Best Jeep Wrangler LED Headlights

All that glitters isn’t gold, or DOT compliant…

byElijah Nicholson-Messmer| UPDATED Nov 4, 2022 12:16 PM
Best Jeep Wrangler LED Headlights

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BYElijah Nicholson-Messmer/ LAST UPDATED ON November 4, 2022

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.

Best Overall
JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J2

JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J2

Summary
JW Speaker has inspired countless foreign knockoffs for good reason. With Dual-Burn® technology, an IP 67 Seal, ComfortLite® high beam, and DOT compliance, the 8700 Evo J2 is the real deal.
Pros
  • Enhanced beam pattern from Dual Burn® technology 
  • IP 67 sealed against dirt and water
  • Easy plug & play installation
Cons
  • Five-year limited warranty
  • Half halo not functional as daytime running light
Best Value

Comp 7" Round LED Driving Headlights

Summary
At nearly half the price of the JW Speaker headlights, Pro Comp is one of the best deals on the market and a favorite among the more budget-minded members of Wrangler forums.
Pros
  • Unmatched lifetime warranty
  • Built-in anti-flicker module
  • DOT compliant
Cons
  • No listed IP Rating
  • No listed DRL function
Honorable Mention

Quadratec Premium Heated LED Projector Beam Headlights

Summary
Quadratec offers one of the best heated headlight options in the segment. With exclusive engineering from JW Speaker, the Quadratec lights offer JW Speaker tech like SmartHeat® and Dual-Burn® at a discount.
Pros
  • Automated SmartHeat® grid system
  • Enhanced beam pattern from Dual Burn® technology
  • DOT compliant
Cons
  • Three-Year Limited Warranty
  • No listed IP Rating

Summary List 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

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

Specs

  • Raw Lumen Output: 3,200 (High Beam); 1,770 (Low Beam)
  • Current Draw: 4.2A @ 12V DC (High Beam); 2.0A @ 12V DC (Low Beam)
  • Color Temperature: 5000k

Pros

  • Exceptional beam pattern for short-range spread and long-range punch
  • Neutral white color temperature for ideal visibility
  • Time-tested reliability and consistency
  • IP 67 seal against dirt exposure and water up to one meter

Cons

  • Limited five-year warranty, only good for the original purchaser
  • High relative price point

The 8700 Evo J2 is the gold standard of LED headlights in the Jeep community. At $650, they’re one of the more expensive sets of headlights in this segment, but drivers who bought them say their ease of use, reliability, and exceptional light output easily justify the price.

Through a combination of their unique Dual Burn technology and ComfortLite high beams, the Evo J2 produces 3,200 raw lumens on high beam and 1,770 raw lumens on low beam. JW Speaker’s unique Dual Burn® technology combines the low and high beams when turning on the high beam. Coupled with a re-engineered beam pattern thanks to their ComfortLite® technology, the Evo J2 gives drivers a greater breadth and depth of visibility than either the Pro Comp or Quadratec headlights recommended here.

Combine all of that with an IP67 seal against dirt exposure and water immersion up to one meter and you have one of the best LED headlight options on the market today for Wrangler owners.

Specs

  • Raw Lumen Output: 3,300 (High Beam); 2,800 (Low Beam)
  • Watts: 30W Low beam; 35W High beam
  • Color Temperature: 6000k

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty extending beyond the initial purchaser
  • Competitive price point
  • Strong high beam and sharp cutoff

Cons

  • No listed DRL function could affect daily driving functionality
  • No IP rating makes dirt and water exposure a concern

At $356, the Pro Comp LED headlights sell for nearly half the price of the Quadratec and JW Speaker models shown here while offering strikingly similar performance and reliability. With plug & play ability, a 3300-lumen output on high beam, built-in anti-flicker module, Pro Comp’s 7-inch headlights are a favorite among the more budget-minded members of the online Jeep community. Owners frequently praise the lights for their sharp cutoff and strong high beam. Topping it off is their unmatched lifetime warranty. Unlike their competitors, Pro Comp’s warranty even extends beyond the initial purchaser.

Of course, such a discount comes at a cost. Pro Comp does not list any daytime running light (DRL) function for the lights nor any IP rating against dirt or water, making these a less appealing option for owners whose Wranglers see more dirt than they do asphalt. Without a heating system, they also lose out on daily driving functionality for owners in snowy climates.

Honorable Mention
See It

Specs

  • Raw Lumen Output: 3,200 (High Beam); 1,770 (Low Beam)
  • Operating Voltage: 9-16v
  • Color Temperature: 5000k

Pros

  • Strong beam pattern from Dual-Burn® technology
  • SmartHeat® grid system for snowy climates
  • Competitive price point for heated LED headlights
  • Neutral white color temperature for improved visibility

Cons

  • Limited three-year warranty, only good for the original purchaser
  • No IP rating makes dirt and water exposure a concern

With exclusive engineering by J.W. Speaker, the Quadratec heated LED headlights offer pinnacle industry design at a discount. With Quadratec headlights, you get JW Speaker’s proprietary Dual-Burn® technology and SmartHeat® grid system at 74 percent of the cost compared to JW Speaker’s own heated 8700 Evo J2 headlight set.

A heating system is essential for Wrangler drivers in snowy climates. Because LED lights produce a fraction of the heat of their halogen counterparts, they’re incapable of melting accumulated snow and ice on their own. To solve this problem, the SmartHeat grid system uses LED light sensors to automatically activate the heating system at startup or temperatures below freezing. The system also shuts itself off once a high-temperature threshold has been reached.

Although the heating system makes Quadratec’s lights one of the more weather-resistant options here, their lack of any IP rating against dirt or water might rule them out for the more rugged Wrangler driver. They also come with only a three-year limited warranty, the shortest warranty of the trio listed here.

Our Verdict

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.

DOT Compliance

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.

Color Temperature

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.

Housing Size

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.

Beam Pattern

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.

Warranty

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.

IP Rating

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. 

FAQs 

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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