One of Off Road Xtreme’s latest project vehicles is the ORXtreme JL. It has been a good long while since we published anything on it, but the good thing is, since the Jeep has been transformed, we have been driving the vehicle as intended. It has seen a lot of daily driving and a few adventure runs in between. Some of those trips called for a bit of night driving on the trails and also out in the open desert. So we prescribed our latest modifications to amplify the light output significantly and the ORXtreme JL got the complete KC HiLiTES for JL Wrangler treatment.
We chose KC HiLiTES for several reasons. This vehicle project called for premium best-of-the-best performance parts and we also wanted to achieve a particular retro look as well. As a bonus, the KC and Off Road Xtreme logo colorway just naturally vibe.
KC HiLites is known for its legacy of creating the off-road automotive light category over 50 years ago. Ever since then, the brand has continued to innovate its product line while staying true to its commitment to serving the off-road community. The end result for the ORXtreme JL is that the KC HiLiTES treatment for the Jeep amplifies our vehicle to adventure further and for longer periods.
Exploring KC HiLiTES Products For Jeep JL Wrangler
As it turns out, selecting the lighting manufacturer was the easy part. They offer a variety of lighting products to choose from and we quickly learned that each light is designed with a specific purpose and function. For the uninformed or inexperienced, trying to decipher what lights will work for certain needs or applications can become a complicated process of trial and headache.
Thankfully for us, KC has been down that road and worked to develop tools that help resolve those issues. The first thing we did was click over to their KC Academy which gave us a crash course overview of all the lighting basics. It was a helpful refresh to learn the terms, usage, dos and don’ts, types of lights, performance metrics, beam patterns, color/temperature, and more. Another good resource is the KC Product Recommender page which outlines different lighting products based on lighting needs. Typically, off-road vehicles require lighting solutions that project at a long distance, illuminate the medium range, and flood the immediate area.
With that fundamental knowledge base firmly installed, we felt way more confident and started dialing in a wishlist for our 2021 Jeep JLU Wrangler. To do that, the KC Light Finder was helpful in quickly sorting dozens of products specific to our year, make, and model. KC offers a range of lighting products and options that fit the good, better, and best system. In our case, the ORXtreme JL was going to get hooked up with the very best.
KC HiLiTES For JL: Gravity LED Pro6 Light Bar
Because we intended to do some high-speed driving, we knew we would need to see the path at a long distance. This meant outfitting an array of powerful lights on top of the Jeep. The KC Gravity LED Pro6 Light Bar Kit for the JL and JT checked all of the boxes performance-wise and would achieve that certain look we desired for the vehicle. At 50 inches wide, eight individual Gravity Pro6 LED pods are fixed together using KC’s patented Infinity Ring system. The lights came fully assembled together, and the light covers, mounts, rubber gaskets, mounting hardware, and a wiring harness were all included.
This setup is not the cheapest option, but when it comes to off-road LED lighting, you get what you pay for. The value for performance on the Gravity Pro6 LED adds up with eight pods (50-inch) and is actually well worth the investment. With the hand-fabricated vehicle mounts designed for this model Jeep, the installation was a breeze.
From the unboxing to the final installation, it stood out to me that KC HiLiTES emphasizes presentation, performance, and quality control. Nothing lacking or out of place. I already was a fan from past experiences but became really impressed once the sun went down and the KC lighting turned on.
Gravity LED Pro6 Light Bar Features:
- KC’s patented Gravity Reflective Diode(GRD) technology offers unparalleled beam shape, light performance, and clarity.
- Gravity G6 LED reflector optics utilize a combination of Driving and Wide-40 Beam patterns for balance and performance.
- Modular design is expandable to different size widths and beam patterns to suit specific applications.
