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Author Topic: Headlight Options for 5 3/4 headlights? Driving Lights?  (Read 5907 times)
rv_safetyman
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« on: September 27, 2009, 08:27:34 AM »

My Eagle has dual 5 3/4 headlights.  I really like the looks, but they are not much better than a flashlight.  I have added relays on the headlights and that helped some, but still not acceptable (standard sealed beam headlights).

A while back I did some research and found:  http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html.  I am very impressed with the technology and information he has on his site.  I even ordered the Cibie CSR headlights(@ $111 each). He never did ship them even though I bugged him a couple of times.  Probably for the best, since I really did not want to spend that much (I try my best not to drive at night).

On this trip we are on (sadly still not with the bus Angry), I stopped by one of my favorite truck supply stores:  Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply (http://wilkinsots.com/).  I looked at what looks like great technology headlights.  The box is labeled with the name "Crystal".  They are shown at:  http://www.magictrucksupply.com/product_info.php?cPath=20&products_id=57.  The reflector looks like the European technology that is said to be  superior to USA technology.  

The price of these headlights is quite reasonable (~ $30).  However, I can't find any  reviews or technical information.

So, I come to this wonderful group of folks to see if any of you know anything about Crystal headlights or any other option for 5 3/4.

Thanks, Jim
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 06:47:06 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 08:48:13 AM »

Jim,

I'm sure you have already checked but, just in case, the first thing to do is to be sure you have full voltage at the lights.  If the voltage at the lights in not very close (1/4 volt) to the battery voltage, then you have a significant voltage drop. My guess on an Eagle would be ground issues.

If that's the case, it wouldn't matter what lamps you used.
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 08:58:28 AM »

The problem with most Eagle headlights is low voltage people have replaced the 300 amp 50d with smaller alternators and when you light the system with all the outside lights they just don't have enough power.
 I helping a guy now that has 135 amp alternator on his Eagle the headlights are dim

good luck
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 10:14:57 AM »

Jim, They just had a discussion about this on Barthmobile.com in the tech section i think. I am also thinking of doing something about my lites....same size as yours. Why don't you wait till you get to Yuma and we can do them both at the same time?  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 10:30:05 AM »

Len, I ran heavy gauge wire to the relays and mounted them very close to the headlights.  I did not measure the voltage, but I will do that when I get it running again Angry.

Clifford, I do have the truck alternator on the bus.  It only powers the start batteries (have a separate one for the house batteries).  I watch the voltage and it always stays in the high 12s as I recall (via SilverLeaf).  That is at the engine, so when I check it at the headlights, that will tell me if I have a loss in the path to the front.

Ed, sounds like a deal.  I just have to get the darn thing running Smiley

I head home around the 5th  and that will be my focus.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 10:31:05 AM »

Sorry, it turns out it is in the Barth upgrades and improvement section under headlights, dated around 9/16.
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 12:06:29 PM »

I never liked the small headlights. I have had a lot of them, my favorite KW has them. Not enough light at their best.

First thing I always do is install a pair of nice chrome Austin spots, (available in pairs @ Peterbilt, sometimes as inexpensive as $60 on sale for the pair). I have had experiences where I burned the entire wire harness out of trucks and when that happens it gets completely dark and smokey real fast, not to mention the danger of 60 MPH and no lights!.

The solution for me was to install the drivers side spot light switch directly in front of my left hand so I can always find it in the dark. I always wire the emergency spot directly from the battery so even if the truck/bus harness frys I will have enough light to safely get off the road. Aircraft lights are hi wattage and will need a separate on/off switch for each light.

If traffic is heavy, I leave the passenger spot on, (non aircraft), and can see just fine. If oncoming traffic is light I use the aircraft spot until traffic comes, then I drop it, unless I need it. There is a sign in Idaho that says Rest Area 10 miles. It is a straight 10 miles to the Rest Area and with the landing light, I can see the entrance to the Rest Area 10 miles ahead.

I don't know of any professional driver who runs day and night over the road who does not have and use auxiliary lights. If ya ain't got some, get some. They will make you a lot safer driver in the dark and also give you alot more confidence because there is no substitute for being able to see well in the dark.

People hit me with the brights from time to time, but when I hit them back with the aircraft landing light, they never fail to yield! You can almost hear them say O ____...
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 12:40:29 PM by NJT 5573 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 06:30:52 PM »

Somebody got a link for the "aircraft" landing light?

I am interested.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 06:46:12 PM »

John beat me to it. 

