A popular measure of driving lights, “one lux at distance” refers to how far the light from your driving lights will travel, with 1 lux being generally accepted as enough light to read a newspaper by. Easy to understand and reliable, one lux at distance has become the benchmark on which we measure new products.
Sometimes we get asked the question, although your HTX can produce 1 lux at 1.7km, I don’t need that kind of distance – so why not simply buy a cheaper light that is 1 lux at 500m?
The reason you want lights with more distance isn’t necessarily simply because you need to see that distance – it’s about the quality of light that you get at the distance you do need to see at.
For example, if one pair of lights produce 1 lux at 500m, and another pair produces 1 lux at 1.7km, the difference in the quality of light at 500m is staggering.
1 lux at 500m is enough light to read a newspaper… but a pair of our Lightforce HTX produce 11.5 lux at 500m – that means a pair of Lightforce HTX lights will provide around as much light and visibility at 500m that roadway lights generally provide on an expressway. Thanks to the combination of LED lights for their instant flood effect, and HID to cut through the night at extreme distances, a pair Lightforce HTX are engineered to eliminate the need for any other LED bars or spotlights on your vehicle.
Whether you are overlanding through the desert with your family, or transporting freight on a long-haul drive, we believe that More light = More time = More safety.
Master your environment and travel through any dark roads or off-road terrain, with the knowledge that you have enough visibility and reaction time to safely see more adventure!
Find more information on the Lightforce HTX here.
LESSON TWO: Colour temperature and CRI
Colour temperature is an indicator of eye comfort – and CRI is one of the many differences between cheap and quality LED lights.
So what is colour temperature?
Light colour temperature is represented in the unit of absolute temperature, Kelvin.
To put these numbers into perspective, around our homes we typically choose lights with colour temperatures of 2700K (warm incandescent), 3000K (warm white halogen) and 3500K (household fluorescent).
Colour temperatures higher than 3500K are typically used for commercial and hospital applications, and 4000k for task/ commercial applications.
When applying what we know to the driving environment, contrast is key. Night drivers want clarity not glare – trees, roads and obstacles need contrast to be seen. If the colour temperature is too high, objects in the distance will appear white and glaring, causing eye fatigue and squinting… but if you need a powerful light, the eye discomfort can be mitigated with a good CRI score, without losing out on brightness…
What is CRI?
‘CRI’ stands for “Colouring Rendering Index”, and it’s pretty important when it comes to lighting. CRI measures how easily the human eye can distinguish between different colours – and when you have a powerful light, you need to have a good CRI score to reduce glare and comfortably perceive any hazards on the road.
Lightforce lights are all built with a minimum of 80 CRI. To put this into context, natural daylight has a score of 100 CRI, and cheap LED lights usually sit around 60 CRI – very uncomfortable and tiring for the eyes.
Next week we’ll be talking about one of the most hotly-debated driving light topics – lumens, lux, and the relevance of distance!
How do you choose the best lights for your 4WD? There’s a lot of misleading information out there! We get it, you aren’t that into the specs and just want a good light for your 4×4. You’ve heard Lightforce are the best, but then you noticed we are talking “lux” when others are talking “lumens”, and the “lumens” number is higher… so what do you do?
Lux and lumens are important, but one BIG mistake people make is thinking that the brightness has something to do with watts. It doesn’t.
LESSON ONE: Don’t look at the wattage and expect to know the brightness… ever!
It makes sense, right? Higher wattage means it takes more power, therefore it must be more powerful.
That’s what a lot of people think… and we understand why. The logic seems sound, there used to be a loose correlation between the two with halogen lights, so we get where this myth comes from.
However, with the constant evolution of LED technology, driving lights can now offer lower wattages (less draw on your battery) without sacrificing lumens, distance at one lux or brightness. So the number of watts on your light should not be used as an indicator of brightness.
What is wattage relevant to?
Wattage is only relevant to wiring / cabling your lights.
The 007 Spectre Land Rover is available – complete with Lightforce Lights!
We were thrilled to discover that one of the Land Rovers used in 2015’s Bond film, Spectre, kitted out with Lightforce driving lights, is up for auction at Sotheby’s in London on September 6th!
Who wouldn’t want one of these? Let’s say you are a world class super-villain and you need to hunt down James Bond. How are you going to kit out your minion’s vehicle? With the cheap stuff, or the best stuff?
A class act like this goes for the best stuff.
When Ernst Stavro Blofeld wanted his minions to defeat James Bond in Spectre, he set them up with tools capable of the task. Naturally, they needed a beast of a vehicle to chase him down – and it has to look cool too.
The rope adds a little something – but we think the lights finish this vehicle off perfectly.
