gear PRODUCT TEST Ė NARVA ULTIMA 215 LED
AVAILABLE FROM: www.narva.com.au RRP: $699 per lamp (expected).
WE SAY: Quick installation, make a massive difference.
THE OLD driving lights that came with my Patrol have served me well, but theyíre now 16 years young and itís time to update them to a set of Narva Ultima 215 LEDs. These LEDs are super powerful, producing 165W through 33x5W Cree LEDs that claim 10,500 raw lumens.
Constructed from pressure die-cast aluminium and sealed against dust and water ingress, the lights weigh only 2.8kg each and at only 235mm high, the LEDs werenít too much bigger than the old IPFs.
The hard-coated polycarbonate lens is claimed to be virtually unbreakable and will survive the onslaught of bouncing stones and debris Iíll soon encounter out on the tracks. The lights come with a lens protector and the customerís choice of three colour trims to suit vehicles Ė call me Barry Boring, but I stuck with standard silver.
The first task for fitment was removing the old lights, which was easy once I figured out how to get the Sidchrome up in the space. I then had to drill some new holes in the bar to mount the Narva 215s. While you could get away with one main mounting bolt, I chose the three for maximum stability Ė and to get the positioning right, I used a thin rubber mounting mat as a template guide.
It was then time for the old harness to come out, making mental notes of where things ran under the bonnet for when it came time to fit the new one. Itís strongly advised to get the matching wiring harness, as it makes the job pretty much idiot-proof given itís a plugand- play set-up. All of the wires in the kit are clearly labelled, and the kit comes with everything you need to get the job done.
The 40amp fuse was secured using an existing fitting, while for the 40amp relay we had to pop in a self-tapping screw to hold things in place. The most timeconsuming part of installation was running the driving light switch through the firewall. It should have been simple, as we were running it alongside the wiring for the old lights, but we were hamstrung by fat fingers and eyesight thatís not as good as it was 10 years ago.
Eventually we managed to get it through, with the push-button switch stuck on the dash by the steering column within easy reach of the driver. The new wiring loom was run in the same spot as the old one and, once tapped into the headlight/high beam circuit, it was all cable-tied into position, ensuring the complete job looked neat as a pin.
The final task was to tap into the parking light circuit so the parking light LEDs would be operational. In all honesty I could live without them, however, it really does look neater when complete.
The difference in the performance so far has been amazing and the LEDs clearly lit up the entire 300-metre of road we pointed them at. Unfortunately, the scrub on both sides of the road limited the view of the spread in photos. Narva claims a full LUX is available at 900 meters.
Adjusting them was easy, as it has a unique tool-free adjustment on the side Ė just unscrew, adjust, then tighten.
The Narva 215s are a very impressive set of lights. If you, like me, are sporting a set of old favourites that do an okay job, we recommend you go and have a look at new tech such as these. Safety on outback roads is paramount, and you canít avoid something you canít see.