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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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IL laws on auxillary lighting?

anyone know where to find 'em or what they are? Also, anyone have a personal recommendation on light racks? Thanks!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 05:05 PM
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Is this another case of "But they look "?

Light racks are a pain in the butt... On the trail they get ripped off, bashed, bunged up, and just plain broken. If they are working they ruin your night vision and blind the guy ahead of you (of course ... you never wheel alone). We haven't even started to talk about the electrical hook-up, or when you install one how you get your top on/off.

STAY AWAY from this mod... it's nothing but grief. If you've got to have those big lights, then install some on the front bumper, low profile.

Good ol' tractor lights usually are sufficient. They're bright, they're cheap and if you loose one on the trail... you can replace them without selling the first born.

Illinois Light Laws

Last edited by LEVE; 07-07-2007 at 05:09 PM.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Damn...they look so cool.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 06:33 PM
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Legal issues...
Here in the 'Mid West' you are allowed...

1. A single set (2 each) of 'White Light Primary Highway Lights'.
That would be your low beams.
They are not to be more than 14" off the pavement, or more than 24" off the pavement.

2. A single set (2 each) of 'White Light Secondary Driving Lights'.
That would be your high beams.
They are not to be less than 12" off the pavement, or more than 24" off the pavement.

3. Both lights can be housed in the same device, but are considered separate with respect to the federal DOT laws.

There are no exceptions to this rule until you get to Texas and across the south western states, where some laws allow a second set of white driving lights in the front.

4. You are allowed a forward facing set (2 each) of 'Yellow or Amber Fog Lights' in the midwest.
These have very specific limits on them, including being 4" to 16" off the pavement and primary focus of the beam has to be within 25 feet (NOT YARDS) of the front of the vehicle.

Anyway, this explains why you are REQUIRED BY LAW to cover any forward facing white lights other than bright & dim bulbs.

Yes, that means the 'Auxiliary' or 'Driving' lights that the factories put on the vehicles are ILLEGAL...
Now, getting the lowest common denominator we have for cops around here to get these little weenies to shut the 'Auxiliary' lights down is another matter!

Anyway, we know two or three things for sure,
Headlights are much more than 24 inches off the pavement now,
Cops won't shut down weenies with misadjusted forward facing white lights,
And extra lights get knocked off regularly anywhere but in the desert.

Last edited by Junk Yard Genius; 07-07-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 08:58 PM
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yea they can be a pretty big waste of money.....the only time i would put them on was if i was planning to do a LOT of night time trail rides.

the problem, as Larry/Leve says, is that they get knocked off and broken all the time......stick some on the bumper if you need more light......if you want them higher, put them on top of the brush guard.

once you spend more time on the trail you will see what works and what doesnt.......when you get to trails in the woods, you'll find that theres a lot of close calls with trees.....trees that break lights up there (as well as tear-up your soft tops, and crack hard tops, i broke my windshield from a stray tree branch last year.)

this all kinda goes into my original point that you should wheel a while before you start making major $$$$ mods. When i was talking to you earlier i mentioned rock guards/side skidz.....i think you should get those and then wheel it......

the lights and bumpers and lifts and tires and lockers and v8 conversions can come later...much later.

if you get stuff before you're certain you need it, chances are you'll get the wrong thing.

Winches are a great example.......they are great....but how many people REALLY need them...... I've had a jeep since 1998 (not all that long) but i've managed w/o a winch for a long time...... but thats one of the first things i wanted when i just got into jeeps....i thought they were sooo freakn cool (i also had a post on here in 1999 asking about putting a 401 into my CJ7, which woulda been a complete waste of time since i had a solid 258....but it sounded cool!).....

some people need winches.....some people really cant justify it...........wheel your new baby and find out what YOU need.......after a few trips with other jeep folks your priorities might change dramatically.

i think light bar will drop down in priority once you get some trail time.

Doesn't-have-a-Jeep'n Greg
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 09:18 PM
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The lighting laws are pretty consistent among all states....and, yea, that includes CA.

About the only thing I can add is that in addition to the points noted above, if you 'do' have the lights installed per vehicle code, you can't operate them on the public road with other cars around....

Case in point...Aux lights....they are treated like high can't have them on with other cars near by.... you want them for off-road many of you off-road at night?.............that's what I thought.......

Then there is the issue with the drain on the battery....couple that with the current that your boom box is pulling, you are better off spending the money on an upgraded alternator.

AKA DDawg16
84 CJ7, SOA, 5.7LTBI, 4L60E, 35"x12.5, 4.10 gears, F/Det, R/ARB, Full Roll Cage,
D44 Flat top in progress...
Link to my Frame up Restore
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Damn. This is a classic case of having cake and eating it too...Maybe I'll just get another Jeep and make one show and one trail...
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 11:07 AM
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Something that nobody mentioned too -
Too much light causes the definition of the terrain to look flat, shadows dissapear, distances get distorted, making everything look the same.
And - your night vision really gets impaired. Your eyes get used to looking ahead in the bright light, but you can't see to the side where it's dark.

Mounting some small lights underneath that illuminate where your wheels are and what they are going over really helps too.
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