The Land Rover Defender was sent to Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations and built into the toughest, coolest, most villainous vehicle around for 2015’s Bond flick, Spectre. From 37-inch tyres to external roll-cage – there are two things these designers wanted to include in every detail of this build: Toughness and class.
That’s why the lights they used on the vehicles were made by Lightforce. The film was made in 2015, so our (sadly, discontinued) LED 180s were used – but we reckon if it was 2017 Ernst would be going for the HTX Hybrid, or Genesis LED (and maybe would’ve come out victorious because of it!).
The HTX light combines 20 LEDs with 80 watts of output to provide an instant flood beam, with a 70 watt HID (high-intensity discharge) bulb within a 170 mm reflector for long distance viewing. Together the two systems provide 8,400 effective lumens of visibility for driving in all conditions. We think Ernst would be happy with that!
Alternatively, the Genesis LED would ensure that Ernst would be able to keep in touch with his minions, because not only does the Genesis have with an output of 1053m @ 1 LUX, but the inclusion of CISPR25 complaint reduced radio frequency interference technology!
Maybe next time.
If the auction for the Land Rover ends up a little out of your price range, you can still get one of the best pieces of the action by checking out our product page.
A Major Milestone for the HTX Hybrid Driving Light
Since the official product launch, Lightforce have produced over 10,000 units of the Lightforce DL230 HTX, the world’s only hybrid driving light that combines both HID and LED technologies.
That means there are thousands of vehicles driving around Australia and in other countries with a pair of HTX lighting up the night!
With its unique design and superior Australian-made build quality, consumers have clearly found this product meets their needs. Probably because the HTX provides the instant flood of light from twenty genuine Lumileds LEDs combined with the unmatched long-distance performance of a 70 watt HID bulb within a 170mm reflector.
The HTX provides one LUX at a staggering 1768 metres and a bunch of technical features that ensure long-lasting performance, including a 6063 extruded aluminium casing for optimum heat dissipation, a UV stable hard coated impact resistant polycarbonate lens, plus voltage and thermal overload protection. So we’re happy to offer a three year warranty.
The Team Behind Our Hybrid Driving Light
When our research and development department set out to create the Lightforce DL230 HTX, their vision was to create a light that virtually eliminates the need for additional spotlights and bars (although a set of our Lightforce ROK 40 Utility Lights would never go astray)!
So, a big congratulations to everyone who made this milestone possible – a talented team from all the departments at Lightforce in Adelaide, South Australia. Staff from quality, R&D, operations, sales, finance, procurement, logistics and marketing all had a role to play.
And the team from manufacturing and assembly of course – Des, Thanh, Atelaite, Charito, Josh, Adam and Kerry – who put the finishing touches on the products you’ll find at our Dealer locations.
Production Supervisor Adam Enthoven said, “The team is proud to have been a key part of delivering a unique product like the HTX that is designed and manufactured in Australia. It’s satisfying to see the marketplace embrace it.”
So, thank you to the consumers who have bought a HTX or two and have made it such a success. We’d love to hear about your HTX adventures, on the highway or offroad, on our Facebook Page.
10 Tips for an Easy Easter Getaway
If Easter is a time that excites you as much as it does us, we start counting the weeks down before our getaway once March arrives. And while some of us may have a favourite yearly getaway, others may look to head somewhere different from year to year. One sure thing is you’re not the only one thinking about getting away, so don’t leave things to the last minute to get organised.
Here’s our top tips for preparing a great Easter getaway:
1. What to Pack – Lay out all your camping gear on a tarp a couple of weeks beforehand, and use a check sheet to mark off they’re in good condition and working order. Now’s the time to replace anything well in advance, so check out the specials camping stores have on offer.
2. Meals – Consider what meals you’ll eat over those 4 days and add their ingredients to your shopping list. Don’t leave buying supplies to the last minute, and consider having some quick and easy meal plans to maximise your R&R time while away.
3. Fuel – We all know fuel prices tend to go up the week before Easter, so keep your vehicle’s tanks and any additional jerry cans full several weeks out from Easter. It will save you a few dollars at the pump when just having to top up.
4. Servicing – Whether you’re simply travelling in the family car or towing a trailer of some sorts, ensure it’s in tip top order by arranging a quick service well beforehand.
5. Bookings – Campsites at Easter always fill up quickly, so reconfirm bookings. If you’re free camping, consider how busy your destination might be, and have a plan B ready to use.
6. Campfire – Find out whether they’re permitted at your destination in advance, and if possible, check whether you need to bring your own firewood. Also consider travelling with items such as fire extinguishers, water buckets, a fire blanket, and a long handle shovel.
