Help choosing a light setup - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Help choosing a light setup

I've already been PMing with a couple of people with cool setups, but I thought I'd throw it open to everyone for advice.

I'd like to get some bright lights to use in Alaska / the north, where I'm going and where it's pretty common to see moose / deer / etc on the road.

I initially gravitated toward a roof-mounted light bar that attaches to the OEM roof rack (BajaRack makes a cool one, as do some others), with four lights on it.

But is this flat-out illegal for on-road use, even in remote / dark areas?

I'm also concerned about glare off the hood from a roof-mount setup, since i have a white roof.

The other option would be bumper-mounted, but the OEM Hella 500s might not be enough, and I've been told that bigger lights (like Hella Rallye 1000 Black Magics) can't be supported by the stock bumper without reinforcement.

Help! Ideas? I just want to flood the night and see the moose when I'm alone on the road, and hopefully not get arrested in the process.

I'd like to stay under $1500 all-in (with installation by a shop, probably). Should be doable.

2010 Iceberg 6MT - 40" Vision-X Reflex LED roof mount on realwheels light bar and oem roof rack, dual iceberg shift knobs, URD short shifter, Cobra 75WXST w/ Bandi mount & 3' firestik.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 03:37 PM
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

Led light bar om bumper would give you plenty of light plus it's lightweight.. I run one on my roof and it's really bright and I do not get hood glare! It's mounted in a custom pod

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 03:39 PM
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

Roof top lights can be covered until you really need them. You should check with your state laws for it to be illegal with them up there without covers. I am running 4 KC Rally 800s on top without covers and haven't been pulled over as of yet, even though I've driven by cops countless times. For the glare, you should be okay as long you don't get all flood lights. I think the best setup for the roof would be two flood lights on the side pointed slightly outwards with spot beams in the middle for less glare.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

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Roof top lights can be covered until you really need them. You should check with your state laws for it to be illegal with them up there without covers. I am running 4 KC Rally 800s on top without covers and haven't been pulled over as of yet, even though I've driven by cops countless times. For the glare, you should be okay as long you don't get all flood lights. I think the best setup for the roof would be two flood lights on the side pointed slightly outwards with spot beams in the middle for less glare.
Thanks. Is this something that would be OK to run on the highways up north, with no one around? I guess you can run anything with no one around!

Are spots the same as pencil beams, or are they driving beams?

My sense is you can probably have them up there uncovered (and using them whenever you're alone on the road), and then if you're pulled over just do the "oh, sorry, didn't know they needed to be covered" and cover them up.

2010 Iceberg 6MT - 40" Vision-X Reflex LED roof mount on realwheels light bar and oem roof rack, dual iceberg shift knobs, URD short shifter, Cobra 75WXST w/ Bandi mount & 3' firestik.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 04:00 PM
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

I'd recommend going with an LED bar as it will hands down beat other halogen light setups and also offer a lower profile solution. That is great when it comes to mounting lights on the roof and minimizing air resistance. The only HIDs which would offer better performance would be Visionx HIDS or Lightforce HIDs (HIDs will give you more distance - but not really as much side to side coverage).


I'd recommend the Visionx Reflex series and get Demellos light bar mount for it. Trust me the Reflex bar is worth the money as it has the latest 10watt technology and will output the most lumens. The chinese knockoff bars (of the Visionx Xmitter light) will not compare - in fact they don't compare to the Visionx Xmitters (3watt LEDs) performance either. If you only go with the 3 watt LEDs I'd recommend the Rigid LED bar if you want more distance or the Xmitter if you more side to side coverage.


High quality HIDs will give you more distance. I run Lightforce 240 HIDs with a spot filter on my bumper. They definitely outshine the xmitter bar I have on my roofrack, but they only light up a small area far ahead. It also requires a fairly large reflector (notice the size of the 240s) to outperform the LED bar on the roofrack. That means more air resistance and lower mpg especially if you put large HIDs on the roof rack.

Here are a few pictures of the 240's (Bumper) and VisionX Xmitter (Roof Rack). I have no issue with hood glare like the other guy with an LED bar stated.







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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

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I'd recommend going with an LED bar as it will hands down beat other halogen light setups and also offer a lower profile solution. That is great when it comes to mounting lights on the roof and minimizing air resistance. The only HIDs which would offer better performance would be Visionx HIDS or Lightforce HIDs (HIDs will give you more distance - but not really as much side to side coverage).
Thanks! To both of you with LED bars, do you find they really compare for long-distance illumination?

I had a couple of LED flashlights and they're great up close, but the light peters out FAST when you get further away. It seems like those bars would be great for off-roading, and casting a wide field of light, and really not very well suited to long-distance straight-line illumination, like a pencil beam or driving light.

Am I wrong?

2010 Iceberg 6MT - 40" Vision-X Reflex LED roof mount on realwheels light bar and oem roof rack, dual iceberg shift knobs, URD short shifter, Cobra 75WXST w/ Bandi mount & 3' firestik.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 04:27 PM
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

If I had to do it again I wouldn't do anything different. I definitely get more value and use out of the VisionX LED bar than I do out of the Lightforce 240 HIDs. While the HIDs do provide more distance they take a while to warm up. If your driving on any road way with traffic it is quite annoying flipping them on and off and waiting until the adjust to the correct color - plus they don't provide much side to side coverage which is where I'd like to be able to see the deer on the side of the road that might jump in front of me.


The LEDs can be cycled on and off instantly with the flip of the switch. I never have to wait until they warm up. They will also last longer than an HID setup and for 95% of the people out there provide more than enough coverage. I don't think you will find any halogen lights that match up with the LED bars mentioned in this thread.


For every 10 times I use my LED bar, I might turn on the HIDs once. That is probably the best summary statement right there.




Last edited by FJNewb; 07-12-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

HIDs take a while to warm up, though, right -- what about lightforce 240 non-HIDs? those might be a decent lower-cost solution if mounted near the bumper.

Thanks for the reco on the LEDs though, I wouldn't have even considered them before.

2010 Iceberg 6MT - 40" Vision-X Reflex LED roof mount on realwheels light bar and oem roof rack, dual iceberg shift knobs, URD short shifter, Cobra 75WXST w/ Bandi mount & 3' firestik.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 05:59 PM
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

Also with a light bar you don't get as much wind noise as you would with round lights on the roof..
My mount get no additional noise even at highway speeds.

The ridged light specs are (40" e series)
1500' distance
156watts
11.56 amp draw
14400 lumens
80 tottal LED's
You can get a combo beam. Spot in middle section and flood on outer section
50,000+ hour life span
Zero UV emissions
No vibration so you don't get a bounching beam
93% optical efficiency

Not bad for one light
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 06:29 PM
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Re: Help choosing a light setup

Halogens won't have as long of a warm up period as HIDs. However, I really wouldn't even consider most halogen lights when you have the posibility of going with HIDs or LEDs. I have PIAA 520i's (original lights that came with the bumper) mounted in the lower corners of the bumper. I rarely use them (can't even tell they are on when the other lights are one) and actually plan on replacing them with a double stack LED or Visionx Solstice series light.

S6100 6" Round Six 10 Watt LED Light for Industrial, Commerical, Racing, and More | Vision X Offroad Lighting - 1.800.994.4460


My personal opinion would be that your money would be well spent on LEDs or HIDs. Personally I went the halogen route at first and then quickly found the light (pun intended). Rather than spend money twice on lights I recommend paying more upfront for a high quality product with great lightoutput.




Last edited by FJNewb; 07-12-2010 at 06:31 PM.
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