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LED Light Bar Craze | Form or Function?
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agon.parts
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: LED Light Bar Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Hello All,

I am curious to see why you have (or are thinking to) get LED light bars installed. The 7" round LED headlights are an amazing upgrade, but what about all of these LED light bars? They seem a little excessive for the average asphalt-treading van.

Did you mainly choose to get them for the "off-road" look?

OR

Is it a necessity for where you live and/or your lifestyle (dimly lit roads, off-road, camping, trails, etc.)?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

As far as I know, lights bars are off road only. At least locally, it is not legal to run on public roads with these high power lights, like the classic KC's of the old days, or the LED light bars of today. Maybe that's a reason that you see them on rigs associated with off-road rallies, etc. Cool factor aside. Most of the ones I see locally are on farm vehicles, useful for spotting the heard, or good flood lighting while hooking up grain augers, etc.
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Tom Powell
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:15 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

LED backup lights are an improvement over OG.

Aloha
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pablum
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

The led mod to the rear fender running lights is a very nice mod: the led grounds to the positive terminal of the turn signal (the paltry current of the led doesn't light the filament and grounds through it) and power from the turn signal switch raises the voltage at the led out, tuning it off while the ts bulb is on and thereby blinking it. Quite clever.

Only drawbacks are you can't convert the ts bulb to led, and when the ts bulb burns out you lose the running light as well.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

yup, leds are just a craze, we will return to whale oil lamps when the led thing dies down.

equipment laws prevent use of some of these lights on many public roads.

led back up lights are nice, i converted to them, hey i can see backing at night now. i even sold my whale oil back up lamps, i aint going back.

good luck
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Most of the people I've seen using them use them to show me the size of the asshat they're wearing. Guessing that's not your plan, so what is your goal for having a light bar?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

I am extremely envious of the visibility they provide, but CANNOT even think of what my van would look like with them installed.

I much prefer to gaze upon other jacked overland Vanagons, but can't change the look of my "antique" for that benefit. I sometimes wish I could convert my headlights to LED, but even that seems "wrong". I'd do it if the color temperature was 'classical'. I know I know..... antique aesthetic is just another form of posing....
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:
yup, leds are just a craze, we will return to whale oil lamps when the led thing dies down.


If it's good enough for the Planet Express engines, it's good enough for Zapp Vanagon!
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Living in the dark wet Northwest and NEVER camping in one of those well groomed asphalt campgrounds, we use them to see Deer and Elk when we are at speed traveling through the gravel road BLM sections. They also light up large rocks that fall from the cliff side onto the roadway. The amount of $500 deductables I have saved by seeing things in my path at night before smashing into them outweighs the value of the van. All of my other off road rigs have been updated to led and on road ones are running HID.

Last edited by newfisher on Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Merian
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

I am upraged that you are slighting up large rocks Exclamation

Our large rocks, while not as beautiful as the shimmering granite boulders of the Sierras, often have wonderful moss gardens on them, and posses their own subtle charm.

-------------------


we need to separate use of LEDs on the rear and sides and for turn signals & markers from use to illuminate things - either as headlights or backup lights.

There are lots of cheap crummy LED headlights out there, and ones that work for you to see can blind oncoming traffic.

Buy high quality ones as mentioned on the numerous other threads and be certain they are properly aimed.

Off road use is different
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
I am upraged that you are slighting up large rocks Exclamation


ya-ya. cell phone posting and small keypad. changed to " light"
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Merian
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Ha! I always suspected you of being a Phone Poster...
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

newfisher wrote:
Merian wrote:
I am upraged that you are slighting up large rocks Exclamation


ya-ya. cell phone posting and small keypad. changed to " light"


Do the rocks burn well once lit?
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:
newfisher wrote:
Merian wrote:
I am upraged that you are slighting up large rocks Exclamation


ya-ya. cell phone posting and small keypad. changed to " light"


Do the rocks burn well once lit?


Ive never smoked rock. There are several campsites that we come across in the middle of nowhere and the Zombies that are milling about look like they have been smoking moss or rock something.
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agon.parts
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

I saw a few serious answers. Laughing How about some more?
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

you might get coal to light up. powder it and it goes boom!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

I just bought these brackets to mount a 52" curved light bar to my syncro

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


http://www.vanagonlife.com/theshop/

Light

https://www.auxbeam.com/70019364?tracking=57e1e3e3e3698
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Lighting improvements are a great modification for nighttime visibility and safety. I have always been a proponent of auxiliary lighting back in the KC highlight era, HID, and now LED lights.

I do a lot of deserted back road and desert road driving and having good lighting for at night has saved me many times with animals either in the road or getting ready to cross in our path, and even seeing road hazards well in advance.

The LED curved light bar was purchased back when they were fairly new and very expensive. The one I purchased has all 8 spots for distance. I use that light all the time and it is like driving in daylight. Yes, it is illegal to use on highways, but crossing some of Utah and Nevada desert roads at night you can drive for hours without seeing another vehicle and if you do you have ample time to turn it off well in advance.

I have upgraded all my interior lamps, dash lamps, and exterior lights to LED. The headlamps are now LED and when properly aimed they do not blind other drivers. My high beams are HID lamps with ballast and are still extremely bright and have a great range out in front.

All the tail lamps being LED make them so much brighter and easier for others to see. Plus the amperage needed is so much less and the color produced from LED headlamps and bars is more like daylight.

My wife can attest that after running the 288w Curved LED bar at night then turning it off and just using the LED headlights, which is much more light than stock, it is downright dangerous to drive at night!

I installed the SA Grille kit, relays and H4 high output lamps, 100w High Beams and 80/100w low beams, in my van. At the time it was a great improvement over the stock square lights. But the 400 watts it was drawing was noticed driving through Yosemite and melted the insulation on the main wire leading to the fuse block. So I went to 50w ballast HID on the high beam and LED on the main lights. It is a "day and night" difference that you would have to see in person. And it uses much less power along with a much greater life.

Here is a short clip I made back before switching to LED and HID headlamps.


Link


Here is the LED Lighting chosen on my Syncro:

South African Grille Kit:
http://www.van-cafe.com/south-african-grill-kit-with-h4-assemblies-relay-k

Low/High Beam:
http://www.truck-lite.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servle...reId=10001

High Beam H4:
http://xrayvision.net/hid-conversion-kits/50w-hid-kits/

Light Bar:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-produ...ifications

Side Work Lights:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-work-...2054/4283/

Rear Work Light:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-work-...1479/3240/

Now removed.
Front Flood:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/straight-...-36w/3669/

Running/Brake/Turn/Reverse Lights:
http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23624

Interior:
http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23483

Dash:
http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23485

I have also upgraded the wiring and have a dedicated 10g wire to the light bar. The subaru alternator has also been upgraded to handle the power loads when driving at night.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by Syncro Jael on Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chainsaw
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

I have a 42" light bar (cheapy) on top of my pickup, as newfisher stated, here in the soggy northwet even good head lights are dismal on cold rainy afternoons when its dark at 4:30. These light bars provide enough light that one can actually see the deer crossing the road etc. The one one my truck is like the eye of Sauron, turns the road to day light.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Craze | Form or Function? Reply with quote

Lightbars aside...
Can anyone please show me a video of a South African grille before with standard halogen H4 headlights vs. after with quality LED headlights? Without this comparison it's hard for me to justify the $$$ considering that the SA halogens are already such a marked improvement over the OEM square headlights. Thanks.
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