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Lightforce HTX2 Driving Lights

WORDS AND IMAGES BY JOSH NEEDS

Product Install

When the first Lightforce HTX lights were released, they changed the game, fusing LEDs with HID bulbs. The idea was that you’d get the flood of LED with the long-distance beam of an HID, with the thinking being that you wouldn’t need an additional LED lightbar; you’d have all you needed in one unit. It was so well received that it won a Good Design Award for Product Design in 2016.

So, news of the second-generation HTX2 was greeted with delight, and these new HTX2 lights are a significant improvement over the old lights. They look slimmer but have a greater surface area for improved cooling, the mounting points have been changed, and the light unit now fits a wider variety of bull bar designs, and there’s even a new HID bulb and pricing is the same as the older HTX lights.

We’ve unboxed them, had a good look at the differences between the Lightforce HTX and HTX2 driving lights, and now we’ve installed them. So, should you believe the hype?

GEAR Lightforce HTX2 Driving Lights Install

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The lights
The first thing that struck me when I pulled out the HTX2s was, “damn; they look good” because, as we all know, it’s all about the look, right. I mean these things should go a long way towards distracting passers-by from noticing I’m driving an, ahem, Pajero Sport.

Beyond the look of the lights, the size is impressive. These things are a genuine nine-inch light, yet they’re only 122mm deep, which Lightforce told us was because it helps keep the lights from interfering with the front radars, cameras, sensors and keeps the lights as flush with the front of the vehicle as possible.

The light housing is one-piece aluminium, and it’s been designed for improved heat dissipation. And at just 2.3kg, including the bracket, it’s a pretty lightweight unit.

But, as Tim Shaw once said, ‘wait, there’s more’. Dust and water protection have been improved to IP68 and IP69K which means dust can’t get in (at all – see, six is the highest rating) and that they can handle being submerged in water (up to 1.5m deep) for up to 30 minutes (that’s the eight). The IP69K refers to the light’s ability to handle, say, a high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs; that too is the highest rating available. Beyond their water and dust resistance, Lightforce claims the HTX2s can comfortably operate between -40°C to 63°C, which will be good news for anyone looking to drive to Antarctica.

ABOVE For a more detailed rundown of the HTX2s and to see how they compare with the original HTX lights, check out our unboxing video

One of the critical improvements to the HTX2 driving light was in the ability to match the LED and HID light temperature (colour). Lightforce got its boffins to ensure the light temperature for both bulb types was 5000K, which is just about equivalent to ‘bright’ daylight. And more and more vehicle makers are leaning this way because, the more natural in colour the light, the less eye-strain the driver would suffer.

Along with the lights, the kit contains anti-theft nuts because you don’t want to see your lighting investment go walkabout, and also the wiring loom through to the two switches, one for LEDs and one for the HIDs.

“Lightforce claims the HTX2s can comfortably operate between -40°C to 63°C, which will be good news for anyone looking to drive to Antarctica”

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The loom included a relay, and fuse on the positive wire, all to ensure a numpty like me couldn’t mess it up. However, I did decide to detour from the loom in one area, and that was where to pick up the trigger. 

According to the instructions, Lightforce recommends picking up the trigger by cutting into the back of your factory headlights. Being a cautious person, I was quite reluctant to cut into something when there could be an alternative, which there was. Instead, I decided to piggyback off the fuse that controls the high beams switching on and off. That meant no unnecessary cutting and the lights would still be legal in that they were linked directly to my high-beam activation. To do this all I needed was a twin-micro-blade fuse holder, and then replacing the same size fuse as before (which, in my case was 10AMP), this was then connected to the trigger wire fitted with a male bullet connection and to the fuse end with a female bullet connection. It meant that I didn’t have to modify or alter anything more than just a fuse, which helps me sleep better at night.

The install
How hard was it to install the HTX2 driving lights? Not hard at all. And this is coming from the owner of a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport where under-bonnet space is at a premium.

But that wasn’t my main concern given the severe angles of the Pajero Sport’s snout I was a little concerned about whether I’d be able to fit the lights on the front of the thing. But the new slim-line design meant this wasn’t an issue and, as Lightforce had suggested, the HTX2s don’t get in the way of sensors, etc. with the active cruise control on my PS still working fine.