I had thought about driving lights.  Indeed, I had two from a previous project and started to install them, but have misplaced one of them  Smiley

I suspect they were not the best quality.  We are in a hotel next to wally world and I went over to look at driving lights.  I like to have technical information or a good recommendation.  At wally world, they don't carry anything that has technical information.

So, like John, I would like to have folks discuss their driving light experience.  Aircraft landing lights sound interesting.

I will change the subject to reflect that we are also discussing driving lights

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 07:00:17 PM »

Jim and John you can buy the 100w landing light at Napa for 12 bucks but all I have seen were 4 inch 12v . 
They are against the law in most states for driving and like Larry I flashed mine at a guy in Idaho for not dimming his brights and guess who he was so I don't have mine any more

good luck
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 07:07:11 PM »

Hi fella's. Projector beam head lights such as found on the new German cars seem to be the way to go. The kids from the Noppi crowd add them to their fast and furious customs, and let me tell you, they are bright.
  I googlied projector beam headlights" and found quite alot of resources, some for custom application. Here's one:
http://www.carid.com/projector-headlights.html
I think Installing these would be a cake job,fab out 2 deep light boxes and a clear lens  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 07:37:28 PM »

Any small airport should have lights.

aircraftspruce.com lists all the different GE bulbs in both 13 and 28 volt.

My favorite was always the pencil beam, but I don't remember what one that is. 100 watts is alot of light, but they have them up to 250 watts in 13V and 600 watts in 28V. You can probably use the GE numbers from Spruce and get the bulbs from NAPA. They fit upside down in the inexpensive Austin fixture, it comes 2 to a box with mounts from Peterbilt and possibly KW, the aircraft bulbs don't care if you mount them upside down or not, just aim them. Aircraft need a switch and power supply for each bulb, they take some power and will fry a single switch setup if you put two bulbs on the same switch.

One landing light is all you need. I like mine on the drivers side, straight ahead, it will make it almost like daylight! You can see bumps in the road at night and a small rock will show up at a few hundred feet. I keep the factory Austin GE low watt bulb in the passengers side and that way it doesn't bother anyone with brightness, but still lights the roadway well when there is too much traffic for the landing light.

I came across the Florida panhandle one night after the Daytona 500 in my 05 Eagle in the hardest rainstorm I have ever run. I felt safe running 90 with the RainX and landing lights, I just ate those miles up! Lights make all the difference.

Driving bulbs for the Austins are rounded in the front, aircraft are flat. CHP has never said anything to me about them, but I have had a few I'm sure they tapped with a hammer and broke out for me over 40 years. I usually just cover the landing light for Ca. and save it for worse weather than Ca. normally has. I doubt anyone would ever see them on a bus though, mine have been on both buses for 15 years and no one has ever said anything to me. Yet..., but I am pretty good about hitting the off switch for oncoming traffic.

They are just a driving aid, but you can't beat lots of light when you want it. I doubt I would still be alive after all these years and miles without great lights.
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 08:52:22 PM »

Last year we saw a new Newell that had small headlights, ( looked to be about 3 or 4 inches at the most ) i thought at first they were just driving lights until i realized that is all he had.  He said they worked great. Last week at a small rally there was a new Prevost that also had the small lights and he too said they were fine so i took a closer look. Turns out they are made by Hella. Thought maybe i would mount them as driving  lights so i could retain the look of the dual round lights but maybe also upgrade them too to a better bulb so that i could have my choice of high beams.
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 10:47:45 PM »

Aircraft landing lights....  Wow, I didn't even think they could fly - whay are your tail numbers? Shocked

I would suggest E-Code lights, I have them and so do several others on this board.  The beam pattern is better designed (scientificly, not lobby-powered Roll Eyes).  Cibie has the ones that will fit you bus (5.75" both low and high-beam) they are bulb-replacable ad take H4 bulbs (which you can find in either 12 or 24 volt) and at various different wattages.  Standard H4 wattage is 55-low/65-high - but I've seen 90-low/110-high... I'd hate to be on the receiving-end of that Cool.

They will be more expensive that the sealed-beam, or halogen DOT fixtures but they are worth every penny.  Of course, since thay are ECE not DOT (european regulating body not US regulating body) you may fail an inspection in some states - but many states are allowing these fixtures because they dont' give off an offending light pattern so they are harder to spot...

-Tim
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 11:07:35 PM »

Jim -

Hope to see you again this January in Quartzsite!

