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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,
So there is no seciton for this and B14 is wrong and so is off topic, but theres 'general' so yay, I'm in the zone.
Anyway here's a brain scratcher. I'm in the market for, thread topic here, and i was wondering (since i'd like to stay with PIAA even though they are the most exorbuitantly expensive, but others will suffce if they have quality) what to look for in a driving light. I guess round shape for looks, but I am concerned with wattage, bulb type and housing. Not theory, reality.
I don't want to know which style I should go for, but which model of which manufacturer. Any experience or data short of the ones the manufacturers provide on their sites. I don't want HID lighting. Plain old halogen is fine. I want the brightest with the longest range and narrow pattern (basically that is the definition of a driving lamp).
I don't want redneck rollbar 'KC's and I don't want them peanut sized eather.
Tell me your thoughts.
No there isn't any money in this for a finders fee.
If the lights go 'Halleluyah' when they turn on, that would be cool too.
Thanks.

Seth
 

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Hella makes some very nice fog/driving lights. They come in all shapes round square etc. they have a die-cast metal housing and a glass lens & 55w H-3 bulbs. Mine are small rectagular shaped with a black metal housing and a blue tint glass lens which shines a nice bright white light, i like them alot. They were 40 bucks at advance auto parts. Most of the Hella fog/driving light kits at advance auto parts run under $60 a set. The H-3 55 watt bulbs that come with the kits are pretty bright, but you can always get some aftermarket superwhite H-3 55w bulbs if you want a whiter brighter look...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
if you want a whiter brighter look...
Remember,
It isn't about how bright the bulb looks, I could look like its a pilot light on a gas oven, I just want it to be bright where its aiming. (actually a dimmer 'look' is probably better, less attention, and less annoying to others.)

Seth
 

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A few random thoughts on lighting -

Wattage - If you're going with small size lights (under 5") you should stay with 55 watt bulbs as there isn't enough air in smaller housings to keep higher wattages cool and you may crack your lens. Besides, with 55 watts you aren't blinding the rest of us.

$$$$- With lights you tend to get what you pay for. Cheapies from Pep Boys tend not to have the product development that goes with a name brand. No name lights may throw the light in the sky where you don't need it where a name brand like Hella or PIAA has spent the money to make sure the light goes down the road. That said, I find PIAA overpriced and they are getting to be gimmicky with some products.

Bulbs - If you are serious about seeing, stick with clear bulbs. Any tinted coating on a bulb is blocking light from escaping. This makes your basic, cheap halogen bulbs one of the best tradeoffs in bulbs. There's no real need for blue tint, it doesn't help you see.

Housing - Two words: glass and metal. Unless you get big rally lights with an ABS housing. The best reflectors are the multi faceted ones with clear lens, the same style as in most new cars without HID.

I recommend the Hella FF series for permanent mounting and I'll find some pics if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great,
Thanks, basically in short for those who are confused, I wanted to know why PIAA or Catz is better than say Hella or Pilot. Or what is the difference between a 55w halogen from PIAA and a 55w halogen from walmart or pepboys or canadian tire etc. Why is one $39.95 and the onther 189.95? What am i getting that is worth the 300% extra?

Seth
 

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IMO piaa or catz are just plain old over priced hyped up name brands. There was no way i was gonna pay $200 for a set of fogs lamps. I did alot of research before i bought on my Hella fogs, i wanted something affordable but with some quality also. The hellas offers both and fits my needs. They perform great and help me see much better at night in rain or foggy conditions. The 55w bulbs are a little brighter than most oem 35w set-ups, and they wont blind other drivers or draw any attention from you know who. Bottom line my hella fogs look great on my car, they are nice and compact the light output is a little dimmer than my cool blue bulbs but not by much. For about 40 bucks the Hella optilux line of fog & driving lights gives you a hell of a bang for your buck...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah,
I checked Hella out, and I think thats the way I'm going to go. The 'over the counter' seemed a little too flimsy, and PIAA was way overpriced for an identical product by hella. Unfortunately the hella's I want (xenon luminator) are $700 which is double a PIAA halogen. Still, they are basically gods gift to lighting. I'm going to stay at the sub $150 price range.

Seth
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hey,
Here is a photochop (hastily done) of the Hella Luminators (not the same as the Rally 1000FF which I am at a draw with vs. the luminators) (halogen not Xenon HID). I think they may be too silly. I was trying to go for the B13 SE-R look from SCC a while back.


There is always my fantasy of having the GTR bumper and those above lights come in 'stealth' too:

same as above just clear:

the last looks the best, however I have stealth sides, and eventually blackened out headlights too.
btw. the top lights and the bottom lights are the same.
They are around 8" in diameter.

