INSIDE JOB

LIGHTFORCE’S NEW HIGH-END LEDS ARE AN AFFORDABLE UPGRADE FOR ANY 4X4 INTERIOR.

WORDS AND PHOTOS DAN EVERETT

WHEN it comes to camp and interior lighting, getting the balance right is far more difficult than it is for driving lights. Too much light and you’ll find yourself with a camp scene reminiscent of the Vegas strip, too little and even mundane tasks like digging out a pocket knife from the glovebox can turn into an ordeal – heaven forbid if something falls under a seat. Both have their pros and cons, but the good thing about too much light is it can always be turned off.

With that in mind I was keen to put Lightforce’s new range of interior light upgrades to the test, replacing the Ranger’s pitiful offering with something more befitting of an Aussie tourer in the process. When the package turned up in my hands there were two things that immediately stood out. Firstly, there was just a light, absolutely no instructions, clips, brackets or anything else indicating it would be a difficult job. Secondly, the light was bright yellow.

After a little digging I discovered Lightforce’s interior light upgrades are known as COB (Chip On Board), a new type of LED light that can get more diodes per chip and more chips per square centimetre, with the end result being a ng he as ing e uare brighter light in the same sized package.

Installing the replacement light is one of the easiest and quickest modifications I’ve done to a 4x4. A small, flat-bladed screwdriver between the lens and outer ring of the factory light saw the lens quickly pried free. The stock incandescent bulb wriggled from its home (after burning my fingers, of course) then the Lightforce unit simply lined up and pushed home.

From start to finish the entire process took less than 30 seconds.

There’s an adjustment on the back of the light for controlling how bright the unit is, which is fantastic because at 100 per cent it can easily be too much light for some situations. I found the maximum light output perfect in suburban or urban environments to overpower shadows from outside light sources, but in the bush it lights up the interior like an airport runway – so the easy adjustment becomes very handy indeed.

The unit we’ve tested is a direct bolt-in replacement for 2011+ Ford Rangers and Mazda BT-50s, although universal options are available to suit most makes and models. Considering it’s an Australianmade unit, it’s quick and easy to upgrade, has substantially more light output and costs less than a counter lunch, I’ll chalk this one up as a no-brainer. y g p