GEAR PRODUCT TEST – LIGHT FORCE DL230 HTX DRIVING LIGHT
AVAILABLE FROM: www.lightforce.com
RRP: $799 single light and mounting kit; $120 wiring harness.
WE SAY: Expensive, but worth every cent.
THE DL230 HTX driving light is a hybrid light combining HID and LED technology in the one unit, thereby eliminating the need for separate driving lights and light bars and their associated wiring and mounting.
The 70-Watt HID bulb sits within a 170mm reflector and sends a beam of illumination a long way down the road (1768m at one lux), which is more than ample out on the blacktop. On a run up the Stuart Highway the HID section came into its own, warning of obstacles a long way in front of my cruising vehicle.
The 20 LEDs around the circumference of the housing provide an excellent floodbeam pattern, lighting up both sides of the road or track you’re on. I find I use this side of the light much more than the long-range element, probably because we do so much driving on backtracks. The wide, bright beam lights up the road immediately in front of you (out to a few hundred metres) and is really good at illuminating wayward wildlife that like to stand in the shadows of trees and bushes and leap out on the road in front of you.
The glass-filled nylon composite housing with an extruded aluminium heat sink (to get rid of the heat from the LEDs) comes with an impact-resistant polycarbonate lens. The unit is IP69K rated – which is about as high as you can get for an outdoor light – to stop the ingress of dust, dirt and deep or high-pressure water or steam.
Current draw is 11amp, which the Lightforce wiring harness (an optional extra) easily accounts for. That harness, which is of the very best quality featuring waterproof connectors and the like, also makes it easy to wire the lights into your vehicles – I wouldn’t stuff around with anything less.
The light features thermal overload protection and over-, under- and reversevoltage protection, which are all excellent features that can protect the light and save you a lot of money. The colour temperature of both sections of the light is 5000 Kelvin, where the light is a bluish white hue. This is where a good light should be, with the colour temp of daylight varying but often within the 5000K to 7000K range.
The large lights measure 230mm in diameter, so they’d struggle to fit on some bullbars; they just fit on the ARB bar I have on my 79 Series Cruiser. The 2.3kg lights require a good mounting system – the Lightforce product provides just that – and once mounted, adjusted and aimed I haven’t had to adjust them, no matter the road or track.
They’ve proven to be robust and reliable under extreme conditions and can handle anything thrown at them.
I’ve driven behind a lot of different driving lights over the years; however, if I’m honest, this is the best, most flexible light I have ever used.