Night time driving is dangerous.
As a result, you may wish you had better illumination on the road at night.
Are you tired of wondering if your Jeep headlights are so dirty, worn out or dim that they’re ruining your driving experience?
The current halogen lights in your Jeep may be old, worn out or dirty.
Driving at night is nothing to take lightly. Half the vehicle accidents that occur do so after dark, and that’s when only 25-percent of the vehicles are on the road.
Your chance of getting in an accident at night is much greater than the daytime.
That’s why headlights might be the most important equipment on your Jeep.
It might be the difference between life and death.
According to Consumer Reports, vehicles need a distance of 300 feet to react to something that gets in their path. Dim headlights allow you to see only 60 feet ahead.
If you drive in areas with animal road crossings, or you routinely commute to work at night along long, lonely country roads, it’s important to have good, long range, high-performance headlights.
Especially when you consider that the aging process in the typical headlight leaves it with only 20% of the light’s earliest brightness.
This is an unusual problem to have because it has two components:
- It’s perilous
- The answer is easy
You may be wondering why your jeep headlights are so dim. It’s an often repeated and debated issue among Jeep owners, so first of all, you need to understand that you’re not alone.
Many Jeep owners express the same frustration. It could be because of the age of the headlamp or they may just be dirty and need to be cleaned.
Unfortunately, many Jeep owners wonder this as soon as they buy the vehicle, so the manufacturer is clearly not installing the brightest headlamps out there.
Troubleshooting – Check Engine Light Flashing and Car Shaking
In addition, many Jeep drivers head out from the city into the wild.
There are few streetlights or vehicles around to generate light in off-road trails, so the lighting level may be lower than the Jeep owner is accustomed to.
Indeed, it could be pitch black. When you notice how poorly your lights are performing, it may be something as simple as the change of scenery.
Whatever the reason, you can upgrade to much brighter headlamps than Jeep has put on your vehicle.
The brightest lights you can find are LED headlamps. Many are equipped with LED halos and halogen ring lights to further increase the illumination.
The units for sale can last for years. It’s just a matter of upgrading your headlamps. To move from halogen or high-intensity filament lights to LED can be fairly easy.
In fact, it’s a favorite do-it-yourself project.
The Science behind LED Headlight
In general, LED lights are more efficient and more reliable than halogen lights.
There’s a lot of science behind LED lights. LED stands for a light emitting diode. It’s a type of diode that acts as a semiconductor to control the flow of electricity.
Here’s a description of the science from Sidecar CR:
“The two main parts in a diode include the n-type semiconductor and the p-type semiconductor, with a p-n junction situated between them. The negatively-charged electrons fill up the n-type semiconductor, and the positively-charged carriers fill up the p-type semiconductor. During electric currents to a diode, electrons which are charged negatively attract to the p-type positively-charged conductor.”
Sidecar CR continues:
“The electrons will continuously circuit around a nucleus of the atom. In order to move outwards from this nucleus, they have to change the energy type, in a form of light or photons when crossing the p-n junctions. During these processes, light energy which illumines the LED bulbs will be created.”
While we notice that halogen light on your Jeep generates heat, we don’t immediately think that the heat energy actually subtracts from the quality of light the headlamps produce, but it does.
That heat energy expenditure is a deficit in the brightness of the light. In contrast, the LED light generates little heat so all of the energy is used to create light.
The LED lights run cooler, but they also run brighter. LED light produces 3000 LMs, but much of it is scattered.
As a result, it’s important that the LED headlamp have as many LED projectors as possible to focus the light on the road ahead.
While light turns from yellow to white at 2500 K to 4000 K, the LED headlamps usually run 5500 K t0 6500 K, and that produces a cool white light that’s super bright.
Heat diffusers are important to keep the temperature of the LED lights constant to ensure a consistent level of illumination. While they run cooler than halogen lights, they still generate 50-percent of the heat of a halogen light, so cooling is an issue with LED headlamps.
So what is the structure of an LED headlight?
The first thing you want in a headlamp is stability. The ballast is needed to resist electric voltage spikes. By regulating the voltage and current supplied to the headlamp once it’s switched on and during operation, the ballast optimizes the heat protection, power efficiency and brightness output.
Secondly, the shockproof factor of the headlamp is a measurement of how much the vibration in traveling down the road affects the headlamp and how much dampening does the headlamp’s construction accomplish?
Finally, the IP number is a rating of how waterproof the light is. If you drive into a sinkhole nose first and swamp it, you may want to know how many minutes you have before your submerged headlamps are compromised by water leaks. IP67 is good for thirty minutes, for example.
