FEATURE PRODUCT: VISION X LED LIGHTING
The word lighting to me carries a bit more meaning then maybe most of you. See, in my old life (before UTVUnderground), I actually worked in the lighting industry. Grant it, I worked in outdoor low voltage lighting, but nevertheless I became an expert at product development, lighting design and product specification. It was a career that had UTVUnderground not taken off like it did, I would probably still be doing. Luckily, I’m not!
But because of this background I took a special interest in UTV & off-road lighting early on because it was familiar to me. When I created UTVUnderground in 2009, it was just as the LED wars were beginning. A lot of people didn’t understand LED which actually stands for Light Emitting Diode. HID (High Intensity Discharge) was still the dominant fixture type that people ran in the aftermarket off-road industry and it was strong and powerful. However, it was a real drain on the power system of a vehicle. Maybe not so much on a big car or truck, but on a UTV which ran off of small stators, and pretty much still do, HID wasn’t always the best solution.
The LED movement was a true revolution in the way we went off-road in the evening. It didn’t take long before UTV and off-road enthusiasts & racers began to “see the light” and make the change to LED. LED’s provided for less amp draw on the vehicles charge system meaning you could run more lights, it also provided for smooth and consistent beam spreads & color rendition, and it also meant over time you would likely never have to replace the fixture unless you really damaged the housing it in a wreck. They are waterproof and when used with quality diodes and chips, an LED can last for hundreds of thousands of hours. Options are endless when it comes to filters, lenses, reflectors, color, intensity, mounting, and sizes. LED’s were not only the wave of the future then, they continue to improve and have easily become the standard when it comes to off-road lighting.
The big hang up for the traditional lighting brands and users at the time was whether or not the LED could produce the amount of light needed for an off-road vehicle when running race speeds in the dark. You would hear all the time that a trophy truck could outrun many of the LEDs on the market when the reality was that with enough of them and with beam reflectors such as spots being used, they were just as useful as HID or halogen lamps of the time in most situations. Of course, this argument was never used for the 50-75hp UTVs that were the norm in the early years, but you heard it often from the big guys in the sport racing trophy trucks who almost always influence the rest of the sport all the way down.
As UTVs have evolved over the years, so has lighting technology. Changes and improvements in diodes, chips, and drivers, in addition to housings and heat dissipation has greatly improved both the functionality and longevity of LED products today. Vision X sits amongst the top brands in off-road lighting and shares the “spotlight” with companies like Rigid Industries, KC Hi-Lites and Baja Designs. While those four brands compete tooth and nail for market share, they all know that one another are their best and most respected competition. The reason I say most respected is because with the emergence of LED came an influx of copycat offshore knockoff brands that not only stole designs from these top companies, but also used their low cost, and low performing products to kick off a price war, further changing the market and putting a real thorn into the side of American Designed, Made or Assembled products like the companies mentioned above.
I’ve shared my insight and experience on this particular subject for many years when defending why consumers should choose products like Vision X over cheesy China knockoff brands. Regardless, brands have had to reshape their company models to combat the Chinese knockoffs that have infiltrated the industry and are unfortunately supported by consumers who simply buy off of price rather than quality which at times is justifiable based on the consumers budget. Vision X not only adapted to the changing market, but they continued to develop more products and remained on the cutting edge of technology while keeping the costs to consumers fair and affordable, and backing all of it up with a limited lifetime warranty on all of their products.
Vision X was founded in 1997. For over 20 years they have been a top brand in the off-road industry producing products for all sorts of vehicles and applications. They were one of the early adopters of LED and have remained at the forefront of technology and design since their first LED product introductions prior to 2010. Their lights have been part of numerous off-road racing championship programs and they continue to support and back top programs in the sport of competition all over the world. Their products are developed, engineered, marketed and sold out of the Vision X USA home base in Seattle, WA. Testing, manufacturing and shipping logistics are based out of Vision X Asia, a sophisticated and owned facility in Seoul, Korea. While its easy to want to dismiss the brand as not being “American Made”, the reality is, there are very good products that do come out of Asia amongst the hordes of cheap and inadequate products produced by many of Vision X’s more lowly competitors. In fact, Asia is the epicenter for lighting product and development and while there are lighting internals and products made in other countries such as here in the USA, Germany, Austria and China, most all off-road based brands are using internals coming strait from overseas. The difference is, they don’t all own their asian manufacturing facilities like Vision X, meaning the chances of them being duped for cheap versions of what they actually claim to use is not only possible but a regular occurrence.
Vision X understands the fears consumers may share when hearing their products are made in Seoul, Korea, but as you can see in the video above that highlights their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, they are not “outsourcing” their production process. Instead, they placed their facility right in the heart of quality LED and lighting development, select the absolute best components, and put together an expert team to oversee the production & testing of their US designed products. This has resulted is some of the absolute best and highest quality off-road lighting products in the industry that are sold to consumers at fair and affordable prices.
I’ve supported and use lighting products from all the big brands, and while we have been paid to promote, advertise or use products over the years you will find that we never stray from the big US based brands like Vision X. Because of my personal knowledge and history in lighting manufacturing, I know how the knockoff brands can hurt a company and I know that while you may see something that looks the same from the outside, many times whats on the inside is far from the same. This is why I stress to fellow enthusiasts and consumers to support brands like Vision X, who don’t just sell products to the industry, but also give back in sponsorships to racers, events, and are committed to developing more and better products for us all to use on our own investments.
When it comes to the product itself, Vision X has not only improved on their traditional line of lighting products, they have developed new and cutting edge lights that are further pushing intensity and usability in the off-road space. Recently I was able to head out to Ocotillo Wells, CA to learn more and put these products to the test which you see in the first video at the top of this story.
New lights such as their line of XPL HALO low profile LED bars and their latest evolution of the Light Cannon, the new CG2 & Mini’s are not only more efficient and longer lasting, but also much more powerful and sport new mounting and reflector options. Vision X has also introduced a new series of Rock Lights with new mounting options and pack a ton of power for such a small package. Something else we really like is the new CHASER rear LED bar which is giving racers and enthusiasts a new way to increase their reward facing lighting needs by providing brighter running & tail lights, flashing and static ambers for safety and a bright reverse / cargo light all built into a clean and sleek housing. Of course, all of these products come with Vision X’s Limited Lifetime Warranty further instilling confidence that when you spend the money to buy a quality Vision X light, you are only spending that money one time.
Vision X has worked on not just the intensity of their lights, but has also focused on the little details such as quality connections and wiring, rigid and adjustable mounting options, durable watertight housings that better dissipate heat, and a plethora of lens and filter options that give you the ability to transform your lighting to the type of conditions you may be driving in.
Something else we will soon highlight is their updated DOT approved lighting products for street legal vehicles that include direct replacement headlights for Jeeps and light bars with OEM style mounting to fit many different models of trucks & SUVs. Vision X is always thinking ahead and working to stay ahead of the curve and be a leader in trend setting technology. They are proud of the fact that their products utilize only the highest level of components from the worlds best lighting technology suppliers. They realize that to claim you have one of the worlds best products, you cannot skip on the details because cutting corners leads to cutting sales by cutting consumer confidence.
I can say with absolute certainty, that Vision X products are amongst the best off-road lighting products in the industry. I’ve never had one let me down and I trust them so much I ran them on one of my favorite and most high profile builds ever, the FatRodv2 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo.
Stay tuned for more from Vision X and UTVUnderground.com. Its going to be a fun and bright year!
Learn more about Vision X products by visiting their website: VisionXLighting.com
Follow Vision X on Social Media @VisionXUSA