Zane Merva & Josh Merva
Here at GM-Trucks.com, we’ve spent a lot of time upgrading nearly every light bulb in Project Sierra to LED over the past two years. The change has been immense and the high-tech, clean crisp shine our truck now exhibits is one of our most noticeable and favorite upgrades.
From brake bulbs to marker lights, interior lighting and replacement daytime running lights, we’ve been tapping Osram-Sylvania LED bulbs as a reliable product produced by one of the worlds largest automotive suppliers. The company offers a wide arraignment of LED aftermarket replacement lighting and we’ve been digging the results on our truck. In fact, we've even just recently moved to LED headlight bulbs, but we'll show you them in another review.
A staple in the original equipment headlight and tail light bulb supply chain, it's a guarantee that your truck has some sort of Sylvania product on it as factory equipment. The company also sells straight to the consumer with Silverstar and ZEVO LED aftermarket replacement bulbs. Sylvania introduced their first off-road oriented LED cube light just under two years ago and has been expanding into the segment ever since. The company announced another round of LED off-road lights at SEMA last November, including a 10-inch parabolic spotlight bar.
So with two new LED products that caught our eye, we asked if we could take them for a spin. It's rather interesting to see an industry OEM diving head first into the off-road lighting scene that has so far been dominated by LED giants like Rigid Industries, Baja Design, and Rugged Ridge. Especially when those brands sell product that use Osram LED chips. So we ordered up some examples directly from the company and got installing.
Here’s our take on these two new and unique LED spotlight products from Sylvania.
What are they?
Sylvania LED Off-Road 10-Inch Light Bar - SPOT
2300 effective lumens at a 10 degree angle
MSRP: TBD, Not on sale yet
Longer versions will also be available
LED spot light bars are nothing new and as a result they’ve all sorta started to look the same. Now, that’s no longer the case. With a futuristic parabolic reflector, the new line up of Sylvania LED light bars resemble the headlights on the new 2019 Silverado instead of the light bar from your friend’s old beat up Dodge Ram. With the LED chips mounted at a 90-degree angle from the road the curved reflector is the main focal point of the light bar instead of the LED chip or lens. It's a different, high-tech, motif that will look right at home on the 2019 Silverado and Sierra lineup.
However, all those good looks would be much less satisfying if this light bar didn't have the performance to match. And, since this light bar is made by Sylvania, it does. This 10-inch spot is designed to send light extremely far down-road. With only a 10-degree horizontal throw the 2300 lumen beam from the 10-LED chips is super concentrated. This spot bar will illuminate hundred of feet away but not right in front of you. That makes it an extremely powerful, albeit niche lighting tool.
Packaged with two polished aluminum attachments, the 10-inch spot is fairly easy to mount and and only a little harder to aim. We appriciated the included quick disconnect electrical harness. Sylvania says that these light bars will be available in a range of sizes including a 20+ inch variant. So if 10-inches seems a little small for what you've envisioned for your LED project, rest easy knowing bigger versions are on the way soon. On the downside, like the Cube-X, this spot bar is intended for professional installers and requires electrical knowledge to properly wire.
Sylvania LED CUBE-X Cube Light - SPOT
1170 effective lumens / each
Also available in Flood and Wide Flood
There is a massive selection of small square LED spot lights in this world. However, there is only one you can legally use on the road. Meet the Sylvania Cube-X Spotlight. It features an integrated daytime running light “accent” and a powerful 1170 raw lumen spotlight in one package. The obvious benefit of this combination is you now have a light that can be used every time you drive and not just every time you drive off-road.
For trucks built before LED daytime running lights became a “thing” (like our 2011), the X-shaped accent light makes for an excellent DRL upgrade. When the situation presents itself, you can also fire up the four Osram LEDs to produce an outstandingly crisp narrow field 20.5-watt spotlight. Simply speaking, the Cube-X is two lights in one. A DRL and an off-road spotlight.
The compact and standardized design of the Cube-X allows for mounting in a variety of locations. The included mount kit has all the hardware to attach your Cube-X but comes in a silver color. We would have liked to see a color matched mount.
Like the 10-inch spot light, wiring this light is entirely up to you. No switches or harnesses are included. This is ideal for an expert installer who might use their own gear but may be intimidating to a newbie working on their first LED light install.
How We Installed Them
Above all, we wanted a simple, clean, and purposeful install for our LED spot lights. To accomplish that goal we mounted our five LED lights to an N-Fab light bar that was designed specifically for the 2011 Sierra (and Silverado) ahead of the front grille. To avoid complex switch wiring through the firewall, we ordered up a remote controlled two-channel 12-volt automotive relay and designed an auxiliary power center to control our new lights. Since these lights will pull some considerable wattage, we felt it was safest to create a power tap point that couldn't drain our battery and wouldn't interfere with our truck's sensitive electronics.
