Light fantastic Narva Big Red ute lights
A trip out into western Queensland proved to be the perfect setting for Matt Wood to try out some new Big Red lights from Narva
One of the things a bloke has to do when he gets a new ute is to start speccing it out, and our test Mahindra Pik-Up was no exception.
So before heading off into the wilds of western Queensland, I wandered down to the guys at TJM Hendra for a temporary install – mainly because if I did it, I’d break something, and the neighbours are sick of me swearing in the garage and throwing spanners.
Young Ash, the resident TJM sparkie, had the wiring threaded in no time. Our Indian ute certainly looked the biz with the lights and light bar hanging off the bar.
For distance we used the Big Red BR9020 180mm driving lights, while perched atop the factory bullbar was the rather imposing BR 9420 20-inch Extra Power and Distance light bar. The driving lights use 18 5W Cree LEDs and really are a budget alternative to hardcore HID lights. The light bar uses 36 5W LEDs housed in a rather tough-looking case.
All of the lights feature a polycarbonate lens to keep the internals safe from stray rocks. The installation went smoothly. However, the big light bar does limit mounting options.
The huge heat sink of the light bar body makes it hard to find a suitable spot on a standard bar to mount. I’ve no doubt that it disperses heat very well and would be ideal in transport applications, it’s just a bit cozy on a ute. Our mounting wasn’t ideal, but to set it back behind the bar would mean that we wouldn’t be able to open the bonnet!
If I owned the Mahindra, I probably would’ve mounted it low on the bullbar and recessed in the vent slots. But that would require a bit of cutting and prodding. Sticking it on the headboard of the tray would’ve bounced some of the beam off the roof and reduced the light’s performance.
Of course, I tried to limit my night driving out west to avoid the big furry things that have a tendency to cause paint imperfections on impact.
But, when used, the lights performed extremely well. The light bar does give quite a lot of distance in the beam while still maintaining a decent spread. The spotties added to the distance beam penetrating through the bush very effectively. It’s a great combo that gives you the best of both worlds.
The durability of the lights and the mountings also deserve an honourable mention. After over 700km of outback dirt, a stint in the Simpson, and a few thousand kilometres of country driving, nothing came loose, snapped, or fell off.
The BR9020 driving lights are priced at $299 each.
The 20-inch Extra Distance Light Bar is $599.