- Raw Lumens: 50-inch = 18,400 lm
- Lux at 10 Meters: 50-inch = 6,700 lx
- Candela: 50-inch = 670,000 cd
- Beam Distance (Meters): 50-inch = 1,637m
- Wattage: 50-inch =160W
- Amp Draw: 5.0-14.67A
- LED Source: Cree XPL HD LED
- LED Color: 5000K
- Voltage: 9-32V
- IP Rating: IP68
KC HiLiTES For JL: Flex Era 3 40W Combo Beam LED Lights
Moving down to the Jeep’s A-Pillar, we chose KC’s Flex Era 3 LED Lights. These were the perfect option for us since we wanted versatility and power, and a tight little package. KC makes it easy with the kit for JL/JT/4XE that includes a pair of the Flex Era 3 combo beam lights, light covers, wiring harness, three position switch, and mounts that are compatible with and affixed to the previously mentioned Jeep Gravity Pro6 Light Bar mounts.
The traditional “ditch light” has the important job of illuminating the broad spectrum of the close and mid-range areas around the vehicle. KC’s Flex Era 3 combo beam lights are ideal for the A-pillar position duties since they offer a combination of spot and beam light patterns. The powerful 40-watt trio produces 3,672 Lumens and provides best-in-class light output. We also appreciate the designed-in flexibility, amber backlighting, options of beam patterns, swappable lens optics, bezels, and covers.
Flex Era 3 Combo Beam LED Light Features:
- Independent Amber LED Backlight
- Signature KC FLEX Aesthetic
- Machined Accent Bezel
- Customizable Beam Patterns and Trim Colors (Sold Separately)
- Thermal LED Protection
- IP68 Rated
- RAW Lumens: 3,672 lm @5000K
- LUX @ 10 meters: 300 lx
- Candela: 29,553 cd
- Beam Distance (Meters): 385m
- Beam Pattern: Combo
- Wattage: 40W
- LED Source: CREE® LED
- Amp Draw: 3.4A @ 12V
- Voltage: 9V-16V
- IP Rating: IP68
- Product Dimensions: W – 3.6 inches x H – 3.5 inches x D – 2.6 inches
KC HiLiTES For JL: Flex Era 3 Dual Mode SAE Fog Lights
Since the ORXtreme JL was issued a heavy-duty aftermarket front bumper from Body Armor 4×4 to mount the Warn VR EVO 10s winch, we have been lacking the OEM fog lights. The Body Armor 4×4 Full Width Bumper does have provisions for fog lights, so to fill this void, KC HiLiTES has another versatile solution.
The Flex Era 3 Dual Mode SAE Fog Light kit is made specifically to house a pair of lights in an aftermarket Jeep bumper. These intense on-road SAE J583 Fog Beam lights are ready for standard road duty and inclement weather and can be switched over to high-performance off-road mode for further illumination.
The kit comes with everything one would need and more, including SAE Clear Lenses, SAE Selective Yellow Lenses, Universal Mounting Brackets, a premium wiring harness, and a two-position switch. There are also a pair of square and circular shrouds and specially made H16 Fog Light Harness Adapters for Jeeps to give it a seamless plug-and-play OEM fit and finish. These are super trick and are the perfect addition to our Jeep JL project.
Flex Era 3 Dual Mode SAE Fog Light Features:
- Master Kit includes both Clear and Selective Yellow Lenses
- Dual Modes for on- and off-road performance
- Signature FLEX ERA 3 sizing and styling
- Changeable colored accent bezels to match your build (Sold Separately)
- Jeep Aftermarket Bumper Fog Light Wiring and Shroud Fitment Kit
- RAW Lumens: 3,682 lm Fog / 5,949 lm Dual Mode @5000K
- Beam Pattern: SAE Driving / Fog and Off-road
- Wattage: 35W / 55 W
- Amp Draw: 2.9 a / 4.5 a @ 12V
- Voltage: 9V-36V
- IP Rating: IP65
- Product Dimensions: W – 3.6 inches x H – 3.5 inches x D – 2.6 inches
KC HiLiTES For JL: 7-Inch Gravity LED Pro Halogen Headlights
Out of the entire ORXtreme JL light package, our favorite has to be the 7-inch Gravity LED Pro Halogen Headlights. As part of the daily driving requirements, this Jeep sees a bit of night driving regularly.
These are D.O.T compliant with high and low beams, offer improved clarity, feature a crisp cutoff, and are a great upgrade over the factory halogen headlights. KC has engineered the Gravity Projector Optic (GPO) technology along with a GRD LED core to deliver a more controlled beam pattern that optimizes light shape, clarity, and output. Additionally, the Gravity LED Pro 7-Inch Headlight uses a durable die-cast housing and Polycarbonate lens, to tolerate the harshest climates and conditions to last the lifetime of the vehicle.
