LED headlights worth the price? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-27-2021, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
tkauff
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Wj LED headlights worth the price?

I've got a 2001 WJ and I still have the stock headlights with halogen bulbs. I cant see s*** with these headlights. I'm debating on buying led bulbs for the stock headlights or spend some extra money and buy after-market ones. Does anyone have after-market headlights they're super happy with?

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post #2 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 12:48 AM
carlsondrew3
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LED headlights worth the price?

I had the same issues as you and Iím sure plenty of other WJ guys on the forum could agree. Mine were so yellowed and oxidized, it was practically pointless turning the headlights on at night. Nonetheless, thereís a few things Iíd recommend depending on your preference and price point.

First option: if your Jeep is just your basic daily driver and you donít care about aesthetics all that much, than go ahead and by some aftermarket OEM replacement housings and halogen bulbs, (donít get LEDís unless you want to blind everyone on the road). Should work wonders and cost you around 100 bucks if Iím not mistaken.

Second option: If your looking to give your Jeep a bit of a facelift and a lighting upgrade, take a look at Spyder Auto. They make a great aftermarket option with a projector set up, (which allows you to run LED bulbs without blinding oncoming traffic) and some nice LED daytime running lights that make the WJ look sharp. I run both their headlights and taillights and the quality/light output is outstanding - a massive improvement over stock especially if you throw in those LEDís. However, this is easily the most expensive option and the set up could run you 300+ as the housings are pricey. Of course, you could pick up some of the knockoff ones on Amazon, but a couple guys have told me that the difference in quality is pretty noticeable.

Third Option: You could try your luck with sanding off the oxidized layer or taking it to a shop that would do it. Definitely the cheapest option, but itís a bit of a gamble - works for some not for others. In my case, I got a pretty minuscule improvement when I tried it out.

Anyway, apologies for the ramble, but hopefully you find something useful. All comes down to price point and what your looking for. If you modify your WJ and are looking for an upgrade over stock, Iíd invest in some Spyder Auto headlights. Otherwise, just get some OEM replacements and that should do perfect.

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post #3 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 02:22 AM
Delta0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkauff View Post
I've got a 2001 WJ and I still have the stock headlights with halogen bulbs. I cant see s*** with these headlights. I'm debating on buying led bulbs for the stock headlights or spend some extra money and buy after-market ones. Does anyone have after-market headlights they're super happy with?
Check you headlight earths / grounds.
Check for voltage drop between battery I headlights.

Apart from that High Intensity Discharge kits / HIDs should give you very bright headlights.
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 06:37 AM
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Not all LED bulbs are created equal. Some are definitely better than others. LED bulbs get a bad wrap because there are so many cheap ones on the market. Personally, I run them and they're not any brighter than grandpa's new Lexus I encounter going down the road. Be prepared to get good ones though.. they're probably going to run you around $100.

At a minimum, you'll want to clean up the stock housings with a restoration kit. They can be found at most auto parts stores. I prefer the 3M or Meguiars kits. Follow the instructions to the letter and don't skip a step, most can be restored. After you're done, clean them well with some denatured alcohol and then hit them with several coats of clear automotive spray paint. That'll keep them looking good for a few years.

Replacement OEM aftermarket headlights are a good option too.

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post #5 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 08:10 AM
2oldjeeps
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since led lites became widely used i see more cars with lights out, daily.
it can cost over $200 to get a headlight changed.
not 10 bucks anymore.
i dont want them...

99wj, 150,000 miles
00xj ,189,000 miles
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 01:14 PM
xcaliber81
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Idk my 16 longhorn ram I put leds in 2 years ago roughly since the stock headlights were absolutely ****, never had an issue with a burnt put light ever. The initial cost was about 350$ but after that I can put any replacement led bulb in it since my ram uses a canbus style so a specific harness was mandatory.

Also in my wj I use HIR bulbs. Been in 3 to 4 years still going strong.
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 02:05 PM
007matman
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The LED's in My 2007 F350 are 3.5 years old now and I've put about 65k on them since I installed them. Seem to be going strong yet.

