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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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And we have light

Well I spent my free time this weekend installing my rock lights. I have 2 behind the frond tires and to behind the rear bumper pointed to the front of the truck. I will get some pic's up once it gets darker out so you can see how they light up.

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Under front doors just after body mount.



Tucked up under the bed right next to the bumper.

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:19 PM
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Not bad, not bad at all. What lights did you use? I want to hook my ride up soon. Really Mike it looks real good. I dig em.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:22 PM
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Ummm ... that's great for when we're spotting you backing off the rock we couldn't see when you were going forward!

Need some light on the front side of the wheels!

(Oh and for the record, rock lights eat up a TON of alternator power, I would highly recommend people look into LED versions!)

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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I think I am going to get 4 more any ways. it needs more under there but I figured it was a good start

EDIT: Problem with LED's is there not cheap...

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:58 PM
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Yeah when I read up on getting some a couple months ago it seemed like LED was the way to go. Way less power and longer life seem to be worth the xtra coin.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you on that but I found my lights that I used on sale about 4 months ago at a walmart. I think I only spent $10-$15 on 2 sets. That is the reson I picked them up plus I don't wheel at night to much. I think I will buy my Piaa 520's first before I switch them out to LED's.

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 06:01 AM
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Anybody know a good source for LED rock lights? The ones I've found seem very easily broken...
www.ledliquidatorsinc.com/led-flex-strip

http://www.superbrightleds.com/light_bars.htm

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don_G View Post
Anybody know a good source for LED rock lights? The ones I've found seem very easily broken...
www.ledliquidatorsinc.com/led-flex-strip

http://www.superbrightleds.com/light_bars.htm
I plan on switching to these when I have the money. they are on the expensive side.

http://www.roundeyes.com/Products-LED_Lighting.html

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 02:46 PM
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Those seem cool.. i thought it was funny that one of them had a recommendation of a strobe switch.. how odd would it be to spot somebody with green light strobing?.. odd might not be the right word.. perhaps annoying? But it _would_ look cool seeing a truck driving down the trail with a red/green/blue glow from underneath. geez.. this is starting to sound like a post on customtaco or something.

Seriously I like that idea for the pretty small led. Heck, the mini's on that page are only 1" by .25... but the attachment is with adhesive.. I wonder how long that would last with dust/mud/water/etc. Were you thinking of going with "RAUW01 - Ultimate Off-Road LED - White" which has an alum mount that's 1" x 4.250"x.375"?

I'm curious about TC's post.. since these offer 180* light (not directional like typical rock lights) and supposedly 6'x6' coverage... what configuration would you mount them? 1 in front of each front tire, 2 on either side in the middle and maybe 1 behind each rear (for a total of 6)?

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdoug View Post
Those seem cool.. i thought it was funny that one of them had a recommendation of a strobe switch.. how odd would it be to spot somebody with green light strobing?.. odd might not be the right word.. perhaps annoying? But it _would_ look cool seeing a truck driving down the trail with a red/green/blue glow from underneath. geez.. this is starting to sound like a post on customtaco or something.

Seriously I like that idea for the pretty small led. Heck, the mini's on that page are only 1" by .25... but the attachment is with adhesive.. I wonder how long that would last with dust/mud/water/etc. Were you thinking of going with "RAUW01 - Ultimate Off-Road LED - White" which has an alum mount that's 1" x 4.250"x.375"?
I would more then likely go with the white but the blue would look cool. It would just be way to CustomTaco for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdoug View Post
I'm curious about TC's post.. since these offer 180* light (not directional like typical rock lights) and supposedly 6'x6' coverage... what configuration would you mount them? 1 in front of each front tire, 2 on either side in the middle and maybe 1 behind each rear (for a total of 6)?
Yep. That is what I was thinking.

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 07:32 PM
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Add the cost of a high output alternator on the cost of your cheapie lights and the LED's are a BARGAIN.

The guy I saw with LED's had 6 or 8, and the coverage was great and they were BRIGHT. Drew less than an amp too ...

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 08:33 PM
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Hey Doug, I've got some of the Roundeyes that I haven't installed yet (was pondering the Jeep or the truck), if you want to see how bright they are.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 09:13 PM
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I've no doubt that they are bright... you are obsessed with these led's and creating the light of the sun. I trust you. The amperage draw, lifetime of the light and durability are strong decision makers for me. I'm sold.

What I'm curious about is placement. Bright as hell will still make shadows when the wheel is in the way, and it doesn't matter if the coverage is 6' or 800'.

I think they are a really good idea if you do night wheelin (not my favorite, I have enough trouble when I can see everything) but I'm mostly curious about the placement to get sufficient coverage at key spots (in front of the tires, around the t-case, diff, frame rails, etc).

