My headlights suck, what is the best option for improvement? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 09-07-2012, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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My headlights suck, what is the best option for improvement?

2012 JKU Rubicon.

My headlights really suck.

What are the options for improvement?
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post #2 of 53 Old 09-07-2012, 10:48 PM
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You have several options.

1 - replace the bulbs - will help, but not a lot.
2 - put in an HID kit (in stock reflectors)
3 - change the housings (would recommend a harness as well)
4 - projector HID setup
5 - go to LEDs

Of those I've done 1, 2, 3 and have ordered #4 (should arrive in a few weeks).

New bulbs are ok. HID kit is a massive difference, but I wouldn't recommend it. Changing the housings is your best price effective option. However the issue I ran into was that the housings ran too hot (light was amazing though), and when wheeling around mud/water cracked both. Issue with the housings is that you cannot turn off the DRL. If a programmer had been available I might have just replaced the Hella housings - they were that good. However one wasn't available... so it gave me a great excuse to order a HID projector setup from HIDprojectors here (vendor).

2012 Silver JKU Rubicon
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post #3 of 53 Old 09-07-2012, 10:53 PM
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Cibie upgrade from daniel stern lighting...
Hella upgrade from rally lights...
Trucklites led headlight upgrade. (I have they kick ass over stock but pricey.)
Jw speaker led upgrade. (more spendy than Trucklites.)


Other than that, lots opinions on what is best buy For money.

Don't waste money upgrading bulbs in stock housing, just putting lipstick on a pig.

Steer clear of hid upgrades that use stock housing. More light from a suck housing does not not make things at much better.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #4 of 53 Old 09-07-2012, 11:27 PM
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HID Projectors V2. Hands down, best light for the money!
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post #5 of 53 Old 09-08-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkuntz01 View Post
Cibie upgrade from daniel stern lighting...
Hella upgrade from rally lights...
Trucklites led headlight upgrade. (I have they kick ass over stock but pricey.)
Jw speaker led upgrade. (more spendy than Trucklites.)
would definitely agree that the Hella Rally Lights upgrade kit from Susquehanna Motorsports is a night-and-day difference from stock and an easy upgrade.
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post #6 of 53 Old 09-08-2012, 09:18 AM
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I have had the IPF housing with the H4 bulbs for almost 2 years now without any problems. The light output is good, they are not expensive and the instal is quick and easy.
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post #7 of 53 Old 09-08-2012, 09:50 AM
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im going led but havent decided on jw speaker or the truck-lite. but led is the way to go imo

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post #8 of 53 Old 09-08-2012, 10:53 PM
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I want to spend my $ on something besides LED. I went with Delta Quad Bar Xenon headlights. Around $150. Super easy install, glass lense, and they work much better than OEM.
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post #9 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 02:38 AM
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Cibie headlights with good globes - not cheap, but they are great lights.
Daniel Stern or Ebay - but what ever way you go, upgrade the wiring and use relays.
It really is worth the effort.

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post #10 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkuntz01 View Post
Cibie upgrade from daniel stern lighting...
Hella upgrade from rally lights...
Trucklites led headlight upgrade. (I have they kick ass over stock but pricey.)
Jw speaker led upgrade. (more spendy than Trucklites.)


Other than that, lots opinions on what is best buy For money.

Don't waste money upgrading bulbs in stock housing, just putting lipstick on a pig.

Steer clear of hid upgrades that use stock housing. More light from a suck housing does not not make things at much better.
I went with Cibie from Daniel Stern. Stock wattage bulbs for longevity, made my own pig tails and used stock harness (hence the stock wattage) and the results 3 years later....

NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING! Most important safety upgrade you can make. I've never experienced poorer stock headlights in over 30 years of driving! Just horrible. Gotta love eCode lights!

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post #11 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popojk View Post
I want to spend my $ on something besides LED. I went with Delta Quad Bar Xenon headlights. Around $150. Super easy install, glass lense, and they work much better than OEM.
Same here....and I got my delta's for like 119 bucks !

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post #12 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 10:07 AM
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Something to keep in mind with that 2012. There's no programmer yet to turn off the daytime running lights. Any light that uses a harness will always be on. If you wheel and go through mud/water, don't get a light with a glass lens. This is probably the only time I'd say not to look at Cibies or Hella's. Look at HIDs or LEDs.

I'm glad I didn't fork out the money for Cibies initially, as I'd just be replacing them now anyway.

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post #13 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 12:28 PM
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Rallylights just came out with three new options including a Bi-Haloen high-low option, a Bi-Xenon HID option, and LED option. They are a bit pricey but may be an option as well.
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post #14 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 05:27 PM
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I'm confused- what's this talk of drl's? I have a 2012 and no drl's for me. Is it a regional thing?

