenty fx-r projectors but, none like mine. mine seem to be wider way more intense and have a huge color flicker! basically it means these are the best all around lights on my truck right now. in the future you should check out doing a set for your truck you will not believe the difference they really almost negate the need for any other light on the truck at all. only in extreme conditions would i actually have to resort to my other lights to get the job done.

    here is a link for ya to the round solstice pods.
    http://www.visionxusa.com/LED-Solstice_Prime-2"_Round/c1_106_124/index.html
    hope this helps buddy :)
     
  18. Dec 12, 2011 at 10:17 AM
    #18
    stunt man hans

    stunt man hans displaced viking living in New Hampshire

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    i have done a set myself in the past it's not easy thats for sure.

    the set i did where the rx 330 projector easily two to three times as wide as the blazer but they are are double threat lol. they are an open design projector and obviously not weather proofed in any way. so i had to epoxy the projector myself to seal it up then begin the retrofit then the rear of the housing was a complete disaster lol. sealing the rear for submersions was a pain in the ass hole no doubt. it was worth it though the dude had a set of yellow headlights mounted lower so in fog the guy could leave his running lights on and hit the 330's and he would be golden.

    i would say for ease of use and to ensure the most durable set-up especially for guy's like moose that actually off road there trucks pretty hardcore the leds are the way to go for fogs. just pick the color beam pattern that suits your needs and call it a day.
     
  19. Dec 12, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    #19
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 2 Hella 4000 HID, 1 Kragen HID, 1 Cibie Halogen.
    LED Light bars are expensive, but put out a hell of a lot of light... Not good if you are in dust (behind others) as it really reflects off dust in the air...

    Halogen are cheap, but use more power and are not pure white... slightly yellow. Get 100-130 watts for enough light.

    HID is expensive, use less power (35 watts), and there are some deals and cheap ways to go. HID can be any color from yellow (3000ºK) to blue (6000ºK) to violet (12000ºK). The brightest, most white lite is from 4300ºK to 5000ºK... too much color dims the lighting of the road to human eyes.

    I had a custom light bar made for my Tacoma and have 2 Kragen HID lights with driving beams (Euro beams) and 2 Hella 4000 pencil beam lights. They were 100 watt halogen, but I converted them to 35 watt HID bulbs (5000ºK)... which was close if not the same as the Kragens...

    Notice how yellow-ish the stock headlights and fog lights are compared to the HIDs...

    [​IMG]

    If you are shopping for new lamps or even LED light bars, do check out Baja Designs in San Marcos... http://www.bajadesigns.com
     
  20. Dec 12, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    #20
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    FWIW, I have PIAA 540 fogs and they aren't that impressive. I have a set of 520's in the driving light pattern and they're awesome, so I bought the 540's to suppliment them in the fog light pattern. What I found was they aren't overly bright, the beam isn't overly wide and because it's a fog pattern, they don't shine out very far. I hate to say it, but I chaulk them up to a dud in my book. 510's might be a different story but if you go PIAA, my recommendation would be to go for either the driving or ATP beam setup. The fog is useless (my OEM fog lights out shined them easily).
     
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