If you enjoy nighttime hunting or off-roading, equipping your truck or 4×4 with the right lighting is mandatory. Safety is the most crucial consideration anytime you’re behind the wheel; and if you’ve ever driven an Australian beach or bush track at night, especially in less-than-ideal conditions, you already know that modified headlamps and driving lamps don’t provide nearly enough light to safely see what’s ahead.
The fact is, no matter what type of driving you do at night, you can always use a few hundred meters of added visibility. A track that might be easily navigated during the day can be peppered with ditches and obstacles after dark which, if approached incorrectly, can quickly cut your evening of off-road recreation short. This is where a combination of powerful, long-spread LED lighting solutions can help save you from an even longer night of frustration.
Making the Right Choice in Off-Road LED Light Configurations
From variable-length light bars, to wide-angled work lamps, a well-rounded configuration of high-performance 4WD lights is just as important as any of the recovery gear you carry when you’re hunting or off-roading at night. In fact, high-quality lighting is one of the most proactive measures you can take to ensure that you don’t have to use your recovery gear; because make no mistake: even when you know a track well, it can still produce surprises.
Although most off-road drivers aren’t under any illusions about the need to have good lighting packages on their vehicles, it’s easy to overlook just how important optic patterns are for superior off-road lighting. Big, powerful globes aren’t very effective if the light isn’t being focused where it needs to be, and a well-configured combination of 4×4 LED lights should make use of all 3 of the most beneficial beam patterns.
· Driving beams. Driving beam patterns complement your vehicle’s standard headlamps by projecting more intermediate illumination to the area directly ahead of you.
· Flood beams. Flood beam patterns disperse light in front of, and around the sides of your vehicle, giving you maximum peripheral visibility of objects that are in your immediate vicinity.
· Spot beams. Spot beam patterns are designed to provide maximum long-distance illumination, allowing you to observe obstacles such as ruts or falloffs early, and to take steps early to avoid them.
The most important point to remember with off-road lighting is that, unlike standard automotive lighting, no single type, shape, or pattern is capable of meeting all your need lighting. To be truly functional, your off-road lighting configuration needs to take advantage of all 3 beam patterns, fortunately, there are aftermarket manufacturers who specialize in comprehensive off-road lighting solutions that are both affordable and effective.
Flush-Mounted Driving Lights That Perform as Well as They Look
Clean, flush-mounted LED working lamps offer some of the best driving beam optics available, and they’re designed specifically for use with flat front bumpers and form-fitting, Australian Design Rule (ADR) compliant nudge bars. These factory-looking 4×4 lights utilize UV- and scratch-resistant GE Lexan® polycarbonate lenses to deliver an optimized, rectangular-shaped beam that’s a perfect supplement for your truck’s headlamps in any environment. It’s when you’re off-road, however, that these brilliant LEDs really come into their own.
These top-performance driving lights are mounted in all-weather 6063-grade aluminium housings, are IP68 / IP69K protection rated against water and dust ingress, and boast:
· 30W output (6x Osram Grade-A 5W LED chips);
· 1396 effective lumens, with 1 Lux @ 89m; and,
· 9-36V input, on a current draw of 1.5A @13.2V.
With a colour temperature range of 6000 – 6500K, and an operating temperature range of -40°C – 145°C, these lights are suitable for both highway driving and off-road use, and look just as good as they perform.
Shine a Light Anywhere With Pedestal Mounted Flood Beams
When it comes to effective flood beam optics, pedestal-mounted working lights are in a class all their own. Contrary to what their name suggests though, these lights aren’t designed to simply “flood” an area with light. A diffused flood beam offers the same coverage as an ordinary flood beam, but without the intense, shadow-inducing contrast. For nighttime off-roading, this close proximity 4×4 LED produces plenty of light, but no annoying glare that could lead you to misjudge the terrain.
Diffused flood beams are manufactured to the same tough, all-weather standards that flush-mounted driving beams are. Their larger throw area, however, is reflected in a range of specs that include:
· 40W output (4x Osram Grade-A 10W LED chips);
· 2957 effective lumens, with 1 Lux @ 75m; and,
· 9 – 36V input, on a current draw of 2.3A @13.2V.
Flood beams are a versatile, all-purpose lighting solution for travelling after dark, as well as for illuminating camps or worksites. Whether it’s from a bumper or bull bar, or atop your trailer or tray deck, you can mount these soft, broad pattern lights anywhere, and adjust them to point in any direction you need.
Completing Your Configuration With Combination Light Bars
With their 20° flood and 8° spot combination beam spreads, flood and spot beam light bars are the ultimate solutions for both wide and long throw illumination. These adjustable, corrosion-resistant bars are encased in rugged 6063 aluminium housings, and are available in a range of sizes and outputs that make them suitable for any size ute or 4×4.
There are 5 different light bar lengths to choose from, all utilizing Osram’s Grade-A 5W LED chips:
· 20-inch bars. 100W output, with an effective lumen output of 5015.
· 26-inch bars. 130W output, with an effective lumen output of 6238.
· 30-inch bars. 150W output, with an effective lumen output of 7135.
· 40-inch bars. 200W output, with an effective lumen output of 9406.
· 50-inch bars. 218W output, with an effective lumen output of 10854.
Slim, lightweight design and affordable pricing help to make these combination flood and spot light bars the ultimate in LED automotive lighting; and like driving and flood beams, they also come with all the necessary bracketing, wiring, and relays to perform a trouble-free installation long before it gets dark.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, hunting and off-roading at night are exhilarating experiences, but they have to be done safely. It’s easy to misjudge track conditions without sufficient lighting though, and that could have costly consequences for you and anyone who’s following you.
By equipping your vehicle with an adequate configuration of high-performance driving, flood, and spot 4WD lights, you’ll be able to see precisely what the terrain around you has to offer, along with what you need to avoid. It’s one of the best investments you can make in off-roading equipment, and you’ll be surprised by how much more confident you’ll feel when you head out at night.