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You don't have to pay a fortune for bush driving lights.

Most of the driving light focus (poor pun we know) is on HID and LED lights, but there’s still a place for the traditional halogen spot and spread beam lights.


hella halogensFor a start, halogen lights are a fraction of the price of  HID (high-intensity discharge) and LED (light-emitting-diode) lights and, because they don’t need inbuilt voltage ballast units (HID) or large, finned heat sinks (LED) they’re much lighter.

To illuminate the point we borrowed three pairs of halogen lights from Hella and let them shine over our driving light test course.

We chose a spot beam and spread beam pair of the Rallye 3003, 220mm-diameter model; the Rallye 3003 Compact, 170mm-diameter model and the Rallye 4000 Compact 170mm-diameter model.

All lights were fitted with 100-watt globes.

Where the best HID and LED driving lights are fully water and dust proof, the trio of halogens made no such claims, but there’s no fancy electronic kit inside that needs protecting. We’ve filled halogens with creek water in the past and they worked fine once the water drained out.

Immediately obvious on our tests was the fact that halogen light is more yellow than HID or LED lights, but that’s all we had a few years ago. Rally drivers used to blast along narrow bush roads at warp speed with only halogens lighting their way.

hella halogensOur videos show that the larger-diameter Rallye 3003s had more distance than the 170mm models, but all three supplemented our test vehicle’s LED high-low-beam headlights quite well.

One advantage of the relatively modest, yellower light beam was far less contrast when we had to dip our headlights and, therefore, turn off the driving lights.

In the automotive lighting world you nearly always get what you pay for, so if you shell out the best part of $1400 for a pair of LED or HID driving lights you’re entitled to expect more brilliance than if you pay much less for a pair of halogens.

Hella’s Rallye 3003 pair had a RRP of only $378 and the Compact pair sold for a miserly $330. These models had plastic housings, glass lenses and a clamp-type adjustment and mounting bracket.

hella halogensThe Rallye 4000 Compact model was more robustly made, having a metal housing, glass lens and a metal cup mounting with large, knurled knobs for precise adjustment.

Interestingly the 4000 Compacts had exactly the same reflectors as the Rallye 3003 Compact models and, therefore, the same light patterns. RRP was $498 for the pair.

For those on a budget; those who want driving lights mainly because they complement a ‘roo or nudge bar; those who live in high theft-risk areas and those who are more likely to damage their driving lights, the cheaper halogen option is worthy of consideration.

Check out our video tests:

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