Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge Smoked LED Tail Light set, fitting all 2007 and up JKs. Today we're gonna talk through the installation of these tail lights, which is a very simple one out of three wrenches. We're also gonna talk about the construction and a few of the features.
These are for those of you who are looking to change up the look of the back of your Jeep. Adding a new set of lights will drastically change the look whether the lights are on or whether they're off. LED provides that really crisp clean on and off that a lot of modern vehicles have, that you just can't get from a traditional incandescent bulb. Also LED is considerably brighter than incandescent, so you're going to increase your visibility at night with a set of tail lights like this. Now, these are going to be more expensive than your factory tail light. So, if you're somebody who does some really hardcore off-roading and there's a good chance you're going to end up breaking a tail light repeatedly, maybe you'll wanna shy away from this and just go with a factory OEM replacement light to save a few dollars.
However, when you compare these to other LED tail lights on the market, they fall in right around the same price range. So, if you like the look of these I think they're well-built and well-priced. These tail lights are laid out a little bit differently than your factory tail lights are. As you can see, they have a large white LED section with a chrome reflector behind it in the center, that's going to be your reverse light, and then they have rings of red LEDs around the outside that light up when you hit the brakes, or when you have your tail light on. Of course to keep you dirt confined, these do have reflectors on both the front and on the side. Again, that's something that's necessary in order to keep you legal on the road.
These are gonna bolt directly in place of your factory tail lights, which makes this installation very, very simple. And they're also going to plug directly into your factory wire harness again, keeping things very, very easy. One thing that does make these a little bit unique when you compare them to some of the other ones on the market is, this external resistor. Now, anytime you're adding LEDs onto you Jeep especially a newer Jeep that has the pulse with modulation system for its electrical system and it's lighting specifically, you'll have to add a resistor into the system in order to trick your Jeep's computer into thinking that there is a light bulb here. The lower resistance of an LED makes the Jeep think there is no light bulb or the light bulb is burn out. It can give you that hyper flash. So, this right here is designed to get rid of that hyper flash by tricking the Jeep's computer.
Now, this is an external resistor as you can see, and it comes with some 3M tape here so that you can stick it on to the inside of the tub, inside of the rear wheel well area of your Jeep. And the reason that they do this external and this plastic housing has all the holes cut in it, is that resistor can heat up a good bit. So, sticking it external of the light, Keep all that heat away from it, allows it to dissipate heat really efficiently. Some of the other versions of LED tail lights on the market will have the resistor built right into it, or have a much smaller resistor that won't dissipate heat quite as well. So, that is one thing that I really like. It also plugs in very easily into your tail lights. So, in the event that you were to burn out a resistor, you could always get a replacement and just plug it right in without needing to do much wiring or throw away the whole light.
As I said before, this installation is a very simple one out of three wrenches, all you're going to need is a Phillips head screwdriver. You'll remove the two screws that are holding your factory tail light in place, remove the tail light and unplug the factory wiring harness. Once you do that, you'll stick the resistor on the inside of the tub. Again, just peel the tape off, reach around on the inside of the tub there and make sure that this is firmly attached, If it falls off, you're just gonna bang around and make some noise to make sure that it is firmly attached. After that, you'll plug your factory wire harness into your light, put the light into its spot on the back of the jeep, and replace the screws that hold it in place. It's really that simple. This is something that will take you less than fifteen minutes to complete, is a very very easy job with only a Philips screwdriver.
As I said before, these lights come in right around the same price as a lot of the other ones on the market. I think that this is a well-built light, I like the fact that it has the external resistor, I like that it plugs directly into your factory wiring harness with the factory style plug. And overall, I just think that they look pretty good. However, this is going to be a visual modification. So, even though these do look similar to factory and do have some benefits, some of you aren't gonna like the look of these. And that's okay, but for those of you that do, I think they're appropriately priced and I think they're well- built.
So, if you're looking to upgrade the tail lights on your JK 21Z are both brighter and will dress up the look of your Jeep, whether the lights are on or off, this is going to be an option that is easy to install and fairly-priced.
So, that's my review of the Rugged Ridge Smoked LED Tail Light set, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.