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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Noob Questions & Yes I Searched Please Help



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      03-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
MrBEEF
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Noob Questions & Yes I Searched Please Help

Hello,

I have been searching the forum, and reading about how all of this conversion to the brighter angel eyes works, and I am still confused.

There are TONS of posts on people reviewing different models, talking about LCI, Pre-LCI, etc. etc. but no one actually come out blatantly says this is what the deal is...so I am writing this for myself and everyone else.

I have a 2007 E90. It has the adaptive headlights, and the standard looking angel eyes(incandescent yellowish-white look).

I want to convert my angel eyes to some hardcore bight ones, but I am confused on that I need. I read posts about different wattage, overheating, engine codes, huge variation in price, etc etc.....

So here are my questions:

1) Please explain pre-LCI, and LCI...what does LCI stand for?

2) What is the bulb am I replacing in a 2007 E90 w/ adaptive headlights? Name? H7, H8?

3) Please explain the brighter setups: Is it just from LED instead of incandescent bulbs making it more efficient? more wattage? both?

4) These conversion kits vary in price a lot...example PIAA=~$150, other are like $300...WTF. Is a difference in these hooked up?


5) I see some conversions have a separate box, and some are just bulbs with heatsinks.. I assume the box has power electronics, but what does it do?

6) Will I get codes thrown if I convert my car? (2007 E90 with adaptive)

7) What is the best Angel Eye upgrade for the money? I am willing to spend u to $200....

8) Will just standard LED bulbs replacing my incandescant stock ones now make a difference due to better efficiency? If so, which ones?

9) What are the power electronics for in the upgrades? Isn't DC power 12V? Is it doubling voltage?

10) Is there overheating problems converting my lights?


Sorry for all of the questions..please help if you can, and small answers are perfectly fine.

Thank you,

Peter
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      03-29-2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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LCI- Life Cycle Impluse basically when they did slight modifications to the car such as grills, hood, headlights, tailights etc. pre-lci is before bmw changed these parts. LCI is after the changed parts.. I believe 2006-2008 is prelci while 2009+ is lci.. at least for the e90 correct me if im wrong
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      03-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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I'll try to answer as many questions as I can for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
1) Please explain pre-LCI, and LCI...what does LCI stand for?
LCI stands for LifeCycle Impulse. Basically a mid-cycle model redesign. This refers to E90/92 that are 2009+ (edit: corrected year). LCI have different headlights and bumper designs.

In any case, you are pre-LCI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
2) What is the bulb am I replacing in a 2007 E90 w/ adaptive headlights? Name? H7, H8?
Not sure if adaptive headlights have anything to do with the angel eye. you are replacing H8. You should easily be able to find this info tbh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
Please explain the brighter setups: Is it just from LED instead of incandescent bulbs making it more efficient? more wattage? both?
LED replacement bulbs are not as bright in my opinion (I have Weislicht). You will not notice them very much during bright day-time conditions. This has been a common complaint about LED replacement bulbs. The pre-LCI lighting only allows a certain amount of voltage to the angel eyes - not enough to make LED replacements very bright. On the otherhand, LCI angel eye lighting is super bright and noticeable during the day. And to this day no one has swapped LCI to pre-LCI - completely different housing and voltage requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
These conversion kits vary in price a lot...example PIAA=~$150, other are like $300...WTF. Is a difference in these hooked up?
The only options I'm aware of are:

Replacement bulb - simple swap of bulb
LED - simple swap of bulb in most cases
HID - requires ballast and some modding to make room for ballast
OSS - "led ring" replacement, requires sending in your headlights to be modified

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
I see some conversions have a separate box, and some are just bulbs with heatsinks.. I assume the box has power electronics, but what does it do?
Those are HID ballast. I think you used search ... did you read or just look at pictures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
6) Will I get codes thrown if I convert my car? (2007 E90 with adaptive)
No, unless you're doing it wrong or buy something out of the ordinary. Always do your homework on a bulb you plan on buying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
What is the best Angel Eye upgrade for the money? I am willing to spend u to $200....
That is the $200 question. Opinions vary. If you want them to be very bright, go for HIDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
8) Will just standard LED bulbs replacing my incandescant stock ones now make a difference due to better efficiency? If so, which ones?
No. That's a common misconception about LEDs. You'll get a different color and light pattern, but are they "brighter" (noticeable) with the same voltage? Obviously no, or else you wouldn't have people complaining and asking about daytime performance. There's a variety of reasons for this. The AE housing is not efficient for the way LEDs are designed (focused source of light), where incandecents are scattered. Also color temp might have to do with the perceived brightness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
9) What are the power electronics for in the upgrades? Isn't DC power 12V? Is it doubling voltage?
No clue here, but you cannot change the power requirements for the lighting since the ECU is expecting a certain voltage to be drawn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBEEF View Post
10) Is there overheating problems converting my lights?
In some cases yes. Do homework on any bulb you consider.

Last edited by vic18t; 04-01-2011 at 03:46 AM.
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      03-29-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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I thought e90's used a different bulb than H8. I thought e92's used H8, and e90's used a different bulb. Am I incorrect?
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      03-30-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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Great, thanx vic18t....

The upgrades like the Lux 5.1..... do those include a balast? I assume so for the $300 cost. Is the ballast built into the Lux 5.1 bulb housing?
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      03-31-2011, 02:27 AM   #6
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lci is 2009+ btw
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      03-31-2011, 02:39 AM   #7
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By personal experience and from what ive read here, 2007's will throw codes when replaced with LEDs. i have City vision LED kit and throw codes.
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      04-04-2011, 03:49 PM   #8
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The Lux 5.1 will not throw a code, and are basically plug and play. I have the 5.1's and they were extremely easy to install. It is simply one unit that you plug in. You will only see them in overcast and at night though, and when you drive through a tunnel.
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