I’ve noticed brake checking is an unofficial sport in my state.
But what about, checking out those sweet brake lights you got?
Swapping out your stock tail lights is a simple mod that can improve the look of your Jeep. So, we got you the quick easy defluffed rundown of the 4 Best Tail Lights for your Jeep JK:
1. J.W. Speaker 0347531 Model 279 J
Yes, they will cost you a pretty penny, or about 26 Chipotle burritos currently. But, you get what you pay for.
This is an extremely solid housing made for Jeep owners. Specifically targeted at those who offroad, who may need something a bit more sturdy than the day to day driver. This is an American company that’s been around since 1935.
They manufacture and assemble all their parts right here stateside. During installation you may have to fiddle around with them about to get the fit just right, but that’s the main gripe these have.
In terms of longevity of their bulbs, they’re doing well. If you want to see how they look like on a Jeep, this video will show you. The guy is a bit salesy(a lot), but at least you can see them installed.
2. Smoked LED Tail Lights Brake Reverse Light
Fits: Jeep JK 2007-2017
Now on the other end of the price spectrum, let’s look at one of the best selling products that is a bit easier on your wallet.
These smoked tail lights from Sunpie have left a wake of satisfied Jeepers.
Installation is a breeze and they will be significantly brighter than stock. Here is the installation video, it should take you about 20 minutes total for both. But don’t hold us to it!
If you’re budget conscious, it is really difficult to get a better value than this pair.
3. Xprite Led Tail Lights Smoke Lens Red LED Rear Brake Light w/Turn Signal & Back Up Taillight Assembly
Fits: Jeep JK 2007-2018
They’re in the mid-range for pricing in the category, at least currently. The LEDs are rated to last you over 50,000 hours. If your Jeep lasts that much drive time, you’re either the worlds best mechanic or you should be playing the lottery.
Similar to the tail lights from Sunpie, this is a plug and play installation. So, plan for about 20 minutes of install time. If you’re not a fan of the red LEDs, they also come in white and it’s a bit cheaper.
They’re rated as weatherproof, the designation being IP67. You can get mud on these and be fine. A knock on this product is the lens isn’t made of the hardest plastic. Some customers have reported it being susceptible to scratches.
For most people that won’t be a problem, but if you’re going to potentially be rubbing against branches off-road you might end up with some grooves. That can definitely be off-putting.
4. LED Tail Lights with Smoke Lens
Xsprite has another tail light option with a different, interesting look.
This is on the higher end of the price scale for tail lights. We linked to the smoked lens, but they also have a clear and red option if you’re smoked out.
Their model featured here has 2 color options. When you reverse they change to white LEDs and for everything else you’ll be throwing up red signs.
Something to note about these is that they’re pretty bulky. Much more so than stock. The housing and build quality is good, but the screws that hold it together will rust over time due to moisture.
What is a smoked lens and why do all these car manufactures keep mentioning it?
In almost every review here, you can see the mention of a smoked lens. It’s a cool way of saying slightly tinted.
Maybe you’ve been driving and someone with HID headllights and you thought they had their brights on. It’s something that I think most of us can agree is extremely annoying.
With smoked headlights, your LEDs will still shine brightly, but they help dissipate it. You’re not going to blind anyone and they kinda look cool. Of course HID technology is constructed of different stuff altogether though.
It’s interesting to read up on if you’re feeling like taking a dive into the depths of wikipedia.
Why do prices seem to vary so much with tail lights?
The simple answer to this tends to be build quality. It really depends how long you plan to own a vehicle and how you’ll use it.
For some examples of what I mean is, some manufacturers will use glue to hold pieces or wires together to cut costs instead of a more resistant substance like silicone(more expensive).
Glue isn’t going to hold up to heat over time and you’ll eventually have problems. Another example is the plastic that’s used.
Plastic is a hugely dynamic material and one kind can be made more resistant than others due to the quality. Some pieces scratch easily, some don’t. Tail lights are of course mostly cosmetic, but I definitely recommend reading additional reviews if you’re looking at a price point that seems too good to be true.
Hopefully, you’ll be screaming off into the distance with your well-lit Jeep and when you have to make a turn, your glorious tail lights will scream “custom and fabulous” to the other drivers on the road.
Really though, if you pick up one of these options let us know how it turned out for you. Good luck on your quest!
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.