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LED Light Bar/Rally/Aux/Driving Lights Megathread

This is a discussion on LED Light Bar/Rally/Aux/Driving Lights Megathread within the Focus RS Lighting forums, part of the Focus RS Garage category; Here is a picture of my car after a small winter rally in Houghton Michigan against a could of friends, 6inchs of snow. 1 st, ...

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Thread: LED Light Bar/Rally/Aux/Driving Lights Megathread

  1. #31
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    Here is a picture of my car after a small winter rally in Houghton Michigan against a could of friends, 6inchs of snow. 1 st, 1rs(me) 3 wrx, 1sti, and 1 evo. The other is showing where I put my lights, I have no cooling problems with the sitting there, and with them that close to the ground it makes it easy to see all the changes in the ground. They are just bolted thru the grill mesh, bolt fits perfectly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoneyjive View Post
    Massive thanks @campbebc for helping me out with a potentially catastrophic mistake, so in return I've promised to make a wiring diagram for the light bar. It'll be good to catch up on this and a couple other threads, namely the suspension lift one which as you will see in my coming photo essay is 1) an absolute requirement, 2) a demonstration of how stupid one can be and 3) why at this point although I'm no means crypto Lambo guy yet, I'm willing to throw cash at the problem before my exposed intercooler/radiator/bracket/PCM/windshield wash/probabaly quite a bit of stuff missing is taken off by a 5.6" rock. If you don't see it posted, feel free to call me out... I owe you guys this one.

    Was also thinking of straight up ordering a Rigid & Black Oak rooftop bars - most light possible for a comparison as a last I checked no one had done that. Hopefully there's some more lights that have been tested but gotta run now...
    Looking forward to the suspension lift post. I would be cautious with the rooftop light bars. I've installed a couple in past vehicles and have found that they could be tricky on certain cars. Depending on the hood line, if the beam is too tall, you can get very bad glare/reflection off the hood but if you aim it too high, it is basically useless as you'll be lighting the sky. Judging by the hood on our cars, I don't foresee this being a problem.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoneyjive View Post
    Massive thanks @campbebc for helping me out with a potentially catastrophic mistake, so in return I've promised to make a wiring diagram for the light bar. It'll be good to catch up on this and a couple other threads, namely the suspension lift one which as you will see in my coming photo essay is 1) an absolute requirement, 2) a demonstration of how stupid one can be and 3) why at this point although I'm no means crypto Lambo guy yet, I'm willing to throw cash at the problem before my exposed intercooler/radiator/bracket/PCM/windshield wash/probabaly quite a bit of stuff missing is taken off by a 5.6" rock. If you don't see it posted, feel free to call me out... I owe you guys this one.

    Was also thinking of straight up ordering a Rigid & Black Oak rooftop bars - most light possible for a comparison as a last I checked no one had done that. Hopefully there's some more lights that have been tested but gotta run now...
    Oh man you’re freaking me out! Was your brake swap and big tires a bad idea?

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  5. #34
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    I can't believe it was so hard to find the simple diagram, but it's a good thing because I didn't have enough left in the tank to draw it out. High beam wire from switch just splices into pin 5 on the left or green/brown wire:

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    Edit: I think one of the reasons the diagram was so hard to find was it's using the switch the opposite (or at least very different) way it's supposed to be used. Switch positions and what happens for top/middle/bottom = on no matter what/off/on with high beams only.

    FYI the bottom pin on swith that says from switched ignition source - I just brought that straight from the battery w/ a fuse a few inches from the battery.

    This car has been insane in deep snow we never should've been in - made it just under a mile into ~10" power purely using momentum and sawing like an animal, only to be stopped by a broken down jeep. Called out everyone I knew who was available, and even the CO offroad rescue people, and 7 out of the jeeps/trucks didn't even make it as far as we did. Actually the first guy was from AAA and looking down the road he said there's no way a Focus was down there. He thought he was being punked by another tow company. Took 10-15 mins of talking to him about rally **** and the fact that he owned a WRX that he finally decided to come after us lol. But yeah, bumper cover is long gone and a lot more will be if I don't figure out a lift ASAP:

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    I'll post better stuff later and answer questions above when I'm back in commission but am beat. Well ok the one right above - brake swap and big tires worked giving me 5.5" front clearace, but really shoulda just learned/taken the time to lift it in the first place. Also those tires were tolerable to me but likely no one else lol - one size down would be the max for even the craziest.

