In this article we discuss the optimum rally lighting setup considering factors including: performance, regulations, and budget. Our lighting systems have, and increasingly are proven, to outperform the very best motorsport lighting systems from other LED and HID manufacturers, but if there’s any doubt, don’t take our word for it, check out the side-by-side comparison video which was taken during the development of our new Triple-R Competition lights.
For ultimate performance, two Triple-R 8 (1000) Competition lamps should be mounted on the bonnet using our Boomer Single – Straight Mount kit which points the lights in a dead ahead orientation. 2x 15 degree Reeded Lenses, mounted one per lamp, will give additional spread of light better suited to all but the straightest roads/tracks. The further addition of a single Variable Reeded Lens (5/10 degrees) further improves visibility in fast (4th / 5th gear) corners. For tighter, twistier stages or rallies there is the flexibility to mount additional Reeded Lens to suit.
The bonnet mounted lights deliver the long range illumination, while corner lighting should be handled by two Triple-R 4 (750) Competition, or two Triple-R 4 (750) Elite, the latter by comparison providing more spread of light both left/right and up/down, albeit without the same intensity as the Competition lights which work especially well in fast cornering, and on typically flatter, road rally stages. Both options should be used in conjunction with the Triple-R Reeded Lenses – 15 degrees (Horizontal or Vertical orientation) to ensure adequate coverage for both fast and slower corners. Corner lights should be mounted using our Universal Single Lamp Mount, which provides a robust, mounting solution to the corners of the car, while allowing full left/right adjustability of the angle of the light. Fiesta R5 customers should consider M-Sport’s bespoke mounting solutions, tried and tested at the very highest level of WRC.
In most categories of racing, the FIA simply states that a maximum of six additional headlights, are permitted provided that they are accepted by the laws of the country. In most European countries an E-mark should be printed on the lens of the product, for it to be classified road-legal, and therefore ‘accepted by the laws of the country’. The E-mark signifies compliance with European driving light test standards.
For this reason all Triple-R lamps carry the E-Mark logo, and are certified road-legal (Triple-R 8 (1000) Elite to be certified in the coming weeks). For many of the higher intensity Triple-R lamps, this is made possible through our patent-pending E-BOOST function, which gives each light dual output functionality. With the supplied E-BOOST cap removed, the lights operate in E-mark compliant mode, ensuring compliance when driving on the open road between stages, and then by inserting the supplied E-BOOST cap, light output can increase by 3.5x, when permitted (i.e. during the closed road elements).
Local regulations vary, so we would always recommend checking these carefully before making any purchasing decisions. At the time of writing, in Finland and the UK for example, the requirement is always for E-mark lights; in France there is a maximum limit of 24 LEDs (i.e. 2x Triple-R 8 (1000) plus 2x Triple-R 4 (750)).
For some rally classes where the regulations don’t ever demand road-legal driving lights, or for lights to be mounted in pairs, the bonnet-mounted solution above can be replaced by x1 Triple-R 16 Competition. The light output is the same, albeit with the added benefits of reduced weight, and simplified wiring.
ON A BUDGET
2x Triple-R 4 (750) Standard (or 2x ST4)
2/3x Reeded Lenses
2x Side Bracket Kit
While our products represent exceptional value considering the level of performance, we have a range of lower cost solutions which can still deliver a lighting solution to match the requirements of amateur teams competing in only a small number of night-time rallies each year, or those on a tighter budget.
For the bonnet-mounted lights these can be substituted for two Triple-R 8 (1000) Standard. These lights won’t give you the range or intensity of light that you otherwise get from the Competition lights, albeit a single Triple-R 8 (1000) Standard will still deliver 1 lux @ 607m. However, an advantage of the Standard lights (or the Elite optic) over the Competition is the slightly wider spread of light. Mounting these lights using our Boomer Single can give flexibility to angle these lights out left/right, and with the addition of 2-3 Reeded Lenses, we would recommend 2x 30 degree Reeded Lens (Horizontal orientation), plus 1x 15 degree Reeded Lens, it is possible to have this lighting setup without the addition of cornering lights. There would be a reduction in beam length, but still a huge increase in performance over halogen, and the majority of HID bonnet pods.
If budget allows we would still recommend separate corner lights, and there are some options in this area to reduce cost. Two Triple-R 4 (750) Standard lights, with 15 degree Reeded Lenses will provide an excellent level of lighting in corners; an alternative would be to use x2 ST4 lights, these won’t have the same range and intensity, but do provide a huge spread of light which can be advantageous on tight and twisty stages. Mounting of the corner lights with our Side Bracket Kits will reduce costs further albeit with less flexibility in the mounting position and adjustability.