Your thoughts on new headlights to replace factory. - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Your thoughts on new headlights to replace factory.

Does anyone know of a good direct factory replacement headlight that will provide good light? Does anyone have the Delta headlamps?



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post #2 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 11:49 AM
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The Delta's are on my list too! My friend had them on his TJ, they are a big improvement over stock.

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post #3 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 12:12 PM
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I have the Delta Quadbars and they're a pretty big improvement over the stock ones. My only complaint about them is they must not be total sealed because occasionally I notice some moisture inside the housings when it rains and after I wash it and such and there is some dust inside. I need to pull the lights out and see if I can clean them and use some silicone to seal them up. Other than that I love them.

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post #4 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 02:03 PM
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I had the Delta's on two different jeeps and didn't care for them. Yes, they offer a brighter light but it is a more narrow beam. The bulb that comes with them is not that much better then stock so I replaced the bulb in them. I also had the moisture problem even in Colorado. I would recommend against them for something else if you can swing the cash I would look at JW speaker or if you want truck lite. Trucklites are coming out with a new one soon so if you want them wait until the new ones are released.
Edit: I see you have a 2012 listed in your sig. I will say the 2012 lights are better then previous years and I would be willing to bet you would not see an improvement on a 2012 by switching to Delta's. I would say they are about the same light output but the stock lights spread wider. I am on my second 2012 4 door JK...
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post #5 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 04:04 PM
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I just swapped the OEM bulbs for Sylvania SilverStars. Definately better than stock. I did notice they light up the sides of the road much better. Cheap fix.

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post #6 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 04:12 PM
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Seems like a waste of money, my factory ones work fine.
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post #7 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 04:24 PM
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Good to know, just saved me $160! Im sure that might not be the case for everyone but I can use that $$ for more useful mods.

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post #8 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 04:38 PM
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I've got the deltas, they do pretty good.

for off road though I still want more light.

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post #9 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanut View Post
Edit: I see you have a 2012 listed in your sig. I will say the 2012 lights are better then previous years and I would be willing to bet you would not see an improvement on a 2012 by switching to Delta's. I would say they are about the same light output but the stock lights spread wider. I am on my second 2012 4 door JK...
I agree, lights on the 12 are definitely better. But the high beams still suck

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post #10 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 08:50 PM
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Two things:


1) The vast majority of JK headlights are aimed wrong from the factory. Get a Torx screwdriver skinny enough to fit through the narrow grill notch, find a Toyota sedan to park about 10 feet behind, and re-aim your low beams so the cut-off is just at the top of the trunk of the Toyota. Note that there's only one adjuster screw, which adjusts up or down, that's it, don't look for a second adjuster screw for left/right, there isn't one. Once you do this, you'll notice that a) the low beams actually shine on the road in front of you, b), people stop flashing their lights at you when you're on low beam, and c) the high beams *mostly* shine on the road in front of you, instead of lighting up the tree tops.

2) You can also get more light by adding Phillips XTreme +80 bulbs, which have the same wattage as stock but are noticeably brighter. Phillips got them to be brighter by running the bulbs at higher temperatures in a smaller capsule (a smaller capsule doesn't have as much surface area to lose heat) and put a high-pressure gas load in the bulbs to keep the filaments from outgassing, thus getting a bulb that lasts as long as OEM yet is brighter.

3) Even then you won't get as much light as with the H4 version of those same bulbs. The H13 standard sucks, the connectors on the bulbs are too thin and have high losses (causing the lights to be dimmer), the only reason Jeep went to H13 is because the standard calls for an O-ring on the bulbs which will keep water out of the headlights at water crossings and such. So if you're thinking of converting from H13 to H4, keep that in mind.

4) The pattern on the 2012 sucks compared to the Hellas on my old LJ, even if you aim them correctly. Aiming my Jeep at a wall in the dark and alternately covering up each headlight with my jacket, the pattern goes all over the place and has odd gaps and dimmer places in it. My Hellas put out a uniform wall of light.

