Our Guide to 4WD Lights4WD Products
Our Guide to 4WD Lights:
Let’s face it – off-roading in the Aussie bush is the reason we own a 4WD in the first place. But when the light fades, you want to know your 4WD lights will help you drive safe.
The question is, which 4WD lights do you choose? Here, we reveal the top types of 4WD lights with their pros and cons.
There are three types of 4×4 lights: Halogen, LED and HID’s.
No surprises that halogen lights are the oldest and least efficient of the 4WD lights.
They work in a similar way to normal incandescent light bulbs but are designed to be vibration resistant. They also last longer and shine brighter than incandescent lightbulbs.
Different wattages are available – most people go for 55 watt or 100 watt. The higher-wattage lights are brighter but also draw more current. For example, a typical 12V 100-watt halogen light will draw just over 8 amps. This isn’t much by itself, but when you have four lights on your 4WD, that’s more than 32 amps.
You can get high-performance halogen driving lights. For example, the Lightforce Halogen Genesis is a 100W single light that delivers maximum light output for the size of the light. It has a shatterproof poly-carbonate lens and protection against dust and moisture.
When it comes to performance and affordability, LED 4WD lights are a top pick. LED technology (which stands for Light Emitting Diode) are compact, tough and durable. There’s very little to break! So, when the road gets rough, you know your lights will last the distance.
Speaking of longevity, a typical LED should last you around 50,000 hours, which could be longer than the life of your vehicle.
Another benefit of LED driving lights is that they reduce glare.
LEDs are amazingly energy efficient too. They draw significantly less power than halogen lights – which is just what you want when you’re hitting the tracks for a long weekend.
And if looks are important to you (we get it, don’t worry), LED lights look brilliant on any 4WD vehicle.
Naturally, all this comes at a cost. LED’s can be pricier than halogens, but you’ll forget the price tag when you hit those 4WD tracks at night and can see every detail!
HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights are a different beast all together. These 4WD lights are known as Xenon lights because they use an inert noble gas inside a bulb. This creates an arc of light between two electrodes when a charge is passed through.
HIDs aren’t new – they’ve been around since the ‘90s. But their higher cost has always put them out of reach of many 4×4 drivers.
So, how do they compare to halogen 4WD lights?
They are more robust and more powerful. In fact, HID lights are around 2.5 times more powerful than a similar halogen. Like LEDs, they can also produce a white-hot beam, making halogens seem dim and yellow in comparison.
They also have a lower current draw than halogens – around 60% less than a standard 100-watt halogen bulb.
But there’s a catch – they do not run directly on low-voltage DC current. Instead, they need an ignitor and ballast to reach required voltage and brightness. Most modern HID lights have them built into the housing, but some still need an externally mounted ignitor and ballast, making installation more complex. Also, with more parts, there’s more chance of breaking than LEDs.
Another drawback of HIDs is that they can take a few seconds to ignite and get to full brightness, which isn’t ideal if you’re in a rush.
HIDs tend to be cheaper than LEDs, but more expensive than halogen 4WD lights.
You can also get combination lights – like the Lightforce LED/HID HTX Driving Light. This driving light features a 70W HID fast-start bulb in the middle of a reflector, for the ultimate in long distance light. The reflector is surrounded by 80 watts of LED lights in a circular pattern for incredible spread.
Which 4WD Lights Are Right For You?
Your choices don’t stop at halogen, HID and LED – there are lots of different types of 4WD lights depending on what you want them for.
4×4 spotlights are a brilliant option keep your track illuminated, even when you’re driving through fog and mist.
They provide you with the best chance of seeing any roos or other wildlife that crosses your path, not to mention fallen branches, debris and potholes.
Another bonus of 4WD spotlights? They can double as camping lights when you stop for the night.
4WD Light Bars:
Why choose a light bar? Simple – they provide a wider and brighter spread of light, while using less power than traditional driving lights. Light bars are typically LED lights, which give an amazing spread of light.
Most brands today offer lights rated to protect against dust, moisture and water ingress. They also fit the majority of vehicles.
Check out our 4WD LED driving light bars from Lightforce, Narva, Thunder, Great Whites and Hulk 4×4.
Work lights are a great affordable and flexible option for vehicles. You can also use them when setting up camp or for extra visibility around your vehicle.
Check out two of the Thunder 7 LED Work Light 35W with Handle & Switch lighting up a campsite.
Check out our full range of LED worklights here.
Over to You:
The light you choose will come down to your budget and application. But whether you choose halogen, HID or LED 4×4 lights, always make sure you’re buying a quality and reputable brand. Shop our 4WD lights to find a great deal for your vehicle.
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.