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4WD Modifications - Electrics and Lights

These days very few people travel without a portable fridge and camp lighting and that dictates some form of auxiliary battery power - we check out dual battery systems. We also compare HID and LED driving lights; Hella, Narva, Lightforce, M-Performance and others. See our real world tests on video and read our reports here.

 COMBINATION HID-LED DRIVING LIGHTS
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.

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DAYLIGHT RUNNING LIGHT KITS FROM NARVA
DAYLIGHT RUNNING LIGHT KITS FROM NARVA
Be seen is the safety message - July 2016

Once the exclusive domain of prestige European cars, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) have become a common sight on many new passenger and commercial vehicles.

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DUAL BATTERY SYSTEMS
DUAL BATTERY SYSTEMS
Your starting battery needs a mate in the bush

These days very few people travel without a portable fridge and camp lighting, and that dictates some form of auxiliary battery power, Allan Whiting from Outback Travel Australia reports. The best way to ensure your fridge will run overnight, when the engine isn’t operating, is with a deep-cycle battery. If the fridge is connected to the deep-cycle battery all the time, it will keep the power flowing as long as it has sufficient charge.

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CUSTOM-DESIGNED PROJECTA BATTERY TRAYS
CUSTOM-DESIGNED PROJECTA BATTERY TRAYS
Model-specific trays for easy fitment - July 2016

Projecta has provided the ideal solution to mounting a second auxiliary battery into a vehicle with the launch of a range of custom built heavy duty battery trays.

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HALOGEN OR HID OR LED DRIVING LIGHTS
HALOGEN OR HID OR LED DRIVING LIGHTS
The black art of lighting up bush roads

We all know that auxiliary lights are necessary for safe night driving on bush roads, but do you need to spend up on HID or LED lights, or are halogens good enough?

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HEADLIGHT RESTORATION MADE EASY
HEADLIGHT RESTORATION MADE EASY
Bright headlight beams can be easily restored.

Many older 4WDs have plastic-faced headlight housings that have oxidised, giving them a distinctive hazy and yellow appearance. That ‘fogging’ and discolouration greatly reduces brightness and beam size, which is a dangerous situation for the driver and others on the road.

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HELLA COMPACT HID DRIVING LIGHTS
HELLA COMPACT HID DRIVING LIGHTS
Small doesn't necessarily mean dim

As small and medium sized 4WD frontal areas shrink and grille areas become smaller there’s often no space to fit large-diameter driving lights.

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HELLA'S HALOGEN TRIO
HELLA'S HALOGEN TRIO
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.

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HELLA LED REPLACEMENT HEADLIGHTS
HELLA LED REPLACEMENT HEADLIGHTS
These LED units can replace any seven-inch round headlights

Many older 4WDs, bikes and even new North American-brand trucks are fitted with seven-inch round headlights. These can be replaced by Hella's LED low/high beam headlights and there's also a dedicated high-beam unit for four-headlight applications.

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HELLA RALLYE 4000 XENON TEST
HELLA RALLYE 4000 XENON TEST
Piercing the darkness for these paddock bashers.

There are driving lights, then there are good driving lights, reckons leading truck journalist Steve Brooks. 'Hellava good light,' is how he describes his Hella Rallye 4000 Xenons.

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HELLA SAFETY DAYLIGHTS
HELLA SAFETY DAYLIGHTS
The importance of being seen.

While the daytime use of headlights is much better than no lights at all, this is not the ideal solution. Most new vehicles come with daytime LEDs as standard equipment, but there are easy-fit kits from Hella for older vehicles.

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HELLA'S LIFETIME LED WARRANTY
HELLA'S LIFETIME LED WARRANTY
We've been testing them for 10 years and haven't had to claim warranty yet.

Hella Australia offers a lifetime warranty for all automotive LED lighting products that carry the DuraLED® brand.

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HOT-RODDING YOUR DRIVING LIGHTS
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.

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HOW LIGHTS WORK
HOW LIGHTS WORK
The black art of automotive lighting explained.

Lights that lit the way for 4WDs used to be variations on the same incandescent-globe theme, but now there are HID and LED lights. Here’s how they all work.

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LARGE LED DRIVING LIGHT VIDEO TESTS
LARGE LED DRIVING LIGHT VIDEO TESTS
The range of 190-230mm diameter LED driving lights keeps growing

LEDs now dominate the bush lighting scene, having long since taken over the camp and flashlight business. Large-sized lights fit most serious 4WDs and offer good distance and spread lighting.