9 Best Jeep Wrangler Headlights Review 2020
Here are the best Jeep headlights available online:
LX-LIGHT 7” Round Black Cree LED Headlight High Low Beam for Jeep Wrangler JK TJ LJ CJ
This is the world’s first heated lens LED headlight heats when you need it most. It conforms to DOT regulations and it’s street legal, check the symbol on the headlamp, but be sure to properly install it. The point is to avoid the buildup of ice or snow on the lens.
This really makes them the excellent choice for people suffering extreme temperatures, and because Jeeps do off-road stuff and are not frightened of snow and ice, this would be the perfect headlamp.
The metalized reflector that provides the optical qualities of the light produces a slick and clean projection across the road. During operation, the headlamps generate an intense, harder brighter white light output, approaching the color quality of daylight.
In general, LED lighting is a tough form of lighting. It’s solid state, there’s no halogen bulb, and it’s one difficult light to damage with shock or vibration. To ensure this is one tough light, it’s housed in military-grade die-cast aluminum housing. In addition, the polycarbonate heated lens shields the unit from flying roadside debris and hurling stones.
The epoxy covering that seals the electronics in a hermetic seal is closed completely and it’s strong enough to resist corrosion or an invasion of moisture. Super-safe circuitry protects the driver against voltage spikes up to 600V.
How plug and play are they?
It’s a drop-in replacement for the #6014, 6015, 6016, H6024 and Par 56 headlight designs. When installing, use the standard H4 3-blade connector. If you buy this headlamp, you will receive a 3-year limited warranty from Truck-Lite.[amazon box=”B01B376YOE”]
Xprite 7″ LED Halo Headlights for Jeep Wrangler JK TJ LJ 1997-2018
This is a high-performance Cree LED chip system from Xprite, and it’s DOT Okayed for both off-road and street.
The newest seven-inch LED headlamp with angel eyes halo is more intense and bright than the halogen and HID that came with your Jeep. While high-intensity discharge filaments are an improvement over halogen bulbs, the HID is no match for LED chip lights.
Beneath the hood flare, the angel eyes look is definitely a winner. In electronic terms, your original equipment is obsolete when compared.
This LED system provides 9600 LM for over 50,000 hours of operation. That’s a long lifespan.
It operates in high beam and low beam modes, provides a daytime running light presence, and illuminates an amber turn signal light. These modes are determined by the driver behind the wheel.
To protect from the debris thrown off the trail by off-road vehicles like the Jeep, this light is constructed of high quality, durable die-cast aluminum housing and a polycarbonate lens that deflects rocks and bugs.
The ribbed design has proved it’s worthwhile for efficient cooling in the light. This light is not only resilient, but it also demonstrates great strength and is a lightweight product. Both qualities are a plus when installing in the Jeep.
This Xprite product is also rustproof and shock-proof. Because of the sealed housing, it’s also waterproof. The water-proof number is IP67, so if for some reason, you submerge the front end of the Jeep in water, it won’t penetrate your headlamps for thirty minutes.
Cool. How easy is this headlamp to install?
The plug and play headlamps, LED ballast, LED CAN bus & h4/h13 adapter included with the headlamps can be installed usually in 20 Minutes or Less.
So, what Jeeps are these Xprite headlamps compatible with? They’re good with the Jeep Wrangler JK, TJ and LJ models from 1997-2018. The 2017 – 2018 JKs with OEM LED headlights will require a headlight bracket for installation and that’s sold separately.
The part number is B07DPBMNL4. These also suit or fit the 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ, the 2004-2006 Jeep Wrangler LJ Unlimited, the 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK 2-door or 4-door.[amazon box=”B00WL8X3HQ”]
JW Speaker 8700 J2 Black Headlights Pair 0554543
If you want to increase your visibility for oncoming traffic or increase your vision at night, the JW Speaker 8799 J Black Headlights can both shine brightly before oncoming traffic and make everything in front of you visible.
These High and low beam LED headlamps are manufactured for Jeep Wranglers and Wranglers Unlimited starting in 2007.
They fit the generation Wranglers starting in 2017 to the present, but you must research at the website to figure out which Wrangler will require the mounting ring kit.
The pre-2007 Wrangler models should be looked up at JW Speaker’s website. Check out their video for using a ring mounting kit if that’s the route to go.
From behind the wheel, the first thing you’ll appreciate about the JW Speakers J2 black headlamps is the burst of light you’ll get from the dual burn high and low beam optics.
