For of road enthusiasts and drivers with visibility and safety concerns, there is no better name to turn to than KC. For decades the company has been leading the way with innovative and very cool looking solutions. This HiLites 151 is no exception and have become a very popular option indeed.
KC lights for trucks, jeeps and cars are ideal for any driving conditions where visibility is limited by darkness, fog, rain or snow. Whether it’s in the dark winter months, or a summer off-road adventure late into the night, you will be thankful you installed these gadgets in advance.
On this page you’ll find some detailed information about why this is such a great product and what the suitable uses are. Because of the reasonable price and the trusted brand name you won’t regret investing in these, especially when that helps you create far better driving conditions.
Can you actually put a value on that?
If you absolutely need to have the brightest possible lights from a small and compact set up, then these HiLites are just what you’re looking for. With a 100 Wat output and an excellent mirror and lens combination you can make sure that all the light goes where you want it: right ahead.
When you order you do have the decision to make where you want fog, spot or spread beam setup. They all bring a slightly different visibility, so you need to have a think about what the most common conditions will be. If you encounter lots of fog regularly, then pick the fog ones.
Otherwise decide between lighting up more of the space beside the path ahead with a spread beam, or extreme long distance spot beams.
What’s particularly appealing with this model is that the wiring harness is included in the box, so you don’t have to go and find a compatible one. Just keep in mind that the cabling is long enough for the average truck. If you have a particularly large vehicle, then you might need to upgrade the wiring.
The front of the unit has a fully integrated stone guard which protects it from larger rocks and debris. Smaller ones can still make contact with the front lens. But it’s tough enough to stand up to such impacts. The stone guard also features the KC logo in a shiny brushed metal effect.
This makes them look really cool once you have them installed. This is important if you take pride in your vehicle and like the look of everything belonging where it is, rather than just a collection of gadgets.
Even if you don’t have a lot of DIY or motoring repair experience, the installation is actually quite simple. The instructions are easy to follow from the installation of the mounting brackets to the wiring up to the battery.
The main downside is the fact that it uses halogen bulbs. These last nowhere near as long as LED ones, but more on that below. You also want to regularly check the mounting brackets, as they can come loose with regular and long lasting vibrations.
Now that you have a rough overview of what you will get, we need to take a little bit of a closer look at the main features. With these in mind you’ll be able to make a far better decision and avoid any buyers regret.
The total output is 100 Watt from halogen bulbs that can be easily replaced. These are not as long lasting as LED bulbs, but they do provide a far brighter output from a small device. Measured in lumens this translates into 2,400 lm which provides enough illumination for very long distances.
To ensure that you get the maximum benefit from each bulb, there are computer designed reflectors at the back and a glass lens that funnels the light in a certain pattern.
The distance is very much dependent on the beam pattern you choose, which we will get to in the next section.
There are three beam patterns to choose from:
· Spot: provides a highly focused light beam over a distance of 2,700 feet or about half a mile
· Spread: which provides a shorter but wider light beam up to 2,100 feet to light up things next to the road
· Fog: extremely wide and low light beam up to 1,200 feet to help light up more of the road and sides in fog, rain and snow
Making a decision out of these very much depends on your most common driving conditions. If you drive on rural roads a lot, then you might want a spread beam to help see approaching animals. For off-road driving, a spot beam is great to make sure you can see as far ahead as possible to avoid trouble.
And if your winter brings a lot of rain, snow and fog then the fog lights are your best choice.
Combing multiple sets is possible, but you will end up with multiple switch settings to remember.
The great thing about these lights is that they are very small and compact. With measurements of 6”W x 6.75”H x 3”D you will not have any problems finding a home for these on any type of vehicle. Whether that’s a small ATV or a full size truck or off-road vehicle, they will be an ideal and nicely designed addition.
The housing is made from a synthetic polymer that is surprisingly hard and durable. The main advantage of this is that it will never rust or corrode. So, you won’t have trouble with ugly looking rust stains all over your truck.