I still think strobe green would be just spooky looking from a distance. If it wasn't $30/light I'd give it a try just to see it in action.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdoug View Post
I've no doubt that they are bright... you are obsessed with these led's and creating the light of the sun. I trust you. The amperage draw, lifetime of the light and durability are strong decision makers for me. I'm sold.

What I'm curious about is placement. Bright as hell will still make shadows when the wheel is in the way, and it doesn't matter if the coverage is 6' or 800'.

I think they are a really good idea if you do night wheelin (not my favorite, I have enough trouble when I can see everything) but I'm mostly curious about the placement to get sufficient coverage at key spots (in front of the tires, around the t-case, diff, frame rails, etc).

I still think strobe green would be just spooky looking from a distance. If it wasn't $30/light I'd give it a try just to see it in action.
You try those bulbs I gave you? And lights are my obsession, I can't leave a lighting system stock.

Some installed.

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...ight=roundeyes

http://www.yotatech.com/f131/led-roc...ed-pics-77133/

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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 07:29 AM
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I've looked at the specs for the roundeye rock lights - yes they are only 350 mA current draw, but that is 5 Watts at a typical 14.2 vdc system voltage. That means they are wasting almost 4 Watts of that power per LED. They are probably using a (string of) series resistors to limit the current to 350 mA across the 3.5 VDC LED.

It would be most efficient to use 4 LEDs in series for each string, so that all the power went to the LEDs, but then if one failed they'd all burn out.

A switched-capacitor voltage divider would probably be the most efficient way to drive these lights on a 14.2 VDC system, but that might generate a lot of electrical noise unless done carefully.

So wasting that power might not be a bad option. Those resistors would get HOT, though so be careful where you put them.

The LEDs themselves cost about $6 each, so $30 for a robustly-packaged light is not unreasonable. IMHO you should not get the strobe switch they sell for $30. The damned thing is almost 4x5x8" !!!! Where ya gonna mount that? A normal switch-and-relay (or even a 3 Amp rated switch) would be a better choice.

I see that all the posts on these switches are 2 years old, and no reports by hard-trailing users like us. I'm worried about specific mounting locations and how they last under abuse. Anybody seen an after-action report on them?

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
These LED's are the brightest on the market. Each one (1) will light up an area about 5 foot square and 5 foot off the ground. Once they are installed on a vehicle, the illumination is awesome. Don't get me wrong here, it's not daylight but it's a nice even glow so you can see very well at night. They are waterproof and durable. You can leave them on all night and your rig will start in the morning. It just depends on what you want. Yes the cost is high but it's the best we can do. They are made in America and assembled by handicapped persons which is why we carry them. They are unique and work awesome for what they are designed for.
If you purchase any color of six (6), totaling $179.70, we will provide free shipping within the lower 50 States going ground. You must order online and choose store pickup upon checkout for this promotion to apply. If you have further questions, please email or call us.
Found this at the bottom of: http://www.jeeps-offroad.com/showthread.php?t=16657

But yes you are right everything on these are from back in 06

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 09:19 AM
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While it may not be exactly what you are looking for, a guy over on TN found these http://www.vminnovations.com/product...2b_REMOTE.aspx

The price is reasonable and they give out good light. He used them on the side of the truck and in the bed, but you could easily put them all under the truck.

See post 52 here for pics http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...=176047&page=4
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 11:37 AM
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Chalkie, I think those would last abot ten minutes on my truck.

Like a lizard I drag my belly over every rock.

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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 12:07 PM
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Those are mounted up high on the frame rails. So with your skids and sliders I would hope they would be protected.
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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2 Big will destroy them

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok for now I think I m going to relocate the rear light and change the angle of the ones in the front so they will be pointed like X. But I will have to find something to light the front of the front tire and the back of the rear tire. so maybe that want work well?

Mike
2007 Tacoma v6 4x4 TRD OFF-ROAD D-Cab
Donahoe Coilovers, All-Pro 3" Rear Lift w/Walker Evens, Demello Sliders, Locker Mod , 4 Rock Lights

To-Do
All-pro Plate Bumper, Custom Rear Plate Bumper, Custom Tire Rack ( must use bed rails ), Mount CO2, Repair Rock Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
If you use them for lift, and wheel hard, you will crap steering parts like your truck ate a tierod/idler arm combo burrito at Casa Bonita.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 05:31 PM
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Hey, here's a cool driver that will drive three Luxeon LEDs in series, and has failsafe modes in case any or all of the LEDs fail open or short.

Constant current supply

$20 each, and they get you 90% efficiency unlike the 25% efficient roundeyes. So for about $40 you could get three LEDs going. Trouble is, you'd still need to package them. I guess waterproof clear 2-part epoxy would do it? Packaging ain't my bag.

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Last edited by Don_G; 06-14-2008 at 02:46 AM.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:18 PM
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I've done this crap often enough in the past to know I won't save any money, but instead of roundeyes I bought 12 white Luxeon Rebel Stars. Cost me $82 with shipping from Canada.

