JNS LED Headlight Unit
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Thread: JNS LED Headlight Unit

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    JNS LED Headlight Unit

    A week ago, I fitted the JNS headlight for the TW, the “black” version. It arrived promptly, well packed, and had everything you need in the box to get going — so far, so good ….

    It’s noticeably heavy for a plastic lensed light, probably due to all the internals, but gives the appearance of being a well-made solid unit. Fitting was a breeze (once you figure out that pesky little red wire). Drop the existing cowling (one screw), drop the original headlight lens (two bolts), pop the JNS unit in place using two shorter bolts (supplied), while switching the 3 prong plug over

    The “little red wire” then connects to the green wire (low beam), and powers an addition daylight running light, which is the strip across the middle. If you decide to connect this bit up, there is an easy connect small jumper lead included in the package, that comprises of a needle point screw down affair. Place it over the green wire, screw it tight, and you’re done

    This is where it all got a bit “complicated” for me, simply because I was trying to do this in bright sunlight. As anyone with experience with low powered LED’s will tell you, they “wash out” in direct sunlight, unless you are the thing that they’re pointed directly at. Given that my face was “above” the unit, I couldn’t actually tell if it (the daylight running light strip) was working or not. That strip comprises of just three LED bulbs, with the resultant “beam” spread over a wide angle

    I could tell the low beam was working by putting my hand in front of it, and the high beam was very obvious . Quietly composing an email in my head to JNS to tell them that I had a defective unit, I waited for dusk to get the “aim height” right - and sure enough, as darkness fell, I could see that all the bulbs where functioning correctly, including the running light strip

    In terms of “evaluation”, I’ll break this down into four parts (bear in mind this is a personal opinion only) ….

    One — Fitting: Couldn’t be easier, all parts in the box, and it really is a “plug and play” deal. Customer service is reputed be excellent if you run into trouble

    Two — Daylight running light strip: Bearing in mind that the TW doesn’t come with one of these as standard, anything is an improvement. In bright sunlight it (on its own) it’s about as much good as a chocolate tea cup, but in cloudy conditions, shade or darkness, it definitely fills a gap

    Three — Low Beam: The twin side light LED’s run at 15W between them, providing bright white light with a good cut off for road use. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a massive improvement on the stock Halogen, with a decent reach in darkness. During the day, this is your “true” running light, and gets you noticed quickly. During this last weeks riding, oncoming cars on single track pull up noticeably quicker, and not just because I’m big and ugly. This was on a sunny day, so it seems that where the beam is focused is critical. Stand off to one side and you are unlikely to be impressed, but it does work for oncoming vehicles

    Four — High Beam: Very obvious. You’ll definitely know when it’s on, even in sunlight. Used in the dark or at dusk, and we’re talking “search lights”

    Conclusions: I was distinctly unimpressed while fitting this unit in direct sunlight, but it was the spread patterns that fooled me. Used to “reflectors”, I hadn’t realised that you need to be “the focus of attention” to truly gauge the effect, particularly the low beam. This is no longer “reflector based”, it’s “direct beam”, and once you realise that, it makes all the difference in your opinion of this unit. The high beam speaks for itself, and it “spears” up the road ahead

    But I can also sympathise with one of Fred’s earlier comments where he suggested “Didn’t look that bright in my rear mirror”. Unless you’re getting that low beam directly in your mirror, you’re unlikely to be impressed , especially in bright sunlight. But it does seem to work well with oncoming vehicles. The running light strip by its very nature (what did you expect from three small LED’s), is only really visible when the sun goes in, but it remains a welcome addition

    By comparison, on a recent run, I was looking for a TW225 behind me. The “warm yellow glow” (of the Halogen) was easy to pick up, but at night, that was unlikely to improve in its “reach”

    Going from a Halogen in a reflector, to a “direct” LED is a culture shock, and it’s perhaps unfair to directly compare the two. They work in completely different ways. The Halogen reflector is what we’re used to, but lacks the “range” of the LED’s, and even if you put an LED into a reflector, you end up fragmenting the beam all over the place, losing some of the range in the process

    But put a “direct beam” LED into dedicated housing, and it comes into its own. This is the JNS units primary strength, because it’s “purpose built”. Add to that, that with all the LED’s in the unit running, it still only pulls down 35W, and you start to see the advantages

    Get your head around that, and this is a good investment …….


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  2. #2
    Senior Member FIRE UP's Avatar
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    Hey Purple,
    Very nice writeup. I've been goofing around with LED'S now for years and years, in all kinds of small projects etc. Over on one of the Jeep forums, the subject of LED headlights has gone on for YEARS. Jeep, in it's infinite wisdom, didn't actually change to an LED headlight 'till the model year '17. And that was for the Rubicons and the Sahara models only. You could opt them in, on lesser models but, it was very costly. I have the '17 versions on my '15 Jeep JKUR and, they, without a doubt, are a far better light than the junk Halogens originally supplied.