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post #8 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 02:13 PM
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Unfortunately as of the time of this post, there are no LED drop-in style bulbs that will safely work with the stock housings. It is just not possible currently to have a "universal style drop-in bulb" that mimics the bulb light output in the housing. The reflectors are the way they are for a reason. The engineers that developed the housings had to make sure they at least complied minimally with FMVSS-108. FMVSS-108 regulates automotive lighting, signaling, and reflective devices and is administered by the NHTSA. While it may be possible for a "drop-in LED bulb" to perform in a halogen housing in compliance with FMVSS-108 it will not perform in compliance in other housings. Headlights are safety equipment and need to be taken seriously. The best "upgrade" one can do for existing stock housings is to ensure they're clear and polished as best as possible and to install HIR1 and HIR2 bulbs. These bulbs will comply with FMVSS-108 assuming your headlights are aimed properly. They match the stock wattage as well. The only downside is the slight trimming you will need to do at the base of the bulb. There are resources online with information on how to do it. Candlepowerforums.com is a good one.
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 02:20 PM
007matman
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Originally Posted by wjrow View Post
Unfortunately as of the time of this post, there are no LED drop-in style bulbs that will safely work with the stock housings. It is just not possible currently to have a "universal style drop-in bulb" that mimics the bulb light output in the housing. The reflectors are the way they are for a reason. The engineers that developed the housings had to make sure they at least complied minimally with FMVSS-108. FMVSS-108 regulates automotive lighting, signaling, and reflective devices and is administered by the NHTSA. While it may be possible for a "drop-in LED bulb" to perform in a halogen housing in compliance with FMVSS-108 it will not perform in compliance in other housings. Headlights are safety equipment and need to be taken seriously. The best "upgrade" one can do for existing stock housings is to ensure they're clear and polished as best as possible and to install HIR1 and HIR2 bulbs. These bulbs will comply with FMVSS-108 assuming your headlights are aimed properly. They match the stock wattage as well. The only downside is the slight trimming you will need to do at the base of the bulb. There are resources online with information on how to do it. Candlepowerforums.com is a good one.
Huh.. wasn't aware that the light bulb was proprietary for the WJ. I guess you learn something new every day. Better hope they never burn out. I'll head to the local auto-parts store and ask if they have the WJ - OEM housing specific bulbs.

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post #10 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 03:03 PM
wjrow
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I'm sorry I'm not trying to claim that the bulb is proprietary to the WJ stock headlights. Just that the reflectors are designed to take advantage of the exact halogen filament shape, placement, thickness, light output (think shape) of the spec'd bulbs. As far as I'm aware an LED cannot replicate all of those attributes of a halogen filament. The only thing I'm claiming is that the housings were designed for a 9005/9006 style of the halogen bulb. The 9011/9012 style bulbs replicate them nearly exactly. The big difference being the 9006 tends to have the tips blacked out to reduce glare the 9012 does not (although I believe you can buy some from Daniel Stern). The WJ stock housings have an existing glare cap so that's why the 9012 bulbs for the low beams work as a bulb "upgrade".
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 06:39 PM
007matman
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Originally Posted by wjrow View Post
I'm sorry I'm not trying to claim that the bulb is proprietary to the WJ stock headlights. Just that the reflectors are designed to take advantage of the exact halogen filament shape, placement, thickness, light output (think shape) of the spec'd bulbs. As far as I'm aware an LED cannot replicate all of those attributes of a halogen filament. The only thing I'm claiming is that the housings were designed for a 9005/9006 style of the halogen bulb. The 9011/9012 style bulbs replicate them nearly exactly. The big difference being the 9006 tends to have the tips blacked out to reduce glare the 9012 does not (although I believe you can buy some from Daniel Stern). The WJ stock housings have an existing glare cap so that's why the 9012 bulbs for the low beams work as a bulb "upgrade".
The "good" LED bulbs put the light in the same exact location and replicate the halogen filament placement, fit, shape, etc as closely as possible. They use higher quality LED's specifically designed for retrofit headlight use.

