Night into day
Lightforce hybrid driving lights impressed Nicholas Rositano
Having recently bought a set of Lightforce HTX2 hybrid driving lights I mounted them on my 2022 Landcruiser to give it the final touch. The HTX2s include a dual switching harness for the vehicle as standard though you can also buy one for your model of car to retain the factory look. The lights come with three holes in the mounting bracket for ease of positioning on the bull bar.
Having owned a few different brands in the past, I now understand why Lightforce have the reputation they do as their quality is second to none and being Australian-made is an added bonus. The HTX2 replaces the first generation HTX light, this new and updated version using less power compared to the originals and they’re smaller in size. Lighforce supply installation instructions for a simple DIY job, though I opted to have them fitted by a qualified auto electrician.
It was time to hit the road for a deer hunt in the south-east of South Australia and boy I was keen to test these lights on country roads. The HTX2s feature an aluminium casing with clear cover for added protection to both the LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and HID (High Intensity Discharge) globes. They’re fairly slimline in design which means more options to fit different makes and models of bull bar.
The HTX2 has 20 LEDs around the perimeter of the light to give maximum spread for the flood display option and feature a reliable German-spec Osram ballast as standard to reduce emissions compared to other spotlights. Another standout is the 5000k Philips D1S HID bulb which gives the maximum one lux at 1650 metres (as claimed by Lightforce). The HTX2 run on a 12-volt battery, draw roughly 11.5 amps and at 2.3kg including bracket are a lightweight unit.
What I liked most about this driving light is the option to use both the flood and spot settings at the same time but also switch between them depending on the situation. The HXT2 includes two blackout filters which can be deployed to suit different driving conditions, though the lights have to be positioned correctly to maximise their potential. And bear in mind you may have to adjust or tweak them slightly when the vehicle is fully loaded as this can change the angle of beam. This tweaking is a simple operation and I recommend doing it before each trip.
On the road it took nothing more than the flick of a switch to turn night into day, such is the power of these lights. Being able to clearly see well over a kilometre ahead makes it easy to distinguish any potential hazards, especially on country roads, giving the driver added confidence in the event of wildlife appearing out of nowhere.
The HTX2s are water and dust-proof which makes them well suited to almost any conditions this country can throw at them and even in foggy conditions they proved their worth. Over rough ground they maintained a perfect spread of flood and spotlight, a big tick for me as previous spotlights I’ve owned proved ‘bouncy’ on corrugations which made for a poor field of view.
The next test was out in the paddock and I was genuinely blown away with just how far the HTX2s reached. The width of flood was superb and spanned a couple of hundred metres, lighting up the paddock surroundings and making it a breeze to avoid wombat holes which can prove a real danger.
The lights have been on my Landcruiser for more than six months now and haven’t missed a beat. The HTX2 avoids the need to fit an additional LED light-bar on your vehicle which really gives you the best of both worlds and while I didn’t have the chance to do any creek crossings, Lightforce back this product to be submersible up to 1m.
The look of the HTX2 is very stylish and in my opinion one of the best on the market. Priced at around $1700 the Lightforce HTX2s are backed by a three-year warranty (some competitors offer only a 12-month cover) and Lightforce can supply replacement globes and other components if need be. With years of engineering and design experience behind them, they have really created their most powerful light yet which ticks all the boxes from reliability to looks. More at www.lightforce.com