If you want hassle-free driving and low maintenance costs, then opting for a Toyota is a no-brainer. Their cars feature high reliability and driver satisfaction and won’t leave you out of pocket when and if something goes wrong. With the money saved, Toyota owners can afford to splash some needed interior and exterior vehicle accessories. With utes and 4WDs making the bulk of vehicle sales, vehicle protection in the form of bull and nudge bars figure high up on anyone’s shopping list. These will make light work of off-roading outings. Paired with some decent suspension upgrades and a decent set of driving lights, Toyota owners can safely explore more of what Australia has to offer.
What are Driving Lights and Why You’ll Want Them?
Areas out of city limits mean extremely low visibility. Head out to the bush and you’re faced with dust, haze and fog at the best of times. In such conditions, factory heads and fog lights will have a hard time lighting up the road in front. And driving at normal speeds in such conditions is virtually impossible. Unless you fit your vehicle with driving lights. These are the aftermarket additions that shine wide and long in all directions, outclassing even the brightest lights any car manufacturer has to offer. They’re fitted to the grille, bull bar or roof rack and combined with high beams can get you anywhere you have in mind. Equipping your Toyota with driving lights means all-around visibility in different weather conditions. You’ll be avoiding near misses with wildlife or scraping your car against rocks, boulders and tree stumps.
Driving lights often come with spot beams that light up the road further out. We’re taking out distances over 1000 metres illuminated to midday light levels in the middle of the night. This affords drivers to maintain high speeds and still have time to make any adjustments. Driving lights can also combine a spot with a flood beam to light up more of the sides, as this is where most collisions with curious wildlife occur. Combined with a light bar positioned higher up, you’ll have all the visibility you need. Beam patterns can also be modified with the use of flood and spot filters.
What to Look for in Driving Lights for your Toyota
Lighting Tech. LEDs vs Halogens vs HIDs
LEDs feature in most driving lights, and for good reason. They have largely replaced outdated halogens and work much better and longer than comparable HIDs. There are no gases or filaments to think about, no bursting glass and no related safety hazards. In addition, the lower generated heat with innovative heat sinks, means driving lights fitted with LEDs won’t succumb to damage or overheating or fry connected wiring. LEDs can also be calibrated for more natural lighting to reduce driver fatigue and eye strain in longer driving bouts. Let’s not forget they use much less power for the same brightness, so you can hook up more than a few driving lights to your Toyota Hilux, Landcruiser, Fortuner or Prado and not worry about the battery. Lastly, consider the much longer lifespans and usage you get out of LEDs. Most will outlast your car, and Toyota’s are cars passed down from one generation to the next. 50000 working hours translates to 20 years of high and consistent brightness. You’ll be saving money and the unwanted hassle of replacement bulbs.
Brightness. Lumens vs LUX
Brightness is measured in Lumens or LUX. Lumens refers to light intensity, and can be given as a Raw Lumens number or the overall brightness a driving light produces in ideal conditions, or Effective Lumens that considers things like heat, lens arrangements and housing materials. The second number is the one to go by. LUX is the light projected into the distance, and equals one lumen per square metre. The larger the number the brighter the light. Any light that can project 1LUX at or above 500 metres is worth considering. At sane speeds of 80km/h, this leaves drivers 22 seconds for any need for adjustments to steering or slamming the brakes.
Build, Materials and IP ratings
You’ll be faced with a fair share of surprises in typical low-light and off-roading settings. Driving lights need to be built tough, take any impact and still work. Metal housings help in this respect. They also work the double shift to keep lights stable. Durability is further improved by hardwearing polycarbonate lenses and insulated wiring looms. These need to keep dust and water away. When buying your next set of Toyota driving lights, make sure they have appropriate IP ratings, like IP69K, that ensure the lights will work in harsh conditions. For more peace of mind, also look for lights that come with a warranty, so you know they’ll be replaced free of charge if something does go wrong.
Mounting and Installation Options
Consider lights that come with mounting brackets. These too need to be built tough, and support the weight of the globes. Most light makers throw these in, along with simple plug-and-play connections and wiring to hook them up to the battery. Where you choose to install the lights is more a matter of personal preference. Usually, this will mean a pair of driving lights sitting lower, in line with the bull bars or headlights, or higher up if you plan on using them without a light bar.