So final conclusion: a) you can get *barely adequate* light from 2012's by aiming them and upgrading them to the Phillips +80 bulbs, or b) you can get *great* light from 2012's by putting in an H4 conversion kit with Hella/Delta/etc. lights with a relay kit (to bypass the losses from the stock H13 sockets).

At the moment, I've stopped at "barely adequate". What's stopping me from going to the relay kit + H4 bulbs is a) mechanical relays simply aren't as reliable as the computer-controlled electronic relay that Chiseler uses to control the stock headlights, and b) fear of water getting into the headlights during water crossings, even with the rubber shield that Hella includes to sort of waterproof the back of the headlight.

So anyhow, that's the scoop, from my POV...
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post #11 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtux View Post
Two things:


1) The vast majority of JK headlights are aimed wrong from the factory. Get a Torx screwdriver skinny enough to fit through the narrow grill notch, find a Toyota sedan to park about 10 feet behind, and re-aim your low beams so the cut-off is just at the top of the trunk of the Toyota. Note that there's only one adjuster screw, which adjusts up or down, that's it, don't look for a second adjuster screw for left/right, there isn't one. Once you do this, you'll notice that a) the low beams actually shine on the road in front of you, b), people stop flashing their lights at you when you're on low beam, and c) the high beams *mostly* shine on the road in front of you, instead of lighting up the tree tops.

2) You can also get more light by adding Phillips XTreme +80 bulbs, which have the same wattage as stock but are noticeably brighter. Phillips got them to be brighter by running the bulbs at higher temperatures in a smaller capsule (a smaller capsule doesn't have as much surface area to lose heat) and put a high-pressure gas load in the bulbs to keep the filaments from outgassing, thus getting a bulb that lasts as long as OEM yet is brighter.

3) Even then you won't get as much light as with the H4 version of those same bulbs. The H13 standard sucks, the connectors on the bulbs are too thin and have high losses (causing the lights to be dimmer), the only reason Jeep went to H13 is because the standard calls for an O-ring on the bulbs which will keep water out of the headlights at water crossings and such. So if you're thinking of converting from H13 to H4, keep that in mind.

4) The pattern on the 2012 sucks compared to the Hellas on my old LJ, even if you aim them correctly. Aiming my Jeep at a wall in the dark and alternately covering up each headlight with my jacket, the pattern goes all over the place and has odd gaps and dimmer places in it. My Hellas put out a uniform wall of light.

So final conclusion: a) you can get *barely adequate* light from 2012's by aiming them and upgrading them to the Phillips +80 bulbs, or b) you can get *great* light from 2012's by putting in an H4 conversion kit with Hella/Delta/etc. lights with a relay kit (to bypass the losses from the stock H13 sockets).

At the moment, I've stopped at "barely adequate". What's stopping me from going to the relay kit + H4 bulbs is a) mechanical relays simply aren't as reliable as the computer-controlled electronic relay that Chiseler uses to control the stock headlights, and b) fear of water getting into the headlights during water crossings, even with the rubber shield that Hella includes to sort of waterproof the back of the headlight.

So anyhow, that's the scoop, from my POV...
that was 4+ things....


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post #12 of 33 Old 01-15-2012, 10:17 PM
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One last thought. I see where some folks above had problems with moisture getting into the Deltas. I never had that problem with the Hella E-specs on my LJ and the light pattern IMHO was as close to perfect as possible. The Hellas included a large rubber shield to keep water out that seemed to work pretty well under normal conditions -- *but*: I never did a water crossing deep enough to test that shield. So take that as you will.

Oh yeah, I can't count, clearly .
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post #13 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtux View Post
One last thought. I see where some folks above had problems with moisture getting into the Deltas. I never had that problem with the Hella E-specs on my LJ and the light pattern IMHO was as close to perfect as possible. The Hellas included a large rubber shield to keep water out that seemed to work pretty well under normal conditions -- *but*: I never did a water crossing deep enough to test that shield. So take that as you will.

