I love my little SRQ-2 lights from Rigid, let’s get that on the record. They are compact, a low battery draw and have a great amount of light output. However, one of the things I have been missing is the round light design of my old IPF floods. I’ve been on the hunt for something of a round LED to put on my front bumper for quite some time. Again, not b/c I’m dissatisfied with my SRQ’s (I’m not!) but b/c I want something that has the same level of light output but would match up a little better with the round lighting design of the rest of the Jeep.
Enter Aurora lighting. I may have mentioned them before, but in case I haven’t check out the torture tests they put their lights through. Holy hell! It’s good to know that if I drop my Jeep off of a 6 story building or catch it on fire that the lights would still work.
Anyway, they just released a 7″ round LED rated at around 17,000 lumens/pair. Hey, I’ve been looking for a round LED and since I’ve had a 6.5″ light, a 7″ light is close enough for what I’m looking for. Woot! I placed my order (fair disclaimer, it can take a LONG time to get product from these guys) back in January and started to get excited. In Feb, I was annoyed, by March I was over it but in April when they arrived, I was pretty damn psyched!
Ok, so maybe it’s 25% or so bigger. Is that the end of the world? Naaaaah. The power is there, the shape is there, let’s get these things on already! The first thing you notice (other than the MONSTER Lights!) is just how huge the mounting brackets are. This is something I wasn’t prepared for. If you are driving a Dakar Support Truck, there’s plenty of flat space. But on something like a Jeep where space might be an issue, I’d prefer something a little more snug.
I drilled some additional holes in the brackets to line up with my bumper mounting locations and got to painting. In case you are wondering, the secret to my awesome paint booth is an old bathroom shelf, the Sunday comics, & a good bit of painters tape. Classy!
With the brackets all sprayed (5 coats, thank you!) I proceeded with the install. Wiring isn’t anything to write home about. If you ordered them without back-ground lighting, it’s just the black/red wire combo that you are used to. The background lighting version adds another power/ground to the harness in the form of a yellow and blue wire.
All mounted and wired, I flipped the switch for the first time to test them out and wow are they bright! Do not look directly into the light if you ever want to see again bright. Using a lux meter app for my iPhone 5 by a company called Galactica, I took a few measurements before and after. In the image below, I’ve lined up the lens to read the light intensity at about 1-2 yards from one of the round lights. It’s measuring at around 150,000 lx. That dim yellowish shape you see on the top left… That would be my standard headlight.
By comparison, all three RI lights put out around 15,600 lx combined. Well, at least that was the best reading I could get. Remember, this is just an iPhone app so take these numbers with a grain of salt. By comparison, your office usually runs around 500 lx (Wiki).
All in all, I like these lights. Yeah, they are bigger than I thought but they are really growing on me. Installed, they do stand out a bit, but no more so than say a roof mounted light bar.
The one thing I really, really didn’t like about these lights from the minute I opened up the box were the mounting brackets. With my winch in place, it makes for a very very tight fit. Too tight imho. After staring at them for a while, I made a quick sketch and called over my fabricator friend (the same one that cranked out my air dam) to take a few measurements. Without that big honkin chunk of metal attached to the back of each light, I think they will fit a lot better. The bracket still needs a little something to cross brace the back of the brackets for stability but there’s gotta be a better way. I’m hoping to have the new brackets off the CNC and ready to install any day now. In the mean time, I’m driving around feeling a little naked.