With this system our lights won't be able to turn on unless the truck is running and charging the battery. They also won't stay on after the truck is shut off. We also limit the DRL lights to only run when the truck is running. Although this system is very DIY, it's an effective and safe way add high power accessories without tapping fuses or wiring harnesses. We'll have a write-up on how to create your own key-on aux power block in the near future. There's also pro versions of this type of aux power system you can buy.
Once we had the electrical wires run through flexible conduit (purchased separately) and the mounting hardware tight, we cleaned up the install with wire ties. Some of our Cube-X lights had shorter wire harnesses than others, making a clean look harder than we wanted. You can see on the photo below how we would have preferred the Cube-X wires be longer, so the connections could be hid farther behind the grille.
After a smooth installation process with all lights functioning correctly on the first try, we were excited to head out and see just how bright our new LED lighting setup really was. We had high hopes but what we saw really lit up our world (pardon the pun).
During the day, the Cube-X DRL lights are bright and serve their purpose of attracting attention. Even in poor weather, our Sierra will be visible from a considerable distance thanks to the four X accents. The spot lights are much much brighter than the DRL. Even in bright sunlight, the spot lights were powerful enough to hurt our eyes. It gave us high hopes that once the sun set, and we headed out to light up some local trails, we'd have all the light we need.
Safe to say we were right. Take a look at these comparison photos.
As you can see, the four Cube-X lights gave us the most improvement for the largest area. That's no surprise, as the lights are all together "worth" 4,680 raw lumens. The 10-inch spot light excelled in throwing a direct and bright beam farther than the Cube-X lights could but is only rated at 2300 raw lumens. That concentrated beam illuminated deeper and farther ahead than the Cube-X spots. Take a look at this animation to see what we mean.
The next day at our garage, we took a more measured approach to comparing brightness using a light meter. We measured the output of our headlights and the spot lights inside a dark room with no outside light to compare them. The results are interesting. With all five LED lights firing, our Sylvania spotlight setup is 14.5 times brighter than our aftermarket LED low-beam headlights alone. All five lights are 4.7 times brighter than just using high-beams. The Cube-X array is 4 times brighter than the low beams. All in all, no matter which way you measure, it's a massive upgrade in light output.
Are you ready for some LED lights that don't cost thousands? We think Project Sierra has never looked better with our new X-shaped DRL lighting. The parabolic design of the 10-inch light bar is unique, modern, and has people asking what it is. At night the combined power of the four Cube-X spot lights brings another level of utility to our truck. Now, whether off-road or in the back yard, if we need massive amounts of light, our Sierra can answer the call.
Our truck is now the brightest flashlight in our toolbox.
What we like
Top Tier Osram-Sylvania LED Chips Full Aluminum Design IP68 Waterproof/Dustproof Affordable Price (Cube-X) Parabolic Design (Spot Bar)
What we didn’t like
Cube-X wires didn’t come with quick disconnect harness 10-Inch spot's mounting hardware wasn't ideal for fine tuning Lenses are not replaceable or changeable Limited avalability
Editor's Note: This product was provided at no cost for the purposes of a review. We only publish our honest opinions and give no consideration for the gratis product.
By Often Late
Hey guys and gals, I'm Luke and I have been a die hard GM guy my whole life, shoulda found this place a long time ago but I'm here now with a fairly difficult request.
I want to customize my back window of my 2012 sierra so that the whole window can open. I believe the Tundra has the power rear slider. I don't care about power, I just want to be able to remove it or flip it up or down and get it out of the way. Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated. Maybe you have seen some things done or actually done them yourself. Anything can help.
I just rolled over 30k miles on my cc4wd, '16 with the 5.3, and 8 speed. I have read more than a handful of people recommending getting a tune (usually when the warranty runs out)...so this is my first post about that...before I really start my research, I wanted to get some real life experiences and expectations...
I get that i can make my truck run like a banshee...but I don't need a hot rod...I just want to get optimal power and optimal MPG under normal driving...I rarely tow anything...and I drive pretty conservatively...
in my scenario...would you still recommend a tune? what can I expect to get out of one? is there any that are the best value, what about getting a tune off the shelf verses going to a shop and getting it done?
if I lose any mpg's it probably wouldnt be worth it...so I need to at least stay the same or improve...so keep that in mind...
any insight and opinions would be appreciated!
By Alex Campomizzi
I recently got a 2017 Silverado Custom 1500 and was wondering if keyless entry is something i should have received at purchase. The truck was paired with one when i test drove it but when i received it i expected to have it but realized i only received two keys. i was curious if anyone else has this model and if it came with keyless entry or not.
CASH TALKS! TEXT ME OR CALL 406-690-537I TO DISCUSS, TEXT PREFERRED AS I WORK OUT OF CELL SERVICE OFTEN.
