Results 1 to 31 of 31

Thread: Auxiliary driving lights

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Freeland, WA
    Posts
    29,300

    Default Auxiliary driving lights

    I have been toying with the idea of mounting driving lights on my Fiat 124 Spider Lusso, but in Amazon searching I can't seem to find old style lights except for one Hella.

    Where does one find such things nowadays?
    Gerard>
    Langley, WA

    Don't believe Republican lies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pleasant Valley NS Canada
    Posts
    23,260

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    By "old style" do you mean not LED, but incandescent bulbs?

    I have Hella's (incandescent) 110W lights on my truck. I think that they are awesome.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    17,497

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Is there a difference between “driving lights” and “headlights”?
    The Algorithm Is Watching

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    19,637

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    I was thinking of starting a thread on the new Fiat 124, didn't know until now they were called Lusso. Of all the Miatas in town, I think I have only seen two, maybe three Lussos. I think the styling is head and shoulders above the Miata, especially the new Miatas. So I'm curious why so few of them around here. Are they more expensive, less powerful, something else that has folks choosing the Miata first?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pleasant Valley NS Canada
    Posts
    23,260

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Is there a difference between “driving lights” and “headlights”?
    Yes. Driving lights usually have a broader beam pattern, where headlights reach out farther, but with a narrower beam. I like my driving lights because I seem to do a lot of night driving on country roads, and we have a lot of whitetail deer around here. I like being able to see into the ditches to see if Bambi is going to jump out in front of me.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    39,314

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Driving lights are additional lights mounted on the bumper or similar. They are hard to find nowadays because 1) headlights are better than they used to be & 2) many states do not allow them.

    On my Spider (1980 - so not Miata-based) what I found was that the headlight wiring ran from the fuse panel, to the headlight switch, then to the dimmer switch & finally to the headlights. The headlights were very dim. I changed the wiring so that the original wires controlled a relay which was powered straight from the alternator. 13.2 volts - 14 when running & with the old incandescent bulbs changed to halogen, the car had some of the best headlights I've ever driven with.

    So - while I'd think your car would have better wiring, check the voltage at the headlights. Also check the aim and then maybe look into brighter bulbs.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    73,000

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Is there a difference between “driving lights” and “headlights”?
    Yes, driving lights are auxiliary lighting designed to boost the effectiveness/range of your headlight 'high' beams. They project further, and a bit wider, in a sort of rectangular shape. They tend to be mounted higher. I have no great potential mounting locales, or I'd consider having them on my truck.

    The other common auxiliary lights are 'fog' lights. Shorter reach. Broader beam. Help you see close and wide in dense weather: rain, fog, snow. They tend to be mounted low to minimize reflection. My truck came with a factory set, and I'm glad it did. Around here, they are more useful than the driving lights, as I no longer blast around at very high speeds, but I do drive in inclement weather a good bit.

    Some people prefer yellow fog lights, but in my scant opportunities to compare directly, I didn't notice a big difference. My pilot buddy, who taught me a bit about driving when I was racing the Fiat & Alfa, said the human eye tends to read yellow light as less glaring, and in fog-light conditions that glaring 'bounceback' is indeed an issue.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quick Googlefu turned up this -

    B5D54FB1-0F19-46AD-8F28-C75871187C38.jpg

    - so they’re out there, you just need to phrase a different search ? to find ‘em.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    30,705

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Cibie > "Super Oscar"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Christchurch NZ
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Driving lights are additional lights mounted on the bumper or similar. They are hard to find nowadays because 1) headlights are better than they used to be & 2) many states do not allow them.

    On my Spider (1980 - so not Miata-based) what I found was that the headlight wiring ran from the fuse panel, to the headlight switch, then to the dimmer switch & finally to the headlights. The headlights were very dim. I changed the wiring so that the original wires controlled a relay which was powered straight from the alternator. 13.2 volts - 14 when running & with the old incandescent bulbs changed to halogen, the car had some of the best headlights I've ever driven with.

