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Old 03-31-2014, 11:56 AM   #1
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Headlight upgrade

So after driving my JK at night the other night I now realize these lights need to be upgraded. I am use to having HID lights in my Ram truck that I traded in. I have searched and read and searched and read. Lots of post on this subject but I still can't make up my mind.

The options I am thinking at this point are the following:

1. HID in stock housings. I know how to properly install and adjust these and would be familiar with them since I had them on my truck.

2. Cibie lenses and H4 bulbs.

If I go with the Cibies could I replace the lenses and bulb and use an adapter then later on just upgrade the wiring harness to untap the full potential?

Are the Cibie lenses worth the extra cost over Hella lenses?
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
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Hey Cody! you might want to check with rallylights.com for the harness. That's probably what I'm going to do after I get new H-4 housings.

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cody0707 View Post
So after driving my JK at night the other night I now realize these lights need to be upgraded. I am use to having HID lights in my Ram truck that I traded in. I have searched and read and searched and read. Lots of post on this subject but I still can't make up my mind.

The options I am thinking at this point are the following:

1. HID in stock housings. I know how to properly install and adjust these and would be familiar with them since I had them on my truck.

2. Cibie lenses and H4 bulbs.

If I go with the Cibies could I replace the lenses and bulb and use an adapter then later on just upgrade the wiring harness to untap the full potential?

Are the Cibie lenses worth the extra cost over Hella lenses?
There is no way to aim HID's in stock housings to eliminate the glare and scattering of light. You should install HID's in projectors or not at all.

H4's in H4 housings are a good option, but like you said, you'll want to upgrade the harness to get the full potential from the lights. The other option that a lot of people like are LED Headlights. The KC lights are plug and play without the need for any other harnesses.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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Peterson came out with a LED headlight as well. They even have the anti flicker adapter. Might be an option for you. If I remember right its a p/n 701C.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:35 AM   #5
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The KC LEDs are re-badged Peterson lights.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTRyan View Post
There is no way to aim HID's in stock housings to eliminate the glare and scattering of light. You should install HID's in projectors or not at all.

H4's in H4 housings are a good option, but like you said, you'll want to upgrade the harness to get the full potential from the lights. The other option that a lot of people like are LED Headlights. The KC lights are plug and play without the need for any other harnesses.

Let me know if you have any questions!

-Ryan
Correct answer.

There are several legal options that work.
Best and most expensive are the Hella 90mm projector kits that rallylights.com sells. They have an H9 halogen @ 2100 lumen and 100% CRI and HID (legal!!!) that's much much brighter but lower CRI (all HID and LED has poor color rendering indecies).
NEEDS their proprietary harness.

I like the LED options. JW Speaker has the best light pattern. Trucklite and Peterson use less power but aren't as bright and don't have the same sort of pattern.
Needs a harness or converter with caps and resistors or they will flicker.

H4 with good bulbs.
Many good H4 reflectors out there. Cibie and Koito are the best. Hella isn't terrible but not in the same category as the top players.
You can relay/harness them for full power or just run a simple converter. The bulbs won't last as long with a full harness but there will be MORE light.
H4s are more robust and brighter than the stock H13s but have a few of the same limitations. They're dual filament and as such can never reach their fullest potential.

Headlight Shootout - JeepForum.com



I run the Speakers but I wouldn't hesitate to use Trucklite or Peterson. They have a choppier pattern, a few stray artifacts, but your eyes are usually forgiving and get used to it okay.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
Correct answer.

There are several legal options that work.
Best and most expensive are the Hella 90mm projector kits that rallylights.com sells. They have an H9 halogen @ 2100 lumen and 100% CRI and HID (legal!!!) that's much much brighter but lower CRI (all HID and LED has poor color rendering indecies).
NEEDS their proprietary harness.

I like the LED options. JW Speaker has the best light pattern. Trucklite and Peterson use less power but aren't as bright and don't have the same sort of pattern.
Needs a harness or converter with caps and resistors or they will flicker.

