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TrailTech HID Lights


TrailTech is a company that makes a variety of products for off-road racing. The flagship lighting product is their line of HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights. HID lights are miniature versions of the metal-halide light that is in common use lighting sports stadiums, race tracks and other venues. It is a high efficiency arc light that delivers white light.

Welch-Allyn perfected the manufacture of miniature HID lights and markets them under the name Solarc. The lamps range in size from 10 watts to several hundred. The light is very white and the lamp is fairly long lived. They offer the arc lamp tube in a variety of forms, from a loose lamp to mounted in MR11 and MR16 integral reflectors.

TrailTech buys Solarc lamps and ballasts and manufactures off-road lighting fixtures. Of particular interest to us are the 10 watt lamp in the MR11 form factor and SCMR16 35 watt lamp in the MR16 form factor

Light 01

Here are the two lights. I photographed them lit so that the difference in color temperature can be seen. The MR11 is bluish while the SCMR16 is warm, almost pure white. The MR11 is attached to the vice grip bracket to form a semi truck dock light. This light is simply clamped to the back of a semi trailer and provides enough light to illuminate a whole dock. Contact me if you’d like me to build you one.

Light 02

Here’s a little bit better photo of the light. It is being powered from a 12 volt gell cell through a Watts Up DC wattmeter.

Light 03

Here’s a closeup of the front of the fixture. The lamp/ballast assembly is mounted in the yellow polymer shock-absorber ring. The entire assembly is sealed and is not accessable by the user. The MR16 reflector is clearly visible in this photo. The inset shows details of the arc tube.

Light 05

This is the 10 watt MR11 lamp disassembled. Unlike its larger cousin, it is not sealed. The ballast and lamp can be replaced separately.

Light 06

This photo clearly shows how the lamp and ballast fit together. Notice the O-ring on the lamp. Also notice the anti-arc plastic barrier between the sockets. The lamp is keyed so that it fits only one way.

Of interest to any flashahaulic is the power consumption of each lamp. The next two photos tell the story. The first photo is of the Watts Up measuring the draw of the 10 watt lamp. The second photo is of the 35 watt lamp.

Light Meter 02MR11 Lamp 10 watt

Light Meter 01MR16 35 watt

Well, that about wraps it up. I own two of each of these and am very pleased with their performance. I have the 35 watt unit mounted on my GoBig Hotrod electric scooter. Even on that thing I don’t think I could outrun my lighting.

Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting some beam shots shortly.


Posted by neonjohn on February 6th, 2008 under Flashahaulism

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