If you are considering a Jeep JK headlight upgrade then you are definitely in the right place. One of the main complaints from JK owners has been the stock headlights that come with the JK. These lights are not the best and most owners end up opting to upgrade their headlights.
If you want to upgrade your JK’s lights, there are several options available to you but all fall into 3 categories:
- Changing the Reflector
- Changing the halogen Bulb
Which option you end up going with depends mainly on personal preference, budget as well as a unique set of challenges. Let’s take a deeper dive into the reasons why you would want to upgrade your headlights on the Jeep JK.
Why You Should Upgrade Your Jeep Jk Headlights?
The OEM or factory lights on the Jeep JK, to put it frankly, suck. They are very dim when driving at night and if you are used to driving another vehicle, you will be able to easily tell just how bad they are.
To get a good grasp of this, we can look at how much light the stock lights give off. Light is measured in kelvins. Sunlight, which is the most ideal light for human eyes, operates between 5000k to 6000k.
The stock headlights on a JK give off 3000k which is way below the ideal levels. They are also dull-colored making it very difficult to see further out in front of your vehicle.
If you are in an area with pets or wild animals, you will possibly spot them too late. As you can see, this poses a threat to you and them.
The majority of JK owners end up upgrading them in one way or another. There is actually a huge aftermarket industry for Jeep Wrangler JK headlight mods which is a testament to just how bad the stock lights are.
Jeep JK Headlight Upgrade Available Options
When it comes to upgrading, there are different options that are available to you. The first, easiest and most cost-effective is to change out the halogen bulbs with brighter ones.
The halogen replacements of choice are the Sylvania Silver Star Ultra-High-Performance Bulbs. They are quite affordable ranging between $30 and $35 for a set.
Those who have made this change have seen significant change so much so that they don’t see the need to upgrade to other options such as the LED headlights which can cost almost 10 times as much.
You could also choose to go with the PIAA replacement bulbs which are known to offer much better lighting than the stock ones.
2. Changing the Reflector
Another option when it comes to upgrading your headlights is switching changing the reflector in the headlamp. This will require a bit more work than changing the halogen bulbs.
Putting in a better reflector can give you better lighting than stock reflectors. This upgrade can be a bit more technically demanding than the halogen lamp change and the results may not be as great as just changing out the bulbs. If you choose to take this route, it is advisable to also change the halogen bulbs for better ones.
3. Changing to LED Headlights
This upgrade will give you the best results but is also the most expensive of all the options. This process involves changing the whole headlight as LED and halogen tube headlights use different mechanisms.
LED lights not only look great but are significantly brighter. If you move from stock headlights to the LED ones, you will really notice the difference between the dull light of the halogen lights and the white light of the LED headlamp. You will also be able to see much further with them as well.
The question of whether or not you want to go with LED lights or not could be answered in a more personal manner. This is because the reasons for upgrading your headlights are different from one JK owner to the next.
Due to this, you will need to ask yourself a few questions before choosing to go all out on LED headlights. A set of LED lights will cost you anywhere from $400 to $500.
You will see that there is a huge difference between $35 to change out your light bulbs and $500 to upgrade to LED lights.
Given that the halogen bulb change will give you great results, you need a good justification for the added cost. Besides looking great on your Jeep, The LED lights are very bright and beam a greater distance.
They are a lot more energy-efficient. It’s up to you to consider the pros and cons of the two options and choose the one that serves you best.
Issues to Consider When Upgrading Your Headlights
One of the main issues with upgrading your lights on a JK is how bright the lights become, in particular the LED option.
A number of JK owners have noted that they get flashed by other drivers on the road who think that they are on high beam when they are actually on low.
In some states such as California, some of these headlight upgrades are illegal due to the fact that they pose a danger to other drivers on the road. Whatever option you end up settling for, you need to consult State law regarding that lest you break any of them.
Conclusion on Upgrading Jk Headlights
When it’s all been said and done, it all comes down to your individual needs as well as budget. There are many aftermarket headlight upgrade options for the Jeep JK that are available today.
Do your research based on how much you are willing to spend then make the right choice based on your needs. You can get great results from a simple $35 upgrade and even better ones by putting in $400 to $500 LED headlights.
Regardless of the option you choose, one guarantee is that your Jeep JK headlights will be vastly improved.