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 (below) and the other with the 215s lighting the way (main image).
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 870-910m, depending on driving or spot configuration), but this is never an issue at 100-110km/h.
Available from: www.lightforce.com
RRP: $705 per light
We say: A fine-performing LED driving light. Robust and well-made, with a great mounting system.
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