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Does Size Matter?

Discussion in 'KC HiLiTES' started by MTUH3, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. MTUH3

    MTUH3 FRF Addict

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    Ok, this may have been a debate between men, and women for years... but I am talking lights.

    For looks and function I am 98% convinced that a combination of HID lighting, and LED lighting is the way to go.

    I already have the KC HiLites light bar on the front of the truck to hold 4 lights and currently use another manufacture's halogen light set. (Its what I had in the garage at the time.)

    KC offers the HID lights in both 6" and 8" DIA housings. Briefly looking at the specs, I see that the Lumens are the same for both sizes, 5,000. However the candlepower is different by 80,000. 305,000 for the 6" compared to 385,000 for the 8"

    That is an increase of 25%.
    Does that translate to increase distance on light throw, as brightness (lumens) is not affected?
    Does the larger DIA houseing allow for a wider light beam depending on the reflector type?

    Looking up the difference between candlepower and lumens just gets confusing....

    If I want to throw a bunch of light down range (which I understand HIDs do better than LEDs, until I see more data on the Flex and Gravity Series)...

    What should I look at? Candlepower or Lumen?
    If Lumens are a good measure of light output, why do I often see the "Usable Range" for HIDs rated more than LED bars?
    Will the non LED bars (round hosing) perform equal to or better than the HIDs in the future?
    It appears that the desert gents are using HIDs over LED bars, or at least a combination of them with more HIDs than LEDs.

    Thanks for the help
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  2. fenderstratplayer19

    fenderstratplayer19 Full Access Member

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    it's hard paddle to England in a row boat

    Honestly I would like to hear what others have to say on this as well. Good question!
     
  3. MTUH3

    MTUH3 FRF Addict

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    Thoughts?
     
  4. KC HiLiTES

    KC HiLiTES Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Does Size Matter?

    The simple answer is “Yes”. The larger reflector’s increased surface area is more capable of re-directing light more efficiently than a smaller reflector – given that the reflectors are designed to achieve the same focus beam, an 8” reflector will be capable of focusing more light than its 6” counterpart.

    *

    Candlepower vs. Lumens

    As LEDs gained popularity in recent years, the most common word to benchmark the performance of a light is “Lumens”; it’s okay as long as comparisons are only drawn between LED bulbs. But when comparisons are drawn between LEDs, Halogens, and HIDs – that’s when it gets confusing because it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

    *

    Relying on Lumens as a benchmark can be misleading because that is only the measurement of light at its source; it does not correlate the measurement of light at a certain distance, aka useable light.

    *

    Simply Put:

    Lumens (lu) = Measurement of light at the source

    Lux (lx) & Candela (cd) = Measurement of light at a certain distance

    *

    At KC, we have always weigh more on Lux/Candela as the performance measurement of our lights because it’s more applicable in describing the amount of light in relation to how the lumens translate through our reflectors and optics.

    *

    A good example of why Lux & Candela is a better gauge – The Gravity Series’ Patented LEDs emit light more ‘efficiently’ because through reflector optics the light is directed exactly where we want it to go. A 50” Gravity LED light bar with only 100W on paper compared will have a lot less Lumens than a comparable 50” LED light bar on the market, but it will easily out-perform it because we can control the beam and direct light that normally would be under-utilized without the use of our reflector optics.

    *

    Regarding our Flex Series LEDs – The Flex was developed as a modular system that allows the consumer get more value from their investment by allowing them to use the same light cores on different applications.

    *

    LEDs vs. HIDs

    Similar to how the Gas Combustion Engines are more efficient than Electric engines - HIDs are still the best bang for the buck. But, as LED technology improves and is more widely adopted, the prices will go down and eventually it’ll bridge the gap between itself and HIDs.

    *

    The ethos of KC HiLiTES is “Balanced Lighting”

    Depending on the conditional requirements, we have found that a combination of different lighting technology works the best when developing a lighting solution for maximum visibility. We preach this to all of the affiliated members of our Dirt Tribe. For off-road racing specifically, our Dirt Tribe members use a combination of Clear/Amber HIDs, Clear/Amber LEDs, Light Bars, Spot, Driving, Flood – based on the drivers’ preferences.
     
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  5. MagicMtnDan

    MagicMtnDan FRF Addict

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    Great response.

    Now watch the Chinese light supporters use this info to justify buying their products instead of yours. They don't just copy lights :devilfinger:
     
  6. KX250R

    KX250R Full Access Member

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    If you want to throw a bunch of light down range, check out the 70W KC Pods, they rock. The higher you mount the light, the better. :) LED's down low to light things up medium to short range and some splayed wide for the turns on their own switch.
     
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  7. MTUH3

    MTUH3 FRF Addict

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    Thanks KC, that re enforces what I was reading and understanding myself.

    Grant, You are thinking the exact set up I want, but the 70W are the CR pods and WAY out of my price range.

    The 8" HIDs for my already existing light bar (until I build a new bumper) will probably work the best, and depending on when / if I set up my winch mount, and LED bar in the center to cover the ground.

    As for height, I have plans for a roof set up, but again... time and $$$ are in the way. I am also concerned with reflection off the hood affecting my night vision.

    But You have more experience than I.....
     
  8. KX250R

    KX250R Full Access Member

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    Carl, you are correct, the Carbon Pods are pricey for sure!! Lol.

    Your current plan makes sense, I ran four 8" on the front bumper for quite awhile and they worked fine.

    There can be issues with glare on the roof mounts. Flat black on the hood helps. The conditions make a big difference, winter time seems fine, we had no issues with the upper lights at the snowball. In Baja it was only an issue when we had a lot of hanging dust in the air and the more dirt build up we had on the glass the more it seemed to effect vision. Having the lights hanging out over the windshield also helps.

    Been sketching some ideas for a new rack that will mount behind the cab. Have seen a few like that and also a mid roof mount that I think was an attempt to deal with the glare issue. For my tastes I think the behind the cab rack has the potential to look better if you can get the design right and its not to boxy and heavy looking.

    One of the bonus features of behind the cab mounts is that you can lay them down flat when not in use. It protects them and also cleans up the aerodynamics over my current setup. I have smacked the hell out of my roof mount on branches and such..

    Will let you know when I get something together and you can tell me what you think.
     
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  9. Wilson

    Wilson FRF Addict

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    this is if you want more light get the best.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  10. KaiserM715

    KaiserM715 Kaiser Söze

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    Wilson, that is taking things a little far in a lighting thread...
     

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