If you’re a DIY, the installation might also be the easiest installation of a headlamp you’ve ever experienced. While it’s plug-and-play, understand that the headlamps might need minor adjustments before they’re perfectly aligned.
The manufacturer made sure you didn’t need a harness to maintain a flicker-free light. Your turn signals won’t light up the LED lights either. This is definitely a quality headlamp. Of course, you may still wonder if you can use them on the streets.
The JW Speaker j2 Black headlamps are both DOT compliant and Transport Canada compliant too. DOT compliance is etched on the lens.
These headlamps not only improve your Jeep’s light output on dark and dreary nights, but it also guarantees an improved light projection. Not to mention, these led lights are just darn attractive too.
If you’re looking for a street legal, incredibly powerful and illuminating headlight system, this is the place to come. If you off road at night, you need these headlights. Off trail is illuminated only by moonlight, and it’s not there every night!
By the way, I’ll share a little secret: JW Speaker headlights are a favorite among motorcyclists, and they are watching out for their very lives riding at night![amazon box=”B072866KS2″]
DOT Compliant 7” Black LED Headlights + 4 ”Cree LED Fog Lights for Jeep Wrangler 97-2017 JK TJ LJ
The life span of these LX-Light Brand headlamps and fog lights is 50,000 hours.
This combo of black headlamps and fog lights from Cree provide plenty of light and lend a classic look to your Jeep that headlights without fog lights couldn’t achieve.
They’re easy to install unless spending three minutes removing the Jeep grill sounds like too much effort.
With the grill off, it’s plug and play. The headlight comes with built-in EMC function for anti-flicker, so there’s no need extra decoder!
High beam for driving and low beam for meeting on-coming traffic, the low beam provides adequate illumination ahead and good lateral illumination too.
They offer black durable waterproof housing to protect the light for long hours of operation.
The high beam is a 4500 LM to illuminate the road, and a 3200 LM low beam for meeting traffic.
The fog lights emit 1600 LM apiece. This LED light is a frugal light.
It fits Jeep 1997 to 2017 and works with the Hard Rock, Jeep Wrangler JK JKU TJ LJ Freedom Edition, Rubicon(some need extra mounting bracket: B01MRISD6W), Sahara, Unlimited Hard Rock Edition, Willys Wheeler, Altitude, Dragon Edition, X Sport Utility…2-Door, 4-Door, some Hard Rock, Rubicon X, Anivesary and10th Anniversary Editions may need extra mounting bracket: B01MRISD6W.
It comes with wiring harnesses for ease of installation, although you shouldn’t have to cut your wiring harness.
These are seven-inch headlamps with four-inch fog lights. This is a90 watt set with a 40-watt bulb.[amazon box=”B01KNXSIYS”]
Omotor 7 Inch Jeep Wrangler RGB Halo LED Headlights For Jeep Wrangler TJ JK Headlamp
These are colorful headlamps and may actually be against your local law codes because of the color attributes, so double check before purchasing.
These units fit 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, 04-06 Jeep Wrangler LJ Unlimited, 07-15 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 door and the 07-15 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 door.
The seven-inch LED headlamp is maintenance free. The waterproof rating is IP67. It’s a LED headlight with a halo angel eyes look.
The operating lumens output is 3600 lm in high beam and 1800 lm in low beam.
The operating voltage is 9-32v DC. The LED power is 40w for high beam and 30w for low beam.
There’s a built-in internal fan and integrated cooling system. It includes two 40w high-intensity Cree LED headlights and two H4 to H13 adapter and a Bluetooth driver.
It has a 50,000 hr lifespan. The operating Temp’s -20º C to +60º C.
The lens is shockproof and dustproof. The aluminum light housing is thicker and stronger than steel parts, so the unit is lighter in weight.
The Bluetooth APP gives you a handheld remote where you can dial up more colors and more strobe modes.
This headlamp set combines micro-LEDs of all colors into one refined light, giving you a stronger, more vibrant light with more color options. The color light effect will sync with music rhythm in music mode.
Omotor 7 Inch Jeep Wrangler RGB Halo LED Headlights to fit the Jeep Wrangler TJ and JK. Specifically, it fits the 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, the 04-06 Jeep Wrangler LJ Unlimited, the 07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 Door, the 07-18 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 Door. It’s also anti-explosion.
For your information, it’s usual that this headlamp might form mist the first time you use it. Usually, it will disappear in one hour and keeps clean forever.[amazon box=”B06XPF49HV”]
Seven-inch LED Headlights Bulb with White Halo Angel Eye Ring DRL for Jeep Wrangler JK LJ CJ
This is a four piece, 10W, high-intensity Cree LED halo set, and it’s plug & play. It’s got an LED ballast, an LED CAN bus and includes an H4 and H13 adapter. It’s an attractive set with a signal light in the halo.