7. First Aid Kit – Check your first aid kit (including any medication you might be taking) to ensure all have been restocked before leaving home.
8. Activities – Consider what you need to bring for recreational activities during the 4 days, and have a plan B ready in case the weather changes. Board games can be a lot of fun when camping!
9. Batteries & charging systems – Check items such as portable fridges, camp lights and other accessories a few weeks beforehand to ensure they are recharging and holding state of charge. It’s better to rectify any issues now, rather than finding yourself stranded when out camping because you didn’t test them before leaving home.
10. Easter Goodies – Don’t forget to bring the goodies – hot cross buns, Easter eggs, and your favourite camping additions. Get ready to have some fun!
Taking time before heading off to make sure all things are in order will ensure your four-day getaway is going to be a great one, and not a last minute rush where things get overlooked and forgotten. That way, you can set off feeling confident and not stressed, which will put you the best position for the drive ahead.
Stay safe and take your time on the road – and we hope you have a wonderful Easter.
Catch you next time.
Grant & Linda
My Aussie Travel Guide
Surviving Long Weekends – Drive Safe!
Fatigue is estimated to be a contributing factor in approximately 30% of fatal crashes and up to 15% of serious injuries, in fact, in 2012 more people in NSW died in fatigue related crashes than drink driving crashes.
Driver fatigue can be just as deadly as drink driving or speeding, in fact being awake for about 17 hours has a similar effect on driving performance as a blood alcohol content of 0.05.
The following signs can indicate fatigue:
Difficulty keeping head up and eyes open
Eyes feel sore and heavy
Vision starts to blur
Difficulty holding a conversation
Impatience and making rash decisions
Reactions seem slow
Feeling stiff or cramped
Wandering over the centre line, into another lane or on to the road edge
Hearing droning or humming in your ears
Not noticing a vehicle until it suddenly overtakes
Not remembering driving the last few kilometres
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is time to stop, rest and revive – if you notice any of this occurring, you are already in danger.
To prevent reaching this stage, there are a number of simple steps that you can take when venturing out on long journeys.
Tips to prevent fatigue:
Plan your trip with a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep) the night before.
Plan not to travel for more than 8-10 hours in any one day. The longer you drive the more you must fight fatigue.
Plan your trip to include regular breaks every two hours for 15 minutes or more.
Plan to start your trip early in the day and try not to drive into the night.
Don’t push yourself.
When you stop, get out of the car, stretch and walk around for a while or have a nap.
Don’t rely on coffee and energy drinks. Water will keep you hydrated.
Share the driving if you can. Passengers can tell you if you are looking tired or showing signs of tiredness. Driving with a friend can also make it a more enjoyable trip.
Don’t drink alcohol before driving or during rest breaks. Alcohol can make you feel tired more quickly, as well as putting you at risk of being over the legal limit.
Check the labels on prescription medicines that may affect your alertness or cause drowsiness. If this is the case, contact your pharmacist or local GP for advice.
Ensure that your vehicle is fitted with quality auxiliary driving lights. Halogen, LED and HID lights are all great additions to your vehicle and can help to improve your night driving experience. HID and LED in particular can help to ward off fatigue as the bright white colour of their beam assists in keeping drivers alert.
For more information about driver fatigue and road safety, head to your local transit authority and to find out more about the Lightforce range of products, head on over to the product section of our site!
The New Lightforce LED Lights – You’ve Got Questions
You’ve got questions… and we’ve got the answers…
Since we launched our new Venom LED and Genesis LED a couple of weeks ago, buzz has really been building online with plenty of questions being asked so we thought that we would compile them into a blog post so that you can grab all the details in one place.
Q: Are the new LED Lights ‘better’ than the HTX?
A: This is like comparing apples and oranges! The new lights are very different to the HTX in many ways.
First up, the new lights are LED only (the HTX combine LED and HID technologies). The distance that the HTX puts out is more substantial than the new lights however, being so large means that the HTX will not fit on every vehicle.
The new LED lights are available in two sizes – the 150mm diameter Venom and the 210mm diameter Genesis, both of which are incredibly compact and more adaptable than the HTX.
The new LED lights also feature technology that reduces radio frequency interference, an essential addition for traveling far and wide across the country.
Q: How are the new lights different to the LED180 & LED215?
A: The distance produced by both Venom LED and Genesis LED is like nothing that you have ever seen in an LED light before, that’s the big difference with these new lights. Venom LED will throw out up to 850m @ 1 LUX while Genesis will be sure to impress with a distance of up to 1053m @ 1 LUX.
In addition to the distance, there are a number of great new features that we’ve packed into our new LED lights.
