JW Speakers or Hella bi-xenon

Rock_Steady

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Hello, first post here. I found this forum while I was looking into the JW Speaker LED headlight replacements that are available for Jeeps. I had some of my questions answered, but in the process of scouring these forums, a few more questions arose. The most important of which is would the JW Speaker lights be a better choice for my jeep over the Hella bi-xenon lights (which I found out about from this forum). I understand that the bi-xenon lights are (arguably; depending on who you ask) the best lighting option available. But are they the best option for me? I found less information about these lights than the Speakers. Such as, the life span, toughness, etcetera. What would be the pros and cons of choosing one over the the other (besides price of course, but at this point both are viable choices)? From what I've been able to determine these are the best two choices, but I wouldn't exclude a third, better option. Thank you in advance for your help!
 

-Virgil-

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Welcome to the forum. Both of those are high-end, excellent headlamps. The Hella BiXenon units outperform the JW Speaker LEDs, in peak intensity and especially with regard to beam width -- that's not arguable, it's fact -- but you're talking about excellent versus excellent performance, not good versus bad or excellent versus very good. Durability-wise, the BiXenon will need a new bulb in about 7 to 10 years to restore peak intensity, but its lens is extremely durable hard glass that will never fog up or cloud up, and is extremely difficult to break. On the other hand, the Speaker LED has a light source that should last forever, but can't be replaced if it doesn't, and its lens is polycarbonate, even the best grade of which will eventually fog/cloud/oxidize permanently.

You don't say what kind of Jeep you have, but if it's a 2007 or later Wrangler, LED lights of any brand may tend to flicker due to the pulsewidth-modulated headlamp circuit. The flicker isn't usually noticeable straight-on, but out of the corner of your eyes, yes. Ther are easy ways of stopping the flicker (capacitors).

The LEDs and the BiXenons alike will draw less current than halogens.

If your Jeep has daytime running lights, they must be disabled before installing either the LEDs or the BiXenons, because if you don't the DRLs will operate incorrectly in an unlawful and dangerous fashion. If you're in Canada (or in the US and your insurance company gives you a DRL discount) you have to re-enable the DRLs in a manner that does not involve the headlamps, such as this way.
 

Rock_Steady

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Thank you for your reply! I suppose I should have specified, but didn't know the year of the jeep would make a difference in that manner. It is a 2014 JKU (Wrangler), with no DRL. As far as that's concerned, I have seen this but I am unsure of the legality. Not quite sold on the looks, either. Would a system like that cause interference with the Speakers? I was aware that people experienced flicker with the LED headlights but thought the fix was a wiring harness. Are you aware of a pre-manufactured setup for the newer Wranglers? Finally, thank you for addressing the length of life of the bulbs and the toughness of the bi-xenons. How about the durability of the two systems in a rougher environment? I mean, would one have a clear advantage over the other where there is the possibility of hard jarring and occasional submersion? I've been led to believe that the LEDs are fairly bulletproof in that regard. Finally, I have seen the entire bi-xenon assemblies for sale, but not the individual bulbs. How expensive are the replacements, and is it fairly simple to do? Thanks again for your responses!
 

-Virgil-

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It's not about DRLs interfering with the headlamps; the problem comes when installing Xenon or LED headlamps in place of halogens that are operated at reduced voltage to provide a DRL function. Halogen headlamp output varies with input voltage, but most Xenon and LED headlamps produce full intensity over a wide range of input voltages. So the DRLs would operate at full headlamp intensity, which is both illegal and dangerous. Separate DRLs, whether they're LED units like you linked or steady-lit operation of the vehicle's turn signals, are totally separate from the headlamps so it doesn't matter what kind of headlamps are installed.

Rostra (the supplier of the DRL kit you linked) has been a reputable name in aftermarket cruise control kits for many years. The lamp units themselves are probably sourced "elsewhere" (guess where), and may or may not be of good quality; they look to me like probably one of the many copies of a Hella lamp -- strikes me if they were using a Hella lamp, they'd advertise that fact. But on the other hand, they might be decent lamps, and Rostra appears to give a good warranty on them.

The BiXenons use a standard D2S bulb, readily available in both regular and upgrade types, and it is not difficult to replace. Both the BiXenons and the LEDs are much more resistant to vibration than a halogen system, and both of them are well sealed-off from water intrusion; while there might be a slght advantage to the LEDs on water sealing because they are self-contained (fewer seal joints -- BiXenon has the ballast, which is sealed, but still a separate component), both systems would handle dunking without problems.
 

Rock_Steady

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May 23, 2014
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That makes more sense! It looks like i have a tough decision to make, but at least i will be making it with a lot more information! Thanks again!
 

Hilldweller

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Dec 17, 2009
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Thank you for your reply! I suppose I should have specified, but didn't know the year of the jeep would make a difference in that manner. It is a 2014 JKU (Wrangler), with no DRL. As far as that's concerned, I have seen this but I am unsure of the legality. Not quite sold on the looks, either. Would a system like that cause interference with the Speakers? I was aware that people experienced flicker with the LED headlights but thought the fix was a wiring harness. Are you aware of a pre-manufactured setup for the newer Wranglers? Finally, thank you for addressing the length of life of the bulbs and the toughness of the bi-xenons. How about the durability of the two systems in a rougher environment? I mean, would one have a clear advantage over the other where there is the possibility of hard jarring and occasional submersion? I've been led to believe that the LEDs are fairly bulletproof in that regard. Finally, I have seen the entire bi-xenon assemblies for sale, but not the individual bulbs. How expensive are the replacements, and is it fairly simple to do? Thanks again for your responses!
If you buy the 90mm Hella kit from rallylights dot com, they include the harness that bypasses the pulsewidth modulated circuit. Ray can also add dongle to trip driving lights if you like.

If you buy the JW Speakers, you can get an H13-H4 converter from them (or Trucklite) that has capacitors and resistors in it that smooths out the modulated power delivery. No flicker.

I'm partial to the Speakers. I like the low power draw for a Jeep. I like that you won't have to replace a bulb ever.

Here's my 2014 JKU

009_zps29753c17.jpg


And here's my buddy's FJ60 with the Hella kit from Rallylights

IMG_1305_zpsaa591bfc.jpg


Like Scheinwerfermann said, the HID works better.
But it's a little ugly, spendier, etc. But it will work great in a JK.

Here's my other buddy's JK with the Rallylights 90mm Hella H9 kit; this also works great:

117-1.jpg
 

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