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Installed: Sylvania Cube-X & 10-inch Spot Bar LED Lights

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Zane Merva & Josh Merva

GM-Trucks.com

3/6/2018

 

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

 

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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. 

 

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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
MSRP: $84.99/each
Also available in Flood and Wide Flood 

 

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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

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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. 

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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. 

 

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The Results

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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).

 

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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. 

 

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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.  

 

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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. 

 

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Our Conclusion
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

 

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Image Gallery

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. 

 

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man so clean~.. .great writeup dude!!!

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Curious how these compare to the Piaa light bars.  Seems like a similar idea.

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Wow, really bright!  Just what my old eyes need!  I'll be real interested when I can replace my headlights and fog lights with something bright like that.  I remember there was a way to "jumper" my lights with diodes in the 2007 I had so that when I hit the brights the dims and the fogs stayed on.  I've been trying to do that with this 2015 every once in a while.  

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The lighting looks great, but I'm not sure I want that light bar on the front of my truck. Wish there was an integrated grill or bumper option. Think those Cube-X would be brighter than the factory fogs? I'd like to find a way to make that work.

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17 hours ago, Erion109 said:

The lighting looks great, but I'm not sure I want that light bar on the front of my truck. Wish there was an integrated grill or bumper option. Think those Cube-X would be brighter than the factory fogs? I'd like to find a way to make that work.

I'm sure you could make a way to get them into the grille or fog light spots. They are most definitely brighter than the fog lights by a large margin. Before buying the N-Fab light bar we seriously considered mounting the Cube-X in the fog light surrounds and powering them with the fog light switch. When the install got more complicated, we moved to the light bar and power center option. 

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On 3/16/2018 at 4:07 PM, Downsea said:

Wow, really bright!  Just what my old eyes need!  I'll be real interested when I can replace my headlights and fog lights with something bright like that.  I remember there was a way to "jumper" my lights with diodes in the 2007 I had so that when I hit the brights the dims and the fogs stayed on.  I've been trying to do that with this 2015 every once in a while.  

HID lights are an easy upgrade right now that you could make to get brighter headlights. We're also working on a Sylvania LED H11 Headlight hack that I'll be writing up soon. It's going to be a nice option if you have an H11 headlight low-beam. 

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