Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jeep Wrangler Headlight Flicker

Aftermarket LED Light Upgrade Issues


(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.




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. 

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.



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.



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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