For people who regularly drive to places with little to no light or off-road in the dark, having a set of driving lights is essential as your regular headlights and high beams are not bright enough to allow you to navigate yourself safely.
Driving Lights Types
Before we go into detail on helping you choose the right set of driving lights for yourself we will cover the 3 most common types of out in the market.
Quartz Halogen (QH) Driving Lights
These are the least expensive option of the 3. QH driving lights are a great complement to your existing headlights making helpful for highway coastal driving, off-road exploring, people living in semi-rural/rural areas in Australia. They do not give the same distance and spread as the HID and LED driving lights but are an improvement from your existing headlights.
QH technology consists of a globe connected to power. They work by running 12 or 24 volt power through a tungsten filament that is surrounded by inert gas (gas that will not burn or ignite) inside a quartz glass bulb. Basically, power is applied to the filament, it is heated until it glows and produces light.
High-Intensity Discharge Systems (HID) Driving Lights
HID technology consists of a globe, starter, and ballast connected to power. The globe is a quartz tube filled with Xenon gas, with tungsten electrodes housed at each end. The bulb functions by running 23,000 volts through the tube (generated by the starter) that ignites the gas and produces an arc of light between the electrodes. Once ignited, the ballast regulates the voltage back to 85 volts to keep the arc running.
Standard headlights use 55-watt QH globe types and have an average lifespan of 200 hours of operation. HID globes in comparison generate around 3 times the light output of a 55-watt QH, however, use a third less power (35 Watt HID), and have a lifespan of about 2000 hours – about 10 times that of QH. QH and HID have different Correlated Colour Temperatures: QH is around 3500K (yellow appearance, whereas HID run between 4200 K and 6000 K (clean white colour, closer to daylight).
In short, HID globes are brighter, last longer, use less power and produce light that is closer to daylight in colour, compared to quartz halogen globe types.
The most popular HID lights that we sell at TJM Perth are the Xray Vision HID Driving Lights that can achieve 1 LUX at a distance over 2800m. We also believe they give the best value for money compared to many of the other brands out there.
Xray Vision HID Driving Lights we fitted for an FJ Cruiser that was shipped to Kenya
Light-emitting diode (LED) Driving Lights
The technology behind LED Driving Lights has seen a lot of advancements over the years. Not all LED driving lights are created equal. There are several types of LED driving lights to suit different purposes. For example, the range of Xray Vision Off-Road Lightbars we sell serve more as a complimentary to your existing driving lights giving your a lot more spread when driving off-road whereas the Narva LED Ultima 215 gives you both spread and distance achieving 1 LUX* at a distance of 900m.
*1 LUX – QUICK ANSWER
One lux is considered as bright as the illumination of a surface from a candle 1 meter away. Lux is the standard unit of measurement for brightness, or light intensity. Basically bright enough where you can read a book.
Our Narva Ultima 215 LED Driving Light on display at TJM Perth
If you have a very limited budget and lighting isn’t a big priority to you, QH is a good enough option that will help you get by. If you are willing to spend more and want value for money, HID is probably going to give you the best “bang for your buck” in terms of distance and performance. However, if you are looking for top quality lighting and budget is not an issue the Narva LED Ultima 215 is the top LED Driving Light in the market now that will give you the best quality lighting when going off-road.
At TJM Perth we sell driving lights from the best brands in the market (Narva, Xray Vision, Lightforce). Choosing the right driving lights can be a challenge so call (08) 9331 2788 during office hours or visit our shop at 9 Pritchard St, O’Connor WA 6163 Australia and we are more than happy to help you select the right option.
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