ELECTRICS

COMBINATION HID-LED DRIVING LIGHTS

Combinations of HID distance and LED spread iights are the best you can get.

We've checked out combinations of HID distance and LED spread lights. This pairing offers the best blend of distance and beam width. One method is with the one pair of lights, but the other combines a bar and two driving lights.

lightforce dl230htx

 

LightForce DL230 HTX pair

This driving light pair provides the blotch-free spread of LED light combined with the unmatched long-distance range of HID, eliminating the need for additional lights or bars, the South Australian based company told us.

After testing some pre-release examples, we can only agree with LightForce's engineers. 

Each DL230 HTX lamp features a 70W HID fast-start bulb in the centre of a 170mm reflector, to provide the long distance beam.

The reflector is surrounded by 20 LEDs in a circular pattern, to provide a wide spread that is equivalent to that produced by a standard 500mm LED light bar.   

A DL230 HTX pair of lights produces a beam pattern with a claimed one lux of illumination at a claimed distance of 1760 metres.

A pair of DL230 HTX lamps is said to provide the combined distance and spread of a set of HID lights plus an LED light bar.

Our testing confirms LightForce's claims. In fact, our normal test roads proved inadequate and we had to find a two-kilometre straight stretch of bitumen to do the HID beams credit.

The 230mm-diameter HTX is intended for larger 4WDs and long distance trucking applications where light quality, distance and beam spread are essential.  The mounts and adjustment screws are robust and the cast housing looks to be very strong.

The HID and LED components of the DL230 HTX are independently switchable, allowing users to choose either the HID or LED functions or use them simultaneously for maximum brightness.

We found that the HID beams gave great long-distance reach and the LEDs had excellent spread. For low-speed driving on dirt roads and trails the LEDs alone were adequate.

The DL230 HTX features a genuine Gore waterproof membrane combined with an IP69k rating to protect against moisture and contaminant ingress.

Like all lights in the Lightforce range, the DL230 HTX is built to withstand the most extreme driving conditions.   

Excellence doesn't come cheaply, so it's no surprise that the LED-HID hybrids have a RRP of $799 each. That's a bit steep for most 4WD owners, but road train truckies should consider them, especially since the introduction of the 24V model in late 2018.

We've done durability and water-resistance testing with a pair since 2016, with no signs of water or dust entry.

 

Narva Ultima HID pair plus 100W LED lightbar

We're already familiar with the Narva Ultima 225 HID pencil and spread beam combination, but for this test we supplemented them with a Narva 72758 lightbar. This 561mm bar mounts 20 five-watt high-power LEDs.

This combination isn't as elegant a solution as the LightForce HTX pair, but pricing for the three separate units works out around $1200-$1300, which is much cheaper than the LightForce pair.

We've been doing durability testing on this Narva combo since 2016.



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