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      07-01-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
rollinstone157
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The "Ultimate" HighPerformanceBulbs LED Review

Hello everyone. I recently ordered several products from HighPerformanceBulbs.com through Jeff@TopGearSolutions. First off, I want to say that I was thrilled with the customer service I got. Articulate and yet easy to understand responses, combined with great prices and quick shipping made this purchase a breeze. 10/10 for Ordering/Customer Service/Shipping

Now, you may be asking "what did you order?". My latest order included
• The new HighPerformanceBulbs.com interior kit [EDIT 7/9/11 - HPB has added new options for their kits: Lite, Traditional, and Ultimate. What I originally reviewed could be called "Traditional+", as I had the upgrade trunk module, but not courtesy modules. However, I will soon have the "Ultimate" kit with the arrival of the courtesy/footwell modules.]
• 24-LED trunk module replacement (instead of receiving a bulb for the trunk, it was a whole new module, much like upgrading BMW license plate bulbs to a LED module)
• HighPerformanceBulbs Reverse LEDs

A quick note on my methodology: I used a tripod, and the manual mode on the camera to get shots with exactly the same exposure and position of each field that the LED was illuminating. While the exposure may have changed slightly for different LEDs, I assure you (and you can check my metadata to back me up) that the exposure was exactly the same for each group of shots.
-------------------------------
24-LED Trunk Module; Overall: 10/10
Overview: This was the first LED that I tried to install. It came out super bright, and the dramatic increase in brightness I'm getting with a module replacement has inspired me to order 4 18-LED courtesy light replacement modules (2 for the doors, 2 for the footwells).

Pluses: Super BRIGHT!!! The light is also diffused evenly throughout the trunk, better than the OEM housing

Minuses: I had to use a screwdriver to bend the pins in the housing just so; they were slightly out of line with the holes on the plug. Not a huge deal, it only took about a minute of trial and error; but still, a minor inconvenience.

Hopes for the next generation: Fit could be improved (ever so slightly)

Pictures:

Halogen - Trunk Open by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Trunk Open by RobStone, on Flickr


Trunk Open Photoshopped Comparison by RobStone, on Flickr


Halogen - Trunk by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Trunk by RobStone, on Flickr


Trunk Head On Photoshopped Comparison by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Courtesy Lights; Overall: 9.5/10

Pluses: It's brighter. Not dramatically brighter like the trunk LED module, but brighter nonetheless. The install was a breeze.

Minuses: This is the only light that has a very slight greenish tint to it. HOWEVER, what's interesting is that, when the bulb is out of the housing, it matches the rest of the bulb. But when it goes in the housing, it gets a green tint to it . Therefore, I'm concluding that, however BMW makes the lens on that housing opaque, gives the light a green tint, and HPB is not at fault. Oh well, more motivation to get the replacement 18-LED module

Hopes for the next generation: Everything can be brighter, but for HPB, they have 2 different styles of bulbs for the courtesy lights and the footwell lights, even though they use the same housing. They leave it up to you to guess which one to put where. Now I used some logic and figured it out, but it would be nice if they defined it on the sheet.

Pictures:

Halogen - Courtesy by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Courtesy by RobStone, on Flickr


Courtesy Lights Photoshopped Comparison by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Footwell Lights; Overall: 10/10

Pluses: It's brighter by a noticeable amount. The install was a breeze.

Minuses: None really...but I think I'm a brightness whore, so I'm going to have to replace these with the 18-LED modules too

Hopes for the next generation: Everything can be brighter. but for HPB, they have 2 different styles of bulbs for the courtesy lights and the footwell lights, even though they use the same housing. They leave it up to you to guess which one to put where.

Pictures:

Halogen - Footwell by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Footwell by RobStone, on Flickr


Footwell Combined by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Glovebox Lights; Overall: 10/10

Pluses: SIGNIFICANTLY brighter than the outgoing . The install was a breeze.

Minuses: None

Hopes for the next generation: It doesn't even need to get brighter. If you can work out a replacement module though with even more LEDs I wouldn't complain--but I know that would be difficult because the switch to turn the light on is part of the glovebox module. It's actually pretty cool once you see how it works.

