Its been a while since I reviewed any new angel eyes on the market. but with all the buzz with these CREE LED H8 AE's popping on the market lately, I decided to try them out. E92-Lighting assured me that this is his brightest product yet and is at a claimed 20w vs the predecessor at 10w.
The DTEC arrived safely through USPS and upon opening it, the black metal finish is really nice and the whole unit, especially the huge heat sink at the back feels premium and reminds me of LUX units.
- 2 bulbs (4 CREE LED's per bulb)
2 large power packs
2 small error-cancelling resistors
4 rubber O-rings
Installation was like any other H8 angels. (check my previous reviews for installation instructions). I confirm everything, the bulbs and dongles can be tucked inside the the headlamp housing. The installation took me 15 minutes since I'm used to swapping bulbs but be prepared to have patience and perseverance.
An interesting note, i tried not plugging the small power pack in to the angel eye assembly and it still powered on. Maybe Derrick@E92-Lighting can tell us what the small power pack is there for. Regardless, I used all the contents in the box, and plugged everything in.
EDIT: i have been informed these are error cancelling resistors as suspected because they power on regardless of its presence. Since mine is a 2010 with a newer and less sensitive FRM module, I do not necessarily need the resistor while a 2007 e92 would, in order to prevent errors.
I'm going to skip the overcast and dusk pictures because we all know even crappy RD LED angels can be perfectly visible when the sky is dim so these DTECs obviously excel in that category if it can be visible in broad daylight.
sun overtop of the car. straight on from 20 feet.
sun overtop of car, angled from 20 feet
DIRECT SUNLIGHT. straight on. 20 feet
DIRECT SUNLIGHT. angled. 20 feet
Without the LUX and DTEC side by side, one would not be able to tell the difference in terms of brightness and light distribution. I was blown away at how far $159 can get me nowadays. But since I own a set of LUX ae, I compared them and DTEC is 95% as bright; again, i can assure you, it would be like splitting hairs even if you turned these on side by side.
LUX ON LEFT. DTEC 20w ON RIGHT.
you be the judge... keep in mind the sun is shining from the right, putting the LUX in a little bit more shade.
Both of these bulbs have their own advantages. the LUX is always full power, no matter if the ignition is on or off. The DTEC is still bright, at about 85% brightness when ignition is off. They are already much brighter even in a pre-ignition state than my old old city visions at full power
This is the part where I think the DTEC shines: it keeps the OEM look and feel because it FADES in and out
when you lock and unlock the car. the LUX cannot do that and is more of an on/off switch wile the DTEC fades to match the other welcome lights.
I tried to capture the fading on video but my camera could not pick it up and the video makes the LEDs flicker on screen; sorry guys.
You probably have heard this a million times on e90post but I'll say it again. due to the design of the fiber optics of the angel eye assembly, the outer ring's light will always appear dimmer and distored and only when you view it head on do all 4 rings light up evenly. the pictures prove just that.
Jesus, you cannot stare at that for long because its too blinding.
In conclusion If the DTEC is a no brainer at this price point being almost imperceptibly as bright as LUX (the benchmark) which costs over $80 more while the DTEC offers its own unique ability of fading. the ae competition is way too close now...
I didn't try out the other CREE H8 LED's yet so i cannot say for the rest but color me impressed.