Head Lights - 2001

 

DOT Approved Halogen Headlights by TruckLite: (Jan 28th, 2001) This weekend I had the chance to test out some really nice looking headlights by TruckLite.  The lenses use the free form design and means that the back reflector is shaped to focus the light where it needs to be instead of using the glass lens to focus the light. The results IMHO is a better headlight that creates less glare to the on coming traffic.  The light pattern created by this lens has a good wide view and is much better then any 7 inch sealed head light bulb out today that I have seen.  The lens requires a 9007 dual filament bulb and has a good seal to keep moisture from getting inside unlike the H4 bulb design that requires a rubber boot to cover the back. Another advantage over the H4 bulb is that it maximizes the use of the whole lens unlike the H4 that only uses a little over half of the upper part of the lens area for the low beam. The out come is more light on the road where you need it.  

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Low beams on a building about 50 feet away.
Low beam on the road. They cover the road well and light the sides up enough to see what is out there, more so then standard the standard seal beam headlights. We have a good even light pattern with no hot spots that stand out.
High beam lights.
High beam on here and you can see the barricade down at the road very well and you can see the ditches also very well.

More Info from the Trucklite Web Site

If you are looking for a set, check with Gulf Coast Rovers . It was a hot item and seems to be a very limit number of retailers right now since they are not in full production on this item just yet.

TIP: If you get the lights above, they will come packaged with the 9007 bulb, do not remove it unless you need to and are in a low humid area. No point in added any un-wanted moisture inside the lamp for it to fog up the lens.  This is also true for the H4 headlights. With the TruckLite lens, in time moisture will be vented out through a special vent that will not let moisture back in.  

More Power: You can gain a little more power of of your head lights by installing new heavier wire and a few relays to carry the load of the lights.  I installed new wire from the each of the headlights and ran it to my relays that I mounted right near the air pump and to from the relays to the power terminal post just below.  I ran two 18ga wires from the relays and to the stock connections of the headlights that would energize the relays when you turn on the headlights. This would give you about 10-15% more power to your lights. Check your voltage at the headlights and check the voltage at your battery, if they are close to each other, this may now be worth doing, but if you see a volt or more, this will be of some help. My voltages before was 11.6 volts, and battery was 13.7 volts. After I was running about 13.3. volts and could see a change in the headlights. See simple wiring diagram below.

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SYLVANIA makes some blue sealed beam headlights called "Cool Blue" for those of you who are looking for the blue headlights. They are now in the local auto parts stores selling for about $15 each, I found them at AutoZone.  Reports from users of them, state that they don't really put out a blue light but they seem a little whiter & brighter then the stock headlights. This maybe a good option to be using instead of the H4 blue lights when having to deal with water. My option, the blue may look cool, but the create a lot of glare and do nothing for the driver's view at night.  The whiter, the better.

See my HID page for more on headlights - HID Headlights!

 


 

My Past History on headlights (old news):

  
For a long while one of my favorite set of lenses was Manufactured by Zelmot - Made in Poland as shown here.
This ad is from  JCL Whitney , and tells more about it. Click on the photo for larger image.

Now I know they say for off-road use, but that is because they are not yet DOT approved.  But I would not use them if they where to cause problems for the on coming drivers.  In fact they shine even less light to the on coming driver then and most DOT approved sealed beam headlights that most cars & trucks are equipped with now here in the US. 

 

Note, if you are going to drive where the headlights many be under water, they will leak and will get water in the lens. And can crack if they are HOT when you submerge them in water.  But normal use, I have never had any problems with them.

I have heard of others sealing the lights with silicone and they have worked out fine.  I think I will have to try the same some day.

Update March 99: I have now changed to Hella DOT approved headlights from Adventure Accessories and find them just about as good and well worth the investment for any one who must drive at night.  One problem I did find was that the 3 screws that hold the outer ring that hold the headlight in place are almost too short.  Mine only just makes it.  The thickness of the Hella lens seems to be a little thicker then most.

Also check out this site for some good information on Hella lights & good prices: Susquehanna MotorSports   Also check out the bulbs, like the 78150 H4 Xenon/Halogen gas mixture bulb, I now run with the Hella Xenon bulbs and I think they are a little better but they are nothing like true HID bulbs.  

NOTE: Xenon Gas Bulbs, just because they are Xenon Gas bulbs does not make them as bright as the real HID gas dis-charged bulbs that we are starting to see in stores and millions on EBay stating "HID, but at a faction of the cost".  I have tested out many sets of the so called HID Xenon Gas bulbs and the blue Xenon gas filled bulbs.  The clear gas filled xenon bulbs are a little brighter and whiter and are better then the standard bulbs. But the blue gas filled bulbs that give that blue look of HID may look nice, but they don't make your vision any better at night. Those with the blue tint only dims your lights and causes more glare to the on coming traffic, and it is one of the for that reason many states have outlawed colored headlights. They are now some with the DOT approval code, and create just a little blue tint, but still they cut down your visibly to see the road.  So please don't get fooled by those who are selling the blue Xenon Gas light bulbs that are not the real thing, the real HIDs will come with a ballast and look nothing like your stock H4 halogen bulbs. 

If you do want to try the Xenon gas filled bulbs, check your local auto store and you will find then on the shelf, you will be looking for the H4 bulbs, and you will need to get a set of lenses for them.  I suggest the one from J.C. Whitney for about $20-25 a lens and using only the 55W-60W bulbs, any higher and you could burn up your wiring and/or switches.

In general: Don't waste your time with the so called blue Xenon gas filled bulbs, but do change out your stock 7" round sealed beam headlights for the Zelmot (J.C.Whitney) or the Hella H4 headlights.

REAL HID's:  Well, I finally got them, December 19th 1999.  But what I really did was to get some HID Driving HID lights from J. W. Whitney. They came in Chrome & and power coated gray, not the right colors for the Hummer. So I took them apart and had them painted.  While looking at the parts I figured it would be easy to make them would in place of the standard H4 bulbs. And so I did, follow the link for construction of the HID headlights.

A few days later, I was given this link to another site that make HID lights off all kinds. Phoenix Micro-Lite, Inc. After talking to them, I found out that they are using the same electronics as I was, Philips. And almost to the "T" like mine, but they added the shielding to the bulb instead of to the lenses as I did. And after calling around to find replacement bulb & ballast, I found it was just as cheep for me to buy a whole new set. So I ended up ordering a set of 7 inch round headlights from Phoenix Micro-Lite, Inc.  and reassemble the driving lights as I got them in the first place. The cost on the headlights was by far the best that I have seen anywhere, it was a little over $500, but others are selling them from $900 to over $1600 for H4 conversions.

After having the HID lights, I was so pleased with the performance of them that  use them as my backup and rear flood lights, and a 2 sets of off-road HIDs on the front of the luggage rack.

 
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