For the better part of three decades, Hella Rallye 4000 driving lights have stood the test of time, turning night into day for trucking operators around the globe. The introduction of the LED insert certainly brightens up these trusted old lights; best of all, most folks will have the skills to retrofit them easily.
I first invested in a pair of Rallye 4000 driving lights during the last century, in the mid-nineties. Since that initial purchase, Rallye 4000s light has graced my vehicle’s bullbars. They are an extremely durable light, and over the years, on some occasions when I’ve traded my vehicles, I’ve kept the Hella Rallye 4000s and put them onto the next vehicle. They’re that good.
In the heyday of Quartz Halogen Driving lamps, the Rallye 4000 defined the standard in ultimate driving lights. They incorporated what was marketed as “Free-Form” technology at the time, which meant the Rallye 4000 achieved a far-reaching and widespread light. Far further than many of Hella’s competitors could achieve. The ‘Free-Form technology meant that 50 per cent less uncontrolled light dispersion was achieved, which resulted in more light in the right places giving improved output. Consequently, providing the driver with a clearer picture of the road ahead.
I can attest that the Rally 4000 light body is made of high-quality materials, including solid metal housing, metal retaining ring and mount. Furthermore, the main light body is made of diecast zinc that ensures corrosion resistance, providing a long-wearing heavy-duty lamp. In addition, the Rallye 4000 features a revolutionary mounting system that provides a higher level of stability and easy adjustment. The stable mount has a large contact surface, making the lamp resistant to bumps from the side. Consequently, this also reduces the vibration of the light unit, eliminating the need for a top stabiliser bracket.
Besides, the Rallye 4000 is ideal for four-wheel drive enthusiasts providing a light that is durable enough to withstand the rigours of off-roading and powerful enough to provide ample lighting for challenging terrain.
Roughly eighteen months ago, Hella Australia announced the release of its latest generation of driving lights, the Hella Rallye 4000 LED. It’s part of a family of driving lights and replaces their popular Halogen Rallye FF 4000 driving light.
The new LED Rallye 4000 only weigh 2.7 kilograms per light and is housed in the proven solid metal casing that’s withstood decades of use. I’m grateful that Hella retained the reliable metal housing, which is unique today as most other light makers are switching to plastic. Moreover, the driving lights are water and dust-proof, carrying an IP67 and IP69K rating.
What is an IP rating?
An IP rating is defined by the international standard EN 60529 (and its variations in different jurisdictions) and relates to an electrical product’s protection from dust, particles and moisture. IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’, and the two numbers following carry a specific meaning. The first numeral relates to the level of protection from foreign matter getting inside the light. The second numeral relates to the light’s protection from moisture ingress. An IP value of 67 and 69 is the highest rating.
The Rallye 4000 LED comes in either a spread beam light distribution of over 800 metres or a pencil-beam pattern extending the range to 1.3 km. This compares well with the old Halogen Rallye FF 4000 light, which offers 1-Lux at 700 metres for the pencil beam and 485 metres for the spread beam. Likewise, the Rallye 4000 provides more than 90 lumens per watt of electrical output.
Furthermore, they can be used on their own or as a pair. For fleet operational flexibility, they can run through either a 12-Volt or 24-Volt DC electrical supply, with reverse and over-voltage protection as a standard feature.
If, on the other hand, you already own older Halogen Rallye 4000 units. Hella offers the 4000 LED insert, which allows you to swap the internals of the older light for the newer one. For example, a replaceable pencil beam or spread beam insert can be swapped over in the original housing. And as I can attest, it’s a task that only takes a few minutes to replace each light.
Travelled 1-Million Kilometres
But let’s rewind the clock a bit. A little over 18 months ago, I ordered a new Isuzu DMax ute. At the time, the salesman informed me I’d be in for a bit of wait and the months rolled by, with an odd phone call followed by an apology and extension to the delivery time. During this prolonged delay, I came across a pair of old Rallye 4000 lights collectiong dust in a box under the bench. These old lights had covered over a million kilometres on a K200 my son, and I once had.
I recall when we were selling the old K200, the new owner requested we remove them and install a lightbar. Consequently, they ended up in a box under the bench.
Now the great thing about Rallye 4000 and their metal housing is that they easily withstand a million bone-jarring kilometres on a cabover Kenworth and are very easy to refurbish.
As I was in the process of having the pending new ute’s bullbar powder coated, I decided to send the old Rallye 4000 housings off to the powder coaters at the same. I kept the outer retaining rings the original matt black. If you’re thinking of getting your old Rallye housings powder coated, make sure to screw bolts into all the threaded holes. It will save you many hours of work trying to re-tap the threads.
Once the housing had returned from the powder coaters, it was merely a matter of installing the new LED inserts. The retrofit kit contains everything required to complete the task. But, first, I used a 2mm drill to open up the holes in the supplied rubber grommet for the wires.
I also invested $34 each for the transparent protective covers to reduce lens damage from flying stones.
So, how do the Rallye 4000 LED inserts perform compared with the original halogen globes and multi-LED competitors? From a bum-in-seat perspective, the LED insert is equally as good as the original halogen globes. However, compared to multi-LED competitors, the sheer brightness could be slightly better; nevertheless, if you’re looking for a reasonable long distance and modest spread, then the Rallye 4000 LED is spot on. The added bonus of the non-intrusive light output means there is far less glare from road signs and other reflective surfaces, and your eyes adjust quicker to the darkness when you’re required to dip your headlights.
Surprisingly the three-LED design has a minimal current draw, which is essential for fleets chasing fuel economy. The less work the alternator does, the less fuel you’re using.
As I said in a review of the original Hella Rallye 4000 driving lights I wrote back in 1998, “They’re a Hell’ve a Light”.