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      02-18-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
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"The Ultimate" HPB H8 10-Watt CREE AE's Review

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen of E90Post!

The other day, I purchased two products from
1. The New 10-Watt CREE AE's (in the H8 style)
2. Noyka Cosmic White Stage Two [80-Watt] H3 bulbs--which I will review in another thread.

Now, just to get this right off the bat, these will fit:
BMW 1 Series 2008 and up
BMW 3 Series Coupe (E92) 2008 and up (2007 uses the same bulb, but there's a small possibility throw errors, so if you don't mind taking the risk and potentially having to code, buy away!)
BMW 3 Series Sedan/wagon (E90) (with HID option) 2009 and up
BMW 5 Series (E60) 2008 and up
BMW X5 (E70) 2008 and up
BMW X6 2008 and up

NOTE WITH MY METHODOLOGY: For the comparison shots between the halogen and LED bulbs, the exposures were set equal for the two...if that makes sense. Feel free to check my metadata!

Shipping/Customer Service: 10/10
The items shipped quickly (less than 48 hours!) and well-protected. The AE's came in a shockingly well-constructed magnetically sealed box, and it was a very good presentation.

Initial Reactions: Very Positive
My initial thoughts were, "wow, for $80, these things are solid!" All metal body, and no plastic construction like so many other AE's in the price range of these.

Installation Difficulty (from 1-5): 3
Installation, for me, was not easy. Partially because I didn't know what I was doing,and partially because I have large-ish hands. I used the LuxAngelEyes install guide (IMO the best guide out there!). The trick is aligning these properly. If you look at his guide, notice he has a "T" diagram drawn on the bulbs, and he says "line up the T in the hole". To assist with that, I used a silver sharpie and draw a dotted line along the top of the AE's so I could check my alignment, and that certainly helped a lot.

Operating Notes:
1. These do fade on and off with the car--a feature I do think is nice to have! However, there is a flip-side to that.
2. These do not always run at full brightness, like some of the more expensive units out there. HOWEVER, I do not think the fact that these dim a little with the headlights detracts from the product at all. When the headlights come on, they do dim a little bit--but it's harder to notice because the headlight beams and the AE's are a closer match, and it looks very "natural", if you will.
3. This might freak some people out, but if you can code, you can code the cars not to dim the AE's when the headlights come on, but retain the fade-on/fade-off ability (I'm going to do this, just need to order a cable).
4. No errors, and interestingly, no flashing on startup. I was expecting that, and it was a nice suprise. Also, no radio interference, like some units costing 2-3x as much (Not Lux/MTEC...another brand)

Night-Time Performance: 9/10
These look great! The inner ring is a little brighter than the outer ring, but it is completely the fault of the BMW headlights, I do not blame HPB at all. Are the halogens brighter? Of course they are, those 35-Watt H8 bulbs put out a lot of lumens! But I'd say that these are...80% as bright. But I'll let you be the judge.

Direct Sunlight: 7.5-8/10
Washed out, but note that you can't see the halogens either. And part of that has to do with the color of these LEDs (Very white with a hint of a blueish-purpleish...actally a really nice color!), keep in mind!

IMG_4647.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4489.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

Offset sunlight: 8/10
The inner ring is brighter than the outer ring, as you can see, but it is pretty visible during the day. This will make you mad at the BMW engineers for designing such a poor light delivery system for the AE's.

IMG_4653.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4652.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4651.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4650.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

Random Shots...

IMG_4670.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4668.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4663.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4660.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IMG_4654.jpg by RobStone, on Flickr

IN CONCLUSION: Are these as good as the LUX H8 V3's, or the MTEC H8's? I don't know--but probably not. However, are they better than the $50 eBay special? You bet. Are they better than those cheap R-Dash products (and their counterparts marked up at 3x the price?) For sure! Might they even be better than the mid-range AE's, like the City Vision lights? They very well could be. Basically, for $80, these are absolutely incredible. A must buy for modders on a budget, IMO!

Last edited by rollinstone157; 03-04-2012 at 03:31 PM.