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how big of a difference is there between brand name off road lights and some kragens?

Discussion in 'Performance Lighting' started by LONO100, July 4, 2011.

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  1. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    hey all, second to next project (after my rear locker install) is to install some lights on my roof rack, and i was wondering how big of a difference there was in quality between some brand name lights like some pro comp 55 watters, and some comparables at kragen? the difference is about 15 dollars per two, and i plan on getting either a set of 4 55 watt lights, or 2 100 watt lights. is it worth it to go the extra 30 bucks or so to get the brand names? what are the differences? brightness? how about durability? will i end up replacing the cheap ones after a year if i go that route?

    also, im trying to find out if installing about 100 watts worth of lighting will burn my alternator out prematurely. will i need to get an alternator with a higher amperage rating if i throw lights on my rig? i have a 03 sport trac XLT. anybody got any knowledge on that?

    any help would be greatly appreciated, and get ready for more stupid questions from me once i get my locker in the mail!

    thanks fellas.

    :usa: happy fourth everyone :usa:
     
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  3. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    The big difference is in the quality of the construction and the stuff that comes with the lights.

    Cheap lights (Pilot, Blazer, Baja, etc.) tend to be almost all plastic, with weak mounting hardware, thin wires, and a cheap relay with cheap generic bulbs. They are okay if you just need extra light or want the look of off road lights. Some lights have glass lenses and aren't too shabby, but their reflector design and weak engineering prevent them from being any better than they are. Sometimes brand name bulbs help, sometimes not.

    Midrange lights offer decent performance at an affordable price. These usually have a glass lens, well designed reflector, and decent hardware, but probably a cheesy harness with cheap thin wires and a low-end relay.

    High end lights are all-glass lenses, all-metal housings, and strong hardware. These usually don't come with a harness or wiring, as it's assumed the buyer will buy a seperate harness or get their own wiring and relay for a custom setup.


    You don't need to spend a lot of money to get good, quality lights. You can get Hella 500 (or 500FF if you like those better) driving lights online for under $60. These are a decent light that will have everything you need to wire them up, and can become a secondary pair if you ever upgrade.

    You might only need one pair of the Hellas, whereas with cheap lights, you might have four lights and still not get as much light.

    It's also worth noting that you usually want all-metal lights with glass lenses if you plan to use 100W bulbs. Otherwise the heat usually melts anything plastic. But 55W bulbs in a good light still beat 100W bulbs in a cheap light.

    You can run two 55W lights with the existing electrical system, but if you get up to four lights, you might run into issues using the headlights and anything else at the same time. With four 100W lights, you should probably look into a higher output alternator.

    Keep in mind the watts is per bulb, so two 55W lights will be 110W as a pair, not 55W. Two 100W lights is 200W total.
     
  4. techieman33

    techieman33 Explorer Addict

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    he has a 130 amp alternator, he'll be fine running 2 pair of 100w lights if he wants to.
     
  5. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    great info, thanks fellas. im so glad to hear that i wont need to get a higher output alternator since i was originally preffering to run two 100 watt lights on my roof rack. and i def will need them for functionality and not looks. they would be great for late night fishing and camping.

    thanks again fellas, the forum once again rocks
     
  6. storlied

    storlied Well-Known Member

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    Do what I did, get some 500FF's or 700's.. or whatever you want of those offerings from Hella or comparible.. don't have to get too expensive but don't be too cheap.. and throw in some 55W HID's... Extremely bright without the crazy cost, not to mention with a light replacing parts are gonna be expensive with.. with this setup with hid kits parts and light housings are everywhere for an affordable cost. I personally like my setup much better than the kragen hids some of the truckers use.

    55W hid's will literally turn night into day.. I love it. Got 4 of em on the bumper.
     

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