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Thread: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

  1. #1

    Default Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Hi all,

    due to an unfortunate turn of events it looks like I'm going to have to scrap my beater Jeep Cherokee. Apparently a wiring harness fault took out the PCM and the best auto electric shop in the area has tried and failed to find a replacement PCM that will run it without a CEL for a leak detection pump that was not installed on this particular vehicle. So I can't register this vehicle as it won't pass emissions, and it doesn't look likely that I will be living in an area without an emissions test.

    Silver lining - this gives me the opportunity to do something that I kind of wanted to do anyway, which is buy a better looking body (this one was hail damaged years ago and never repaired) and transfer over all the stuff I can save from my old one (skid plates, trailer hitch, full sized spare kit, stereo, speakers, fog lights, cruise control, heated mirrors, etc. etc. etc.) and end up with my beloved beast but with maybe a few more creature comforts and a non-embarassing interior and exterior.

    So the question. When I got this beast, the LED headlights were new and exciting. I didn't trust them as they were as of then unproven, so I ordered a pair of Cibie reflectors and a Susquehanna Motorsports relay harness and installed that. However, time marches on and the last time I replaced a headlight bulb I noticed that the reflectors were starting to look pretty shabby, to the point that it was time to start thinking about replacing them.

    What would you do in my situation? Remove the relay harness from the old XJ and install it on the new one, and buy new Cibie reflectors? Or just bite the bullet and pony up for new LEDs which would remove the need to have a relay harness in the first place?

    Keep in mind that part of this equation involves that I'm going to be thrashing like hell to remove all the "good stuff" from my old XJ without even factoring headlights into the equation, as I've got a lot of stuff on my old '99 that I want to keep and with which most XJs weren't equipped, because my plan is to keep the old one driveable and hopefully sell it to someone in a non emissions county as a beater to get a little more money than I'd get sending it to the Big Parking Lot in the Sky. (I'm really kind of crying inside, because the drivetrain on this thing is rock solid and I've been maintaining it as if I were going to keep it forever and I'm going to have to start all over again.)

    So. I see the JW Speaker lights are going for about $225 apiece right now; a new pair of Cibies would be about $210 for both.

    The appeal of the Speakers is less work, plus I would not be technically illegal anymore. Would it be worth the extra $240 to save the effort, and would I be happy with the lighting? Opinions on Speaker vs. Truck-Lite vs. other products?

    I know that I'll have to do the relay mod behind the driver's side headlight to get the fog lights to work for either option, I'm OK with that, I sussed that out in the first place when I put fog lights on my old Heep as I couldn't find a good how to written up anywhere. This time I'll at least have a working conversion to copy

    thanks guys!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    If I remember correctly, you strongly prefer a European beam pattern. If that's the case, then either the JW Speaker or the (special order, more expensive than US-spec) European-spec Truck-Lites would be a slam-dunk choice if you can afford them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Subjectively yes, but really what I'm looking for is ultimate performance.

    Will any of the LEDs allow me to see as far as I can on an unlit back road with my Cibies and Osram "rallye" bulbs?

    If they're better, that would tip me over the edge to spending more money, as I'm assuming that a completely sealed LED housing would last longer than my Cibie housings did.

    Are there any good LED products on the market to consider besides Speaker and Truck-Lite and various rebrands, and how would you rank them in terms of performance?

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by N8N View Post
    Subjectively yes, but really what I'm looking for is ultimate performance.
    Objectively, the JW Speaker or Truck-Lites are excellent lamps. We're not in the habit of recommending them based on "subjective".

    Are there any good LED products on the market to consider besides Speaker and Truck-Lite and various rebrands, and how would you rank them in terms of performance?
    Beyond the Peterson 701C-ECE, there aren't any other real choices. The rest will be blingy toys.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Objectively, the JW Speaker or Truck-Lites are excellent lamps. We're not in the habit of recommending them based on "subjective".


    Beyond the Peterson 701C-ECE, there aren't any other real choices. The rest will be blingy toys.
    So we're back to Speaker vs. Truck-Lite then as it doesn't appear that Peterson makes a 6054 replacement?

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by N8N View Post
    So we're back to Speaker vs. Truck-Lite then as it doesn't appear that Peterson makes a 6054 replacement?
    D'oh-- saw Jeep but didn't register "Cherokee"; was assuming round lights. Peterson doesn't have rectangular headlamps in the 200mm x 142mm size.

    I know the adage "real Jeeps have round headlamps" but I'd rather think that real Jeeps don't have CVTs.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-17-2017 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Corrected brand name

  7. #7

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by N8N View Post
    Will any of the LEDs allow me to see as far as I can on an unlit back road with my Cibies and Osram "rallye" bulbs?
    Yes. Farther.

    Are there any good LED products on the market to consider besides Speaker and Truck-Lite
    Not in the size you need, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville
    Beyond the Peterson 701C-ECE, there aren't any other real choices.
    Double no-go...wrong shape, and it's only available for left-hand traffic.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Double no-go...wrong shape, and it's only available for left-hand traffic.
    Double-bolo on my part. The first one was just seeing "Jeep" and assuming round, and then I didn't look closely enough at the specs for that Truck-Lite. Strange, though, because there are plenty of UNECE signatories with RHT so you'd think there could be a market for it in both handednesses.

