headlights - upgrade b ulb or entire housing? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-02-2010, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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headlights - upgrade b ulb or entire housing?

I'm wanting to upgrade my headlights but am new to lighting upgrades. Are the stock headlight housings and lenses inferior such that replacing the bulb would be a band-aid and not a cure? Would it be wise to upgrade the entire housing/lens first?
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-02-2010, 09:39 AM
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Alot of people are very satisfied with just putting HIDs into the stock housing.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-02-2010, 10:08 AM
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I upgraded the bulb only and it is fine with me. I would like to do the HID upgrade one day.....
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-02-2010, 11:17 AM
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I upgraded the bulbs to Silverstars which was a big improvement. Then later I upgraded to the XeSighting Xe7 Xenon Bi-Function HID projector replacements they are not cheap and my brother has the Xe7r which are not projectors. No problems with either, both where plug and play with only minor trimming to fit the lights. Both can be found right here http://www.xesighting.com/products.html.

My brother just put the Truck-Lite 7" 12v LED Headlamps into his wifes JK. It is a mall crawler but the lights are bright! They are here: http://www.levineautoparts.com/ledheadlight4.html

Hope this helps, no set answer for everyone just need to find what works for you and you are happy with. Anything you will do will an improvement over the lousy lights Jeep installs!

Last edited by cnyDave; 07-02-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-02-2010, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnyDave View Post
I upgraded the bulbs to Silverstars which was a big improvement. Then later I upgraded to the XeSighting Xe7 Xenon Bi-Function HID projector replacements they are not cheap and my brother has the Xe7r which are not projectors. No problems with either, both where plug and play with only minor trimming to fit the lights. Both can be found right here http://www.xesighting.com/products.html.
Dude those are really expensive. I was looking to do a true HID retrofit because just installing HIDs will yield a huge improvement but the light will be scattered and not function as well as a true HID projector. I found a guy who does custom retrofits and he quoted me like 450 total plus shipping to have 55w HID high/low projectors installed into the stock housings.


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Originally Posted by cnyDave View Post
My brother just put the Truck-Lite 7" 12v LED Headlamps into his wifes JK. It is a mall crawler but the lights are bright! They are here: http://www.levineautoparts.com/ledheadlight4.html
I have read reviews of these where they cast dark spots in certain locations.

You may also want to take a look at these:
http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=4669
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-09-2010, 12:57 PM
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Can you fill in some detail on those LED truck lights? Did your brother have any issues? Were they a plug-n-play replacement, or some mods needed to get them to work? The link you provided has a "sale price" of $300 which is "reasonable" I s'pose. I will look into those dark spot issues as well...

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post #7 of 20 Old 07-09-2010, 05:53 PM
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I did an IPF upgrade new housings and bulbs a little blue not bad but the low beams are brighter than the brights used to be. I got them from northridge when I drank the cool aid but I think some one (a sponsor) on here sells them as well.

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post #8 of 20 Old 07-09-2010, 09:14 PM
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I upgraded the whole housing due to the fact that the stock reflector leaves something to be desired.

Rather than go for the IPF kit where they are charging a boatload for the conversion pigtail, basically, I bought a pair of Hella H4 E-Code housings and 55W bulbs and built my own conversion pigtails with parts from autolumination.

Less than $80 invested and it was a HUGE improvement.


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post #9 of 20 Old 07-13-2010, 07:14 PM
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Probably the best mod ever, CIBIE E-codes, new harness (stock wiring is not enough), some relays, caps and diodes, and Osram 70/65w bulbs. Excellent improvement over stock, razor sharp cutoff from the E-codes, and NOT BLUE.
I *HIGHLY* recommend it. Putting different bulbs in the stock housings won't get you there, as the optics are BAD BAD BAD.

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post #10 of 20 Old 07-26-2010, 01:43 PM
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Tagging along on this, I just bought a '10 JK Unlimited, and the first order of business is seeing better at night. I was looking at either:

Delta 7" Round Quad Bar Xenon Headlamp Kit for $150,

OR just swapping out the bulbs for a pair of Sylvania SilverStar Halogen bulbs for $40.

Has anyone used the Delta Xenons? Any significant difference? Is the OEM housing any good?