This unit is maintenance free and water-proof rated at IP67. It may require an anti-flicker harness and the part number if you need it is B071VR8RZL at Amazon.com.
The white light’s the driving light.
The set fits the Jeep 1997- 2017, excluding the Hard Rock Edition. It also fits the Jeep Wrangler JK JKU TJ LJ freedom edition, the Rubicon.
Some Rubicons need an extra bracket, and the part number B017B8NL2M at Amazon.com. It fits the Sahara, Unlimited Hard Rock Edition, Willys Wheeler, Altitude, Dragon Edition and X Sport Utility. It also fits the 07-’17 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 Door, The 07-’17 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 Door, The 04-’06 Jeep Wrangler LJ Unlimited, the 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, the 81-’85 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler, and the 76-’86 Jeep CJ-7.
You’ll enjoy low power consumption and a life span of 30,000 hrs. It’s got low voltage protection, high precision constant current driver chip, and a built-in internal fan and integrated cooling system. It’s an 80w set with a 40w bulb. The voltage’s DC 12V.
The material used to house it’s aluminum. It has lumens 3600 LM kit with high beam & 1800 LM kit at the low beam.
It’s seven-inches in diameter. It has Cree ships and is Dot Certified.
The waterproof number is IP67. In the box, you’ll find two headlamps, two harnesses and a diagram.[amazon box=”B00WM3WDXA”]
Seven-inch RGB Halo LED Headlights and 4-inch Fog Lights for Jeep Wrangler 1997-2018 JKU JK Rubicon TJ LJ
This DOT compliant headlamp is perfectly legal on the road.
It’s also a dedicated motorcycle part, so it doesn’t come as a set of two. Buy them one headlamp at a time.
It’s a plug and play set with built-in CAN bus and H4 and H13 adapters.
It’s a four piece set, 10W LED lamp. It offers 2000 LM in high beam mode and 1500 LM in low beam. It fits H4 or H13 connectors. Working temperature ranges from -40 degrees C to 80 degrees C. the operating voltage is 10-30V DC.
The LED color is 6000k-6500k bright white pushing into the blue spectrum. It’s housed in an aluminum shell. It’s maintenance free and water-proof with a rating of IP65.
The set includes one LED headlights and two 4.5-inch LED fog light. The low power consumption life span is 30,000hrs. It offers low voltage protection and a high precision constant current driver chip. It offers a built-in internal fan and integrated cooling system.
The output wattage is 60w. The input is 12-24V DC. The operating voltage is 10-30V DC. The illumination amounts to 2000 LM with the high beam and 1500 LM with low beam.
The connector is H4 and H13. It is housed in aluminum. The lens pattern is a high and low beam.[amazon box=”B017OPE860″]
Rigid Industries 55004 7″ Round Headlight Heated Lens with PWM Adaptor
The manufacturer recommends that professional install this headlamp.
It gets positive reviews.
This light is DOT compliant, with 16 gauge wire, a hard-coated polycarbonate lens, an aluminum housing and metalized reflectors.
It’s a Truck-Lite headlight kit by Rigid Industries.
This is an excellent option for off-road vehicles like the Jeep.
The heated lens’ provides a steady melting of snow and ice at the light’s surface, and it’s only active when temperatures drop under 50 degrees.
The metalized reflector optics provides a lighting experience that is smooth and clean across the driving surface.
The LED headlight provides a brighter, crisper and whiter light output, closer to the color temperature of daylight, and it dramatically projects light over a distance and improves overall visibility.
The durability and dependability of LED lighting provide a solid-state, bulb-free headlamp design that is impervious to damage from shock and vibration.[amazon box=”B0102OHPRO”]
Truck-Lite 27275C LED Head Lamp
With a polycarbonate front and a military grade die-cast aluminum back, these well-made, round Truck-Lite hi/low beam headlamps are super bright.
The LED headlamps will greatly increase your visibility while making you aware of everything around you.
They also include a heating element so it will melt snow and ice. That’s far superior to halogen or filament elements that melt snow just because the light gets hot.
LED lights do not heat up, so they require a heating element. They require a harness to keep the units from flickering.
The DOT designation inside the lens makes the light street legal when properly installed.
The heat travels in a one-of-a-kind pattern to keep the unit free of snow and ice. It’s recommended for off-road vehicles, making it the perfect light for the Jeep Wrangler.
