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Fistful of Boomstick
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Baja Designs Squadron Sports: or the solution for fogging LED lights

As you know I am a bit of a lighting addict :laughing: I love to see where I am going and what I am doing. This is from a combo of years on working with crap light or doing military crap with no light. So when I can have light I like to see everything (and try not to be a douchbag to others around me when doing it so it needs to be the right amount and controlled) Because of that I own a lot of high end LED’s, I like the performance to draw/durability/price/quality.

I have just been having problems with one specific light that constantly fogs up on me. One style, same style, repeatedly.

Ok I understand it’s a pain in the ass to make a sealed LED, it’s a sealed box that heats up filled with enough air to make life suck in relation to gas laws. So ya, there is a chance to suck in moisture into the light. But it’s the same damm lights.

I am not going to bash the company nor even post the name of "the other lights", that company itself kicks ass and will swap out any lights with an issue no problem, great customer and industry support. But after the FOURTH time of sending back lights, that shit gets old.

Pull them off, vehicle without lights now, box them up, send them in, wait.., get them back, install, drive for a bit, repeat. And these are on a set used as BACKUP lights, in the rear, not even facing the wind and rain. :rolleyes:

Getting sick of sending them back, this was the last set. I don’t know if you can see the fog inside this one, but trust me it is there. I should have saved pictures of the really bad ones from before.



I have had 2 of them get moisture to the point of it flickering and stop working. But I will give them credit for effort, I don’t know if they are making effort at fixing some of the moisture control or band aiding it. But there have been at least 3 different variations of a vent on them as you can see here, the top one being the most current. (yes, I have a lot of lights) Stickerish vent (left), goretexish vent (right) no vent and power cable being screwed in (top)


I don’t know if the new version of their seal/vent/cable will work, to be honest I don’t care because I am swapping out the lights and going with a different company. I have been waiting for Baja Designs to produce a “consumer” light for a while. I love their shit but you pay for what you get as they are not some chi-com junk. At KOH this year the car I was pitting (707) swapped over to them and they were beautiful machined hunks of lighting art…..that hurt my wallet to look at :laughing: While BSing at thier booth, they said they were going to release a “consumer” grade of their Squadron lights. So I took a card and waited…and waited..and TAAADAAAAAA :D
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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45,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Baja Designs released the “Sport” version of the Squadron, same price as the light I am replacing but with BD's quality.
Squadron Sport, LED Driving




Nice construction, simple mount, common connector, big heat sinks


Oh and this little bugger, their MoistureBlock. They found that water can actually wick its way the wiring, it also allows you to cut the wire and use ANY connector you chose without any issues with the integrity of the light.


It occupies about the same real-estate as the light its replacing, maybe a half inch shorter.

Similar single point mounting but with one thing better


The HOUSING on the Baja Designs is threaded! Ok, you have no idea how much of a pain in the ass it is to have to hold the stupid little bracket nut in place, blind, with a fingertip because you had to mount the bracket first. I would literaly just duct tape them in here.


Connectors for the 2, you can swap out the BD one with no warranty issues


Reflector design between the 2 are similar, a deep smooth cone shaped reflector

(brand new not fogged one)
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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45,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Some of the other neat things about the BD lights is using a copper core for the LED board (LEDs produce a good chunk of heat and better heat transfer = better performance and life) and USA made.

So fuckit, lets see what is inside!

By the way boys and girls, I have voided the warranty on the light on the left by doing this. Because you guys who build high end shit can not be trusted with 6 screws and a gasket. So if it does fog up you HAVE to send it back. Baja Design actualy makes and advertises their lights as user serviceable without violating their lifetime warranty. uServiceâ„¢ because they trust me with a screwdriver



The gasket for the other light is a sorta square double flanged gasket that holds the lens in the middle of it. I don’t like it but it is what it is. It is held in place by a cast aluminum outer face ring.


