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Old 6th September 2021, 14:32   #1
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Default Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Hello All,

As a part of the ongoing Mod journey on my Seltos, one long pending one was improving on the OE light set up.

Why a Light Bar -

While I love the Seltos and all that it offers, the biggest bug bear I have had with it is the ABYSMALLY poor and I do mean ABYSMAL when I say Abysmal lighting set up.

This is not even something subjective, the American Kia Seltos scored top marks in all safety parameters in the IIHS ratings, but its LED lights scored a Poor and cost it a perfect score.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle...021#headlights

The study at length if you are interested.

Mission Statement

Improve highway lighting capabilities without resorting a full change of the Headlamp unit.

note - The top end has a sealed unit and no in place upgrades are possible. Lower variants can go the usual bi xenon or other upgrade process. Touching the unit would mean voiding the electrical warranty entirely (this was confirmed to me by the SA in my service centre)

This rules out entirely any other option but light bars, and my search on the TBHP forums lead to the Hella series. The Hella 350 and the much improved (over the 350), the Hella 470.

Hella 350 vs 470

They are essentially the same, with the exact same form factor, except the 350 has 12 LED bulbs, the 470 has 16. This gives you a better output.

The 350 weights 790 gms consumes 25 W of power, the 470 weights 970 gms and consumes 35 W of power.

There are 2 versions of this unit. The pencil beam (focussed beam) and the driving / highway beam - they are different bars, and both aren't available in the same package.

I had a very long conversation with the Hella distributor in Chennai, Ashwin (can provide number if you need it, just DM me), over 30 minutes he explained to me the intricacies of these systems.

The 350 is much cheaper, at Rs 15,000 (just for the light) and the 470 comes in at Rs 25,000.

My original thought was to go in for the 350, but he told me that the Luminous flux are very different, thought it is nominally only 4 bulbs extra.

The 470 has a Luminous Flux of 1,900 Lm, the 350 is at 1,500 Lm (this is only for the driving / highway option).

I also wanted the pencil beam and he advised me against it as his logic was the highway mode is not highly centred and has clean coverage till about 100 meters , and also gives better visibility on signages etc. The pencil beam is much more focused and there is no intermediate coverage.

He was the expert, he made very clean objective arguments and left it to me the customer, to go for it. I chose the 470.

Installation

Went to AutoDrome Chennai (Gp Road), Ashwin also had worked with them and said they were good. It was a no fuss instal - though here I had to leave the car with them as I had meetings at work, and it took 3 hours to fashion a bracket and fix it up.

The Effects

Hella Light Bar 470 Review-stock-high-beam.jpeg

This is the Stock High Beam on a typical highway with reflectors, cat eyes etc.

The problem with stock is that at the centre it starts to fade, and this problem is amplified when you are driving at about 80 kmph +, means you have very limited visual cues to work on and this translates into dumping the car into potholes fairly easily.

Hella Light Bar 470 Review-stock-hb-hella.jpeg

This is the Stock HB + Hella -

It might not be clear from this picture but the centre focus thanks to the light bar improves drastically. I would personally put this at a good 60-70% better visibility at higher speeds (I did 100-120 kmph, and never had a problem with the vision)

For context, here is the Hella alone
Hella Light Bar 470 Review-hella-alone.jpeg

I had switched off the fogs, but as you can see in the near to medium length, the bar alone is as powerful and gives better vision than stocks on High Beam.

Pros
  • Improves Night Vision at high speeds (of 80 kmph +)
  • Helps you navigate and avoid potholes in a timely manner
  • Looks good? lol
  • A specific cover in yellow changes the colour temperature of the bar, and driving in pitched rain is easier (though the range of the light significantly drops, it is a trade off - long range vs better visibility in the short range - but then again in pitched rains you should not speed, so easy trade off to make)

Cons
  • Costs - Total cost inluding brackets, accessories + the labour is Rs 35,000
  • Glare - Yes, this is a big problem. If you have vehicles ahead of you up close (lets say a Jam on the highway or slow moving traffic), you are liable to get a headache from the glare. On my last highway trip, I simply switched it off if traffic was slow moving. Anyway below 60 kmph even the otherwise useless stocks do a decent job
  • Problems with cops - Especially in Kerala and Karnataka, but it is fairly unobtrusive and should not catch the eye of the friendly neighbour signal cop

Finally, would I recommend it?

IF you drive in highways or even in semi urban conditions but in heavy rains, yes, I strongly recommend it. I had given up night or early morning drives in the Seltos just because the lights are that bad, but on my last Bangalore - Chennai run, I had the confidence to cruise at 110 kmph with these lights on, while previously, the few night drives I had were restricted to 75-80 kmph.

