LED or HALOGEN LIGHTS FOR YOUR 4WD? | Land Rover Defender | Equipment series 5/15

Hi this is Emeline from the Off-Track
Family, hope you’re doing fine today. This is the sixth episode of our Defender
equipment series so I hope you’ll enjoy. In this episode we will talk about
lights on 4wd or campers. Of course having good lights is very
important because it’s an element of security, so here’s our feedback on
different types of lights, where to place them, and also the review of our lighting.
How do you light up your road? Modern vehicles already have powerful xenon or
LED lights. Both of them illuminate really well. On the other hand the lights
on rustic 4wd like ours is very basic. Yet it is with our 4wd that we will most likely go on roads or tracks that have little to no
lights. So here are the questions I’ll answer based on our experience: is it
better to have LED or halogen lights? spot or floodlights? where to place them?
is it better to have them at bumper or roof level? and the last question is: is
it better to buy a brand or just generic lights? First you have to evaluate your needs. If
your vehicle already has good basic lighting with a good positioning of the
low beam and high beam headlamps you will be able to save a few pennies. One
of the problem on Land Rover Defenders is that the basic lighting is very poor
almost inexistent. Two small night lights act as headlamps while two classic 7
inches round lights powered by classic h4 bulbs do the job. The advantage of
these headlights is that they are very common and that spare parts are easily
found because many US and British vehicles use them including motorcycles.
The disadvantage is that this lighting technology is very old and doesn’t
provide much light. Now here’s the tip if you plan to go off track at night and
want to see properly in front of you: you will have to invest in additional lights.
Have you already put additional lighting on your 4wd? Please comment
down below to let us know what you installed and why. Because that’s exactly
what we did almost 10 years ago. We installed a pair of long-range
spotlights: the Australian LightForce Striker Halogen 100 watts. Now of course
you may ask: why mount halogen lights when LED is everywhere? Well for the
simple reason that 10 years ago LEDs weren’t as much as developed as today in
the car industry. If you wanted more powerful lighting at that time you had
to turn to high-powered halogen headlights. Either by increasing the
number of headlights or by increasing the power of each headlight. LightForce
is famous in the 4wd field and particularly for its long-range
headlights. When we went to Australia we understood why. It’s very common to drive
through entire areas without any lighting. Those areas are huge. And on top
of that wild animals are everywhere without any fences and it can
be a real danger even when on the road. The major differences between LED and
halogen are the power consumptions, the lifespan, and the type of lighting. Let’s
talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both. First LED: they
provide a very white light like daylight, they have a low power consumption, they
have a long life span, but it’s difficult to replace and repair in case of a
breakdown, the technology is more complex. Now Halogen: the light is rather yellow,
it consumes a lot of energy, it has a shorter life span, but it’s easy to
replace the bulbs, they are cheap and many spare parts are available for
repairing, it’s a simple technology. Once you have chosen between LED and
Halogen you will have to choose the placements of your additional headlights.
This requires to think of all the possible situations you might find
yourself in. If you decide to do like us, the combination we had for years, you can
simply add two spotlights to your bumper to get long-range lighting for the dimly
lit areas that you cross. The problem is the day you get mud and snow up to your
bumper height then your headlights will be useless.
That’s why later we installed additional headlights on the roof. There’s less
chance that those ones get immersed or covered up up there. And it also gives
the possibility to have two types of lighting. We kept the long-range LightForce
spotlights on the bumper because we only use them while on the road. They are
connected to the auxiliary battery but coupled to the stock high-beam switch.
And we don’t use them as work or convenience lights so we didn’t install
any dedicated switch. For our work and convenience lights we use the LED
headlights that we installed on the roof. The beam is more diffuse and can
illuminate a large area without necessarily being able to illuminate very
far. They do allow us to keep a powerful lighting if the bumper is under mud or
snow. They are also connected to the auxiliary battery but on a dedicated
switch. Now the choice of lighting and budget.
Like everything if you have modest budget don’t worry you can still make an
installation because nowadays the offer of cheap LED headlights floods the
