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A solid set of LED headlights can mean the difference between your Jeep Wrangler ripping its way through an offroad adventure or becoming an embarrassing fixture of it. Across all the aftermarket parts offered in the world of Wranglers, headlights might not jump out as a particularly exciting consideration. Lift kits, offroad tires, and specialized differentials are all well and good, but without LED headlights on your Wrangler illuminating the path ahead you’re not going anywhere.
For the serious Wrangler owner, lumen output, beam pattern, and reliability are essential considerations when traveling across a rocky dirt trail or deer-ridden country road. But with the dozens of options on the market today, you could easily end up spending your weekend researching headlights for your Wrangler when you could be behind the wheel of it instead. To get you on–or off–the road, we did the research for you. These are our picks for the best Jeep Wrangler LED headlights.
JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J2
- Enhanced beam pattern from Dual Burn® technology
- IP 67 sealed against dirt and water
- Easy plug & play installation
- Five-year limited warranty
- Half halo not functional as daytime running light
Comp 7" Round LED Driving Headlights
- Unmatched lifetime warranty
- Built-in anti-flicker module
- DOT compliant
- No listed IP Rating
- No listed DRL function
Quadratec Premium Heated LED Projector Beam Headlights
- Automated SmartHeat® grid system
- Enhanced beam pattern from Dual Burn® technology
- DOT compliant
- Three-Year Limited Warranty
- No listed IP Rating
- Best Overall: JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J2
- Best Value: Pro Comp 7" Round LED Driving Headlights
- Honorable Mention: Quadratec Premium Heated LED Projector Beam Headlights
When finding the products recommended here, I read countless forum threads to hear directly from the experiences and preferences of the most passionate Wrangler owners. No marketing copy, just real experiences. Did it fog? Did they install easily? Was customer support a pain when something went wrong? In that process, a handful of manufacturers kept garnering praise. Other headlights–mostly cheap, Amazon knockoffs–did anything but. From there I went about the usual process of product selection. Any headlights missing DOT compliance were out. The same went for anything missing plug & play capability. Lumen output, beam pattern, warranty offerings, weather sealing, heating systems, and, of course, price helped narrow down the offerings the rest of the way.
Best Wrangler LED Headlights: Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on the Best Jeep Wrangler Led Headlights
For a majority of Wrangler owners, the JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J2 offers everything you could need in a headlight. But, at just under $650, they simply fall outside the budgets of some drivers. That’s where the Pro Comp 7" Round LED Driving Headlights shine, offering competitive performance at nearly half the price. Still, the LED headlight segment has new options available all the time, so comment below if there is another brand that you think should be included.
Things to Consider Before Buying Jeep Wrangler LED Headlights
Whether or not you end up going with any of my picks above, here are some factors to consider when looking to purchase a set of LED headlights.
All of the modifications in the world won’t do you any good if your Wrangler can’t pass a state inspection. The absolute necessity of this is going to fluctuate from state to state depending on how strict their inspections are, but having DOT-compliant headlights is certainly never going to hurt. If you’re looking to buy a cheaper set off a site like Amazon or eBay, be extra vigilant about supposedly DOT-compliant headlights. It’s up to the manufacturer to ensure that their headlights meet DOT standards, meaning that sketchier budget options may claim DOT compliance without actually achieving it. Your best bet is to purchase headlights from trusted businesses.
If you’re looking to maximize clarity and visibility you want to pay attention to color temperature in any headlights you’re considering buying. Across the headlight options included here, the color temperature ranges from 5000k to 6000k, placing them in the white, daytime light segment of the spectrum. This is generally considered the best temperature for visibility. In my research, most LED headlights generally stay in this range, but LEDs can go as low as 3000k, a warm yellowish light, or as high as 12,000k, a cool blue light. Depending on your state, light color temperatures that deviate too far from the white to light-yellow color range can violate the law.
Most round LED headlight units are 7 inches in diameter, making them direct replacements for the majority of Wrangler models. All the headlights recommended here are 7-inch units. This size headlight housing can still work for you if you drive a newer, 4th generation Wrangler or a Jeep Gladiator which both come with 9-inch headlight housings as standard, but you will need an adaptor to make up for the 2-inch difference in size. Adapter kits can run anywhere from $100 to $300, so it’s worth accounting for that additional cost in your overall budget as you shop for a set of LED headlights.
Outright lumen output is always going to be an important starting point for a solid set of LED headlights. But, if the pattern of the beam your headlights project is spotty, uneven, or overly concentrated in a central hot spot no number of additional lumens is going to make them functional. When shopping for LED headlights, you’re looking for a low beam with a strong center projection that softly disperses into a wide light spread. The high beam should offer a powerful center light for increased visibility far down the road. For both your low and high beams you want a sharp cut-off that helps keep light where you want it, on the road and out of other drivers’ eyes.
Smart engineering and good build quality are always going to be your first protection against malfunctions, but should something go awry with your headlights you want a trust-worthy warranty plan that keeps your Wrangler performing as it should. This starts, of course, with reading about the plan itself. How long is it? What exceptions do they not cover? Does it extend to secondary owners or is it only good for the original purchaser? Beyond that, spend a little time reading through forums about actual customer experiences. See if the business’s support department was quick to respond and easy to work with or if they were slow and difficult.
This is another application-specific consideration. If your Wrangler is never going to see an offroad trail or wade through a body of water, a high IP rating probably isn’t going to be important for your needs. But, if you are going off the asphalt, finding headlights with a high IP rating could be beneficial. The IP code is composed of two numbers. The first number refers to protection against solid objects like dirt and goes from zero to six. The second number refers to protection against liquids and goes from zero to nine. For reference, the JW Speaker 8700 Evo J2 comes with an IP 67 rating, making it dust-tight and protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water.
Jeep Wrangler LED Headlights Pricing
The LED headlight segment has an option at virtually any price point. But as tempting as that set of $80 lights from Amazon looks, you truly do get what you pay for when it comes to headlights. If you’re looking for a well-made, reliable set of LED headlights for your Wrangler, you can expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $700. If those numbers bring on thoughts of rationing Top Ramen, you can look to save money by foregoing features like heating and weather sealing. If you’re willing and able to put in a little extra time, you can also search forums and other online marketplaces for secondhand options.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What do I do with my old headlights?
A: Reselling is always a good first option when it comes time to get rid of an old set of headlights. Short of that, you will want to look up your local government’s guidance on recycling or trashing your old headlights.
Q: Can I just buy an LED bulb?
A: Buying just the LED bulb itself may seem like a smart cost-saving method, but be warned that doing so is illegal unless you swap out the housing for the bulb as well.
Q: I installed my new headlights but they don’t look right, what’s wrong?
A: With any headlight replacement, you will likely need to spend some time after installing them to properly align them with the adjustment screw on your Wrangler.
Q: Do I still need fog lights if I get LED headlights?
A: Depending on the type of driving you do, fog lights might be a worthwhile investment alongside a new set of LED headlights. The white color temperature of LED lights is ideal for most driving conditions, but the deep yellow tint of fog lights is generally considered to penetrate fog better than white light, although this fact is debated in scientific circles. Their beam pattern and proximity to the ground also help make them especially suited to handling foggy situations.
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