Headlight guide and recommendations - the definitive place to ask questions - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-25-2017, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Headlight guide and recommendations - the definitive place to ask questions

Hi everyone! I've seen a number of posts lately asking questions related to upgrading your headlights. There's a lot of really bad information (and a lot of bad products) out there that are misleading and in some cases, just plain wrong. In an effort to help you make an informed decision, I've put together this recommendation guide. If you have other questions please post them up and I'll do my best to answer fairly and honestly.

Background:
As some of you may know I own www.HIDprojectors.com and we sell lighting upgrades, mainly focused on the 7" market. I've been into lighting for more than 10 years and have designed and developed a number of products for Jeeps. I'm by no means a 'know it all' and welcome constructive criticism. This is my humble (albeit biased) approach to education, so here goes!

Baseline information:
Regardless of which ‘camp’ you end up in, the best advice I can give is to follow these notes:
1) Get output shots – if the company can’t show you pics, that’s a red flag.
2) Don’t get fooled by marketing number – Lumens don’t mean much if the light isn’t focused (get output shots). And be wary of false advertising. There’s no such thing as a 9000lm headlight.
3) Buy from a trusted seller – if you buy online make sure you can reach the company – are they for real? Do they have a number you can call? Tech Support? Do they specialize in lighting or are they a ‘one size fits all’ shop just looking to move product?
4) Don’t buy counterfeit products, period. Don’t support stolen ideas, that damages the hard working companies that have fought to bring their original ideas to market.


Category 1: I just want better lighting but want to remain stock looking.
Pros:
• Simple replacement
• Potentially brighter lighting than original equipment
• Cost – likely the least expensive option
• Retains stock appearance
Cons:
• Marginally brighter lighting

Recommendation:
Go for a good replacement H6024 housing. Some are plug and play, others may require a separate relay harness. Cibie H4 headlights are some of the better lights in this category but will require an H4-H13 adapter for JKs.
Make sure you understand the limitations of your stock electrical system. It is not recommended to run a higher wattage bulb without the proper relay setup as this could be a potential fire hazard.


Category 2: LED Headlights
Pros:
• Modern look
• Plug and play connection
• Less draw than stock
• Increased light output vs original equipment
Cons:
• Costs more than sealed beam replacements
• LED headlights wont melt ice/snow (unless equipped with a heating element)

Recommendation:
There are two types of LED headlights – Reflector-based and Projector-based. A projector-based LED light will outperform a reflector-based setup and should be your focus if you’re interested in an LED headlight.
Stay away from no-name brands. Counterfeit products run rampant in this area. There are two products I strongly recommend that outperform and outlast the rest.

Projector-based LED headlights:
1) JW Speaker 8700
a. 14x brighter than a pair of stock Jeep lights (used for our testing purposes)
b. We sell stock 8700 EVO2 and EVOJ as well as customized versions. They’re not cheap but they are a great performing light.
c. Available here: https://www.hidprojectors.com/collec...-sold-in-pairs

2) Pro7 Bi-LED headlights
a. 5x brighter than a pair of stock Jeep lights
b. Reasonably priced
c. Available here: https://www.hidprojectors.com/produc...led-headlights

Reflector-based LED headlights:
Typically inferior output when compared to projector-based LED headlights, however there is a good argument for these if you prefer the aesthetics of a reflector-based light to that of a projector-based light. Reflector-based LED lights still outperform most halogen based lights and offer a good performance upgrade.
1) Rigid / Trucklite LED - model 55002 is the one reflector-based light that we've tested and can recommend. This will be the lowest performing light compared to the other LED and HID products here however still offers a nice upgrade over stock. These can be found at most respectable retailers and there is also a version with a heating element to help melt snow/ice.

We do sell a number of other headlights on our site however our best value products are the two listed above.


Category 3: HID Headlights
Pros:
• Will provide the best output of any other light
• Modern look
• Less draw than stock
• Can be customized
Cons:
• Costs more than sealed beam replacements and some LED headlights
• Requires a wiring harness

Recommendation:
I am biased here but the fact remains that there is no better performing headlight than our new Revision 2.0 headlights. They are the brightest 7” in the market and offer customizable options to match the style of your build. Form and function at its finest. We take all that extra light and harness it through a bi-xenon projector, focusing the light where you need it, on the road. The result is a far and wide reaching beam that is unlike anything else on the market.
• 17x brighter than a pair of stock Jeep headlights
• Low and high beam functionality
• Included relay harness that integrates with your stock Bronco headlight switch

I realize that these may not be for everyone hence the recommendations above but for those that want a product that’s unique and outperforms everything else on the market, these are for you!
1) Revision 2.0 series: https://www.hidprojectors.com/collections/revision-2-0
2) Revision 2.0 Custom (headlight builder): https://www.hidprojectors.com/apps/p...tom-headlights


Category X: LED and HID bulb “upgrades”
This category is for those considering installing HID or LED bulbs into your stock Jeep housings. Reflector-based housings are not designed for the increased light output of a brighter bulb, resulting in a flood of light scattered everywhere and dangerous for others on the road. Simply put, don't do it.
Pros:
• Increased output, at the expense of others (see Cons list)
Cons:
• Light is scattered everywhere, akin to driving with your high beams on
• Unsafe for other motorists on the road

If you’re considering this option, ask yourself this question: Would you drive around with your high beams on 100% of the time? If your answer is no, stop right here as this headlight option will effectively accomplish the same thing. If your answer is yes, please change it to no.