The Baja Design Squadron Sport has a traditional o-ring style and the lens is sandwiched with a machined aluminum outer face ring




The reflectors are captive by either glue or tabs, either way they did not fall out or move when touched. You can see the O-ring grove



The other light the reflectors fell out as they are trapped between the lens and circuit board.


Now for the highly accurate unmowed backyard light plopped on top of a spare battery test .

Other light:


Baja Designs Squadron Sport:


Clearly it is more center weighted with not as much spill, I will have to change this for backup lights. But I don’t care because I CAN CHANGE THIS !! I can pick up BD’s flood, mixed, yellow or whatever replacement lens and swap it out myself and have the light tuned to my needs. No clip on cracking filter to change color, no warrantee issues, no driving to ship them out, just me and an allen wrench.

They visualy put out more light, sorry I did not break out the bling measuring crap like here Pirate4x4.Com - The largest off roading and 4x4 website in the world. just the trusty eyeball-o-meter. :flipoff2: They put out the same lumen on paper, but whatever, its visualy obvious they are not.


Time to see how these ones hold up, I will update as needed. If anyone has any requests for info or pictures please ask before I mount them up and I will get them for you.
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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Discussion Starter #5
Subscribing to see pics at home
if there is anything you want to see between the 2 or each let me know before I mount up the BD's and trade away the other set.
 

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The sport reflectors are held in by a double sided adhesive pad, if you want to swap reflectors, the new ones will come with new pads.


For accuracy,

The boards in the Sports will be .060 aluminum versus the .040 aluminum boards in the competitions. The first run of Sports got copper boards because the aluminum boards hadn't come in yet. So if you got copper boards, Bonus...
 

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Nice timing, I have been eyeballing these most of the week.
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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Discussion Starter #9
The sport reflectors are held in by a double sided adhesive pad, if you want to swap reflectors, the new ones will come with new pads.


For accuracy,

The boards in the Sports will be .060 aluminum versus the .040 aluminum boards in the competitions. The first run of Sports got copper boards because the aluminum boards hadn't come in yet. So if you got copper boards, Bonus...
got it, I was not going to be pulling on them I just noticed they did not move unlike the other brand that fell out :laughing: I mean ya, its held in compression but I dont like having to handle reflectors so I wish they were attached.

I need to toss them on my scale and compare the 2...for shits and giggles because my fat ass JK is not counting grams :laughing:

Baja Designs make a great product and their service is just as good. What I like most about their lights is you are able to change the lens with amber, spot, flood, flood-spot combo. Pretty much any combo you want.
that.

I hate being told "you are too dumb to handle our highspeed low drag shit so dont you dare take it apart and clear the moisture" so with BD letting you do the swaps yourself and it does nothing to change their backing of the product, it goes a long way.

But like I said many many many times....I was sick of sending back lights. To the point they started on the front of my JK and I replaced them with a 10" bar (first 2 times sent back) put them on the rear and they still did it twice. I have video of the flickering and failure of the last set, I actualy failed my vehicle inspection due to it.
 

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Rock Stacker
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The Rigid D2 with driving beam optics in your backyard photos has the most usable light, so stop your crying :flipoff2:

The sharp BD housing does look bling compared to the smoothed out RI housing.
Threaded aluminum housings getting stripped, not so good, even though I agree that the nuts falling out of the slots is a PITA.
I have ran over a hundred D2's in 95% humidity with wash down and have never had a failure. These had both breather styles and both electrical connectors.
I have had moisture inside of a E series bar where the side mounting bolt enters the housing and it was repaired under warranty.

Post pictures of installation area.
Do you pressure wash the face of the light?

How do the two compare on output for extended runtime over an hour? A D2 will get to the point you can't hold it and it has almost twice the cooling surface area of the BD. Does the BD thermally regulate output. Cooling and output are directly related when using similar emitters.