All the necessary brackets, wire adapters, and hardware were included for an easy drop-in installation that took around 15 minutes. The most time-consuming part was removing and re-installing the grille. Overall, this was another quick job that made a big difference. We are very pleased with this modification.
7-Inch Gravity LED Pro Halogen Headlight Features:
- Gravity LED Pro 7-Inch Headlights
- Bracket mounts into factory headlight location
- Patented Gravity Projector Optics(GPO)
- Hard Coated Polycarbonate Lens
- Precision Die-Cast Aluminum Housing
- DOT Compliant Low and High Beam
- KC Engineered Polished Reflector Optics
- Raw Lumens: Low- 2,967 lm, High- 2,575 lm
- Lux @ 10 Meters: Low- 400 lx, High- 700 lx
- Candela: Low- 40,000 cd, High- 70,000 cd
- Beam Distance: Low- 400m, High- 529m
- Wattage: Low- 18W, High- 25W
- LED Bulb: CREE: XPL/XPG2
- Color Temp: 5000K
- Amp Draw: 1.88A
- Voltage: 9V-18V
- IP Rating: IP68
- Product Dimensions: W – 6.96 inches x D – 5.098 inches
KC HiLiTES For JL: Cyclone V2 LED Rock Lights
With our ORXtreme JL ready to rock the night and light up the trail, we did not want to forget about one of KC’s most popular lighting products. The hockey puck-sized Cyclone LED Lights are robust little units that can handle a variety of tasks. The Cyclone V2 LED 6-light Rock Light Kit is a deluxe package that would outfit our Jeep front to back. Several different mounting options were seelcted so they could easily be installed or moved around as needed.
The Cyclone V2 light is designed to be truly versatile multi-functional, compact, low profile, sturdy, and rugged. It features 5 watts of power and delivers an incredibly bright 600 lumens of LED output.
Typical uses as an all-purpose LED light include interior dome lights, engine bays, wheel wells, truck beds, grills, bumpers, roof racks, and more. KC offers mounting provisions such as flush mount, surface mount, magnetic mount, and roll bar mount, and can even be affixed with a common Zeus button.
Pro Tips: Off-Road Light Mounting, Installation, Wiring, And Adjustments
Overall, this big job was made easy for a couple of reasons. The first part was we planned ahead and carefully selected lighting products according to our needs and desires. This allowed us to do it all in one shot which simplified the wiring and controls. Second, KC HiLiTES made this extremely easy by designing user-friendly and vehicle-specific kit packages that contain everything needed to do a clean, no hassle, no fuss job. The best part was that there was no custom fabrication involved.
The most important part of this job is that all the wiring and electrical connections were professionally installed. By following the manufacturer’s instructions and using the provided wiring harness, we performed a clean and organized installation. We also made sure that all wire routing avoided areas prone to heat or moving parts.
When it came to adjusting the lights, we had everything secured using the provided brackets and hardware. We ensured everything was tightly fastened to prevent any movement during off-road activities. But we also brought the necessary tools out to make adjustments when we had the opportunity to test the lights.
This is when we double-check the alignment and angle of the lights for optimal illumination. We parked the Jeep on a level surface and adjusted the lights to achieve the desired beam pattern. This step is crucial for avoiding glare and maximizing visibility on the trail. Finally, we could lock everything into place and call it complete.
Project ORXtreme JL: KC HiLiTES Treatment Amplifies Our JL Wrangler
Well, that concludes our off-road lighting upgrade project for the ORXtreme JL. This for sure has been our favorite upgrade to date! We really like the way KC HiLiTES transformed the look of the vehicle and gave it a completely different profile. The lighting performance is incredible and provides a lot of flexibility depending on the off-road mission profile.
There are so many options and brands to choose from. When you go with a company like KC HiLiTES, it automatically comes with a historic off-road legacy and modern innovation. The KC lights we selected for this project were chosen based on performance, preference, and application needs. KC offers a wide line of options. Some lights cost more or less, but from our experience, KC is always authentic and will work as advertised.