Friday, November 21, 2014

Product Review: LED Flexible Strip Light

Do you hard-wire your LED light solution to your 4wd overland tourer or do you prefer the flexibility to move the LED strip around the vehicle for the optimum brightness in the right places?

I have LED light strips that are static (permanently wired) at the rear of my vehicle but don't have any lighting under the awning or in the roof top tent. I recently had an open discussion with Daniel from Expedition Center to discuss my challenge and attempt to find the right lighting solution, within my budget to meet my needs, which included external vehicle lighting, possible tent interior and brightness controls.



My first thoughts... purchase an LED reel, similiar to the one I have on my rear door, wiring, connectors and mount the the thin LED strips on every perceiveable point that I might need light.  The big issue with this option was the wiring required to provide power to the LED strips.  I could drill holes in the vehicle body (not really an option on a new vehicle!) or simply have end connectors and have a long extension cord to reach the wiring.

Ebay, Amazon and camping shops all sell LED options ranging in prices.  The benefit of a 10-minute conversation with Daniel meant that he had already done all the research and simply pointed me to products that he had 'short listed' and was selling on his website.
LED Flexible Waterproof Camping Strip Light

A simple LED solution at the right price point...
I opted for a pre-wired flexible, waterproof, 600mm LED strip with a dimmer switch and two mounting options (clips or velcro mounts).

The first test was going to be a week long trip to Fraser Island. The sandy travel conditions on Fraser Island meant that we needed to travel light and that limited camping kit was required.

Here's my thoughts on the light:

Pros

  • Prepackaged and designed with two mounting options (velcro straps or clips)
  • Two battery connection options standard - direct to the auxiliary battery via crocodile clips or via a 12v socket. 
  • Long 12v lead for extended mounting options.


Cons

  • The switch is extremely sensitive to touch which meant that finding the right brightness resulting in quite a few attempts.  This is a minor irritation and that was probably caused by my overzealous engagement!


Overall, a good LED product at the right price point which offers the flexibility for overland travel, ruggedness for daily use and enough brightness settings to keep the campsite ambiance just perfect.

Check out Expedition Centre webstore for more details as the lights are currently cheaper than eBay:  LED Flexible Camping Light
Available via Expedition Centre