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      01-30-2019, 04:04 AM   #1
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LED light bar install questions

So I recently installed an m sport front bumper on my pre lci e90 and I was thinking of installing a 20 inch light bar inside the lower grille. I don't know much about electrical and wiring so I assumed it would be as easy as buying an h11 pigtail, wiring that to the led bar and ideally it would plug into the fog lights but that did not work.
any advice on how I can make this work?
I don't really want to run wires to my trunk
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      01-30-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
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      01-30-2019, 09:30 AM   #3
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      01-30-2019, 09:35 AM   #4
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to be fair it'll tuck in fairly well inside the center grille
I'm a pizza delivery driver so it'll help for poorly lit backroads
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      01-30-2019, 09:35 AM   #5
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I'll tell you how to do it if you promise to never ever even THINK about turning that light bar on when you're on a public road.

No matter how low you think it's aimed, no matter how little of a problem you think it is.... its blinding everyone else on the road and everyone hates you.

EDIT: Actually scratch that, I don't trust anyone with a light bar. I'm not telling anyone anything.
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      01-30-2019, 09:44 AM   #6
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I'll tell you how to do it if you promise to never ever even THINK about turning that light bar on when you're on a public road.

No matter how low you think it's aimed, no matter how little of a problem you think it is.... its blinding everyone else on the road and everyone hates you.
I know that putting a light bar on a BMW makes me sound like a douchebag but I'm not I promise
I don't have fog lights at the moment and I have shitty oem halogens until I can get some led halos
I deliver pizza for a living so I need some good lighting for back roads and finding addresses
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      01-30-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Honncho View Post
I know that putting a light bar on a BMW makes me sound like a douchebag but I'm not I promise
I don't have fog lights at the moment and I have shitty oem halogens until I can get some led halos
I deliver pizza for a living so I need some good lighting for back roads and finding addresses
I delivered pizza for 3 years with a 2002 VW Golf just fine.

If you turn on a 20in light bar to look for addresses everyone on the street is going to think the police are outside with a spotlight. If your car is aimed down a street and into a culdesac you're going to be shining your light straight into someone's window.

Light bars should never be used on public roads, for any reason, whatsoever, period. End of story. Don't do it or you're a douchebag. I feel bad for even enabling this behavior.

Anyways, you should use a relay with fused 12V on the contacts and then either a switch in the cabin or maybe the signal from the fog lights for the coil.

On a basic relay

-the contacts are what passes current from a voltage source (the car's battery) to a device (the light bar)

-the coil is what causes the relay to close and pass that current.

it has to be fused in case there is a short in the wires. Size the wires for the current draw of the light bar, and then size the fuse to protect the wires. Lots of people think that the fuse size is determined by what device is on the circuit and that's not true. The fuse size is determined by the wire size.
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      01-30-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joester View Post
I delivered pizza for 3 years with a 2002 VW Golf just fine.

If you turn on a 20in light bar to look for addresses everyone on the street is going to think the police are outside with a spotlight. If your car is aimed down a street and into a culdesac you're going to be shining your light straight into someone's window.

Light bars should never be used on public roads, for any reason, whatsoever, period. End of story. Don't do it or you're a douchebag. I feel bad for even enabling this behavior.

Anyways, you should use a relay with fused 12V on the contacts and then either a switch in the cabin or maybe the signal from the fog lights for the coil.

On a basic relay

-the contacts are what passes current from a voltage source (the car's battery) to a device (the light bar)

-the coil is what causes the relay to close and pass that current.

it has to be fused in case there is a short in the wires. Size the wires for the current draw of the light bar, and then size the fuse to protect the wires. Lots of people think that the fuse size is determined by what device is on the circuit and that's not true. The fuse size is determined by the wire size.
Stop encouraging this.
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      01-30-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
Stop encouraging this.
Well I mean he's literally a google search away from figuring it out on his own so I thought I might as well lend him/her a hand with wiring it safely and simultaneously warn him about the use of his light bar than him just winging it and either causing an accident because he blinded another driver or burning his car to a crisp.


