Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

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Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Tperkins » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:13 pm

I finally got a job and I plan on budgeting about $300 for some off-road/driving and auxillary lighting, and it seemed like the KC Daylighter line seemed pretty decent, and I thought about picking up a set of Driving/Off-Road lights and a set of Auxillary Floodlights. Do any of ya'll have any experience with these lights, thier brand, or have any other suggestions?

I dont do a lot of off-roading but I do some emergency work (CERT, SKYWARN) and occasional stormchasing, and the need for auxillary side flood lighting is often present, and I plan on making a back-rack and mounting the lights on there. The Driving/Off-Road would be used for just when out in the boonies; I might stick with the driving beams since it appears the Off-Road ones are not street legal. The driving beams would probably be mounted on the back rack also, if it can be done unless there is a suggestion not to.

Thoughts, Suggestions, Criticism? Thanks.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by HHaase » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:02 pm

Tperkins wrote:I finally got a job and I plan on budgeting about $300 for some off-road/driving and auxillary lighting, and it seemed like the KC Daylighter line seemed pretty decent, and I thought about picking up a set of Driving/Off-Road lights and a set of Auxillary Floodlights. Do any of ya'll have any experience with these lights, thier brand, or have any other suggestions?

I dont do a lot of off-roading but I do some emergency work (CERT, SKYWARN) and occasional stormchasing, and the need for auxillary side flood lighting is often present, and I plan on making a back-rack and mounting the lights on there. The Driving/Off-Road would be used for just when out in the boonies; I might stick with the driving beams since it appears the Off-Road ones are not street legal. The driving beams would probably be mounted on the back rack also, if it can be done unless there is a suggestion not to.

Thoughts, Suggestions, Criticism? Thanks.
KC's are just so 70's to me, with the happy-face covers. I also don't like the wiring conduits, they rust.
Other than that, a lot of guys like them. Here's a link to the beam patterns.
http://www.kchilites.com/applications.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Hella Rally 4000's are some of the more common Big-Bulb housings out there, with a good selection of available beam patterns. A common combo is to run a center pair of "euro-beams" for distance, with an outer pair of cornering beams for width.
I've used various Hella lights in the past, and they've come off as much more durable than the KC's my buddies always had.
I also LOVE my H4 replacement headlights.
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/ISOLUX_driving.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/ISOLUX_fog.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(That's also a great place to buy from, I've gotten a lot from them over the years.)

The biggest thing I can say either way, is DONT BUY CHROME. Get either plastic, aluminum or stainless, the chrome KC's always rust.

Oh, and about the legality. They're all technically illegal to use while driving on public roads in most states, but I've never heard of problems with them being mounted and not turned on.

-Hans
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Tperkins » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:51 pm

HHaase wrote:
Tperkins wrote:I finally got a job and I plan on budgeting about $300 for some off-road/driving and auxillary lighting, and it seemed like the KC Daylighter line seemed pretty decent, and I thought about picking up a set of Driving/Off-Road lights and a set of Auxillary Floodlights. Do any of ya'll have any experience with these lights, thier brand, or have any other suggestions?

I dont do a lot of off-roading but I do some emergency work (CERT, SKYWARN) and occasional stormchasing, and the need for auxillary side flood lighting is often present, and I plan on making a back-rack and mounting the lights on there. The Driving/Off-Road would be used for just when out in the boonies; I might stick with the driving beams since it appears the Off-Road ones are not street legal. The driving beams would probably be mounted on the back rack also, if it can be done unless there is a suggestion not to.

Thoughts, Suggestions, Criticism? Thanks.
KC's are just so 70's to me, with the happy-face covers. I also don't like the wiring conduits, they rust.
Other than that, a lot of guys like them. Here's a link to the beam patterns.
http://www.kchilites.com/applications.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Hella Rally 4000's are some of the more common Big-Bulb housings out there, with a good selection of available beam patterns. A common combo is to run a center pair of "euro-beams" for distance, with an outer pair of cornering beams for width.
I've used various Hella lights in the past, and they've come off as much more durable than the KC's my buddies always had.
I also LOVE my H4 replacement headlights.
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/ISOLUX_driving.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/ISOLUX_fog.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(That's also a great place to buy from, I've gotten a lot from them over the years.)

The biggest thing I can say either way, is DONT BUY CHROME. Get either plastic, aluminum or stainless, the chrome KC's always rust.

Oh, and about the legality. They're all technically illegal to use while driving on public roads in most states, but I've never heard of problems with them being mounted and not turned on.

-Hans
Well FYI I plan on buying and would rather have ABS or black metal housings anyway, thats my plan. So with those Hella's, are those per light or ~$100 for a pair?
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by TravisM.1 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:37 pm

I've got a set of Hellas mounted on the cowkiller on the front of my explorer. Plenty of light. The one's I've got were $100 each.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Blasphemous » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:53 am

I'm pretty sure it's everywhere, but I know definitely in IL it's illegal to have off-road lights mounted on top of the vehicle and not have covers on them. I found out the hard way on my Mazda by a state trooper there.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by grand94jeep » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:08 pm

KC Daylighters are over-priced and out-dated. +1 said to ev erything else already mentioned.