H4 with good bulbs.
Many good H4 reflectors out there. Cibie and Koito are the best. Hella isn't terrible but not in the same category as the top players.
You can relay/harness them for full power or just run a simple converter. The bulbs won't last as long with a full harness but there will be MORE light.
H4s are more robust and brighter than the stock H13s but have a few of the same limitations. They're dual filament and as such can never reach their fullest potential.

Headlight Shootout - JeepForum.com



I run the Speakers but I wouldn't hesitate to use Trucklite or Peterson. They have a choppier pattern, a few stray artifacts, but your eyes are usually forgiving and get used to it okay.
Great write up! Thanks.

Im in the market for some upgrades as well. I am struggling between the JWs and the Trucklites. (Or similar). I called Rockridge last week and the rep told me that JW has recalled all of their anti flicker harnesses. Not sure why but thats never a good sign. With a 2014 is it absolutely necessary to have the harness? Will the TL harness work with JWs?
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by andysvette1 View Post
Great write up! Thanks.

... With a 2014 is it absolutely necessary to have the harness? Will the TL harness work with JWs?
Yes and yes.

Hadn't heard about the recall ---- but I think I have a guess.
Mine has been hesitating from time to time when I toggle between high and lowbeam.
Maybe the wrong size caps in them or something; I'll ping Jason and ask.

The pulsewidth modulated headlight circuit has a duty cycle that drops below the LED's nominal 9v supply and causes them to flicker --- which is illegal and annoying. An adapter or harness with caps and resistors stores enough juice to smooth out the wave.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:41 AM   #9
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I heard back from Jason Speaker ----
He agrees with the electrical engineers that I work with and says that the pulsing of the foglights won't hurt the LEDs.

And there is no recall of the JWS adapters. He's not sure how that rumor got started.
Andysvette1 --- did Rockridge tell you where they heard about it?
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:43 AM   #10
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Andysvette1 --- did Rockridge tell you where they heard about it?[/QUOTE

A sales rep at NorthRidge4x4 told me about the recall.

I plan to pull the trigger on a set of the JW's today. Any recommendations on the best place to purchase a set and what excatly is needed for the plug and play install.

Thanks,
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysvette1 View Post
....

A sales rep at NorthRidge4x4 told me about the recall.

I plan to pull the trigger on a set of the JW's today. Any recommendations on the best place to purchase a set and what excatly is needed for the plug and play install.

Thanks,
Interesting. Northridge; hmmmmm.
They sell JWS but they also sell several VERY dubious and/or illegal items ---- dangerous junk like IPF headlights and "Fatboy" bulbs, Lifetime LED drop-ins, Putco bulbs.
I don't know Northridge, never bought from them. I know that they don't bear any affection for me because I care about function, legality, & safety, and don't endorse many of the products they hawk.

I don't know who has the best deal at the moment; use your google-foo or go to a vendor you trust.

What you need:
1) Pair of headlights.
2) either a pair of adapters with caps/resistors (JWS or Trucklite) or a full harness with caps/resistors from rallylights. If you plan to use the highbeam circuit to trip driving lights at some point, you'll either have to t-tap off the delivery side of the JWS/TL adapter or have Ray at rallylights build a dongle on the harness.
3) Torx-15 driver
4) measuring tape (to aim them afterward)
5) two beers
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:58 AM   #12
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Hilldweller, did you ever test/review the KC HiLight LEDs? I think they are the same as the Petersons, but come withe the anti-flicker thing.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:03 AM   #13
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Hilldweller, did you ever test/review the KC HiLight LEDs? I think they are the same as the Petersons, but come withe the anti-flicker thing.
I haven't seen them in action yet.
One of my local Land Rover friends has them though (Peterson version) and I'm hoping to put a meter to them sometime soon. Hard to get our schedules to meet.
People I respect in the industry tell me they work fine though. Not as good as JWS but less "choppy" than Trucklite.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:24 AM   #14
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Well I pulled the trigger on a set of the JW Speakers.

