In this first part of our journey with Rigid Industries we introduced their diverse lighting solutions. Producing LED aftermarket lighting to suit the needs of numerous applications, Rigid Industries has pioneered technology and designs to meet the exacting demands of customers. With our article, Rigid Industries Offers A Light For Every Need as a guide, we will take a look at three case-studies most commonly found amongst enthusiasts shopping for aftermarket lighting.
Working with Rigid Industries experts, and owners of real-world vehicles, we will tailor suggested lighting packages to suit a specific environment. The three case-studies we will present are a work or chase truck, a trailer or towing application, and a full off-road race car application.
Illuminate The Scene: Chase Truck
We spoke with Brian Bush, owner of a chase truck. Chase trucks are the ultimate off-road capable mobile repair vehicles. They are expected to be waiting and ready to meet a potentially damaged race car in remote locations such as the deserts of Baja California and Nevada. They often include lighting for their own navigation, and to illuminate a work space for race car repairs. We wanted to get a consumer perspective from someone who uses Rigid lights in the real world. Brian had a lot to say about his Rigid Industries lights, and thanks to JM Collision, Paint and Body, he has a beautiful rig to which to mount them.
Tell Us About Your Chase Truck
“What we do with the truck is chase desert races … I race in 1900 class. We don’t do a lot of night racing at Best In The Desert. Unless everything goes bad on race day, you don’t race after dark except for Vegas to Reno. I’ve been picked up by a couple other race teams in the last two years to go to Mexico to race in SCORE. That’s what I use the truck for. I take my truck out to The Hammers (King Of The Hammers), and chase my friends around. In between time it’s my camping rig. We take it out shooting, it’s a do-it-all truck, it doesn’t just serve racing.”
Which Rigid Industries Products Do You Use?
Brian continued, “On top of the rack I have a 40-inch Rigid Industries E-Series Combo. That served my needs well enough for highway travel at night, and in the event we run a dirt road at night. When we were chasing the (Baja) 1000, I used that light anytime there wasn’t traffic coming the opposite direction. The cows are so scary.”
“On my front bumpers — because my stock OEM housings don’t support a good bulb, I needed more daily-driving duty lights on the front of the truck. I got the Rigid Industries Dually SAE/DOT legal for the front of the truck. I run those for daily use. In the rear bumper, I have a pair of flood pattern Duallies for service. In the bed of the truck — on the chase rack, I have three A-Series lights, and that lights up the whole interior of the bed space. On either side of the truck, I have three flood pattern Duallies. I worked with Taylor Anderson, and Brent Carpenter [to set up this lighting package].”
A chase truck needs to be a mobile repair unit. To serve the needs of the driver a roof mounted light bar is recommended. An E-Series combo like Brian’s is a good compromise for the typical speeds a truck like this will see. Because navigating the twisty trails and wash lines of the Baja desert can be very difficult at night, a few cornering lights are an advisable addition to the forward facing array of Rigid products. a few bumper mounted D-Series light cubes, or Dually lights will help fill in the corners as you pick your way through the desert.
For repair scene lighting, side mounted D-Series or Duallies, will be easily directed to the work site. Attached to a roof-rack, the elevation of these lights will provide ample illumination for pit operations. It’s a given that searching for tools in the dark is not the hot ticket when cars are passing you on the race course. To illuminate cargo areas and tool chests, the small A-Series lights provide convenient (and stylish) lighting.
Tow In Safety: Trailers
Towing is one of the most common purposes a truck serves, whether you are a recreational enthusiast of boating, or off-roading chances are you have a trailer and pull it to your favorite spot. The standard lights on trailers are often insufficient illuminating your surroundings for safety and comfort. Limited to marker lights, and turn signals, they often meet the bare minimum DOT requirements.
We spoke with Keith Daffron, of Ranger Boats, a company that manufactures high-end fishing boats for professional and recreational anglers. They also produce their own line of trailers, and equip all their products with lighting from Rigid Industries. Recognizing the importance of lighting, and the needs of those of us who like to play hard.
What Lights Does Ranger Boats Use In Their Trailers?