    So - while I'd think your car would have better wiring, check the voltage at the headlights. Also check the aim and then maybe look into brighter bulbs.
    When I got my '78 someone had put higher wattage bulbs in without adding a relay. They put out a candle-like glow that seemed to make the road darker!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Saint Helena Island, SC
    Posts
    11,262

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Check out these guys.

    https://www.rallylights.com/

    I’ve bought from them for a number of years for my cars.
    Also I’d go for a round housing with LED’s. The LED’s produce a LOT more lumens on less power. Incandescent is outdated tech.

    I installed a 30” light bar on my Ridgeline. It’s truly portable daylight. When I have to drive home from SAV airport late at night it’s fantastic as I can spot the deer on the side of the road, or occasionally the alligators on it from a long ways off.



    The light bar came from https://www.blackoakled.com. Very nice quality product.
    Last edited by Reynard38; 04-14-2021 at 04:58 PM.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    9,042

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjim View Post
    When I got my '78 someone had put higher wattage bulbs in without adding a relay. They put out a candle-like glow that seemed to make the road darker!

    bad grounds. Fiats and LBCs all suffer from them. By 1978 Fiat was busy putting in common grounds (not all cars had them) that cause a whole host of problems in one shot. If the rear common ground failed not only would you lose all the taillights, but the fuel pump as well.


    As for the OP. Hella 500s are the most "authentic" looking lights out there right now.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Do you have a warrant?
    Posts
    9,839

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Old incandescent bulbs both suck a lot of power, and the bulbs are way less durable from shock and vibration than LEDs. Old "landing lights" are even worse, no small bulb, just one huge filament, bright but take a ton of power and expensive to replace what is essentially a very powerful sealed beam light, like old headlights but more expensive.

    LEDs are fabulous, and way less expensive than the interim technology after halogen bulbs, High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, which required an expensive power supply to up the voltage as I recall, and bulb replacements could run in the hundreds of dollars or more each, and they had a slow power-up IIRC, so were unsuitable for high-beams.

    With LEDs, because the light generator itself is so small and concentrated, the challenge has been heat dissipation, even though much more efficient, they still generate a lot of heat relative to the area. But so far they are solving that incrementally, and the cumulative power savings on autos and in homes compared to incandescent lighting is massive, and more durable and less disposal issues versus compact fluorescent bulbs.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Freeland, WA
    Posts
    29,300

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Thanks for the feedback. My car already has LEDs all around; and yes my current headlights are way better than the ones on my old 1981 Fiat Spider 2000. I still like to see more on the sidelines, and besides, they look cool, even on a modern car. Mine have fog lights built in from the factory, but they are small and down low. I want a pair of round eyes up front. The LED lights are too wonky looking for me. The Cibie Super Oscar may very well do it for me.

    The current generation Fiat 124 Spider is built on Miata running gear, transmission, and interior with Italian engine, body, and slightly tweaked door cards. Better looking, more space, ( car is a bit longer than the Miata ), faster. ( Mine has a tune and an upgraded turbo, I can eat Porsche Boxsters ).

    You don't see many because they didn't build many and they are no longer made. 2016-2020.
    Gerard>
    Langley, WA

    Don't believe Republican lies.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    9,042

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    colour me jealous, Gerald, I wanted a 124 abarth in the worst way.. but all the ones I found for sale around here were either Automatics or sit above 20K when equipped with a manual. Guess I am stuck with my 500 Abarth for a while longer.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    109,173

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    would it have killed mazda and fiat to add 2 inches to the wheelbase so those of us of over 6'3" could drive them?

    bastards
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    14,097

    Default

    Assuming you have an old 124 with 7-inch/180mm sealed beams...

    Replace the headlamps with ECE-certified ("E-Mark") lamps that use H4 bulbs. The lenses are quartz crystal glass. Much brighter, much better optics and pattern.

    Not strictly speaking street-legal since they are not DOT rated.

    The DOT optics require that about 20% of the light is directed upward to illuminate signage. Go figure.

    ECE optics have a very sharp cut-off with a kick-up to the right (left in the UK). Much less glare to oncoming traffic, much better beam projection.

    I would recommend Cibie ECE lamps, but it seems that the dies wore out and Cibie no longer make them.

