We all know that function trumps fashion in almost every aspect of life. Sure, your wife always looks good in her high heels, but they’d be miserable to spend a day in at the racetrack, so a comfortable pair of tennis shoes will win that battle every time. The same goes for our trucks, when it comes down to it, most of us are going to take the functionality of our aftermarket parts over their style.
With that said, in today’s market, sometimes we can have our cake and eat it too. Take the latest Switchback Projector style headlights from AnzoUSA. With today’s latest lighting technology, not only can they improve your nigh vision with better light coverage (the function part) but they can do major things to improve the style of your front end too (fashion).
In hopes of proving this, we recently had the chance to install a pair of black Plank Switchback headlights from Anzo on a friend’s 2017 F-350 Power Stroke. While it’s a more basic work truck, in plain jane oxford white paint, it has been dolled up a bit with some aftermarket black bumpers and a more stylish black wheel and tire package.
It seemed the perfect candidate for some headlight testing at the shop when. Not only should they improve our field of view when driving the dark middle of nowhere highways, but the black housings should really tie in well with the overall look of the truck.
The Plank Switchback Projector headlights offer quite a few features that make this a great addition to just about any truck. Using a specifically designed projector-style H7 bulb for both the low and high beams, they’ll offer a great light path and field of view, along with a crisp coloring that’s easier on your eyes when compared to older halogen technology.
Anzo’s unique double plank Switchback LED bar running through the headlight features a two-color design that offers a white daytime running light that changes to amber when your turn signal is activated. After more than 30 years of manufacturing experience and state of the art CAD/CAM equipment, AnzoUSA has fine-tuned this product line to offer great quality with long term durability and excellent fitment in mind.
Anzo also goes to great lengths to test their headlights in various conditions exposing them to impacts, freshwater, saltwater and dirt and dust resistance testing to ensure they’ll be the only set of headlights you ever buy. The headlights are also SAE and DOT compliant.
First off, the install. The Anzo research and development team has gone to great lengths to make sure these headlights not only fit great and work better than factory, but that they’ll install easily as well. With a simple plug and play installation, there was no real wiring required which makes this a task a novice mechanic could attempt. On this 2017 Ford, it really was just as simple as removing the grille, removing a few screws holding in the factory headlights, unclipping the factory harnesses and plugging in the new lights and reassembling the grille.
Wanting to try and get hard data to compare the new projector-style headlights with the factory lights they were replacing, we opted to do some before and after light metering inside our install facility. While we couldn’t get the shop bay completely dark (thanks to some overhead skylights), making it tough to give exacting conclusive numbers, the data is still interesting to compare.
The OEM style headlights (non-LED models) showed 2077 Lux from the low beams with the light meter set up in the center, catching light from both the driver and passenger side. Switching to high beams made a substantial improvement with 5465 Lux being measured.
With the AnzoUSA projector headlights installed the numbers were vastly improved with 6974 Lux from the new H7 low beam and a whopping 8168 Lux when on the high beam. That’s over a 200-percent increase on low and 50-percent increase on high.
From the driver seat, the data is easy to confirm with a noticeable improvement in overall lighting ability from the Anzo headlight package. Not only do they offer more light, but they’ll project it much further down the road in front of you in a color that’s easier for your eyes to look through, reducing strain and glare.
The Switchback LED features, really do offer a unique look on the front of the truck and the quick change from a basic daytime running light to the amber-colored flasher really sets them off from other headlights on the market. It’s amazing how far lighting technology has come in recent years and with these Projector Switchbacks available for just about every late model diesel pickup, whether it be Ford, GM or Ram based, there is no real reason you shouldn’t already be online searching for a set to install in your own truck to help brighten your day.
For more information on AnzoUSA and to find a set of lights for your vehicle, be sure to visit their website.