    I stand by my statement that REAL Jeeps don't have CVTs (and maybe not even inline-4s, either-- certainly not the combination of the two. And just TWO-wheel drive? Not a Jeep!)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-17-2017 at 02:42 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    So, I guess it really comes down to, of the following:

    Cibie E-code H4s, relay harness, Rallye bulbs
    JW Speaker Model 8900 Evolution
    Truck-Lite 27450C

    what would you pick and why?

    Desire for better lighting stems from lots of driving on rural 2-lane roads, often windy/hilly (I was just on US-40 between I-68 and Uniontown PA earlier this week, although I was driving my car, for an example) sometimes in inclement weather, if that helps where there otherwise may be some ambiguity. Will be installed in some flavor of Jeep Cherokee, either stock height or within a few inches thereof (not a big fan of huge tall vehicles; if I do "build" it it will be kept low COG for sure)

    Money is a concern but not a massive one - I mean, I really am broke but if it means I can drive safely and confidently it's worth it. I already have the relay harness and bulbs but might get new reflectors if I stick with Cibies. Time *is* a concern as I will be swapping lots of stuff from old vehicle to new.

    thanks!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    One thing: which "Rallye" bulb are you running?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    One thing: which "Rallye" bulb are you running?
    They're 70/65W H4s, purchased on DS' recommendation when I got the reflectors. I was happy with them so stuck with what I knew when they burned out.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    That bulb isn't manufactured any more. The closest you can get is the Philips Xtreme Vision. As you can see it measures up to the Osram 70/65w on low beam, but not on high beam (comparison test was done with the older Xtreme Power +80; the later +100 and +130 versions have been progressive improvements on the low beam, with high beam remaining the same or even declining slightly).

    The JW Speaker in chrome or black are top-tier lamps that will really trounce an H4 installation (any brand/any bulb). The Truck-Lite ECE lamp (number 27490C) has a wider and much smoother low beam (without the spotty/streaky effects of the US Truck-Lite (27450C, best price I've seen lately is here on a pair). Both the US and ECE Truck-Lites have the same high beam.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    So if you were buying for my use would you get the Speakers or the Truck-Lite ECEs?

    I currently have a friendly mechanic who overlooks my E-codes every year (his daily is an old AMG and before that it was a Bimmer, so we see eye to eye on a lot of things) but if I can be 100% legal that would be a bonus as well.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Go for the Speakers if you can afford them. They're great lights _and_ they're US certified.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    I really don't have the money for anything but will save up for what will work best. Looks like the Speakers on Amazon are not that much more expensive than the Truck-Lites anyway

  16. #16
    Unenlightened NovA ProspekT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Be careful where you buy the JW Speaker's from, they must be purchased through an "Authorized Dealer" for the warranty to be valid. 4WheelParts is GTG and they have them for $250.00 a piece right now.
    My Lights: SureFIre 6px Pro, SureFire Maximus Headlamp
    2007 Dodge Power Wagon
    : JW Speaker TS4000 Driving Lights, Grote 30" OffRoad LightBar
    - Bosch Compact 100 Fog-lights, Grote BriteZone LED Work Lights

  17. #17

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    wow, thanks for the heads up, not many of them

    http://www.jwspeaker.com/about/jw-speaker-distribution/

    I know Quadratec will be awful proud of their products...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Well I just bought a 2000 XJ... let the games begin

    Bonus: it has both the factory skidplate package and the HD cooling package so I don't need to xfer those parts over from my old one. Also has recovery points which I've never seen before, although I probably wouldn't trust them...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    OK, I haven't bought anything yet because I need to do some maintenance items first

    question: I see the Rigid (I am assuming rebadged Truck-Lite) lights are advertised as having a heated lens feature but I can't find any mention of that on the Speakers.

    Is this a big deal?

    I can actually see that becoming important as I can remember one drive back in the day in one of my old VWs with E-codes (not even LEDs) where I had to stop every hour or so and clean the icy slush off my low beams so I could see again. So with lights that *don't* get hot while driving I could see that happening more often...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    There's a heated-lens version of the 7" round Truck-Lite (and newly of the J.W. Speaker), but not of the 200 x 142 mm rectangular from either maker, under any brand or re-brand.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    There's a heated-lens version of the 7" round Truck-Lite (and newly of the J.W. Speaker), but not of the 200 x 142 mm rectangular from either maker, under any brand or re-brand.
    That's what I was afraid of; wouldn't be the first time an Amazon description was inaccurate. Got me all excited though...

    Maybe I need to look into rigging a headlamp washer setup; of course, however, the XJ's washer bottle is tucked inside the driver's side front fender...

  22. #22

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    Gotta say I love my Trucklites...

  23. #23

    Default Re: Headlight decision - Cibie or LED?

    I'll echo the sentiment above.

    I also enjoyed my GE Nighthawk 6054s, I felt they provided great seeing, to my eyes they were every bit as good as the Cibie H4 units/Narva 55/60 bulbs I had.
    Last edited by Ofelas; 02-28-2017 at 12:47 PM.

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