Buying driving lights?
A customer's call to leads to this on facebook.
What does a brand or sales person stand for?
The message below was received from Mark Bunter after a phone call to Paul, co designer of FYRLYT. Mark's story is a snapshot of many enthusiast's dilemma these day when purchasing premium driving lights. If you believe bargain bin rebranded Chinese driving lights are good enough for you then stop right here.
Whilst most marketing positions are subjective there are some verifiable TRUTHS FYRLYT has stood for from day #01 and are supported as science stands right now. Simply CRI - colour rendering index when it comes to choice of HID/LED or halogen re the purpose of driving lights (particularly for identifying animals and other hazards).
NOTE: We have elected to remove the manufacturer's name and light model references otherwise Mark's post remains word for word.
Well I have been reading reviews, posts and opinion on driving lights again and as in the past, confuse myself no end. I originally had ******** 150mm halogens but they were no longer "the best available" so started searching for the ultimate light (4 odd years ago I think). My personality unfortunately always wants the best. But what was the best (for my Prado 06 with ARB bull bar).
After copious reading of reviews and opinions (hours and hours) I found myself talking to ****** special build who were extremely helpful. I ended up with **** 70W HIDS in 6000k. I also installed 50W 6000k after market HID headlight bulbs in the existing headlights wanting to have the same colour light in both headlight and driving lights. A worthy note is that I went against the ******** experts advice which was to use 4600k bulbs as a more practical colour. Although a bit too bright for everyday street use, I love the result of the headlights. So much more light than the standard candles.
At first I loved the extra bright *******, and for general highway use and lighting up the road they are great. I have always however been frustrated with the dark v spot in the beam and the complete lack of round or spot. They throw an annoying non circle beam. They are also a bitch to adjust to be just right (When will someone come up with an adjustment for driving lights like on electric mirrors). Yes I am fussy as hell but they are either a bit too high of a bit too low (notched type of adjustment fail). Not great for such expensive lights. Most of my use is out past Cobar from Sydney and then 100k on red dirt. After 4 such trips for a week at a time, over those 4 years I have come to the conclusion that
1: You cannot use the driving lights much until the amount of road signs become very few (just too much reflection)
2: On long straight stretches out west the bulbs cool off after dimming and take time to warm up again to full brightness which is annoying, (long stretches of road can mean using low beam for 5 or 10 minutes until you meet the oncoming vehicle you had to dip your lights for)
3: despite other users opinions to the contrary, I find the roos, pigs, goats etc on the sides of the road just seem to blend in to the road surfase and surrounds and are very very difficult to see. (Maybe this is why I find them tiring on my eyes, due to straining to look out for the animals I am trying to avoid hitting).
I find the HIDs do not give adequate contrast on road surfaces, animals etc. Maybe 4600k would improve this.
As I am about to go out west again at easter I just couldn't face the above issues again. I try not to travel at night out west but it is unavoidable at times.
I started looking at different lights and fell in love with the new ****** round LED/HID Hybrid driving lights and even accepted the $1790.00 a pair fitted price (shit that is a lot of money for what I use once or twice a year). I came back home to think about buying these and again started researching, reading reviews etc and if truth be told was looking for opinion justifying my wanting the apparent latest greatest light on the market (did I mention they are expensive). They do look good though.
I happened on a post by someone mirroring all my concerns and experience with HID and they used their 4x4 as I do out west. They found all the same issues and problems I do with the HID light and they had also had a pair of the new LEDs. What they said sent me in another direction. I realised that I was about to buy lights with the same contrast issues I had already experienced and why? Because it was the latest and greatest, despite not suiting my real needs and use. I started re reading posts and realised the greatest majority were giving strong opinion and yet had not had any personal experience with each type of light they were being so passionate about.
Well bugger me. How naive and easilly swayed have I been. Yep thats me, look for what I believe the best marketing tells me, wanting the best latest greatest etc, and ohh the price. They must be the best right?
Well actually, I have now done a complete 180 degree about face.
After talking to a few people who have actually had and used each of these lights I found myself convinced to go back to Halogen, (I can hear you saying your kidding right?) Thats ok, I found myself saying the same thing.
But if these lights are everything I am lead to believe they are, I might have found the light which will best suit my use and needs. They also apparently blow the latest and greatest LED and HID out of the water in performance. I love the design and simple to use features. Not to mention a simple 2 second twist to change from spot to spread.
Well Fyrlyt Nemesis 9000, I have ordered you and look forward to fitting and testing you on my easter trip out west. I sure hope you perform as well as expected and are as exciting as I have been led to believe.
I will post my personal use experience on my return for those like me who are searching for Nirvana in a driving light.