Off-roading at night… it’s gotta be at the top of my list for some of the best off-road adventures I’ve ever had. Being in the desert of Tucson, AZ, it tends to get pretty searing during the day so we tend to do a lot of night runs. However, without proper illumination, it can get a bit hairy when you can’t read the terrain well enough to judge the depth of a ravine or the grade of a hill you’re about to traverse. With that said, off-road lights are one of the most popular aftermarket add-ons in the 4-wheel drive industry and we needed a new set for our F250 Super Duty anyhow. We started by getting a set of high-quality and super bright IPF 900 series off-road lamps. We chose the 900 series for 2 reasons. 1, IPF makes great lighting kits and 2, the 900 series are larger than your average off-road light, which would look better than a standard 6″ lamp on a larger than average vehicle. Installation of most any IPF off-road light kit is a snap as they provide everything you need.
We started by mounting our new IPF lights on a WARN light bar. Once we had the lights mounted, we then strung out all of the wiring harness, switches, relays and other parts provided by IPF. We then took a few moments to decide on the routing pattern of the harness. We found that there was plenty of space, nooks and crannies to route and protect the relay and wiring harness without drilling holes into our new truck or dismantling parts. The wiring harness provided is long enough to route lights on the front of a long-bed, 4-door truck and run the switch to the back of the bed. Well, maybe not quite that long, but IPF does provide more than enough distance in their wiring kits to accommodate just about any vehicle we can think of. We decided that running the harness down the drivers side of the engine bay would provide adequate protection and could be hid so as not to clutter the engine bay with extraneous wires. We only had to drill a 3/8″ hole into a plastic, snap-in cover that lead through the firewall into the cab of the truck to pass the wires through (see Picture).
Once we had the wiring harness, switch and lights installed and routed the way we wanted them, we could now tap into the vehicles hi-beam wire going to one of the headlamps. The IPF kit requires that the switching system be wired into the hi-beam system so that you can’t have your hi-beams on and your off-road lamps at the same time. We did this by using a simple power probe to see which wire was hot on the headlamp when the hi-beams are on. Sounds simple enough right? Well, after our testing, we wired our lamps into that particular wire and then proceeded to mount the relay permanently, double check our wiring and hook our primary power wire up to the battery. (Keep the “sounds simple enough” part in mind while we continue to explain.) We know that typically you shouldn’t hook off-road accessories directly to the battery, but in our case, we didn’t want to spend hours digging into the electrical system to find an available wire to tap into. Plus, our truck has dual batteries and dual alternators, so this shouldn’t and hasn’t caused any strain on the system. Ok… remember me saying “We did this by using a simple power probe to see which wire was hot on the headlamp when the hi-beams are on. Sounds simple enough right?” Well, don’t forget that a light bulb is simply nothing more than a resistor and that electricity passes through both sides of the wires when it’s turned on. Anyhow, to make a long and funny story short, we’ll just say that we wired the system backwards. No… it does’t suck brightness into the lights, we wired it so that the off-road lights only come on when the hi-beams are ON, not off. In any event, we found that this is actually better for us when you’re off road, because, who wants to have their lo-beams on and off-road lights??? You may say “it causes too much of a strain on my particular charging system to do that”, but I say, “get a bigger alternator!”
Now that everything was finished, all we had left to do was adjust and aim our off-road lights and have a blast blinding the guy in front of us (off-road of course) and enjoying yet another great night time off-road adventure. The IPF off-road lights are super bright, super white and look fantastic on our Super Duty truck. Plus installation only took about 2 hours.
Here’s some features of the kit we tested.
Complete Kit Includes:
Be sure to take a peek at Stage West 4-Wheel Drive Center’s web site by clicking here. Stage West carries a full line of IPF headlamps and off-road lights.