Pictures:

Halogen - Glovebox by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Glovebox by RobStone, on Flickr


Glove Box Photoshopped Comparison by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Dome Lights; Overall: 11/10

Pluses: Insanely bright. Whilst installing them, I had it hanging out of the housing with all the LEDs pointed in my eyes at night. My friend hit the dome light on button in the front because he was working on another LED. It took a little bit for my eyes to go back to normal. But in the housing it's much less harsh.

Minuses: It's tough to get it to stick in right. But they include extra sticky tape so it works out fine. At night, it fills out the housing beautifully, but during the day, you sorta see just 12 closely arranged dots of light in the housing. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Hopes for the next generation: In all seriousness, it does not need to get brighter. May I suggest an approach like the new bimmian.com upgrade module? It's shaped like the entire dome light reflector housing, so the light dispersion would appear more even during the day.

Pictures:
I would rather not remove the LED board, simply because I don't have any more sticky tape on hand, so no halogen dome light picture .


LED - Dome by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Map Lights; Overall: 8/10

Pluses: The color is visually pleasing. Install is a breeze

Minuses: This bulb was a little bit of a disappointment. Not in HPB as much as in BMW. The housing they built makes it almost impossible for a replacement LED to work as well as a halogen. There's not a lot of reflective surface inside the housing, and the bulb is angled towards a corner. Not that I'm saying the LED should be as bright as the center dome light...but it just doesn't do a whole lot. The halogen was definitely brighter and more useful. But, they're map lights, and they're bright enough to help you read a map at night.

Hopes for the next generation: If there was one bulb that could get brighter, it would be this one. What they need to do is develop a LED with a permanently angled or adjustable base so that the LED can be pointed more out of the housing, and thus, making it more functional.

Pictures:
When I looked at the pictures on my computer screen they were not an accurate reflection of the product, and the halogen shots came out poorly. I'll do those over when I take the vanity/footwell shots tonight.
-------------------------------
Vanity Lights; Overall: 10/10

Pluses: Nice and bright, but not too bright--it's just right

Minuses: None really--but if you have a wife/girlfriend/significant other who is conscious about the way their skin looks, you might not want to put the LED in the passenger vanity mirror slot--6000K light is not what most people are used to seeing themselves in, and you can see flaws and imperfections in your skin much more easily. But I don't care, and I would hate to have one halogen bulb among a sea of LEDs, so I decided just to go ahead and replace it.

Hopes for the next generation: No changes needed. Maybe a cutout of wax paper inside the housing would help diffuse the light, thereby make it softer and more flattering

Pictures:

Halogen - Vanity by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Vanity by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Reverse Lights; Overall: 10/10

Pluses: Bright!!! Very nice bulbs. I'm pleased!

Minuses: I wish BMW stuck with a 1156 type bulb like they used in the pre-LCI E90...then we could have an insanely bright solution.

Hopes for the next generation: Perhaps, a design with a forward facing 5W CREE driver flanked by 2 levels of .5W CREE drivers (1 on each side). That would be insanity. It would also probably melt the housing. [EDIT 7/9/2011: I have received word from HighPerformanceBulbs that they are working on an even better solution that will blow this one out of the water. At the moment, it looks like it will be available with 7 and 9 watts of power (obviously I'll be getting the 9 )]

Pictures:

LED Reverse View 1 by RobStone, on Flickr


LED Reverse View 2 by RobStone, on Flickr


LED Reverse View 3 by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
General Pictures:

LED - Car by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Car #2 by RobStone, on Flickr


LED - Dome Overexposed by RobStone, on Flickr
-------------------------------
Overall: 10/10
A fantastic kit at a great price. Honestly people, if you want an interior LED kit, you would be crazy to get it anywhere else. Oh one more thing...this dims...and it is glorious. Smoother and "dimmier" than the halogens. Me likey. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. I'm not going to check on this thread every hour, so if you PM me, I will PM you back.
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Last edited by rollinstone157; 07-16-2011 at 11:18 AM.
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      07-01-2011, 02:27 AM   #2
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Great write up, and it sure does look better than OEM lights.
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      07-01-2011, 02:39 AM   #3
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      07-01-2011, 02:43 AM   #4
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Nice
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      07-01-2011, 05:06 AM   #5
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Ooooh this is gonna be a treat! We can finally see a comparison almost like real life. Awesome photog HPB review, can't get better than that! My HPB set is still in the plastic, thinking of selling them actually. The setup I have is pretty nice (E92 lighting kit / wiesslicht footwell/ puddle light from jlevi hybrid setup). Thanks for another helpful, thorough contribution Rob!
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      07-01-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
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      07-01-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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Review complete
just a few more pictures/some retaking tonight.
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      07-01-2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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Great review man. If you don't mind, post up the quantity and sizes required to replace everything you do.
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      07-01-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLE View Post
Great review man. If you don't mind, post up the quantity and sizes required to replace everything you do.
You just order the whole kit from HighPerformanceBulbs. Use this thread:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=530835

