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-   -   Anyone else think their JK Headlights are crap? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/anyone-else-think-their-jk-headlights-are-crap-226739.html)

st1264 03-11-2013 12:19 AM

Anyone else think their JK Headlights are crap?
 
Not sure if it's just me, but the lighting on my 13' JKU Sport S is pretty bad. The quantity, the concentration and the aim is poor. The fog lights seem to throw more light than the headlights :confused:

I read a thread in another section that the wiring harness and bulb selection were used because the parts were "the cheapest possible". Is this true? What would it cost to upgrade the wiring harness and better bulbs?

What have you guys done to improve light output, for on road purpose of course.

schiesz 03-11-2013 12:59 AM

If you have a week to read it, this is the place to go:

The Headlight Thread

My short answer, after going through all of this is you have very few choices:

The first is buy some new H13 bulbs. There is a certain set people like, $31 on amazon. I forget what it is.

The next thing to do is buy a new set of reflectors and a H13 to H4 adapter. Cibie and Hella mke them. This will run $250-300.

If you want to make that better (or even tolerable, in some people's opinion) you buy a new wiring harness from Daniel Stern. This runs round $170 and supplies good clean power to the headlights. So now you are talking $420, but it is good.

The next step is to get Truck-lites or JW Speakers LED drop in headlights. $400-800.

But these seem to flicker for a lot of people, so they get the $170 wiring harness to fix it...

So, you can go $31, $420, or $570. Or of course drop a grand or so to improve them.

There are some other kits out there too, but these seem to get the most positive responses. Eventually.

I'm thinking of getting the Truck-lites, and saving more for the harness later if I have the flicker (or its not fixed yet).

Sasquatchewan 03-11-2013 01:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Yes not cheep but worth it for me :D

mcdull 03-11-2013 01:59 AM

I think if my another car was a 15 years old, I wouldn't notice the difference. But since it has HID, compared to my Jeep, it's day and night difference.

RoadiJeff 03-11-2013 04:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by st1264 (Post 3487350)

What have you guys done to improve light output, for on road purpose of course.

You have to be careful on what you do. I've read on here where dealers have warned owners with aftermarket wire harnesses and lighting kits that it could void their warranty if they had an electrical issue with any component in the vehicle and the aftermarket lighting was drawing more current that the stock headlights.

I replaced the original bulbs with a set of Philips H13 9008 X-treme Power Headlight Bulbs off Amazon. Same wattage as the originals. They're a little better than the stock bulbs but I'm not going to risk messing with my warranty by doing something extreme.


mckey73 03-11-2013 04:39 AM

I don't have a problem with my headlights, work just fine for me. Might be a good idea to check with your local laws before upgrading.

americonium 03-11-2013 04:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoadiJeff (Post 3487690)

You have to be careful on what you do. I've read on here where dealers have warned owners with aftermarket wire harnesses and lighting kits that it could void their warranty if they had an electrical issue with any component in the vehicle and the aftermarket lighting was drawing more current that the stock headlights.

Magnusson Moss act says they have to prove it. A correct setup with relays and direct, fused power from the battery should be safe.

Spyder1049 03-11-2013 05:01 AM

I went with the jw speaker evolution set because I felt the same way you did. Wow what a difference, I don't even use the fog lights anymore! The only thing you have to factor in with these led headlights. Is the flicker. But that's easily fixable with the tog plug and play harness. 69 bucks took the flicker out and I couldn't be happier with the product. Pull the trigger, treat the JK

RoadiJeff 03-11-2013 05:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by americonium (Post 3487725)
Magnusson Moss act says they have to prove it. A correct setup with relays and direct, fused power from the battery should be safe.

I agree but all they have to say is that the aftermarket equipment is drawing more current that the stock parts that it replaced and then you're in for a big legal fight. Not worth it, IMHO.

Dusthol 03-11-2013 05:25 AM

I have the truck lites. The flicker is hardly there once u get used to it. They only flicker when ur at a stop

slsbl77 03-11-2013 05:30 AM

JW Speaker
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spyder1049 (Post 3487736)
I went with the jw speaker evolution set because I felt the same way you did. Wow what a difference, I don't even use the fog lights anymore! The only thing you have to factor in with these led headlights. Is the flicker. But that's easily fixable with the tog plug and play harness. 69 bucks took the flicker out and I couldn't be happier with the product. Pull the trigger, treat the JK

Installed the JW Speakers yesterday afternoon, it could not have been easier, 20 minutes tops and that includes admiring my work! Plug and play, no harness required, just the bulb adapters. Test drove it last night, what an amazing difference, unbelievable, maybe as good as the HID's on my Mercedes. No noticeable flicker on my '13 Sahara, even at idle. Best mod on my Jeep so far.

kbwwolf 03-11-2013 05:43 AM

This is a handy page to have bookmarked; all are replacement kits for Jeeps:
Susquehanna MotorSports - Auto Performance Products Catalog

Also, if you wade through the War and Peace-sized headlight thread, if you just read the posts by Hilldweller you'll find out what you need to know. He's the resident lighting expert.

Cosmic Charlie 03-11-2013 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schiesz (Post 3487465)

The first is buy some new H13 bulbs. There is a certain set people like, $31 on amazon. I forget what it is.

These are the ones I have pinned from that thread...

Philips H13 9008 X-treme Power Headlight Bulb, Pack of 2 : Amazon.com : Automotive

kurtz265 03-11-2013 06:57 AM

From what I understand the upgraded bulbs when paired with a good set of reflectors will be a dramatic improvement over stock and won't break the bank

efm-7 03-11-2013 07:03 AM

I retrofitted some HID projectors into mine. $200 and a bit of time & research :)

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...l=1#post560441

DJL2 03-11-2013 07:04 AM

I'm with the OP - compared to most vehicles with which I have experience, my JK has two headlight settings: high beam and dangerous.

