I AM NOT a huge fan of night-driving. The increased potential for an animal strike and, if off-road, the chance you may not see that yawning hole on the track means I keep after-dusk adventures to minimum. This has become even more of an issue since the Land Rover Discovery joined the Walker household; driving long distances to and from a campsite invariably meant we’d be driving during the night.
The Disco’s standard lights are – how can I put this not too bluntly – absolutely shithouse in the illumination department and most definitely not up to the task of night driving with any semblance of safety. So I started looking for a suitable driving light setup, coincidentally at about the same time Aussie lighting powerhouse, Lightforce, announced its new Striker LEDs.
Even though we’d be doing more night driving than in the past I still had plans to keep it to a minimum, so I wasn’t after huge lights. I also run the Disco sans bullbar, so needed a lightweight, easy-to-mount light – the Strikers were the ideal choice.
Weighing in at a paltry 1kg each and being rectangular in shape (and small in size) meant I could get away with fitting a genuine LR accessory light bar (ordered from the UK) to attach the lights to, and they’d remain relatively unobtrusive up the front of the Disco. Plus, measuring only 146mm wide, 77mm deep and 118mm tall, their size would minimise the interruption of airflow to the Disco’s front end – it needs all the air (and anything else) it can get to help maintain a modicum of respectable performance.
The Striker LED kit includes all you need to fit the lights yourself – plug-and-play wiring loom, switch loom, all the cable ties and crimps needed, and a dash-mount switch – and the wiring harness is clearly labelled, so even numpties like this writer can install them without issues. Having said that, as I was combining the fitment of the accessory light bar with a general service, I offloaded the light-fitting task to the team at Landy specialists, Graeme Cooper Automotive.
Aside from the usual dramas of affixing anything to a Land Rover (as in, pulling half the front-end off to get to the essential location for the attachment points on the factory-accessory light bar) the Strikers were a doddle to fit. They fit well, too, thanks to the burly 17mm bolts included in the kit. That burliness continues in the lights themselves, with the diecast aluminium housing and bezel, along with the UV-stable powdercoated finish, all backed by a threeyear warranty.
Lightforce claims one lux at a claimed (spot) beam distance of 754 metres – an impressive output from a 60W light. The lights (available as a pair or singularly) come with spot filters, and Lightforce also offers modular filters as accessories, allowing you to swap between full-spot, spot/ flood, and full-flood light outputs if and when you need to. Besides the distances you get from them, the lights also provide a nice ‘white’ light. This is thanks to the 15 Luxeon LumiLED LEDs in each light and their 5000K (Kelvin) colour temperature that produces an output that is closest to actual daylight. This also has the follow-on effect of reducing glare from road signs and ensuring the track ahead is easily discernible.
To grab that well-worn cliché that the performance of these lights is “like light and day” is nearly too easy in regards to what I have had to suffer with the Disco’s standard “high” beam (and that’s a better description than those candles deserve). Needless to say, the difference is, indeed, amazing; driving remote tracks in the bush or hammering back to Sydney from the oldies’ place down the NSW far south coast is a completely new experience, now I can actually see the road from dusk onwards. I have used a combo spot/flood (or spread) beam via those additional filters for the best results for the type of driving we do.
For the $599 asking price, the Striker LEDs offer more than ample lighting performance. You can go bigger and brighter (as stated before), but for tourers after a compact, durable light for the morethan-occasional night drive, the Lightforce Striker LED is a great option.
For me, however, the pleasure of using these lights does come with a little bit of pain: on occasion I have to turn the Striker LEDs off for approaching traffic, and then I just have to hope the oncoming driver can see the big gold bus and its pathetically dim candles coming toward them.