ELECTRICS

LIGHTFORCE VENOM 50W HID DRIVING LIGHT TEST

The Venom was launched in early 2014 and we checked a pair out.

 

LightForce products were originally designed as spotlights for hunting and vermin control, so it's no surprise that the company's HID driving lights emphasise brightness and long-distance penetration. The Venom HID 50W models do both brilliantly.

lightforce venom 50WThis South Australian company's Venom HID driving light is designed around the popular 170mm diameter size that offers easier mounting on modern low-profile 4WD fronts, with the bonus of less resistance to airflow through radiators and aircon condensers.

However, performance isn't compromised, with Venom 35W models having a claimed spot beam one-lux range of 960 metres and the 50W version,1360m.

New from LightForce is a flexible, four-point mounting bracket design that can vary the mounting-bolt to back-of-light-housing clearance from 25mm to 83mm, allowing fitment to different bar styles.

In addition to the main HID globe, small LEDs are positioned at the lower edges of each light housing,  providing added safety and modern styling. There's a wire provided, for connection to the parking light circuit.

Venom features a state of the art Osram ballast and bulb for rapid start up. The Osram bulb is said to deliver bright-spectrum 4300 Kelvin colour temperature with good contrast for long distance driving, particularly in outback conditions where visibility of animals on the road verge is critical.

Venom is constructed of lightweight polycarbonate composite resin that has been tested to impact resistance of 30 Joules and fatigue resistance of 30Hz vibration over three days' continuous cycling. The housing has been designed for compliance with IP65 dust and moisture penetration ratings, and features a Goretex breather. LightForce also claims the light complies with ISO2007 salt-spray corrosion requirements.

 

OTA test

lightforce venom 50wWe fitted a pair of new Venom 50W driving lights to our LandCruiser 75 Series, finding the brackets and fasteners very easy to fit, adjust and tighten. The variable-depth bracket design should allow the lights to fit most vehicle/bar fronts. The wiring kit included waterproof connectors.

The test lights were fitted with standard 'spot' filters, for maximum beam distance, but there is a 'combo' filter that's said to produce less overall distance and more spread beam pattern. There's also a blue filter available.

We didn't have any vibration issues on rough surfaces and the lights held their adjustment well. We set them up so that the two beams focused on the road edges around 900m ahead of the vehicle.

We headed out to our regular test circuit, on a moonless night and were instantly impressed with the brightness and penetration of the Venom lights. In these terms they were the best 170mm HIDs we've tested to date.

As a spot-beam pair the 50W Venoms gave excellent distance coverage, but lacked spread performance. For better illumination of the road edges in the middle distance we'd opt for the combo filter package - sacrificing some distance beam - or retain the two Venom spotties and supplement them with an LED light bar or a small pair of spread beam HID lights.

Our long-term testing has shown that over a 12-month period the light quality hadn't deteriorated, but we did get a stone strike on one of the housings that cracked it. We ordered a replacement housing from LightForce.

RRPs are $812 for a 35W Venom pair and $950 for the 50s.


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