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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I picked up my jcw I was initially always interested in the led aux lights just because. I have a full set of clearwaters on my motorrad XR so I have a habit of overdoing the lights a bit. I didn't have major complaints about the cornering LED headlights on the jcw, but once you have fantastic night lights you can't not have fantastic night lights. So I of course ended up going with the black colored LED lights.

I wanted to make this post because there's not a ton of info about what you actually get and how these work. I was mostly sure of what I was getting.

These are a somewhat involved install from my understanding. Naturally I had the dealer do it, with my 25% discount from the car it was ~$1200 installed for the set which includes plastic protective covers for when they are not in use. Mine were white (white car) but I've seen these in black as well.






The covers go over like so, they are rigid plastic and will offer the needed protection to the lights. The problem with these are that you need to remove them to use the lights, and theft risks. I am not immediately sure of the replacement costs for these.




It's probably easiest to start with what these lights aren't; they aren't fog lights. By default (without coding, if it's even possible) they will not be active when your low beams or DRLs are active. These auxiliary lights are tied to the brights ONLY (this includes flash-to-pass).

What they are, is a visually good looking, seamlessly integrated and completely functional way to essentially double your headlight output with a more center focus pattern. The color temperature is well matched to the LED headlights. It's not possible to photograph that correctly because on reflector focus it's like Jesus is coming:





If things go well it's a 3.5-4.5hr install by someone who did it before (dealer). Part of the install is installing an activation switch with a status led on the right side of the steering column (see in pic). This is a larger/different button than the fog light activation switches. This is bad news if your car doesn't have installed fog lights like my jcw, my OCD kinda wishes they would have utilized the blank forward facing fog light switch. The flip side is that for other non-jcw coopers is that you could run these driving lights in addition to factory installed fog lights if you wanted.



The default setting for this switch when turning on the vehicle is OFF. The driving lights will also not activate when the car is in accy mode with engine off, even if the headlights are active (the switch simply doesn't turn on).

You press this button once to enable the lights to turn on with the bright using the existing bright switch. Unlike the rear and front fog lights there are no other indicators on the dash that suggest the auxiliary lights are on (you will only see the brights being active indicated). Outside of increased forward light output the only indication is the hard to see light on the switch itself.

I've bought a lot of dumb stuff in my day and for what these cost (a lot imho) I wasn't super sure if I made a reasonable decision considering my car has the cornering LED headlights already. I paid more for my XR Clearwaters and those were totally worth it to me. After having these mini LED lights (once you get into the groove of using them when appropriate) they are wonderful.

If you are wanting these to run around on all the time looking cool you will be disappointed. People will only see them cold.

However, if you frequently make use of your brights at night and want to enhance your night driving and safety...particularly if you are worried about larger animal collisions, these are worth your money and time to consider. It's basically like having 4 headlights.








Here you can see the mount, the wiring is hidden/integrated into it and it hinges from the bottom. The lights are easily adjusted (accidental or otherwise), they are also pretty easy to aim, it's pretty obvious if they are aiming slightly high when they aren't operating. Time will tell if this mount holds up and doesn't get blown out. There is a slight vibration in the light beam at idle, but this is not visually noticeable from the interior or if you are moving.




These come in a chrome surround instead of the black, but for my setup black was best I thought.

 

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Great write up.

My only comment is I read these are completely unnecessary for the LED lights as they're already really good. Providing only a styling advantage.

What I would say is running lowly halogen lights like my mini the extra headlights (halogen ones) work really well at providing extra light over what are pretty poor lights in the standard car.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great write up.

My only comment is I read these are completely unnecessary for the LED lights as they're already really good. Providing only a styling advantage.

What I would say is running lowly halogen lights like my mini the extra headlights (halogen ones) work really well at providing extra light over what are pretty poor lights in the standard car.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The best real experience I have with "good" headlights in cars are my mkv GTI with those early auto leveling HIDs. Those were really quality lights to be in a compact car of that time. At that point I was basically never going to anything less than that going forward.