Seth
 

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Those just look funny for everyday driving. If you were doing rally then it would be OK
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Hey Seth, check out www.classicgarage.com they have a good selection of Hella kits and good prices too. I know you don't want anything to small but the Hella optilux model 1400 driving light kit looks just like the piaas, and puts out a very bright beam for it's small size and they cost only $59. I have the model 1452 on my car which is similar to the 1450's on that site, mine has a blue glass lens while the 1450's have a clear glass lens. Anyways good luck on your search for aux. lights just trying to help out!:)
 

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sethwas said:
Yeah,
thats what I thought. However I seriously need more lighting at night. THose 'micro' sized didn't seem up to the task.
Here take a look at these comparisons:

http://www.hella.com/produktion/HellaPortal/WebSite/Internet_en/ProductsServices/ForDriversAccessories/LightTunnel/InfoLightTunnel/InfoLightTunnel.jsp

Seth
You have to keep in mind that those micro lights have the fog beam, which isn't meant to project beyond the range of your high beams. What they do is paint a nice wide, flat peice of the road so you can see in the fog. They do have lights a bit bigger with driving beams that would be adequate for most of your driving needs. Those 1000s might be overkill. What exactly are you doing to need that much light?

Edit - check out Rally Lights for some Hella stuff, pricing and info. The next set I'm getting are the FF 200s driving beam. I know two guys that have them and they say they are really good.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hey,
Basically you're all correct. I think I may throw in a fog set for the hell of it. (THe ones that turn when you turn were cool but $$$). The micro DE are $150 and from my hunting around seem to be the best fogs/inclement weather lights going. THe Optilux I believe are Hella's low end brand, not that that means anything.
I wanted a certain beam. After looking at beam patterns and web site documentation, the desired beam pattern, non HID, only came with those 8" pie dish lights. SO that is why I reulted in something that would look swkward for everyday. However, I don't mind looking silly. I just want performance. In Canada at night Rally lights couldn't hurt, and FL highways at night I could use some help.
Besides, what's wrong with a Rally look?

Seth

P.S. Classic car garage had great prices.
I imagine the FF200 is more practical than the 1000's or luminators?
 

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Yeah, the Optilux are a good product in that price range, but if you can afford the upmarket brand, buy it.

The FF200 would be more low key and would look better on the car all the time. The FF 100 &300 are merely variations in shape so you can get the best style for your car. The rally lights site shows them all fitted to various vehicles so you can get an idea of how they'll look and the size. The two guys I know who have them run road rallies and really like them. They also have a really good mounting system so you can put them just about anywhere on the front of your car. Another good investment, if you are planning on staying with 55 watts, is the acrylic stone shields. They cost about $9 a set and protect you lenses from chips and other crap.

Does this Classic Car garage have a site? If they have good deals I'd like to check them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well,
classiccargarage.com.
However driverfx.ca has the same prices dollar for dollar if you do the conversion (and shipping is cheaper, and there is no customs, however there is GST). The FF200's come in fog and driving. I'm set on those for the driving (the beam pattern is better than the 100'a and 300's) but should I go Micro DE for the fogs or get 2 more FF200's for fog lights.
mmm...4 lights in the bumper...

Seth
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So,
It's official. I ordered from driverfx.ca these two sets of halogen lights:
Micro DE white fog:

this one has a silver trim instead of black. Not the whole housing, just the ring at the front.
Comet FF200 white driving:

THe grand total including 5 day shipping and 15% sales tax was $515 CAD. THat's about $300 US for 4 lights shipped.

Seth

P.S. My next step is to see if I can get the $29 wireless harness. No wires to run inside. Just a key fob like an alarm to turn on the lights.
 

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there is a hole in there. above the pedals, and a lil to the right. its a bitch to get to tho. i had to lay in the floor and try to find it. it might be for the clutch pedal. i dunno, cuz i have an auto. thats about the area that the thing is. its like a rubber patch thing. you can see it easier from the engine bay, i think. i used this hole to run my power cable for my amp. i dont really like those wireless keyfob ones. its kinda like one more thing to remember when you get out of your car. (or does it turn off w/ ignition too, but on w/ switch)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hmm,
I guess i could wire it to disengage when the ignition is off. I'll have to see. Otherwise I guess I'll just have to click it off, but that isn't that big of a hassle. I'll find out and let you know.

Seth

BTW, I'm going to mount my DE's in the sides of the bumper, and the 200FF"s in the center of the bumper. Should they be in the lower part or upper part, or staggard (DE's in the lower, FF's in the upper).


the scale may be slightly off.
 
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