FAQsPrint

Q:

I’m interested in becoming a J.W. Speaker authorized dealer – what’s the the process?

A:

As the brick & mortar face of J.W. Speaker products in the marketplace, our network of authorized dealers is extremely important to us. We view this relationship as a partnership, so we take great care to make sure that it will be good fit. We have a formal application process which includes:

  • Answering qualifying questions
  • Internal review
  • Credit application
  • Initial order buy-in
To get the process started, simply fill out this form.
 

Q:

I recently learned about J.W. Speaker’s products for the first time. How long have you been in business and why haven’t I heard about your company before?

A:

J.W. Speaker has been in business since 1935 and we’ve been manufacturing vehicular lighting since 1960. If you’re an aftermarket customer you’ve likely never heard of us because, up until about 2010, we solely produced lights for OEMs such as Harley-Davidson, John Deere, Caterpillar, etc. You’ve likely seen our lights on equipment, but because they came standard from the OEM, it wasn’t obvious that they were J.W. Speaker lights.
 

Q:

Where can I find information on pricing and where to purchase J.W. Speaker products?

A:

All of our aftermarket products can be purchased through our network of authorized J.W. Speaker dealers/distributors. Simply contact us using this form. We’ll then put you in contact with the authorized J.W. Speaker dealer best able to meet your needs.
 

Q:

Why do I need to contact an authorized J.W. Speaker dealer? Why can’t I just buy direct?

A:

We get this question a lot. There are two main reasons why we don’t sell direct to the aftermarket:

  1. We don’t keep stock. We stick to what we know best (making product) and allow our network of authorized dealers to do what they know best (stocking & selling the product).
  2. We’ve worked very hard to create our aftermarket distribution network. We value those relationships and have partnered with these dealers because they’re who we want selling our products. Going around our dealership network would undermine that.
 

Q:

I hear that thermal considerations must be taken into account when designing an LED light. Why is that?

A:

All LEDs decrease in their output over time. J.W. Speaker engineers are experts at analyzing designs in order to properly manage the thermal properties of each LED. All of our lamps are designed to maintain a minimum of 70% of the original design output (and all lighting regulations, if applicable) after 4 years of continuous operation.
 

Q:

Does the number of LEDs used in a lamp affect the output and the cost?

A:

While the number of LEDs used in a lamp will ultimately impact both the cost and the light output of a lamp, it is important to understand that there are many different LEDs that J.W. Speaker engineers use in the design of our lamps. Some are very powerful and costly while others can be reliable, but provide lower output at a lower cost. For this reason, the number of LEDs alone is not a good measure of cost or light output of a lamp.
 

Q:

Many lighting companies are simply distributors of cheap lamps from overseas manufacturers, how is J.W. Speaker different?

A:

J.W. Speaker is a designer and manufacturer of lighting, not a distributor. The company is a third generation, family-owned corporation and our products are made in the USA, which helps keep America’s manufacturing base strong and creates jobs for hard working Americans.
 

Q:

What is the color temperature of the LED work lamps?

A:

In general, the light color temperature of our LED work lamps is 5,700 K.
 

Q:

I have J.W. Speaker 7” round LED headlights, but how do I know if they’re the Model 8700 Evolution or its predecessor, the the Model 8700?

A:

There are several differences between the Model 8700 and Model 8700 Evolution that you can look for:

  • The 8700 has a black housing, the 8700 Evolution does not
  • The 8700 has an internal fan, the 8700 Evolution does not
  • The 8700 has no markings on the outer lens, the 8700 Evolution does
  • The 8700 has a 1.5 inch cylinder on the back of the housing, the 8700 Evolution does not
  • The 8700 does not have a textured inner bezel, the 8700 Evolution does
  • The 8700 doesn’t have “SPEAKER” stamped at the top of the inner bezel, the 8700 Evolution does
 

Q:

How easy is it to install the Model 8700 Evolution LED headlights?

A:

The Model 8700 Evolution was designed to be a drop-in replacement for standard 7” round headlights. Click here to watch a video on YouTube where we install the Model 8700 Evolution into a Jeep.
 

Q:

I have LED headlights installed on my Jeep and they’re flickering. Why is that and what can I do about it?

