Driving Lights and proper headlights
Driving lights are the perfect fashion accessory for the balanced bull bar bearing 4x4, for those who never leave the leafy eastern suburbs. Serious 4x4 owners require serious lights for off road use and the styles, types and ranges differ as wildly as the prices.
I am not advocating driving at night in the bush. Far from it. I avoid it at all costs. It's dangerous because animals don't have lights or reflectors. I prefer not to drive after dark for several reasons. The main being it is really easy to hit things. However, if I do, I have the best lighting system available at a reasonable cost. I have fitted the Piranha headlight loom, which turns Nissan headlights into great lights (MCG standard lights).
I had the original headlight wiring loom, replaced with a Piranha one made of 6 mil wires. A pair of their 90/100 watt bulbs and my lights have gone from great to "Hey man I can actually see where I'm going". To back up the headlights I have a set of IPF 900's fitted. One broad beam, so I can see the 'roos in the side cut before I hit them, and one spot beam so the 'roos know I'm coming from about 900 metres. This set up works for me and suits my needs. Remember we all have differing needs after dark. The effect is a very marked increase in the light emitted from my headlights and with the addition of my driving lights, I have all the light I need. This was demonstrated effectively, when an oncoming Subaru with those "show off" lights under the bumper, signaled me in the usual fashion. Not being able to put up with it, I showed him the benefits of a "proper" set of lights in the usual manner. At that range I could almost make out his name badge which was pinned to the front of his Victoria Police shirt and his rapidly shrinking pupils.
Anyway back to the lights. All lights are not built the same. Driving lights are manufactured to meet differing needs and outputs. I recently saw the range of KC HiLights at Brown Davis and I think they are ideal for the medium and smaller 4x4s, because the bigger lights occasionally fall to bits on smaller cars. These lights come in a stainless steel case and are almost like marine lights in their construction and quality.
It pays to remember that driving lights are an unfair advantage in built up areas. With their brightness and range, they can distract and "blind" other drivers. So, only use them in the bush.
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