    Daniel Stern Lighting can set you up with Koito ECE lamps, which are supposed to be even better than the Cibie lamps were.

    https://www.danielsternlighting.com/.../products.html
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Freeland, WA
    Posts
    29,300

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    #15: Art, I was ( for once ) very lucky. I bought my car from the original owner, an 83 yr old gear head. He dumped in around $12K worth of upgrades - bigger turbo, tune, exhaust system, performance intake, oil intercooler, Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks, sway bar, blah blah blah. Incredibly he was asking $1K below what Kelly Blue Book said a standard car would cost. $18 K! I didn't think twice, as I will have this car for some time.

    It has a six speed manual, BTW - I would never want a sports car with an automatic.

    The gearhead was selling because he eventually found it too hard to get out of, so he bought a 460 HP Mustang w/manual tranny with big gaudy aftermarket wheels. He was a character.
    Last edited by Gerarddm; 04-15-2021 at 06:15 PM.
    Gerard>
    Langley, WA

    Don't believe Republican lies.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    30,705

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    There are Lucas repops out there, they look/work pretty good. I have one on my TD, not cheap, nice chrome.

    https://www.sportsandclassics.com/pa...intage-design/

    2C55A8D9-C369-4511-B2F3-FE86653CFF2C.jpg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    7,936

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    I mounted a driving light on my sidecar rig, wired into the high beam, but with a separate switch. If you had the driving light on and went to low beam, it shut off. Good for meeting other traffic

    Years ago I was on Whidbey Island and an oncoming car had his high beams on or so I thought. I flashed and flashed again and the other driver then hit his high beams with a bunch of driving lights. It was as though I was staring into a supernova. Thanks, fella
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pleasant Valley NS Canada
    Posts
    23,260

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    I mounted a driving light on my sidecar rig, wired into the high beam, but with a separate switch. If you had the driving light on and went to low beam, it shut off. Good for meeting other traffic.
    I have that wiring system for my truck driving lights. Very convenient. I got stopped at an RCMP registration* check once with my old blue truck that had the same wiring setup. Ended up staying for about twenty minutes, hood up, with four RCMP officers peering in and taking notes. Seems two of them had driving lights on their personal vehicles and didn't like having to manually switch off & on when meeting traffic. One took my recommendation and went to my mechanic for the re-wiring.

    * - For those who don't know about these, RCMP often set up roadblocks in the first few days pf a new month to stop all traffic and check if the vehicles have expired safety stickers, expired license, etc. Usually not a bother, passing thru normally takes about 2 - 3 minutes, and keeps rustbuckets and yahoos off the highway.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    39,314

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    would it have killed mazda and fiat to add 2 inches to the wheelbase so those of us of over 6'3" could drive them?

    bastards
    Boy howdy!

    I put about 400 miles on an early Miata over 2 days & it took 2 more to get my knees back.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    9,042

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    would it have killed mazda and fiat to add 2 inches to the wheelbase so those of us of over 6'3" could drive them?

    bastards
    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Boy howdy!



    I put about 400 miles on an early Miata over 2 days & it took 2 more to get my knees back.
    At least they got rid of the "Italian ape" driving position with your knees bent and against the back of the wheel and your arms straight out.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    73,000

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Cue the Randy Newman -- 'Tall people got no reason...' <G>
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    37,809

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Art Haberland View Post
    At least they got rid of the "Italian ape" driving position with your knees bent and against the back of the wheel and your arms straight out.
    Rattling the teacups.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    39,314

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Cue the Randy Newman -- 'Tall people got no reason...' <G>
    Are you 100% sure you've got that quoted correctly? I seem to remember a different word than "tall"...

    Not that I'd pick you up just to say hello of course!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Christchurch NZ
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    The driving position suits some. My wife is half hobbit and fits the spider perfectly. The Fiat was the only car she could drive when she was pregnant.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    73,000

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Are you 100% sure you've got that quoted correctly? I seem to remember a different word than "tall"...

    Not that I'd pick you up just to say hello of course!
    Hey... you sing it your way, I'll sing it the right way <G>
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    109,173

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    lol
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    39,314

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Hey... you sing it your way, I'll sing it the right way <G>
    It's my way or the highway buster!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    24,495

    Default Re: Auxiliary driving lights

    It may be worthwhile to check your state regulations about 'supplementary' lights. Some states have restrictions, i.e, they can only be on in rain, snow or fog, must dim when high beams are activated, etc.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •