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post #1 of 12 Old 06-22-2010, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Lighting - educate me

Headlights, driving lights, fog lights

School me on the purpose of each, benefits, and potential brands to purchase.

thanks all.
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-22-2010, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuffluv View Post
Headlights, driving lights, fog lights

School me on the purpose of each, benefits, and potential brands to purchase.

thanks all.
Tuffluv,

The first question you want to ask yourself, is why do you want additional lights. Do you want to because they look cool (okay, who doesn't), or are you going to use them for something specific?

Next, IMHO you want to prioritize how you'll use them. Most people upgrade their existing lights, because the factory lighting for the JK is great, if you only use them in your garage. My recommendations for the upgrading the factory lights are Sylvania's Silverstar or Ultra OEM headlight bulb replacements, as they upgrade the temperature of the lights to the brighter, whiter, light, that helps you on the road. Same for the fog lights, except I believe I used PIAA's OEM bulb replacements, and they provided the same upgrade to the fogs...

Now, onto the additional lights that you may decide to add to your rig. Most of the time, you can opt for two different "types" of supplemental lighting. Driving lights, or fog lights... In the infamous words of Tony Montana (Scarface), most people rarely get stuck in a "swamp", so fog lights usually do not come in as handy as additional driving lights do. That isn't to say they do not help, as they provide much lower, wider, coverage, while driving lights provide higher, farther, coverage.

Mounting locations include front bumpers (either factory or aftermarket), and/or the popular windshield mounts, using brackets from KC Lights and other manufacturers, that will allow you to mount the aftermarket lights to the bottom corners of your A-Pillars, near your windshield.

Finally, switching and controls. The JK uses a factory CANbus system. While this may be greek to many people, in short, it is a complicated, yet intricate type of electrical system, that is "smart" and works and reacts based measuring loads and voltages throughout the system. I am, by no means an electrical engineer, but suffice it to say it is a good system, but a bit harder to incorporate aftermarket accessories without being concious of how it works. There is one wire behing the dash panel, that can be accessed to use as a 12V "trigger" wire, that many people utilize for lights, accessories, and the like. Aside from that, it becomes hairy. This is where I think the next suggestion will come in handy. If you know you want to install lights, and perhaps other accessories (CB, Winch, On-Board Air, Rock Lights, etc.), then you'll need a solution that will address the wiring, support, and management of these accessories. The sPOD is an electrical management system that allows the JK owner to install a very safe, secure, independent, electrical management unit, to your JK, without the hassle and risk of tampering with your factory JK electrical wiring. The sPOD is a well-engineered solution, that includes a switch bezel and control unit (and can include a gauge for on-board air), a source, which houses all of the relays, control board, and low-voltage cut-off protection, and a circuit breaker, to ensure that if there ever is a short, or a problem, you have a safety net not to fry anything on your rig. Think of the sPOD as an "electrical backbone" for your rig, that you install before you install any accessories, making your life so much easier, and allowing you to sleep at night, knowing your wiring isn't going to turn your JK into a BBQ overnight! Plus, John the owner of sPOD is a stand-up guy, very knowledgeable, and provides great support on the installation of your sPOD, along with recommendations on other areas of your rig!

I've sketched some broad strokes for you, but maybe this will help you have a basic understanding, and perhaps open your post up for others to jump in and lend an opinion or two...

Good luck, and post or PM me if you have any other questions.

RC

A lot of chit coming...

W9DRC

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Last edited by cruzcode; 06-24-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 12:22 AM
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depends totally on what you want to do, I did a cross country trip with some crazy exploration trips a year ago and had a crazy light set up on a roof rack where i could control 4 front, two on each side and two rear, it was perfect for the trek and helping light the area for tent set up in areas i couldn't maneuver the Rig i just turned those lights on. after the trip i took the entire system off, it just wasn't needed for wheeling weekend trips.

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post #4 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 04:50 AM
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There's a very clear illustration on KC Lights website (and also in the JCW catalog) showing the lighting pattern for each type : Fog, Driving, and Pencil-Beam Spot lights.

Fogs should be mounted low on the bumpers, and pencil-beam high on windshield mounts.

High marks for KC Lights and Lightforce.

Don't purchase the cheapo lights often seen, esp given they often do not include the necessary wiring harness, toggle switch and relay.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzcode View Post
Tuffluv,

The first question you want to ask yourself, is why do you want additional lights. Do you want to because they look cool (okay, who doesn't), or are you going to use them for something specific?

Next, IMHO you want to prioritize how you'll use them. Most people upgrade their existing lights, because the factory lighting for the JK is great, if you only use them in your garage. My recommendations for the upgrading the factory lights are Sylvania's Silverstar or Ultra OEM headlight bulb replacements, as they upgrade the temperature of the lights to the brighter, whiter, light, that helps you on the road. Same for the fog lights, except I believe I used PIAA's OEM bulb replacements, and they provided the same upgrade to the fogs...

Now, onto the additional lights that you may decide to add to your rig. Most of the time, you can opt for two different "types" of supplemental lighting. Driving lights, or fog lights... In the infamous words of Tony Montana (Scarface), most people rarely get stuck in a "swamp", so fog lights usually do not come in as handy as additional driving lights do. That isn't to say they do not help, as they provide much lower, wider, coverage, while driving lights provide higher, farther, coverage.

Mounting locations include front bumpers (either factory or aftermarket), and/or the popular windshield mounts, using brackets from KC Lights and other manufacturers, that will allow you to mount the aftermarket lights to the bottom corners of your A-Pillars, near your windshield.

Finally, switching and controls. The JK uses a factory CANbus system. While this may be greek to many people, in short, it is a complicated, yet intricate type of electrical system, that is "smart" and works and reacts based measuring loads and voltages throughout the system. I am, by no means an electrical engineer, but suffice it to say it is a good system, but a bit harder to incorporate aftermarket accessories without being concious of how it works. There is one wire behing the dash panel, that can be accessed to use as a 12V "trigger" wire, that many people utilize for lights, accessories, and the like. Aside from that, it becomes hairy. This is where I think the next suggestion will come in handy. If you know you want to install lights, and perhaps other accessories (CB, Winch, On-Board Air, Rock Lights, etc.), then you'll need a solution that will address the wiring, support, and management of these accessories. The sPOD is an electrical management system that allows the JK owner to install a very safe, secure, independent, electrical management unit, to your JK, without the hassle and risk of tampering with your factory JK electrical wiring. The sPOD is a well-engineered solution, that includes a switch bezel and control unit (and can include a gauge for on-board air), a source, which houses all of the relays, control board, and low-voltage cut-off protection, and a circuit breaker, to ensure that if there ever is a short, or a problem, you have a safety net not to fry anything on your rig. Think if the sPOD as an "electrical backbone" for your rig, that you install before you install any accessories, making your life so much easier, and allowing you to sleep at night, knowing your wiring isn't going to turn your JK into a BBQ overnight! Plus, John the owner of sPOD is a stand-up guy, very knowledgeable, and provides great support on the installation of your sPOD, along with recommendations on other areas of your rig!

I've sketched some broad strokes for you, but maybe this will help you have a basic understanding, and perhaps open your post up for others to jump in and lend an opinion or two...

Good luck, and post or PM me if you have any other questions.

RC

Great write up.....I second the sPOD......look at my garage as I have the sPOD installed with Dual Screen DVD player, CB, hood light bar, fogs, extra power plug adapter etc running on it. Lights are all lit up as well.

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post #6 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info everyone!
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuffluv View Post
Thanks for all the info everyone!
I am moving this to the electrical forum, do some reading there as well.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 08:59 PM
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There is certainly some great feedback here to get you started. I agree that this is a difficult thing to point you in any direction, without knowing what you are hoping to achieve.

That said, if you choose to get supplemental driving lights of any kind (as opposed, or in addition to improving the OEM head lights) feel free to send me a PM or give me a call. I would be happy to share some helpful information and/or answer any questions you might have.

Dave Dorsen [847-410-3750]

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post #9 of 12 Old 06-23-2010, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TXROCK View Post
I would be more than happy to demo some lights for you here in Hawaii! Haha
Fantastic! I'll get you setup as a dealer and you can make a mint over there with the market all to yourself!

Dave Dorsen [847-410-3750]

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-24-2010, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXROCK View Post
Great write up.....I second the sPOD......look at my garage as I have the sPOD installed with Dual Screen DVD player, CB, hood light bar, fogs, extra power plug adapter etc running on it. Lights are all lit up as well.
For those that think the sPOD is too expensive ($400+), consider this. I spent around $250 getting all the wiring, switches, boxes, etc to do it myself. Then I spent 4 long evenings doing up all the wiring for my lights (10 on 4 switches with a master kill switch). I don't regret it at all... but it would have been a lot faster just to spend the money on a sPOD, and when I eventually sell this JK (next one must have AC), I'll just get a sPOD.

As for the lights, it really depends on what you're going to use them for. If it's just for looks go get whatever cheap ones work for you. However if there's a reason for additional lights, don't go with cheap ones! In the end you'll just end up upgrading/replacing them or buying more.

Personally after having used some HID lights, I'll never go back to a halogen light - and highly recommend HID lights - even a cheap one will out perform most halogen lights.

But spend some time reading the forums, and figuring out what it is you want the light for... And once you do figure out what you want, ask lots of questions - chances are someone here has already done this, and can offer advice & their opinions...

2012 Silver JKU Rubicon
5 speed auto, 4.10s

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M101 trailer, RTT, Awning, etc
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-25-2010, 11:54 PM
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Vision X light. LED reflex, solo series are AWESOME.

I installed 34 in. Reflex on my parents Polaris ranger. That thing is bright. 180 w of LED
http://www.visionxusa.com/LED-Reflex/c1_55/index.html

I have XIL-S4103 wired up replacing the OE fogs.

http://www.visionxusa.com/LED-Solsti..._89/index.html

Call first, you get better deals than the site lists.

08 Rubicon - AWE FAWK TOO MUCH TO LIST!
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-29-2010, 08:08 PM
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I'd love to load up on some LEDs. However until the price comes down, HIDs are still cheaper for good lights. Maybe in a few years it'll be more affordable. Until then... HID it is.

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