Generally speaking, it is now possible to easily add and improve the lighting of our off-road vehicles. Whether by replacing bulbs or adding LED light bars, they improve visibility and, moreover, the safety for oneself and for others.
The choice offered on the market today is somewhat dizzying and for novices, it is difficult to make a choice that will suit our specific needs. The LED advantages are undeniably increased brightness, longer life, and lower power consumption compared to traditional technologies.
What is an LED ?
The English acronym LED stands for Lightning Emitting Diode. The main difference from the traditional light bulb is that LED emits light in a specific direction using a semiconductor rather than a thin metallic filament. In this way, these types of lamps use the electric current more efficiently.
Here are the main advantages:
A- Less consumed energy:
LED lights are the most energy-efficient means of lighting. Therefore, a higher percentage of energy is used in the creation of light rather than in the production of heat as in the case of halogen bulbs. This whole process occurs with less power being used to create an equivalent amount of light.
B- The brightness is measured in Lumens:
Typically, the ” watt ” number determines the power and the brightness of a filament bulb. However, the LED brightness is measured differently because the power actually indicates how much energy is being pulled, rather than the brightness itself. To clearly define the Lumen, it is the unit of the luminous flux of lighting. It quantifies the amount of light perceived by humans. If we could define the Lumen in one word, it would simply be ” intensity ”.
C- The light sources do not always produce the same colors!
Kelvin is an international unit of measurement that expresses the thermodynamic temperature and its symbol is the letter ” K “. As an example, a halogen bulb produces a yellowish color that is approximately 3000K on the Kelvin scale. In comparison, the LED produces a bright white color ranging between 5000K and 6000K. This color is the most representative of the intensity of daylight and is, therefore, the most effective. At this level, it is possible to perceive up to a distance of 600 to 700 meters, which is sufficient for a human being. Beyond this level, at 8000K for example, the color spectrum will be bluish and will offer a loss of intensity and efficiency. So, in summary, a white light emitted will offer a more efficient performance than any other color according to the established Kelvin scale.
Given less energy consumption than a traditional bulb, its durability will be longer. This advantage certainly becomes a saving over a prolonged period.
E- ” Spot ” and ” Flood ”
Two diffusion effects are produced according to the projection angle. The ” spot ” produces a long-distance light pattern while the ” flood ” produces a wider beam. Each has its own distinctive characteristics but also its advantages. As our speed increases during a movement, our peripheral vision decreases at the same time. At 0 km/h, our perception is 150o (degrees), it will reduce to 100o at 40 km/h, 75o at 70 km/h, at 100 km/h it narrows down to 45o and at 130 km/h, it is reduced to 30o. So, we are talking about the tunnel effect here and the ” spot ” pattern becomes important for a distant vision when the speed increases on board our vehicles.
This being said, we should not be tempted by offers of cheap products that are attractive by a very low price but which may not meet the performance expectations. Renowned vendors and dealers offer the best and they will be able to advise you on the product and the appropriate method of installation to your vehicle depending on its use.
Here are our recommendations.
Kimpex LED bar
Kimpex offers LED light bars of different sizes meeting the highest standards in the industry. They are known to be durable and efficient, with a high level of lighting per watt used.
They also offer a ” spot ” and ” flood ” combo for complete lighting and increased visibility. Their aluminum housings are impact resistant and sealed to resist the elements. Their 6000K white lighting is close to daylight for perfect perception. All necessary wiring and brackets are included to facilitate installation with complete peace of mind. Kimpex LED light bars are a logical choice of quality at a reasonable price for ATV and UTV enthusiasts who want to customize their vehicles and gain improved visibility on the trail.
Manufacturer Quake LED offers state-of-the-art LED lighting products with the latest off-road light technologies. With their revolutionary LED lighting designs, they are changing the way riders view nighttime trails. Their light bars offer 3 types of lighting: spot, flood, and combo. They also offer work lights in a variety of shapes and sizes providing powerful light no matter how much space is available. They offer a full range of lighting solutions for
ATVs, UTVs or any off-road vehicle
Quake LED employees are first and foremost off-road enthusiasts and they test their products as soon as the opportunity arises. Their innovative ideas combined with their field experience allow them to be at the cutting edge of off-road lighting. No matter what type of rider you are, Quake LED products are specifically designed for superior projection.
Connection and installation: (Do it yourself)
Making the decision to purchase an LED spotlight is a logical and justified choice. However, it is wise to provide it a constant amount of electrons so that it has a regular supply. Learning to properly wire an LED bar will ensure reliability and will avoid unsafe operating conditions or damage to your vehicle.
- Neutralize the energy source. Your vehicle’s battery may seem harmless, but it is an electron container that is potentially life hazardous and the electrons are looking for a way out at the speed of light. Therefore, always disconnect the negative (ground) terminal first. This greatly reduces the risk of short circuiting the battery. Second, remove the positive (+) terminal.
- Find a suitable mounting location that will allow you to run the wires and install the LED bar. You can use the mounting accessories supplied with the purchase LED bar as well as optional round pipe supports (sold separately). Install everything, being careful to only hand tighten the hardware first, as you should make a final adjustment in the last step.
- Run the wiring from the battery (without making the connection) and use zip ties for fixing. Avoid heat sources and moving parts as prolonged friction of the wires may cause a short circuit. Most of the time, following the OEM vehicle wiring is a safe way to go. At this stage, during installation and preferably at the beginning of the wiring, the use of a fused cable (15A recommended) is required to secure your installation.
- A connection to a power relay is essential. A relay is an electromechanical or electronic device by which a heavy load can be activated and deactivated with a nominal current or voltage input. Aside from switching a circuit with a heavy load, a relay is needed to conserve energy, prolong life and improve the efficiency of a device. For example, let’s take the switching of 2 headlights: if they are activated by a normal switch, the voltage drop from the battery to the lamps through the switch will be huge and the heat generated in the circuit due to the resistance will be considerable. The strong current drawn by the lamps will not only heat the circuit but will heavily drain the battery at the same time. So, it’s an inexpensive addition that will save you a lot of trouble. At this point, connect the wire from your fuse cable to terminal #30 of your relay.* Note: The terminal #85 of your relay must be connected to a ground point of your vehicle.
- To ensure easy ON / OFF control of the LED bar, the installation of a switch is recommended. It must be connected to the relay terminal #86.
- From the relay, finalize the wiring from the relay terminal #87. This will send the necessary power source (12V) to the lamp. Connect this wire to the red wire of the LED bar.
- Connect the black wire of your LED lamp to the chassis (ground). Try to keep wire runs as short as possible, avoiding sources of heat or mechanical interference.
- Finally, first reconnect the positive terminal to the battery followed by the negative. Turn on the switch to check your connection and installation. In this step, make the final adjustments of the LED bar to the desired position and securely tighten the mounting hardware once done.
If you follow all these simple steps, your installation will be safe and you will be able to fully enjoy your purchase.
In conclusion, there are only benefits to adding and improving the lighting of your off-road vehicles. The visibility will be improved, you will also be seen by others and your rides will be safer. Consider this addition as an investment to make sure you practice your favorite activity for a long time.