Help me go broke buying lighting

overland

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Time to start thinking about lighting for the new truck. The person who bought my Raptor ended up wanting the lights as well, so I'm not going to reuse them as I'd planned, which is probably for the better anyway. Not for my bank account, but now I get to really nitpick what goes on the truck.

For placement, I can do both bumper and roof rack. I'm not a fan of A-pillar lights, sorry, to each his own. So I'm thinking wide angle and mid range down low, with spots above. I'm picky about lighting up the hood, so anything that goes on the roof rack I want to be very narrow, well defined spots.

As far as what I need from lighting, I'm mostly concerned with balance and getting a very even spread of light side to side and near to far, with no hot spots, halos, etc. Just good quality lighting. It doesn't have to be bright as day and I'm not racing Baja, so quality above quantity and distance - though obviously brighter and farther is still better, but only so long as the light quality doesn't suffer. Think balance, not destroying your night vision with a ton of light up front, etc.

For brand, I'm open to options, but Baja Designs is my default - that's what I've had in the past, and in terms of build quality and lensing, they seem to be a step above. But like I say, I'm open to options - I don't want to spend money that I don't have to, and I do wish they had an option for a plain black cover that doesn't have 'steal me' written on it. Mainly I just want to know tat whatever I buy will last and that I can hit them with a power washer without worrying.

OK, so my original thought - two LP6 pods on the bumper for near to mid range, supplemented with two to four XL Racers on the roof rack. I thought that would give me a nice balance, and an option to either focus the spots at a single point, or to finesse them to spread out the distance lighting a touch. The XL racers should be the least likely to light up my hood, and the LP series seems to have a really nice quality of driving combo lighting.

FGXX_270011-IMG_001_P04_ANG_A__78922.jpg
FGXX_680002-IMG_001_P04_ANG_A__06519.jpg


Now, I could try to recreate the LP6 lighting with XL combos and some wide cornering S2s or something. That might give me more options and better ability to tweak things; but it seems to me like the LP series is a good enough combo that it's like, why bother. And then I could go full on brightness with XL80s, but honestly, I think that light would be hard to balance and plus I was actually fine with the little squadron pros I had on my Raptor, and LPs are probably going to double that light already. I don't need 3x as much.


But another interesting option is to go with four LP4 lights on the bumper, as opposed to two LP6s. Something I like about the LP4, especially since I'm combining them with additional spots, is that the LP4 has a 1:1 spot to wide ratio vs the 2:1 ratio on the LP6 and 9. To me, if you look at the lighting examples on Baja's ELS page, the LP4 seems to be a bit better balanced, and honestly not really that much less powerful (there seems to be some diminishing returns in the LP lights). Of course, that's a simulation and I don't know if that really translates to real world. Plus I don't know if four LP4s is just too much light up front vs the spots on the roof. And of course the cost is getting a bit ridiculous at that point. But I'm very interested to hear people's thoughts on that.

FGXX_290013-IMG_001_P04_ANG_A__59244.jpg


Here are Baja's lighting images, LP4 then LP6:

LP4.png
LP6.png

It's a subtle difference, but the LP4 seems to be a bit more even, plus I'd have more options for aiming 4 lights vs 2.

So anyway, I'm curious what you guys think. Let me know if I'm overthinking it, or missing something obvious, etc. Also I'm curious if the are any regular sales apart from waiting for the next Black Friday. I'd like to get them ordered of course, but this is big money so it would be worth waiting a bit.

Thanks!
 
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BTW, here's how the LP4 and 6 look on the truck - I'm not terribly concerned with looks but it's worth considering. XL on the roof rack next to a squadron, which looks so tiny. And the bumper that the LPs will mount to is (hopefully) and AFN, like below. It looks like they have LP4 sized lights on their truck, maybe something a bit between the 4 and 6.

IMG_4957 2.jpeg

Screenshot 2024-02-27 at 3.30.44 PM.png
 
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I think your idea of 2x Lp6s or similar on the bumper is a good idea. You'll have to consider spacing in order to not block the front camera, but if dont well they will impede your camera the least, when compared to a light bar on top of the AFN hoop.

You are correct -- the RIGIDs on Rory's super duty are sized between an LP4 and LP6 so keep that in mind size wise. The LP9s are fantastic lights, but you block a TON of the radiator. After hearing from Dave Harriton from AEV, just one lightbar in front of radiator can drop performance output 10-20% when the truck notices a reduction in airflow. For that reason, I went with a super low profile, Linear 24 Elite bar from Triple R in front of our grille.

