LED lights are all the rage at the moment. They offer a very bright light with low power consumption and very good reliability. Their application to driving lights on 4wds started off with light bars but now there is a range of conventional round driving lights that use the same advanced LED technology. But, like everything, there are the good points and the bad points about the technology as well as a vast difference in the quality between the brand names and the cheaper Chinese manufacturers. Here we look at the LED driving lights we have fitted to Olaf. The Korr Lighting XDR series represent the state of the art in LED driving technology but they also do not cost the earth like some of the more popular brand names.
The first thing that needs to be understood is that while LED lights are low in power consumption, they are still not exceptionally bright on their own. In order to get sufficient light output, light bars and driving lights require multiple globes and when each globe can consume as much as 10 watts, that power requirement starts to add up very quickly and that means the quality of the wiring needs to be every bit as good as the old halogen lights. In fact, some LED driving lights consume 180 watts each (360 watts in total). While that will produce an incredible amount of light, each set will draw 30 amps…! That’s a lot of electricity and it will put a serious load to your vehicle’s electrical system.
In order to minimise this power requirement, some manufacturers have improved the design of their lights, particularly the reflective surfaces and lenses in order to maximise the output from the globes themselves. Korr Lighting has done just that with their XDR series of driving lights.
After discussing our requirements with the guys from Korr, we fitted one of their XDR510 lights as a spread beam and one of the XDR270F lights as a spot beam. The reason for this was we were very happy with the standard high beams on the Landcruiser. They are sufficiently bright for long distance vision but they lack a bit in the wide spread area of vision. The 270F compliments the high beams perfectly while the 510 fills in the gaps. Compared to the halogen driving lights Toyota fitted that were no better than a couple of candles, the difference was literally like day and night. We now have excellent vision for at least a kilometre if not further.
The XDR510 is rated at 48 watts and the XDR270F at 80 watts. This is a combined 128 watts for both lights which is less that the 200 watts of halogen lights they replaced. Total current draw of both is a low 10 amps which the standard Toyota wiring loom can easily cope with.
Now these are not the brightest lights in the world and I’m very happy about that. Despite what many people may say, it IS possible to have too much light in most driving conditions. Even out on the open outback roads, there are reflective signs and markers on the sides and if the lights are too bright, the amount of reflected glare off these signs is not only annoying, its also bloody dangerous.
The other feature I would like to mention here is the quality of these lights. I’ve purchased Korr gear previously and have been impressed with the quality and these LE lights are no exception. The lights themselves are quite heavy and extremely sturdy in their construction. The casing is made from aircraft grade aluminium, the lenses are polycarbonate and the mounting brackets are galvanised steel. The mounting hardware is reassuringly strong but still maintains a high level of adjustability. The rubber mounting gasket protects the lights from excessive vibration as well as offering protection for the paint on the bullbar. We were supplied with the anti-theft kit as well but given the design of the Landcruiser’s bull bar, we needn’t worry too much about thieves stealing our lights. That said, it’s nice to have that additional piece of mind. The lights are also water proof to 3m with an IP rating of 69. These lights will last a lifetime.
The video below shows the effect the Korrs have over the standard Landcruiser lights. Admittedly, the iPhone video doesn’t really capture the effectiveness and overall impression but it does give you some idea of how good they are.
I think they actually look really good on the cruiser as well, almost looking like they were fitted as original equipment by Toyota. Pricewise, a pair of Korr XDR driving lights will set you back around the $600 mark. That’s still a lot of coin for driving lights but it sits pretty much right in the midrange of the market. I think for the price, they are excellent value for money. A full 3 year replacement warranty through any Autopro, TJM or Autobarn stores just adds to the appeal.
We give them a rating of 5 westies.