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My Rock Light Upgrade

Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
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Vail, Arizona
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT 4x4
For years I've been running 12v fluorescent tubes as rock lights. When it is very dark out they work well as they put out a nice soft glow instead of harsh light in a single spot like the old school 55 watt lights people used to use.

Over the Years the tubes have been putting out less light and one of them finally burned out. I was paying $10 per tube which was a great deal. I can no longer find them at Ace hardware for $10. When I do find them at other stores they run $25+ which isn't worth it.

Last year I picked up a couple strings of LED pucks from horsepowerjuice (yes, they sell LEDs too Got the LEDs here) thanks to Pirate4x4.

I finally got around to installing them. They are waterproof and are SMD LEDs. Even though they "look" like they are wired in series they are actually wired in parallel while in the string of 20 (how they come).

You just cut off the wires from one side and then you need to do something ito insulate them. I can't find my liquid electrical tape so I need to pick up another bottle. Once I have that I will cover the wires I cut off AND cover all of the splces with it.

Here is a shot of one of the 12v tubes that was mounded just outside of the frame. You can see the metal above the tube has a rise in it. That rise/fall is where I will install the new pucks.


Old Rock Light by maniak_az, on Flickr

Here are a couple of the pucks installed on that piece of metal that goes up/down. I put them here so they are facing down and towards the end of the vehicle. I figure this way I will get more coverage from them.


photo (49) by maniak_az, on Flickr

Since they are small I mounted one in belly of the X, just behind the xfer case. That should help cut down on the shadows under the rig.

photo (48) by maniak_az, on Flickr


Here is a shot right as the sun was going down. You can see the light from the LED pucks but you can't even tell that the fluorescent tube under the front is even on.


IMG_0570 by maniak_az, on Flickr

Now that it has gotten darker out (still not black) you can see the light from the front tube. It just isn't bright enough anymore.. It used to be better but no where near what the LEDs do.


IMG_0586 by maniak_az, on Flickr

The back of the rig has 2 facing down and then one facing forward. They are all on the rear most cross member. I won't have any problems seeing what I'm hung up on now.. :)

IMG_0583 by maniak_az, on Flickr

I still have a little bit of a dark spot just in front of the rear tires.


IMG_0584 by maniak_az, on Flickr

I also want to figure out how I can light up the front suspension (in the wheel wells etc). I also may add 2 more to cut down on the darker area in front of the rear tires. It isn't bad but since I have more LED's and they don't take much power I might as well use them.

You can see how I grounded the LEDs.. I just put the ground wire right to the screw holding them on. For power, I already had a power line running from a switch/relay combo that circles the vehicle. I just cut off the old lights, extended the wire when needed and hooked up the LEDs.

The old Tubes pulled 13 watts each. I don't know how many watts/amps I'm pulling with the LEDs. Once I have them all installed I'll hook up a meter and check.

~Mark

NOTE: Click on the pics for the bigger versions...


EDIT: Site that carries these has changed domains.. New link for the v1 lights (what I have) is http://under-glow.com/products/rock-lights-80-lm-v1-pack-of-20?variant=4437136196 The v2 lights are twice as bright (160 lumens).
 


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R1dd1cK

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1999 Sport V8 4406 4X4
Sweet. you should post a link to the leds.
 




Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
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1992 XLT 4x4
Sweet. you should post a link to the leds.

Done...

As much as it bugs me when people post "I got this" and don't say how to get it.. I forgot to put the link in myself. I at least remembered to put the name of the company in the post :)

~Mark
 




Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
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1992 XLT 4x4
I think I have enough under there now. I have 12 total...

4 under the front cross member, 2 of which are angled forward and 2 are angled rearward.
2 under the body on each side, attached to a body seam/rib.
1 behind the transfer case
3 on the rear cross member, 2 facing down, 1 facing forward.

I think its enough light now.. and they are high enough that they shouldn't blind my spotter.

Front-ish angle...

LED Rock lights by maniak_az, on Flickr

Rear-ish angle.

LED Rock lights, driver's rear angle by maniak_az, on Flickr

My favorite shot.. I have the headlights and the pair of 6" TWF LED bars on. I didn't turn on the 5" 100 watt lights as they were blinding the camera since they are angled out a bunch.


LED Rock lights and TWF LED bars by maniak_az, on Flickr

I should pick up some liquid electrical tape this week so I can cover all the splices/connectors and make them water proof. Of course, its not like it sees much water in Arizona and Southern Ca.

~Mark
 




R1dd1cK

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I like. Me want some.
 












2TimingTom

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'97 XLT




Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
Elite Explorer
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Messages
12,095
Reaction score
116
City, State
Vail, Arizona
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT 4x4
Sill working great..

The company I got these from have even brighter ones now but I don't know if I really want to go much brighter.. Of course I have found other uses for these too. I use them in the safe (run off a pair of 6v lantern batteries) and I'm installing 2 in the carport so we can have some light in there (enough to walk around) without having to turn on bright lights.

I still would like to put a couple in the fender area up front so I can see the suspension at night but it really hasn't been an issue.

Also, I updated my first post with the new link for the lights I have. The newer versions (still a V1) have metal on them which mine don't have.

~Mark
 




2TimingTom

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'97 XLT
Good to hear. I'd like to do some rock lights and use some on my street vehicles: courtesy puddle lights, under hood work lights.....
 




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