PRODUCT TEST: Vision X Cannon LED Kit – Brighten the night

WHAT IT IS:
The Light Cannon combines the advantages of current LED technology with the amazing reach and focus capabilities of the pod-style lights that many of us are familiar with. Vision X uses an extremely powerful, single LED centered in one of three different-sized pods. The Vision X light Cannon LED kit is two high-powered Light Cannon LED lights conveniently packaged with a painless wiring harness. The kits are available in 4.5-inch, 6.7-inch or the newest 8.7-inch sizes.

CONSTRUCTION:
Vision X uses a hybrid housing built out of aluminum and polycarbonate for extreme durability and light weight. The internals of the 4.5-inch Light Cannon feature a single, 25-watt Luminous ultra-premium LED, while the 6.7-inch uses a 50-watt LED, and the 8.7-inch gets a single, massive 90-watt. Vision X combines this lightweight, high-strength aluminum/polycarbonate housing with its own Prime Drive technology, an Iris reflector, polycarbonate lens and a single LED chip.

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FEATURES:
The single-bolt mounting system and aluminum/polycarbonate hybrid construction keep the smaller, 4.5-inch light’s weight at just 2 pounds, and the big-boy, 8.7-inch Light Cannons weigh 10.36 pounds for the entire light. The Light Cannons feature a very focused, 10-degree light-beam pattern with a multitude of snap-on filters to fine-tune light output for specific driving needs. The Snap-On filters double as roost guard/covers and are available in Euro Driving, Flood and Spot. The Spot is basically a protective cover, and the other two offer very definitive light patterns. All three patterns are available in clear, red for dust, amber for fog or blue for driving in the snow.

Vision X’s LED lights can run on any voltage, from 9–32-volt DC, with amazingly low amp draw. The 25-watt model pulls just 4.16 amps on a 12-volt system. The plug-and-play wiring harness comes with quality, weatherproof Deutsch connectors, and the lights are waterproof with an IP-68 rating. The “luminous” single chip LED has an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours, so it will outlast many generations of off-roaders. Vision X developed its Prime Drive technology that can operate LEDs to 90 percent of their max rating for optimal light output and minimal energy waste. Prime Drive, combined with the integrated electronic thermal management, makes for the utmost in lighting reliability.

INSTALLATION:
Vision X’s pod-style Light Cannons feature a rugged, single-bolt mounting platform, making them the ideal replacement light for any and all of your standard “old technology” halogens or HnDs. The Light Cannon LED kit comes complete with a wiring harness, including a on/off toggle switch, relay and water-resistant connection plugs. The LED’s low amperage requirements make for a simple install, as you can tap in and draw power from just about anywhere. We installed our kit on Polaris’ XP 1000, which made the process even simpler with the supplied power buss bar that turns on and off with the ignition key.

PERFORMANCE:
The Light Cannons project a serious amount of light. We used the 25-watt smaller ones on our XP 1000 for a local nighttime desert race, as well as pre-running this year’s Baja 1000. We also got the chance to try a 6.7- inch pair during the Baja 500. The unfiltered light pattern is a very sharp, focused spot pattern, which required a filter for effective use on a UTV. The unfiltered 4.5-inch model emits 1000 feet of usable light, and the 8.7-inch will project to the 1000-meter mark. While these stats are impressive, in an unfiltered state the lights are not really that practical on a UTV that tops out around 75 mph. We found that taming the Light Cannons with a Euro Driving, or even a Flood, filter made them much more UTV-friendly. The Euro Driving filter cuts the light’s reach by about 50 percent, but that still gives you three times the reach of typical high-beam automotive headlights. We also were able to use the colored lens/filter for racing in extremely dusty conditions. The red works very well, nearly eliminating reflection, and the yellow/amber fog covers worked very well in the dust.

THE VERDICT:
When LED light bars first hit the market, they were a great product. They drew low wattage, were super durable and emitted a ton of usable yet soft light. The one thing that was keeping the HID and halogen lighting options alive was the need for extensive reach on faster machines. As a veteran desert racer, Nick Nelson was impressed with LED technology, but we would still run a race setup with at least one HID pod-type light giving us the distance we wanted. These new pod-style, high-wattage LED lights are going to finish off the competition with all the durability of LED lights and the reach of the best HIDs on the market. They definitely aren’t practical for our market without a filter, but snapping on one of the available filters takes mere seconds and provides even more protection for an already durable product. When used with filters, these lights are like having every type of light available to you at a moment’s notice. It’s a great product!

contact: www.visionxusa.com
rating: ★★★★★
price: 4.5-inch kit, $449; 6.7-inch kit,
$849; 8.7-inch kit, $1299

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