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LED LIGHT BAR TESTS - 2013 to 2017
LED LIGHT BAR TESTS - 2013 to 2017
LED light bars on test - Latest: Stedi ST3303

Light bars are often easier to mount than large, round driving lights and can even be fitted to roof racks. However, while LED light bars give good spread beams, they don't have the beam distance of HID lights.

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LED REPLACEMENT HEADLAMPS
LED REPLACEMENT HEADLAMPS
Much brighter light from these replacement units.

Truck-Lite has teamed up with Narva to produce a second generation LED replacement headlight for vehicles using seven-inch round lights.

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LIGHT AND LIGHT BAR LEGALITIES
LIGHT AND LIGHT BAR LEGALITIES
Authorities have been slow to catch up with new technology.

In all Australian states you can be booked for mounting lights and light bars incorrectly. We've created a 'best fit' scenario that should see you legal across the eight separate nations that make up Australia.

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LIGHTFORCE GENESIS LED
LIGHTFORCE GENESIS LED
LightForce reckons the Genesis LED is a game changer

New from LightForce, the 140W Genesis LED is said to redefine LED performance, with a 1053m range from a pair of lights and 5000-Kelvin colour temperature.

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LIGHTFORCE STRIKER LED PAIR
LIGHTFORCE STRIKER LED PAIR
Compact, rectangular lights with middle distance range.

Striker LEDs driving lights were released by LightForce in May 2018. These middle-distance rectangular lights suit small frontal profile vehicles.

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LIGHTFORCE VENOM 50W HID DRIVING LIGHT TEST
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 driving lights emphasise brightness and long-distance penetration. The Venom HID 50W models do both brilliantly.

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LIGHTFORCE VENOM LED
LIGHTFORCE VENOM LED
Maximum output in a compact package.

Designed, tested and made in Australia, the 75W LightForce Venom LED produces a 5000-Kelvin light temperature beam of one lux at distances up to 850m.

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LIVID LIGHTING HYPERDRIVE MK2
LIVID LIGHTING HYPERDRIVE MK2
Well made large-diameter lights with good distance and spread

This range of LED lights is German-engineered and Taiwan-made, combining LED globes with optical lens materials, for improved light output from 80W globes.

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LIVID LIGHTING XPLORER
LIVID LIGHTING XPLORER
This compact pair delivered better than expected lighting

This compact LED driving light is very well made, from cast aluminium and with a stainless steel U-bracket. It delivers a very useful spread and spot beam from a package that should fit to almost all vehicles.

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MEDIUM AND MEDIUM-PRICED LED DRIVING LIGHT VIDEO TESTS - 2013 to 2017
MEDIUM AND MEDIUM-PRICED LED DRIVING LIGHT VIDEO TESTS - 2013 to 2017
The lineup of budget-priced LED driving lights keeps growing.

LEDs – light emitting diodes – now dominate the headlight and driving light arena, having already taken over the flashlight, head torch and camping light business. LED lights are bright, white and directional, and have unprecedented durability.

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NARVA ADAPTORS AND CABLE TIE VARIANTS
NARVA ADAPTORS AND CABLE TIE VARIANTS
Items to help set up a bush-ready 4WD

Narva has further added to its heavy duty RV accessory range, introducing six adaptors with battery connectors and a new range of cable ties.

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NARVA BATTERY CABLE CONNECTORS
NARVA BATTERY CABLE CONNECTORS
An alternative to the familiar grey Anderson plugs and sockets.

A range of new red-coloured, heavy duty battery cable connectors is now available from Narva, with a clear visual difference from existing grey units.

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NARVA DAYTIME RUNNING LAMPS
NARVA DAYTIME RUNNING LAMPS
A great safety initiative to retro-fit.

​LED Daytime Running Lamps from Narva produce an exceptionally bright light and are ideal for use during extended driving periods, thanks to low current draw and the long life expectancy of LEDs.

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NARVA ENHANCED OPTIC LED DRIVING LIGHTS
NARVA ENHANCED OPTIC LED DRIVING LIGHTS
Good quality LED lighting with small current requirements.

Narva has addressed the LED wattage issue with the return to reflector design in its Ultima LED Enhanced Optic 175 and 225 models. The 175 employs two of the latest 15-watt Cree LEDs arranged centrally in a choice of spot-beam or spread refactor housings. The 225 model has three of these LEDs.

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NARVA EXTREME HID LIGHT TEST
NARVA EXTREME HID LIGHT TEST
Ruggedly made, powerful spread beam lights.

