I want to talk about the Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED offroad lights mounted on #RallyFist, the RallyWays Ford Fiesta ST.
The Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED lamps currently live inside the Fiesta ST stock fog light pockets. The Squadron Pro are small and hugely powerful LED offroad lights that usually mount on the outside of the bumper, grille or elsewhere on trucks and offroad vehicles. It just so happens that the lights are small enough to fit perfectly inside the stock fog light pockets thanks to the Rally Innovations Fog Light Conversion Kit.
The Baja Designs Squadron Pro feature 4 powerful Cree XM-L2 LEDs that churn out a searing 4300Lumens. I’m not 100% sure how to translate that into comparative terms but let’s try this…
A typical car’s stock headlights produce a little over 1000 lumens each. So basically, these Baja Design Squadron Pros are about 4 to 5 times brighter than the average headlight. I tell you, they are BRIGHT. I have them wired to my stock fog light switch using the harness that comes with the Rally Innovations kit mentioned. This makes the lights convenient to use and very much like if it were a factory upgrade… only REALLY useful.
Quite honestly, after having run these in my Fiesta ST, I don’t think I’ll ever not have a functional car that doesn’t have fog lights like these. I’m going to get a pair soon for my truck as well. With the stock foglights, at night I’m running both the headlights and foglights at the same time, all the time. The stock lights are just not very powerful so you just run them all. This is true on my Fiesta ST, my Tacoma and was true as well in my NC Miata.
With the Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED offroad lights, you will have a very useful set of lights for when the going gets tough. They are not the shy light the stock gear is.
The color temperature of these LEDs is cooler than the yellow tinged lights we are used to in standard vehicles. Then you have the fact that most new cars these days are running LED headlights. That said, the Squadron Pro LED offroad lights still seem a bit cooler in color temperature than stock LED lights. I like that. This is actually a very good thing. Most of the car lights we are used to are actually too yellow (warm in color temperature). The Squadrons are a more comfortable and natural 5000K, more akin to daylight.
My lens choice for the Squadron Pro is the wide cornering lens. The overall power and lens angle on these is large enough that they flood the entire area in front and slightly to the side of the nose of your car or truck. This is due to the fact that 4300 lumens times two is no small number.
There is a downside to running these in the stock foglight pockets though. If you’re used to running your stock fog lights all the time and you want a pair of Squadron Pro LED offroad lights, you might want to mount them elsewhere on your vehicle. The reason being, when you’re in town or in traffic on any normal road, you will be forced to only run your headlights. These lights are just too bright for normal driving in town. So if you insist on running fog lights in town, I would say, keep your stock fog lights where they are and mount the Baja Designs Squadron Pro lights to the grille or light bar instead, on a separate independent switch. This is how I have wired the XL Sport lights mounted to my Rally Innovations light plate. I wouldn’t dare run those beams in town. While the XL Sports are not as bright at the Pros, it’s still 4 of them and the lenses are spot lens. Meaning, they’ll blind anybody within a 3 mile radius.
You could opt for the Baja Designs Squadron Sport light instead. Like the XL Sports, the Squadron Sport LED lamps produce 1800 lumens as opposed to the Pro’s retina-searing 4,300 lumens. 1800 lumens is still brighter than stock fog lamps, but they would likely be conservative enough where you might be able to get away with running them on slightly busier roads. That, if they are down low and you’re running cornering lenses instead of spot lenses. At the end of the day however, these are LED offroad lights and they are meant for offroad use.
For me, it wasn’t a problem because the Fiesta ST stock headlights are adequate and I didn’t miss not running the stock foglights too much. Of course, this is me just trying to take an outrageous car build and make it sound like it’s your average commuter. I have bigger problems than that on mine – Not to mention the big ol’ Baja Designs XL Sport rally lights on the light bar in front of my grille. But you get the point.
Overall, it’s completely worth losing the dim stock foglights in almost any car in favor of the Baja Design Squadron Pro lights. You might not run them in town, but when the road gets rough and pitch black, you’ll be glad you had them. Even for driving in the desert freeway from San Diego to Vegas at night they come in really handy, though those conditions are still on-road conditions. You could just avoid hitting a cow on the road. Or a horse. Or a coyote.
Some of my friends know that I have a foot planted in the suburbs, yet another part of me yearns for a secluded home in the woods. Add to that a lonely mountain road and dark dirt track to get there. Somehow, these lamps feel right at home.
For driving in extreme conditions, wheeling, offroad or rally racing, these LED offroad lights are a must. I absolutely love them. The safety aspect alone makes them a very worthwhile investment. They are also sweet-looking, waterproof and you can install round or square bezels. For contrast you can also swap the standard clear lens for an amber lens.
One last thing. Lights have come a long, long way in the last few years. With lights like these you don’t really have to worry about power consumption like you had to back in the days of halogen lights. Not only is the power consumption of the Baja Designs Squadron Pro lights only a miniscule fraction of old halogens, but they stay cool. Some halogen lights would get so hot they could melt your bumper off. I run mine from the stock battery and it’s absolutely fine. In fact, I run all my Baja Designs lights, all 6 of them, off the stock battery and they are fine.
For even more variety of LED and HID offroad light options, make sure to visit Baja Designs.