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Old 09-07-2011, 01:26 AM   #1
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2011 Headlight upgrade

Just picked up the 2011 JK Sport.

The headlights MUST be upgraded as I live in the country side, drive on rural roads and noticed right from the start that they don't cut the darkness on unlit roads.

I prefer to not have to take apart the actual assembly and modify the glass or internal reflector (if that's even done).

From the searching I collected some facts, correct me if I am miss leaded.
- The stock harness is PWM and thus a direct harness with relays should be purchased.
- Some use the Philips 70/65 bulbs, others use other brands
- There are multiple kits available: IPF 920H4 JK Headlight Kit (920HJKK), danielsternlighting.com, Hella kit, etc.

Which kit is the most affordable without having to do it half@ssed?
If it can be done for $150 great. If I can get a better kit for $250, whats the benefit of the better kit? The Stern kit is said to be the best workmanship, however I cant see any info on his site till he comes back from vocation. An important option is to have bulbs that are readily available and not a fortune.

While on the subject, I am unclear what the benefits are from the H13>H4 change.

Do the reflectors need to be changed too, or is there a kit with a harness and bulb that can be used with OE reflectors.

Onto HIDs: I am not a fan of them unless they come standard on the vehicle and they sure don't on the base sport. I had good results with a DDMtuning kit on the reverse lights on my work van, but don't think they are robust enough to be on a Jeep (the bulbs are more fragile).


Next, fog lights: Can they be upgraded easily to a brighter bulb, or should I convert them to a low color HID(3k or 4k)?


Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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You can upgrade with just better H13 bulbs. The Phillips Xtreme Power H13 will give you a bump.

Add a Rallylights harness to that and you'll feed those better bulbs about 14V instead of 4.5-12.6V; that will give your bump a bump.

An H4 reflector, a good one, is better designed than the H13 reflector. H4 bulbs are better designed than H13 bulbs, use better materials, have better blades. Win win win.

The IPF H4 assembly is among the worst you can get. ARE makes another really bad one as does KC. Avoid these.

Cibie H4 reflectors are the overall best followed by Hella. The Hella reflector shoots the hottest beam straight down the street though --- but has a few quirks such as not much light to the sides, too much foreground light, too high of a highbeam.

Here's a LINK to my headlight shootout with more info than a normal person would ever want.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse too much.

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Old 09-07-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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Bill, what are your feelings on the Delta Hi/Lo conversions? For the price of 2 sets of fancy bulbs, you can do a H4 swap. Obviously won't compare with the Daniel Stern kits, but for the price, it looks like a winner. I was planning on picking these up at the Quadratec tent sale in October.

Delta Tech 01-1148-50 - Delta H4 Hi/Lo 7" Halogen Headlight Kit for 07-12 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec

NEJK: I have seen some LED bulbs for the PSX24W foglight bulb. Not sure of the quality or fit, but they're all over ebay. I've had mixed luck with LED lights before, but I just wanted to give you a heads up. Personally, I just put some yellow Lamin-X on my fogs and called it done.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
You can upgrade with just better H13 bulbs. The Phillips Xtreme Power H13 will give you a bump.

Add a Rallylights harness to that and you'll feed those better bulbs about 14V instead of 4.5-12.6V; that will give your bump a bump.

An H4 reflector, a good one, is better designed than the H13 reflector. H4 bulbs are better designed than H13 bulbs, use better materials, have better blades. Win win win.

The IPF H4 assembly is among the worst you can get. ARE makes another really bad one as does KC. Avoid these.

Cibie H4 reflectors are the overall best followed by Hella. The Hella reflector shoots the hottest beam straight down the street though --- but has a few quirks such as not much light to the sides, too much foreground light, too high of a highbeam.

Here's a LINK to my headlight shootout with more info than a normal person would ever want.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse too much.

Simple clear answer, thanks!

I will purchase the Phillips h13 extreme power, feed them off a rally lights harness. Can I later upgrade to the Cibes H4 with the same harness, or is a new harness needed?

Lastly, where can the harness be bought for a good price, or with a forum discount? I already saw the bulbs link online.


Are the fog lights also given pwm, or straight juice? I will hid them soon if they don't need a harness.


Thanks again hilldweller for the response.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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Bill, what are your feelings on the Delta Hi/Lo conversions? For the price of 2 sets of fancy bulbs, you can do a H4 swap. Obviously won't compare with the Daniel Stern kits, but for the price, it looks like a winner. I was planning on picking these up at the Quadratec tent sale in October.