I opted to go with the TruckLite anti flicker harness. I'll give those a try.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
Interesting. Northridge; hmmmmm.
They sell JWS but they also sell several VERY dubious and/or illegal items ---- dangerous junk like IPF headlights and "Fatboy" bulbs, Lifetime LED drop-ins, Putco bulbs.
I don't know Northridge, never bought from them. I know that they don't bear any affection for me because I care about function, legality, & safety, and don't endorse many of the products they hawk.

I don't know who has the best deal at the moment; use your google-foo or go to a vendor you trust.

What you need:
1) Pair of headlights.
2) either a pair of adapters with caps/resistors (JWS or Trucklite) or a full harness with caps/resistors from rallylights. If you plan to use the highbeam circuit to trip driving lights at some point, you'll either have to t-tap off the delivery side of the JWS/TL adapter or have Ray at rallylights build a dongle on the harness.
3) Torx-15 driver
4) measuring tape (to aim them afterward)
5) two beers
Do you mind explaining why IPFs are dangerous? I've never heard anyone say that before, and we have them in Mike's jeep. We got them from a friend here on the forum and I'm surprised he would have chosen something that was BAD.

If you wouldn't mind, I'd appreciate it VERY much! That comment has me more than a little worried...
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:38 AM   #16
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The main thing I've seen with IPF is that the reflective bean isn't that great. Using a halogen in it is one thing, but popping a HID bulb into that reflector creates a mess of stars and glare for oncoming traffic.

Try this link to the headlight shootout - it's a cleaner comparison of a lot of the same info I think - http://www.jkowners.com/tech/lights/

At the bottom of the photo comparison they show HID bulbs in IPF housing.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #17
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I'm quite happy with my KC Hilites LED plug n play replacements.. they flicker as "daytime running lights", but I just turn them full on and problem solved.




I don't have any good night time photos yet, but minimal artifacts, and great coverage on the road.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:53 PM   #18
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I just pulled the trigger on a set of JW Speaker head lights and fog lights from Northridge 4X4. $1100 on the nose delilvered including the anti-flicker harnesses. That includes the 10% discount for "WranglerForum".

Anyone have tips on how to aim them? Is that an issue?
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by NoCal12 View Post
I just pulled the trigger on a set of JW Speaker head lights and fog lights from Northridge 4X4. $1100 on the nose delilvered including the anti-flicker harnesses. That includes the 10% discount for "WranglerForum". Anyone have tips on how to aim them? Is that an issue?
you will love them. They were easy to install. We needed a special mounting bracket for the fog lights. It depends on which model lights you purchased. Aiming the headlights was easy. They were almost perfectly level out of the box. There is a screw that allows you to adjust up down left right etc. When we ran our test, there were some strange humps in the lines, we realized this is because these headlights sweep to the right further than most so you can see the side of the road in the dark. The fogs were literally plug and play once we had the correct mounting bracket. As a final test, we had some friends drive toward us in the dark as if they were passing us in traffic, worked great! But these things are crazy bright!
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by StarBrite View Post
Do you mind explaining why IPFs are dangerous? I've never heard anyone say that before, and we have them in Mike's jeep. We got them from a friend here on the forum and I'm surprised he would have chosen something that was BAD.

If you wouldn't mind, I'd appreciate it VERY much! That comment has me more than a little worried...
Hilldweller's post regarding IPFs from JeepForum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
cjlewis came over to the Hilldweller proving grounds with his Rubicon and set of Northridge-sourced IPF reflectors with clear bulbs. Big "thank you" to him.
The results were, ahem, illuminating.

Lowbeam IPF


Highbeam IPF


And a side shot that needs an explanation


These are wired with a pigtail connector rather than a full harness; they're fed stock PW-modulated power with added resistance from an extra connector.