Thanks in advance!
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-26-2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John L View Post
Probably the best mod ever, CIBIE E-codes, new harness (stock wiring is not enough), some relays, caps and diodes, and Osram 70/65w bulbs. Excellent improvement over stock, razor sharp cutoff from the E-codes, and NOT BLUE.
I *HIGHLY* recommend it. Putting different bulbs in the stock housings won't get you there, as the optics are BAD BAD BAD.
x2. One of my top three mods for sure, I built my harness for ~$40.00.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-26-2010, 04:18 PM
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eBay, search e code h4 7" round, a pair can be found in the 40-100 buck range.

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Post count from the "other" place when i was following the "herd" was 692 on 4-2-09, not a noob...

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post #13 of 20 Old 07-27-2010, 05:37 AM
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Changed the bulbs only.
Cost 30$ and 20 minutes.
Phillips Xtreme Power +...
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-27-2010, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcul8r View Post
Can you fill in some detail on those LED truck lights? Did your brother have any issues? Were they a plug-n-play replacement, or some mods needed to get them to work? The link you provided has a "sale price" of $300 which is "reasonable" I s'pose. I will look into those dark spot issues as well...
As far as I know you need adaptors for the plugs and that is $300 EACH light.

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post #15 of 20 Old 07-27-2010, 06:29 AM
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I just changed out all of the bulbs after one of my stock headlights AND foglights burned out within a week of each other. I went with the Silverstars and the are a great improvement.

I would say put in the Silverstars or something similar and then invest in some windshield or bumper mounted auxiliary driving lights (ive seen light bars take a beating from low branches).

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post #16 of 20 Old 07-27-2010, 06:33 AM
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I think the Hella E codes and bulbs of your choice are the way to go. It was by far the best bang for the buck IMHO.

I got the Hella E code housings, bulbs and harness here.
http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=4669
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-27-2010, 06:35 AM
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-29-2010, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixeldzn View Post
I upgraded the whole housing due to the fact that the stock reflector leaves something to be desired.

Rather than go for the IPF kit where they are charging a boatload for the conversion pigtail, basically, I bought a pair of Hella H4 E-Code housings and 55W bulbs and built my own conversion pigtails with parts from autolumination.

Less than $80 invested and it was a HUGE improvement.
If anybody is going the build-your-own-kit route, I just ran across these Bosch E-codes at a great price -- $44/pair:

http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=0301600118
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-02-2010, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
If anybody is going the build-your-own-kit route, I just ran across these Bosch E-codes at a great price -- $44/pair:

http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=0301600118
I bought a pair of these lamps from bus depot and they rock. Although they are motorcycle lamps, I don't see any problems while using them on the JK. Made my own wiring harness using 12awg wire to supply the Philips Xtreme H4 bulbs. An outstanding improvement.

Note that the computer will log a code about over voltage on the headlight side that is not driving the relays. This does not result in a check engine light.

Also, make sure that all of your components are properly rated, including the individual contacts on the add-on fuse box, or you may find yourself without headlights one night. Don't ask how I know.

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post #20 of 20 Old 10-03-2010, 08:10 AM
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Quoted from a Canadian Jeep site.

Quote:
guys, do youself a favour, these stock headlights suck big time. Head out and get yourself a set of either Hella or IPF E-Code H4 housings, and a pair of GE Nighthawk Platinums H4 bulbs. Then get your hands on a couple of H4 harness.

Now you have 2 options, simple and quickest way is to just cut off the stock H13 plug and splice in your new H4 plugs. Or if you're uncomfortable with cutting anything, you can do what I did. Order a pair of H13 male connectors and make an adaptor with the H4 harness and they'll just plug into the stock H13 harness.

The problem with the stockies is not the bulb, it has a real crappy reflector. the E-code housing have a directed beam and a crisp cut off. Trust me, I'm extremely happy with my results. The difference is night and day, I'd say they're 10 times brighter than stock. I have both the hella and IPF, I bought the Hella first and the IPF for comparison. I personally prefer the Hella, better cut off.

Northridge4X4 sells an IPF kit which is essentially the same as what i did, but you can head out tomorrow and collect all of this in one day so why wait for shipping to arrive?

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