I'm definitely up for the LED route once I pinch enouch pennies. Two things to consider for general consumption:

1.) As a rule LED draw less current than equivalent incandescent/traditional bulbs - I'd be leary of any LED setup drawing more power than the stock bulbs.

2.) Ensure they're aimed correctly - I already have folks that cannot tell my low beams from my high simply because my head lights sit at the level of their windshield. Proper aim minimizes the blinding effect that is sure to occur.

st1264 03-11-2013 09:00 AM

My headlight aim doesn't appear to be correct (picked new JKU up on Friday). I'll check the manual and see how to adjust it. I'll try that first, then go from there.

Proper lighting is a safety issue, this is one mod I actually NEED.

kappaknight 03-11-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoadiJeff (Post 3487743)
I agree but all they have to say is that the aftermarket equipment is drawing more current that the stock parts that it replaced and then you're in for a big legal fight. Not worth it, IMHO.

There's no way LED's draw more power than the factory lamp.

This is a mod that is actually needed for anyone who drives at night. If I had to sell all my mods, the JW Speakers would be the only thing I keep.

kbwwolf 03-11-2013 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by st1264 (Post 3488145)
My headlight aim doesn't appear to be correct (picked new JKU up on Friday). I'll check the manual and see how to adjust it. I'll try that first, then go from there.

Proper lighting is a safety issue, this is one mod I actually NEED.

I don't recall seeing it in the manual...might've just missed it. Either way, All you need is a 25' tape measure, some painter's tape and a one-piece Torx 15 driver. Not the kind with removable bits, which are usually too fat to fit between the grille and headlight bezel.

Then just follow these steps:

1. Park on a level surface, 25' from a vertical wall so the headlights will shine squarely on the wall. I use my garage door.

2. Measure from the ground to the center of your headlight, then make a horizontal line with the painter's tape on the wall at that height.

3. The top of the brightest part of the light pattern should be about 2" below the line. This part takes a little tweaking. Originally, I set mine just touching the line, but I was getting flashed in traffic so I lowered it a couple of inches. That seemed to do the trick.

You'll find the adjustment screws at 10 o'clock on the passenger light and 2 o'clock on the driver's light. They only adjust up or down...

It helps if you cover one headlight while you adjust the other one.

Shute47 03-11-2013 10:33 AM

I haven't touched the headlights on my JKU but I put HID's on my truck last year and was very satisfied. The only problem I had was the blueish coloring isn't very good in the snow by my standards. It cost me around $300 but it was worth it.

SilverSport 03-11-2013 10:35 AM

For the correct way to aim your headlights see here: Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Takes a few minutes but well worth it. Also takes into account if your Jeep is lifted and even how to adjust fog lights/driving lights.

st1264 03-11-2013 12:26 PM

Thanks guys.

I also agree about the "white-blue" lights... absolutely dangerous in snow and fog. The beam almost disappears. These colors are only good for dry and clear nights. I'll stick to the stock color.

ratchettt 03-11-2013 01:07 PM

My solution is to stay in after dark.

Sasquatchewan 03-11-2013 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoadiJeff (Post 3487743)
I agree but all they have to say is that the aftermarket equipment is drawing more current that the stock parts that it replaced and then you're in for a big legal fight. Not worth it, IMHO.

Well LED draws way less current than factory

Sasquatchewan 03-11-2013 02:45 PM

Just like they posted above the headlight adjustment is the same since the 1950's no different lol

mcdull 03-11-2013 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by st1264 (Post 3488897)
Thanks guys.

I also agree about the "white-blue" lights... absolutely dangerous in snow and fog. The beam almost disappears. These colors are only good for dry and clear nights. I'll stick to the stock color.

I would be surprised that HID is not favorable in snow area, and HID color is obviously closer to daylight color.
I think the problem is many non-DOT HID might have more blue-tint in it, could be in favor of ricers. DOT approved should be fine, I didn't notice any blue tint in my Miata's stock HID.

efm-7 03-11-2013 02:56 PM

I'm in a heavily snowed area and HIDs work great. I'm running 4300k which is what most factory HIDs are - almost yellow. What ricers fail to realize is that that the blue color coming off luxury cars is not the color of the bulb, but rather, it's the chromatic abberation/color fringing within the projector optics. Meaning the "blue flicker" look can be had with even halogen bulbs given the right projector. That's why we have so many rusty Altimas and bro trucks with 12,000k HID kits dropped into halogen reflector housings :(

ratchettt 03-11-2013 03:33 PM

"...but rather, it's the chromatic abberation/color fringing within the projector optics."

This is a joke, right? Please say yes.

st1264 03-11-2013 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by efm-7 (Post 3489441)
I'm in a heavily snowed area and HIDs work great. I'm running 4300k which is what most factory HIDs are - almost yellow. What ricers fail to realize is that that the blue color coming off luxury cars is not the color of the bulb, but rather, it's the chromatic abberation/color fringing within the projector optics. Meaning the "blue flicker" look can be had with even halogen bulbs given the right projector. That's why we have so many rusty Altimas and bro trucks with 12,000k HID kits dropped into halogen reflector housings :(

It works because it's the color. The white/blue is crap in snow and fog as I found out. Stock color in HID would be ideal.

gr8fulKID 03-11-2013 06:07 PM

I use the amazon ones mentioned above. Philips H13 9008 X-treme Power Headlight Bulb, Pack of 2 : Amazon.com : Automotive

The do the trick since im not looking to drop a lot of coin on lights.


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