Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted August 11, 2014 19:24
Race-proven lighting for the road
The rugged look is definitely in. With pickups and SUVs getting more and more popular these days, off-road themed vehicle customizations has brought back the desire to add driving lamps as auxiliary lighting on the road and the off beaten path. Pickups and SUVs are commonly seen nowadays sporting LED driving lamps in various shapes and sizes.
Japanese automotive lighting expert PIAA let us sample their LP 570 LED driving lamp kit. It comes with two 7-inch LED long range driving lamps, a virtually plug and play wiring harness and installation kit. The LP 570 features an 'industry first' Reflector Facing Technology (RFT) which PIAA engineers pioneered with the LED bulbs literally facing the reflectors for significantly improved lighting and beam control compared to conventional LED lamps.
The kit can be installed at home if you have basic automotive knowledge, as it comes with step-by-step instructions. Although professional installation would be recommended. We brought our Ford Ranger test vehicle to Car Kreative Technik, where installation took around 45 minutes including the removal of some covers to properly route the wiring harness. Installs may differ between vehicles, our test vehicle was fitted with an aftermarket bumper with driving lamp fitment holes.
The lamp housings are made of durable polycarbonate and cast aluminum and clear polycarbonate lenses. Locally available kits come with plain white stoneguards with PIAA LED logos. Black mesh grills are available as an option, however. We also found the mesh grills brought out an extra 'wow factor.' Inside the lamps are two reflector facing 9-watt bulbs, making each lamp 18-watts; significantly low thanks to PIAA's RFT. The result is a 6000-kelvin brilliant hue of cobalt-blue that brightly lights up the road while being clearly visible to oncoming traffic to give an extra measure of safety.
As we drove out of the shop, we instantly noticed extra looks and stares thanks to the more imposing look brought by the lamps. And also the excitement for the day to end so we could finally try them out in night driving conditions especially in a country where roads are not always properly lit.
As night came, we soon found ourselves out on the road eager to try out the new lamps. As promised, the lamps delivered a bright and well-dispersed beam making driving through dark roads a lot easier. We also tried going out of the car and having a look from the opposite end and found that it did not produce a glaring beam compared to some forward facing LED lamps currently in the market.
While the 6000k output gave a nice cobalt-blue hue, it had a bit of difficulty on wet asphalt and thick fog. Although it still performed impeccably spotting vehicles or objects infront of the vehicle in pitch black conditions.
Overall, the PIAA LP 570 LED worked very well in varying conditions while the bright lighting only consumed minimal power thanks to its pioneering Reflector Facing Technology. The black grills with the large white PIAA letters are a recommended option as they bring out that extra 'bling'.
The LP-570 retails for PhP26,850 (grill optional). Visit www.piaa-ph.com for more info on PIAA products available in the Philippines.