The newer technology has them beat by a long shot. I don't endorse ProComp however. Their beam patterns suck. :evil:

I'd look into Hella. Even if you have to pay a bit more. The difference is night and day. :mrgreen:


ETA: Look into HID tech too. The lights cost more, but they don't tax your 12v system as much, meaning no expensive wiring, alternator, or battery upgrades.
Last edited by grand94jeep on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Dooms » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:14 pm

Hella is the way to go. They can be somewhat expensive, but they're extremely well made and durable.

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Blasphemous » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:32 pm

grand94jeep wrote:KC Daylighters are over-priced and out-dated. +1 said to ev erything else already mentioned.

The newer technology has them beat by a long shot. I don't endorse ProComp however. Their beam patterns suck. :evil:

I'd look into Hella. Even if you have to pay a bit more. The difference is night and day. :mrgreen:


ETA: Look into HID tech too. The lights cost more, but they don't tax your 12v system as much, meaning no expensive wiring, alternator, or battery upgrades.
Ditto no the HID/LED technology
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by offcamber » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:48 pm

grand94jeep wrote: The newer technology has them beat by a long shot. I don't endorse ProComp however. Their beam patterns suck. :evil:

I'd look into Hella. Even if you have to pay a bit more. The difference is night and day. :mrgreen:
Interesting, I had ProComps on my FJ40 and liked them better than the KC's I had on my suburban.. I alos had smaller Hella's on my FJ40 and loved those.

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Coho911 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:09 pm

Vision X lights - LEDs available, Last FOREVER, Near indestructable, used by almost all Baha teams now.

http://www.visionxoffroad.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by HHaase » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:04 pm

Blasphemous wrote:I'm pretty sure it's everywhere, but I know definitely in IL it's illegal to have off-road lights mounted on top of the vehicle and not have covers on them. I found out the hard way on my Mazda by a state trooper there.
Good call on the cover reminder. I had totally forgotten about that part, I normally just have a couple bumper mounted fog lights lately. The good thing is that most lights already have covers included with them.

Those LED lights look pretty interesting, worth looking into at least. A bit spendy though.

Oh, and one more thing to add in. The higher the wattage, the lower the lifespan of the bulb.
Here's another good link from Susquehanna with a lot of bulb info, If you're using these for storm chasing,
I highly recommend reading through it.
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/BulbHelp.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

-Hans
"This does not mean, however, that we are unaware of the true meaning of the term 'security.'
To us, the term has broad meaning. It rests in the physical force embodied as it is in the ships and their base,
but also in intellectual factors among which Intelligence plays an outstanding role."
- Captain Ellis M. Zacaraias, USN

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Tperkins » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:54 pm

grand94jeep wrote:KC Daylighters are over-priced and out-dated. +1 said to ev erything else already mentioned.

The newer technology has them beat by a long shot. I don't endorse ProComp however. Their beam patterns suck. :evil:

I'd look into Hella. Even if you have to pay a bit more. The difference is night and day. :mrgreen:


ETA: Look into HID tech too. The lights cost more, but they don't tax your 12v system as much, meaning no expensive wiring, alternator, or battery upgrades.
Yeah, Im looking into Hellas more. I think, since I dont do a ton of off-road driving, I'm going to just go with flood/side lighting for now. HID is just WAY to expensive for me now.

So are ya'll are saying: Instead of mounting KC Daylighter Flood lights on the back rack of my truck, I would want to put the Hella 4000 Cornering lights in the same place, or would I want to use the Hella 4000 Fog Lights as a flood light? Basically I do a lot of stuff often in the back or on the side of my truck when I offroad/stormchase ect and I want some additional side lighting.

Damn, 2 Hella Cornering lights + 2 covers + 1 wire harness adds up to about $400. For side flood lights only..what do you think about the KC's? Side flood lights isnt something that you really would want to spend a ton on? If I get driving lights it will be the Hellas in the future. The KC's come with covers and a wiring harness AFAIK, at probably $150 for the whole flood setup?
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Blasphemous » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:40 pm

If you just want some lighting and don't care so much about quality, just go with the KC's and spend the other money elsewhere.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Tperkins » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:49 pm

Blasphemous wrote:If you just want some lighting and don't care so much about quality, just go with the KC's and spend the other money elsewhere.
I'm thinking thats what I'm going to do. Just get Daylighter floodlights for the back and eventually (late summer/fall) get the Hellas. I'm planning on buying one of the off-road bumpers from Aedofab down in New Lenox, IL and I'll probably mount them on there then. My ext. cab puts the lights to far back for driving I think.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Blasphemous » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:20 pm

