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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > H7 LED upgrade



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      11-30-2017, 09:03 AM   #45
ozyboyross
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Im so close to pulling the trigger but I'm still worried about light scatter and dazzling other drivers.

Or that like the old LEDs they will be very bright to look at but not actually throw light as far as halogen over a distance.

Anyone got them in Norfolk area? lol would love to take a look.
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      11-30-2017, 05:31 PM   #46
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Right, it's the moment you've all been waiting for! So boys and girls if you're sitting comfortably then I shall begin

Today a friend and I carried out the install, and what a ball ache it was. The first one took around three hours as there was a lot of head scratching and then fettling to get everything to fit with the least amount of modification. Once we knew what we were doing the second one was a doddle and only took about 45mins.

As expected it was the heatsink and dust cover that was the issue. The heatsink fouled a recess in the dust cover meaning the dust cover would not fit back on. Also a large hole had to be made in the dust cover to feed the cables and plugs through. This was filled with a 25mm blanking gromit with holes made in it for the cables, to keep everything sealed and also to make it look professional.

To get around the heatsink fouling the dust cover, the decision was taken to modify the part of the heatsink that was fouling by removing a small section. This took many attempts, removing a little bit at a time as we didn't want to affect the cooling too much. Eventually we got it just right. I just hope the cooling hasn't been compromised too much. Also modifying the heatsink will now mean my warranty is void, but hey ho!

A hole also had to be cut in the dust cover for the plug and cables. This was done firstly by drilling a small pilot hole, then going up to around a 12mm drill bit and then using a stepped drill bit to get it to 24mm. The dust cover could then be fitted and then a 25mm gromit used to seal it back up once the plugs and cables had been run through.

The control box was then simply cable tied in a suitable position.

The bulbs themselves had an adjustable collar on them so that the position could be set. In the book it said to set them to -1. This meant that the led's were slightly off square when in the reflector, which I thought was a bit odd, but thats what the book said so thats what we did.

Once the install was complete, testing could begin!

If the light switch is left in auto all is fine, however, if you operate the lights manually they do flicker when you first turn them on due to the voltage check, but this can be coded out.
So far I have had no errors thrown up which is good.

Now, when I drove my friend home it was just starting to get dark. It looked like the beam was way too high as I'm sure an oncoming car flashed me. So later on I took the car over to my mates garage and got it on the mot rig again. Sure enough the beam was too high. He adjusted this for me so that it was correct and he said it was a pretty good pattern. The only thing was, the 'kick up' was a little low. This was probably due to how I set the collar on the bulbs. Remember - I followed the instructions and set them to -1 as stated in the book. I should've followed my instincts and set them to 0 so that they were square in the reflector. By that I mean the led's would've been set at 90 degrees to the vertical. At a convenient time I will do this and this should sort out the 'kick up'. Once I've done this I'll then go back and get it on the mot rig again.
As it is my mechanic said the beams were ok and there was no risk of dazzling, which I was very happy about.

Then it was off to see what they were like in different conditions!

With the beams having been lowered, things were now much better - great infact! A massive improvement over the standard halogens. A nice crisp white light and really good beam. I am mega impressed with these lights and so happy with the results.

Now - I wanted to post pictures as I wrote this but couldn't work out how to attach a picture and then write text below it. So in the coming posts I'll post pics with a brief description.