Narva's Extreme range is said to be designed and made with competition and hard-core off-roading in mind. These HID lights mount inside a chrome-moly tube frame that bolts securely to a bar and allows ample adjustment.

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NARVA LED FESTOON GLOBES
NARVA LED FESTOON GLOBES
The LED revolution has now progressed to the ubiquitous festoon globe

The LED takeover of automotive and camping lighting is complete: LED festoon globes can now replace conventional incandescent ones.

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NARVA LED REPLACEMENT HEADLIGHT GLOBES
NARVA LED REPLACEMENT HEADLIGHT GLOBES
These Ultima LED globes have brighter and larger beams than halogen

We’ve been testing two sets of these Narva Ultima LED globes for months and we love ‘em, but they're not ADR-approved, so if you go down that route, make sure your headlights are adjusted carefully.

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NARVA ULTIMA 225 HID DRIVING LIGHTS
NARVA ULTIMA 225 HID DRIVING LIGHTS
Large-diameter HID lights on test

We tested Narva’s Ultima 225 HID lights on two of our 4WDs and found them to be, literally, brilliant.

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NARVA ULTIMA LED 215 DRIVING LIGHTS
NARVA ULTIMA LED 215 DRIVING LIGHTS
These are Narva's super-bright LED lights

The Ultima LED 215s were a long time coming, but our testing reveals that the wait has been worth it.

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OPPOSITE LOCK ADVENTURER LED LIGHT RANGE
OPPOSITE LOCK ADVENTURER LED LIGHT RANGE
A new range of round and bar LED driving lights

A new Adventurer range of LED lights complements Opposite Lock's lineup that includes products from Lightforce, Ultravision and Roadvision.

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PROJECTA COMPACT JUMP STARTERS
PROJECTA COMPACT JUMP STARTERS
Jump starters that use safer lithium ferro-phosphate technology

Projecta’s range of Emergency Jump Starters has grown, following the introduction of two models that feature lithium ferro-phosphate technology, for maximum safety when recharging.

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PROJECTA'S MULTI-SOURCE BATTERY CHARGER
PROJECTA'S MULTI-SOURCE BATTERY CHARGER
This charger covers nearly all the bases.

Projecta has unveiled its class-leading IDC25 ‘Intelli-Charge’ 25A 9-32V, three-stage DC/Solar Battery Charger.The unit is the most advanced of its type currently available on the Australian market, Projecta claims.

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REDARC'S GREEN POWER BCDC CHARGER
REDARC'S GREEN POWER BCDC CHARGER
This charger works with all battery types and solar

Redarc Electronics has released the next generation of its award-winning BCDC in-vehicle battery charger that's designed, built and tested in Australia. The new BCDC 25-amp model includes features that make it the most advanced product on the market, according to Redarc.

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REDARC MANAGER30 BATTERY CHARGER
REDARC MANAGER30 BATTERY CHARGER
The Manager30 can charge all battery types - including lithium.

Redarc’s Manager30 can charge auxiliary Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries as well as lead acid, calcium and AGM batteries.

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STEDI ST3303 LIGHT BAR
STEDI ST3303 LIGHT BAR
This light bar has 320W output in a compact housing.

Stedi has packed 32 10-watt Cree LEDs into a 545mm (21.5-inch) light bar that can fit onto most nudge and 'roo bars. It has brilliant distance and spread characteristics, as our test video shows only too clearly.

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STEDI TYPE-X
STEDI TYPE-X
These driving lights are well made and keenly priced

A Stedi Type-X pair of LED driving lights produces a NATA-accredited photometric laboratory tested 13,310 lumens, which is considerably more nett light volume than many prominent brands that cost up to three times the price.

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ULTRA VISION NITRO 140 MAXX COMBO
ULTRA VISION NITRO 140 MAXX COMBO
Large but slim round lights with great distance and medium spread.

Our test pair of Ultra Vision 140 Maxx driving lights were the largest round lights in this company’s range, measuring 235mm across and 240mm high, including the mounting brackets and the side-mounted angle-adjustment screws.

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ULTRA VISION NITRO MAXX LIGHT BAR
ULTRA VISION NITRO MAXX LIGHT BAR
This compact 150-Watt unit packed plenty of distance and spread lighting.

Ultra Vision's 155 model measured only 465mm in length, but provided ample light for most bush travellers' needs.

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UPGRADED LIGHTING
UPGRADED LIGHTING
The starting point for lighting improvement is with the standard headlights

No 4WD wagon or ute comes with lights that are adequate for night time bush driving. For that work you’ll need upgraded lighting.

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