Selling my beloved 2007 GMC Duramax Diesel, last year of the best of the LBZ model code. No emissions from the factory to deal with, and considered to be the best model of duramax ever made. This is a very clean truck, I looked long and hard to find this, and it is my 3rd lbz GM truck. No leaks no drips no check engine lights nothing. Ready for anything and will last forever, I see these trucks on the forums over a half million miles getting beat on daily and running forever, this has been babied. Yes I am asking over book and considering offers, please realize this truck has had a lot more than the average truck has had put into it. Really like buying a brand new truck with everything completely done. Truck is awesome all around. The front seats are showing light wear but no rips, rears and rest of interior looks like new. A couple light paint chips on the front bumper, and I have all factory touch up paints. That's it for imperfections. THIS TRUCK IS CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. I hate selling, however this truck is such a garage queen it makes it hard for me to justify keeping. I started a new position shortly after purchasing the truck and have a work vehicle I use the marjority of the time. The truck is only used for weekend soccer interstate trips etc.
I am the 3rd owner, first was in california and second was in billings and was an oil worker, and it was a garage queen its life. I purchased the truck and did extensive upgrades and reliability modifications to make it the perfect truck in my eyes. I have spent thousands in upgrades and countless hours and extensive labor charges to get the truck to where it is today. This will make someone a reliable powerful vehicle for many years to come with everything done. Always ran premium diesel and Stanadyne with every fillup.
Truck is fully loaded slt model, every available option except leaking sunroof. Bose stereo, power heated leather etc etc.
I will do my best to list everything I can think of about the truck. I am sure I will miss much as so much has been done it is hard to even remember it all. Everything was done with reliability in mind first, and performance second. I have most of the stock parts as well that have been removed.
Upgrades and performance modifications...
Allison deep transmission pan and new gasket with all new filters.
Transgo jr shift kit.
Fleece all on module
Duramax store transmission cooler line kit upgrade (replaces notorious oem leaking lines)
Professionally installed rough country 3" lift kit, including new steering stabilizer, 4 new shocks, new rear block, new upper control arms with better angle for ball joint lift, new torsion keys. Also did new pitman and idler arm at this time and full alignment.
16" XD wheels with 33" Cooper AT3 tires, maybe 5k miles on tires.
SDP PCV reroute kit
AFE Series 2 intake with afe pre filter
4" MBRP mufflered exhaust with black tip.
3" MBRP downpipe
Sinister EGR delete kit
Edge Insight Gauge Monitor with egt into passenger side exhaust header. Gauge is mounted in dash pod and professionally wired.
Airdog 165 lift pump
Fleece headlight modification (allows fogs brights lows driving to all be on simultaneously)
Full window tint with vent visors.
2 sets of weathertech floor mats, one still new in box.
Snugtop Topper color matched and fitted for the truck, matches the lines perfect.
5th wheel rails in bed
GMC Gatorback heavy duty mudflaps
Lund chrome nerf bars
Blacked out led taillights
EFI LIVE by Idaho rob at atp in Idaho, comes with efi live tuner.
If you are not familiar with efi live tuning take some time to read up on google, it is amazing what it does for these trucks and Idaho Rob is considered among the best tuners in the business.
Truck was tuned after all modifications were completed and comes with 5 tunes that are able to be shifted on the fly with the dsp 5 switch mounted in the cigarette lighter spot and is tuned for the transmission with shift kit. Tunes range from optimized stock, tow tune with turbo tow brake, 90hp eco, 120 street, and 150 hot race, and are changeable simply by turning the switch from positions 1 through 5. I have used the tow tune and the eco tune primarily, as I get older I enjoy cruising more than speeding. The truck does have the ability to really pull however in the higher tunes. Very clean tuning with almost no smoke except in tune 5 where it will smoke a little when getting after it. Truck has not been rodded, adult owned and driven always.
Maintenance items completed...
All completed within the last 6 months.
Repeat drain and fills of both differentials with 500k mile synthetic delo dif fluid.
Repeat drain and fill of transmission and allison filters using only transynd fluid. (Internal filter also change with the deep pan addition.)
New oem gm radiator hoses and coolant filled drained and filled multiple times. Hyperlube racing coolant additive added on last fillup.
New oem thermostats
Brake fluid flushed twice, filled with Valvoline synthetic brake fluid.
Power steering flushed twice, filled with blue line synthetic power steering fluid.
Midas full alignment after lift kit installation.
4 wheel tire balance.
Full midas inspection showing everything in the good green category.
New intermediate dorman problem solver steering shaft and bearing kit (fixes notorious oem clunking steering problem)
New spicer lifetime greasable ujoints
All zerks repeatedly greased with lucas red and tacky
Recharged air conditioning.
Turbo Vane cleaning done.
Synthetic oils and oem filters, oem airdog liftpump filters.
Truck is ready to go. Title in hand, lien through local bank which my wife works at and all title work can be done at bank on day of sale.
I may consider delivery for a fee, depending on how far etc.
I may consider a partial trade on a cheaper vehicle (under 5kish) with your cash offer. Would need to know all vehicle details.
SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY PLEASE!!! I am working huge hours right now and don't have time for tire kickers. Vin available upon request. Truck is located in billings montana and can be viewed at almost any time. I will try to get more pictures up of the truck as time allows. First picture is current with topper, other pic just to show how it looks without topper.
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