Aside from being made here in Australia, the Venom LED and Genesis LED feature technology which reduces the radio interference which can sometimes be caused by the addition of driving lights to a vehicle.
Q: How much are they?
A: Venom is priced at $479 per light
Genesis is priced at $669 per light
The wiring harness that we recommend to accompany these lights is priced at $90.10.
Complete with the Lightforce 3 Year Warranty and a local support team who are just a phone call away if you have any concerns regarding the lights, you can be sure that you are getting a product that will really last the distance.
Q: Where can I buy them?
A: The Venom and Genesis LED should be available from all Lightforce stockists who specialise in driving products. If your local store doesn’t have any in stock, let them know that you’re keen to see them in store! You can find a store near you by heading to the dealer locator section of our website.
What’s New? Aussie Made LED, That’s What!
We’ve got something new to share with you – well two things in fact!
We’ve just launched our new Venom LED and Genesis LED and would couldn’t be more proud of these products if we tried.
Both made right here in Australia, these lights are producing some truly enviable outputs, in both distance and spread of light.
Like all products in the Lightforce range, these lights have been independently tested for distance and durability. Both lights achieve a rating of IP69K meaning that they will truly last the distance and thrive in the most challenging environments all over the world.
A great new feature that we’ve added is the reduced radio interference technology that means adding these lights to your vehicle won’t affect your ability to tune into local radio stations as you travel the lengths and widths of Australia.
You can find out all the nitty gritty details of these new lights in the video below or head to the product pages for comprehensive specs.
We’ll be adding reviews and clips of the products in action over the coming weeks, so stay tuned to find out more!
Aussie Made (Just Like Us!)
Here at Lightforce we’re proud that a majority of our products are made right here in Australia, from locally sourced components where possible. Lightforce were the first company to utilise polymers in the contraction of our handheld lights and then, as the company grew, our driving lights.
When the lights first hit the market they were the subject of ridicule from competitors whose products relied on heavy, out dated metal construction. As the years have gone by, use of polycarbonate material in the construction of halogen and HID handheld and driving lights has become common to the point that it could be considered the industry standard.
We’re proud to have been pioneers in this field and to be able to continually produce fantastic lights in Australia – but what other great inventions have come out of Australia? Here’s a little list of interesting inventions that we put together!
The first practical vapor compression refrigeration system was built by James Harrison, a British journalist who had emigrated to Australia. His 1856 patent was for a vapor compression system using ether, alcohol or ammonia. He built a mechanical ice-making machine in 1851 on the banks of the Barwon River at Rocky Point in Geelong, Victoria, and his first commercial ice-making machine followed in 1854. Harrison also introduced commercial vapor-compression refrigeration to breweries and meat packing houses, and by 1861, a dozen of his systems were in operation.
The body style originated in Australia. It was the result of a 1932 letter from the wife of a farmer in Victoria, Australia to Ford Australia asking for “a vehicle to go to church in on a Sunday and which can carry our pigs to market on Mondays”. In response, Ford designer Lew Bandt developed a vehicle based on the client’s request and the model (called a “coupe utility” at the time) was released in 1934. A convertible version, known as the roadster utility was produced in limited numbers by Ford in the 1930s.
A Splayd (plural ‘Splayds’) is an eating utensil combining the functions of spoon, knife and fork. It was created by William McArthur in the 1940s in Sydney, Australia. It is similar to the American spork. There are several manufacturers.
The Hills Hoist:
The Hills Hoist has been manufactured in Adelaide, South Australia by Lance Hill since 1945.
The process for packaging ‘cask wine’ (box wine) was invented by Thomas Angove of Angove’s, a winemaker from Renmark, South Australia, and patented by the company on April 20, 1935.
And the ultimate combination of a Hills Hoist and Cask Wine; Goon of Fortune (ask the kids if you’re not sure on that one!) as well as many other great inventions including WiFi and the Bionic Ear just to name a few.
There’s no shortage of innovation here in Aus and we’re really proud to produce work in such a fantastic, creative country!
With more than 35 years’ experience in the field of precision manufacturing, Lightforce has forged an international reputation as the world’s leading manufacturer of innovative 12 volt professional lighting equipment and tactical riflescope optics.
Lightforce now exports to more than 50 countries, supplying products that are designed and manufactured to deliver performance in the most hostile conditions. From the frozen Arctic tundra to the scorching heat of the Australian Outback, Lightforce products are built to go the distance.
Please note that the North American Lightforce website is currently under construction. If you require product information or pricing for this region, please contact our North American Customer Service Team on 0011 1 877 510 9204 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, call us on 1800 03 03 08.