Night Lights
  |  First Published: May 2010

Few things can make night travel as tiring as having to drive with inefficient headlights.

While some car manufacturers do fit high quality lights to their vehicles there are others that don't. Standard headlights tend to be good enough for city work but a long way short of what's required when travelling at speed on country roads after dark where kangaroos and other wildlife are plentiful.

Most factory lights only offer enough output to allow a driver to see an object on the road just a few seconds before reaching the object, which is often a long way short of what is required.

Driving lights are the answer and ARB stock a huge range of IPF lights made to provide both ample light output plus the ability to go the distance.

Through constant testing in Australia's harshest outback conditions IPF have come up with the strongest mounts, almost over engineered body strength and finish, plus flawless lenses and reflectors.

There's no point fitting driving lights to a 4x4 only to find on the first serious off-road trip the excessive vibrations from bumps and bounces have caused the lights to pack it in.

The IPF range of driving lights also focus light properly in front of the vehicle to greatly increase a driver's visibility range. This in turn increases reaction time and reduces driver fatigue, which is an important factor on a long journey.

While there are quite a few IPF lights on offer at ARB outlets we will look at some of the most popular in this review. The lights are sold in kit form with all necessary components and instructions for easy DIY installation.

You can choose from a spot beam configuration, which will offer long narrow light penetration, or the driving beam option which offers a better lateral spread. Best of all you can even opt for paired spots, paired driving lights, or one of each.

800/900 Xtreme sport series

These lights might be specifically for serious off-road work but they suit the front of a family four door ute or SUV just much and make driving at night far easier.

Regarded as extreme performance lights they incorporate water and dust resistant components for maximum life expectancy. With their powder coated body and contrasting lens ring these lights are attractive as well as functional. They also feature the latest technology H9 super efficient bulb with a 65W low amp draw and have the highest light output in their class.

Other important features include long life expectancy, hardened glass lenses, waterproof wiring, clear covers plus a fully sealed base to reflector surface which allows temporary submersion without water seeping into the lights when crossing waterways. The factory rating for these lights is actually 30cm of submersion for up to 2 minutes.

The 800/900 series lights are also available in either spot or driving beams and are supplied as a complete kit containing two lights, snap together wiring loom and relay, switch and covers.

800/900 High Intensity Discharge series

The High Intensity Discharge (HID) series of lights are without question premium products for owners demanding the very best in auxiliary lighting. They use the latest HID discharge technology to produce the most brilliant and natural light possible and are state of the art equipment.

The HID system is based on a similar system to Metal Halide lamps seen in commercial buildings and sporting arenas. These lights don't have a globe with a filament, as is the case with standard lighting. Instead there's a quartz tube containing pressurized xenon gas with metal electrodes that fire an arc of plasma to create a high intensity bluish-coloured light.

High voltages are required to operate the HID lights and a special ballast unit is set up in conjunction with the lights as part of the system. Where some competitors incorporate their ballast units within each light, the IPF product comes with a 600mm lead to ensure the ballast power unit can be fitted inside the grille or elsewhere within the security of a vehicle's engine bay to prevent theft.

Features of these powerful HID lights include a super tough heavy gauge steel body, heatproof resin reflectors, hardened glass lenses, a reinforced multi-directional mounting system and some water resistance.

HID lights are offered in either spot or driving light configuration, round or rectangular as required, and can be purchased singularly.

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