The "cheap" LED replacements cram as many LED's in there as possible and I'll agree.. they stink.

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post #12 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
The "good" LED bulbs put the light in the same location and replicate the halogen filament placement, fit, shape, etc as closely as possible. They use higher quality LED's specifically designed for retrofit headlight use.

The "cheap" LED replacements cram as many LED's in there as possible and I'll agree.. they stink.

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Unfortunately that is just not true. It is physically impossible for the current style of "drop-in LED bulbs" to replicate the way light is outputted from a "traditional" halogen bulb. It may be in the same location but is it the same size as the filament (they aren't) or does the LED output the light from all sides and angles that the halogen bulb has. These are all the same reasons that "drop-in HID kits" are dangerous junk that don't work in the stock housing that engineers designed around a halogen bulb. Lighting is a complicated subject with individuals that study and make careers out of. As much as we pretend that we know better than the engineers they have spent years of their lives in order to become engineers. Lighting is a major safety component of your vehicle. Ignoring the glacial pace of governments, there's a reason why "drop-in" LED bulbs are not approved for legal road-use. Every single LED bulb I've seen at the parts store sold for headlights has the disclaimer "off-road use only" or something with a similar message. Until the day that LEDs can properly mimic a halogen in the way the light is outputted, "drop-in" LEDs are dangerous glare producing items that do not belong on public roads.
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post #13 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 09:08 PM
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Unfortunately that is just not true. It is physically impossible for the current style of "drop-in LED bulbs" to replicate the way light is outputted from a "traditional" halogen bulb. It may be in the same location but is it the same size as the filament (they aren't) or does the LED output the light from all sides and angles that the halogen bulb has. These are all the same reasons that "drop-in HID kits" are dangerous junk that don't work in the stock housing that engineers designed around a halogen bulb. Lighting is a complicated subject with individuals that study and make careers out of. As much as we pretend that we know better than the engineers they have spent years of their lives in order to become engineers. Lighting is a major safety component of your vehicle. Ignoring the glacial pace of governments, there's a reason why "drop-in" LED bulbs are not approved for legal road-use. Every single LED bulb I've seen at the parts store sold for headlights has the disclaimer "off-road use only" or something with a similar message. Until the day that LEDs can properly mimic a halogen in the way the light is outputted, "drop-in" LEDs are dangerous glare producing items that do not belong on public roads.
Disagree but that's ok.

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post #14 of 31 Old 09-28-2021, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tkauff View Post
I've got a 2001 WJ and I still have the stock headlights with halogen bulbs. I cant see s*** with these headlights. I'm debating on buying led bulbs for the stock headlights or spend some extra money and buy after-market ones. Does anyone have after-market headlights they're super happy with?
I've used led bulbs from Cougar Motor (purchased off Amazon) in my previous WJ and was satisfied with them.

My current WJ (Overland) has Hikari led bulbs and to be honest they're almost too bright.

I've used the Spyder Auto housings with both, which adds a bit of different style to the front end. Biggest negative I can say about those housings is the high beam is an H1 instead of the OEM 9005 bulb. Most all the product descriptions I've seen for the housings neglect to mention that.

If your current headlamp housings are hazed over, either polishing them back to clear or getting new housings is the first step to better lighting.

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post #15 of 31 Old 09-29-2021, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by wjrow View Post
I'm sorry I'm not trying to claim that the bulb is proprietary to the WJ stock headlights. Just that the reflectors are designed to take advantage of the exact halogen filament shape, placement, thickness, light output (think shape) of the spec'd bulbs. As far as I'm aware an LED cannot replicate all of those attributes of a halogen filament. The only thing I'm claiming is that the housings were designed for a 9005/9006 style of the halogen bulb. The 9011/9012 style bulbs replicate them nearly exactly. The big difference being the 9006 tends to have the tips blacked out to reduce glare the 9012 does not (although I believe you can buy some from Daniel Stern). The WJ stock housings have an existing glare cap so that's why the 9012 bulbs for the low beams work as a bulb "upgrade".
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Ditto.
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