The downside of course is that it’s not as durable as aluminum, but the makers have still managed to make it IP68 water and dustproof. Overall, the materials are good enough quality for what you pay.
Basically, it includes everything you need to install the lights, get them hooked up and turned on. You’ll just new a few tools, all of which you should have in your toolbox or home DIY or car maintenance work.
Here is a list of what you’ll find in the box:
Always check the contents before you start the assembly. The one thing to avoid is to be half way through the installation only to find that you are missing parts.
When it comes to the assembly, you should also plan to have someone help you. This is mainly needed for alignment of the lights, and some of the work can be a bit awkward with just two hands.
The most common bulbs you find on cars and trucks are halogen. They last a lot longer than incandescent ones and will provide a brighter light. But both incandescent and halogen bulbs are very inefficient when it comes to energy usage. Only about 10% of the energy input is used for creating light, the rest is lost in heat.
LED lights are very much the opposite. Practically all the energy produces light which makes them very efficient to use. They also last 10 to 15 times longer because they don’t generate large amounts of heat.
However, LEDs don’t generate as much light from the same size bulb and to get the same total output, you will need to install a light bar or unit that is significantly larger. On this site you’ll find many of these options and you can get really cool looking ones.
KC LED offroad lights are also available and if you want something that lasts longer and you don’t mind installer larger light bars, then that’s a perfect option. But if you want to keep size to a minimum, then halogen is going to be your best option.
The good thing is that they bulbs are not that expensive to replace, and it’s very easily done in just a few minutes.
When it comes to a question of KC lights vs light bar with LED bulbs, it really comes down to size and brightness. Just decide what it’s important to you and dive into a decision. Either way, you will be better off than before.
The most obvious use is certainly to attach them to a truck, ATV or any other vehicle to light up more of the are ahead of you. But motor vehicle with wheels are just one suitable use and people have bought these for some very innovative setups.
One great idea is to fit these to marine equipment like pleasure and small fishing boats. They are especially helpful on rivers and lakes where running into trouble is a lot easier. Because of the wide and long distance light beam you will always be warned early enough about danger ahead.
The spot beam can also be easily mounted on a rotating disk. This makes it ideal as a search light for emergency and rescue vehicles. You can even combine a spot and spread beam to light up a huge area for land or marine search situations.
Finally, you don’t have to attach them to mobile vehicles. They are also perfectly suitable for installation at construction and mining sites when other light sources are limited. Because they are small and compact, they won’t get in the way. And the protection bars will help avoid damage from debris and machinery.
The very first thing you should do is get someone to help them in place where you’re thinking about attaching them. This helps you make sure that they will look great before you actually fix them in place.
After that the installation is actually very simple. You will need some holes to be able to bolt the mounting brackets in place. So, make sure you measure several times to ensure they are correctly aligned.
The wiring is a little bit trickier, but the instructions are very easy to follow. The good thing is that the wiring harness and relay is in the box. But before you start attaching wires, take a look first to make sure the cables are long enough. For very large trucks the standard harness may not be enough.
It’s also a good idea to have someone help you get the alignment right. This is best done in the dark and you want to make sure that the light beam goes straight ahead and downwards. If it heads up you can cause excessive blinding to other drivers.
Because they are so small, the answer to this question is actually quite simple. Basically, you will struggle to find a vehicle that they will not fit or suit. The main limiting factor is the battery. You will need to be able to provide 9 to 32 Volt. This is a great range and will definitely cover all cars and majority of trucks.
But some smaller vehicles like motorcycles and ATVs may have a smaller battery. And very large trucks could have batteries that exceed 32 Volt which could fry the bulbs.
Other than that you just need to find a place to position them and you’re good to go.
This concludes our KC HiLites review and at this stage you should have all the info you need to make a decision. Yes, they won’t last as long as an LED light bar. But you won’t get this much light from such a small device in any other product category.
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