Balance is a tricky one. Having owned racer versions of Baja's products before, they are VERY spotty. I cant imagine how spotty the new Laser versions from Baja are. For extremely high speeds, and when you have a lot of lights, the Racer editions can be very effective, but they are also being supplemented by many other lights. For this reason, I would suggest a spot beam over anything else given your typical speeds in an HD truck both on and off the highway.

One perk to Baja Designs over other brands is the ability to change lenses to get the exact spread you are looking for. One perk to Triple R, the US subsidiary of Lazer lamps (an extremely high quality and even more popular brand in Europe and Australia) is that they engineer the spread into the actual lens pattern. There are no hot-spots because ever single LED has a lens that works together with the others in the light, instead of your typical conical type lens found in almost every other light company.

You do have a dark colored truck, so pairing a spot beam up high on the could work well. With a white hood the glare is really harsh from my upper lights so I will be removing them at some point. Additionally, the lights I have up high are NOT spot only, so the "spillage" on the windsheld and hood is actually quite bad.

Most people I know in the overland industry are not a fan of roof lights for this exact reason, plus we never really get the speeds up to warrant lights up high. What I initially planned to do, and will revert back to on our Tremor if removing the roof lights (which helps with wind noise too) and getting 1-2 lights on the A pillar.

Historically, I have loved Baja Designs XL 80 in Driving combo on the A pillar. But if you are doing 2x large lights on the front bumper, I would select a spot lens instead and then orient them out just slightly to pick up deer on the shoulder of the roads.

Dont underestimate side illumination too. That can be from a outward facing a pillar lights, roof rack light, or even rear bumper lights. I find on tight trails or when doing they are a real game changer.

We sell the complete line from Baja Designs and Triple R and can ensure you get a pairing of that makes the most sense for your need.

I will be doing an unbiased test this weekend between 2x LP6s from Baja Designs and 2x Triple R Sentinel 7 Elites to give some perspective on the pros/cons of each route. I personally believe these are the two best lights currently offered in the market for the front of vehicles.
 

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Not much for helping with brands, but I'll throw in my $.02 on type. I've had frustrations with flood and driving/combos on my roof and being too far forward (close to the top of the windshield). It tends to light up the hood and glass and causes glare. I'd recommend using narrow angle spots up top if you're going to put them on the leading edge of the roof rack.

I have the vampire fangs (a pillar lights) and I quite like them. But they do whistle a little. I think there's a screw hole on the side causing it. I also like them because I can mount side firing work/scene lights to give me 360 lighting. I should add, I don't do a whole lot of over-landing but I do live in a rural mountain area and I work on a farm. So spots for driving and floods for work are my requirements.

Typed this response then read gmoon's suggestions. He says the same thing.
 
Not much for helping with brands, but I'll throw in my $.02 on type. I've had frustrations with flood and driving/combos on my roof and being too far forward (close to the top of the windshield). It tends to light up the hood and glass and causes glare. I'd recommend using narrow angle spots up top if you're going to put them on the leading edge of the roof rack.
your $.02 nailed it!.. I have this issue currently.
 
your $.02 nailed it!.. I have this issue currently.
I've been trying to find a retailer for Lazer lights in the US for a while now... was tempted to travel over to the UK to buy some and bring them back. Thanks for the recommendation of Triple R.
 
I've been trying to find a retailer for Lazer lights in the US for a while now... was tempted to travel over to the UK to buy some and bring them back. Thanks for the recommendation of Triple R.
You can see the whole collection on our website.

You can always call me at (626) 600-9496 ext 0 and I can run your through stuff. You can also reach me or someone on the team with out Chat feature on the website. Or DM on here!

We have quite the array on our Tremor right now and have some illuminating opinions. Pun intended!
 

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I've had frustrations with flood and driving/combos on my roof and being too far forward (close to the top of the windshield). It tends to light up the hood and glass and causes glare. I'd recommend using narrow angle spots up top if you're going to put them on the leading edge of the roof rack.
Agreed, I want to avoid any type of driving combo above the hood line. I do have a little wiggle room on the rack to slide it back - it's as far forward as it can go right now. I was thinking I'd fiddle with it once the lights are on.
 
The driving/combo lights on A pillars are, in my opinion, just fine. I have the SDHQ mounts and Morimoto BigBanger lights on the A pillar and they're amazing. The below also show the BMC lights fog setup, which are also very nice.