market. But always keep in mind that you get what you pay for. This cannot be
truer for those cheap LED headlights and we have experienced it. LEDs are almost
all made in China, the low quality ones as well as those major brands.
That’s why made in China doesn’t especially mean poor quality. The
difference in quality will be the waterproofness of the housing and the
reflectors that will make the headlights more or less effective. When you buy a
quality like the LightForce Halogen lights that we bought almost 10 years
ago you’ll spend a lot of money but you’ll also buy a product deemed to be
reliable that should last almost a lifetime. These LightForce were
submerged many times and suffered from shocks but they still work properly. We
never changed the bulbs in 10 years which is why they might light a little
less brighter but that’s not a big problem.
However, with low quality LED headlights like the 4x 36 Watts flood and spot we
installed on the roof, we can see that some have moisture behind the lenses
even if they have never been immersed so the sealing standards claim by the
manufacturer are clearly not respected. It was a choice we made because we
needed lighting on the roof. But spending too much money wasn’t possible. So
knowing that these lights wouldn’t be immersed we took the risk because most are
on the roof. They do light up well and do the job but as soon as the budget
allows it we will turn to better quality LED lights to complete the Halogen
lighting we have on the bumper. Though it’s a bit useless to upgrade something
that works so that’s not a priority. This doesn’t mean that Chinese accessories
are all poor of quality but it varies a lot from a product to another this is
because, as said before, Chinese can produce both kinds of products very good
quality but also substandard products. In fact they’re
only answering to consumers demand for always cheaper products. What’s important
is to not skimp on your electrical installation. Once you’ve made all your
connections with good sections of wires and fuses for each light location the
hard part is done. You can then decide like us to temporarily install cheap
headlights at around 10 francs a piece so that you can already enjoy your lighting
and the day they no longer work and if the budget allows you replace them
little by little by high quality headlights. Now let’s review the setup we
currently have on our Defender: we have the two stock main headlamps with h4
bulbs, on the bumper we have two Halogen Australian LightForce of 100 watts each,
up there on the roof we have four Chinese LED lights of 36 watts each, two floods
and two spots, at the back we have two Chinese LED lights of 18 watts each that
we use as work lights, on both sides we have two Chinese LED lights of 18 watts
also and also used as work lights, and here on the bumper we also have two
Chinese LED lights of 18 watts but used as fog lights. Concerning these fog lights
there are certainly not 100% waterproof but they haven’t had the chance yet to
have their first bath so we will see this when it will happen. Last
point: why not replace the main headlamps by better LED ones like the Truck-light
ones or the JW Speaker ones? You will find the answer in this video about
headlamp repair and upgrades. The link is also in the description below so just go
and click on it to watch it and let us know your point of view about this
question. So there we are with the light and additional lighting of our Defender
I hope this episode will be helpful. Would be absolutely pleased to read you so don’t
hesitate to comment down below and let us know if you have any questions and
also to let us know what are your choices for additional lighting. Please
don’t forget to add the thumbs up, subscribe to our channel, hit that
notification bell and also share video okay talk to you soon bye

5 thoughts on “LED or HALOGEN LIGHTS FOR YOUR 4WD? | Land Rover Defender | Equipment series 5/15

  1. Great video as ever, my LED light bar has the same condensation as yours but has kept on working too !

  2. With 160,000 KM of experience with your Land Rover, your opinion counts far more than the people just promoting their sponsors. Thank you!

  3. I’m stuck with 4 halogen lights on the roof as it is a Camel Trophy 110 and I just can’t bring myself to swap them to LEDs. I did change the headlights to LED for safety and run 7 cheap LED floods for the last 9 years without any issues. I definitely support using cheap lights for work lights but if you are going to rely on them for driving, go for quality and a trusted brand. Always fun to hear your thought process as to why you guys make your modifications. 👍

  4. Hello Off-Track Family, good job very instructive video, to keep in mind, thumbs up of course. I've got the same problem "condensation" in one of my led spotlight of the roof but I think the value for money is pretty good. When you're driving into the woods these kind of spotlights are amazing.

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