Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jeep Wrangler Headlight Flicker

Aftermarket LED Light Upgrade Issues

Driver's side headlight at night

(Updated December 2023) Many Jeep Wrangler owners have opted to get aftermarket LED headlights. They are a very popular solution to the headlight woes of low lighting of the Original Manufacturers headlights on the Wranglers. However, once you replace the OEM headlights with LED's you could have a headlight flicker issue. I tried all the solutions out there. The one that worked for me was finally hardwiring the headlights.



Headlights: one not fully bright


Shortly after I installed my aftermarket headlights, I noticed one night one of the lights seemed to be out. It was half lit. I ended up fixing it by hitting the light. Which later I found out jiggled the wires which kicked it back on. 

Headlights with one one fully lighted

As I continued with these lights it would happen periodically. I would also notice a flicker. Throughout this hole dilema I tried various solutions to try and track the issue.


FIRST: I did some detective work swapping the lights to see if it’s the same light or the housing mechanism. Maybe I just didn’t plug it in good enough. I still had issues on both sides with both headlights.


SECOND: I tried using dielectric grease. Using this on the plug an helps conductivity. This worked for a short time and then the flicker issue came back.


THIRD: I checked to make sure my connections are good and not gunked up.


FOURTH: During my research I found that flickering among LED’s is common. I came across what’s called Anti-flicker decoders. The flicker is because the headlight high and low beam circuits have a PWM regulation on them - pulse width modulation. A mode that basically pulses DC power to keep at average wattage. This is not compatible with LED headlights.


Headlight anti-flicker harness

I installed the plug and play anti-flicker device. After I added it one of my headlights again went out. Another Jeeper said it's the connections. They can jiggle loose and I needed to add zip ties on the connections. So I added them. I still had the problems.

Headlight harness ziptied


After fiddling with the connections and wires I deducted it might be the stock wiring harness. I had replaced the factory wiring but the problem still existed.

I then switched to a new set new LED aftermarket headlights and had the same issue. The final straw was getting pulled over and given a ticket. My final solution was to hard wire the headlights and skip the plugs all together. I have not had an issue since. 

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