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Old 11-02-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
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Upgrade stock headlights

I have a 2012 Wrangler Sport and the stock headlights are weak. Any suggestions?

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Old 11-02-2011, 05:44 PM   #2
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All sorts of reading for ya. You'll see a post or two from a guy named Hilldweller in there. Just disregard those.

I'm kidding. He definitely knows whereof he speaks.

jk headlights

New headlights. (Shhh, don't tell Hilldweller)

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Old 11-02-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=Al Nebular;1714286]I have a 2012 Wrangler Sport and the stock headlights are weak. Any suggestions?[/QUOTE]

What is your budget?

There are several ways to go, I went with an H-13 to H-4 upgrade. Initially, I installed the rallylights JK upgrade, which includes a plug and play harness, new Hella lens and bulbs. This kit is $215.00 or so and takes about an hour to install. I'm currently running Cibies, and they are a little more pricey.

You can simply replace your current bulbs also and get better light, the Phillips X-Treme power +80's are a good improvement over stock, they can be had from rallylights.com or candlepower.com(candlepower has a little lower price on these)

If you have a big budget, you can go LED's, JW Speakers are the choice with these.

I won't recommend HID's, I don't think they are the best for the human eye.IMO......need more?
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:43 AM   #4
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Follow the advice. "Hilldweller" has done tons of research.(thank you) For cheap the Phillips H13 X-Tream bulbs (under $30.00 everywhere on line w/shipping) very quick switch out and inexpensive improvement......not impressive, just what you would expect for "normal". My 2011 headlights SUCKED. With the Phillips bulbs its back to what it should have been for stock.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:20 AM   #5
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A lot of people have been buying kits to replace their headlights with something that has a better reflector for light dispersion and a brighter bulb. Several people on this forum including myself have purchased the H4 Hella headlight conversion kit with brighter bulbs such as the +80 philips extreme power bulb from Susquehanna MotorSports - Auto Performance Product. This setup is made of glass with a metal reflector instead of plastic like the stock headlight. It comes with relays and wiring that plugs directly into your stock passenger side headlight wiring, so that the new headlights work with the stock headlight controls. It is practically plug and play using the new wiring harness that is in the kit. I've also heard a lot of great things about contacting Daniel Stern to get all of the informatin you could ever want about lighting and he can provide you with another choice for headlights Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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I just installed the Susquehanna Motorsports Hella replacement kit with 80w bulbs. Took about an hour. Very easy, very clean installation, VERY bright.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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I just installed the Susquehanna Motorsports Hella replacement kit with 80w bulbs. Took about an hour. Very easy, very clean installation, VERY bright.
Good to know
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:10 AM   #8
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:25 AM   #9
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No; not good light and not even legal. An abomination that every retailer should be prohibited from selling.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:42 AM   #10
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You can simply replace your current bulbs also and get better light, the Phillips X-Treme power +80's are a good improvement over stock, they can be had from rallylights.com or candlepower.com(candlepower has a little lower price on these)
What size or model works with the wrangler?
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #11
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What size or model works with the wrangler?
You're looking for H-13's, candlepower.com and rallylights.com are lighting experts, they will make certain that you get the right bulbs...

For just bulb replacement, the Phillips Xtreme power +80...
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:45 AM   #12
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not good light and not even legal.
That... doesn't make sense.

Anyway, is that just because of the bulbs it gives you? Because you can buy just the housings and buy your own bulbs...
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:14 AM   #13
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That... doesn't make sense.
How does that not make sense?
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
No; not good light and not even legal. An abomination that every retailer should be prohibited from selling.
+1

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That... doesn't make sense.

Anyway, is that just because of the bulbs it gives you? Because you can buy just the housings and buy your own bulbs...
It makes perfect sense. The headlights are not street legal. They also put out poor lighting and a poor dispersion pattern when compared to the other headlight suggestions already mentioned. Listen to Hilldweller. He knows his lighting.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:30 AM   #15
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It makes perfect sense. The headlights are not street legal. They also put out poor lighting and a poor dispersion pattern ...
Thanks for translating.

I count to 20 every time I see a reference to the IPF reflectors. I still don't keep my composure though.

