Advancements - The LED, short for Light Emitting Diode, is
basically an electronic component that is designed to convert
electricity to light. The improvements that have been seen in this
area over the past several years have improved every aspect of the LED
including increasing the light output while reducing power consumption
as well as increasing the size of the diode itself and extending it's
life even longer than the previous generations of LED. Recently
while renovating a bathroom, I was very impressed with three surface
mount ceiling LED lights that I had installed. They produced a
great tone of bright white light that I could dim with a dimmer. They
were waterproof and produced no heat at all, only light. I also
now use a super-bright handheld LED spotlight with a massive LED powered
by 4 D batteries that rivals the flood lights you plug into the 12v
electrical system of a vehicle. So I was primed to look beyond the
typical halogen filament bulb or even HID type lighting, all of which
loose a lot of their energy to heat output rather than usable light.
At that point I made the decision to go with a set of Light Cannon LED
lights by Vision X Lighting. I needed a set that fit under the
hoop on top of my winch bumper without obstructing use of the winch or
shielding the radiator too much and the 4.5" Light Cannon LED light
seemed like a good option. Pricing was compatible with similar
size lights and according to the owner of
Offroad Lights, a company I
dealt with before when it came to lights for my 4x4's over the years,
these lights were very well built and technologically advanced over
other lights of similar size and output. So I ordered the light kit that
includes a pair of 4.5" Light Cannons and a wiring harness. I also
ordered two pair of O-ring sealed lens covers. One in an amber and
another in black so that the vehicle will pass inspection.
At the time of writing this
install/review Vision X Lighting is the first to offer a high output 4.5" LED light.
Dubbed the Light Cannon, Vision X Lighting, put quite a bit of
technology and engineering into this light.
The first thing I took
notice of was the housing. Very impressive.
The hybrid aluminum poly
carbonate housing is lightweight yet very well constructed and very
solid. It appears to be
cast and anodized black with a very solid, single bolt mounting base.
The rear of the housing
where the electronics are housed has heat sink fins, which give
it a very interesting appearance.
|The housing has recessed grooves for secure, water tight
attachment of the poly carbonate lens covers.
I'll probably use leave
on the amber covers most of the time and use them when off-road
since I like the amber illumination at night.
|The LED diode in
the center of the reflector is HUGE. I've
seen large LED diodes before but this one is the largest by far
that I have seen. The advertised distance of useable light
is over 1000 feet so it will be interesting to see how much
light they generate.
|The wiring harness is well constructed complete with a
relay, 30 amp fuse and a solid switch. Individual leads go
out to each light and the harness has water-tight locking plugs
the connect to the lights. Another nice feature that the
lights come with is a small lead for each light to wire it into
an existing lighting system if the vehicle is so equipped.
Vision X even went to the extra step of applying solder to the
bare wires with to prevent fraying and ensuring a more positive
(shown with optional lens)
Manuafacturer's Specs / Highlights
Proprietary Iris Reflectory Technology
Lightweight and Tough Hybrid Aluminum Poly Carbonate
Housing (2.2 lbs)
Revolutionary LED Technology producing
over 1000 feet of usable light from a single 25 watt LED
Integrated Electronic Thermal Management (ETM)
Prime Drive for Enhanced Reliability and Output
Snap-On Covers Allow Easy Change of Beam
Ultra Light Weight 2lb Hybrid Construction
Weatherproof Deutsch Connector
Water Tight Sealed Poly Carbonate Lens
50,000 Hours LED lifespan
Two Light Kits Available
DIMENSIONS 4.72 x 4.36 x 5.75
INPUT VOLTAGE 9-32V DC (suitable for 24 volt systems)
OPTIC EFFICIENCY 90%
DRIVEN AT 90%
AMP DRAW (12V DC) 2.08A
IP RATING IP-68
VIBRATION RATING 15.6G
OPERATING TEMPERATURE -40 Celsius ~ +80 Celsius
Additional Manufacturer's Information can be read here.
Installing off-road lights is
not a difficult task, though it can be done incorrectly. For instance
thinking back to the good old days of basic offroading and 4x4 building,
it was common to run the high amp voltage feed from the battery, into
the cab and under the dash, through the switch and out to the lights.
This is fine if you properly fuse, gauge and distance your wires as
well as your switches to prevent over-heating or worse an electrical fire. However you are always better
off not running the high voltage into the cab and instead
use a relay
to power your lights. Simply put, a remote is a low amp switch that controls a high amp switch.
The relay is installed closer to the source and out of the cab.
The toggle switch in your cab controls the low amp side of the relay.
Today most offroad light manufacturers, including Vision X,
incorporate a relay into their wiring harness. If not, you should
wiring your lights with a relay.
Vision X provides this wiring
diagram for installing the lights.
Wiring Diagram (pdf)
Step by step directions can
vary so much from vehicle to vehicle considering you have to run a wire
into the cab, mount a switch and connect the wiring to ground and the
battery so it is always best to refer to the wiring diagram when
installing lights. The details about how to install a switch under
or on the dash, or even mounting the lights somewhere are also a big
If you need to check the sizing
of the lights for possibly tight fitment on your vehicle, Vision X also
provides a dimensional diagram for their lights. I had plenty of
room to work with so fitment wasn't an issue.
|On my vehicle I
used the mounting holes set in the winch bumper as the mounting
location. Removing the old lights and installing the new
lights was a snap, done in a few minutes. Vision X also
included the Allen wrench in the kit.
|For a quick installation, I opted to reused my personally
fabricated wiring harness that I had run out to my previous set
of lights. The only modification I did to the Vision X
wiring was to strip back a small portion of the insulation on
the supplied wiring adapters. I then crimped on a mating
plug to my existing wiring harness. Soon, I have plans to
purchase a 2014 Jeep JK Rubicon when the Copperhead color
becomes available. At that time, I plan to use the Vision
X wiring harness and transfer these lights over to the Jeep JK.
The Vision X install will be covered in that writeup again.
Very impressive set of lights! Compact
with a low amp draw yet they produce a tremendous amount of
light and a very usable pattern. Upcoming night-time tests
will be a distance test across a field to see the pattern
produced at about 1000 feet out but for now the assessment is
mainly on the back roads with nighttime driving.
On the road the illumination of a windy road
through a forested area is great, especially with the amber
lens. Very impressive for a 4.5" reflector. My PIAD
"driving lights" pail in comparison yet cost nearly as much when
you consider I'm on my second set of PIAD due to a cracked lens.
Immediately after installation, I compared the
light output to the OEM headlights and the Light Cannons produce
more light than the headlights do. Not only that but at a
lower amp draw and the LED's produce far less heat. The
bare lens itself produces hardly any heat at all to the touch
while my headlights were what I would consider very warm to
almost 'hot'. The ETM produces some heat and now I know
why the thermal fins are on the back of the housing.
From several previous sets of lights I used with
amber an lens, visibility while driving in the fog and snow is
greatly improved so I'm looking forward to using them in those
conditions. What is most impressive about these lights is the
construction. The housing is very precision. The
photos just don't do them justice.
going to do some night time distance tests and comparisons soon
so check back for that as well as the fall Jeep JK Rubicon
transfer of these lights at that time. For more
information on the lights themselves with pricing and
availablility, please contact:
Here are the
filters and covers along with the o-rings removed to show them.