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Unread 10-07-2009, 01:24 AM   #1
riptide
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Rugged Ridge HID Driving Lights - Review

Okay, my attempt here to is write a review, or my opinion of these lights. I took a bunch of pictures, but all that showed up is the lower part of the beam (see crappy hand drawn image of the Eurobeam).

I recently picked up two 4" Rugged Ridge (or whatever name they're using - fairly generic) HID driving lights. I also picked up two 7" lights. They all have the Euro beam pattern (see pic below). I first hooked these up on the weekend, and wasn't too impressed. But decided to take them to the rifle range tonight to give them another chance before dumping $1150 on some Hella HID lights (I was looking at the Hella Rallye 4000i - compact light - $375 USD each). I'm now thanking my lucky stars that I didn't get ahold of the sales guy this afternoon, as I've reconsidered making that purchase. I'm more than willing to give these lights an honest chance (will wire them in properly) before even considering the Hella's again.

This is what the beam pattern is:



I've assigned some values just so there's no confusion with the words.
10/10 = great lighting
1/10 = very poor lighting

Ok, now to what I found out. I initially started off with one 4" light. Using the light, I was able to clearly see the 100 yard markers (10/10), easily see the 200 yard marker (6/10) and barely able to see the 300 yrd markers (2/10) (it's right at the edge of the light and if I didn't know it was there, I doubt I'd be able to pick it out). I'm sure if you measured the light it would go out much farther, but this is what I can see with this light (so useable light). This is with one 4" light that cost me $130 ($260 CND for both, including shipping to Northern Canada).

Now on to the 7" light (the 4" was put away). When I first tested these in the field I noticed little difference between the 4" light and the 7" light... Clearly I didn't have a big enough field. Again, I was clearly able to see the 100 yrd markers (10/10), I was clearly able to see the 200 yrd markers (9/10), I could easily make out the 300 yrd markers (6/10), and could make out both the 400 yard markers (4/10) and the 500 yard markers (3/10). Yes that's right... I could see tree's and **** out past 500 yards. I paid approximately $125 CND a light (including shipping to Northern Canada).

To give you some comparison, my 18 mth old Lightforce 170 55w lights could see the 200 yrd markers (4/10) and the 300 yrd markers was right at the fringe of the light (1/10). The light was also the halogen yellow and made things hard to see. And from experience, that in poor conditions, will strain your eyes. Where as the HIDs offered a bright pure white light.

I've attached a picture, but it honestly doesn't even come close to doing these lights justice. This is at the 100 yrd targets. What this picture doesn't show, is that the horizontal beam pattern was quite wide (it covered the whole width of the range when I was looking at the 300yrd+ range). The light on the ground (before the targets) is from the bulge on the bottom of the beam pattern (see above).


Now, after seeing how well these lights performed, I'll not be calling the store back about the Hella HIDs. This isn't because I don't think these lights could be improved on (because there are probably better lights out there), but that for the price of the Hella's, I'm really wondering if the difference will be enough to justify the cost. If I had the chance to do this all over again, knowing what I do now, I doubt I'd even look at the Hella's. My total cost on these was around $500 Canadian. And while I was willing to pay much more than that to be able to see, it doesn't look like I'll have to.

My opinion... if you're looking for some HID driving lights, look no further. These have an internal ballast, and offer a great bang for buck value.


EDIT:

Now after using these (drove from Whitehorse to Edmonton - 1800km), I still value them (and have kept the four 4" ones), but the hassle of aiming these just right (the mounting bolt is also used to loosen & aim the lights), its a real *****. For the short range stuff (less than 250 yrds), they're great, and the four lights I kept when I upgraded from the XJ to the JK will be incorporated into my lighting plans for the JK. However for the longer range stuff (250-500yrds) I think I'll be looking at something else.

That being said, for the price I still haven't found anything comparable, and would still recommend these as a decent & affordable light.


Last edited by riptide; 12-28-2009 at 12:08 PM.. Reason: Update - info from road trip
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Unread 10-07-2009, 12:22 PM   #2
stoneytj
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been eyeing these bad boy since they came out. really glad to see they work that well.

they are just a re boxxed hid that was being sold at west coast auto stores for a few years. (look on rubicon owners forum"cheap hid's"). everyone who has picked those up loves em too, minus the plastic adj. area.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
riptide
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Any $100 light that can give useable light out to 500 yards is money well spent. This useable light also isn't in a spot format... (like I was using with my Lightfoce 170's) it was that whole horizontal part of the beam that was out there... I was blown away by that... I'm sure that if the range was longer than 500 yards (the trees sit around 520-530), that it would go further...

