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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've notice a lot of threads on fog/driving lights. Most people seem to use PIAA. I'm planning on a Shrockworks bumper and adding some lights to it.

Thing I'm trying to figure out is what's the difference between PIAA's and other brands that justifies the price?

I was looking at a set of these KC-style ones after my friend bought an 8-pack off eBay for less than the cost of 1 pair of PIAA's that can come with the Shrockworks bumper. Those PIAAs are $199/pair. My friend got 8-KC lights for $160. So what makes the PIAA's worth an extra $80/light? The KC ones seem to average around $20/light, can come in black, and can be bought in 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and even 16 count packs. They come with switches, relays, wire, and 100w/130w/150w bulbs depending on the auction. I've seen my friend's setup and they're metal housing with glass lense. Not cheap chrome-painted plastic. They did rust slightly before he painted them black, so I would just go with the black ones knowing that.



http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-13...tegoryZ33709QQihZ014QQitemZ330072945791QQrdZ1


http://search.ebay.com/search/searc...+driving+light&category0=&submitSearch=Search


I just don't understand paying $200 for 2 lights that'll get hit with rocks, road salt, tree branches, etc. I could by 8 lights for less than the cost of 2 PIAAs, install 4, have more light, and have 4 more incase any break. So what am I missing here? :whatthe:
 

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2006 4x4 Tacoma TRD
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i don't know anything about either brand of lights. but i would think the small things are where the differences are. possiblities include, cheaper lights aren't sealed as well (moisture and condensation may build up), cheaper switches/connections that may corrode or short out, thinner glass that will break easier, and built to weaker specs (meaning countless other problems may or may not occur, you never know what you're getting).

i'm simply listing posibilities, like i said, i know nothing about the lights you're looking to buy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
BillBrasky said:
uhhhh.... Thanks... But why are you posting info about lights that cost considerably more than the PIAA's when those are already more than I'd like to pay? Say I hit a deer or tree branch offroading. My insurance will cover the stock lights, shrockworks bumper probably won't be damaged, but who's gonna pay $200-$300 for my fog lights? I'd like to have 4 lights. With the Lightforce ones that's gonna cost me between $400 and $600!! :eek: That seems a little insane for lights. Maybe if I was running the Baja 1000 and put half a mill into my truck, but I'm not.

The PDF file was useful though. Compares the actual output of several lights. Doesn't really answer my questions though. I can always mount 4 instead of 2 to get the spread and coverage I want. And for the price of some of them I can definitely live with a few flaws or imperfections. :lol: I just want to take a few trails at night, not run a race in the dark.


Edit:

OK, so the light force ones can take a hell of a beating. Still, $300 for 2 lights? :eek: Damn, I could just buy extras of the ebay ones and replace as needed! :lol:
 

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I can't speak for specific models but I can give you my experience. I've owned PIAA's and several other brands. I've had driving lights on the front and 8 and 9" on a light bar on the roof.

The PIAA's were excellent as far as light pattern dispersion and color temp. Basically they put the light where you want it and they don't look like a damn color wheel. The construction is solid. A particular pair I had on the front took some serious beatings on a backwoods trip including 2-3" branches and some rocks that F'd up my grill pretty bad. If you do buy the PIAA's most come with a guard but I added some additional protection between that and the lens. Homedepot, wire mess or something similar.

As for the other brands, that depends. I did buy a pair of 8" dia. 3" depth 150watt spot lights and mounted those behind my grill. They were friggin sweet when some jackass wouldn't move out of the acceleration lane. Those lights last 10years 3 trucks and only replaced the bulbs twice.

Then again PepBoys, Checkers and whatever auto store is around always sell some cheap lights. You get what you pay for and with PIAA you do get quality. Just buy what you can afford and don't worry about what you're not getting out of them.
 

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'06 Access 4x4 I4 Manual
06 Taco Access 4x4
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Since I just installed PIAA's last weekend I will chime in here. For me it came down to fitment inside the bullbar and knowing that the bullbar would offer some protection for the lights. If mine were more exposed and I put them at risk, I probably would have gone cheaper (i.e., disposable). I had a box of Hella 500's in line at the cash register and decided at the last minute to go PIAA. The Hella 500's probably would not have fit anyway. I was in a Goldilocks situation: 4" lights seemed too small and 6-8" lights were way too big (for inside the bullbar). That narrowed the options to 5". I also wanted black housings to offset the chrome bullbar which narrowed it down some more. The LightForce lights look amazing, but the PIAA's are tough enough for me. I have a set of cheap Westin lights in the garage still in the box, but they seem, well, cheap. I had similar ones on my old truck and had moisture/condensation problems all the time.

And to be honest, I felt pretty good about PIAA since a lot of guys on here have them.