Delta Tech 01-1148-50 - Delta H4 Hi/Lo 7" Halogen Headlight Kit for 07-12 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec
Bogdan at Delta told me he was working on this kit and I was pretty happy with the concept.
I've never seen it in action, don't have a photometry report, and have to point out that a simple H13-H4 pigtail furthers the voltage drop that's already begun by the PWM and substandard wiring...
He did send me a set of his blue bulbs to try; we put them in the Hella reflectors and had a good laugh.

You can get a pair of Hella reflectors from 4WheelParts for $70 if you ask nicely. A pair of H4 Phillips Xtreme Power bulbs for $34 from the CandlepowerStore. And then pick up a harness from Rallylights.
Or just call Rallylights and beg for a kit at a discounted price....

I like Bogdan; he's a cool guy. But most of the Delta products are bling. This new kit might be pretty good but would need a harness. There's too much I don't know about it though.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:22 AM   #6
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Can I later upgrade to the Cibes H4 with the same harness, or is a new harness needed?
You could snip the H13 terminals off and connect H4 terminals.

Lastly, where can the harness be bought for a good price, or with a forum discount? I already saw the bulbs link online.
Rallylights.com; their prices are fair, if not discounted. Good work.

Are the fog lights also given pwm, or straight juice? I will hid them soon if they don't need a harness.
They're PWM; HID would be sloppy, illegal, and not the best idea. Better idea is to just add some good aux lights on the bumper.

Thanks again hilldweller for the response.
No problem
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
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I swear you lighting guys all speak gibberish.

BUT--it's important gibberish, because I know my stock lights are stinkers. While we've got you here Bill and since it's on topic, can you give me your (English . . . please) thoughts on this Rallylights kit?

As near as I can tell, that seems like the best way for me to get good lighting without having to make sense of all the jargon. I could never assemble a sensible "kit" on my own.

Did I mention I think electricity is "magic"? Just sayin'.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
Bogdan at Delta told me he was working on this kit and I was pretty happy with the concept.
I've never seen it in action, don't have a photometry report, and have to point out that a simple H13-H4 pigtail furthers the voltage drop that's already begun by the PWM and substandard wiring...
He did send me a set of his blue bulbs to try; we put them in the Hella reflectors and had a good laugh.

You can get a pair of Hella reflectors from 4WheelParts for $70 if you ask nicely. A pair of H4 Phillips Xtreme Power bulbs for $34 from the CandlepowerStore. And then pick up a harness from Rallylights.
Or just call Rallylights and beg for a kit at a discounted price....

I like Bogdan; he's a cool guy. But most of the Delta products are bling. This new kit might be pretty good but would need a harness. There's too much I don't know about it though.
So for a hair over $100 and a couple rolls of wire (I can fab my own harness), the Delta Hi/Lo kit looks like a deal.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MTH View Post
I swear you lighting guys all speak gibberish.

BUT--it's important gibberish, because I know my stock lights are stinkers. While we've got you here Bill and since it's on topic, can you give me your (English . . . please) thoughts on this Rallylights kit?

As near as I can tell, that seems like the best way for me to get good lighting without having to make sense of all the jargon. I could never assemble a sensible "kit" on my own.

Did I mention I think electricity is "magic"? Just sayin'.

The kit in the link you posted is the correct kit, I installed it in an hour on X-Mas eve. Very easy and a huge improvement. Later you can upgrade the lens too. When you order the kit, replace the "kit bulbs" with the Phillips Xtreme +80's and you'll get credit for the "kit bulbs". Kit is about $215 after the bulb swap.......you'll love it!!

BTW....Bill recommended this kit and many other lighting upgrades that I've done........How's it hangin' Bill????lol
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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The kit in the link you posted is the correct kit, I installed it in an hour on X-Mas eve. Very easy and a huge improvement. Later you can upgrade the lens too. When you order the kit, replace the "kit bulbs" with the Phillips Xtreme +80's and you'll get credit for the "kit bulbs". Kit is about $215 after the bulb swap.......you'll love it!!

BTW....Bill recommended this kit and many other lighting upgrades that I've done........How's it hangin' Bill????lol
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #11
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I swear you lighting guys all speak gibberish.