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th September 2021 at 18:53. Reason: Wrapping one image over to a new line :)
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Old 6th September 2021, 14:43   #2
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Default re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

You nailed it man Just the job i've been contemplating too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
IF you drive in highways or even in semi urban conditions but in heavy rains, yes, I strongly recommend it. I had given up night or early morning drives in the Seltos just because the lights are that bad
Agree 100% here and I'm in the same boat, so are the other Seltos owners I'm sure with LED headlights. Abysmal is the not the word to describe Seltos' lighting efficacy. On rainy nights in a highway, one has to literally grope in the dark, otherwise too.

Would like to see the picture and where have you placed it? I was told the black covers can be put on them during daytime. If you do so, guess cops can't penalize you. Also please share the pictures of that Hella cover with lights on which you can use in foggy conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
This is not even something subjective, the American Kia Seltos scored top marks in all safety parameters in the IIHS ratings, but its LED lights scored a Poor and cost it a perfect score.
35k is 2% of the car's price. It's quite frustrating to be spending a bomb on a basic requirement such as good and efficient lights after paying 2 millions for your car. Kia, please do better your lights too, not just focus only on hiking prices by adding chrome inserts and red accents. Lights are pathetic to say the least

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 6th September 2021 at 14:58.
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Old 6th September 2021, 14:46   #3
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Default re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Intresting upgrade Stribog!
As a Seltos owner myself, I know exactly how blind we drive on the dark highway. So this thread is god sent to me!
Could you please clarify:-
1. Can you please please put up the exterior pics of the car after installation?!
2. Also how did you do the wiring?
3. Where did you put the switch for the Hella's? My GTX+ has no blank switches to put an extra one.
Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Powertrain
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Old 6th September 2021, 15:32   #4
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Default re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Can you share a pic of the fixture take in day time, this will help in understanding how it looks.
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Old 6th September 2021, 15:43   #5
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Default re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Can you share a pic of the fixture take in day time, this will help in understanding how it looks.
Please share the installation pictures. Also, the switch controls.

I am looking to upgrade my vehicle lights and what you have managed is really fantastic.
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Old 6th September 2021, 17:26   #6
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Default re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Installation video of Hella 470 in a Seltos

Last edited by anb : 6th September 2021 at 17:28.
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Old 7th September 2021, 10:22   #7
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Default re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Mods - will keep the full quote as some of it are questions, so don't want to truncate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibendum90949 View Post
You nailed it man Just the job i've been contemplating too.

Agree 100% here and I'm in the same boat, so are the other Seltos owners I'm sure with LED headlights. Abysmal is the not the word to describe Seltos' lighting efficacy. On rainy nights in a highway, one has to literally grope in the dark, otherwise too.

Would like to see the picture and where have you placed it? I was told the black covers can be put on them during daytime. If you do so, guess cops can't penalize you. Also please share the pictures of that Hella cover with lights on which you can use in foggy conditions.



35k is 2% of the car's price. It's quite frustrating to be spending a bomb on a basic requirement such as good and efficient lights after paying 2 millions for your car. Kia, please do better your lights too, not just focus only on hiking prices by adding chrome inserts and red accents. Lights are pathetic to say the least
Please please go ahead and do this. I will add pictures on the placement, switch and the bracket also. It is unobtrusive and with the black cover, only an eagle eyed cop will be able to spot it.

The quality of life improvement, ESPECIALLY in rains (I drove this Sunday in pitched rain, on a particularly bad stretch of the Chennai Bangalore highway) is immense. Is it still as good as a say Bi Xenon or even a 100/90 halogen? No, but on stock I now cannot drive without these.

Will add more pics today. I only picked the fog cover that lowers the light temperature as Chennai cops don't particularly care for small fittings, but if I need to drive in Kerala / Karnataka extensively, will be picking up the black cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by powertrain View Post
Intresting upgrade Stribog!
As a Seltos owner myself, I know exactly how blind we drive on the dark highway. So this thread is god sent to me!
Could you please clarify:-
1. Can you please please put up the exterior pics of the car after installation?!
2. Also how did you do the wiring?
3. Where did you put the switch for the Hella's? My GTX+ has no blank switches to put an extra one.
Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Powertrain
Hi, will update with pics of the location and the switch.

it is a simple bracket (it weighs so less, so there is no structural stress) in the front, just above the license plate, wiring I was given the option of a separate wire and switch, or link it to the parking light, I went in for the former. A little splicing is needed though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Can you share a pic of the fixture take in day time, this will help in understanding how it looks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafia View Post
Please share the installation pictures. Also, the switch controls.