Anyway, I've discussed headlights numerous times on this bbs and over on BNO.  Here are two links to the general discussion as to why I highly recommend what I recommend.  Scroll down thru the thread to see my comments:

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/1795.html
http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/16922.html

And here's a link on how to adjust them properly:

http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/2621.html


IMHO & IMHR, you cannot go wrong with a properly installed set of Cibie headlamps.  At roughly $300 for a set of four with tax & shipping, they are a little pricey.  But again, I'll ask you the question:  "What price SAFETY?"   (Especially with you in the RV safety products arena!)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2009, 04:17:36 AM »

I have two small rectangular lights on each side on the front of my bus, anybody know of some brighter ones.
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2009, 06:36:47 AM »

Here's the holders:

For round

http://www.slickcar.com/productdetails.asp?ProductID=1028


For square

http://www.slickcar.com/productdetails.asp?ProductID=1028

then you have to get the HID bulb kit to go in the holders


I don't know about this company, just googled for what was out there.

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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2009, 07:17:34 AM »

Lots of good input here.

RJ.  Your post got me to doing some more searching.  Cibie certainly has the best reputation.  It is interesting to note that there are two Cibie technologies out there.  Your posts point towards the HSR technology (~$80).  The Daniel Stern site talks about the CSR technology (~$111).  He also carries what I think are the HSR.  He really talks up the CSR technology and shows some testing to support his claims. 

The reading I did suggested that the other name brands are inferior to the Cibie.  Further, the knock offs seem to be a distant 3rd place.

Newbee, those headlights seem to be USA reflector technology (SAE) as opposed to the much better European reflector technology.  I really want the better reflector technology.  When I looked at the Crystal headlights (first post) it looked to me to be the European technology.  However, I can't find any specifications or user testimonies.

I guess I will have to save my money and pay the price (after I get the engine in again Grin)

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2009, 08:55:47 AM »

Yeah, that's it.  Engine first, then headlights, you got it.
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2009, 09:53:42 AM »


Hey Jim,

Here is a holder with a different reflector,

 http://www.slickcar.com/productdetails.asp?ProductID=6401


Once you change out the holder, you can use the halogen H4 bulbs or the HID systems.  The HID systems are what some people are using on their fancy sports cars.  They use starters and ballast but have no filaments to break and don't get as hot.
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2009, 12:44:43 PM »

John,

The Aircraft lights don't just shine a second in front of me they shine 10 miles ahead of me. That's not a second in front of me, it's 5 or 6 minutes (This is a blog about lights). If you have never had a 100+ MPH truck and logged 5 million miles, there ain't no reason for me to try to explain anything to you, this really is not for you, its something you would need to live everyday to become skillful doing and not everyone is an outright fool for speed anyway.

Nascar has had some real fast trucks over the years. Junior Johnson had trucks that should have required pilots licenses to drive. So did Robert Yates in the 1980's. Some of those guys can still cover alot of ground in a day.

I would never and did not recommend anyone else try to drive like I do. I know the roads pretty well, I don't do anything I have not done for many years. I have confidence in my driving skills from repetition. I don't get in over my head ever.  My equipment right down to the last tire is first class or I will be in the shop getting it first class.

There is a lot here about getting the tires just right, pressure this and trick that, but when you road test a Bridgestone at 100 MPH+ day after day with 80,000 lbs for years, its hard to talk me into another tire or changing the pressure to match each load. The good stuff takes care of you, not the other way around. 

There are few over the road truckers out there who don't worship real fast trucks and 100MPH ain't real fast now a days. Even in the old days those 08 Cats would really get it done, 130 MPH was not out of reality. What do you think Owner Drivers are doing with those 800-1000 HP engines Pittsburgh Diesel is putting out of their shop? Before computers, there were some pretty fast buses on the road as well. They didn't call them Silver Bullets because they were dogs and I have had a few of them pass me like I was parked.

You obviously can't drive 90 MPH around the cities of this country, but it really is a big wide open country with lots of lonely interstate miles where traffic can be almost non existent, especially late at night. After 40 years, you almost know all of Smokey's tricks, his hours, his habits, where and when he eats and his hiding spots. If you have played this game all your life, its not hard to feel safe and secure driving 90 on the open road in the middle of the night with good lights.

Take your fastest ride about 25 miles out of town on the Interstate, most any night, wait for one of the big boys to come around you, and see what they are running out in the wide open freeways. Keep in mind, they won't turn it lose until they are sure you aren't the local tax man, but there are still alot of trucks out there that will cross a 400 mile wide state every 4 hours all night long if the coast is clear!

