SCORE Journal Issue 2-2015

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 58 of 93

A few decades ago it was common for anyone who was into off-roading, to have a series of lights across the front bumper of their vehicle. Off-road lighting has always been a necessity for anyone traveling off-road at night, and to be able to see in bad weather conditions. But aside from providing lots of illumination, having a set of four round lights mounted to your vehicle also carried a cool factor that couldn't be overlooked. Four-inch and 6-inch round lights have been the main stay for many years. While Halogen and HID lights are still available and provide an excellent source of light, LED lighting has been the preferred method used by many SCORE racing teams. But it didn't always start off that way. In the beginning, LED lighting only drew minor interest because they were light and compact. But at that time, they didn't quite have the power that racers needed, and the fact that they were packaged in square housings was also strange to many people. "When we introduced the linear LED bar back in 2007, you can imagine there wasn't much interest from the big teams; it was just too different," says Taylor Anderson, VP Marketing - Strategic Partnerships at Rigid Industries. "We also didn't have quite the distance throw that the HID's had, but the width of the beam was different enough to pick up a little steam." Manufacturers worked to improve circuitry and the amount of illumination emitted from these new LED light bars. "As the technology continued to improve, emitters matched optics and circuitry, and this really helped us get some larger teams aboard. Flash forward, our athletes have taken the podium numerous times, including two SCORE Baja 1000 races in a row (2012, 2013) where the race is really won in the dark," says Anderson. "I think it's safe to say that it (LEDs) has taken hold." So what makes LEDs different from Halogen and HID lights? According to Rigid Industry's Sponsorship & Event Manager Brett Carpenter, there's a number of differences that provide distinct advantages to desert racers. "The pattern from an LED light is going to give a clean, solid beam wherever it shines, as opposed to a halogen light's pattern with multiple hot-spots and inconsistent light spill," he says. "LED lights are instant on and off, meaning you get the full brightness from the light as soon as the switch is flipped without waiting for a warm up as you would with HID's." High quality LED light bars are also designed, to give a solid field of light on front of, and to the side of a vehicle with an equal amount of brightness. "Round lights will each have their own 059 SCORE JOURNAL

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