Lighting the way, why these LED headlights made all the difference
I’ve wanted to swap the stock headlights on my Jeep with LEDs ever since I left the dealership.
The Wrangler’s factory headlights don’t get very bright. I think that’s why you see some many Wrangler owners driving around with their fog lamps on all the time.
LED replacements are a popular solution. So much so that Jeep now offers them as an upgrade on some higher end models.
The Daymaker style ones look just like the Mopar branded ones you’ll find in a Wangler accessories catalogue at less than a third the price.
There were of course other options out there as well, including a few that look more like the OEM headlights.
By installing these I simultaneously improved the low-light visibility of my Jeep both on and off road.
Installing the headlights and fog lamps was pretty easy. The whole process only took me about 20 minutes. Or it would have if it hadn’t been for some bad luck.
Installing the fog lamps ended up taking me several hours due to how my front bumper had been attached. I eventually had to wrench loose the bumper to swap the lights.
Once I had them installed I waited until evening and drove over to a nearby shed and aligned them. I didn’t want to blind anyone.
If you are going to swap you headlights with LEDs make sure they are properly aligned.
Turn signal trouble
My only problem now was my signals and markers didn’t match my new headlights. In all honesty it wasn’t that big a deal, but I’m kind of a perfectionist.
The front turn signals turned out to be a lot easier to install than I first thought. They just kind of pop into the grill.
The side markers turned out to be a nightmare. I guess, the mixed reviews on Amazon should have tipped me off. If I were to do this over again I probably wouldn’t have bothered with them.
It’s really not the manufacturers fault that Jeep didn’t make it easy to replace this particular part.
Installing the side markers meant first removing a plastic rivet that holds part of the fender lining in place.
Once the rivet is removed you have to pry the liner way from the fender itself. This took more effort than i was really conformable with and I ended up breaking off part of the fender lining in the process of removing the stock light. Not fun.
On the other side I was able to learn from my mistake. It’s easier to flex the fender itself than the liner.
Those of you who have made it this far will have noticed by now I haven’t said mentioned tail lights. There is a very good reason for this. I haven’t found a good replacement for the stock headlights just yet.
The pair of Sunpie brand tail lights I tried had a bad seal, were damaged out of the box and didn’t function as advertised.
Unlike the other Sunpie products I’d install up to this point the tail lights I’d tried felt cheaply made.
For now I am running the stock tail lights and I’m okay with that. I like how the stock lights look. Maybe I’ll just have to replace the bulb with a LED and keep the enclosure the same.
The project only ends when my wallet is empty, and then it’s a waiting game until my next paycheck gets deposited. Who knows what’s next.
Have you swapped your headlights for LEDs yet? Have a brand you like? Let me know in the comments.