Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Feedback: 0 reviews
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...