I hope this has been informative and helpful for you guys.
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      11-30-2017, 05:36 PM   #47
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Dust cover with modified heatsink and hole cut. The heatsink is reversable but will not fit when the other way round as it catches on the clip that holds the bulb in. If we could've simply turned it around this would've made things sooo much easier!
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      11-30-2017, 05:38 PM   #48
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Bulb with the collar set to -1 as per the instructions. Note - this will be set to 0 in the future to improve the beam 'Kick up'.
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      11-30-2017, 05:41 PM   #49
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Dust cover refitted with the gromit fitted and the control box mounted.
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      11-30-2017, 05:44 PM   #50
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Top pic - original halogen. Bottom pic - LED.
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      11-30-2017, 05:50 PM   #51
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Top pic - original halogen. Bottom pic - LED.
Please note the camera on my phone does make the halogens appear a lot whiter than they actually are. They are actually very yellow whereas the led's are most definitely white.
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      11-30-2017, 05:52 PM   #52
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Top pic - original halogen. Bottom pic - LED.
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      11-30-2017, 06:04 PM   #53
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Beam pattern on the mot rig. Now unfortunately I only have a pic of the original halogens which is a real shame. The issue was that although to the naked eye the led's do not flicker, in reality they do - we just can't see it as it is happening so fast. However, the camera on my phone was picking this flicker up and as such I couldn't get a good picture.
From the picture below you can clearly see the beam pattern of the halogen. The LED was initially too high but my mechanic adjusted it down so that it was the same as the halogen. The only difference was the 'kick up'. On the picture below you can see that from the centre to the left, the beam angles up. With the LED this is too low due to how I set the collar on the bulb. Remember, I followed the instructions and set them to -1 whereas I should've set them to 0.
As I've said, at a convenient time I will adjust this, get it back on the mot rig and report back.
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      11-30-2017, 06:17 PM   #54
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I also took a picture last night out on an unlit main road so I could see what the halogens were like on a road with two lanes. I had to do this late though when the roads were quiet. When time permits I'll go back to the same piece of road and take another picture now I have the LED's installed and then post them up on here to show the difference.

So, thought so far:
Bit of a ball ache to install, although once the first one was done, the second was much easier as we knew what we were doing. Definitely best to remove the wheel arch liner as I did as it makes access much easier. I'm guessing though that as this technology progresses, things like the heatsinks will become smaller thus making the installs much easier.

As for the performance and look of the lights / beam - A massive improvement over stock halogens and very happy with the results. I now have a nice crisp white light that doesn't dazzle and actually enables me to see where I'm going now

Only another two or three forums to write all this up on!
Hopefully just be able to put a ink to this one
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      12-01-2017, 04:35 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick46 View Post
I also took a picture last night out on an unlit main road so I could see what the halogens were like on a road with two lanes. I had to do this late though when the roads were quiet. When time permits I'll go back to the same piece of road and take another picture now I have the LED's installed and then post them up on here to show the difference.

So, thought so far:
Bit of a ball ache to install, although once the first one was done, the second was much easier as we knew what we were doing. Definitely best to remove the wheel arch liner as I did as it makes access much easier. I'm guessing though that as this technology progresses, things like the heatsinks will become smaller thus making the installs much easier.

As for the performance and look of the lights / beam - A massive improvement over stock halogens and very happy with the results. I now have a nice crisp white light that doesn't dazzle and actually enables me to see where I'm going now

Only another two or three forums to write all this up on!
Hopefully just be able to put a ink to this one
Brilliant work sir!

I shall be revisiting mine to do a similar job with gromets to seal up the unit, your results are more or less identical to mine which is a +1 for consistency as I suspect our LED's are pretty much the same.

I did also find that my beam was a touch high but I just use the in-car adjustment at around "1" to bring that down a bit. I will have these properly adjusted when I fit the full beams next year.

It's also good to hear your MOT guy thinks the pattern is ok too, I'm sure that'll help many that are on the bench about these.

I'm quite impressed with them, way better than HID kits in my opinion(into reflector housings).

Do you have any plans to do your full beams too?
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      12-01-2017, 06:04 AM   #56
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Excellent post, thank you!

I'm hoping to fit mine tomorrow, the ones I went for have the ribbon type heatsink, so I'm hoping this will prevent it fouling on the dust cover. We will see! I'll also post my results :-)
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      12-01-2017, 07:02 AM   #57
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Results look good and appreciate all your work.

In theory especially in our climate that heat shield modification shouldn't make a difference, it's not big cut really.

If I don't go for Xenon retrofit or aftermarket projector modification I think I'll be getting some LED bulbs. I end up using my high beams quite a bit so will probably get some for those too, obviously beam pattern doesn't really matter for them though!