IMG_6791.JPEG
IMG_6788.JPEG
IMG_6789.JPEG
 
I think your idea of 2x Lp6s or similar on the bumper is a good idea. You'll have to consider spacing in order to not block the front camera, but if dont well they will impede your camera the least, when compared to a light bar on top of the AFN hoop.

You are correct -- the RIGIDs on Rory's super duty are sized between an LP4 and LP6 so keep that in mind size wise. The LP9s are fantastic lights, but you block a TON of the radiator. After hearing from Dave Harriton from AEV, just one lightbar in front of radiator can drop performance output 10-20% when the truck notices a reduction in airflow. For that reason, I went with a super low profile, Linear 24 Elite bar from Triple R in front of our grille.

Balance is a tricky one. Having owned racer versions of Baja's products before, they are VERY spotty. I cant imagine how spotty the new Laser versions from Baja are. For extremely high speeds, and when you have a lot of lights, the Racer editions can be very effective, but they are also being supplemented by many other lights. For this reason, I would suggest a spot beam over anything else given your typical speeds in an HD truck both on and off the highway.

One perk to Baja Designs over other brands is the ability to change lenses to get the exact spread you are looking for. One perk to Triple R, the US subsidiary of Lazer lamps (an extremely high quality and even more popular brand in Europe and Australia) is that they engineer the spread into the actual lens pattern. There are no hot-spots because ever single LED has a lens that works together with the others in the light, instead of your typical conical type lens found in almost every other light company.

You do have a dark colored truck, so pairing a spot beam up high on the could work well. With a white hood the glare is really harsh from my upper lights so I will be removing them at some point. Additionally, the lights I have up high are NOT spot only, so the "spillage" on the windsheld and hood is actually quite bad.

Most people I know in the overland industry are not a fan of roof lights for this exact reason, plus we never really get the speeds up to warrant lights up high. What I initially planned to do, and will revert back to on our Tremor if removing the roof lights (which helps with wind noise too) and getting 1-2 lights on the A pillar.

Historically, I have loved Baja Designs XL 80 in Driving combo on the A pillar. But if you are doing 2x large lights on the front bumper, I would select a spot lens instead and then orient them out just slightly to pick up deer on the shoulder of the roads.

Dont underestimate side illumination too. That can be from a outward facing a pillar lights, roof rack light, or even rear bumper lights. I find on tight trails or when doing they are a real game changer.

We sell the complete line from Baja Designs and Triple R and can ensure you get a pairing of that makes the most sense for your need.

I will be doing an unbiased test this weekend between 2x LP6s from Baja Designs and 2x Triple R Sentinel 7 Elites to give some perspective on the pros/cons of each route. I personally believe these are the two best lights currently offered in the market for the front of vehicles.
Thanks for the thorough response. I agree on the LP9s being too large. I did a cut out for those as well, and eliminated that option once I saw how much grill they blocked. Plus I really don't think that you're getting all that much more light from them vs the LP6.

I had Squadron Racers on my Raptor, and yeah they were a little spotty but not terrible, though I think the XL Racers will be a bit more focussed. Still, I want to minimize that stray light on the hood and I figured they'd be a lot better in that respect than the XL Pro Spots.

On the A-pillar, it seems to me that any light you put there is going to be twice as bad about lighting up the hood than the same light placed on the roof. If I were to eliminate anything on the roof, I'd personally want it all below the hood line vs trying to put something on the A-pillar. Thinking of that, I suppose I could do two LP6 and two XL spots on the bumper. That's an idea.

For side lighting, I agree. I was going to wait until I got the bumper to see what's possible in the outside cutouts. I don't need the turn signal, but I didn't know if an S2 cornering light might fit there. I do want some SAE fogs of some type there as well. But apart from that, I was thinking that if I were to do some side lighting, I might add it to the back of the roof rack (or the front of the rack that I'll have on my cap), facing slightly forward. Something small - S2s or squadrons maybe.

I'll take a look at the Triple Rs. I'll be interested to see your comparison between them and the LP6.
 
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BTW, here's how the LP4 and 6 look on the truck - I'm not terribly concerned with looks but it's worth considering. XL on the roof rack next to a squadron, which looks so tiny. And the bumper that the LPs will mount to is (hopefully) and AFN, like below. It looks like they have LP4 sized lights on their truck, maybe something a bit between the 4 and 6.

View attachment 146450
View attachment 146451
Do the 4 on the bumper block the front camera at all?
 
Thanks for the thorough response. I agree on the LP9s being too large. I did a cut out for those as well, and eliminated that option once I saw how much grill they blocked. Plus I really don't think getting all that much more light from them vs the P6.