Having Lightforce’s cost-optional wiring loom made it very much a plug-and-play job when I hooked up the lights – but you don’t technically need the wiring loom but given you’re spending a fair whack of cash on the lights why then go and try and make your own loom. The loom itself seemed to be of good quality with the critical wires and connections made of high-quality water and dustproof materials.

Initial Impressions
I’ll be providing a more detailed review of the Lightforce HTX2s over the coming months. However, my initial thoughts are that I’m impressed. Having only done some light night driving, home from work, a bit around the Blue Mountains, and up to the central coast, the HTX2s have, so far, lived up to the hype. The bright 5000K colour temperature of both the HIDs and LEDs is clear to see and provides clear vision. The light-spread supplied by the LED combined with the straight-reach distance of the HIDs seems to be a winning combination, with the HTX2s providing more than enough light that I can spot animals off to the side or obstacles up ahead in the distance.

The LEDs have been the most noticeable of the lights when I’ve used them but, then, I don’t drive along that many ‘straight’ roads. That said, the beam on the HIDs seems narrow, so I’ll be fiddling around with the cost-optional combo covers to see what changes they might make.

SPECIFICATIONS
12V INPUT VOLTAGE RANGE: 10-16V DC
12V CURRENT DRAW: 11.5Amps@13.2V
LED POWER: 80W/ HID bulb: 11770/8050
LED COLOUR TEMPERATURE: 5000K
HID COLOUR TEMPERATURE: 5000K
EFFECTIVE LUMENS: 8050
RAW LUMENS: 8400
DISTANCE 1 LUX AT: 1650m (pair)
DISTANCE 0.25 LUX AT: 3300m (pair)
WATTAGE: 130W. 50W 5000K OEM spec Phillips D1S HID bulb in a 170mm reflector. 20 high output 5000K Lumileds Luxeon ZES LEDs

GEAR Lightforce HTX2 Driving Lights Install

Lightforce HTX2 Driving Lights

When the first Lightforce HTX lights were released, they changed the game, fusing LEDs with HID bulbs. The idea was that you’d get the flood of LED with the long-distance beam of an HID, with the thinking being that you wouldn’t need an additional LED lightbar; you’d have all you needed in one unit. It was so well received that it won a Good Design Award for Product Design in 2016.

So, news of the second-generation HTX2 was greeted with delight, and these new HTX2 lights are a significant improvement over the old lights. They look slimmer but have a greater surface area for improved cooling, the mounting points have been changed, and the light unit now fits a wider variety of bull bar designs, and there’s even a new HID bulb and pricing is the same as the older HTX lights.

We’ve unboxed them, had a good look at the differences between the Lightforce HTX and HTX2 driving lights, and now we’ve installed them. So, should you believe the hype?

WORDS AND IMAGES BY JOSH NEEDS

Product Install
SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

The lights
The first thing that struck me when I pulled out the HTX2s was, “damn; they look good” because, as we all know, it’s all about the look, right. I mean these things should go a long way towards distracting passers-by from noticing I’m driving an, ahem, Pajero Sport.

Beyond the look of the lights, the size is impressive. These things are a genuine nine-inch light, yet they’re only 122mm deep, which Lightforce told us was because it helps keep the lights from interfering with the front radars, cameras, sensors and keeps the lights as flush with the front of the vehicle as possible.

The light housing is one-piece aluminium, and it’s been designed for improved heat dissipation. And at just 2.3kg, including the bracket, it’s a pretty lightweight unit.

But, as Tim Shaw once said, ‘wait, there’s more’. Dust and water protection have been improved to IP68 and IP69K which means dust can’t get in (at all – see, six is the highest rating) and that they can handle being submerged in water (up to 1.5m deep) for up to 30 minutes (that’s the eight). The IP69K refers to the light’s ability to handle, say, a high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs; that too is the highest rating available. Beyond their water and dust resistance, Lightforce claims the HTX2s can comfortably operate between -40°C to 63°C, which will be good news for anyone looking to drive to Antarctica.