My old Eagle 05 really drove out nice at 90MPH. The problem with the 90 MPH sweet spot was that my wife also drove it 90MPH everywhere we went and that used to bother me a little, but she always brought it home. Sometimes she was just a little hard to sleep behind though...

The nice thing about the Austin/Aircraft light is they are small and inexpensive. They mount easily, and don't look obvious like the larger offroad lights, but they sure take darkness out of the driving equation. If you really want daylight, give the 13V 250 watt or the 600 watt 28V a try, let me know how that works for you!
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"Ammo Warrior" Keepers Of The Peace, Creators Of Destruction.
Gold is the money of Kings, Silver is the money of Gentlemen, Barter is the money of Peasants, Debt is the money of Slaves.

$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2009, 02:24:55 PM »

Thank you, both John and NJT.

Sometimes God is looking out for me.

More often, He is looking out for the others.

I am very sure to regularly thank Him for the second, and pray He continues His vigilance.

Safety in numbers?

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2009, 03:16:12 PM »

I don't see too many, if any, truck drivers doing 90+ MPH these days.  We drive at 65 MPH along I80 from Des Moines to Reno and don't get passed by a whole lot of trucks even overnight.  I suspect the high price of diesel is slowing them down a bit.  The speed limit is 75 MPH most of the way and a lot of the trucks aren't even going that fast.

To get back on topic, I have regular old fog/auxiliary lights on my bus.  They are Peterson brand.  They aren't aircraft landing lights, but they won't blind someone in the next county either.  I'm pretty happy with the headlights on my bus.  They are just plain 6x4 rectangular halogen headlights with seperate high and low beams.
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« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2009, 04:53:59 PM »

John,

We seem to find a lot to agree upon lately.
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« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2009, 04:57:51 PM »

John,

We seem to find a lot to agree upon lately.

How nice Grin Grin Grin.

I am glad that safety is a big deal for others too.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2009, 08:21:04 PM »

Hi everyone.

John wants an answer from me so bad he sent me a personal Email request that  I respond. Everyone has different experiences in life. I have regularily and truthfully shared mine on this board. I could poo poo the ballsy experiences I have had in the transportation industry, but why??? I have had a lot of fun in this old life and will continue to politely discuss those experiences on this board.

I am pretty thick skinned so I don't mind John's rant, hell he is probably right, although I don't know that what I do in the middle of the night when I'm all alone out in the middle of nowhere in this big country should matter to him! When you build your own trucks and pay your own fuel though it's hard not to go a little outside the box. All the Texas bull haulers sure do..

Obviously John has an agenda here, not related to "spotlights", (this is a blog about spotlights), hopefully he now feels better about himself.

Guess I better not tell the story about the load of Ice Cream I ran into Edmonton this summer in the heat...Well, maybe some other time!!! 
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$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2009, 05:25:45 AM »

I rarely post on this type of thread, but I have to add my thoughts on this. My concern is not how fast you can drive, it is how fast you can STOP.  If you increase your speed from 65 to 90 (or faster), can you terll me how much your stopping distance increases?  I can guarantee you it it drastically increased.  I hope I am not on the road near any driver that is driving a vehicle as heavy as our coaches that is trying to set a land speed record.  Jack
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2009, 06:00:49 AM »

WOW guys from dim headlights to 100 mph buses to 130 mph trucks what did I miss here.
Jim I hope you got the answer somewhere in between because I am lost, wonder what a newbee would think using the search feature here for this topic



good luck
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 06:07:42 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2009, 11:09:42 AM »

I'm fond of Texas. On certain freeways, at 90 MPH in your coach, your only running 10 MPH over the limit... Texas has a policy they like to post about excesses related to fuel consumption (I LOVE FUEL CONSUMPTION) and attempts by big government to control Texans as well as everyone else.

It goes like this, "Texas is not responsible for drivers who choose to consume their wealth"...

I don't think Texas has ever enjoyed big government, or whiners, telling them how to live their lives. Maybe that's why they say, Don't Mess with Texas!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 11:51:07 AM by NJT 5573 » Logged

"Ammo Warrior" Keepers Of The Peace, Creators Of Destruction.
Gold is the money of Kings, Silver is the money of Gentlemen, Barter is the money of Peasants, Debt is the money of Slaves.

$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2009, 03:55:11 PM »

Well I'm not really a newbee but i will say I'm very disappointed, guy asks about lights and personal issues arise, send PMS and leave the thread for what it was asked for, cant we all play nice in this very big sandbox?Huh??
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treat every day like is your last, just make sure you dont spend all your money,in case its not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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