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Spot light recommendations

Chicken Drumstick

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Not really keen on the visual look of the LED light bars. And I think they still have a long way too come. Most are cool white and crappy LEDs.

I've also recently been impressed by these new fast start HID ballasts, which tbh seem to be a good way to go for now. These are designed for mainbeam use, so no reason why they couldn't be installed in a spot light housing. Very good output and nice 4300k tint and high CRI.

It doesn't have to be a projector lens, but I have some projector lens headlights and mainbeam lights on other cars and I have generally been impressed with their beams over reflector lights. They also aren't as fussy with having the bulb element in 'just' the right place like a reflector is. So a HID bulb should still give a good beam pattern and spread.

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A while back I converted some KC daylighters to run on HID. I know its not a projector lamp but you can get a choice of lenses and the bowel at the back of the light was big enough to hold one of the smaller HID ballasts so it was a simple 2 wire installation (just +ve and ground ) out of the fitting.

The light output was very good and you get a choice of colour temperature.




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LED's every time. Far more efficient than incandescent (higher output for less current), longer life. Should be longer life and more reliable than HID depending on quality.  

Of course you always get what you pay for, and then some luck. But cheap HID are also going to be Chinese and a risk.

I now have 7" round LED headlights, certainly better output and beam. Quality we will see...
I have 2 lightbars, which on the whole are good quality. I looked at them closely before fitting and saw the lens wasnt particularly well sealed, so dismantled and siliconed them.

Also look here Pirate 4x4 interesting test of 7" headlights - Halogen, LED & HID comparison. 

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I'm actually quite well up on LED lights. My other hobby is torches....


I'm yet to see a light bar that uses good LEDs with good tint and CRI. And almost all use low output LEDs too. And small optics used on them are not good for throw or distance. There are good LEDs out there, but none yet used in aftermarket vehicle lighting solutions. Having a 50" light bar just highlights how poor the actual LEDs used currently are. 


Anyhow, even in the torch world, the brightest best throwing torches are still HID powered pretty much. 

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Colour rendition is a bit down to personal preference. My LED's are similar in color to the HIDs on my Audi, and i dont mind the whiter colour.
They are certainly leagues ahead of the original halogens both in terms of beam pattern and reach. It's worth mentioning they are projector LEDs which from research gives a far better beam pattern than reflector.

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HoSS are you talking headlights, or extra lighting? Almost all LEDs I've seen for sale are 6500k or higher. An OEM HID is typically 4300k (sometimes 5000k).


Anyhow, I've been doing some research and KC Hilites offer some interesting light units. Although somewhat more pricey than most of the ebay specials.



For quite lot of their lights they even tell you what LEDs they are using and the temp rating. Although sadly not all of them. Anyhow, done a comparison of the classic 6" Daylighter, as it's available in 3 different bulb types. Knowing what LEDs and optics most of the ebay specials use, I know they will be a long way short in performance compared to the Daylighter. Quite interesting results.


                      6" Daylighter 6" Apollo
Lumens 3187 2452 5000 2452
Beam Distance 1058m 972m 1609m 886m
Amps 10.83A 1.67A 4.16A 8.3A
Pair $188 $367 $1046 $153
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Seems the led is matched by even the lower option Apollo halogen. And a fraction of the cost. I do find it somewhat suspicious that the lumen claims are identical for the LED and 100w halogen, but it could be true. All of the above are in the 'spot' light format, but can be had in 'spread' too. the LED has a lower output for the spread beam, but the others don't.


So based on this info, it looks like good halogens either match or beat top notch LED lights and at a fraction of the price. The HID is a monster, but so is the price...


Only real advantage of the LED is the low amp draw. But tbh, if you have the wiring to handle the halogens, it's not an issue and not something you'd notice from the drivers seat. I suppose the only thing it does mean is, you could use the LED light without the engine running fairly safely, while running big risk of a low battery with a halogen. But I'm not really sure how valid a use case this really is.

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Won't get into the LED vs bulb thing other than to echo the comments about the draw on current of bulbs.

The Cibie IODE 35 is a good lamp if it's low profile lamp bar or under bumper kind of thing you're looking for, and while there are lots available new for quite high prices you can get a pair of used ones for very little if you watch. The 35 comes in any lens configuration you can think of, mild steel or stainless bodies and they'll look period too if that's a consideration. I have the Cibie catalogue from 1985 I used for reference when selecting mine and the rest of their lineup is there too. Drop me a PM if you want it, can't post it here. I have a contact for new covers too if you need those.

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