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Project Tundra Soltek HID Light System - We Tried To Outrun Them

Posted in How To on April 1, 2008
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In order to test the lights we added to Project Tundra, we did something somewhat foolish. We headed out to one of our favorite off-road playgrounds and tried to outrun the lights. After all, that is the true test to an off-road light. Having a bright light in front of your truck is great. However, if you are a high-speed desert type of driver, or you drive a race car, then you understand that as bright as your lights may be, if you can outrun them, they are no good to you. What we mean by that is you cannot see far enough ahead of your high-speed vehicle to give you enough time to react to what is ahead. If you can't tell that we had no chance of outrunning our lights by the lead image of this article, get some glasses.

We have tried just about every off-road light out there - some good and some not so good. High-quality HID lights are the most powerful off-road lights available right now because of their brilliant illuminating capabilities and the low draw they put on your battery. Even though they seem to be the obvious choice, they are a bit pricey for some, which means halogen lights are still the most popular all around. Soltek Light Systems manufactures both halogen and HID light systems in an assortment of specifications from single 4- and 8-inch lights to complete lightbar systems, as well as dual-sport motorcycle kits.

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Before we could have our bumpers and rear bedcage fabricated, we needed to select which lights we wanted. Our fabricator suggested we give Soltek's new 4-inch Fuego light a shot for the front bumper. Fuego, which means "fire" in Spanish, sure made sense once we flipped the switch to "on" during our first night run. The Fuego light comes in both halogen and HID outputs with optional 55- and 110-watt bulbs for the halogens. Our HID versions came with a 35W Osram Generation 5 internal ballast, and we hear an optional 50W ballast is coming soon. The Fuego comes in four different light patterns, has a patented 3-point mounting system isolating vibration, super-easy adjustment, and a durable aluminum body construction. We chose two wide cornering beams and two spot beams.

We wanted to run a lightbar on top of the truck that would be mounted to the rear bedcage and controlled by a linear actuator for easy adjustment on the fly. For the rear, we chose Soltek's four-light system La Paz lightbar. It houses four 8-inch lights, comes prewired, vibration isolators, each light has aluminum quick adjusters, and is available in either HID or halogen versions. The bar is also very lightweight. With four lights mounted, it weighs a mere 21 pounds, 3 ounces. If you are worried about strength, don't be. The lightbar is completely TIG-welded and made of chrome-moly tubing. With four HID lights on the front bumper, we felt halogens above would be more than sufficient. Matching our front lights, we chose two wide cornering beams and two spot beams.

The performance of our new lights was outstanding. Even with the small image size in our magazine, you can see how big of a difference the lights made. Seeing every nook and cranny down the trail is not a problem and there is no way we could outrun the lights. The lights are very easy to adjust and come prewired making installation a breeze. You should definitely give Soltek Light System by Baja Designs a look before making your next off-road lighting purchase.

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Baja Designs
San Marcos, CA 92069

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