Trail Tech’s Equinox LED lights mounted easily and solidly to the front frame of our Honda 400X. The supplied wiring loom routes rearward, under the bodywork and to the battery. A separate handlebar-mounted switch turns them on and off.
We have to hand it to the manufacturers; over the last 10 years, sport and utility ATVs have come a long way. The list of improvements include stronger engines, better suspension and more creature comforts. However, one area that seems to take a back seat to development is lighting. It looks like lights are only considered an accent and need to look good as part of the overall styling of the machine and simply function.
The good news is that there are tons of aftermarket lighting companies that supply products that are not only light years brighter than stock, but they are affordable, easy to install and look good. The latest lighting sample we had a chance to try out is the newest LED lights from Trail Tech. Along with carrying great, compact HID and halogen lights, TT has been at the forefront of LED technology. Their strong suit is putting the technology into a compact package that is simple to install and use. The latest example is the 75mm Equinox. Equinox lights are sold individually for $199 or in two light kits with a wiring harness and handlebar-mounted switch for $405.
Construction of the Equinox is top-notch. It has a black aluminum housing with integrated cooling fins out back. Up front, the lens is hardened glass that should stand up to the rocks your buddy’s quad might throw up. For racing applications, we would build a screen-type shield about an inch in front of the lights just for safety. The wiring is all silicone-sealed and water-resistant.
Trail Tech claims each LED light only draws 14 watts of power, so your stock electrical system can be used without modifications. Output compares to 45,000 candle power with a new, concentrated, 10-degree beam angle. However, the whole internal housing is reflective, so light rays stream much wider than that.
The pair of lights weigh only 2 pounds and can run in conjunction with the single stock headlight on our Honda 400EX. On this machine, each post-equipped light pod bolts to a small billet assessor bracket that clamps to the front frame next to the stock headlight.
To power the pair of lights, a supplied wiring loom then needs to be run under the front nose piece, below the gas tank, under the seat, then along the left side of the rear fender to the battery. It’s then as simple as wiring the red wire to the positive battery terminal and the black wire to the other side. An inline fuse is provided as well to protect the system. A handlebar-mounted toggle switch is prewired into the loom, so the TT lights operate separately from the stock lights, which we kept on our Honda.
In the seconds after we turned on the new 75mm LEDs, we knew we would not need the stock lights anymore. If you have ever stood in front of a newer Audi or BMW car, you would remember how bright their lights were. Well, these compare to that. The lights throw a super-white hot field of daylight way in front of the quad. Adjustments can be made by adjusting the mounting post or frame clamps. However, the field of illumination is so broad, aiming them by eye will get you close without even turning them on.
LIGHT ’EM UP
The illumination from the pair of 75mm Equinox LED lights was about four times brighter than the single stock light. Trail Tech claims each light only draws 14 watts of power, so modification to your quad’s electrical system is not required.
When you do use them, they easily brighten a path that a stock or modified 400X couldn’t overdrive. That means even at full speed, the light spread is far enough in front of you to see an obstacle early enough to react to it. That’s rare with stock lights. The light from the Equinox LED shines from the front bumper out 40 yards in front of the quad.
The several night rides we took with our Trail Tech Equinox-equipped Honda were a blast. Vision was easily as good as it is in the day time. The lights turn on and off precisely, and the mounts stayed solid with no vibrations. We had no issues that Trail Tech’s one-year warranty would have to be called upon. In fact, TT claims these lights should last 5000 hours. Well, if we come anywhere near that point by the end of summer, we will let you know.
Just for giggles, we rode one quad up a ridge five miles away from another just to see how well we could see our Trail Tech Equinox-equipped 400X. Let’s put it this way: if we knew how to use Morse code, we would have no problems communicating. On the trail, the new lights lit up the night better than any LED light we have tested so far. Along with the fun we had night riding, we are very impressed with the simple mounting method and ease of use the Trail Tech Equinox product provided. To equip your ATV or UTV with a pair of 75mm Equinox LED lights, give them a call at (360) 687-4530. You can also buy them online at www.trailtech.net.