Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton
Excuse the corny quote, but the night was, indeed, dark and stormy. In fact, we could barely see a thing as our open-top Series 3 desperately slewed around in black-cotton soil. The Tuli Block’s rough tweespoor tracks had turned into rivers under a ferocious storm. Paths forged by elephant became our new tracks and a hungry leopard peered down on us from a treetop. Without wanting to sound too melodramatic, I have to say that our Landy’s headlights could’ve got us killed: they shone with the same luminosity of ten glowworms sealed in a jar. The only thing that saved us, that evening, was a handheld game-viewing light.
I was reminded of this time when five brand-new Road Rage LED light bars landed on my desk recently, for testing. Without revealing too much, I know that these lights would’ve made all the difference on that perilous night in Tuli. Modern vehicles boast brilliant standard lighting, but these units are generally designed for onroad use and can become wholly inadequate in the bush. This is especially true when considering the spread of a beam, and the fact that most life-threatening hazards tend to spring from the side of the road – Kudus are famous for seeking the limelight.
The five Road Rage lights that were mentioned before were supplied by WR Offroad Industries. The lights included a 60-LED bar, 40-LED bar, 20-LED bar, and two 12-LED bars. Of course, it’s easy to assume that the 60-LED light bar was the biggest and brightest, and therefore the best; however, during our test, it was interesting to note that each unit (regardless of size) offered its own functionality.