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Unread 02-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #1
ChicagoGuy
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Delta Quad Bar lights vs. Truck-Lite LEDs

Yes, this is yet another thread on the February topic du jour – LED Headlights!

After Hilldweller and MikeTHIS did their excellent write-ups, I decided to jump onto the bandwagon. I have been using LED floods, fog and spot lights from Vision X for a couple of years now, and when done properly, LED lights are IMO the best lighting technology available, over any halogen/xenon or even HID setup. But they are cost prohibitive, at least upfront.

I really like the Speaker lights Pator installed, and had they been a couple hundred less, I’d have jumped on that bandwagon. The stock headlights on my Wrangler were almost worthless. I “upgraded” them to the Deltas a few years ago, and frankly, have always hated those lights. I’ve been considering a Cibie upgrade to e-codes from Daniel Stern (mostly due to Hilldweller’s reviews and analysis), but then I saw that Truck Lite had updated their design of their LED headlights. So I took the plunge, and last night I installed a set.

Others have covered the Truck Lite pattern and brightness in detail, so I won’t go over that much here, and focus instead on the comparison to the Delta lights.

My perspective:

Side to side coverage – significantly broader on the Truck Lites than the Deltas, although the Deltas have a more consistent spread within the more limited range (i.e. no hot spots)

Installation – Identical. Both require an H13 to H4 harness pigtail. The Truck Lites reuse the stock headlight ring, the Deltas come with the mounting tabs built into the housing.

Light quality – Significantly “whiter and brighter” light on the Truck Lites, at least subjectively. This is in part due to the poor bulb choice that comes with the Deltas.

Durability – Truck Lites by a country mile. The Deltas claim their bar reinforces the light housing, and while technically true compared to the stock housings, the Truck Lites are significantly stronger and better built. When you really rip into the Deltas, they feel cheap and flimsy in parts, such as the lightbuld latches, or the internal reflectors. The Truck Lites are solid rugged construction all the way through.

Range – The visible range seems better on the Truck Lites. This also may be due to the fact that the LEDs used would naturally be superior to the blue tinted bulbs used by the Deltas.

Looks – The Deltas actually do look pretty nice, especially compared to the stock housings. And if set up, they have the bling factor of having that secondary light in the housing. But the Truck Lites still look even better to me, in part because of the novelty factor, but also just because they are so well built.

Now, to discuss the PVM pulsing. Is it noticeable? Well, yes, especially more at idle speeds/no engine load. While driving, I didn’t notice it affecting the performance of the lights while driving. I also drove for about a mile behind a friend, and he wasn’t able to notice the pulsing/flickering at all in normal driving.

So it does in fact pulse, but at least for me, it is barely noticeable unless I was looking for it. In fact it doesn’t look as much like a flicker as it does a voltage surge, sort of the way my lights would temporarily dim and then surge when traction control would kick in. I would offer that for 90% of Jeep owners, you won’t notice or be bothered by the pulsing.

Videos and pics to follow...

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Unread 02-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
ChicagoGuy
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Here are some videos to check out.

The first video is a baseline video. It shows the Delta lights, with about a quarter mile before the road runs out. Hi and Lo beams, then the difference with the Vision X lights I have all on.
This is a video showing the difference between the two lights directly
Here is the Delta light when on
Here is the Truck Lite when on

For the next two videos, I’ve turned down a moderately lit street with a light dust of snow on the ground. The first is the Delta lights, the second is the Truck Lites. Note that although you can see more of the hot spot with the Truck Lites, they also illuminate much better than the Delta lights.

Delta on the street
Truck Lite on the street (jump to 1:50 to see the same street)

On to the pictures
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Unread 02-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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Some pics, and my final thoughts...

The Delta light housing and with the extra H13-H4 pigtail





Side by side





Delta light close-ups













Uninstalling the Deltas



Installing the Truck Lite. On the passenger side, it did ont fit the tabs 100%, and I had to wedge it in. My Jeep’s issue, from a past impact, not the light. Good thing it was solidly built. On the driver’s side, it went in flush with no issues.





Installed





View of the hot spots



So my . If money were no object, I’d probably go with the Speaker lights. But it isn’t the slam dunk I thought it would be. And compared to the first generation lights from Truck Lites, these are miles better than they were, and significantly better than the Delta Quad Bar lights I suckered myself into. I am 100% pleased with the Truck Lites, and would enthusiastically recommend them to Jeep owners looking to upgrade their headlights. I’m going to run them for a bit longer, and if my opinion changes, I’ll update the tread. But I really am a lot more impressed with this product than I thought I would be.

If you want LED headlights and are on a budget, I would get the Truck Lights.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
jjswans100
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Truck lite LED

I have had Truck lite LEDs for a couple months and love them. I have them paired with Truck lite spots. Together the two are intense. The look of them is so unique that people ask me about them daily. No bulbs to replace is awesome. I have Tried alot of lights, but these seem to be the best. I use them for street driving, but I occasionally go off-roading. The way they look at night is simply awesome.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
tturkstra
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Bill:

I'm still interested in the Truck-lites, but I understand the 2nd generation are loads better than the originals, which I looked at and discarded. How does one differentiate which version a set of Truck-lites are, to make sure one orders the correct ones?
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturkstra View Post
Bill:

I'm still interested in the Truck-lites, but I understand the 2nd generation are loads better than the originals, which I looked at and discarded. How does one differentiate which version a set of Truck-lites are, to make sure one orders the correct ones?
Jeepforum vendor TruckLites (Jerry in some of the LED shootout threads) can give you more details than I can. But the part number to look for is 27250C. Rippmods (another forum vendor) has the new ones in stock right now last I saw.