If you want a custom kit (say with the trunk replacement module instead of a replacement bulb) just PM the OP in that thread.
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      07-01-2011, 12:57 PM   #10
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Oh dang, that works too then. I appreciate it man.
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      07-01-2011, 02:01 PM   #11
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I guess I'm the only person who hates LED interior lighting. It doesn't look like natural light and is awful for reading under or doing pretty much anything else, really. There's a reason that when LEDs are used for professional indoor lighting that they use the much more yellow ones.
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      07-02-2011, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
I guess I'm the only person who hates LED interior lighting. It doesn't look like natural light and is awful for reading under or doing pretty much anything else, really. There's a reason that when LEDs are used for professional indoor lighting that they use the much more yellow ones.
I have the EcoSmart LED bulbs in my room [http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...talogId=10053] And they're fantastic for working under. They're not 6000K (if I could get an interior LED kit at 4300K-ish I would hop on that) so they're great for reading and working, and the light is incredibly natural. The next phase is to move on to getting them throughout the house.
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      07-02-2011, 08:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
I guess I'm the only person who hates LED interior lighting. It doesn't look like natural light and is awful for reading under or doing pretty much anything else, really. There's a reason that when LEDs are used for professional indoor lighting that they use the much more yellow ones.
You're not the only one. I hate the cheap, retina-searing look of LED dome lights in my eyes. For me, I only converted the footwell, door puddle and trunk lights to LED. It looks great and is still pleasing to my senses when I get in and out of the car at night.
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      07-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperator View Post
You're not the only one. I hate the cheap, retina-searing look of LED dome lights in my eyes. For me, I only converted the footwell, door puddle and trunk lights to LED. It looks great and is still pleasing to my senses when I get in and out of the car at night.
what did you get?
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      07-02-2011, 08:31 PM   #15
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This was before highperformancebulbs offered a custom-kit option, so I pieced everything together from V-LEDs.com. I'm most pleased with the door puddle LED arrays which are brighter than anything I've seen in other kits.
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      07-03-2011, 12:15 PM   #16
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Hey guys, sorry, my mom just came out of the hospital so I'll take pictures soon, but I've been a little busy as of late.

EDIT 7/5: I'm going to take the last pics tonight (footwell, vanity, dome/map), sorry for the delay.
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Last edited by rollinstone157; 07-05-2011 at 04:21 PM.
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      07-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #17
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Thanks for the great review and order!

Hope Mom feels better!
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      07-05-2011, 02:28 PM   #18
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I know what you mean about being a brightness whore with the footwell lightings. I just replaced mine with some 18 LED housings and they are damn bright now haha. There is only so much brightness you can get out of the replacement LEDs that they can't really be compared to the full replacement housings.
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      07-05-2011, 06:08 PM   #19
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Yea all the module upgrades are here:

http://www.highperformancebulbs.com/bmwaneyledbu.html

They are pretty cool. I have them in my trunk.
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      07-05-2011, 06:36 PM   #20
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Oh one quick thing to mention: those modules work in more than just the E9x vehicles. The license plate modules work in practically every E and F platform BMW vehicle, along with the trunk and courtesy module. For example, in the E60, the trunk module will replace the module in the trunk, but it will also replace the footwell and glovebox lights. Just a little interesting tidbit
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      07-06-2011, 01:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinstone157 View Post
Oh one quick thing to mention: those modules work in more than just the E9x vehicles. The license plate modules work in practically every E and F platform BMW vehicle, along with the trunk and courtesy module. For example, in the E60, the trunk module will replace the module in the trunk, but it will also replace the footwell and glovebox lights. Just a little interesting tidbit
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      07-06-2011, 01:28 PM   #22
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Great review I love my Interior kit and other exterior lighting from TGS/HPB
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