Tribal Whips 44" LEDStixx light bar review - Kawasaki Teryx Forums: Kawasaki UTV Teryx Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Tribal Whips 44" LEDStixx light bar review

I thought long and hard before I plunked down the cash for the TW LEDStix bar. I searched and searched the internet and even spoke to Russ at Tribal several times. I looked at the Vision X, Phantom, Rigid and a few others. Honestly, I couldn't bring myself to pay the prices they were asking. I'm not knocking the lights, I'm sure they are all great but for the money for a similarly sized light, I just couldn't justify it. I've done a few HID setups, even behind the grill of my Dodge truck but never messed with any high output LED's until now. I can honestly say that after dealing with Russell and his team, they are top notch and the product is top notch as well. I opted for the 44" bar that has 27 high output LED's. Since I drive in the woods more than flat out sand, I opted for a custom configuration. TW built me a bar that lined the LED's up in a spot/flood/spot/flood/spot etc., configuration across the entire bar. When the bar arrived at my house, you could see that they had taken extra care in the packaging to avoid damaging the bar (which made me feel better about dealing with them). How cool, a vendor that actually gives a damn about the product while in transit!!

Installation:
I had to stop by the auto parts store and get a glow toggle, but other than that some wire, and a fuse, it was a very simple setup. The light does come with basic instructions and more importantly, a documented amp draw (the 27 LED light draws 9 amps). In a matter of about 2 hours, I had routed wires and was tying into the light for the first time. Simple connections and clean wiring from the bar made for a tidy installation. At some point I will have a roof that I will mount the bar to the front of but for now, I ordered an extra set of the round bar clamps and mounted it to my front rollcage crossbar.

Testing:
Turning the light on in my garage was a bit of a letdown. Not because it wasn't bright, just because you don't get the feel for it like you do at night time. The only problem was, it was at least 5 hours until dark.... I put the tools away, went home and waited..

At about dusk, I went back to my garage, jumped on and rode to a buddies house a few miles away to show off my newly completed toy. As we sat and waited for the sun to go down I was getting anxious. Needless to say for a little over $500, I wanted to be happy with the end result. A few minutes after the sun was completely gone, we went for a ride and hit the switch...

Viola! It was like someone turned on the lights on a football field. The light patter n goes down, up, straight ahead it was AWESOME! I can only imagine what those guys have that use multiple light bars, that must be super cool...

After about 20 minutes of riding and a few choice four letter words from cars passing by, we were absolutely loving it. This is clearly one of the best investments I've made to date. To be honest, dollar for dollar I'm more impressed with this light than any other mod. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not shilling for Tribal. If the light would have sucked, I would have said that up front. You always hear people say that the pictures of lights at night don't do it justice and it is true, if I had to estimate, they show about half the light that is really there. I'm attaching some so that you can make your own judgement but I am definitely a fan!

Pic 1 is of the place were I took the pictures with no lights on
Pic 2 is stock low beam only
Pic 3 is stock high beam only
Pic 4 is TW LED bar only
Pic 5 is LED bar and high beam.


Just for the sake of having perspective, the hobby horse you can see in the distance is about 275' away from the light. The reflectors you see in the distance are on a big Case tractor that is about 500' away. In real life, you can actually see that it is a tractor and much more detail. Just past the hobby horse and to the left a bit is a trailer full of picnic tables. You can see them well in real life. The camera just does not do it justice. The two tree's directly in front of the light, the one on the left is about 250' away and the one on the right closer to the hobby horse is about 300' feet away.

Again, the pics don't even begin to do it justice. Any of you around Northern VA (Winchester area) are more than welcome to come check it out before you spend your hard earned money. I will however give it two huge thumbs up!!