    Need to search the forum, maybe talk to Team O'Neil again - the car they were selling a bit back would work I think (not sure if this is their skid plate or rallitek:

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    Rebel Devil Customs was a part away a long time ago and seems they still are:

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    If anyone's got any info on what people are using to lift, post away!
    Last edited by gmoneyjive; 06-12-2019 at 09:54 PM.
    '05 Elise
    '15 WRB STI
    '17 NB RS

  6. #35
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    Was just messaging @campbebc and where to get the switch/where to mount it came up, so I'll against my better judgement here is a focusrs.org exclusive reveal of my elegant, classy design:

    Attachment 330018

    Remember that "3 way" switch is really a Single Poll Double Throw (SPDT) on off on switch. Basic one in the pic is available at every auto parts store, but I started looking for a better one, further improving on my award-winning design. And where to mount it. AFTER I get the lift sorted. So if anyone has ideas/solutions lemme know. Alright time to look above because I haven't had the chance to read the last ~9 months of this thread when I posted the other day...
    '05 Elise
    '15 WRB STI
    '17 NB RS

  7. #36
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    Going thru the thread since I was on here last fall and I'll try to answer any questions I can:

    @BigFatFlip
    First off, sorry I had to... let's call it go away for a while... and couldn't answer questions sooner. Answering these as I go along and just in case anyone else needs them as it looks like you already did something...
    -Where are you tapping for power & ground?
    -How are you routing the wiring?
    -How are you controlling the lights? Independent switch? Controlled by the stalk? If so, where are you tapping into to control it?
    -Battery, anywhere on chassis
    -Passenger side gromet, from the inside pull the carpet back... like everything else in this car everything is super tight so it's a ***** and no i don't have pics
    -Single Poll Double Throw (SPDT) On/Off/On switch = On no matter what/off/on & off with high beams, battery, chassis, pin 5 green/brown wire on left headlight (should be the same on right but not sure)

    I've done it on enough cars now I could do it in 10 mins but still ****ing hate getting thru firewalls on cars you can barely fit a finger into engine bay spaces.

    @opera_bob most offroad vehicle light bars will be floodlight, which goes everywhere. For rally/driving at any decent speed you need projection/driving lights, which are usually called spot. Actually that shouldn't matter at all: anyone coming towards you should switch them off. Highly illegal if not. That's why having them switched with the high beams is so useful/important.

    @Carlman257 Four bolts thru the crash bar cover and it's not going anywhere. Use lock washers of course. As for too much "spot" I don't have a solution - I'm sure googling light diffusers or maybe stealing someone's really thick eyeglasses to test would work - but any decent manufacturer will offer flood, spot, and combo - go with combo.

    @BigFatFlip
    I bought a couple of them to place on the far edges of the light bar, which should help spread the light out toward the edges a little bit more instead of a bright central spot. This looks to be very application specific though, so not sure it will work on all light bars and may need some modification.I vaguely recall seeing something similar at tap plastics, like "privacy glass" with a vertical reed pattern made of poly carb.
    Thanks for sharing! After the lift is sorted I will be ordering a roof basket and the biggest/brightest bar possible (once you "see the light" you always want more and know it's worth every penny times 10, already avoided many elk like the infamous one), and one of the biggest things was that I was gonna order combo when I need like 80-90% spot and only 10-20% flood for corners. I will look at the ones you linked and google the hell out of other light diffusing options, then try them on a few of the outside LEDs on curved bars to see if it's enough "flood" for high speed/sideways corners. If so, I'll order the whole bar as "spot" so as to not waste any precious light.

    @ethosguy Exactly! Unless you're completely offroad i.e. there's any chance of an oncoming driver, you need to be able to switch these off immediately and instinctively. My friends from cities/reasonable level of civilization don't seem to have it, but anyone from a rural area unconsciously knocks down the high beams when someone is coming without even thinking about it. Having to think about it at all is a recipe for disaster IMO. Also if you need your light bar on - which is far brighter than even the brightest lights on the latest cars - there's no reason not to have your brights on. If there ever is, I'm sure someone will correct me, this being the internet & all.