BUT--it's important gibberish, because I know my stock lights are stinkers. While we've got you here Bill and since it's on topic, can you give me your (English . . . please) thoughts on this Rallylights kit?

As near as I can tell, that seems like the best way for me to get good lighting without having to make sense of all the jargon. I could never assemble a sensible "kit" on my own.

Did I mention I think electricity is "magic"? Just sayin'.
Yeah, do what Joel said or buy a kit from Daniel Stern. Stern's kit uses Cibies ---- costs more but works better.
The Rallylights kit is close though.




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So for a hair over $100 and a couple rolls of wire (I can fab my own harness), the Delta Hi/Lo kit looks like a deal.
Sure.
I'd get the connectors from Stern; quality makes a difference.
Don't forget the diodes and capacitors to keep the relays closed; they'll buzz and burn up without them.
Dang PWM.


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.......How's it hangin' Bill????lol
I miss my JK, Joel....
I was thinking about you, in fact; I checked in an LC class this morning that you'd like...
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:52 PM   #12
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I miss my JK, Joel....
I was thinking about you, in fact; I checked in an LC class this morning that you'd like...
Not sure what you mean by LC, in my line of work it's logic control, anything like that??

I'm certain that one day I'll see a post in here with your new JK pictured..
Just think how much better you can make the JK this time around.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:19 PM   #13
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After reading Mr. Sterns page, should I go with the cibes, or hellas? Seeing the sides of the road are important, but the cibes are a $100 more.

Also, how does the quality of the rallylights harness compare to Danielsterns harness?


Pics will come when whatever kit I choose comes in the mail.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #14
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A radical change would be to check out the Truck Lite LED 7" replacement headlights. Should be bright as any HID and it will never burn out. Down side is that they are not cheap.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:49 PM   #15
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After reading Mr. Sterns page, should I go with the cibes, or hellas? Seeing the sides of the road are important, but the cibes are a $100 more.

Also, how does the quality of the rallylights harness compare to Danielsterns harness?


Pics will come when whatever kit I choose comes in the mail.
I actually have both and like them both...the Cibies have the best light pattern, the Hellas put a bunch of light in front of you. Both are a HUGE improvement over the stock lights. I should point out that my Cibies are the Z-beams and I don't think they're available any longer...

The harnesses will be the same or very similar, so you can't go wrong there.

I would recommend some headlight protection film from 3M too, stones got one of my Cibies and a Hella, costs too much to replace...
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:07 PM   #16
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I've also got the Cibie Z beams, with philips +80 globes.
In Australia, we get the Hella H4 headlights as standard, but the Cibies killed them with light output and spead.
Sure they cost more, but it was well worth it.
Last night I did 7 hours driving with mostly high beam and Hella Micro Hid lights, and they picked out kangaroos up to 3/4 mile away. Missed 4, but got 1 who jumped out right in front from the right side.

No damage to the jeep, just fur and "body bits" under the jeep - will clean it up later today after a good sleep.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:39 AM   #17
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After reading Mr. Sterns page, should I go with the cibes, or hellas? Seeing the sides of the road are important, but the cibes are a $100 more.

Also, how does the quality of the rallylights harness compare to Danielsterns harness?


Pics will come when whatever kit I choose comes in the mail.
The harnesses are about the same. Might be exactly the same.

The Hellas also spill too much light in the foreground. This is great news for slow-speed Jeeping along with a set of good fogs (like Hella Micro DE) but actually messes with your long-range vision at higher speeds.

The Cibies work better overall and put light in more of the proper places. Is that worth more money?
It is to some.
Some people actually buy total crap out of vender loyalty or to save a few bucks. They wind up with lights that are worse that what they started with but are also happy.
It's a funny world.


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Originally Posted by Vyper340 View Post
A radical change would be to check out the Truck Lite LED 7" replacement headlights. Should be bright as any HID and it will never burn out. Down side is that they are not cheap.
Read my link in post 2.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:11 AM   #18
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I got the Delta Quad lights a couple if weeks ago and they are great. Simple direct factory installation and they are flat profile and not bubbled out like the factory lenses. They are also not too blue like most xenon bulbs I see on the road. I have near driven with xenon bulbs and I feel like I am driving in better brighter light more equivalent to day light. Things are just clearer. I have attached low beam, high beam, and a front profile pic. I will try to get better pics to reflect the depth of the light. The only problem is now I need to change out the fog lights to match. Probably get those this week.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:54 AM   #19
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How much were the Delta lights?
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:34 AM   #20
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The Delta bulbs are toys; the color temperature of light doesn't equate to lumious flux. It's ability to impress is due to the wavelength of light; your eyes can't focus properly and the glare is perceived as brightness.
It's a trick. If you use a light meter you'll be much less impressed.