I had Squadron Racers on my Raptor, and yeah they were a little spotty but not terrible, though I think the XL Racers will be a bit more focussed. Still, I want to minimize that stray light on the hood and I figured they'd be a lot better in that respect than the XL Pros.

On the A-pillar, it seems to me that any light you put there is going to be twice as bad about lighting up the hood than if it were on the roof. I suppose I could do two LP6 and two XL spots on the bumper. That's an idea.

For side lighting, I agree. I was going to wait until I got the bumper to see what's possible in the end cutouts. I don't need the turn signal, but I didn't know an S2 cornering light might fit there. I do want some SAE fogs there as well. But apart from that, I was thinking that if I were to do some side lighting, I might add it to the back of the roof rack (or the front of the rack I'll have on my cap), facing slightly forward. Something small - S2s or squadrons maybe.

I'll take a look at the Triple Rs. I'll be interested to see your comparison between them and the LP6.
The A-pillar light up the hood but since they're forward of the glass you don't really get the nasty glare. I'll see if I can snap a night shot this evening.
 
Do the 4 on the bumper block the front camera at all?
Well the paper cutouts don't, lol. No idea, really - I'd have to try and see. If I just do two lights, then I can place them fairly far out on the bar, so hopefully they wouldn't been the way.
 
Time to start thinking about lighting for the new truck. The person who bought my Raptor ended up wanting the lights as well, so I'm not going to reuse them as I'd planned, which is probably for the better anyway. Not for my bank account, but now I get to really nitpick what goes on the truck.

For placement, I can do both bumper and roof rack. I'm not a fan of A-pillar lights, sorry, to each his own. So I'm thinking wide angle and mid range down low, with spots above. I'm picky about lighting up the hood, so anything that goes on the roof rack I want to be very narrow, well defined spots.

As far as what I need from lighting, I'm mostly concerned with balance and getting a very even spread of light side to side and near to far, with no hot spots, halos, etc. Just good quality lighting. It doesn't have to be bright as day and I'm not racing Baja, so quality above quantity and distance - though obviously brighter and farther is still better, but only so long as the light quality doesn't suffer. Think balance, not destroying your night vision with a ton of light up front, etc.

For brand, I'm open to options, but Baja Designs is my default - that's what I've had in the past, and in terms of build quality and lensing, they seem to be a step above. But like I say, I'm open to options - I don't want to spend money that I don't have to, and I do wish they had an option for a plain black cover that doesn't have 'steal me' written on it. Mainly I just want to know tat whatever I buy will last and that I can hit them with a power washer without worrying.

OK, so my original thought - two LP6 pods on the bumper for near to mid range, supplemented with two to four XL Racers on the roof rack. I thought that would give me a nice balance, and an option to either focus the spots at a single point, or to finesse them to spread out the distance lighting a touch. The XL racers should be the least likely to light up my hood, and the LP series seems to have a really nice quality of driving combo lighting.

View attachment 146454View attachment 146462

Now, I could try to recreate the LP6 lighting with XL combos and some wide cornering S2s or something. That might give me more options and better ability to tweak things; but it seems to me like the LP series is a good enough combo that it's like, why bother. And then I could go full on brightness with XL80s, but honestly, I think that light would be hard to balance and plus I was actually fine with the little squadron pros I had on my Raptor, and LPs are probably going to double that light already. I don't need 3x as much.


But another interesting option is to go with four LP4 lights on the bumper, as opposed to two LP6s. Something I like about the LP4, especially since I'm combining them with additional spots, is that the LP4 has a 1:1 spot to wide ratio vs the 2:1 ratio on the LP6 and 9. To me, if you look at the lighting examples on Baja's ELS page, the LP4 seems to be a bit better balanced, and honestly not really that much less powerful (there seems to be some diminishing returns in the LP lights). Of course, that's a simulation and I don't know if that really translates to real world. Plus I don't know if four LP4s is just too much light up front vs the spots on the roof. And of course the cost is getting a bit ridiculous at that point. But I'm very interested to hear people's thoughts on that.

View attachment 146457

Here are Baja's lighting images, LP4 then LP6:

View attachment 146442View attachment 146443
It's a subtle difference, but the LP4 seems to be a bit more even, plus I'd have more options for aiming 4 lights vs 2.

So anyway, I'm curious what you guys think. Let me know if I'm overthinking it, or missing something obvious, etc. Also I'm curious if the are any regular sales apart from waiting for the next Black Friday. I'd like to get them ordered of course, but this is big money so it would be worth waiting a bit.

