V-Tom made an important comment about aux lights in another thread
: if they're too bright / angled too high, they may act as camouflage, reduce the ability of others to gauge your distance & speed, and make it difficult for others to recognize your type of vehicle.
Most of the LED lights on the market which aren't stupid expensive (and even most which are) don't have a proper beam cutoff. This makes brightness, even with angling, a challenge for the reasons V-Tom noted, both during the day and especially at night.
I have cheapo 18W/ea LED aux lights -- which are blinding at night, and claring during the day at full intensity -- and found three different approaches over time to manage brightness:
Option 1: Mini PWM LED Light Dimmer
, $16 / ea
One mode: Dims whatever lights you connect through it. Supports 10% dimming increments (0-100%), 12A current (which for many lights will allow both lights to use the same dimmer).
Option 2: LED Dimmer with Bypass
, $10 / pr
Two mode: Dim + bypass (i.e. full brightness)
Variable, not stepped, dimming. Only supports 2A, so may not work with all LED lights. But two modes allows low-beam low-intensity LED lights + high-beam full-intensity LED lights. Running two mode will require either tapping into your low / high beam main headlamp wiring directly, or using a relay.
: Skene IQ-275
, $70 / ea
Multi mode: Dim + Bypass, dims in 10% increments (0-100%), with up to 3 user-defined levels of dimming via switch (not included).
12A per channel, so only one unit needed for both lights unless you have incredibly powerful lights. Two mode capability out of the box: low-beam low-intensity + high-beam full-intensity. Multi mode, by adding a switch, allows 2-3 different levels of dimming + high-beam bypass for full brightness.
Also allows ability to adjust intensity dimming simply by toggling the low / high beam switch, rather than digging out the unit itself to make adjustments with a button or tiny screwdriver.
I currently have my IQ-275 set up in two mode only: low-beam low-intensity and high-beam full-intensity. One of my next projects is to add the switch to run low-beam mid-intensity daytime, low-beam low-intensity night time, and high-beam full-intensity.
Multi mode = overkill vs. two mode? Probably. But I enjoy dorky stuff like this.
What other options have people found for dimming their aux lights?