    I keep hearing about cooling... aside from the fact that I currently have no bumper cover (speaking of which, anyone who knows where to source one at a non-obnoxious price let me know), I've never seen the temp near max. That's inluding hours of straight driving at or near the limit. Granted this is the rockies with cooler temps, but I think thinner air doesn't cool as well. To each their own, but IMO nothing should stop anyone unless they are already experiencing temp issues. Worse case scenario it gets too hot and placement can be addressed from there. Unless you're in the less than 1% of drivers who consistently push it to the limits, you're deluding yourself about temp issues.

    I'm sure switching can be done via CANBUS, fuse box, etc., but with the setup I posted all you need to do is splice into the high beam (green/brown on left that goes to pin 5 on left, not sure about right) wire - that's it.

    @BigFatFlip Holy crap, looks awesome! One question: when driving at or near the limit, I have to take my radar detector down even tho it's right of center - anything blocking even a small part of my vision messes with my head. Can you see the tops of these from your point of view, and asssuming so does it cause any issues? But regardless, good stuff! Oh and how are they i.e. how much light do they put out? I've heard Lazer is good, but didn't go with them for some reason... maybe had to order from overseas and wanted someone on the continent in case things needed to be returned or something.

    @MikeT Nice look, that's how mine looks most of the winter!

    @BigFatFlip
    I would be cautious with the rooftop light bars. I've installed a couple in past vehicles and have found that they could be tricky on certain cars. Depending on the hood line, if the beam is too tall, you can get very bad glare/reflection off the hood but if you aim it too high, it is basically useless as you'll be lighting the sky.
    Thanks for the info. I'll have to check but I'm short and have to move my seat back several notches - or now seconds with the slow as **** power ones - so I'm pretty sure I can't even see the hood. Will pay attention to it.

    One last thing in case I hadn't mentioned it before - manufacturer listed specs don't mean jack sh*t. A bar from black oak (personal favorite thus far) listed as having x lumens will blow away a bar with from a super cheap manufacture listing 10x lumens.
    Last edited by gmoneyjive; 06-12-2019 at 11:55 PM.
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  8. #37
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    Why not just buy a wiring kit from princess auto or something ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ comes with wires, switches, fuses, relay etc

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    Any light bar from any reputable company comes with wires, fuses, relay i.e. everything except the switch. If you're going cheap I guess that would be an option. But if you need the light for whatever reason, you should really compare the cheap vs. good ones. Like I said, manufacturer listed specs don't mean ****.
    '05 Elise
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  10. #39
    RS Specialist BigFatFlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoneyjive View Post
    Going thru the thread since I was on here last fall and I'll try to answer any questions I can:
    @BigFatFlip Holy crap, looks awesome! One question: when driving at or near the limit, I have to take my radar detector down even tho it's right of center - anything blocking even a small part of my vision messes with my head. Can you see the tops of these from your point of view, and asssuming so does it cause any issues? But regardless, good stuff! Oh and how are they i.e. how much light do they put out? I've heard Lazer is good, but didn't go with them for some reason... maybe had to order from overseas and wanted someone on the continent in case things needed to be returned or something.
    Actually haven't had the chance to drive "at speed" with the set up yet since there has been plenty of sun light with the summer at full swing. I usually go for blasts early in the am so will have to get up around 4am to have to need them.

    I had them mounted on the hood at a point right below the hood line as to not obstruct my vision. Here's a pic I took at my eye level. You can see that the bar just barely peeks out. We'll see how it is at speed come fall.


    The amount of light in puts out is crazy! I'll have to take some pics, but it definitely throws a lot of light down the center. The reeded lenses spread some light to the edges but not sure how far out since I've yet to use them in complete darkness.
    Last edited by BigFatFlip; 06-15-2019 at 11:51 AM.
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    RS Specialist BigFatFlip's Avatar
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    Finally had a chance to try the lights out at night. They definitely throw a ton of light far ahead, so visibility at speed was phenomenal. I also pulled over and tried them out with out the reeded lenses and I think the spot light is too focused down the middle, so I'll definitely keep them on there to help light the edges.

    At the end of my run, I took a quick video of what it looks like. First with just the DRLs, then low beams, then high beams, then low beam + the light bar. In hind sight, I probably should have picked a better spot since the concrete barrier I was facing really hides the spread of light.



    Only down side I've found with this set-up is the amount of glare I get from road signs. You can see on the video above how much they get lit up and they can get very distracting at speed. I also need to find a better way to mount my manual switch closer to the steering wheel sine I've fumbled and couple of times turning them down when coming up on on-coming traffic. I know I should have had controlled by the stalk, but I wanted individual control and it was much simpler to wire.

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