TESTED: LIGHTFORCE LED215 LIGHTS

HOW DO LIGHTFORCE’S NEW LED215 DRIV­ING LIGHTS PER­FORM ON BUSH ROADS? RON MOON FINDS OUT.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

For the past five months I’ve been driv­ing my trusty Pa­trol with a set of Lightforce LED215 driv­ing lights il­lu­mi­nat­ing the way through all sorts of ter­rain. But be­fore we go too far into the test re­sults, I’ve got to say for the past two months I’ve also been driv­ing a cou­ple of other ve­hi­cles with LED driv­ing lights fit­ted to them. While the light out­put is im­pres­sive, the amount of LED glare that comes back from road signs and the like, no mat­ter the make or model of the light, is off-putting. Maybe they all need a yel­low fil­ter fit­ted, which is some­thing a truckie ac­quain­tance of mine has done to cut back on the glare.

With all that said, let’s take a look at this of­fer­ing from Lightforce.

I’m a bit of a Lightforce fan. This great Aussie brand of­fers ex­cel­lent build qual­ity and per­for­mance, with en­gi­neer­ing and test­ing all done in sunny South Aus­tralia.

The LED215 is a ro­bust unit with a body made from high-pres­sure cast alu­minium, 215mm in di­am­e­ter. The hous­ing, with its mil­i­tary-spec ca­bling, wa­ter­proof mem­brane and seal (rated at IP68 against mois­ture and dust ingress) can be im­mersed as deep as three me­tres – not that I’d want it to go that far un­der while on the bull­bar of the Pa­trol!

The light is sup­ported by high-im­pact, scratch-re­sis­tant lenses and fil­ters, while to­tal power is 108W, pro­duc­ing an out­put of more than 5000 ef­fec­tive lu­mens.

The colour tem­per­a­ture is 5000 Kelvin, which means a pleas­ing white light. There’s lit­tle strain on the eyes after a long time driv­ing with the lights.

In my case, I didn’t have to fit a new wiring har­ness, be­cause the plugs of th­ese lights fit the pre­vi­ous wa­ter­proof plugs per­fectly. So all I had to do was drill an ex­tra hole or two, mount the sturdy stain­less bracket and fit the lights – the spacer be­tween the hous­ing and the bracket were the fid­dli­est parts of the whole op­er­a­tion. Aim­ing the lights was easy and that’s the way things stayed, which is another rea­son I love Lightforce’s mount­ing sys­tem: strength.

Out on the road, the ef­fects of the new lights were im­pres­sive. Check out the two pics (taken with the same ISO, shut­ter and f-stop set­tings) – one with high-beam (it looks pretty dull by com­par­i­son) and the other with the 215s light­ing the way (above).

A cou­ple of things I like about th­ese lights is the wide spread of light, which il­lu­mi­nates the edge of the road re­ally well, and the cen­tre of the beam, which shows no hint of poorly or un­evenly lit patches of road. Dark ob­jects such as the trees on the side of the road show up well in the light, too.

The beam of the 215s mightn’t reach out as far as some HID lights (1-lux range is 870910m, de­pend­ing on driv­ing or spot con­fig­u­ra­tion), but this is never an is­sue at 100-110km/h.

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