These lights have been available from IPF/ARB for a long long time; they are very popular in the Land Rover community.
I've also made a large deal over the fact that IPF has never submitted them for testing to certify that they meet DOT or ECE regulations; we now know why.
Looking at Chris' Jeep from the side, I noticed that it looked like beams of light were shooting into the sky. So we measured it and, sure enough, we found 1700 LUX of stray light at a highly oblique angle (see photo). I measured my Cibie Z-Beams for comparison and got 63 LUX.
I can't imagine how these would work to mess with the driver's ability to see in fog, let alone oncoming traffic.


The numbers:

Ambient temperature 53 degrees F; lens temperature 135 degrees F

Lowbeam value in blue, high in red.

LUX at 25 feet, sensor moved to highest output spot. 517/513

25 yards Right: 69/79 * Left: 1/1

50 yards Right: 2/25 * Left: 1/3

75 yards Right: 1/10 * Left: 1/4

Again, a big thanks to Chris for driving over from Roswell on a Sunday night and helping with this. It was a pleasure to meet him and I hope he'll join our camping group; seems like he and his family would really fit in.
Nice Rubi too...
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:08 PM   #21
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Currently running Hella H4 E-Codes with the RallyLights/SMS harness and Philips Xtreme Vision bulbs. Ran Truck-lite Phase 7s prior with the RL/SMS harness and I prefer the Hellas in every way. Only con is having to replace bulbs, been reading the average life is about 3-4 months. I'm at 2 1/2 months right now. I was considering the SMS Hella Bi-Halogen kit after the Truck-lites but wanted to give the Hella H4 E-Codes a try first since I'd have to get a different harness for the SMS kit.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:00 PM   #22
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you will love them. They were easy to install. We needed a special mounting bracket for the fog lights. It depends on which model lights you purchased. Aiming the headlights was easy. They were almost perfectly level out of the box. There is a screw that allows you to adjust up down left right etc. When we ran our test, there were some strange humps in the lines, we realized this is because these headlights sweep to the right further than most so you can see the side of the road in the dark. The fogs were literally plug and play once we had the correct mounting bracket. As a final test, we had some friends drive toward us in the dark as if they were passing us in traffic, worked great! But these things are crazy bright!

Thanks for you post. Installing them next weekend. You say you needed a special mounting bracket for the fogs. From what I was told the I will not need that on a '12. We will see.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:34 PM   #23
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HID retrofit /end thread. The cleanest and greatest light output.

After


Before



[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:59 PM   #24
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JW Speaker 8700s - SO pleased with these! IPF Fogs as well!


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Old 04-27-2014, 10:37 AM   #25
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wiring harness to untap the full potential?

The stock H13 Halogen and the H4 Halogen conversion (with adapter) are running off of the Jeep Can-Bus system which supplies the headlights with a reduced voltage. It's also a pulsed system which can cause flickering in the other technology lights like LED.

If you run a full voltage harness, you are then only using the Can-Bus signal to fire relays built in the harness. The harness wires your headlights directly to the battery for full voltage output.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:50 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by landi jeep View Post
HID retrofit /end thread. The cleanest and greatest light output.

After


Before



[/QUOTE]


Which HID projector kit are you running?
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:32 PM   #27
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A set from Hid projectors .com. I did the very basic configuration. Have been using them for four months and very happy with them. Have not received any headlight flashes from opposing drivers.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:16 PM   #28
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That's the only way to do an HID kit, get the projectors and do it right. Pricey, though.

Nothing glares worse than HID's in a stock reflector housing...
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by reddoak View Post
That's the only way to do an HID kit, get the projectors and do it right. Pricey, though.

Nothing glares worse than HID's in a stock reflector housing...
There aren't too many ways to do it "right" ----- the 90mm Hella projector assembly that rallylights sells is the best.
If you can find a Sylvania/Valeo XE7 (not their other products), that can be crammed in as well with some bucket trimming.

The other DIY kits where you open your headlights and stuff in a projector are not legal or safe.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:12 PM   #30
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Been running the K/C LEDs for a week now - very satisfied. The adapter harness that comes with them has the anti-flicker circuit (2 drum capacitors) installed.

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