Spots, bigger is better! The Ultimate Guide to knowing what to look for in aftermarket Spot Lights

When you are in the market to buy 4X4 Spot Lights for your Off Road vehicle you can be disorientated by all the options out there.  Here are 5 things to look at when you want to make the plunge.

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1. Why fit Spot Lights?
When you have Spots on your Off Road vehicle you will have a much clearer view of the road ahead. We all know about that stray buck wandering over the road at the most unexpected times and places.

2. Where should you mount your lights?
The most common place you will see Spot Lights fitted is on a vehicle’s Bumper or Bull bar. It should be mounted far back for additional protection.  You will see some expedition vehicle with lights on the roof or roof rack, however, this in not legal.  Spotlights should not be mounted above the height of the bonnet thus, the expedition vehicles’ lights are usually mounted onto a removable bar.  Spotlights should be mounted on the most solid base available to avoid unnecessary damage.

*Note that it is illegal to use lights exceeding 55W on Public Rods, these may only be used for Off Road Purposes.

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3. Bigger is Better
When we say bigger is better, we mean the Reflectors. This is the silver dish behind the LED Chip.  The reflector collects and projects the light in the right direction and determines the Beam pattern.  Another important factor is the Lenses of the Spot Lights, ask the sales consultant if the lenses on the Spot Light you are looking at will give you what you need from a Spot Light, i.e. Spot Beam or Flood Beam.

4. Beam Patterns
You get 3 Main types of Beam patterns. The first and most well-known Beam Pattern is the Pencil Beam.  These are long, narrow beam patterns, which can light up a kilometre or more up ahead.  Remember to make sure of the Beam Distance from a sales consultant.  Secondly, you get the Flood Beam which is a wide-beam configuration that illuminates the sides of the road, but not so far ahead as the Pencil Beam.  Last but not least, there is the Combination Beam pattern.  These will give distance as well as flood.  In my opinion, this is the best kind of Spot Light, as you will be able to see far enough ahead with the sides of the road also illuminated.

Gerrit Night Raiders Hilux

5.  Power
High wattage  is not necessarily an indication of the power of a unit.  Some are made very effective through the design of reflectors and lenses.  It doesn’t hurt to compare units before deciding and make sure your alternator and wiring can handle the added load. If you’re running fridges and winches, consider a dual-battery system.

Sourced and Adapted from www.getaway.co.za

Hi3 on Roodt Griesels' BMW F800GS

Hi3 Installation on a BMW Motorcycle by Roodt Griesel from West Coast Parts

Roodt Griesel from West Coast Parts in Tableview has put together a quick and easy Installation Guide for the the Hi3 Motorcycle Lights.  He was kind enough to share it with us, so we can share the Guide with you.

Hi3 Spotlight Wiring Installation

Hi3 3000 Lumen spotlights are nifty, state of the art bike spots. The Hi3’s offer 15% power, 100% power and flashing modes. 15% can be used in conjunction with Low-Beam at night, and flashing mode is ideal for event marshaling on bikes.

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How does the Hi3 wiring work?

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Black is earth (-). Connecting red to the battery (+) activates strobe mode. Combining Green and red activates 15% power, and combining red and purple activates 100% power. Red, green and purple can be connected simultaneously for 100% power. Test the unit’s operation before installation to see how they work.

Direct Wiring

The Direct wiring method can be used when you don’t require the 15% or flashing modes. Combine red and purple wires to have 100% output. Solder these to the positive (+) High beam plug fitting on the H7 globe at the rear of the light housing. Connect the black wire (-) to the negative wire in the plug fitting on the H7 globe.

Install a Relay and Handlebar Switch to explore the full potential of this light.

This installation method has been proven on a R1200GS and F800GS but will work on almost all BMW bikes and most other bike brands with CanBus (and without).

You will need:

2x Hi3 LED Spots

Spot mounts that will work on your bike

1x 4 Pin Relay (5 Pin will also work)

1 x Motorcycle Handlebar Light switch

1 x 20A fuse holder and fuse (blade type will work best)

1 x Quick Splice Wire Connector

2 x Insulated Female Bullet Crimp Cable Connectors

4 x Fully Insulated Female Red Spade Crimp Cable Connectors

+- 2m single electrical wire to connect all

Cable ties – a few to secure loose wires

Hi3 img 2 R Bottom

Full installation will achieve the following:

  1. Bike ignition on – spots on 15% power
  2. Hi Beam from OEM Handlebar – spots on 100%
  3. Toggle Switch – activated on Low Beam – Strobe

Installation instructions:

  1. First mount the Hi3 lights on the bike. This will help to determine cable lengths.

Hi3 img 3 Centre2. Mount the handlebar switch on the lhs handlebar, as close to your left hand switch gear as possible for easy operation.