“There’s a flush-mounted light that we mount into our boat trailers to use as a backup light. We probably have more competitive anglers than anybody within the industry. These guys are dedicated and put hundreds of days on the water each year. So, they like the idea of having a backup light — obviously they’re going out before daylight, and coming in after dark. The Rigid light does a better job of illuminating the ramp for anglers.”
“We use the A-Series in our boats, for that person that’s going to be out after or before dark — those lights compliment a lighting system that we have in our boat compartments already, and this gives the angler the ability to rig his tackle without having to have a separate light on his body or a traditional flashlight. I think the thing that Rigid has, that we see different than most LED light applications is they have the ability to project light. Because our trailers are immersed in water on a continual basis, that LED technology is important to us.”
How Do Rigid Lights Make It Easier On The Trailer Owner?
“I think with a traditional vehicle backup lights are incorporated — but when you’re hooked to a boat thats approximately 25-feet long, you can’t see behind that boat. Whether at a launch ramp, a hotel parking lot, or even your own driveway, those Rigid backup lights give consumers the ability to have the same experience they would have if they had no trailer hooked up.”
If you trailer a boat, car, or toy hauler you know how difficult it can be navigating a tight parking lot or campsite. Backing up into the abyss of the night does not inspire confidence. Rigid Industries’ flush mount backup lights are a clean and OEM-looking addition to the rear of your trailer. A-Series lights make for great marker lights to define the edges of your load. Changing a flat on you trailer is not casual task, when it’s dark and stranded on the side of the road. A few carefully placed A-Series light in the fender wells will make the task a quick and easy job, instead of fumbling with lug nuts in the dark.
Light The Path: Race Car
Brian is also a racer himself. Usually trading the chasing duties for driving duties he fields his class 1900 UTV. Racing in the desert one learns there are never enough lights to turn the night into day. High speeds over blind rises, confusing lines through washes, dust, and fog all make for night time visibility challenges. Outfitting a desert race car is a holistic lighting exercise. Distance, flood, cornering, and servicing lights will all see use over the course of a long race.
What Rigid Industries Light Do You Run On Your Race Car?
“One thing I don’t have on my truck, but I do put on my race cars is the A-series lights under the fenders of my race and play cars. Not only do they look cool when you’re hanging out at night, but in the event you’ve broken a suspension component they are instrumental in making repairs in the race car at night. They’re light-weight, easy to install, and I put one in each corner of the vehicle.”
“As opposed to putting a flashlight in your mouth or holding it under your neck — or a headlamp, which somebody always seems to forget to pack in the race car, I have a switch on the dash and I hit the A-Series. For my race lights I use Rigid’s amber single-rows, blue single-row, and I have a single-row 40-inch on the front of my race car — it’s a combo pattern. I’m building a sand-car right now, so I use their A-Series under-fender lights, I’ve got a 30-inch going in the front of it, and a 10-inch E-Series bars that houses the Go-Pro.”
Why Did You Choose to Go With LEDs Over HIDs?
“They’re pretty strong, they require less energy to run, and they have different light patterns. They’re the innovators in LED lighting technology, and I have a soft spot for that. Rigid has paved the way.”
The lighting needs of a race car are shared by both chase trucks and trailers, but demand higher performance at high speeds. The instances in which one can “out-drive” the headlights are common in off-road racing. Meaning you can drive faster than you can see to react because the lights do not illuminate far enough in front of the car. To serve the needs of the race car, a roof or bumper mounted front light bar is a must. While a roof mounted light will offer better distance projection it is at risk to damage in a roll-over, and will create glare off the hood. Cornering lights mounted at angles on the front bumper are very helpful when sliding on a loose dirt surface.
Desert races involve and immense amount of dust, fog, and other visibility crushing crushing conditions. For this reason desert race cars are required to run a rear-facing dust light in amber. Slower classes may also be required to run a blue light to warn passing traffic they are approaching a slower vehicle. To meet the needs of rules, Rigid produces filters in both amber and blue for their E, and D-Series lights.
If you have a project vehicle or trailer don’t overlook lighting. Rigid Industries has a wide array of products, and a loyal following for a reason. Due to innovative technology and proven designs. Customers subject their products to some of the most hostile environments, the murky waters of lakes, the deserts of Mexico, and beyond. If you need help choosing the best lights for your application give Rigid a call, and they will help tailor a lighting package to illuminate the road ahead of your individual vehicle.