The light’s reflector is so well designed; it provides a smooth, clean light across the road.
The light produced is white and crisp, and designed to be close to the light of day. The light’s superior construction provides protection from the elements that might fly up off the road whether it’s rocks, dirt or debris.
Epoxy-Sealed electronics never need maintenance and are safe from rust and corrosion.
The advanced circuit protects against electrical spikes as high as 600 volts. You can connect it to your standard three blade H4 connector.
It’s the perfect headlamp for the Jeep Wrangler CJ-5 and CJ-7, the Jeep Wrangler JK from 1997 to 2019. This headlamp is a seven-inch round LED, 2 diode headlight and 12-24V.[amazon box=”B0193VFCO0″]
Things to consider before buying the Best Jeep Wrangler Headlights
Beyond the structure of LED lights, there’s the question of their compatibility with your vehicle and with the laws of the community you live in.
LED headlamps may be powerful, but they can blind oncoming traffic, a thing you want to avoid. It behooves drivers to know when to use their headlamps low and high beams. It’s simple driver instruction. For example, low beams are to be used to meet oncoming traffic.
Make sure your headlamps meet the Department of Transportation and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards regulations, and that they are DOT compliant.
The manufacturer will state whether the headlamp is compliant. The DOT symbol is also stamped on the unit.
Also, understand that your headlamps and your windshield work together to improve your optical clarity while driving. If your windshield is damaged, you can suffer headlight glare on your windshield with bright headlamps.
Getting the right equipment for the car is also important. It’s a question of compatibility.
If there ever was a do-it-yourself project for everyone, it might be changing the headlamps.
Yet changing the Jeep from halogen or HID light to LED headlamps might result in a mismatch of electrical harnesses.
Manufacturers of headlamps can make it easier by including harnesses in the box with their headlamp product.
Square or Round Headlamps
While this article is about round headlights, some old Jeep Wrangler YJs from the 1980s have square headlights.
If you drive a Jeep Wrangler from the 1980s, check to see if you require square headlights. Buy square LED replacement headlights and you’re in business.
If you don’t have compatible harnesses, you will have to try using your existing harnesses.
If the new headlamps don’t fit your existing electrical harnesses, you may have to look for new harnesses at an auto store.
What looked like a simple DIY project could become difficult.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For your information, the jeep harnesses usually come in H4 and H13 connectors.
Install Jeep LED Headlights
Here are the steps to take to install new LED headlamps:
- Do the research.
- Figure out the installation requirements.
- Settle on a product and purchase the lights.
- Get the tools, the lights, and a place to work and do the installation.
Research the lights available. The next section in this article has helpful recommendations.
That’s a great place to start.
There are a number of qualifications the lights must meet. They must have the right numbers for high beam LMs, low beam LMs, waterproof rating and stability rating. They must be DOT compliant. They must comply with local laws.
Above all, headlights must be white in color. Other colors might run astray of local laws, so check with local authorities before putting the money down for colored headlamps.
Even colored halos raise eyebrows. That doesn’t mean you can’t have color LEDs that turn on when you open the door and stuff like that.
You just can’t run with them.
After you’ve got that checked out, it’s a matter of scoping out the installation process before you commit to a purchase.
Discover the tools involved. Determine the level of skill required. Does the product need to be installed by professionals? How much time is involved? Read feedback and rants about a product.
These statements can be raw, confusing or even inaccurate, but look for stuff you can make sense of.
Ask general questions like do these lights fit? Do they require different mounting brackets or harnesses? Does your new unit need an anti-flicker harness and dielectric grease?
If you’re buying online, check out the shipping and handling costs so it doesn’t shock you at the checkout.
Be sure to aim the headlights at the end of the installation. You may check this video:
The Internet’s full of tips; Try this one: Pointing them at a wall in the work area. Mark the old light’s projection before you replace them.
After the replacement, aim the new headlights so that your earlier marks are centered. That’s a short cut.
A Quick Recap
So, that’s how to upgrade your Jeep Wrangler’s halogen or HID headlamps to new, bright LED headlamps.
Considering how many steps are required in some installations in the recommended list, it wouldn’t be surprising if improved kits come out in the future.
The advantage you receive when you switch to LED is that of a long-lasting, super bright headlamp system.
Since the headlamps can be so bright, it’s important to get the aiming accurate and drive according to the rules when using the high beams.
While many people buy them for cosmetic or practical reasons, the economy shows up in the light’s long life.
Shop around and buy a set that fits your budget.
If you want to do more research on the matter, check out these links: