This October, we’re delighted to have appointed a new Regional Manager for Australia and New Zealand. Based out of Canberra, Kirk Marks comes to us with a competition pedigree and a sound understanding of the need for excellent, efficient and innovative lighting solutions for both road and competition use.
He has been extensively involved in Australian Rallying since 1988, competing in over 100 rallies at State and National levels, including winning the A2 Class in the Australian Rally Championships in 1992, the A2 Class Winner in the 18,500km Round Australia Rally in 1995, Winning the Toyota Corolla Cup in 1997 and taking out various Group N titles driving a Subaru WRX in NSW and Victoria, before heading to the Middle East in 2009.
Kirk was the Director of the Premier State Rally in NSW in 2003 and 2004 as well as the Manager of CRS Engineering and the Castlemaine Rod Shop in Victoria between 2005 and 2009 before establishing Pedders Suspension and Brakes in the Middle East and North Africa in 2015. His extensive experience in many automotive sectors and a sound competition history, makes him well placed to understand and cater for the requirements of our growing dealer network in the region. In recent times he has been working with Lazer Lamps in establishing our business in the Middle East, so he hits the ground running with a comprehensive understanding of our products, the brand, and what makes our products special.
Long recognised as an energised market for auxiliary driving lights, we’re excited Kirk will now be better supporting our existing partners in Australasia, while looking for new opportunities. Already having met with many of our existing partners, Kirk also attended the Monaro Stages Rally recently, and in partnership with Kosciuszko Automotive, presented the winners with a prize of $800 towards a Lazer installation of their choice.
We recognise the market in Australia and New Zealand is extremely competitive, but with clear USPs and products tried and tested from the very highest levels of professional motorsport, to our Tier1 relationships with vehicle manufacturers in Europe, we know we’ve got innovative products and solutions that can perform better, and for longer, even in the most challenging and harsh environments down under.
Always at the forefront of auxiliary lighting, leading UK manufacturer Lazer Lamps is excited to bring real innovation and improved lighting performance and functionality to the LED driving light market this year with the September launch of Triple-R SMARTVIEW.
With integration into your vehicle's electrical system facilitated by 'Plug & Play' connectivity across all elements of the Smartview system, the Smartview allows operation of 5 different lighting modes, each delivering real-world benefits suited to different road and off-road applications and conditions, and each benefitting from the latest and most efficient LED technology to deliver unrivalled lighting performance like no other.
An overview of the different lighting functions is available to preview on the video below:
Lighting functions are controlled via a touch-screen 'Dashboard Controller'. This controller, like the lamp itself, and CANbus interface (if utilising the Speed-Adapt function) is all connected via an Anti-Theft Unit (ATU), which in turn connects to the vehicle's battery and ignition feed. The ATU contains firmware specific to your lamp, so if the lamp is ever removed from the vehicle without the ATU, the lamp won't function.
Initially the Smartview will only be available in the 12 LED, Triple-R 1250 size, and with production scheduled for mid September, we look forward to sharing more information towards the end of the month, when the Smartveiw will officially launch. Watch this space and our social media channels.
Following the launch of our Linear-36, 42, and 48, alongside our range of Universal Roof Mounting kits, now is a good time to breakdown your potential roof light installation and provide a concise guide to choosing the right light, and right mounting solution for you and your vehicle. We appreciate a roof light is a reasonable investment, so it is important you feel confident in how the end solution will look and function. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to decide which Lazer roof light will best suit your needs, as well as where, and how, to position your light for the perfect install.
You’ll be able to immediately narrow down your choice of lamps by the size of your roof and space available in which to mount the light. If you’re mounting off a roof-rack or similar then this allows a high degree of flexibility in mounting lights of different lengths, typically just using a pair of our stainless steel Side Brackets. If not, consider the distance between your roof rails, or roof ditch channels, then check the dimensions below (full dimensional diagrams available on the relevant product pages), and don’t be put off if the light is up to 130mm short (or 65mm either end) as the anti-theft fastener / spacer kits included with our brackets will allow you to make up the gap either side.
So which Lazer roof light is best for you considering lighting performance, and the features and benefits of each product type? Below is a short summary of how our lights differ and what you can expect from each.
Slim, sleek and aerodynamic, our Linear range provides for an understated stylish installation with a lighting performance that belies its diminutive proportions. Light distribution is tailored to everyday road use, with a lower up/down spread of light and proportionately more left/right spread, still with an intensity of light that leaves little to the imagination. With both Linear-36 and Linear-42 having the added advantage of being ECE approved for on road use (at the upper end of the allowable road-legal limit), these lights can be wired directly into your vehicles high beam circuit without the need for a standalone switch. Very little glare on the bonnet coupled with exceptional low wind noise performance add to the Linear’s roof mounting appeal.
If ultimate long-distance visibility is what you seek, with lighting performance borne out of the highest levels of professional motorsport, then the Triple-R range from Lazer is exactly what your vehicle needs. The Triple-R range is specifically tuned for a spot beam pattern whilst still achieving a good spread of light in the mid-long range, it is well suited on those long dark roads where anything can jump out on you and you need to be ahead of the game. The high-end design and styling of the Triple-R products ensures these are products to turn heads day and night, albeit the bigger proportions of the lights compared to Linear or T-Evolution, make this a solution for people who want their roof light to be noticed!
With a fantastic all-round spread of light, the T Evolution range is a great choice, in particular for off-road use, where distance illumination isn’t necessarily as important as having exceptional short and mid-range visibility up/down, left/right. Updated, contemporary styling for the T Evolution range since 2018, with a seamless polycarbonate lens design, means these lights look great on your vehicle, but consider carefully the placement of the light on the roof – the higher vertical angle of the light distribution means glare from the bonnet, or light lost on the roof of your vehicle, can be something to consider carefully first.
You’ve selected your light, so now it’s time to select the right mounting solution. Aside from bespoke mounts for vehicles including the Ford Ranger and Land Rover Defender, our universal-fit Mounting Kits are split into 2 categories – brackets for use with roof rails, and brackets for vehicles without roof rails. For each bracket type there are versions of different heights, which will be dictated by:
- the position of the brackets/lamp on the roof - the shape (curvature) of the roof - the lamp selected.
On this last point, consider the distance from the centre of the threaded lamp mounting hole, to the bottom of the lamp – Linear (18mm); Triple-R (38mm); T Evolution (33mm). It is best practice to mount the light close to the roof to prevent wind noise, the bigger the gap between the roof and the light the more susceptible to wind noise your lightbar will be, but it is also important not to mount the light too close to the roof as all vehicles will have a certain flex in the roof while on the move.
Within the range of roof brackets (for vehicles without roof rails) is included a bracket with a forward reach of 70mm. When mounting a light near the front of the roof, it can be advantageous for the light to have a forward mounting position from both an aesthetic perspective, but also to avoid an antenna for example.
For vehicles without roof rails there is the possibility that the vehicle has a roof ditch, these are usually covered by a moulding that is easy to remove and are commonly used to hide the welding seam and bolt holes for optional roof box rails, they provide a good base on where to mount your brackets on the roof and also where to drill the hole for cable entry.
The process for mounting brackets to the vehicle is relatively straight forward, all our kits are supplied with comprehensive installation instructions, but the job needs to completed with care and attention. Within the Mounting Kits we supply are all the parts required to complete a smart, secure, and sealed installation, but if you’re not confident then contact us or find a local fitting centre to complete the install for you.
Not all LED lights are built the same. A lot of LED lights are products produced in the Far-East. Many are produced in the Far-East but then re-branded. Some brands design products in-house but then outsource manufacturing from elsewhere. This is all well, and we’re not here to comment on how good or bad a brand might be that employs any of these methods, but at Lazer Lamps we take a different approach. Our design, engineering, and build functions are all performed in-house, in the UK.
There are a number of distinct advantages to operating in this way, to name a few: increased speed to market, creating an environment which encourages innovation, improved quality control, tighter cost control, greater security in terms of continuity of supply, and a real focus and commitment to continuous improvement in terms of the build quality and reliability of our products.
Throughout the design and development stages of any new or upgraded products, our designers and engineers, through their own knowledge and experience, and through close collaboration with industry leading component suppliers, will strive to ensure every possible consideration has been made to guarantee the performance and longevity of our lights. Still, occasionally problems can occur, and while we have always prided ourselves on our exceptionally low warranty rates, it’s through the systems we employ to guarantee continuous improvement, that can be most reassuring to our customers.
Our Test Engineers carefully consider and test every single warranty case that we are made aware of. Working in close collaboration with our engineering and production teams, we identify the root cause of every issue, and immediately employ any corrective actions required. Corrective actions could be anything from: amending the specification of a component part, modifying the build process, or re-training a member of the production team. Whatever the action required, it’s implemented immediately and effectively, and this is something greatly facilitated by having all functions located in-house at the same location.
We appreciate purchasing a Lazer product is an investment, an investment in a product which has been built to exceptional standards. The continual improvement that goes on behind the scenes every day, provides reassurance Lazer products are products to be trusted for years to come.
An increasing number of manufacturers are employing CAN Bus systems for managing the electrical inputs on modern-day vehicles. Historically, the reserve of high-end, high-spec models, CAN is becoming more prevalent, but there are systems available which interpret the CAN Bus signals to ensure any auxiliary light installation works as seamlessly as if fitted alongside a more traditional electrical system.
Let’s take a closer look and understand…
What is Can Bus Technology?
CAN (Control Area Network) enables communication between different systems (or Electronic Control Units – ECUs) on the vehicle, without the need for complex wiring. In operating via a central system, this allows all the different ECUs to work together effectively and efficiently; for example, the engine reports the vehicle’s speed to the transmission, which in turn must tell other modules when to shift gears. Connecting all these individual modules to each other became too complex, so a central networking system became necessary to efficiently run the vehicle.
For vehicle manufacturers and owners there are a number of advantages to working this way, including: lighter vehicles, simplified and more easily regulated electrics, issues are more identifiable and can be isolated, and the system as a whole is more cost-effective and reliable.
How the CAN Communication Works?
CAN is a peer-to-peer network. This means that there is no master that controls when individual nodes have access to read and write data on the CAN bus. When a CAN node is ready to transmit data, it checks to see if the bus is busy and then simply writes a CAN ‘frame’ onto the network. The frame being written is essentially the signal for the CAN and other ECUs on the network to interpret; of course the specific frame being transmitted from one ECU won’t be relevant for all others, so each ECU recognises whether to essentially accept or reject the frame being transmitted. The CAN prioritises ECUs so that multiple frames aren’t being transmitted all at the same time.
So why does CAN matter when fitting Auxiliary Lighting?
Historically (and indeed still for most vehicles) standard headlamps received a 12V signal for when the lights needed to activate. With CAN, this 12V signal may be replaced by a different type of signal, in the form of the CAN frame, which the auxiliary lights can’t interpret properly. Typically, this causes the auxiliary lights to flash rapidly or not activate at all.
How do I know if I need a CanM8 High Beam Interface?
First off, just because your vehicle has a CAN Bus system doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll run into any problems. A lot of vehicles using CAN, still send a 12V signal to the headlamps when the High Beam activates for example. If this 12V signal is available, it will cause the 12V relay in our wiring kits to activate and the lamps will work like normal. Note – it’s important when testing the strength of the signal to the back of the headlamps that you identify the correct wire/pin for the high beam, and check the signal strength on/off by having another person flash the lights, not by leaving the high beam in the permanently on/off position.
How and where do I fit the CanM8 Highbeam Interface?
The video below explains the installation process:
Will fitting the Interface void my manufacturer’s warranty?
During the installation process, care needs to be taken as you will be connecting wires directly on to important vehicle systems. The vehicle warranty will be unaffected, so long as the installation has been carried out correctly, without damaging the surrounding systems. If you're unsure, get the help of a qualified auto electrician.
Another option is the CanM8 Contactless Reader which allows the CAN Bus interface to read vehicle CAN Bus data without any actual metal to metal connection. The reader is secured around a section of the vehicle CAN Bus wiring and data is read by an induction method.
Where do I find out more about the installation for my specific vehicle make/model?
Your local vehicle dealership will ordinarily be able to advise you on the location of the CAN module, the relevant coloured wires from the CAN, and specifically which wires relate to CAN Hi and CAN Lo. You are of course welcome to enquire with us directly, or through CanM8 themselves for advice on your specific vehicle installation. In the near future, users of CANM8 hardware will benefit from even greater availability of installation guidelines and support...watch this space.
LED technology is moving fast, not only becoming more efficient, but more reliable as well. As a market leader and innovator, we’re constantly looking to upgrade products and launch new ones, optimising lighting performance for different applications depending on: the intensity of light, visibility at the sides of the road, and up/down spread. Considering our different products, and new and upgraded products available since this Autumn (including our Linear and Triple-R Elite-3 ranges), here we look at the differences in beam patterns and when and where some products might perform better than others.
Example: TRIPLE-R 1000
Peak: 368k cd
Horiz: 11 deg spread
Vertical: 14 deg spread
(2% of peak)
(Hover over image for alternate image)
The Triple-R Standard range delivers excellent long-range visibility in a spot beam pattern, with a comfortable left/right spread of light in the mid-long range. What you don’t get is much light close to the vehicle at the sides of the road. The Standard range has also been designed to give more vertical spread relative to the equivalent Elite or Linear products, not so much to cause any big issues when mounting lights at licence plate height, but it is true that proportionately more light will hit the road relatively close to the vehicle. For that reason, the Triple-R Standard is especially well suited to higher mounting positions, e.g. roof bars, upper grille installs.
Example: TRIPLE-R 1000 ELITE-3
Peak: 456k cd
Horiz: 21 deg spread
Vertical: 9 deg spread
(2% of peak)
(Hover over image for alternate image)
The launch of our 3rd generation of Triple-R Elite was much anticipated, with good reason, and the light performance is such that we confidently label these products our ultimate road-legal driving lights. Higher output/intensity LEDs compared to the equivalent Standard products, coupled with a modified reflector system, give even more distance illumination, with improved visibility at the sides of the road – the 2% of peak line at 21 degrees spread versus 11 degrees on the equivalent standard product. Improved illumination at the sides of the road are in part made possible by a reduced up/down spread of light, which means that the Triple-R Elite can be confidently mounted even low down close to the ground, without worrying about a bright spot on the road directly in front of the vehicle. The Triple-R Elite (Gen3) utilise much of the same internal electronics and optical systems as our Carbon Series lights, so represent an excellent choice for the Motorsport sector.
Example: ST8 EVO
Peak: 154k cd
Horiz: 28 deg spread
Vertical: 24 deg spread
(2% of peak)
(Hover over image for alternate image)
Ask anyone who has driven with the ST/T Evolution lights and they’ll tell you the ‘drive’ beam pattern, which delivers a symmetrical beam pattern left/right and up/down, coupled with an intensity of light far above any standard vehicle high beams, is exceptionally comfortable for everyday road use. An excellent spread of light across the short and mid-range also works wonders for any 4x4 and off-road excursion. Having improved all-round visibility does mean you forfeit some distance illumination compared to the Triple-R lights, so consider the type of roads or terrain you’ll be driving as to whether more distance or better spread is preferable. Inevitably a taller vertical spread of light associated with the ST/T Evo lights means they are better suited to slightly higher mounting positions, and consider if glare could be an issues if roof-mounted above the bonnet of a car.
Peak: 122k cd
Horiz: 34 deg spread
Vertical: 11 deg spread
(2% of peak)
(Hover over image for alternate image)
The Linear range was designed and engineered, in part, around feedback from ‘road’ customers that were looking for a reduced up/down spread of light and more visibility at the sides of the road compared to our Triple-R Standard and ST Evolution lights. With the Linear Standard, you have a cost-effective range of high performance driving lamps that deliver superior levels of illumination compared to standard high beams, with better distance and left/right visibility, albeit still half the total light output which you could expect form the equivalent Linear Elite, Triple-R or ST product. The up/down spread is also tighter than even the Linear Elite or Triple-R Elite, providing proportionately less light on the road directly in front of the vehicle even when mounted very low down, e.g. lower grille apertures.
Example: LINEAR-12 ELITE
Peak: 158k cd
Horiz: 42 deg spread
Vertical: 15 deg spread
(2% of peak)
(Hover over image for alternate image)
If space is tight or you want a low-profile slimline solution, with lighting performance akin to the larger ST or Triple-R products, then the Linear Elite is for you. For a product its size the lighting performance is exceptional, and similar to the Triple-R Elite in respect of the light distribution; increased intensity of light to deliver more long-range visibility, and providing very good levels of light at the side of the road in the mid-range. The Linear Elite, like the Linear Standard, is equally well suited to both high or low mounting positions but consider that because of the Elite delivers double the light output, inevitably proportionately more light will hit the road close to the vehicle when mounted very low to the ground.
We often get asked, ‘What is the best Lazer Lamps setup for my pick-up truck?’, and to give an appropriate answer requires us to break down a few factors which might influence your decision making when purchasing.
Road Legal vs Off Road
Road legal setups allow for the convenience of lamps running off your vehicle wiring, with the auxiliary driving lights coming on with your standard high-beams. For a lamp to be considered as ‘road legal’ it needs to be ‘E-Marked’ for Road Use. The E-mark is displayed as a marking on the lens. Current lamps we sell which are E-Marked are:
In obtaining E-mark certification, amongst other things the lamps are measured for their peak intensity; too high and the lamp can’t be E-marked, the reason why our bigger light bars aren’t approved, and even some of the smaller Triple-R lamps only achieve the E-mark through the use of dual-output ‘E-Boost’ functionality.
Historically a road legal setup will comprise a pair of lamps, but changes in the regulation means in many EU countries (including the UK) it is now legal to mount a single lamp. Please check your local regulatory body for clarification if you are not sure.
Off-road setups can be much more expressive, and have no limit on the number of lamps you can mount. In mounting lights ultimately for use off-road, while still using the vehicle on public roads, you will potentially have to demonstrate that the lights are operated off the separate switch and not connected direct to high beam.
You should think about the type of driving you are going to be doing, and where. Then, consider if your preference is to have light close to the vehicle at the sides of the road, or maybe you just want the light projecting as far forward as possible.
Typically driving at relatively slow speeds on twisty country lanes lends itself to having more spread of light (don’t worry you’ll still be able to see a long way!), but the preference in this case would be to opt for the ST Evolution (road-legal) or T Evolution (off-road) lights. The RS range is equivalent to the ST Evolution but with the added benefit of integrated DRLs.
If however you really want the light just in the mid-long range, with maximum distance and without any light close to the vehicle at the side of the road, then the Triple-R is the better option. The Triple-R 750 and 1000 are our road-legal options, and in these sizes, we have a Standard, Elite, or Competition version available – read here to find out more about the differences. For info, the Triple-R 750/1000 Standard also come available with integrated Position Lights (Triple-R 750 coming Jan’18), these offer extra safety and styling benefits.
Just from thinking about whether you want a road-legal solution, and the type of beam pattern, you may well have narrowed down your product options. Consider then where that product(s) might be mounted onto the vehicle, or maybe you already had in mind a location. Potential options include:
Front Grille – typically associated with road-legal products, this location slightly higher up the front of the vehicle is preferable so that less light hits the road directly in front of the vehicle (less of an issue with the Triple-R range), but the downside is that the integration in/around the original bodywork can be tricky. Maybe we have a bespoke grille mount solution already to facilitate the install though – check here.
Lower Grille Aperture – normally an easier location in which to mount the lights, the (slight) downside is that having the lights closer to the tarmac can mean more light hitting the road, where you can’t see it. Mounting from the underside of the opening means you are less likely to notice the supporting bracket(s). Where space is limited the lower profile of the ST Evolution range might be preferable.
Rear Sports Bar – a simple location to mount to using a set of Tube Clamps, that can accommodate both road-legal and off-road lights. Ensure adequate clearance above the roof so that proportionately less light is illuminating the roof of your cab – again in this location the Triple-R might be preferable for this reason.