I also ordered four 12 Ohm 5 Watt power resistors from Digikey. $20 deivered. By the time I buy some good wire, some mounting hardware, some encapsulation resin, fuse panel, etc. I figure I will have at least $150 in them.

I plan to run 3 LEDs and a 12 Ohm resistor in series. (Four strings of 3 lights.) At 14.2VDC that should give me twice the light from each LED as the roundeyes (they use an older Luxeon LED.) Since I have 12 instead of 6, I should be able to light the whole thing very well. Having 3 in series means that if any LED opens I'll lose the whole string until I replace the bad one. If one shorts in a string, the current will go to max, but it should not damage the other two. The expected life is 100,000 hours, so I expect only physical damage to take them out. They are so efficient that it's probably not important, but this setup of 12 lamps will use the same power as 4 roundeyes.

Since I'm using a $5 resistor instead of a $20 constant current power supply, the lights will get dimmer in colder weather as the diode forward voltage climbs. I don't expect it'll matter much.

One tricky part will be getting them encapsulated well for protection, as they come from the factory with a SOFT silicone lens on them.

If this works out I will put all the details here. Note that the raw materials will cost about $75 for 6 lights, so roundeyes' price of $175 for 6 is not out of line at all. I'll probably have 16 hours invested before I finish.

Can you tell I was bored on the plane?

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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 08:49 PM
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Mounting rock lights

I was planning to use some right-angle aluminum stock to make the mounting plates. One thing that I think wrong with the roundeye LEDs is that they don't mount well to the frame. (They need the right angle.)

I was thinking of mounting the LEDs high on the frame, as I have seen stuff wiped off by the snow already. Here's a simple sketch of how I'm thinking of mounting them.



Anybody got specific suggestions about how and where to mount rock lights? What's gone wrong that you've seen in the past?

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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 10:13 PM
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Yeah, they need to be tucked up high. A shallow angle seems to work better as it kinda smears the light over a larger area.

One big issue is how to get light in front of the front wheels.

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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 01:44 AM
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Thanks, TC. I think with my front bumper I can put one string of three across the front and get pretty good lighting on the front of the front tires and front center of the bumper. I don't see how to set them up to optimally "smear" the light up there, as the install options are limited.

The ones between the wheels, though -- after you suggest it I can see that mounting a cluster of two midway between the wheels with one lighting the back of the front wheel and one lighting the front of the back wheel should give the best distributed lighting there.

I need to figure out how best to light up the belly/center from safe mounting locations. The skid plates make it tough under there.

These "Lambertian" LEDs throw a smeared cone of light - brightest in the center, with a 120 degree cone describing the half-intensity points, so they are pretty wide already. Other users have said that you get the best/widest useable light distribution when they are mounted 5 ft max from the objects to be lighted.

The LEDs will get here middle of next week, so I have time to think all this over.

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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 07:48 AM
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Don,

Sounds like you have a plan. I am curious as to how what you are doing is any less suseptible to getting ripped off than the lights I refered to earlier.

Under truck lights of some sort has been on my list of to-do's for some time. I'm not planning on any night wheeling, but they sure would be good to see what you are stepping into when you get out in the dark.
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 10:37 AM
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I have an opinion on how they're better:

These brackets will be cut from 1" lengths of 1" alumnum angle. The LEDs will be "potted" in solid plastic on one face of these brackets. This lump of plastic will be about 1/8" tall on the aluminum, screwed on with at least three #4 screws. They will be pretty tough - hopefully resistant to flying rocks and packed snow.

(I have a new respect for packed snow: my truck was stuck in snow up to the frame - not over the bumpers - and it stalled my 9,5000# winch! This event bent some e-brake brackets and pulled some wires off the frame of my truck.)


The tubes you proposed are 36" or 48" long. I have seen them, and they appear very fragile to me. Since my Daddy said I could tear up a hammer with the handle already out, I figure those tubes would last about 10 seconds under my truck.

I'm lazy, so buying rather than building appeals strongly to me, but I have not seen any rock lights other than the roundeye that look like they'd resist being scraped off, bent or broken when the truck is up to the top of the frame in deep snow or deep, thick mud. If the roundeyes came on angle brackets I'd probably have shelled out the bucks for them.

BTW, that specific site you linked to generates "PHISHING" warnings on my computer. It may be nothing, but if you want to buy some you might try locally.

Tubes like that look attractive to me for bed lights (where they'd mount fully protected in the U of the top rail of our Tacomas.)

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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 11:00 AM
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Posts: 746
Send a message via Yahoo to Chalkie
Thanks! Nice detailed explanation.

I am not sure I would ever be in that situation, but....

I think I will contact PT over on TN and see how those have held up for him since he installed them. I know he lives in NY and where ever it is, they get enough snow that he got a blade for the front of his truck.
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