Truck-Lite Old Style vs. New LED Headlight
Side-by-Side Test & Review


I know a lot of you have been waiting for this and, I’m happy to say that last night, we finally got a chance to do a side by side comparison test of the all NEW Truck-lite Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights versus the original LED Headlights that they’ve had out for a while now. And, after doing the test, this is what I can tell you.


Overall Impressions
The New Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights do put out a much whiter light and provide a much wider beam than the original version. The low beams do have a very distinct hot spot focused into points the shape of a “Y” about 25′ out or, up against a wall, what looks like two “V” shaped points. With the high beams on, these shaped hot spots completely disappear as more light is added to what’s already there and do an amazing job of illuminating the road ahead of you. Unlike the previous Truck-Like LED headlights, there is no purple fringing what so ever.

By comparison, the original Truck-Lite LED headlights seem a little dull and less white but, this is most likely the result of having hot spots that aren’t nearly as focused. Projected on a wall, these lights have hot spots that look more like two fuzzy rectangles but, on the road, blend into a nice block of light in front of you. As mentioned, the beam does have some purple fringing and it isn’t as wide as the new version but, it’s still much wider than factory or IPF’s. The high beams do a great job of illuminating the road ahead but, I will have to say that the new version is a bit nicer.

Below are side by side comparison shots we took up against a wall. The left set of lights are the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights and the right are the original version. [B]PLEASE NOTE:[/B] that the actual amount of illumination was greater but, we purposefully set our cameras to help make the beam, spread and hot spot features more distinct.

As you can see here in this low beam test, the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights have a very white light and very pronounced “V” shaped hot spots. By comparison, the original LED Headlights are a little dimmer with unfocused rectangular hot spots that contain purple fringing…

In this high beam test, you can see that the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights put out a much more focused and intense beam of white light whereas by comparison, the original LED Headlights are less focused and because of it, appear tinted down by about 5%…

Projecting the headlights with low beams on, you can that the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights do an excellent job of illuminating the road ahead as well as far out to the sides and the ground immediately in front of your Jeep - something you could only get with fog lights on while running factory headlights. There is a slight separation between the light cast far and near but, it’s nothing too distinct and not something that I think most people would even notice. As you can see, the two “V” shaped hot spots you saw on the wall converge into a single “Y” shaped hot spot at the furthest point of the beam and, while it’s no big deal to me, it is something that is hard not to notice…

With the high beams on, more light is added to what was already there as opposed to just shifting the beam higher as would be the case with factory headlights, a set of IPF or the like. Also, the “Y” shaped hotspot grows into a large oval and the overall illumination you get out of it is truly impressive…

The low beams on the original Truck-Lite LED Headlights provide a more monolithic column of light and, while the spread is nice, it isn’t as wide as that of the new Complex Reflector Optics Design. As is the case with the new lights, there is a slight separation between the light cast far and near but again, it’s nothing too distinct and not something that I think most people would even notice.

As before, more light is added to what’s already there with the high beams on and the column of light you had before only reaches further…

The Verdict
I have to admit that the first time I saw the original Truck-Lite LED Headlights, I thought they were way cool and had a futuristic look to them and aesthetically, I still prefer them over the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlight design. To me, the new headlights look a little plain jane and with the lights off, I feel like they have a smoked tint look to them that I’m not really fond of. But, I cannot deny that the actual performance of the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlight design do seem to be better. Yes, it does have distinct and noticable hot spots and I do wish it had more of a column of light down the middle like the original design has but, aside from that, the brighter, whiter and wider beam is impressive. Having said all that, if I had to choose between the two designs, I might still go with the original design as I think they look way cool and really, the only way you could see the difference between them and the newer design is to do a nit-picky side by side test like I just did.

Pros & Cons of the Truck-Lite Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlights

PROS:
• Whiter and Noticeably brighter light than the original design - similar to HID’s I’ve seen
• Noticeable wider beam than original design
• High beams provide an awesome amount of light
• No purple fringing
• Factory looks if that’s what you’re looking for

CONS:
• Has very distinct hot spots with low beams on
• If you’re wanting something that looks new and unique, these look plain and factory
• The actual headlights look like they have a smoke tint to them when off

Pros & Cons of the Truck-Lite Original LED Headlights

PROS:
• Provide a much brighter and whiter light than factory or IPF’s
• Much wider beam than factory or IPF’s
• Offers a nice column of light in front of you
• Very nice high beams
• While they do have hot spots, they are not as distinct as the new design
• Looks futuristic and unique if that’s something you’re looking for

CONS:
• Not as white or bright as the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlight design
• Not as wide of a beam as the new Complex Reflector Optics Design LED Headlight design
• Has purple fringing
• Looks very unique and different if that isn’t something you want

21 Comments so far

  1. Jon April 13th, 2012 10:47 pm

    Pricing link? Available on Amazon?