A:

There are several possibilities for the flicker:

  1. Cause: A connection may be loose.
    Solution: Double check the wiring to confirm a tight connection in all places.
  2. Cause: Your H4-H13 wiring harness may need replacing.
    Solution: Replace your wiring harness with a new one.
  3. Cause: Newer Jeeps utilize something called “Pulse Width Modulation” (PWM) which may cause your J.W. Speaker LED headlights to flicker. A simple explanation of PWM is that the Jeep’s electrical system “pulses” power to the headlights at a very high frequency. With the original stock headlights, you don’t notice any flicker because they aren’t responsive enough to turn off & on. LEDs, however, are extremely responsive, so the pulses created by the PWM can result in a visible flicker. All brands of LED headlights are subject to this same phenomenon.
    Solution: The issue of PWM lies with the Jeep’s electrical system, not with the headlight. We do have an Anti-Flicker Harness that addresses PWM-based flickering.
 

Q:

I’m interested in your LED headlights. What model will fit my vehicle?

A:

J.W. Speaker currently produces the most comprehensive range of LED headlights on the market. Many of our models were designed to retrofit standard-sized headlights that are common in the marketplace (ex. the Model 8700 Evolution fits standard 7” round applications, while the Model 8900 fits standard 5” x 7” applications, etc.).

We recommend that you take measurements on your vehicle and refer back to the dimension drawings found on our product specification sheets to confirm proper fitment.
 

Q:

My headlight has developed moisture inside the outer lens. Why is this and would this be covered under warranty?

A:

The moisture that you’re seeing could be the result of either condensation or water ingress. What are the differences? Here’s a helpful chart that helps to explain them:

 CondensationWater Ingress
How does it happen?

Some level of moisture exists inside all headlights – in the air, inside plastic components, etc. When the air inside the headlight warms up, moisture in the air will collect on the coolest surfaces inside the light (typically the inside of the outer lens). Water ingress is caused by water making its way into the headlight from outside. This is often caused by some type of sealing issue.
How can I diagnose it? Condensation manifests itself as small droplets of water or “fog” on the inside surface of the outer lens. Typically this moisture will evaporate and disappear within 30-60 minutes. Water ingress manifests itself as large droplets or pooling of water inside the headlight. This type of moisture doesn’t evaporate or go away over time.
Is this considered a manufacturing defect?

No. Condensation is not considered a manufacturing defect because it is a natural process that impacts all lights (given the right conditions). If a light suffers from water ingress as the result of proper use, it would be indicative of a manufacturing defect.

If a light suffers from water ingress as the result of physical abuse and/or misuse, it would not constitute a manufacturing defect. Proper use requires that the factory-issued connector is correctly positioned (which will prevent the ingress of water).
 

Q:

Does J.W. Speaker sell component parts for LED products?

A:

At this time, it is our policy NOT to sell component parts. This is because our products are highly engineered and the processes employed to manufacture and assemble them use advanced technologies and automation. It is not practical for an end-user or distributor to disassemble or reassemble products without compromising our high quality standards and potentially the long-term performance of our lights. Disassembly of J.W. Speaker jeopardizes the performance of the product and voids the warranty.
 

Q:

If I break a lens, does that mean that I need to purchase a whole new assembly?

A:

Yes, because as mentioned, there is no way for an end-user or distributor to replicate our manufacturing and assembly processes. As a result, the entire unit must be replaced if damaged.
 

Q:

What is the purpose of the red wire on the Model 8900 LED headlight?

A:

For countries which conform to ECE regulations for on-road lighting and a front position light is necessary, the red wire controls that front position function. For non-ECE countries, the red wire can be capped off.
 

Q:

What does “Buy America” mean on your spec sheets?

A:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 includes a “Buy America” provision that restricts the purchase of supplies that are not “domestic manufactured end products.” J.W. Speaker products meeting this requirement include a “Buy America Compliant” note on their specification sheet.
 

Q:

Why are some of your lamps dedicated voltage and some multiple voltage?

A:

The advantages of dedicated voltage LED units is that they generally have a higher light output and guarantee no EMI issues. Multi-voltage lights mean fewer stock keeping units (SKUs) to serve a variety of applications.
 

Q:

What is the difference between Raw and Effective Lumens?

A:

Raw Lumens are the LED manufacturer’s rated lumen value for an LED multiplied by the number of LEDs in a lamp. Effective Lumens are the number of lumens that actually make it through to the usable light pattern. The difference between Raw and Effective output is the result of the efficiencies/inefficiencies of the lamp’s electrical and optical designs.
 

Q:

Will LEDs be getting less expensive?

A:

Color LEDs are at a mature price point and very little change will be seen. White LEDs are changing very rapidly in both technology and efficiency so costs should decrease for at least the next few years.
 