3. Find a suitable place to mount the relay – near the battery is usually a good place. Make sure that the relay and wiring is installed clear from steering movement.

4. Remove the female plugs from the Hi3 lights and solder the corresponding black, red, green and purple wires together after measuring the correct lengths for installation. The F800GS required for one long and one short       connecting lead.

Hi3 img 4 R

5. Now start connecting wires to the relay. The blades on the relay are numbered: Relay #30 – connects to fused wire from the positive (+) terminal on battery.

Hi3 img 5 L

6. Relay #85 – Earthed to bike or battery.
7. Relay #87 – connect to red wire from Hi3 and one wire from handlebar switch

Hi3 img 6 R

8. Connect green wire from Hi3 to other wire from handlebar switch
9. Purple wire from Hi3 to positive (+) high beam wire – tapped from bike headlight plug
10. Relay #86 – “Switched Power”: Tap into green wire with blue stripe from diagnostics plug (located under seat on most BMW models).

Hi3 img 7 L

11. On the BMW F800GS the relay was cable tied to wires close to the negative battery pole

Hi3 img 8 L

12. Test your setup, cable tie loose wires and close up.

Enjoy your lights! 15% can be used for night time driving without upsetting oncoming motorists, and 100% is an absolute blast!

Compiled by Roodt Griesel – West Coast Parts. [email protected] or 0824405250
Disclaimer: This guide is what it is: a guide. While care was taken to compile, we cannot be held responsible for damage to lights or bikes during installation. Take care!

Bidding Open for the ALFA Prototype Motorcycle Lights


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During 2015 we started with development of our motorcycle lights. We approached two manufactures with concepts and developed two different products. We looked at what was on offer from top international brands and set out to design a product that would not just match them but beat them in every way.

We ended with two models which we then evaluated. They sent us final production models and pricing for mass production.

We got a little carried away with the ALFA Prototype because the manufacture has a long history of producing military standard lights with life time warranties.  The end result was spectacular but sadly it came with a price tag that we later realized will not have a good uptake in the South African market. End 2015 it would have to retail for over R15,000 a set. We are glad we made that call because with the rand plummeting it shot up to well over R20,000 a set.

At the end the HI3 won because its performance was very good in comparison and at a much more affordable price point.

 

NameHI3ALFA PrototypeHalogen head light on bright
Power usages30W each45W each110W
Lumen( Mustered output)3000 Lumen4200 Lumen2400 Lumen
Lux reading at 2m7,000 lux30,000 Lux500 Lux
Beam distanced FL-1339m692m89m
Temperature protectionAll led monitored for  Overheating (light will gradually dim to reduce heat.Real time temperature montering of each LED. Power management for optimal brightnessN/A
StandardsWaterproofing:  IP67 (1 meter) , civilian standard (ANSI Z87.1 – 2010)Waterproofing:  IP68 (+10 meter), Military impact military standard (MIL-PRF-31013)N/A
Recommended retail priceR4000 for setR20,000 for set

Both the HI3 and the ALFA Prototype has 3 modes which can be configured when installing. It can just be high mode or it can follow the high low beams. It also has a flash mode which can be enabled by using a dual switch.
The ALFA Prototype set( this is a pair) is not being used and you can stand a chance to be the only person in the world to own a set.  All of these manufacture products usually comes with a life time warranty so quality is not a concern.

If you are interested go to BIDORBUY and place your bid.

BIDORBUY

The pair comes in an aluminium box with male and female plugs.

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Testing the ALFA Prototype motorcycle light Real time temperature montering with No Air Flow.

New HI3 Motorbike Light Launched!

Finally, after 9 months of back and forth to our manufacturers in China, endless designs and quality tests, our brand new Motorcycle Lights have arrived:  Behold the HI3 Motorcyle Light. ( Link to product page)

HI 3 Side Angle Right

Designed from scratch, these were designed for South African riding conditions with the South African Rider in mind.

Features include:

  • Three Functions (depending on how you wire them)
  • HIGH:  3000 Lumen with a beam distance of 339m (Ansi FL-1 Standards).  A slightly wider hotspot, with a lot of peripheral light.  This allows you to see the complete picture up ahead.
  • LOW:  450 Lumen.  This can, in theory, be used as a daytime running light. (Only in theory, as this would be illegal on South African roads).  It would, in theory, not completely blind oncoming traffic.  HIGH mode will completely blind oncoming traffic and should not be used in any traffic.
  • FLASH:  This makes you very, very, very visible, but should never be used in regular traffic.  If you are a lead bike at cycle races, or have to ride between lots of pedestrians, you would, in theory, use the flashing function.
  • Proper IP67 testing – 1 hour under 1 meter of water.
  • Water resistant electronics – wait for the video to see this one.  You will probably not believe it if we have to tell you now….
  • 12 month warranty.
  • Overheating and Reverse Polarity protection.
HI3 waterproof

Waterproofing is priority and the design was tested to its limits. Passing the 1m water test with flying colours

PCB waterproof

One additional layer of water protection was added by making the electronics resilient to water.

 

For more information on the HI3 with pricing follow the link to the product page

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Amageza Race Report – Team 525

For all of you who followed, Team 525 has sent us their first hand take on the Amageza Rally.  This was truly an amazing feet!

It’s been two weeks since we returned. Last week was a write off, this week things have been slowly returning to normal.

We rode 5100 km over seven days, (average of 730 km per day) majority of this was off-road riding, meaning we spent 12 plus hours in the saddle each day.

Team 525

Team 525

We rode from South Africa up into Botswana under our own navigation via road book as per the FIM standard (Dakar style navigation by road book and co-ordinate)

Out of 85 starters only 31 riders finished, as you can see there is a massive dropout rate! This was due to vehicle failure, accidents occurring or sometimes the riders being too fatigued to carry on.

5 out of our 6 finished the race, Ian Henderson suffered a major blow out on his rear tire during the marathon stage on day 1 (marathon stage means we slept over without any support crew on night one) which meant he could not continue riding. Ian was the only one of us 6 who didn’t have your Extreme Lights on – Coincidence? I think not!

I managed a coveted top 10 placing 9th place finish overall, with all of our riders finishing in the top half of the field.

On behalf of the team I would like to extend and massive thank you to Extreme Lights. The generous contribution allowed us to ride and work far more safely and effectively than many of our competitors.

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There was not one of us who didn’t have to do some night riding. In Botswana, it’s very dangerous with livestock all over the road. At one point Justin and Robert had a gaggle of riders behind them in the dark as their lights were by far the safest to ride behind.

Without reservation the support crew were unanimous in the praise of your hard core head torches. They were the envy of the whole Bivouac! Tim on one of the evenings had to resort to his backup head torch because he’d misplaced your one. The next day once he found it again and I remember him saying to me he said in his thick Irish accent whilst peering into the depths of my bike, “Jesus but these things are the dogs bollocks! I didn’t realize just how good they are until I had to use me old faithful.

As you know, I had a good thump into a tree and your lights were more than up to the abuse too!

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On, that, it was really nice to feel your energy and interest in our little adventure during the race when you offered to courier up spares and were an active part of our WhatsApp group. A huge thank you for the offer to courier up a spare, but I doubt we would have been found; even we often didn’t know where we were!

We also looked super cool amongst the other teams in the Bivvy’s by having your gazebo’s and flags waving about. We had a lot of interest in and compliments for your lights.

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On the social media side, a massive thank you to your staff member who answered, retweeted and hash tagged all of our posts that featured us and your lights.

Post-race we have a lot of footage and photographs (a small offering is attached) that we are compiling into a documentary, this will take a little time as there is a lot of footage but when it is complete we will be sure to send to you so you may share with your colleagues.

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Once again many thanks to Extreme Lights for backing us in this extreme event. Your lights were more than up to the task of surviving and thriving an Amageza!

Kind regards and again thanks for your support!

From Team 525!

Adding DC LED spots to a KTM rally bike AC system.

Andrew and Justin from Team 525 has approached us with the problem of connecting our LED lights to their KTM’s. Thier team was going to compete in the Amageza 2015 Rally. The problem was that the KTM’s electrical system is a raw Alternating Current and the Direct Current converter can only provide about 30W. Our motorcycle lights runs from 10-24 Volts Direct Current. The Direct Current converter on the KTM 525’s are not designed to power lights.

We decided to get on board and help the team out by getting our in house engineer to build them a small AC to DC converter that will power two of our Premium Mini Motorcycle Spot 10W units directly from the 35w high beam.

The concept is simple: Use a bridge rectifier to change the AC from the standard High Beam bulb to DC and send that to the two LED lights. The two mini spots takes 20W total and the halogen bulbs uses 35w. Which frees up 15w of power.

Drawing1

Circuit diagram of the bridge running from the high beam

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What you will need: RS Components have a local branch which can deliver most of the items in 3-5 days. Pricey but very convenient

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Tools you will need.

  • Soldering iron.
  • Solder.
  • Side cutter.
  • Crimping tool or long nose pliers

The heart of the system is the bridge rectifier. The one used is totally over specified and can provide up to 15A with ease. The limiting factor will be the 90/100w AC stator of the KTM.  Running two 20w LED lights would also have worked, if we had them in stock but the 10w lights were more than adequate.  Each produce about the same amount of light than the old KTM.

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The bridge rectifier connections: Note that the tabs are cross connected.

 

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The wires where about 200mm long. Before starting to solder on to the bridge crimp all the wire with lugs and connectors as shown.

We used lugs  to connect to the bike wiring. That makes it easy to change back to the halogen light if something goes wrong.

One of the wires needs to go back to the common tab on the head light for the low beam to work. That is why there are two black wires with both the tab and the receptacle lug.

If you don’t know how to connect the Deutsch connector provided with the Mini spots watch this video.

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After soldering the wires to the bridge rectifier remember to add the capacitor. Take note of the positive and negative leads.

The capacitor is also over specified and most likely not needed but it will smooth out any spikes and protect the lights.

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Place the soldered rectifier bridge in the potting box. Insure that the wires are deep inside the box. That will provide strain relief

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Before mixing the Epoxy, heat the resin and the hardener by placing the cans in boiling water. If it is warm it mixes well and it is very runny which makes it get in everywhere.

In hindsight we should have placed a metal plumbing pipe clip in before epoxying in the rectifier. This would have made it a lot easier to mount the box.

Metal plumbing pipe clip. Found at any hardware store. Hammering it into a rectangle and place into the potting box before adding the soldered bridge and epoxy.

Metal plumbing pipe clip. Found at any hardware store. Hammering it into a rectangle and place into the potting box before adding the soldered bridge and epoxy.

 

Tabs on the back of the KTM main light. There are 3 lights. High Low and common.  The common needs to be connected using one of the black wires.

Tabs on the back of the KTM’s main light. There are 3 lugs. High, Low and common. The common needs to be connected using one of the black wires.

How the lights where installed. 

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This is the result of having more than double the amount of light. The added benefits is the redundancy which comes from having two high beam lights.

Check out those spots!

Amageza Ralley 2015 – What happened so far…

Here is some amazing pics we have of the last couple of days of the Amageza Ralley.  This has been an eventful year at this awesome test of all things Ralley.

If you haven’t been following the ralley updates on twitter have a look at these to see that it really is worth all that pain.

 

Amageza Rally 2015 – Team 525

Extreme Lights is a proud sponsor of Team 525 in this year’s grueling Amageza Rally. This gang of mad max endurance racers will make the rest of the field look like kindergarten teachers. This year’s Amageza Rally will start on the 29th of August in Kimberley.

Amageza is a FIM sanctioned Multi-day stage rally run through South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Similar to the Dakar Rally of South America. It is a test of machine and man. Just finishing one of the seven days is an extraordinary accomplishment.

‘Amageza’ is the local Southern African (Xhosa) word for ‘crazy’ – a vital ingredient you’ll need to brave this grueling rally challenge and win through for a coveted Finisher’s Medal.

 Facing long marathon stages, competitors traverse ‘liaison’ & ‘special’ race sections, in the rally adventure style similar to the Dakar Rally event.

  First run in 2011, the Amageza Rally is Southern Africa’s only multi-day, multi-stage rally, with a daily moving bivouac that crosses a breathtaking, diverse variety of terrain: mountain ranges, dense African bush, giant salt pans, Karoo semi-desert, the world-renown Namib-Kalahari Desert, and the unforgiving Skeleton Coast.

2015 Amageza Route

Source: www.youtube.com

www.amageza.com

www.team525.co.za

 

LED light bulb replacement – CBR 1000rr 2007 (By Christopher)

A LED light bulb replacement (In the own words of a happy customer)

Hi Hannes

Chris here, I purchased the Alpha pot series LED globes from extreme lights and just wanted to say they work extremely well!!! ( pun intended)

The globes are well made, and due to being able to take the backing off they are easy to fit. I wanted to fit them neatly on my honda CBR 1000rr 2007 model so I took the side fairings off and tucked the ballists away behind the fairings. Thanks to them being small this was not difficult.

The only adjustment I had To make was to the holder spring on the bike for the globe. Just had to bend the slightly to make it hold the globe tightly. The power of the globes is hectic!!!

I will take a photo or two at night aswell

Thanks

Read more on them here

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AUTO LED HeadLights Replacement Bulb - Alpha Series AUTO LED HeadLights Replacement Bulb - Alpha Series