At any rate, I have the hidprojectors kit(the second kit with the larger projectors) and they are amazing. I went with a factory-looking all chrome setup and they make a world of difference without looking too flashy. Perfect for me.
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post #15 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoso77 View Post
I'm confused- what's this talk of drl's? I have a 2012 and no drl's for me. Is it a regional thing?

At any rate, I have the hidprojectors kit(the second kit with the larger projectors) and they are amazing. I went with a factory-looking all chrome setup and they make a world of difference without looking too flashy. Perfect for me.

My 2012 rubi doesn't have drls either thank God. I upgraded my headlights to the 2nd gen trucklites and I am very happy with them. I can't wait to ditch my stock bumper with stock fogs since they do not match the black housing look of my headlights.
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post #16 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 10:12 PM
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I have Hellas h4 conversion lamps. i made my own harness adapters from the old bulbe. just cut off the glass and sodered on an h4 socket which is cheap from just about any autoparts shop. then I put in halogen 55/100w bulbs. great highbeam output. the high beam is for offroad use only .

I also run KC 100 driving lamps. this lights up really well. just need pillar flood lights for lighting up aimed at about 45 degrees to the sides. then rock led light underneath. DONE with lights. what more do you need?

Eventually I will upgrade to all LED lighting but those are not that reasonable yet. I like my money so I will wait till pricing is better.

JKUR auto | 5:38 | tires 36"x17 wheels 9"x4.5"bs | TF 6"| ASFIR bumpers, skids | SuperWinch EPi9.5 | RCV shafts | SC traildash | Xenon fenders | OBA York

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post #17 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 11:08 PM
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For those that are avoiding LEDs, what's the reason?

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post #18 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
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For those that are avoiding LEDs, what's the reason?
I personally do not think LEDs are where they need to be for me to invest in them. Likely in another few years perhaps. But for someone whos picky about lights, I'm still hearing complaints about LEDs (both JW and TL gen 2).

The HIDs that Tom sold me were still 30% less than what most LEDs seem to be going for.

As for those with something that's using a harness, you're able to drive without your headlights on? Only way I can do that is with my ebreak pulled up 1 click.

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post #19 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
.... If you wheel and go through mud/water, don't get a light with a glass lens. This is probably the only time I'd say not to look at Cibies or Hella's.

I'm glad I didn't fork out the money for Cibies initially, as I'd just be replacing them now anyway.
Why? I've been up to my headlights once in water without issue. And that's a LOT of water! What's the concern with the glass lenses?

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post #20 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Co4Lo View Post
HID Projectors V2. Hands down, best light for the money!
I have to agree with this statement. I absolutely hated the stock headlights. First thing I changed actually. Went with the IPF H4 set-up and it was definitely an improvement over stock. But still not quite the output I was looking for. Guess I got spoiled by the OEM Bi-Xenons that were in my VW R32. Recently installed the HID Projectors V2 w/ 35W Ballasts and 6000k bulbs and holy shit! I can see! And the fact that Tom can customize them just about anyway you could possibly want makes them that much better. Definitely a must have if you're looking for better lighting.

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post #21 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 07:30 AM
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Short, I want to see this on your jeep. I've been flirting with the idea of changing mine out.


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post #22 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 07:33 AM
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Thumbs up i did the hids also

i did the hids also, but went with 55 watt ballasts, 6000k bi xenon bulbs and they are great, no problems, been on there for 2 years now.the key is too have the correct harness, and good grounds.

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post #23 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 07:49 AM
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Short, I want to see this on your jeep. I've been flirting with the idea of changing mine out.


Bryan
I'll have to meet up with you somewhere one night so you can check them out. I'm pretty impressedwith them so far. I aimed them Saturday night, but probably need to bring them down a hair, as I think I'm still annoying people at this point.

Actually...now that I think about it....we need to go hog hunting one night. Then you can see the headlights & a-pillars in action.

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post #24 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 08:02 AM
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Yes indeed on the hunt and that would be a great time to see them.


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post #25 of 53 Old 09-10-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoso77 View Post
I'm confused- what's this talk of drl's? I have a 2012 and no drl's for me. Is it a regional thing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIsAdam View Post
Why? I've been up to my headlights once in water without issue. And that's a LOT of water! What's the concern with the glass lenses?
I've been up there a couple times and every time I've hit deeper water I've cracked the headlight more and more. Drivers side has 5-6 cracks, while the passenger side has 2-3.

I'm thinking it must be a regional thing... because the moment I put on the harness, my lights were always on. Even if I left them off. The moment I put it in drive, on they come.

2012 Silver JKU Rubicon
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