One question we’re often asked is which is better, light bars or spotlights? As they say in the classics — well, in a taco ad anyway — “why not have both”?
Ironman 4x4 have produced a driving light, with an in-built light bar — the Megatom. The new Megatom combines a 75W driving light with a 45W light bar, all packaged up in a single unit.
It’s fair to say the units themselves are interesting to look at. With these unique aesthetics, they are not something that will appeal to all tastes, but when putting function over form, it makes a lot of sense.
These lights are somewhat reminiscent of your grandmother's bifocals, with the driving lights providing a clear view into the distance, while the light bar provides the up-close clarity through the light spread into the peripheral.
LED lights have become more common, with many choosing this technology for weight savings and reduced power consumption. The drawback with LED light is heat management. This is taken care of with a cast alloy body, with inbuilt heat sinks that get the heat moving.
These lights have a couple of key features that make sure you can get the lighting you are looking for and offer a somewhat personalised solution. The first of these features is the ability to mount the light either way, with the driving light or the light bar on top.
While this may not seem like much, with the design of these lights this can mean difference between fitting them where you want them and finding a new mounting space.
The downside to this mounting is the lack of adjustment between the lightbar and the driving light. You will need to find the best compromise for your needs; some tilt adjustment on the lightbar would be a nice addition.
The next feature, and my favourite, the usage options. Being able to run with just the driving lights, just the light bars, or both, shows you really can have the best of both worlds. This is handled by a dual button switch, which cleverly only takes up one blank in your vehicle's dash.
The driving lights provide a great punch through the darkness, with light throwing a long way down the road allowing you to see changes in the road ahead.
The spread from the light bar provides great peripheral light, allowing you to see Skippy and his mates on the roadside, without washing out the terrain — which can be a real problem with some lightbars.
With so much light being thrown out when everything’s turned on, I was concerned about the colour of the light and the associated eye strain. But, the light colour is relatively neutral for an LED light and manages to not induce any noticeable eye strain, meaning you can be comfortable using these lights for long periods.
Offroad, the spread from the lightbar was great when tackling tricky terrain, while adding in the driving lights lit up the darkness and made choosing lines that much easier. This allows you to set up much further in advance for obstacles.
Overall, I was impressed with the Megatom, the ability to use the lightbar and driving light either independently or combined means you always have the light you are looking for. The vast amounts of usable light were a nice surprise, making many other light bars and driving light combos seem like they are making things more difficult than they need to be.
Well focused light — no wasted light
Light temp — minimal eye fatigue
Dual button switch — single blank
Quality of manufacture
Higher end of pricing
Not independently adjustable