Thanks!
Hey Overland,


So here are my two cents. Our Lp6 series is going to the light that will be able to provide everything you are looking for in one light. Lp6 will offer 200 Degrees of spread for cornering from our IPT ( Integrated Peripheral Technology). The Lp6 Series also provides a mixture of LEDs which includes our standard LED for close to mid-range and our Racer LED for distance. Each light is 11,225 Lumens, 7.5 Amps, 103.5 Watts. This will give you the best bang for your buck. For most applications, this is enough lighting.

The real advantage of going with XL Racers on the roof is that they have a very tight beam pattern, and you can adjust each light independently to illuminate different sections. The Cost of two LP4s and a pair of Racer will be more expensive and offer the same performance as the LP6 but will be more adjustable.

I just reached out Via PM if you are interested in conversing on the phone about the most ideal setup. Baja Designs is committed to providing the best lighting setup possible while providing the best bang for your buck. Just shoot me a message and I'll get you all taken care of.

Best,

Brahian Herrera | Forum Sales & Support
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (760) 560-2252 Ext 201
 
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Are you dead set on running lights on the rack? While you're getting the most visibility from the lights at that height, the XL Racers are such a tight beam pattern that they're going to be pointing way too far for the speeds you're traveling. The Racer is designed for 80-100mph for guys who are out there running true races at night.

If you're dead set on going with roof mounted, I'd steer you more towards the XL80s with spot lenses vs the XL Racers as it's a more useful beam pattern for your needs and will have a higher lumen output, while staying tight enough to avoid glare on your windshield.

On my personal truck, I run a pair of XL80s on my A-pillars and a 40" OnX6 Arc light bar in my bumper. I've run this setup at 80+ at night on the highway and have not outrun my lights. Additionally, with the XL80s on the pillars in driving/combo pattern, even on my white Super Duty, have not caused any glare for me on SDHQ hood mounts.

If you're concerned about glare and want to avoid the roof mounts and A-pillar mounts entirely, I'd run 4 LP6s on your front bumper with 2 spot and 2 driving/combo patterns and call it a day.

We carry all the major brands here at Apollo Optics and have specialized in lighting since we started the company 10 years ago. Feel free to send me a PM or give us a call and I'd be happy to chat with you about this in more detail to make sure we do it right.
 
I've been happy with the KC bar up high, and the XL Linkable on the bumper, but don't have a front camera.
Don't have a whole lot of hood glare, a little windshield, but It's not much compared to the actual light out.

this was in sleet conditions @ 3am


IMG_20240228_132509_881 - Copy.jpg
IMG_20240228_132402_750 - Copy.jpg
 
Thanks for the thorough response. I agree on the LP9s being too large. I did a cut out for those as well, and eliminated that option once I saw how much grill they blocked. Plus I really don't think that you're getting all that much more light from them vs the LP6.

I had Squadron Racers on my Raptor, and yeah they were a little spotty but not terrible, though I think the XL Racers will be a bit more focussed. Still, I want to minimize that stray light on the hood and I figured they'd be a lot better in that respect than the XL Pro Spots.

On the A-pillar, it seems to me that any light you put there is going to be twice as bad about lighting up the hood than the same light placed on the roof. If I were to eliminate anything on the roof, I'd personally want it all below the hood line vs trying to put something on the A-pillar. Thinking of that, I suppose I could do two LP6 and two XL spots on the bumper. That's an idea.

For side lighting, I agree. I was going to wait until I got the bumper to see what's possible in the outside cutouts. I don't need the turn signal, but I didn't know if an S2 cornering light might fit there. I do want some SAE fogs of some type there as well. But apart from that, I was thinking that if I were to do some side lighting, I might add it to the back of the roof rack (or the front of the rack that I'll have on my cap), facing slightly forward. Something small - S2s or squadrons maybe.

I'll take a look at the Triple Rs. I'll be interested to see your comparison between them and the LP6.
Of course. Hopefully there are some kernels of helpfullness somewhere in my ramblings.

I have a pillar lights on a few vehicles, all mostly dark paint colors and the glare is rather minimal honestly. The windshield is what is the killer for me with roof lights... Especially with a little dust on there.

Ill do a comparison this weekend and also share the results on here.

You have a great spot for XL sized lights on the AFN. Technically they give you a little place to stand on to service the engine bay (which I have found useful many, many times) but you could easily put a light there.

I just did 8hrs in my Sprinter this week, driving from Salt Lake City back to Tahoe and was really amazed with what a pair of LP6s (or similar does). I really dont think I need anything more on that vehicle. Food for thought.


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