And yeah, Rugged Ridge was the name that Quadratech (sp?) was selling these lights under. Electrosport lables them as HID lights, and hidxenonlights just calls them Off-road Xenon lights (there's other retailers out there, these are just two that I looked at, and had handy). These are also the lights all over ebay.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:59 PM   #4
mtdrv
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I contacted Rugged Ridge to see if they had any night shots before I bought my lights. These are the ones they sent me. I can honestly say they don't do the lights any justice. I love the ones I have mounted on my XJ.

Stock Headlights:

Hid Lights:
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Unread 12-07-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
thakoolaidkid
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Anyone have links to a reputable store with good prices on these?
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Unread 12-07-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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Unread 12-08-2009, 12:58 PM   #7
stoneytj
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4wd.com, quadratec.com
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Unread 12-08-2009, 01:17 PM   #8
PepperRedXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtdrv View Post
I contacted Rugged Ridge to see if they had any night shots before I bought my lights. These are the ones they sent me. I can honestly say they don't do the lights any justice. I love the ones I have mounted on my XJ.
Where did you say you got those from? And how much were they?
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Unread 12-08-2009, 01:59 PM   #9
GunnerT23
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Those look pretty sexy for the price, and they are cheaper to buy from the Rugged Ridge site that 4WD
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Unread 12-08-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
thakoolaidkid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunnerT23 View Post
Those look pretty sexy for the price, and they are cheaper to buy from the Rugged Ridge site that 4WD
I couldn't find an online store on the Rugged Ridge site. Just kept getting back to the catalog with no prices.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 11:10 AM   #11
riptide
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HID Off Road Lighting by Rugged Ridge and Other Jeep Parts and Jeep Accessories by 4 Wheel Drive Hardware

http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.aspx?jeep-sid=401&plID=10438&partID=45135
($452 for three 7" with wiring harness, or $307 for two 7" with wiring harness).

Rugged Ridge 15205.63 - Rugged Ridge 7" Round HID Off Road Lights in Black with Wiring Harness - Quadratec ($429 for three 7" with wiring harness)

I know this might be pricey to some... but if you really want to see at night... these are great. I'm headed on a 1800km road trip this weekend where I'll be driving straight through the night... these lights will allow me to comfortably do that. My only concern is the quality of the lights. I've had 2 DOA's on one of the 7" (the original and it's replacement were both DOA). These are almost definitely made in China. However only time will tell how long they'll last. Most retailers have a 1yr warranty... so if they do cave, you should be able to send them back for a replacement.

Now that I have mine hooked up (kinda, one of the 7" was DOA, so I'm only running with one 7" and two 4"), I'll try to get a night shot (the night shot above is about a 1/10 as to what these lights really show up as).

However, with how I have these angled, I'm seeing both ditches right to the tree line (here on the highways the tree line is 50-70 yrds from the road), and about 250-350 yrds to the front. And again, this is a brilliant pure white light. I tried just using my lightforce lights, then turning on the HIDs and holly crap. The difference is insane. I don't know how I managed with just the lightforce lights previously, as they barely register with the HIDs on (they only show up when turning sharply where there's a hill or trees and right in front of the jeep for the first 50m or so... then the HIDs drown them out). In this case the HIDs are on my roof, and the Lightforce lights are on the bumper.

The only bad thing I've found with the lights, is they're a ***** to aim correctly, and the mounting bolt is also the bolt that you loosen to aim the lights. They have little teeth and groves so it's hard/impossible to get them just right. I've had to wedge them a bit to assist with aiming them, and I still can't get the 7" one right where I want it. However even accounting for this, the lights put out so much light that you'll still get some distance to them.

As one of the 7" lights is DOA, once it's replacement arrives, I'm going to try to file down the teeth to see if that'll work. If it does, then I'll do the same to the other lights.

Edit: The 2nd bad thing I've noticed, is no one I've found that sells these has replacement shields for them. I'd love to get some extra shields and tint them light blue or amber for poor conditions.

Here's what it looks like mounted.


Last edited by riptide; 12-09-2009 at 11:33 AM..
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Unread 12-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #12
GunnerT23
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Thats a Great Lookin setup for those lights!! now you just need to get rid of that front license plate bracket for the complete look (yes I know its illegal in some states, it is in mine, but mine got trashed, so it never got put back on)
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Unread 12-09-2009, 01:58 PM   #13
riptide
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I've thought about it... but for now it's doing a good job of holding up my oil pan & block heater cord.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:21 PM   #14
JERSEYJK
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these are the same ones as the Rugged Ridge. I believe they are all the same but get re-branded??????? These are from HidX........(they come with black rings instead of the red ones the O'Reily's and RR have)

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Unread 12-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #15
srmitchell
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These look insanely bright.

I'd need a prerunner hoop to make it look not silly though.
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