The flicker will be down to the camera raising the shutter speed so high that it's seeing the flicker of the LED.
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      12-01-2017, 09:57 AM   #58
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Thanks for the feedback guys

As for my main beams - yeah in the future I plan to do the same. Looks a bit wierd at the moment when you put the main beams on. You've got the nice crisp white dipped beam and then the yellow mainbeam on top of it!

The flicker was definitely down to the camera. Really wish I could've got a good pic of the LEDs on the mot rig for you guys, but hopefully from my description you get the idea of what the beam pattern is like.
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      12-01-2017, 10:15 AM   #59
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This is a game changer, thanks for the write up.
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      12-01-2017, 11:15 AM   #60
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With the heatsink being so close, do you not think it will just melt the dust cover?
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      12-01-2017, 02:16 PM   #61
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Well I guess only time will tell, but I hope not.
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      12-03-2017, 08:27 AM   #62
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Bit of an update!
I've had an error come up a couple of times since I did my write up. It does cancel pretty much straight away though. Didn't get it on my way to work this morning nor when I had to drive to the next town and pick my wife up on Friday night. Will see how it goes and if it annoys me too much then I may get the error cancellers.
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      12-03-2017, 03:05 PM   #63
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I think you have to be a little bit careful with bulb errors, if too many are logged from the same bulb I think it gets shut down via the frm and then you have to get the frm cleared . Id just get the lamp checks coded off.
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      12-04-2017, 04:01 AM   #64
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OK i'll trow my hat into the ring, I ordered a pair of these from Horizon LED's



With the ribbon type heatsink, I was hoping to avoid any hassle with the dust covers. I didn't take any photos of fitting as I did not have much time to get them fitted, but it was a similar process as the other chaps in this thread have already well documented. Wheel off and arch liner out is best. I was hoping it would be simple, it was! the hardest part was getting the wire retaining clip over the bulb and part of the heatsink where the ribbon connects. After some swearing I got it on, I spread the ribbon heatsinks around each side of the bulb the best I could, then was able to see where I needed to make my 25mm hole in the back on the dust cover. I then used 25mm blanking grommits to seal the holes as best I could.

The end result: They work!



They're bright, but not obnoxiously bright so I'm happy. I'd say they're probably 40-50% brighter than the OEM halogen bulbs I had fitted before, the beam pattern is the same and i've had no flashes or people getting annoyed so i'm hoping their not dazzling other drivers! The big thing for me is the light colour, very Xeon-like and matches my LED Halo's perfectly. They flicker upon startup so I'll need to code out the voltage check, but apart from that i've had no canbus errors. When I had my wheels off I saw the state of my pads and discs. so I'll need to change them soon, when I do I plan to check everything is still ok with the bulbs and make sure the holes are sealed with slicone as currently it's just ghetto helicopter tape!



Overall, very happy! I would reccomend it as an upgrade, my bulbs were 90 from Horizon LEDs, not cheap but I wanted to get bulbs that had plenty of good reviews.
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      12-04-2017, 02:16 PM   #65
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Looks good matey, did you manage to clip the dust covers on alright?
You still need to make a hole in the dust covers then. Can you get a grommet to make it water tight. My led halo's from horizon used to flicker until i coded them as drl's. Tried turning the voltage check off but had no effect.
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      12-04-2017, 05:15 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nel2014 View Post
Looks good matey, did you manage to clip the dust covers on alright?
You still need to make a hole in the dust covers then. Can you get a grommet to make it water tight. My led halo's from horizon used to flicker until i coded them as drl's. Tried turning the voltage check off but had no effect.
Yup, the dust covers fit back on fine, the offside is sealed perfect, no condensation so far. the drivers side I think I need to re-do as i've noticed a little in the corner of the headlight unit.

I drilled a 25mm hole in the middle of the dist cover and used a 25mm rubber grommit to fill the hole with the two cable poking through it. If it makes no differnece it's ok, they only flicker for 5 seconds or so (if you have the headlights set to off)
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