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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to add the Iron Bull front bumper & the Gobi Ranger hybrid roof rack to my '06 Xterra. Iron Bull's light hoops don't really impress me, so I am going to go with just the stock bumper. If I have 4 PIAA 520s (or similar) on the roof rack, will I end up with terrible hood glare? Would it be better to mount two 520s to the bumper in front of the grille?



 

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hood glare has more to do with paint color and dirty/clean than what light you put up there. xoskel sells glare shields for some of the popular lights, and/or you could do a hood blackout. even on my night armour the glare is bad when the hood is clean with the factory off road lights, and even get some on the dash. it isn't really bad at all when the hood is dirty and dusty after a day on the trails though.

I like the look of the iron bull bumper, especially the spots for flush mount duallys for rock lights down low in front.
 

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I have +500 watts worth of KC lights on my roof but set them far enough back that the air dam acts as a light/glare shield. There is light spill on the hood but the lights are going away from me ... so the glare is also going away from me.



The difference between bumper lights and roof lights are the effect of any brush you may be trying drive through. Here in the desert the grease bushes tend to be about 2-3 feet high so you want lights above that height if you're trying to see in the distance. Fog lights do better as low as possible trying to shoot below the curtain of the fog so those belong on the bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks Strizzo for the explanation on color/dirtiness. My Xterra is white, but I am contemplating a custom matte grey paint job in a few years...

PaulXyZ, thanks for the explanation on the difference in reference to obstacles. I'll have to think about what I'll likely be driving through in the future.

Are there any lights out there that are designed not to bleed at all outside of the specified scope (think about that nice horizontal cutoff on a lot of HID lights)?

*Edit*
I wonder if the PIAA LED 570s would cut down on the hood glare because of the reflectors... http://www.piaa.com/store/p/182-LP-570-High-Intensity-LED-Driving-Light-Kit.aspx
 

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Roof lights vs. bumper lights, a question of glare

You should rethink that iron bull bumper. They have a horrible track record and there are other manufacturers that are infinitely better and not nearly as hideous.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
T-REXterra, the Iron Bull one is the only one that I actually like the look of. I am going to do some serious talking to them before purchasing though, as I've seen some of the posts around here. If I'm not convinced that the install will go well, I'll have to go with a competitor (or maybe start talking to local custom shops).
 

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T-REXterra, the Iron Bull one is the only one that I actually like the look of. I am going to do some serious talking to them before purchasing though, as I've seen some of the posts around here. If I'm not convinced that the install will go well, I'll have to go with a competitor (or maybe start talking to local custom shops).

As long as you know what's in store! Just a fair warning.


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Are there any lights out there that are designed not to bleed at all outside of the specified scope (think about that nice horizontal cutoff on a lot of HID lights)?
Light spill over obviously depends on the reflector design and style of light. I can tell you that the Hella 500's I have produce a very defined spot and don't have much spill over at all. I don't think they'd be much of a problem mounted on the roof.

A friend of mine bought those cheap eBay HID's and has them on his roof. The spill isn't bad, but the beam quality isn't very good - the spots are too narrow and the floods aren't very wide.

Another friend has Hella Rallye 4000's and they also don't spill over that bad...

Check out youtube for reviews of different lights.
 

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Yeah as others have said, you really want a spot beam up on the roof. Any flood lights will throw a lot of light down onto the hood.
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Hey Dignoe welcome to the TNX!

I wouldn't mess with those style lights unless you want them primarly because you like the round look they do give you the ability to angle/shine them exactly where you want them.

I would go with a 30 or 40" LED light bar with combo beam pattern up top, excellent light output, better/more focused beam patterns, and lower amperage draw.

Mounting a 20" or 30" light bar on your bumper is a good easy solution as well.

Putting that many lights on your roof will create good amount of wind noise, if you care.

You won't have any issues with 2 round guys on your front bumper.

