One Headlight - 2012 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler: One Headlight

March 13, 2012


No, I'm not referencing the 1998 Grammy Award-winning hit by the Wallflowers, which, by the way, I have just ingeniously implanted into your brain for the day because you can't remember how it ends. It may even lodge itself there for a week.

Instead I'm talking about the new headlights I'm attempting to install in our 2012 Jeep Wrangler.

ARB, manufacturer and distributor of a whole range of kick-ass off-road accessories, sells a nifty H4 conversion kit for the Wrangler. The kit includes a pair of new IPF reflectors to better aim the light, a pair of pigtails that allows the standard 55/60w H4 bulb they take to connect to the Jeep's factory headlight connectors, and a couple of decent H4 bulbs. 4Wheel Parts sells the ARB/IPF H4 kit for $176.99.

Thing is, I had my eye on some highly recommended and well-reviewed 55/60w X-treme Power H4 bulbs from Philips, but those aren't what comes with the kit. So I bought the bulbs on Amazon for $28.79 (P/N 9003-XP S2, marked down from $66) and ordered the ARB reflector and pigtail from 4Wheel Parts (P/N ARB-920HJK.)

And that's where I outsmarted myself. The all-inclusive conversion kit comes with pairs of everything. My Amazon-sourced bulbs came in a two-pack. But when you buy the ARB/IPF headlights separate from the conversion kit you get headlight, as in one. At just $44.99, I should have recognized this as an "each" price well before I failed to notice the fine print which, now that I look back on it, wasn't all that fine.

This makes perfect sense for those who just lost an IPF headlight to a stone and want to replace just one. I wasn't paying attention. That's what I get for using my dinky iPhone screen to make a purchase.

On the other hand, "One Headlight" didn't earn the Wallflowers just one Grammy. They received two: One for best Best Rock Song, and another for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

So now I'm stuck waiting for the UPS-man to deliver the second headlight. I'll still be ahead when the dust settles because I'll have paid just $118.77 for what amounts to the same conversion kit with H4 bulbs of my own choosing that are, by most accounts, better in terms of the number of lumens they throw out there at the same power draw.

We'll see.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 10,705 miles

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