Above the Windsreeen – the optimum location from a lighting performance perspective, but more challenging in terms of finding suitable mounting brackets which work within the roof rail channel, unless you have a roof rack to mount off. Consider also that lights mounted in this location may be susceptible to wind noise (typically at speeds over 60mph), this can be addressed by fitting our Neoprene Covers when the lights aren't in use.
There is increased flexibility in mounting location when the vehicle has an A-bar at the front of the vehicle to mount onto, or by using our Licence Plate Mount, makes for an easy install for anything but our biggest/heaviest light bars.
Recognising your pick-up truck might also be a work vehicle, it can be useful having lighting for the rear of the vehicle, and illuminating the load area. In this instance we’d recommend our Utility-45 with Wide Diffused lens; it gives plenty of light close to the vehicle with a good spread, and is versatile enough that it can be used to illuminate what’s in the load area, as much as providing scene lighting. As you’d expect from Lazer, it’s a product which packs a lot of punch and with an excellent build quality.
We hope this gives you a good overview of a potential decision-making process, and the options available. Of course other factors will come into play including budget, or something as simple as preferring the look of one product over another. If we can help with making the final decision then we’re always here to help.
At the end of October, the Lazer Team were present for this year’s 2017 Rally GB in Wales, supporting the 13 M-sport vehicles which were equipped with our market leading lighting solutions. Our demonstrator M-Sport Ford Transit Custom was situated within the Service Area, with Nicky Grist Motorsport. The Transit was sporting one of our latest grille kit integrated lighting solutions, combined with some of our range on display boards for all to see. Lazer are extremely proud to be partnered with M-Sport and we are continuing to develop our LED technology. We strive to help you achieve more, through constant research and development into the internal and external design of our products.
Record crowds of over 100,000 flooded Welsh soil this year to see homeward-bound Elfyn Evans of M-Sport strive to victory over the challenging 4-day event. Evans made history, becoming the first British driver to win Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship since the late Richard Burns in 2000. Evans is also the first ever Welsh driver to win any event on the WRC calendar.
After the event Evans quoted:
I’m feeling pretty good, and just about managed to keep the tears away at the podium. It’s been a long and difficult weekend, so this one feels good and it was made all the more special when you combine it with everything the team has achieved today.
Following on from Evans’ remarks, this wasn’t the only victory to celebrate for the M-Sport Team. Sébastien Ogier finished third overall to claim the FIA WRC Drivers’ Championship title for the 5th year running, his first under the M-Sport Team. This makes them one of only three crews to have secured the title with two different manufacturers. The dominant duo of Ogier and co-driver Ingrassia continues to grow, with 2018 being another exciting prospect for the M-Sport partnership.
Ott Tänak helped round up the day with a sixth-place finish, contributing his part to the already victorious day. This left the 2017 FIA Manufacturers Championship Title in the hands of M-Sport, claiming victory on home soil with 398 points before the final event in Australia.
We have learnt a lot from Rally GB this year, which accommodated many tough and demanding night stages which challenged this year’s competitors to their limits. We consider driver and team feedback a key part of our day-to-day development. This feedback is essential for both specific product development with our partnered teams and developing our product ranges which are available to anyone and everyone. This allows us to bring you the latest technology, cutting edge designs, and a product which is ready for whatever you throw at it. Check out the video below to see the processes involved in the continual improvement and development of new products, which we hope contributes to contnued success in 2018...
Check-out this extract from June's issue of Trucking Magazine, titled 'Light It Up' which brings to attention the work we have been doing to design and build lights with real appeal and relevance to the truck market. With the aero emphasis on modern trucks, our products are increasingly recognised as the must-have trucking accessory both in the UK and beyond.
At the time of launching the Triple-R range back in 2015, it comprised two different tiers – Standard and Elite. The later featured higher output LEDs run at higher drive currents to achieve 30% more illumination. Last year the range of products evolved further with the introduction of the Competition tier of products, and upgrade to the Elite tier, now known as Elite2. Here we look to explain in a bit more detail the differences between each, and demonstrate the beam pattern variations.