Tperkins wrote:
Blasphemous wrote:If you just want some lighting and don't care so much about quality, just go with the KC's and spend the other money elsewhere.
I'm thinking thats what I'm going to do. Just get Daylighter floodlights for the back and eventually (late summer/fall) get the Hellas. I'm planning on buying one of the off-road bumpers from Aedofab down in New Lenox, IL and I'll probably mount them on there then. My ext. cab puts the lights to far back for driving I think.
When you can afford better lights, then you can just move the KC's somewhere else.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Oneswunk » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:28 pm

I've had kc and PIAA and loved them both but I'm on more of a budget lately.
Just got these today from advanced auto($45 for the set) to hold me over till I can get something better.

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Fired them up tonight and though not one of the trendy brands I'm very impressed. Great light for the money.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by HHaase » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:52 pm

Just want to make sure I got this right, what are you going to use the floodlights for? Illumination when driving, or when stopped and working on stuff at night? Most "driving" lights are designed to really illuminate at a distance, and fog's tend to hav a wide beam without much vertical to it.

If it's choice #2, more of a work light, Hella also has a lineup of work lights.
http://www.rallylights.com/Hella_Work_Lamps.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For a more economical option, for driving lights, also look at the Hella 220's or the 500FF's at $100 per pair.
(Susequehanna has the 500FF's on sale for $72 per pair right now)

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by mad4wd » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:15 am

I will agree with what some others have said about Hella's...very good for the cash. We have or have used everyones..KC, pro-comps, LightForce (another good one IMO), Vision-X, Rigid Ind, Baja Designs, Soltek...basically you get what you pay for. I would throw this out as an alternative...go to a salvage yard and buy some used ones if you can find some...add some spraypaint..they also make better bulbs for them that can be purchased..that may be better for you if you are on a budget. Also: We have pilfed some preety cool ones out of our local Heavy Dudty/Fleet junkyard...old ambulances and firetrucks have some pretty nice stuff on them if you look...

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Blasphemous » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:17 am

mad4wd wrote:I will agree with what some others have said about Hella's...very good for the cash. We have or have used everyones..KC, pro-comps, LightForce (another good one IMO), Vision-X, Rigid Ind, Baja Designs, Soltek...basically you get what you pay for. I would throw this out as an alternative...go to a salvage yard and buy some used ones if you can find some...add some spraypaint..they also make better bulbs for them that can be purchased..that may be better for you if you are on a budget. Also: We have pilfed some preety cool ones out of our local Heavy Dudty/Fleet junkyard...old ambulances and firetrucks have some pretty nice stuff on them if you look...
The spot lights that are on these vehicles would be a great low-buck alternative.
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by grand94jeep » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:38 am

If you're just looking for work/area/back-up lights I wouldn't bother with anything expensive. I'd throw money at driving/directional lights, if I were buying those kind of lights though.

When it come to work/area lights, I use el cheapo Walmart or Auto part store lights. Reason being, if they're mounted in the open, they'd be more suscptable to damage. Simple 35-55w tractor lights are decently rugged.

Two key things to remember about adding exterior lighting to any vehicle. The OEM wiring that comes with them is barely adequate. I'd step up a size of two. Especially if you're going to mount them a long ways from your 12v source. The best lights in the world are useless if they don't have enough current getting to them. :D

Also, remember to seal all connections with heat shrink and coat all contact points with Di-electric grease. This includes disassembling the light housing and coating the connections there too. This will greatly extend your light's and wiring's lifetime. :idea:
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by grand94jeep » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:52 am

offcamber wrote:
Interesting, I had ProComps on my FJ40 and liked them better than the KC's I had on my suburban.. I alos had smaller Hella's on my FJ40 and loved those.

That probably has more to do with light placement than brand. Your KC's are mounted too low to put out much useable light. The 4 ProComps on your FJ give a much more even and spread out pattern.

It's been my experience that KC's give off a direct spot, without much spillover light. The ProComp spot lights tend to have halos in them and the fog lights put out and intense "flat beam" that don't shine over much distance. I've had Walmart fog lights put out much more useable light. YMMV :D

The only KC and ProComp lights I like are the 5"x7" and the 6"x9" lights. But this has more to do with their design. Rectangular light housings tend to give me a more desirable light pattern. Again YMMV. :D
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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by ZombieSoldier01 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:29 pm

i am selling my lightbar with the 2 rectangular lights. it works great. i never had an issue with it, but im trying to change my whole setup around. if you are interested let me know

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by SigSense » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:05 pm

Another LED light source: http://www.phantom-lighting.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Thoughts on KC Daylighters; Or Suggest Another Brand...

Post by Blasphemous » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:04 pm

If you weren't in CO, I'd be interested. Shipping would kill any kind of deal though.
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