A new set of headlights can really brighten up your rig. While other lighting options like pod lights or a lightbar can seriously improve your vehicle’s looks and visibility, none can offer the function and convenience of upgraded headlights. Not only can they make a big impact on your rig, but they can be quickly and easily installed. Upgraded headlights are a great first mod to install on your Wrangler or Gladiator.
There are plenty of great options for aftermarket light options for the JL Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator that provide a serious improvement over the factory halogen headlights. Regardless of the power output, color, and beam pattern you desire, there is an option for you and your JL or JT.
If you want some suggestions, however, Matt from CJ Off-Road’s YouTube channel shows his picks for the best headlights for the JL Wrangler and the Gladiator. There are a ton of headlight options out there, so save yourself some of the hassle and see what our resident Jeep expert has to say.
Upgrading to LED Headlights
If you’ve ever had a headlight go out, you’ll know how much of a pain it can be. Not only does it make driving more dangerous, but it could also cause you to get pulled over. Stock halogen headlights, like the ones offered on the JL Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator, are more likely to go out than their LED/HID or even laser counterparts. They produce a fair amount of heat, are generally dimmer, and require more energy than other headlight options, so swapping them for another type of light is a solid upgrade option.
The best-performing and, in many cases, the best-looking headlight upgrades for your JL or JT will be LED lights. They are more efficient all around the board and give your rig a killer look. In terms of raw performance as well, they provide more light and a tighter beam pattern. This means they can be even brighter without running the risk of blinding other drivers. If you’ve ever been nearly blinded by another driver’s too-bright headlights, then you know how annoying and potentially dangerous they can be.
There are factory LED lights available for both the Wrangler and the Gladiator. For a while, these lights were only available directly from the factory, but they are now individually purchasable. If you want high performing LED lights that are identical to stock, then the Mopar LED lights are for you. Like many of the other aftermarket light options, these lights are standalone units that are easily installed.
Jeep Headlight Fitment
First off, the fitment for Wrangler headlights changed after the introduction of the JL. The JK and the TJ run 7-inch headlights while the JL and the JT have 9-inch headlight housings. That being said, there is an adapter available for the JL and the JT’s headlight housings that allow them to run 7-inch headlights.
7 inch round headlights are used on plenty of other vehicles, so this adapter can really increase the number of headlight options for your Gladiator or your Wrangler. Additionally, the adapter can be easily installed (and uninstalled) in a matter of minutes. After tightening a few screws, this adapter makes whatever 7-inch headlight you want to run on your JL Wrangler or Gladiator ready to go. Even though the size of these headlights is smaller than the stock options for the JL/JT, they don’t seem dwarfed in the larger housings. Take a look at this JL Wrangler running 7-inch headlights.
7-inch Headlights for JL and JT
Once you have the adapter installed, you can move ahead with installing some aftermarket headlights. The first headlight that we’ve found works fantastically on a JL Wrangler or a Jeep Gladiator is the Oracle Lighting Black 7” dual projector LED headlight.
Since these are 7” lights, they have been making a name for themselves for their use on TJ and JK Wrangler, but with the adapter, that same high level of performance can be used on the newer members of the Jeep Wrangler family.
These lights are D.O.T. and SAE certified, so they are totally legal for on-road usage. Additionally, these LED headlights perform significantly better than the stock halogen lights. They are brighter, require less energy, and have a sharp cutoff angle, so they don’t blind other drivers. Unlike the stock lights, these have a higher Kelvin light rating, meaning the color is less warm and is more akin to daylight.
Beyond everything else, these lights look awesome. Even when they aren’t on, they give the front of your Wrangler or Gladiator a killer appearance. The black bezel and the position of the LEDs give these headlights a high-tech, yet distinctly Jeep look.
Installing these headlights is a breeze. After the 7” adapter is fitted, the installation process totally plug n’ play. These headlights come with both the appropriate H4 and H13 connectors, so installing them properly is easy and straightforward.
Halo LED Headlights
Oracle Lighting produces another great headlight option for the Gladiator and the JL Wrangler: the Oculus Bi-LED These headlights are “halo” headlights, as they have an illuminated ring around the central bulb. While they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea necessarily, halo lights can look seriously cool on many vehicles.
Unlike the Mopar LED options, these lights do have a very distinct non-stock appearance. If you want your Wrangler or Gladiator to look more like a stock vehicle, then this option certainly isn’t for you. That being said, take a look at how these lights look in the dark. They’re bright, futuristic, and iconic.
Like the lights above, these lights provide a serious boost over the stock lights. Unlike them, however, they are a direct fit and don’t require the 7” headlight adapter. They come with the plug and play wiring as well. The halo daytime running lights, on the other hand, do require additional power and a ground wire in order to work.
Again, while these are our top picks for JL Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator headlights, there are plenty of more options out there. Another popular pick for JL Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator owners are color-changing headlights. There are several options for headlights like these that can be remotely controlled from your phone. While these aren’t as performance-oriented as the above LED lights, these color changing lights can add some serious flair to your ride. Additionally, there are high performance HID headlight options available if you prefer the look and feel of non-LED lights.
If you don't know which headlights to pick for your JL Wrangler or your Jeep Gladiator, then you ought to check out this guide. Matt from CJ Off-Road's YouTube team gives his top picks for replacement headlights for either vehicle.