Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge LED Tail Lights, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers. Today, we're gonna talk through the installation of these tail lights, which I am going to give a strong two out of three wrenches. There is going to be some cutting and some soldering of your factory wiring harness, or your factory tail lights, or possibly both in order to get these installed on your Jeep. So again, a little bit of wiring necessary. However, you should be able to get this done in less than two hours. We'll talk a little bit more about the install in just a second. We're also gonna talk about the construction and a few of the features of these lights.
These LED tail lights are gonna be for those of you who need to replace your broken factory tail lights or are looking for an upgrade to an LED light. Now, an LED is going to give you a very bright light, it's going to give you that really crisp, clean on and off when you're using your turn signals that have like more of a modern look than the incandescent that comes factory on your YJ or your TJ. And if you are replacing your lights, these aren't going to be that much more expensive than an incandescent replacement, and they're going to last a long time. That's one of the big benefits to LED. An LED diode, if it is a quality one, which these are, will last a lot longer than an incandescent bulb, so you're not going to be swapping out bulbs as often or really ever. These are a no-maintenance light. Once they're installed, they're going to be good to go for a very long time. Now, one of the, I guess you could call it a drawback to installing LEDs where you have a turn signal, is the fact that you can get a fast flash condition, which can be very easily fixed with a flasher relay, but we'll talk more about that in the install.
As I said, these are a very well-built tail light. The body is a polycarbonate plastic, and the lenses are acrylic. As you can see, it looks very similar to a factory tail light. It's going to have a built-in reflector around the outside, so when the light isn't on, you're still visible to traffic. It has a bunch of LED lights here, which are going to be your stop, your tail, and your turn. It also has LED reverse lights up in the top section here. You have two LEDs on the side as your side marker and also another reflector on the side here. And this light, which is going to be your driver's side light, has LED lights on the bottom, which are going to be for your license plate light. So again, very similar design, very similar look to factory, but you're getting that LED benefit, which is going be that newer look because it's really crisp and clean, and it's going to be very bright, also being maintenance-free.
Now, these lights, like the Delta lights that are on the market and a few of the others, are not going to be a plug-and-play light. These do require some wiring. There are three wires on the back of each one of these lights that you do have to wire into your factory harness. And there are a couple of different ways to do that, and we'll talk about those in the install section. However, it important to note that these do require some wiring and they're not going to be a plug-and-play light. However, once you do get them installed, again, maintenance-free, gonna last a really long time.
So to get these installed, again, two out of three wrenches because of the wiring that's necessary, probably around two hours. Now, there are a couple of different ways to get these wired up on your Jeep, but no matter how you do it, the first step is removing your factory tail lights. You'll remove the four screws around the lens, that will allow you to remove the three self-tapping screws that are in the back of the housing that actually attach the light to the body and also ground the light through the body. You'll be able to then pull that factory light off, disconnecting the harness that pulls out of the corner of the tub.
Once that is done, this is where you have a little bit of flexibility. You can either cut the pigtail off of your factory light and wire that into your new light, so that you can then plug that factory connector into your factory wiring harness on your Jeep and attach your new light. The other option is to cut the connector off of the wiring harness side of your Jeep and wire your new light directly into that. I personally like that first option better because it allows you to disconnect the light very easily. If you were to ever need to remove it or service it, if you're putting on corner guards, for instance, you're not having to cut the wiring or cut [inaudible 00:04:24], you have that factory-style connector. Either way, again, there is going to be some cutting, some soldering, necessary to get these wired up.
And Rugged Ridge isn't explicit on which one of the wires, which color wire, which tracer wire on your factory harness needs to be connected to which one of the wires on your new light, so there is going to be a little bit of research necessary in order to get these attached to the vehicle. Now, you don't have to do any drilling or any cutting to get the actual light attached, this is going to bolt to the back of your tub just like the factory light did, using three self-tappers through the back of the housing. Again, just remove the lens, attach the housing to the body, and reattach the lens. But the wiring is going to be the most difficult part of this job. So as far as tools go, you're just gonna need your traditional hand tools to get these attached to the vehicle, but you are going to need your wiring tools in order to get them wired up.
Now as I said before, you are going to end up with a fast flash condition if you install these on your Jeep. And on your TJ, the best way to get rid of that is actually unplugging your flasher relay and attaching an LED-compatible. Now that fast flash condition is there to alert you, as the driver, that you have a burnt-out bulb, but how it does it is by reading resistance. Now, these LEDs, even when they're working 100% perfectly, have a very low resistance, so the Jeep is tricked into thinking you have a burnt-out bulb. So again, you get the fast flash as an indication of that. There are ways to modify your factory turn signal flasher in order to get rid of the fast flash, or you can purchase, as I said before, an LED-compatible flasher relay. I personally would rather spend a little bit of money and get that replacement LED flasher relay, but you can modify your factory one and that's going to get rid of that fast flash condition.
These lights are available as a pair as you see them here. They're also available individually. If you were to break one on the trail, you can just get one replacement, which is really nice. These come in at right around $160 for the pair, which again, I don't think is a bad price. These are very well-built, the LEDs are of a high quality, so they're going to last a good long time. And I think that they serve their purpose of being a very bright light and upgrading and updating the look of your Jeep a little bit by giving you that much more modern LED look. So I think that these are worth the price.
So whether you have a broken tail light or you're just looking to upgrade to an LED light that's going to be brighter and give you a more modern look on your TJ or your YJ, these are going to be an excellent option. However, they do require a little bit of wiring. So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge LED Tail Lights, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.