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Unread 10-02-2006, 11:34 AM   #1
chiefiji
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Default PIAA light discussion

In particular, I'm interested in comparing the 510 ion crystal and 510 superwhites.

I have the ion crystal fogs. I'm still a bit up in the air as to whether or not I like them. On one hand, I think they're really cool looking in the day. On the other, I haven't really seen them work their magic in foggy conditions, and I'm not sure when I'll have the oppurtunity to do so since it hardly ever gets foggy around LA (minus the smog). When they're turned on at night, they fill out the area right in front of the truck just much like the stock fogs. It's just too bright in LA to really see how effective the ion crystals are in darker/foggier conditions.

If I had done the research beforehand, I probably would have gotten the 510 superwhites. Looking at the beam pattern, the superwhites throws a narrower beam further down the road which would probably enhance the stock lowbeams. I think this is more suitable for the daily driving I do 95% of the time. I'd be interested in hearing what those with the superwhites have to say.

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Unread 10-02-2006, 11:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefiji
If I had done the research beforehand, I probably would have gotten the 510 superwhites. Looking at the beam pattern, the superwhites throws a narrower beam further down the road which would probably enhance the stock lowbeams.
That is exactly why I got the superwhites. In the 16 years I've been driving I've only been in nastly fog maybe 3 or 4 times, so a dedicated fog light didn't seem as useful to me here in So. Cal. I've only done a rough align of my superwhites, and I can say they appear brighter than the factory fogs, even with the 85w bulbs I used to have in them. I attribute this to the narrow 15* spread of the lights, so they project out further than the stock lights. Right now I have them pointed down too much, so with the low beams on they basically fill in all the dark area in front of me. I plan on aiming them up a bit more so they just overlap with the bottom of the low beam. I'll take some pictures at night once I do that.
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Unread 10-02-2006, 01:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikestang
That is exactly why I got the superwhites. In the 16 years I've been driving I've only been in nastly fog maybe 3 or 4 times, so a dedicated fog light didn't seem as useful to me here in So. Cal. I've only done a rough align of my superwhites, and I can say they appear brighter than the factory fogs, even with the 85w bulbs I used to have in them. I attribute this to the narrow 15* spread of the lights, so they project out further than the stock lights. Right now I have them pointed down too much, so with the low beams on they basically fill in all the dark area in front of me. I plan on aiming them up a bit more so they just overlap with the bottom of the low beam. I'll take some pictures at night once I do that.
X2.

Fog lights seem a little redundant in LA and most places I'll drive. To make fog lights work correctly you need them very low to get under the fog. In those cases I'd prefer to mount small yellow fogs down around the skid plate area for the occasional trip where fog could be a major encounter.
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Unread 10-02-2006, 07:12 PM   #4
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I had very foggy conditions last night, and the Ion yellow Fogs frankly didn't work that well. I think the old factory fogs were better. I checked the alignment and I think its okay. I have them aimed just below the headlights.
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Unread 10-03-2006, 05:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksneubec
I had very foggy conditions last night, and the Ion yellow Fogs frankly didn't work that well. I think the old factory fogs were better. I checked the alignment and I think its okay. I have them aimed just below the headlights.
Hmmm, I used to have PIAA 510 Ion Crystal fogs on my previous truck and I have PIAA 540 Ion Crystal on my 4Runner now. I never had an issue lighting up the road and we do have a lots of foggy and heavy rain/snow conditions here in Canada. I do remember that I wasn't happy with 510 at first, but as soon as I aimed them properly (as of my preferences, not as they recommend in the manual), I was amazed of the lights performance. They do light up the shoulders and also fill the gap between Low and High beams.
I'll try to find a picture I took last fall while was driving through the heavy fog. With my stock Low beam and stock fogs on I was able to see ~70-80ft. After switching to High beams my visibility comes down to 30-40ft (too much reflection from high beams. The other set of driving lights I had at that time was PIAA 520 driving, they were giving me the a little bit less then stock Low + stock fogs. Driving lights are not good for fog, heavy rain/snow condition, because they give narrow bright light which reflects from water drops. As soon as I switched to parking light and PIAA 540 Ion fogs, my visibility range becomes ~200-250ft. I was so impressed of the improvement.
I'd say it depend on the lights itself and aiming. PIAA is very good quality lights. May be you need to play with aiming. I'd suggest you to try different aiming on the dark empty parking lot. Find the best one suitable for you needs.
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Unread 10-07-2006, 05:03 PM   #6
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Any feedback on how the PIAA 510 Crystal Ion fog lights are working? I was going to exchange mine for thr clear driving lights but at this point I just want to finish things up and may just keep the ion fogs if the feedback is good. Personally, it seems that the truck sits up too high and the light is too recessed for the ion fogs to be very effectinve, which is why I was considering the pencil-beam driving lights.
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Unread 10-07-2006, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dealmaker
Any feedback on how the PIAA 510 Crystal Ion fog lights are working? I was going to exchange mine for thr clear driving lights but at this point I just want to finish things up and may just keep the ion fogs if the feedback is good. Personally, it seems that the truck sits up too high and the light is too recessed for the ion fogs to be very effectinve, which is why I was considering the pencil-beam driving lights.
I have the Ion Crystal fogs (and driving lights). From the testing I have done, the fogs have a surprisingly wide pattern even though they are set back in the bumper quite a bit. For me, they light up both the right shoulder and across the oncoming lane to the left and they have plenty of adjustment for both up and down and spread. Some folks might prefer the white light but for me, the yellow is more subtle and will do a better job in fog and heavy rain.
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Unread 10-07-2006, 07:37 PM   #8
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I tested my 510 fogs the other night (no fog yet) and they did a really good job of lighting of the road and the side. I was surprised at how bright they are. They are brigther than my low beams. I will have to see how they do on fog, but they do have a pretty good wide spread adn do light up nicely ahead on the road. I had to adjust mine slightly as they were too high though, which will make them useless in fiog. I guess Iw ill only be able to give more feedback once I run them in fog. SO far they are far superior to the stock ones in terms of light output and gives pretty much the same spread out wide (but brighter on the road edges).