The cornering LED headlights in the mini are so good it's ridiculous. I stand by any assessment that says these are great headlights. From the color temp to how they work, how light they are, just superb lights. That being said like you mentioned...when I took the plunge on the aux lights, it was 80% making the front of the car look better and 20% excitement for more lights.

I honestly didn't expect them to be as functional as they actually are. When you can use your brights you just have a much more comfortable amount of light at your disposal.

The visual appearance to the eye since I don't have lumen counts (but general experience with such things) is that you have about double the effective light output, but it's concentrated mostly down stream with a little bit of residual fill light all around.

On the road, with brights already activated and then turning these on, you can then see VERY distant reflective signs and road lines as well as just having more light everywhere else up in front. Longer overall distance with more overall light in the closer range when compared with what your integrated LED brights operate in.

All I have right now is this pic with them all on, it was just what I was seeing as best as an iPhone 7+ can take. No idea on distances, etc:





The housing design of these is like what you've seen in a dentist office. The led bulb is over the reflector in the cross-beam (that says mini) and reflects back inward not dissimilar to the one dentists use to work on your teeth so that little bit of light is really intense in its optimal reflective pattern and range.

It's hard to see that because you have to be right at it and it's so low on the car, but I'd say these may also have a very slight upward light pattern as well.
 

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The best real experience I have with "good" headlights in cars are my mkv GTI with those early auto leveling HIDs. Those were really quality lights to be in a compact car of that time. At that point I was basically never going to anything less than that going forward.

The cornering LED headlights in the mini are so good it's ridiculous. I stand by any assessment that says these are great headlights. From the color temp to how they work, how light they are, just superb lights. That being said like you mentioned...when I took the plunge on the aux lights, it was 80% making the front of the car look better and 20% excitement for more lights.

I honestly didn't expect them to be as functional as they actually are. When you can use your brights you just have a much more comfortable amount of light at your disposal.

The visual appearance to the eye since I don't have lumen counts (but general experience with such things) is that you have about double the effective light output, but it's concentrated mostly down stream with a little bit of residual fill light all around.

On the road, with brights already activated and then turning these on, you can then see VERY distant reflective signs and road lines as well as just having more light everywhere else up in front. Longer overall distance with more overall light in the closer range when compared with what your integrated LED brights operate in.

All I have right now is this pic with them all on, it was just what I was seeing as best as an iPhone 7+ can take. No idea on distances, etc:





The housing design of these is like what you've seen in a dentist office. The led bulb is over the reflector in the cross-beam (that says mini) and reflects back inward not dissimilar to the one dentists use to work on your teeth so that little bit of light is really intense in its optimal reflective pattern and range.

It's hard to see that because you have to be right at it and it's so low on the car, but I'd say these may also have a very slight upward light pattern as well.


Still don't get me wrong a very impressive bit of kit. I'd of fitted them to mine if it had led lights


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Still don't get me wrong a very impressive bit of kit. I'd of fitted them to mine if it had led lights


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


There was a thread on here about someone wanting to convert to the LED headlights and from where I was gathering it was a bunch of work and still pretty expensive.

After what I've experienced with these, they may be a good alternative to that if it's purely functional needs someone is after. Rather than covering wiring looms and stuff.
 

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There was a thread on here about someone wanting to convert to the LED headlights and from where I was gathering it was a bunch of work and still pretty expensive.

After what I've experienced with these, they may be a good alternative to that if it's purely functional needs someone is after. Rather than covering wiring looms and stuff.


Yeah I did investigate it here in the UK and we're looking at around £3000 to a conversion so that was swiftly ruled out :)


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took this interesting photo to show the relative light pattern of these aux driving lights.

Here is how they compare to the main headlight bright setting when pulled up to a flat surface:



They are more rifle-like than shotgun.
 
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