I am looking to upgrade my vehicle lights and what you have managed is really fantastic.
I will update with pics today and for the 10th time, if you own a Seltos top end, can't change the stock, please go ahead and install it. As Bibendum says, it costs a bomb, but improves night driving capabilities immensely.
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Old 7th September 2021, 19:53   #8
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Isn't this illegal and a hazard for oncoming traffic?

Note to Mods : It seems that the concerns have been raised in the previous post. Mods, please delete if deemed duplicate, regret missing reading it. Thanks.

Last edited by abhishek_hch : 7th September 2021 at 19:56.
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Old 7th September 2021, 19:53   #9
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Nice addition, do share pics of the installation location and final look of the car.

I was looking at this product recently and saw a cleaner mounting solution:

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Old 7th September 2021, 20:47   #10
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

I believe fixtures like a light bar are intended for trails and not in an urban setting shared with other users. This is a hazard for the oncoming vehicles, which if blinded are a hazard for oneself. Do not wish to undermine the efforts or the execution of this mod, but given this is a forum with a clear stand on safety, I feel this mod should be reviewed in context
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Old 7th September 2021, 21:26   #11
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

One suggestion from a safety perspective.

Any aux light that you are using to complement your high beam, please wire it in such a way that it gets triggered along with high beam. A switch is needed to disable the aux light in City roads as well. Hella kit usually comes with the wiring diagram for this.

Oncoming traffic can push you off the road if they are not able to see properly, this can happen on single lane roads.
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Old 7th September 2021, 22:25   #12
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
Nice addition, do share pics of the installation location and final look of the car.

I was looking at this product recently and saw a cleaner mounting solution:
Will this work with the HSRP installed? I thought that it is difficult to remove the number plate.

Has anyone done this in 5th Gen Honda City. I've ZX variant and feel that the high beam throw is very average.

Regards,
lsjey
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Old 7th September 2021, 23:06   #13
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
The Effects

Attachment 2202942

This is the Stock High Beam on a typical highway with reflectors, cat eyes etc.

The problem with stock is that at the centre it starts to fade, and this problem is amplified when you are driving at about 80 kmph +, means you have very limited visual cues to work on and this translates into dumping the car into potholes fairly easily.

Attachment 2202943

This is the Stock HB + Hella -
I stared at the pictures way too long to see what was the difference and then realized that it's the same picture posted twice.

To be honest the stock throw looks pretty good to me.
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Old 7th September 2021, 23:36   #14
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

@ Ramon

I have had many cars over the years and this is this first time I have had to resort to a major upgrade like this. Unless you have driven a Seltos in highway conditions with or without rain, I respectfully disagree with your opinion that this is not needed. It is a serious safety hazard (the stock set up).

My night driving speeds are in the 80-90 kmph mark (on well designated 4 lane highways with a median and lesser if no median), I am a safe, defensive driver by nature. Only after this mod did I push speeds in short bursts to check visibility.

That being said, no this light DOES not blind oncoming cars (given that 99% of my use is on 4lane medianed Highways, this is a challenge with any set up), it is very focussed with very little scatter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek_hch View Post
Isn't this illegal and a hazard for oncoming traffic?

Note to Mods : It seems that the concerns have been raised in the previous post. Mods, please delete if deemed duplicate, regret missing reading it. Thanks.
There is no hazard for oncoming traffic, the light is focussed, pointed on the ground and does not scatter much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTee TSI View Post
I believe fixtures like a light bar are intended for trails and not in an urban setting shared with other users. This is a hazard for the oncoming vehicles, which if blinded are a hazard for oneself. Do not wish to undermine the efforts or the execution of this mod, but given this is a forum with a clear stand on safety, I feel this mod should be reviewed in context
I explicitly have stated that I don't use this in a city or even semi urban setting. This is is only for highway runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
One suggestion from a safety perspective.

Any aux light that you are using to complement your high beam, please wire it in such a way that it gets triggered along with high beam. A switch is needed to disable the aux light in City roads as well. Hella kit usually comes with the wiring diagram for this.

Oncoming traffic can push you off the road if they are not able to see properly, this can happen on single lane roads.
I have added an independent switch will update the pics tomorrow morning in daylight.

Last edited by GTO : 8th September 2021 at 06:55. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 8th September 2021, 08:53   #15
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Default Re: Hella Light Bar 470 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek_hch View Post
Isn't this illegal and a hazard for oncoming traffic?
As per law any light placed above 1.5 m or the intensity that blinds a person at 8 m are illegal, also no vehicle should have more than 4 head lights. This mod is illegal as per CMVR.
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