I have a set of those lights on the bench in my garage still. They belonged to TJLewis and he had them in his JK when we tested them. His jaw dropped when we metered them.
We put a set of Hellas in his Jeep and his jaw started working again...
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #16
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I thought headlights were only illegal when they're too bright, which is why I found it odd that a headlight can be not that bright and illegal at the same time.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:29 PM   #17
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Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

i didnt bother to read all the comments, so if im late to the party nevermind.

ill be going through daniel stern to upgrade EVERYTHING regarding my headlights, including wiring to support higher wattage bulbs. a friend of mine just changed out the entire system in his 92 toyota 4runner and to be honest its amazing how much usable light there is. it looks absoutely amazing. if you go this route look at around $350 or so on the high end.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #18
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I thought headlights were only illegal when they're too bright, which is why I found it odd that a headlight can be not that bright and illegal at the same time.
Lights need to be E-code tested to be legal, my Cibies and Hellas both have E-code on the lens...and I think blue lights are illegal just about everywhere.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:33 PM   #19
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I thought headlights were only illegal when they're too bright, which is why I found it odd that a headlight can be not that bright and illegal at the same time.
To be legal, headlights have to meet either DOT standards or ECE standards; it's up to the manufacturer to assay the product. A goniometer is used as well as markers at various points. The light must make a calculated amount of light in the target areas --- this also means that it must miss certain areas.
To do this, manufacturers use a variety of bulbs, reflectors, shields, & lenses. Everything works together to put the right amount of light on the road in the right places... ...and not blind oncoming drivers or you.

The IPF reflectors scatter light all over the place. IPF makes no claims that they're for street use; that's done by retailers.
You won't see them for sale in countries that care about headlight performance; the retailer would go to jail...
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #20
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Hilldweller? you mean jaw dropped because they were too bright? or not bright? im confused...Im looking for bright. I only drive at night, usually off road, vision problems. Im looking for bright as heck if possible
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:11 PM   #21
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Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

i didnt bother to read all the comments, so if im late to the party nevermind.

ill be going through daniel stern to upgrade EVERYTHING regarding my headlights, including wiring to support higher wattage bulbs. a friend of mine just changed out the entire system in his 92 toyota 4runner and to be honest its amazing how much usable light there is. it looks absoutely amazing. if you go this route look at around $350 or so on the high end.
X2. I read all I could find, followed Hilldweller's recommendations, contacted Daniel Stern (super nice fellow btw....) Have received my headlamps/bulbs, waiting on the harness to get installed. Can't wait. Headed for snow country soon... and driving at night up the mountain (or even daytime when it's dark and snowing) can be downright scary when I don't have adequate lighting... which I don't with my Wranger...

Thanks Hilldweller.
Thanks Daniel Stern.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:03 AM   #22
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Hilldweller? you mean jaw dropped because they were too bright? or not bright? im confused...Im looking for bright. I only drive at night, usually off road, vision problems. Im looking for bright as heck if possible
Jaw dropped --- as in they produced almost no light on the road. But when you approached the Jeep, you were rewarded with blinding pain and torched retinas.


If you want scorchers and will also run supplemental lighting, get the Hella kit from Rallylights. The highbeams on them are hellacious. Get the Osram 80/85 bulbs ----- they won't last very long but will throw glorious light.
But, again, for offroad.... Be like Spiderman and use your powers for good.

The weak point of the Hellas are they amount of foreground light they make on lowbeam; too much foreground light (foglights do this too) rob your distance vision by constricting your pupils. The lowbeams are also narrow and don't provide much light to the side of the road.
To work around this, use supplemental lighting in fill in the gaps. A pair of drivers to come on with the highbeams (Cibie Super Oscars are great and Hella Rallye 4000 Euro-beams are good) and a pair of Hella Micro DEs to supplement the lowbeams...


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X2. I read all I could find, followed Hilldweller's recommendations, contacted Daniel Stern (super nice fellow btw....) Have received my headlamps/bulbs, waiting on the harness to get installed. Can't wait. Headed for snow country soon... and driving at night up the mountain (or even daytime when it's dark and snowing) can be downright scary when I don't have adequate lighting... which I don't with my Wranger...

Thanks Hilldweller.
Thanks Daniel Stern.
You'll love them, Carlolyn.
What bulbs did he talk you in to? Did you get some driving lights too?
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:52 PM   #23
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Hilldweller, heres a question for you.

I have been holding off on the Cibes due to the complete price with harness is >$300. Rally lights are around $225.
The difference between OEM & Hella is known to be miles. I have seen the graphs (the ones that show spread). Is the difference between Hellas and Cibes worth the price? Living in the 'burbs with lots of deer and many more creachers roaming the roads.

Lets hear your professional lighting opinion Hilldweller .
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:50 PM   #24
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You'll love them, Carlolyn.
What bulbs did he talk you in to? Did you get some driving lights too?
No auxiliary lighting. Just the two headlamps. He recommended (and I bought) the Osram 70/65w. Bought a second set too for back-up.

Thanks again for spending the time to educate us on lighting
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:08 PM   #25
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No auxiliary lighting. Just the two headlamps. He recommended (and I bought) the Osram 70/65w. Bought a second set too for back-up.