I agree with the concerns about their height for foggy conditions though. Time will tell I guess, but I think it is well worthwhile to spend some time adjusting them properly.
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Unread 10-07-2006, 07:40 PM   #9
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Pierre,

I'm still not decided on the fogs vs the driving light in the "fog light position."

Currently I don't feel the driving light (510 Super Brights) are that good. For a really good offroad light, I think a much larger top mounted light is necessary.

On that basis. it seems to be kinda wasted to have the driving lights instead of the fogs.

I'm am thinking that maybe it is better to have the fogs for that rare occasion in LA where you might need them, and buy big driving light for on top of the bullbar.

I will reserve my final comments until I get into a dark location to really test out the usefulness of the Super Brights.

Cheers
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Unread 10-07-2006, 07:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input, guys. I'm gonna stick with what I have, the fogs, and hokk 'em up tomorow. I want to finish this up, too many half-finished projects around the house!

Quote:
Originally Posted by expat
Pierre,

I'm still not decided on the fogs vs the driving light in the "fog light position."

Currently I don't feel the driving light (510 Super Brights) are that good. For a really good offroad light, I think a much larger top mounted light is necessary.

On that basis. it seems to be kinda wasted to have the driving lights instead of the fogs.

I'm am thinking that maybe it is better to have the fogs for that rare occasion in LA where you might need them, and buy big driving light for on top of the bullbar.

I will reserve my final comments until I get into a dark location to really test out the usefulness of the Super Brights.

Cheers
Mark
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Unread 10-07-2006, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat
I'm still not decided on the fogs vs the driving light in the "fog light position."
I spent some time last night in the alley behind my house that's very dark adjusting the aim on my 510 superwhites. I've pretty much overlapped them with the very bottom of the low beam; I think they compliment the lo's very well. They're basically as bright as my low beams. It might be nice to try out a higher wattage yellow H3 bulb in these things to see how a fog bulb in a driving light shell performs.

I'm plan on doing the little wiring trick that enables me to run them w/the hi-beams from the factory switch. I'll probably try out the 580s for on top of the bumper some time in the near future.
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Unread 10-13-2006, 09:25 PM   #12
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well I drove my truck at night for the first time since hooking up the lights last weekend. IMO the fogs seem useless for lighting. I can barely tell when they're on as compared to the factory driving lights. I will try to turn them outward a bit more for any improvement.
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Unread 10-13-2006, 09:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dealmaker
well I drove my truck at night for the first time since hooking up the lights last weekend. IMO the fogs seem useless for lighting. I can barely tell when they're on as compared to the factory driving lights. I will try to turn them outward a bit more for any improvement.
I agree. I mentioned this to Jim after my trip down there, and he suggested experimenting with aiming them ... still, no matter how I aim them, I don't get any use out of them (other than the fact that if someone is coming at you head-on they will see them).

Not sure how a few of you guys are finding them useful ... they're just positioned soooo far back there and don't provide any additional road illumination ...
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Unread 10-13-2006, 10:40 PM   #14
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I agree, but the driving lights are just as disappointing. They aren't any brighter than my headlights. I wonder what can be done to make them brighter, could it be as easy as just changing the bulbs out, or is there more to it?
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Unread 10-13-2006, 10:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my034runner
I agree, but the driving lights are just as disappointing. They aren't any brighter than my headlights. I wonder what can be done to make them brighter, could it be as easy as just changing the bulbs out, or is there more to it?
I think it has more to do with being set so far back / recessed ...

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Unread 10-13-2006, 11:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0cky
I think it has more to do with being set so far back / recessed ...


Yeah, on the fog lights, but what about the driving lights? They just aren't as bright as I would have liked. I thought that they'd be at least a little bit brighter than my headlights!
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Unread 10-14-2006, 07:30 AM   #17
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Are you talking about 6" driving lights monted on top of the bumper or the smaller ones mounted in the bumper? I have the 6" ion crystal diving lights (yellowish light). If they are aimed inside the stock high beam spread they are not very noticable. Once I aimed them slightly above my high beams then they reached far beyond the stock lights and made a clear difference. Try adjusting their aim to reach beyond the stock beams and see what you think.
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Unread 10-14-2006, 09:55 AM   #18
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I am talking about the 510 crystal ion fog lights mounted inside the bumper. I never expected either the fog or white/driving lights to be brighter than the factory headlights, but I did expect a noticable difference when they are turned on, just as with the factory driving lights. The factory driving lights seemed to fill the void below the lowbeam headlights and to fill outwards rather well. I was hoping the PIAA's would at least do the same, but now I can barely tell when the fogs are turned on! I will try turning them outward a bit more, but am hoping they don't have to be turned too far outward to be effective. I guess at this point I should review the PIAA paperwork and their website to see what their specs are for aiming the lights.
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Unread 10-14-2006, 10:13 AM   #19
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My driving lights are at least as bright as my low beams. I've aimed them high so they overlap the lows about 50% and I'm very happy with them.

Somewhere back in this thread I posted up a pict of the 95* fog beam spread vs. the 15* driving beam spread and mentioned that the recessed light housing would have a negative effect of the fog lights.
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Unread 10-14-2006, 10:15 AM   #20
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For me, I'm talking about the driving lights mounted on top of the bumper, under the hoops. They aren't very bright. I guess I'll wait until next weekend, we can all adjust them together.
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