Regular readers will have spotted the face of the LRO Defender 90 changing subtly over the past few months. It’s because autumn’s coming. And in autumn, I start competing in navigation events that tend to stray into the evening and night.
The first change was the switch to LED sidelights and indicators – I needed to replace the headlamp buckets and when I removed the bulb holders a couple fell to pieces. I’d had trouble moving them in the past, but this was the final straw. Surface-mounted LEDs were the way forward.
Next came the driving lights. These two are a pair of Wilderness Lighting ORBs (around £300 each, wildernesslighting.co.uk). Wiring them up was a doddle as I’d had a pair of driving lights, complete with relays, fitted before, so I just unplugged the old one and inserted the new cable.
The lights do have a daytime running light function, but I haven’t wired that up, purely because it can be distracting when taking photos on greenlanes.
Finally, I’ve gone fully LED, with Nolden 7-inch Bi-LED headlights (£695 a pair, 4x4overlander.com). These are another plug-and-play upgrade – just remove the old headlight unit unplug the connector from the bulb, swap the securing ring (or fit a new one), plug the cables in, fit the light and then check the aim.
Except I went for the versions with the built-in position lights, so I had to put new waterproof connectors on, which added 20 minutes to the job as I couldn’t find my correct crimping pliers…
So, I’m now ready for competition...