Chris
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Just in case you wanted to see more of the bar, here is a pic of the bar itself on my 2010 Teryx...
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 02:59 PM
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not knocking the light but its not apples to apples with really any of the other led bars out there.

in a normal 40" bar there are 80 3w leds- tribals is only 27 from what you stated- so this is why the price is quite a bit cheaper.
you could get a 18" wich has 36 leds for the same price and same output- so really you acually paid the same price as the other brands- you just got a longer housing and less leds.

again- not knocking the light because it is nice.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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09, you are partially correct. It is more like a comparison of the Rigid 30" and Vision X 32" bars based on light output (watts and lumens) alone. Forget about the number of LED's because when you don't drive them at or near 100% of there power rating (which only one other vendor does for a light this size and that light - the Patriot - is around $2000). If you look here:
RIGID VS VISION X LED LIGHTS RESULTS - UTVUnderground.Com - The #1 Resource for SXS Enthusiasts

you will see in the real world test that the lights don't draw anywhere near the stated factory amperage draw which is a direct correlation to the watts and lumens they output. That is because they aren't driving the LED's as hard as they could. If they did, the heat would melt the paint off your roll cage with that many LED's. I have no doubt that the Rigid and Vision X throw more light than my TW. Let me say this again.. They both may be brighter, however, they won't be double the brightness and light output for double the price plus.

I did the writeup so that other people could get an honest look at a relatively new player in the LED field. Quite frankly, most folks on the east coast where I live will never spend even the $500+ on the LED light bar because we aren't usually out running wide open at night (unless there is beer involved :-)

I believe it is apples to apples when it comes down to it. Less light - probably some. Less dollars - more than a few. In my eyes, it was a good compromise. If I drove in the desert at 70mph all night, this might be a totally different discussion....
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 07:06 PM
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Definitely best bang for the buck!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09Teryx? View Post
not knocking the light but its not apples to apples with really any of the other led bars out there.

in a normal 40" bar there are 80 3w leds- tribals is only 27 from what you stated- so this is why the price is quite a bit cheaper.
you could get a 18" wich has 36 leds for the same price and same output- so really you acually paid the same price as the other brands- you just got a longer housing and less leds.

again- not knocking the light because it is nice.
You might look at the Tribal Whips product and because you see fewer LED's, and it's size is smaller than it's competitors, believe that it's not on the same page as them, but think of it this way; 1000 watt microwave ovens when they first came out were 2 times the size they are now. But with time, innovation, and experience they became smaller, and even less expensive. This applies to cassette players, VHS players, DVD players, and even Blu Ray players.

It's true that the Tribal Whips LED light bars have fewer LED's than it's competitors, but here are some facts for you to consider:

Tribal Whips 3 watt LED's generate 240 lumens/ea, which is 30% more than it's competition. Tribal Whips also operates their LED's at 100% power, and the competition operates theirs at only 60%.

Tribal Whips uses a digital circuity to manage the LED's, and it's competition is still using analog circuity, which is much less efficient.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. But you can't simply count the LED's and assume that more is better. And I encourage people to challenge the information that manufacturers print for their products. YOU'D BE VERY SURPRISED BY WHAT YOU FOUND.

Last edited by illuman; 09-16-2010 at 09:03 AM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 11:49 AM
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I think this is a good option for those of "us" who refuse to spend over a grand for lights. LEDs from a wholesale supplier are cheap. The flexible wiring harness inside the units are cheap. The housings aren't expensive once you have a jig. It's just crazy to me the prices I see. They are cool to be sure ... but not that cool.

Salt Lake City, UT

09 Teryx FI Sport
Rear cage Extension with top and seat
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Dalton Clutch
MSD
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2010 Dodge 2500 Cummins
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06 Ltr-450 (heavy mods)
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamnBigPapa View Post
I think this is a good option for those of "us" who refuse to spend over a grand for lights. LEDs from a wholesale supplier are cheap. The flexible wiring harness inside the units are cheap. The housings aren't expensive once you have a jig. It's just crazy to me the prices I see. They are cool to be sure ... but not that cool.
Before some vendor jumps in my ass ... I spent 20 years in aircraft avionics ... so yes I know about how simple LEDs are. .

Salt Lake City, UT

09 Teryx FI Sport
Rear cage Extension with top and seat
Muzzy duals
Dalton Clutch
MSD
HIDs


2010 Dodge 2500 Cummins
08 Weekend Warroir 3200FS
08 KFX 450R (mild mods)
06 Ltr-450 (heavy mods)
99 Yamaha Badger 80
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 03:36 PM
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About half the venders in the sxs buissness. Are robbing us with huge markups, and gitting fat off of our hard earned money.And a few that will treat you right,and some have honest pricing. Everyone needs to just shop around more,look for the deals
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