The purpose of this post is to inform those who are looking for an HID bulb retrofit for their factory JK housings. The purpose is NOT to argue about the following facts:
1. The reflectors inside your JK light housings were designed to project light from a halogen bulb, not an HID bulb. A typical HID-specific reflector will shine with a distinct cut-off where the light does not go above an oncoming vehicle's hood area. Your JK housing will not have this distinct cut-off, although in my experience in my past vehicles, the JK housings are surprisingly better than most in controlling the light output of an HID bulb. A quick search on this forum will yield similar opinions and photos.
2. You will not literally "blind oncoming drivers,;" however, if you do not adjust your JK housings down a little bit, oncoming drivers may think you have your high beams on.
3. HID lighting is available in different Kelvin numbers such as 4000K and 5500K. Most of this is personal preference. For more info, use Google to search Daniel Stern Lighting to read more about lighting than you ever wanted.
Now that we have that out of the way....
I just wanted to give my initial experience with DDM Tuning's CANBUS-specific kit. Apparently this is a newer release and I had yet to find anyone else do a write-up.
After researching this topic, I found no solid answer on whether or not there was an absolute fix/solution for the "flickering" many JK owners experience when retrofitting HID bulbs to factory housings. Seems some have no problems (many of those seem to be 55w kits), while others can't seem to fix the flickering. When I saw this kit on their site, I thought it might work and at a little over $100 bucks, I figured I'd give it a shot.
are 35W, low-beam-only, 4000K or 5500K choices, and I ordered the H13 bulb kit for my 2014 JK. So, there's no option for a 55W kit and because this is a low-beam only, you lose your high beams (more on this later). I was told a hi-low kit is in the works.
According to DDM Tuning, this kit works with MOST CANBUS-equipped vehicles and eliminates the need to purchase additional adapters/ harnesses. A true plug-and-play. This was a bonus for me, as I do not want to cut, splice or alter my factory lighting harnesses.
(this is what I did, but you're doing everything I list below at your own risk)
First remove your grill. When you open your hood, you'll see 5(I think) black, plastic plugs running along the top edge of the grill. Use a flat head screwdriver to pop up the center of these plugs and the plug can then be pulled out by hand. Next, as you're standing in front of your Jeep, grab your grill by the vertical slats, near the bottom and pull firmly toward you. This will release the 4 or five metal retaining pressure-fit clips that run along the bottom of the grill. You might notice the bottom corners may not release initially, this is because there is one clip behind each of the orange, circular grill lamps. Grab each corner near the lamps and again, pull firmly toward you. They will release.
Next you're ready to assemble the HID kit:
The kit comes pre-wired as two harnesses:
-Harness #1 is your bulb which has two plugs.
-Harness #2 is your ballast which has three plugs.
After you plug the two plugs on Harness #1 into the two plugs on Harness #2, you'll have one plug left over. This is the plug that plugs into the factory harness that once plugged into your factory bulb.
There was one issue I had however. The 1 plug that plugs into the factory harness comes wired incorrectly and it's an easy fix. You'll see the back of the factory JK plug has 3 wires coming out of it, while the DDM ballast plug only has 2 wires coming out the back (black and white). You'll see the ballast plug, although only has two wires, has three holes. In other words, it has room for three wires. In my kit, the black wire was inserted into the far right hole. This black wire needs to be pulled firmly out of the plug and re-inserted into the middle hole. The white wire gets inserted into the right hole previously occupied by the black wire you just removed. Once you switch these two wires, it plugs into your factory harness and you're done.
As of March 1, 2015, when ordering this CANBUS kit, you only have two "color" options; 4000K and 5500K. I called DDM and asked for the kit which most closely matches an LED light bar (which they also sell), because I have a 52" light bar and windshield LED pods. Based on their suggestion, I ordered the 5500K kit. I was told THEIR 4000K kit would appear more "yellow" than an LED light. I'm waiting on my switches to arrive to turn on my LED bar so I can't really say how close they match, but my gut feeling is it might be a bit more blue, which I didn't want. Perhaps the 4000K kit would be a better match. I'll update once I have a better comparison of all the lighting on at night.
Because this kit is only available in a low-beam-only setup, you lose high beam functionality. If you pull the light stalk back to turn on your high beams, the lights turn off. When you release the stalk, they immediately turn back on. Not a HUGE deal for me, as I will have a 52" light bar and two windshield pods for extra lighting. I couldn't think of any scenario where I would need "high beams" where I couldn't just use my light bar or light pods instead. That's what I bought them for anyway.... extra bright lighting.
Anyway, I hope this helps someone in their search for alternatives to the horrible factory lighting. I know it's a cheap kit, but I've found many people using DDM's HID kits without issue. If I have any problems, I'll update this thread.