Is there such a thing as too much light? In my opinion – YES. But it’s not as simple as that.
I have been a lover of all things bright for a long time, this is no secret, it’s why we have so many lights. However, as LED driving lights get better, brighter and throw light further down the road, I have come to realise that it is possible to have too much light for the situation.
When I say too much light, in no way am I trying to imply that the headlights on your car are the best option. No, it’s actually the opposite. You need more lights and plenty of them. Confused yet? I believe the more auxiliary lighting options you have, the better off you will be. You need to have the right LED light for each driving situation; the more options you have the better prepared you are going be.
LED driving lights – what you need to consider
Before you rush out and change every light to the biggest and brightest light you can find, there are a few things you need to consider.
- What terrain are you driving on and how often you will be changing between terrains?
- Will the lights be enhancing your night driving experience or hindering it?
- Is a brighter light going to be better for the task?
- Will you need a crystal white daylight colour or will amber be the better option?
The right light for the job
It is important to have the right light for the conditions and terrain.
Fog – You are going to need a duller colour temperature, a halogen or amber LED light. Ideally a fog light should be pointed down at the road and directed out to the sides. The reason for this is that fog will reflect bright light back at you. So in this situation bright lights are not the best.
Rain, sleet and snow – Similar to fog, you will get reflecting but not as bad. A 20″-ish light bar will be better than a set of 9″ spotlights because it doesn’t throw as much light. Any form of roof lighting will just light up what’s falling out of the sky in front of your eyes. This will make it harder to see and will be a hindrance.
Dust – Not unlike fog, big bright lights won’t help in dust. They won’t shine through the dust, it will just light it up. If you are going to be in a convoy on a dirt road at night, an amber light bar will be the best option.
Hilly country – As you go up, down and wind through the hills, big spotlights will reflect off of the road surface and straight back at you. Your LED light bars are the best option here as they light up the area without reflecting back and blinding you.
Outback roads- Here is where your great big 9″ spotlights are in their element. Your spotties will be shining down the road as far as the eye can see. Heck, turn them all on, there won’t be much light out there.
Offroad/ 4wding- Flood pattern work lights and lots of them. The higher you can mount them the better light you will get. Light up all the dark spots directly beside and behind your vehicle. Even use a couple as underbody rock lights for the tough tracks. 10w mini LED flood lights will become your best friend for 4wding at night.
Just remember there is always going to be variations as you drive at night. As the conditions change you will need to make a judgment call on what light is best for you in the current situation. Check out Stedi for an extensive range of lighting solutions for all your needs.
What’s your lighting set up? Tell us below.
Disclosure: We received a STEDI LED light bar for the purpose of this article. All opinions are ours.