Mounting lights to your bumper makes wiring much easier as well.

You could wrap your hood in matte vinyl or plasti dip if end up having issues with hood glare, or just keep it dirty.
 

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Hey Dignoe welcome to the TNX!

I wouldn't mess with those style lights unless you want them primarly because you like the round look they do give you the ability to angle/shine them exactly where you want them.

I would go with a 30 or 40" LED light bar with combo beam pattern up top, excellent light output, better/more focused beam patterns, and lower amperage draw.

Mounting a 20" or 30" light bar on your bumper is a good easy solution as well.

Putting that many lights on your roof will create good amount of wind noise, if you care.

You won't have any issues with 2 round guys on your front bumper.

Mounting lights to your bumper makes wiring much easier as well.

You could wrap your hood in matte vinyl or plasti dip if end up having issues with hood glare, or just keep it dirty.
I'm going to disagree with you a bit here.

The factory roof lights make a pretty good amount of wind noise if you run them with the covers off. Also an LED bar will likely create some wind noise so there's no free lunch in that regard.

the factory off road lights actually will draw less power than a 30 or 40" LED bar. the stock bulbs are 55w each, so 110w total, at 13.8v is just under 8A. a 240w 40" LED bar is going to draw at the same voltage over 17A. This complicates things for wiring into the existing roof light wiring harness as the fuse for the circuit is only 15A. You'd have to run a new harness to the roof in order to power the bar. A 30" bar isn't much better as it would pull around 13A, low enough to be run on the OEM wiring, but it still draws more power than the stock lights, halogen or HID.

i do agree though, mounting lights on the bumper/grille area is a lot simpler wiring-wise and is legal to run uncovered on the street in most states. if you wire aux lights mounted and headlight level to only come on when the brights are on, you can run them on the highway/backroads at night. that is the way i have my 500ff wired up.
 

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If you wire anything in to the existing roof lights remember you can only use them with high beams.

Personally I like having all my extra lights on their own circuits so I can run different combinations depending on where/when I'm driving.
my driving is never that extreme. I have my 500ff setup so that the switch has power when the high beams are on (which is the only "street legal" way to have them setup, not that you'd ever get stopped for it) and i can leave the switch on all the time so the hellas come on with the brights automatically. makes a big difference over the crappy high beams. If i'm on a 2-lane backroad at night i'll hit the brights and then turn on the HID roof lights. this way if someone is coming the other way i can quickly shut down all the aux lights by simply flipping the high beam switch.

at first i had the hellas wired so i could turn them on anytime but it got old flipping off the high beams and then trying to reach down for the other switch real quick when cars were coming the other way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have an '06 Xterra without factory roof lights... I'm going to have to run my own wires, so that part is not really an issue for me.

A 40" dual row light bar (400W) would draw more amps than 4 PIAA 520s (340W) and definitely more than 4 500FFs (220W) though. And I do believe that wind noise would be a factor in each configuration... although with the tires I have on this sucker and the volume that I generally have my stereo at, it shouldn't really matter.
 

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You should rethink that iron bull bumper. They have a horrible track record and there are other manufacturers that are infinitely better and not nearly as hideous.


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after installing one of these bumpers on my X I will say this. if I were to do it again I would of chosen a different company. your going to need to go buy your owne bolts after spending that much for a bumper. a couple parts of the bed liner that they use pealed away and I had to patch it with what ever bed liner I had laying around the house ( it was between rain storms and didn't want it to rust all to hell)

on the plus side of the whole thing it's a bumper that isn't so common and I was able to add one of their push/bumper bars and somewhat customise my bumper that way

a few pics can be found in my build thread

EDIT: also forgot to add that I had to have a few holes re drilled due to them not lining up properly or plain not even being drilled in the proper spot. The shackle tabs are actually a bunch of 3/16 plates welded together and the rad skid plate leaved the front sway bar exposed can cause a hang up from time to time
 
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