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$30 vs $1290
What are you getting for your money?

“They’re all made in the same place, anyhow”

We had to do it, and I think we can speak for all high quality and performance driving light manufacturers on this one.

Yes, we went on eBay and purchased a 23″ LED lightbar. It was quite literally the cheapest 20″ lightbar on eBay at the time, only $29.95 delivered (RRP: $49.95 delivered). We had little intention of actually using to test against our HyperDrive or Xplorer LED Driving Lights but committed to the purchase anyway.

12,600 raw lumen Lightfox vs. 14,990 effective lumen HyperDrive Mk2

LightFox 23″ Lightbar Specifications:

  • LED 40 x CREE LED
  • LUX Rating 1LUX @ 350m
  • Raw Lumen 12,600Lm
  • Operating Voltage 10-30V DC
  • IP Rating IP68
  • Current Draw 3.4A @ 13.5v
  • Colour Temperature (CCT) 6000 Kelvin
  • Housing Material Black Aluminium Diecast Housing
  • Lens PMMA Poly(methyl methacrylate)
  • Mounting Bracket Alu Firm Side Bracket
  • Beam Type Spot Flood Combo
  • Life Span 50,000 Hours
  • Weight 3kg Approx
  • Operating Environment  -40 – +50° Celsius

Livid HyperDrive Mk2 Specifications:

  • Designed with LightSYNC Technology
  • 9-48V DC
  • 5mm Stainless Steel Mounting System
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 80w / 7.6amp @ 12V DC
  • Vibration dampened and shockproof to 10G
  • Eight 10w 5500K XM-L2 CREE LEDs
  • 7495 Effective Lumens
  • 5° Pencil Optical Projection Lens
  • IP69 – Water Proof up to 3 meters
  • Waterproof Deutsch® connector
  • 150mm Tail connected to Deutsch® Connector
  • 3mm Bayer Makrolon UV Protected Lens
  • A360 Swiss Cast Aluminum
  • Reverse Polarity Protection
  • EMC and RFI Certified
  • 3.8KG
Light Fox Ebay

So, why did we buy the cheapest LED light bar from eBay?

The motive was simple, “How bad can it get?”

First impressions:

Packaged arrived promptly from Melbourne up to our main office in Queensland. Packaging was reasonable and well presented, bar arrived undamaged and was packed in a bubble wrap sleeve. All bolts and brackets were in the box also. We cut the tape and plucked the bar from its box to see what it could do.

Our Expectation:

Well, they weren’t too crash hot or overly high – and we were certainly not let down from our theory. On the flip side, it was only $30.

Features:

Not many. The bar didn’t come with a plug, just two bare wires out the end. It also came with a tapped cast end to the extrusion with some cast end mount/feet mount. We tightened them up and they held pretty well and didn’t strip etc.

  • IP68 Rated
  • EMC/RFI Suppression
  • Spot and Flood combo beam
  • Multi-Volt
Performance:

The Lightfox product is a spot and spread combination beam and has a quoted 1LUX @350m and 12,600 raw lumens. Amp draw is quoted to 3.4amps @ 13.5v and weight is quoted at “approx 3kg

Reality:
  • Distance: 1LUX @ 122M
  • Raw Lumens: 2,951
  • Current Draw: 3.3amps @ 12.99V
  • Weight: 949 grams (without mounting hardware)
Verdict?

Put it this way, a set of Night Armour Summit LED globes in our 2015 LSU Isuzu Dmax high beam projected light further than the Lightfox 23″ Light Bar. However, the light bar offered more volume of light in the immediate near field. The colour temperature was absolutely horrible and the reflectors and LED’s were not centred or aligned with each other. Optically speaking, the light bar was also horrific, with an enormous amount of wasted light and light bleed. There wasn’t much good about this product and we a baffled as to why you would even bother buying one, regardless of the price.

Settings, Location and Time.
Canon 6D Mkii
24-105 F4 Canon L series – 28mm Focal Length for this shoot
5 seconds
Iso 100
5400K Color Temp
26.5 Degrees Celcius / 71% humidity
6th December 2018 – 2326 hours – 7th December 2018 0026 hours
South East Queensland, Australia.

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