EDIT: The OEM's are waaayyyy overpriced, too, but at least the flimsy housing can hide inside the bumper!
 

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PiercedTiger said:
uhhhh.... Thanks... But why are you posting info about lights that cost considerably more than the PIAA's when those are already more than I'd like to pay? Say I hit a deer or tree branch offroading. My insurance will cover the stock lights, shrockworks bumper probably won't be damaged, but who's gonna pay $200-$300 for my fog lights? I'd like to have 4 lights. With the Lightforce ones that's gonna cost me between $400 and $600!! :eek: That seems a little insane for lights. Maybe if I was running the Baja 1000 and put half a mill into my truck, but I'm not.

The PDF file was useful though. Compares the actual output of several lights. Doesn't really answer my questions though. I can always mount 4 instead of 2 to get the spread and coverage I want. And for the price of some of them I can definitely live with a few flaws or imperfections. :lol: I just want to take a few trails at night, not run a race in the dark.


Edit:

OK, so the light force ones can take a hell of a beating. Still, $300 for 2 lights? :eek: Damn, I could just buy extras of the ebay ones and replace as needed! :lol:
Actually, posting those links was to show you the reason why more expensive lights cost more. And if you study that comparo link (the .pdf file) it clearly shows that, for the money (roughly $100/set), the IPF lights (ARB's lights) are about as good as anything else (sans the LightForce lights) in light output. I also hear folks rave about the Hella 55's, so...

Just trying to help you find a compromise in quality, performance and price. Do you really believe that you will be happy with the quality and performance of those Ebay lights and having to replace them when the break as opposed to spending just a little more for some higher quality, brighter, tougher lights that might be able to take more punishment w/o failing?

AN and Screeber both run IPF lights after doing much research on the subject.
 

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PT - At least take a look at that forest-of-october link that BB gave you. If not for a particular product, it gives you a great overview of the qualities that make a great light. Lightforce kicks ass - no question about it, but you got to cough up some dough. IPF has some higher end lights that are probably pretty compatible, but again, too pricy for what you are after.

I got the 968's for $105 + shipping - you can't beat that price for what I would call "the best of the second tier." It's not a $500 light set, but it certainly holds its own among any of the $100 - 300 sets, and if you look at the publications, reviews, comments of other owners, etc., it's pretty much a no-brainer.

The quality of the housings, the wiring, the relay - all excellent. Choice of a 55 or 100W bulb. Blingy covers (sort of), plus you can get the clear lexan for another $20.

THose lights you picked might be fine, or they might start out well, and then proceed to rust, chip, fade, break, short.....and you'll end up paying for it in the long run.

Just another opinion to ponder.....
 

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pro comp has similar lights at about $25.00 each no wire or switch and they are pretty solid.i had them on my blazer. they will lose their shine after a while, they also have signature series slim profile at about $59.00 each ( i have them on my tacoma). I also have a KC long range between the pro comps this is a well built light the cover will protect it from any hits . I had the pro comps and the KC on both the blazer and tacoma as chase truck in the baja 1000 and 500, lights survived had a rock kicked up and cracked my windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bill: I didn't mean to be rude, but I'm on a budget and I didn't want to pay more for lights than the bumper! :clap: I'll look into the IPF's though after your comments on them. I looked at the PDF file and the night shots on each one looked more or less the same to me. There were subtle differences, but still kinda hard for me to see much difference. I'm just looking for something I can turn on occasionally when I take trails, or back roads without traffic at night. For the amount I would use them I can't justify the cost of Lightforce ones. Maybe if I start OR'ing at night more I will want them, but not at the moment.

Screeber: Who makes the 968's you were talking about? I haven't checked the links again since I got to work so I don't know if those are IPF, Lightforce, etc.

Toytac05
: Thanks for the info on the KC's.


My friend has 6 of those KC-style ones from eBay on his jeep. They looked bright when he flipped them on one night, but he doesn't run them often enough to see if they fade. And we've not been offroading together at night to see how they do either. Then again he has a Westin-style brush guard with 3 on top of the light bar section, and 3 underneith. I suppose with 6 lights it doesn't really matter how well each one lights up the trail! :lol: He can always adjust the angles on them to cover dark areas.

It'll be a couple months before I get the bumper so I guess I can always wait and watch how his lights hold up to rust, etc. Maybe take a trip at night with him to see how they work.
 

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sorry, if i wasnt clear but it was the finish on the pro comp lights that faded. to me it didn't really matter.the ight produced stayed the same.
 

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Trevor
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PT, the 968's are made by IPF/ARB. I installed them on my truck and couldn't be happier with them. Excellent build quality, a very nice wiring harness, overall a very well built light, and IMO they are the best bang for the buck. They don't shake or vibrate like cheap lights can, they are properly sealed so you don't have to worry constant shorts or fogging from water and moisture contamination and their light pattern is very nice, kinda a cross between a spot and driving light. You get good amount of light dispersed off to the sides of the truck within the first 15-20 feet or so and a very nice focused beam further out a few hundred feet. I considered the lightforce lights as they are the best hands down, but in the mean time the IPF's have been everything I could have asked for. For a little over $100 bucks you get 2 lights, 4 bulbs, 2 light covers, and an excellnt harness. You won't find a better deal on a quality light.

Here's a good review from TTORA, and where you can pick them up for a good price.

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/wiki/index.php/IPF_968_Driving/Fog_Lamps

http://www.4by4connection.com/ipf968higper.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
toytac05 said:
sorry, if i wasnt clear but it was the finish on the pro comp lights that faded. to me it didn't really matter.the ight produced stayed the same.
Ok. Thanks. It wouldn't really matter to me either I suppose.

I've been looking more and more at the IPF 968's. More than I wanted to spend originally, but cheaper than the PIAAs. I've looked at the KC-style ones some more and it looks like there's a few parts that can break, or be a problem. Let the hose clamp-like clamps that hold the lense on. I can see that screw corroding or rusting and breaking when it comes time to change a bulb. My friend also mentioned the metal loom on the back comes out of the light so I'm not sure I want to deal with them even though they are a LOT cheaper.

Trying to decide if I just want to bite the bullet come tax time and get the Shrockworks with winch, powder coat, and lights! :lol: Get it all at once, assembled, and ready to go once we get our taxes back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Adventure North said:
PT, the 968's are made by IPF/ARB. I installed them on my truck and couldn't be happier with them. Excellent build quality, a very nice wiring harness, overall a very well built light, and IMO they are the best bang for the buck. They don't shake or vibrate like cheap lights can, they are properly sealed so you don't have to worry constant shorts or fogging from water and moisture contamination and their light pattern is very nice, kinda a cross between a spot and driving light. You get good amount of light dispersed off to the sides of the truck within the first 15-20 feet or so and a very nice focused beam further out a few hundred feet. I considered the lightforce lights as they are the best hands down, but in the mean time the IPF's have been everything I could have asked for. For a little over $100 bucks you get 2 lights, 4 bulbs, 2 light covers, and an excellnt harness. You won't find a better deal on a quality light.

Here's a good review from TTORA, and where you can pick them up for a good price.

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/wiki/index.php/IPF_968_Driving/Fog_Lamps

http://www.4by4connection.com/ipf968higper.html
Thanks AN. I think I'm going to leaning towards those. :lol: Guess I was posting the last one while you were replying. Damn TV distracted me for a couple minutes. :D

I appreciate your description of how they work. More expensive than the lights I was looking at before, but like you said they are built better. So I shouldn't be breaking parts trying to open them up to replace the bulbs. Probably also worth not having the aggrevation of water in the lens among other things. It's getting late so I'll read those links you posted later..... Like when I'm at work killing time! :clap:

I was wondering about their brightness since they only have 55w bulbs IIRC, whereas I've seen 100-150w bulbs. But if you say they go out "a few hundred feet" then I'd say that sounds pretty good!
 

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everything you wanted to know about vehicle lighting, not brands....
danielsternlighting.com
 

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^THe IPF 968's come with 2 sets of bulbs: 55W and 100W. I'm running the 100W in mine. AN provided a very good description - relatively wide pattern for the short distances, and then a more concentrated beam way down the road.
 

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PiercedTiger said:
I was wondering about their brightness since they only have 55w bulbs IIRC, whereas I've seen 100-150w bulbs. But if you say they go out "a few hundred feet" then I'd say that sounds pretty good!
They come with 4 bulbs so you can choose, 2 x 55 watt bulbs which are nice if you want to use them on a daily basis for extra light on the roads and 2 x 100 watt H3 bulbs that are really bright for off-road or as an addition to your hi-beams.
 

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Trevor
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screeber said:
^THe IPF 968's come with 2 sets of bulbs: 55W and 100W. I'm running the 100W in mine. AN provided a very good description - relatively wide pattern for the short distances, and then a more concentrated beam way down the road.
Beat me to it.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Cool! :thumbsup: Thanks Guys! I'll check out that danielslighting site too when I get to work. lol
 

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What makes a quality light more expensive? The lens, reflector, and housing. Quality cut glass lens, specific designed reflector for each type of light pattern, and stainless steel housing. You already mentioned your buddies lights started to rust. My guess it they won't last a year before the rust through. Also assuming they are KC knock-offs and not genuine KC brand. Big difference. If you rely on your lights for actual usable light output and not just to look cool buck up and buy quality. Most all of the quality brands have 100% replaceable parts. Crack a lens, replace only the lens, etc.
 
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