Side by side, the older models don't seem to have as defined a split between the high and low beam sections IIRC, but it's been awhile since I've seen the older ones. If you look at the TruckLites install page on their silver JK, the ones on the bumper look like the orginial model and the headlights look like the new ones.

I would just make sure that you get the above part number.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 12:46 PM   #7
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March 1st update:

Having run them for a bit now, I'll add a few more observations:

1) I do see the flicker now more than initially. I notice it mostly at idle, and when I'm close to something that makes the hot spots more obvious. But no one I've asked to look for it notices it when I am driving behind them at night. Especially when I'm moving. I will eventually try a harness though.

2) The "reflective distance" (whatever the real term is; Hilldweller will know ) is significantly better than with the Deltas or the stock lights. I can see street signs or other reflective markers well beyond what appears to be the end of the effective light range. Not sure yet if I'll see animal eyes...

3) They do have a lot of "curb appeal" and I get asked about them a lot. Truck Lite should have sent me some business cards, like Shrockworks did when I bought their bumper, to hand out when people asked about it. To be fair, I get asked about the Vision X ones a lot too. And the ORH top. And, sadly, I got asked about the "cool blue" Deltas when I had them. But if you crave attention, these will get you some.

4) The gaps in coverage aren't the best on the highway. These really do seem to be better designed for a trail rig instead of a daily driver. I got out into a few fields just to see, and the hot/cold zone split is not really noticeable at all on more broken terrain, compared to what you see when it is projecting across an empty stretch of open road. I do want to see how well the aux lights fill in the gaps.

5) Snow and rain didn't have an adverse effect on performance. I know that the lights don't get as hot as stock lights, but so far I have not had any issues with accumulation while driving. Didn't get far up in the mountain passes yet to see what it's like in the worst conditions, but for normal weather conditions, these work great.

Overall, a week in, no regrets. I would agree with the general consensus that this are better designed for an offroad rig. Very durable, and light up trails great. But even on a daily driver, they are a very effective product. The Speaker lights seems better suited for everyday use, but the cost is skewed the wrong way for many. It's a D44 vs. a D60 argument for me - yes, you can spend more and get more. Just determine if you need to.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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I chased down Truck lite and asked about buying the lights. I merntioned I had seen them dicussed here on Jeep Forum and could I buy them from them. Their response...

No, Please provide us with your Zip Code, we can get you a list of local distributors to contact

CS

And...

Any Local Napa Auto Parts
or

Fleetpride
801 E. MISSION ROAD, SUITE A
SAN MARCOS, CA 92069
(760) 752-9828

Bob K.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoGuy View Post
March 1st update...

Overall, a week in, no regrets. I would agree with the general consensus that this are better designed for an offroad rig. Very durable, and light up trails great. But even on a daily driver, they are a very effective product. The Speaker lights seems better suited for everyday use, but the cost is skewed the wrong way for many. It's a D44 vs. a D60 argument for me - yes, you can spend more and get more. Just determine if you need to.
So! Great reviews by all three of you. I will ask you my question as you seem to be the "everyday" person unlike the other two "scientists" that talk about lox and stuff! So, the question is, knowing what you know and have experienced with them now, would you upgrade from stock to these? I know it has been said that they have their downfalls, but it has been said that they are pretty nice as well. I would most assuradly be interested in something that is indestructable, reliable, and effective. I just need them to be a good deal better than stock (shouldn't be too hard, they stink!) and something that I can safely use on the roads, bad weather, long trips on winding mountain roads.
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Unread 03-02-2011, 10:10 AM   #10
ChicagoGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Washi View Post
So! Great reviews by all three of you. I will ask you my question as you seem to be the "everyday" person unlike the other two "scientists" that talk about lox and stuff! So, the question is, knowing what you know and have experienced with them now, would you upgrade from stock to these? I know it has been said that they have their downfalls, but it has been said that they are pretty nice as well. I would most assuradly be interested in something that is indestructable, reliable, and effective. I just need them to be a good deal better than stock (shouldn't be too hard, they stink!) and something that I can safely use on the roads, bad weather, long trips on winding mountain roads.
Thanks!

Would I recommend them as replacement for stock lights? Yes, I would. They aren't for everyone, so it's hard to say it with 100% certainty, but in the time I've had them, no issues I couldn't live with daily. I will say this, just in simple foothill driving, twisting and turning through dark roads, they are tons better than stock lights, or even Delta quad bar "upgraded" lights. Just the side to side coverage alone makes them worth it over regular lights for sure.

The only hesitation I have is I haven't yet had them in the mountains in a full on white out. We don't get typically get snow directly where I live, just an occassional dusting, so I have to drive out to the Cascades to test that, and since I've had them we've gotten snow, but nothing intense yet. So I don't know if that will be an issue.
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Unread 12-26-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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This was excellent information! I was looking at the Delta Quad bar but I'm going with Truck Lite now!! Thanks for the info!
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