I'd pass on the Quad kit. I'm still waiting for info on the new DOT kit from Delta.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:26 AM   #21
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Hilldweller....is the the new kit you are reffering to? Delta Tech 011148-50X - Delta DOT Hi/Lo Xenon Headlight Kit for 07-12 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec
Or, is it something different? Also, do you have any experience with the Delta fog lights?

Vyper340, the ligts were $160 through Quadratec.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:44 AM   #22
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See this thread for some Delta info.

Remember that most vendors are just that, vendors. They want to sell you stuff. Any stuff. And make the most money they can.
They're like McDonald's; they don't care if their stuff is actually good for you or not.

Caveat emptor.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:37 AM   #23
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From what I can tell, the only appreciable difference between the Delta Quad Bar and the Hi/Lo is the metal bars? Are they REALLY worth $50+ over the Hi/Lo? Or am I mistaken? While they're not the best upgrade by far, I haven't read any reviews stating they weren't an improvement. The guy up the street has a Delta kit on his TJ and really likes it. For someone like me who has limited mod money, I'm looking for the best bang for the buck.

I really need to get a voltmeter and test the voltage at the bulbs. I've seen some folks report a sizable drop, while others don't see much at all. And unless I'm mistaken, those not seeing much of a drop are driving 2010's, which stands to reason 2011 and 12 are the same way. Perhaps something changed in the wiring? I don't know. I wish I could find the thread where I saw this.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:40 AM   #24
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I really need to get a voltmeter and test the voltage at the bulbs. I've seen some folks report a sizable drop, while others don't see much at all. And unless I'm mistaken, those not seeing much of a drop are driving 2010's, which stands to reason 2011 and 12 are the same way. Perhaps something changed in the wiring? I don't know. I wish I could find the thread where I saw this.
A voltmeter won't tell the tale.
I used an $18,000 o-scope. A JK's voltage at the headlight ranges from ~4.5v to 12.7v.
That's why a full harness does so much good.

The question I posed to Scheinwerfermann was considerable. Maybe a harness and set of bulbs is all the poor JK needs...


Joel --- LC = liquid chromatograph
We'll be setting up for UV Viz later today.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:15 AM   #25
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I still hate the cutesey-poo reflector design and plastic lenses.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:22 AM   #26
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I still hate the cutesey-poo reflector design and plastic lenses.
Yeah, there's that.
Bug-eyes don't look right on a Wrangler.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:46 AM   #27
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The reflectors remind me of a Betty Crocker muffin tin or something.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:14 PM   #28
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Bottom line, assuming the same bulbs are chosen in either kit, how much more is the DS kit over the Rally kit? (DS is out on vocation for another two weeks so I cant price them directly from him.) (Must save for designated snow tires so every cent counts.)

With that out of the way, Philips x-treme power +80 or Osram Hyper?
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:21 PM   #29
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Bottom line, assuming the same bulbs are chosen in either kit, how much more is the DS kit over the Rally kit? (DS is out on vocation for another two weeks so I cant price them directly from him.) (Must save for designated snow tires so every cent counts.)

With that out of the way, Philips x-treme power +80 or Osram Hyper?
Dan likes the 70/65 bulbs but I measured higher LUX with the XPs; I also got longer life with the XPs.
Both Dan and Sheinwerfermann think I'm a little off because of it ---- and because of the high numbers I got straight-line with the Hella reflectors... ...but I had two witnesses...

Anyhoo, I think that the Cibie kit would be $150 just for the two reflectors alone. Add the upcharge for bulbs and the cost of harness and you could be barking at 3 bills by then. Somebody might know for sure.

I'd really like to measure the results of a stock reflector with H13 XP bulbs and a harness.
Anybody around Atlanta want to try that? I'll buy the beer...
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:30 PM   #30
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I also prefer the Osram 70/65, they're just right for my night vision...I think the Phillips work better in the Hella lens.

Hey Bill, I've got a nice photo-spectrometer in my lab. Since we're outsourcing most of the lab work now, I don't use it much. You do get to play with some very cool stuff at your job!

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