I hope that helps everyone. If you stick with the products / recommendations here you should be happy with your purchase. If you’re looking for an honest opinion on a product not listed here I would be happy to provide some insight. We’ve tested a number of different products and will only comment with factual data to support our recommendations.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-25-2017, 08:38 AM
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My dad once said, "If you buy the best the first time, you only cry once."

With my JK group, I have ridden in and/or driven almost every headlight option available and support everything Tom mentioned. Also might be a little biased but I love my HIDs out of any of them! The light pattern is amazing and I no longer run any aux lighting in the front. One key factor for me was ice melt in Idaho.

Tom,

Since I read it on the internet is must be true...have you had any customers break/burn out bulbs due to heavy off-road use or vibration? My Jeep is used, but not abused and so far I have had zero issues.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-25-2017, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi-8 View Post
My dad once said, "If you buy the best the first time, you only cry once."

With my JK group, I have ridden in and/or driven almost every headlight option available and support everything Tom mentioned. Also might be a little biased but I love my HIDs out of any of them! The light pattern is amazing and I no longer run any aux lighting in the front. One key factor for me was ice melt in Idaho.

Tom,

Since I read it on the internet is must be true...have you had any customers break/burn out bulbs due to heavy off-road use or vibration? My Jeep is used, but not abused and so far I have had zero issues.
Great pic (and thanks for the support)!!

Vibration and offroad use aren't an issue with our lights. We have them installed on the Big Kahuna Monster truck which does back flips and crashes regularly and he's still on his first set of lights more than 2 seasons in. That said, we certainly don't have a 100% perfection rating, but the few items that have gone bad for our customers are usually covered under warranty and replaced fairly easily.

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-26-2017, 05:26 PM
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I had the same thought. Went with the best first time around. 5150k 55W bulbs red devil eyes. Thanks for making a killer product.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-07-2017, 01:39 PM
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For the Category 1 replacement I bought the KC H4 kit with the non-DOT Euro lenses and KC H13-H4 adapter harnesses for about $112 shipped on Amazon and they are a big improvement for the price especially the high beams!

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post #6 of 12 Old 02-07-2017, 07:15 PM
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I like your post HIDprojectors, so I was going to ask you about this first one...

1) Get output shots Ė if the company canít show you pics, thatís a red flag.

...and then I found this on your site, https://www.hidprojectors.com/pages/product-guide. Looks to be a nicely cut line and plenty of light thrown. Anyone else have pics of the Revision 2.0 headlights at night?
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-09-2017, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocoastfocus View Post
I like your post HIDprojectors, so I was going to ask you about this first one...

1) Get output shots Ė if the company canít show you pics, thatís a red flag.

...and then I found this on your site, https://www.hidprojectors.com/pages/product-guide. Looks to be a nicely cut line and plenty of light thrown. Anyone else have pics of the Revision 2.0 headlights at night?
Here's another shot. The Revision 2.0 lights are still fairly new (launched in November) so output shots from customers are still trickling in. Here's one we did on a dark 2 lane road. Better shots are coming!
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-09-2017, 06:22 AM
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Are the Vertical and Horizontal adjustment screws on a (2012) JK adequate to align LEDs? No lift kit, standard height. Thanks
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-09-2017, 06:34 AM
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Which ones are legitimately DOT legal?

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Running 37's as a daily driver is dumb
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-09-2017, 06:34 AM
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What projector are you using for the 2.0?
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-02-2017, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highlander WV View Post
Are the Vertical and Horizontal adjustment screws on a (2012) JK adequate to align LEDs? No lift kit, standard height. Thanks
The headlight adjustment screws on your JK are for vertical alignment only. The horizontal alignment is done when mounting the lights with the retaining rings. But yes, the adjusters are adequate for stock and most lifted JKs.

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post #12 of 12 Old 04-02-2017, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coilrod View Post
Which ones are legitimately DOT legal?
We have a number of DOT certified lights on our site.

Here's a list:

Stock (not modified) JW Speakers: https://www.hidprojectors.com/products/jw-speaker8700
Pro7s: https://www.hidprojectors.com/produc...led-headlights
Lucky13s: https://www.hidprojectors.com/products/lucky13
HD10s: https://www.hidprojectors.com/produc...led-headlights

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