We all like to blast around with our UTV’s, trucks, and ATV’s during the day right. But what about the other 8 hours we are wasting after the sun goes down? Sure, it’s not as much fun picking your way around on a dark trail or mountain road but you can make it fun if you have the right lights.
When I started wheeling we used to rely on our headlights for the best possible lighting, then the chromed lights with the happy faces came out and we’d strap as many of those to the roll bar as possible to get a better look at night. But most often they failed, burnt out, got all rusty and full of water, they worked just ok and that was about it. Lighting eventually improved with halogen lights and then HID’s, but there was always the bulk factor and they weren’t very tough in my opinion. I can wreck most lights on one trip to my camp, ask my friends 🙂
The real saviour to off road lighting was the LED light bar. It really did reinvent off roading and cruising at night as well as aiding search and rescue vehicles, boats, trucks and more. Why do I call the LED light bar the saviour for off roading? Well it’s quite simple, they produce a phenomenal amount of light (measured in lumens). The highest quality LED’s are made by Cree and have a service life of up to 50,000 hours, are waterproof, have shatterproof lenses, are vibration proof, are caged in a streamlined and compact extruded housing with effective heat sync’s, and you can actually combine spot and euro patterns in some of them so you end up covering a massive area ahead of where you are driving.
Whew, they do a lot right, but you know what, let’s look at it this way, the lights are what I call “plug and play and forget”. What that means is that once they are mounted you don’t have to worry about them for pretty much the life of your vehicle, unlike the old school lights that you’d have to worry about water getting in, bulbs burning out, poor quality wires chaffing, cheapo switches, remember all that junk? Well if you do then forget about them, LED’s just made your night a whole lot brighter.
Nextech Industries (Nextechindustries.ca) contacted me and wanted me to try their LED light bars (specs at the end of this article), obviously I took them up on that. I installed a combination of two 5 inch and one 8 inch LED light bars on my RZR 900XP and I decided to install the blinding 40 incher on my buddy Kealeys Ranger. To tell you the truth I felt a little sorry for him because we were going out for some night runs and with the stocks lights he had a small tear in his eye when I would pull up beside him and light up the night sky like the 4th of July.
Now if you’re not familiar with the Nextech Industries LED light I’ll acquaint you. The 40 inch light bar comes with Cree 10w LED’s, Cree is the manufacturer of the LED light and are pretty much the best in the field of LED and other light production. Cree 10W LED’s incidentally are the brightest LED found in a light bar at this time. Most manufacturers of light bars have to double up 3W or 5W led’s in their light bar to try to get the same light output as the 10W. So the Nextech 40 incher is 2.6″ tall and a single row LED light bar with 24 LED lights, up to 30% more light output in the same size package as their competitors.
So how much light does this light bar really put out? Well remember that I said light output is measured in Lumens (lm) right? The for example purposes a 23w compact fluorescent bulb puts out about 1,550 lumens, a 60W tungsten bulb puts out about 700 lumens. The 10W Cree LED on the other hand puts out about 900 lumens which by itself is outstanding for something less than the size of a dime, and…. the 40 inch light bar has 24 of them. That’s 21,600lm of jaw dropping smile enducing goodness right there, more than enough to turn the darkest of nights in the brightest playground you’ll come across.
On a final note I’d like to say that all LED lights are not created the same, a light bar is not a light bar is not a light bar if you will. Many LED light bars coming out now are outputting only a fraction of what a quality light bar will do. The cheapo manufacturers are pulling a fast one on you, comparing length to length for dollar to dollar. So everything is relative and as the old saying goes “You get what you pay for”. Check out Nextechindustries.ca for some outstanding LED light bars, oh and they are on sale!
Hmm, Now that Kealey has brighter lights than me I’m going to have to put dual 40’s on my RZR, can’t let that Kealey beat me.
Thanks for joining me here at PowerModz!
Category: Product Reviews