Oh yeah, I can't count, clearly .
I dumped my H13 stock bug eyed headlights for some H4 Hella 7" round headlights and it was a major improvement. I bought the kit from here: http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=4669

These lights are what come stock on the JK's in Australia, but for some reason the USA gets stuck with something that is cheap to make and not very good at producing light output. I thought my stock lights on my 2012 were ok until my wife pulled up along side of me in her car with HID headlights. My lights disappeared even with my fogs on. All I saw was her lights on the road. I don't have that problem anymore. The Hella's are bright, have excellent light dispersion, and they are E code rated for europe and legal in the US for street use.
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post #14 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 11:00 AM
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Yes, I have that kit sitting on my sofa at home waiting to be installed .
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post #15 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 11:05 AM
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I've got the IPF's in mine and was really impressed. Much better light coming out, for about $150.

My only minor issue was with the plug-and-play setup that they have. Ended up hardwiring them in place. Did a direct comparison to the stockers and can definitely tell a difference.


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post #16 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 11:17 AM
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I just put the JW Speaker lights in. Awesome, better than my neighbors 2005 911. The light is bright, never been flashed by oncoming drivers, and the color of the light is easy on the eyes for long driving periods.

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post #17 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 11:28 AM
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I've got the same Hella set up as roadking from Rallylights.com. Insane difference from stock crap. 15 min install of new harness and housings. Went with the 100/80 bi-xenon bulbs. Dont need the fogs anymore to see. You can cook hotdogs with hi-beams now. Well worth it. Will up at Rally is the shit. Kudos to Marcus at RCO, he advised me to call them. Respect him for sending customers to get good shit even if he doesn't carry it. Impressive.
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post #18 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earfixr View Post
I've got the same Hella set up as roadking from Rallylights.com. Insane difference from stock crap. 15 min install of new harness and housings. Went with the 100/80 bi-xenon bulbs. Dont need the fogs anymore to see. You can cook hotdogs with hi-beams now. Well worth it. Will up at Rally is the shit. Kudos to Marcus at RCO, he advised me to call them. Respect him for sending customers to get good shit even if he doesn't carry it. Impressive.
x2 Hella H4 from Rallylights is an awesome kit.
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post #19 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by earfixr View Post
I've got the same Hella set up as roadking from Rallylights.com. Insane difference from stock crap. 15 min install of new harness and housings. Went with the 100/80 bi-xenon bulbs.
Can the stock wiring harness handle this substantially increased load, or does the kit come with a wiring harness that draws power direct from the battery through a relay?


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post #20 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin4979 View Post
I've got the IPF's in mine and was really impressed. Much better light coming out, for about $150.

My only minor issue was with the plug-and-play setup that they have. Ended up hardwiring them in place. Did a direct comparison to the stockers and can definitely tell a difference.

This. If you decide to go with the IPF H4 conversion, don't bother with connecting their harness to the stocker. Snip both of them off and hardwire them together with butt connectors. If you can solder them, that's even better.

Light output is definitely an improvement over stock. But I want HID's. The IPF housing should suffice for that, though, unil I can afford to do a higher end Bi-Xenon projector retrofit.

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post #21 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 12:51 PM
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x2 Hella H4 from Rallylights is an awesome kit.
Is this what you guy's got ? http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=136

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post #22 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 12:57 PM
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I'm using the same IPF H4 kit, except I ditched the 4300K blue'ish bulbs that came with it for the IPF Fatboys. Better light spread than stock and the high-beams can actually drown out the KC 130w long range lights on my windshield.

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post #23 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 05:05 PM
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If I bought the IPF housings could I install the H13 HID bulbs I already have in them?
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post #24 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 05:34 PM
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No, I believe the H13 twist in and the H4 drop in and are held in with a metal clip.

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post #25 of 33 Old 01-18-2012, 05:52 PM
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That RallyLights kit is way over priced.

You can buy e-code H4 Hellas for about $35 each. Buy the H4 pigtail at your auto parts store for a few bucks each. Some good bulbs (I used some +80s) for around $50. Cut off the H13 connector and splice in the H4 connectors. In the end, you're looking at half the cost of that kit.

On my '09, my light output was soooooo much better with a good pattern. I plan to do this with my '12, even though the lights are way better than the '09 was, but I haven't got around to it yet.

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