    But, I've been thinking about doing an LED headlight swap in the TW and, your writeup is GREAT TIMING! A great buddy of mine I worked with on the SDFD, Jimmy C, otherwise known as "Jimbo C" (noted for his wind shields he makes for the TW), has what appears to be TWO LED headlights in his. I gotta ask him about his and see what he thinks. But, I like your analysis of that product. Thanks a heap.
    Scott
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    You’re welcome Scott

    The JNS unit “is what it is” – but it does it very well. I was wary of posting this review in case it affected sales of a product that someone has gone to a lot of trouble to get to the TW market – but in the end, “tell it like it is”

    The above review is simply my opinion, and various people will have their own, but as a starting point, it’s valid

    The high beam is a killer, the low beam “not so much” except in the dark – the “daylight running lights” – hmmm – more of an “after thought”. But to change that balance would be to take the unit way beyond the wattage of the earlier TW’s, rendering it “year specific”. The balance as it stands is pretty good, with all the advantages of LED’s over Halogen

    At night, the low beam is excellent, while the high beam is just “out there”

    It far surpasses the OEM set-up, while not being susceptible to the vibration or heat failure you would get from a filament bulb

    Having tried it (leap of faith), it simply “works”, and it works well ….
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    Senior Member jeepster09's Avatar
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    I just did the upgrade too. Very happy with it. I notice the difference for low beam is 2 lights lit up and high beam uses all 3. I also did led tail light at same time. VERY BRIGHT.
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    Member TheFunkyMonkey's Avatar
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    A very informative review, thank Purple. I was tracking your other posts on this topic so I went ahead and ordered the JNS and await delivery.
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  7. #6
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFunkyMonkey View Post
    I was tracking your other posts on this topic .
    It’s not in my nature to “impulse buy", but rather to do a lot of research first, and that includes asking for opinions of the “principle”, and then the individual product

    But I still got caught out by expecting it to work in the same way as reflected light – it doesn’t, it’s “directed light”. More noticeable on the two low beam lights than the high beam, but when you think about it, that should be exactly what you would expect

    The low beam is configured to only go where it’s pointed – the high beam is considerably less “fussy” where it goes, as long as its focal point is “up the road”

    Like I said earlier, expecting this to perform as “reflected light” is perhaps an injustice to the “principle” – but once you get your head around the “how” and “why” of it, you start to see the differences, and thus appreciate the improvements

    More wattage available for other things, increased reliability, and a vast improvement compared to the OEM light output

    Please post up your own conclusions when you receive your unit, as I’m sure it would help others considering this …….
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    I have this on my DRZ and should get mine for the TW tomorrow from RMATV. In the daytime I run on high beam and if they don't see that they wouldn't see your halogen either. You aren't really using much more wattage than halogen on low and they will definitely see you if you do this. If you figure in changing out your brake light for LED's as well, you are now below low beam wattage with halogens front and back. At night, you will see off to the sides like no other light on the market that will fit in the stock housing. I am seeing far into the trees on either side and see the reflections of deer eyes (or other critters) where my halogen wouldn't. It is a great safety improvement. My only complaint is I kind of wish the high beam was focused just a bit more into a flood than spot pattern, but man you do see far down the road with it. I've crested hills and caught the photocells on top of streets lights at night with my high beam and made the street light switch off LOL.

    Of note: Some of these come with red arrows that are part of the daytime running light circuit, which show up more and more of a red color as the sun goes down and in some states, this will get you a pulled over in a hurry as it is illegal to have red lights on the front of the vehicle. The one on my DRZ luckily came with blue, and I'm hoping the one I get with the TW is any color other than red for this part of the light.
    Last edited by MtnMan75; 07-30-2019 at 10:59 PM.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    The red ones where an early version - they're all white now ....
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  10. #9
    Member MtnMan75's Avatar
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    The one I have has a slight blue tint for the TW. I think it's just the angle of the blue arrows that are in it and you have to stand at the right angle to see it. I like it. I notice I am going to have to file down the lips on the inside edges of the stock headlight brackets the nuts are welded into on the bike to be able to adjust this back far enough as it is catching the inside of the JNS light. Not a big deal. Today's projects after a 100 other chores that need done are installing this light and a dual USB charger with a cool blue voltmeter. One question for you Purple, did you snip the tie wrap and move your wire bundle up on top of the light? I notice this goes back in much further than the stock light and makes that spot a pretty tight fit. I was looking at the options and considering just doing like my DRZ and laying this on the top of the light behind the shroud and maybe put a plastic protector over it.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Haven’t done so yet, but I have noticed one of the plastic cabling “shrouds” now seems to pointing upwards like a bucket waiting to catch the rain. It’s an easy enough fix, and exactly what I’d expect when messing with the wiring under the cowling

    FYI – 10mm self-adhesive window sealant works to seal off any “back light” – expect to give it three layers, there’s quite a gap there – two meters should do it

    These are easy fixes with a bit of common sense, and as cheap as chips to do – comes under the heading of “tidying up” under the hood ……
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