Ever since light-emitting diodes (LEDs) became a viable light source for off-road use, light bars have flooded the market. Their popularity soared because of their unique shape, light output, and ability to be mounted in low-profile locations. Round lights never lost their luster to the bars, they simply evolved with the technology. And the classic good looks of round lights can break up the otherwise boxy-looking front of an older vehicle such as our 1991 Ford Explorer.
Vision X’s ADV Adventure Series LED light is the latest evolution in the company’s line of round LED Light Cannons. The ADV lights combine multiple 10-watt Cree diodes with both long-range iris reflectors and wide-spread elliptical optics to provide a combination driving beam in a single light for varying terrain. The lights are available in either a 6.7- or 8.7-inch size, with the larger pair producing 29,960 lumens and up to 3,248 feet of usable light. All of that power is packed into an aluminum housing that is just 4 inches thick, making it easy to mount in tight spaces where depth is a concern.
To put our newly installed ADV lights to the test, we couldn’t just head to the desert outside of town and call it good. The name of these lights suggested we needed an adventure. We set our sights on Colorado with the goal of exploring old mining sites. We arrived to the Red Mountain Mining District near Silverton just before dusk. The close-range elliptical lights helped us navigate the rocky switchbacks and shelf roads, while the long-range lights helped us to spot old mine structures and a great campsite for the night.
The following day we spent time at Clear Lake and on the Alpine Loop before heading to Creede for another evening of exploring old mine sites along the Bachelor Loop.
Although the mines we visited predominately produced silver, we think Vision X struck gold with the new ADV Light Cannons. They performed flawlessly and allowed us to extend our adventures into the darkness.
We ordered the larger, 8.7-inch ADV light kit and two pairs of lens covers. The kit includes two lights and a wiring harness with relays, fuses, and a lighted switch. Each light has 10 large reflectors for distance and four elliptical reflectors for up-close lighting, producing 140 watts of total power.
The ADV lights use a high-quality Deutsch connector that seals out the elements and locks together for a worry-free connection. The extra white wire is the positive lead for the halo background light and can be wired into your factory daytime running lights or on a separate switch for camp lighting. We chose the latter.
A thick powdercoated steel trunnion bracket mounts the Vision X ADV Light Cannons with four bolts, allowing for up to 45 degrees of rotation. The range of motion from the bracket allows the lights to be aimed from almost any mounting position. The aluminum housing acts as the heat-sink and is also completely sealed to IP-68 standards. Simply put, water can’t get in even when the light is completely submerged.
A unique feature of the Vision X Light Cannons is the use of snap-on polycarbonate covers that change the color and light pattern in mere seconds. Covers are available in several colors for various conditions like dust, fog, or snow and include a gasket to seal out dust and water. We ordered a pair of clear covers to protect our ADV lights and a pair of amber Euro beam covers for changing weather conditions and dust.
The backlit halo light is a nice feature for camp lighting. The soft glow provides enough light for setting up a tent or cooking dinner. If you prefer a light bar, Vision X also offers the same backlight feature in the XPL Halo bar.
These two photos show the difference in visibility between using just the high-beam headlights and the ADV Light Cannons. A tripod was used in the same position along with the same camera settings for both images. The ADV lights clearly highlighted the collapsed mine ore hopper that was barely visible with our headlights as well as illuminating the hillsides and more of the trail ahead.
The difference between the normal ADV beam and the same beam with amber Euro pattern covers can be seen in these two photos. The Euro beam spread is wider farther down, illuminating more of the patch of trees on the right side of the photo, while maintaining a similar distance.