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Driving lights/Candlepower

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Hobbs, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Hobbs

    Hobbs Registered Member

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    I am looking at different driving lights to add to my truck. To use for dark back roads/woods. When comparing brands, is it all about candlepower?

    I am comparing PIAA 520 with 120K candlepower vs KC daylighter 240-385K candlepower.

    Everything I have read says PIAA is a better, more widely used light, but when you compare candle power it is not even close.

    What are the variable one should look at when purchacing driving lights.

    Hobbs
     
  2. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    To prevent the local constabulary from hassling you, stick with a street legal driving light. Otherwise the laws in most states require you to keep the lights covered on the road. :( The 150 watt sealed beam KC Daylighters are incredibly bright!

    I have a pair of Hella 500 driving lights wired to come on with the high beams on one rig and the are plenty bright! On another, I have a pair of the much smaller Hella FF50 driving lights and I'm amazed at how much light they can get out of such a small light. The good news is that they're a quality light that doesn't cost nearly as much as the PIAA's I've seen advertised. The Hella 500's can be purchased for around $70, complete with switch, harness, and relay. :cool1:
     
  3. Hobbs

    Hobbs Registered Member

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    Are you saying that the KC are typically not street legal and the Hella 500's are?

    Secondly, what also turned me on about the PIAA was that I found a couple of installation reviews that claimed they were a snap to install. My electrical knowlege is limited. Are the Hella's pretty straight forward to install with what comes in the kit?

    Thanks,

    Hobbs
     
  4. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    Just an FYI, this place has the FF50 driving light kit (2 lights, 55W H7 bulbs, relay, wiring harness, fuse & fuse holder, dash switch) for about $78.

    I don't have FF50s myself, but I have purchased a few things from these guys, including a Hella four-headlamp conversion kit. Also some extra bulbs for the high beams (100W, not for normal street use, the standard 55W is plenty of high beam), and their service gives me no cause for complaint. :waytogo:
     
  5. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    No. Reflector and lens design/quality plays just as big a part as candlepower. Without a good reflector & lens, a high-candlepower bulb is just using amps and creating heat.

    KC, Hella, PIAA; they're all good brands. I'd stay away from most of the cheap parts store/WalMart lights unless they're gonna be "sacrificial". IMO, lights are definitely a place where you get what you pay for.
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Exactly. KC does sell street legal driving lights, but the Daylighter series is rated for off road use only. They were originally designed for high speed desert racing and are way brighter than driving lights.

    PIAA's look like great lights but the ones I've seen advertised were nearly $400 for a pair. I think I'd wanna cry if one of those got busted... :(

    The Hella lights come with a complete wiring kit with the end already crimped in place. It's pretty much just plug and play. I pick up the switched power feed from the high beam headlight circuit. Check out my article at http://coloradok5.com/wiringlights.shtml for a wiring diagram. I've changed the lights since that was written, but the wiring is still the same. :cool1:
     
  7. Hobbs

    Hobbs Registered Member

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    Thanks all. Sounds like good advice.

    Hobbs
     

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