Does the DB use a breather?
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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45,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The Rigid D2 with driving beam optics in your backyard photos has the most usable light, so stop your crying :flipoff2:
The light shown :flipoff2: can not have its spill or focus adjusted by the end user. The BD on the other hand can be swapped as needed (and I will as I want more flood and no so much spot)

The sharp BD housing does look bling compared to the smoothed out RI housing.
Threaded aluminum housings getting stripped, not so good, even though I agree that the nuts falling out of the slots is a PITA.
The BD housing makes the other one look cheap :laughing: from casting flash to paint finish. You can strip out anything if your fists are made from ham, even the locking area in the other light can be rounded and you cant get a wrench in there. If you were dumb and stripped it out there is enough gap after the threaded portion to fit a nut and a wrench and use a longer bolt.

I have ran over a hundred D2's in 95% humidity with wash down and have never had a failure. These had both breather styles and both electrical connectors.
I have had moisture inside of a E series bar where the side mounting bolt enters the housing and it was repaired under warranty.
Its just these, and I am dead serious with the 4 times I have sent them back. they would be fine and then poof they are fogged and twice was bad enough to cause electrical issues.

Post pictures of installation area.
Do you pressure wash the face of the light?
its above the rear bumper on my JK, before they were on the front bumper before being replaced with a 10" bar (after the 2nd time sent back)


nothing more than when you rinse using a car wash.

How do the two compare on output for extended runtime over an hour? A D2 will get to the point you can't hold it and it has almost twice the cooling surface area of the BD. Does the BD thermally regulate output. Cooling and output are directly related when using similar emitters.

Does the DB use a breather?
Do you want IR temp of housing? Pics? Voltage change? Amp draw (if a harbor freight POS volt meter wont cook while doing it :laughing: ) all?

No breather I can visualy see, they may chime in
 

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No breather, During pressure testing we have run them up to 50PSI without issue.

Thermally regulated. At 80* you need a 3MPH breeze to keep them running at 100%.
 

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So is it $200 for one of them or a pair? Hard to compare the output with completely different reflectors in the two lights. New pics when you swap it out with a wide/cornering lens.

Really want to snag some BD lights for the DD, but yeah the prices are just a bit high for me. I really want to figure out how to mount some flush SII's in my WJ tails for backup lights.
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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Discussion Starter #14
So is it $200 for one of them or a pair? Hard to compare the output with completely different reflectors in the two lights. New pics when you swap it out with a wide/cornering lens.

Really want to snag some BD lights for the DD, but yeah the prices are just a bit high for me. I really want to figure out how to mount some flush SII's in my WJ tails for backup lights.
The MSRP is $200 each, but that is MSRP :laughing: But I feel they are worth it in construction and "feel", now I just have to see how they handle and run. I forgot to order in the new lens so that will have to wait till they come in.

flush mount these in the tailgate or bumper :flipoff2: Squadron Sport, LED Driving , Flush Mount
 

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Great tech! I have always liked Baja Designs products and their LED lights "feel" better than the competition to me, but I had never seen it quantified in the way that you did. I have their OnX light bar and really like how far the larger reflectors put light down the road.
 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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Discussion Starter #17
HydroDynamic tell me what you want for testing while these bitches are still on the bench :flipoff2:

Same goes for anyone, while I have them out if you want any pictures or info please ask, saves money to see what something is or is not instead of waiting for the UPS truck :D
 

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Rock Stacker
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Run both for an hour with no wind but open to the air to put them into thermal regulation and shot the beam into a white object a couple feet away, photograph the beam shot.
How hot is your location, put them in a large box if needed.
Then drop the hot lights into ice water and let them cool all the way and look for moisture inside the light.
 

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Baja Designs lights are super high end quality....you get what you pay for.

This is my set up (non sport model though) as I chose to use the flush mount idea to run a pair together with them as it is a different take on mounting them.



 

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Fistful of Boomstick
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Discussion Starter #20
Run both for an hour with no wind but open to the air to put them into thermal regulation and shot the beam into a white object a couple feet away, photograph the beam shot.
How hot is your location, put them in a large box if needed.
Then drop the hot lights into ice water and let them cool all the way and look for moisture inside the light.
ok.
see if I can do video as well
 
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