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HOT-RODDING YOUR DRIVING LIGHTS

You don't have to discard halogen lights - you can improve them

We've been long-term testing Hella's 400 Compact halogen lights on the OTA Team LandCruiser 79 Series.  Darrell and Linda White wanted more light, but didn't want to upsize from the Compacts, so they hit upon a solution.

The Hella 400 Compacts sit beautifully on the ARB bar, where they don't restrict airflow through the radiator and are non-obtrusive. The Whites dislike the 'look at me' type of accessories, so the little Hellas are ideal.

Last year the Whites were travelling through the great Outback and encountered a massive thunderstorm with rain, wind and hail on the Walkers track between Innaminka and the Birdsville track.

The sky darkened in a premature sunset and the 170mm-diameter lights with their 100-watt halogen globes weren't up to the task of brightening the narrow, dark track.

After a lot of research and a couple of trials they think they've hit on great compromise - at minimal expense.

They wanted to keep the small profile of the Hella compacts but increase the lighting output, so after some serious consultation they settled on an HID H1 kit that cost $90 delivered. The kit contained replacement high intensity discharge globes and 'ballasts' that boost voltage to initiate an arc forming inside each HID globe, just as a neon tube does.

Fitment was straightforward: a 25 mm hole was drilled in the rear of each light casing; wiring passed through; the supplied grommet siliconed in place and the external ballast glued up under the bull bar. The result was instant improvement in brightness and distance, but now the Whites were hungry for more...

Next they chose a Narva 350mm slim line Explora 350mm x 40mm light bar that sits just above the number plate and under the first support bar. It cost $110.

Total fitting time was around two hours, using existing wiring.

The end result is a massive increase in lighting and around half the power usage.

There are also HID kits for the larger Hella 4000, 200mm-diameter lights that contain the ballast and wiring inside the light housing, rather than having to mount the ballast externally.


 


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