Q:

How do LED lights compare to HID lights?

A:

Here’s a table which outlines many of the differences between LED and HID technologies:

 HIDLEDAdditional Notes
Large in-rush current

Yes No 
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Yes Yes J.W. Speaker lights are designed specifically to reduce EMI issues
Separate ballast

Yes No 
Output comparison Ex. Model 9710: 2,100 Effective Lumens Ex. Model 7150: 3,000 Effective Lumens 
Cost comparison Higher Lower Ex. Model 9710 compared to Model 7150
Color temperature

4,000-5,000K 4,500-5,700K Typical J.W. Speaker values
Maintenance

Yes (ballast & bulb) No (no bulb or ballast) 
Life

~3000 hours ~50,000-100,000 hours 
Total Cost of Ownership Higher Lower LED is longer lasting and doesn’t have a bulb or ballast to replace
 

Q:

How do HID headlight conversion kits compare to J.W. Speaker’s LED headlights?

A:

There are several important factors which should be weighed when comparing an HID headlight conversion kit to our LED headlights:
 HID Conversion KitJ.W. Speaker’s LED HeadlightsAdditional Notes
Meets DOT/ECE Requirements No Yes If the HID conversion kit is a drop-in bulb, it won’t meet on-road requirements.
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Yes No EMI issues will be considerably worse if the HID kit doesn’t include a bulb shield.
Easy Installation No Yes HID retrofit requires some disassembly/assembly and mounting a ballast.
J.W. Speaker LED headlights simply drop in.
 

Q:

Do High Intensity Discharge lights (HID) use more alternator power than halogen lights?

A:

Actually HID lighting uses less power (about 35 watts) than typical halogen lights (50 – 100 watts). This provides more light with less draw on the vehicle’s alternator. Similarily, LEDs use less power than even HID lighting!
 

Q:

Do High Intensity Discharge lamps (HID) have “blue” bulbs?

A:

The blue hue that is seen when looking at HID lights is its color temperature. Halogen lamps have a color temperature in the 2,700 K range. HID light’s temperature is 4,100 K. This is much closer to the color temperature of the sun (6,500 K), making driving and working behind HID lights much less fatiguing. However, if you’re looking for the best color temperature lighting available on the market today, LEDs boast a color temperature that closely mimics the a bright noon day sun!
 

Q:

Aren’t High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps expensive?

A:

The initial purchase price for HID lights is more than halogen. However, reduced maintenance, lower power requirements, and increased safety due to less operator fatigue make HID lighting a very cost-effective solution for many customers who need to do work at nighttime. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you may be interested in LED over HID, as it uses solid-state construction, meaning no breakable bulbs, fragile filiments, or sensitive electrodes like those found in incandescent, halogen, or HID lighting.
 

Q:

What is the candlepower of HID lights?

A:

The true “power” of a lamp is measured in luminous flux – the total light output of the lamp. Candlepower is a measurement of the hottest “spot” of the lamp. HID lights have 2-3 times the luminous flux of typical halogen lights.
 

Q:

Is a light that has 2 million candlepower much better than one that has only 1 million candlepower?

A:

Candlepower actually isn’t the best measurement of light output because it only measures intensity, not how the light is distributed. Candlepower is determined by using an electronic device known as a goniometer. The goniometer measures the most intense point that a light puts out, but a “2 million candlepower” light may only have a pin-sized point that has that level of intensity – ultimately falling short of a user’s expectations. Instead, we recommend that customers look at the Effective Lumen rating of a light because that tells the full story of “useful light output.”
 

Q:

What are the legal requirements for vehicular lighting in the USA?

A:

The specific requirements put forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) vary depending upon the size and type of vehicle. Click here to view our helpful guide covering passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses and trailers.
 

Q:

What is a “Deutsch” connector?

A:

Deutsch connectors are electrical connectors that are specifically designed for critical applications in harsh environments where dust, dirt, moisture, salt spray and rough terrain can contaminate and/or damage electrical connections.
 

Q:

What is the regulatory standard “IP67?”

A:

IP67 is just one of many Ingress Protection ratings. The IP Code outlines a system of classification for the protection of electrical enclosures against the intrusion of foreign bodies such as tools, dust, moisture, etc. IP67 specifically means that a light is dust proof and is protected from temporary immersion in water 1-meter deep for 30 minutes. Click here for more information on the IP rating system.