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

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

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.

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