Thanks again for spending the time to educate us on lighting
Good idea..^ I'm only getting 3-4 months from either the Phillips or Osram bulbs..currently I'm trying some off the shelf NAPA bulbs..made by Wagner. They are almost as good as the Osrams, but we will see about the longevity. Today I stopped at my local Napa and ordered some different bulbs for Harleys, way more candlepower...picking them up in the AM and will try them out...just an option...these are pretty good bulbs and if you blow a low beam or such, you can get these very reasonable..$9-10 each.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:19 PM   #26
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Hilldweller, heres a question for you.

I have been holding off on the Cibes due to the complete price with harness is >$300. Rally lights are around $225.
The difference between OEM & Hella is known to be miles. I have seen the graphs (the ones that show spread). Is the difference between Hellas and Cibes worth the price? Living in the 'burbs with lots of deer and many more creachers roaming the roads.

Lets hear your professional lighting opinion Hilldweller .
I'm sure Bill will be here to tell you the same thing, I've got both, actually I've got Cibie Z-beams that I bought from Hilldweller...the Cibies are superior, period...what is important is to get the right bulb for them and have all your aux. lighting to compliment the headlights...

There is more to this discussion, especially about foreground lighting and white/blue and long range sight for the human eye...

Get the Cibies .............
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:15 AM   #27
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Hilldweller, heres a question for you.

I have been holding off on the Cibes due to the complete price with harness is >$300. Rally lights are around $225.
The difference between OEM & Hella is known to be miles. I have seen the graphs (the ones that show spread). Is the difference between Hellas and Cibes worth the price? Living in the 'burbs with lots of deer and many more creachers roaming the roads.

Lets hear your professional lighting opinion Hilldweller .
The Cibies give a wider, more even spread of light; the Hellas shoot a Deathstar beam of light straight ahead --- with an emphasis on foreground lighting on lowbeam and a higher than average highbeam.
That Hella pattern works for some people; you have to be the judge.
But the Cibie works better for most people. I'd rather have Cibies most of the time.

As for bulb life, I got longer life from the Phillips Xtreme Powers; the Osrams always blew pretty fast.
An alternative would be the Narva Rangepower; I have a version of these in the Power Wagon and like them.
Osram used to make a Silverstar too but I can't find them anymore --- not to be confused with the American Sylvania Silverstar (junk).
And don't ever think of PIAA, Delta "xenon", or IPF Fatboys --- all just gimmick nonsense.

Joel --- the Harley bulb is likely a rebranded Rough Service Bulb; they'll likely look okay in the Cibie housing with the bypass harness ---- not as bright as all the others, not by a longshot, but should last much longer.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:04 AM   #28
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The Cibies give a wider, more even spread of light; the Hellas shoot a Deathstar beam of light straight ahead --- with an emphasis on foreground lighting on lowbeam and a higher than average highbeam.
That Hella pattern works for some people; you have to be the judge.
But the Cibie works better for most people. I'd rather have Cibies most of the time.

As for bulb life, I got longer life from the Phillips Xtreme Powers; the Osrams always blew pretty fast.
An alternative would be the Narva Rangepower; I have a version of these in the Power Wagon and like them.
Osram used to make a Silverstar too but I can't find them anymore --- not to be confused with the American Sylvania Silverstar (junk).
And don't ever think of PIAA, Delta "xenon", or IPF Fatboys --- all just gimmick nonsense.

Joel --- the Harley bulb is likely a rebranded Rough Service Bulb; they'll likely look okay in the Cibie housing with the bypass harness ---- not as bright as all the others, not by a longshot, but should last much longer.
I can notice a difference in the 60w Wagners that I've got in now, compared to the Osram 70/65, but it's pretty darn good in the Cibies, and at $9 each they are a deal, I'm picking up the Harley bulbs this AM and trying them to see if they are a viable replacement, they a under $11 each.
I'm certain that I'll get another set of the Osrams, but I'm looking for some options and a local place to pick some up quickly, as you know, I'm popping them every 3-4 months due to the amount of use they get....

These are coming from NAPA, and are Wagners, do they make their own bulbs? I should have more info after I get them.(these HD bulbs have a pretty high lumen rating)
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:41 PM   #29
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These are coming from NAPA, and are Wagners, do they make their own bulbs?
I can't say I know much about Wagner lighting or Federal Mogul ---- I don't think they'll be as bright as anything from Phillips/Narva/Osram...

Drop by; I've got a meter and a fresh battery.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:24 PM   #30
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Question on BULB spares:

What is the anticipated 'normal use' length before replacement on the DS 70/65 setup? And do you carry them IN the rig or leave at home until needed?

Were you out on the road and one blew, what is the strategy, given maybe being 400 miles from home?

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