  2. James April 13th, 2012 11:09 pm

    As cool as it is for truck lite to continue improving the technology that is clearly the future in automobiles, I still like the older version. Granted, I haven’t seen the new lights up close I can say without a doubt when I am driving I have only seen once another jeep rolling with these lights. My point is they still have that cool & wow factor. I live on Long Island and there are lot of JK’s on the road and my light headlights stand out during the day and night which is a old thing.

  3. nils April 14th, 2012 12:29 pm

    Do these LED lights get hot? I have a habit to keep my head lights on while driving off road. This has cost me more than one head light because of the heat difference between the (traditional) head lights and cold water causes the glass of the head lights to break.

    Secondly, do the LED lights have some sort of E-mark on them (which makes to street legal for use in Europe).

  4. wayoflife April 14th, 2012 1:18 pm

    No, these lights put out very little to no heat what so ever. I don’t know if the new lights have some kind of E-mark but, the older set are DOT approved which make them street legal in the US.

  5. wayoflife April 14th, 2012 1:18 pm

    Yes, you can find these on Amazon and they are about $500 or so for a pair.

  6. Chris April 16th, 2012 10:30 pm

    Do the new ones put out enough heat to melt the snow and or slush unlike the original version? New England winters can ice over just about everything…

  7. wayoflife April 17th, 2012 11:28 pm

    No, they don’t. Ice will build up a bit on the lights but lights still seemed to work okay to me even with it there.

  8. stitch April 20th, 2012 10:59 am

    I like the look of the new ones and i would buy either one cuz i hate the stock headlights!

  9. Zen April 21st, 2012 5:23 am

    Does anyone know if the new (or old version) LED lights can be used on right hand side drive JKs?? I have had problems with other lights having the reflector ‘cut-outs’ on reverse side when bought from USA etc….

  10. dp May 10th, 2012 12:07 am

    Eddie,
    Any future plans to test out the JW Speaker 8700 Headlights ?

  11. wayoflife May 10th, 2012 9:26 am

    zen, the beam on both lights are wide and do not have the kick that you see with other lights. you will be okay with these.

  12. wayoflife May 10th, 2012 9:26 am

    dp, i don’t think so.

  13. NewfieScreech May 14th, 2012 7:36 am

    CONS:
    • Has very distinct hot spots with low beams on
    • If you’re wanting something that looks new and unique, these look plain and factory
    • The actual headlights look like they have a smoke tint to them when off

    I agree with the first comment however the second two don’t make sence to me. They don’t anything like a factory or plain. They actually look really good. Lastly, the smoke tint is a Con? Really?

  14. wayoflife May 14th, 2012 11:01 am

    yeah, really. these are just my opinions and you’re free to have your own.

  15. Chris May 20th, 2012 7:43 am

    How do you feel about the “Speaker” brand, namely the 8700 EVO series , compared to these? I’m not sold on these as I inquired to T/L about their return policy, and stance regarding potential “flickering” that people have mentioned, and if I should experience this would they take them back, they said no. Speaker said, oh yes. I don’t see many write-ups on the Speaker product to do a good comparison just yet.

  16. wayoflife May 21st, 2012 10:49 am

    the flicker problem you speak of is NOT a problem with the lights but rather, a problem with the signal your JK gives to them. there are kits you can get that will address flickering and i would assume that speaker lights just include it with their kit - thus, why they are so much more expensive. there are several links on jk-forum that talk about this and how to address it.

  17. Schuda June 6th, 2012 1:13 am

    I personally like the way the new ones look off with that smoked look and the old ones look cool too but if I had to choose I’d take the new ones

  18. Carlton October 2nd, 2012 2:10 am

    I’m trying to get hold of these but before I buy from the USA need to be sure that the lenses aren’t set up for left hand drive? As I can’t seem to get them from licensed dealers in any R/H/D country?

  19. Grant November 17th, 2012 3:07 pm

    Are the new ones DOT approved? I would assume so….

  20. Corey December 1st, 2012 4:42 pm

    I just bought the new lights from truck lite and they work great, but living in Canada daytime running lights are law. When DRL is on, they use half the voltage and make the LED lights flicker. Is there a way to switch my DRL to maybe fog or signal lights? or maybe turn them off completely on a Canadian vehicle?

  21. Gabe April 25th, 2013 10:54 pm

    I will be buying the new ones for my motorcycle. The fackt that they spread better than the new ones is an absolute plus when you are relying on a single lamp.

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