ABOVE For a more detailed rundown of the HTX2s and to see how they compare with the original HTX lights, check out our unboxing video

One of the critical improvements to the HTX2 driving light was in the ability to match the LED and HID light temperature (colour). Lightforce got its boffins to ensure the light temperature for both bulb types was 5000K, which is just about equivalent to ‘bright’ daylight. And more and more vehicle makers are leaning this way because, the more natural in colour the light, the less eye-strain the driver would suffer.

Along with the lights, the kit contains anti-theft nuts because you don’t want to see your lighting investment go walkabout, and also the wiring loom through to the two switches, one for LEDs and one for the HIDs.

“Lightforce claims the HTX2s can comfortably operate between -40°C to 63°C, which will be good news for anyone looking to drive to Antarctica”

AMERICAN TRUCK UTE CANOPIES

NEED A UTE CANOPY?
REQUEST A QUOTE TODAY!

SLIDE ON CAMPERS
INTEGRATED CANOPIES
ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

The install
How hard was it to install the HTX2 driving lights? Not hard at all. And this is coming from the owner of a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport where under-bonnet space is at a premium.

But that wasn’t my main concern given the severe angles of the Pajero Sport’s snout I was a little concerned about whether I’d be able to fit the lights on the front of the thing. But the new slim-line design meant this wasn’t an issue and, as Lightforce had suggested, the HTX2s don’t get in the way of sensors, etc. with the active cruise control on my PS still working fine.

Having Lightforce’s cost-optional wiring loom made it very much a plug-and-play job when I hooked up the lights – but you don’t technically need the wiring loom but given you’re spending a fair whack of cash on the lights why then go and try and make your own loom. The loom itself seemed to be of good quality with the critical wires and connections made of high-quality water and dustproof materials.

The loom included a relay, and fuse on the positive wire, all to ensure a numpty like me couldn’t mess it up. However, I did decide to detour from the loom in one area, and that was where to pick up the trigger. 

According to the instructions, Lightforce recommends picking up the trigger by cutting into the back of your factory headlights. Being a cautious person, I was quite reluctant to cut into something when there could be an alternative, which there was. Instead, I decided to piggyback off the fuse that controls the high beams switching on and off. That meant no unnecessary cutting and the lights would still be legal in that they were linked directly to my high-beam activation. To do this all I needed was a twin-micro-blade fuse holder, and then replacing the same size fuse as before (which, in my case was 10AMP), this was then connected to the trigger wire fitted with a male bullet connection and to the fuse end with a female bullet connection. It meant that I didn’t have to modify or alter anything more than just a fuse, which helps me sleep better at night.

Initial Impressions
I’ll be providing a more detailed review of the Lightforce HTX2s over the coming months. However, my initial thoughts are that I’m impressed. Having only done some light night driving, home from work, a bit around the Blue Mountains, and up to the central coast, the HTX2s have, so far, lived up to the hype. The bright 5000K colour temperature of both the HIDs and LEDs is clear to see and provides clear vision. The light-spread supplied by the LED combined with the straight-reach distance of the HIDs seems to be a winning combination, with the HTX2s providing more than enough light that I can spot animals off to the side or obstacles up ahead in the distance.

The LEDs have been the most noticeable of the lights when I’ve used them but, then, I don’t drive along that many ‘straight’ roads. That said, the beam on the HIDs seems narrow, so I’ll be fiddling around with the cost-optional combo covers to see what changes they might make.

SPECIFICATIONS
12V INPUT VOLTAGE RANGE: 10-16V DC
12V CURRENT DRAW: 11.5Amps@13.2V
LED POWER: 80W/ HID bulb: 11770/8050
LED COLOUR TEMPERATURE: 5000K
HID COLOUR TEMPERATURE: 5000K
EFFECTIVE LUMENS: 8050
RAW LUMENS: 8400
DISTANCE 1 LUX AT: 1650m (pair)
DISTANCE 0.25 LUX AT: 3300m (pair)
WATTAGE: 130W. 50W 5000K OEM spec Phillips D1S HID bulb in a 170mm reflector. 20 high output 5000K Lumileds Luxeon ZES LEDs