He's going to figure it out one way or another. Rather it be from here than from JabroniDodgeRamLiftedRollinCoalDieselTrucks.com
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      01-30-2019, 10:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Joester View Post
Well I mean he's literally a google search away from figuring it out on his own so I thought I might as well lend him/her a hand with wiring it safely and simultaneously warn him about the use of his light bar than him just winging it and either causing an accident because he blinded another driver or burning his car to a crisp.
I been blinded by a led bar before, and that was not a nice time for my eyes. I was a second away from going after him.
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      01-30-2019, 10:11 AM   #11
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I been blinded by a led bar before, and that was not a nice time for my eyes. I was a second away from going after him.
I've seen a couple times people just driving around in traffic with their light bar on full blast. I think it should be a revoked license and mandatory jail time for that.
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      01-30-2019, 10:16 AM   #12
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OP, I was in your exact position once. I was 19 years old, delivering pizzas for a living in my Golf like I said.

I put a light bar on it because I thought it'd be cool, or a good idea. I think I turned it on maybe twice before realizing that there was no responsible way to use the light bar on the roads.

You can't turn it on on the backroads because it is so bright that you won't be able to tell if another car is coming before you've already blinded them.

You can't turn it on looking for addresses because everyone thinks the police are outside.

You can't turn it on in any traffic obviously because you'll blind everyone, even in the daytime.

Learn from me and just save yourself the hassle and the money. Yeah its cool looking I guess but unless youre offroading it has zero functionality without being a douchebag.


Here's my golf with the light bar. Looks cool. Nothing beyond that.


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      01-30-2019, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joester View Post
OP, I was in your exact position once. I was 19 years old, delivering pizzas for a living in my Golf like I said.

I put a light bar on it because I thought it'd be cool, or a good idea. I think I turned it on maybe twice before realizing that there was no responsible way to use the light bar on the roads.

You can't turn it on on the backroads because it is so bright that you won't be able to tell if another car is coming before you've already blinded them.

You can't turn it on looking for addresses because everyone thinks the police are outside.

You can't turn it on in any traffic obviously because you'll blind everyone, even in the daytime.

Learn from me and just save yourself the hassle and the money. Yeah its cool looking I guess but unless youre offroading it has zero functionality without being a douchebag.


Here's my golf with the light bar. Looks cool. Nothing beyond that.


Did that thing just come out of a rally?
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      01-30-2019, 11:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Joester View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honncho View Post
I know that putting a light bar on a BMW makes me sound like a douchebag but I'm not I promise
I don't have fog lights at the moment and I have shitty oem halogens until I can get some led halos
I deliver pizza for a living so I need some good lighting for back roads and finding addresses
I delivered pizza for 3 years with a 2002 VW Golf just fine.

If you turn on a 20in light bar to look for addresses everyone on the street is going to think the police are outside with a spotlight. If your car is aimed down a street and into a culdesac you're going to be shining your light straight into someone's window.

Light bars should never be used on public roads, for any reason, whatsoever, period. End of story. Don't do it or you're a douchebag. I feel bad for even enabling this behavior.

Anyways, you should use a relay with fused 12V on the contacts and then either a switch in the cabin or maybe the signal from the fog lights for the coil.

On a basic relay

-the contacts are what passes current from a voltage source (the car's battery) to a device (the light bar)

-the coil is what causes the relay to close and pass that current.

it has to be fused in case there is a short in the wires. Size the wires for the current draw of the light bar, and then size the fuse to protect the wires. Lots of people think that the fuse size is determined by what device is on the circuit and that's not true. The fuse size is determined by the wire size.
thank you! I talked to a guy over at ddm tuning and he recommended something similar, he said to avoid running cables to the truck I could drill a hole in the battery post in the hood and use that?
I don't really want to make a big mess of wires or install an ugly switch in my cabin so I'm not too sure on the light bar, it does look sick though mocked up
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      01-30-2019, 11:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joester View Post
OP, I was in your exact position once. I was 19 years old, delivering pizzas for a living in my Golf like I said.

I put a light bar on it because I thought it'd be cool, or a good idea. I think I turned it on maybe twice before realizing that there was no responsible way to use the light bar on the roads.

You can't turn it on on the backroads because it is so bright that you won't be able to tell if another car is coming before you've already blinded them.

You can't turn it on looking for addresses because everyone thinks the police are outside.

You can't turn it on in any traffic obviously because you'll blind everyone, even in the daytime.

Learn from me and just save yourself the hassle and the money. Yeah its cool looking I guess but unless youre offroading it has zero functionality without being a douchebag.


Here's my golf with the light bar. Looks cool. Nothing beyond that.


nice ride man that looks like a blast delivering pizzas in!
I'm also 19, been delivering for over a year now
I do quite a bit of driving, ~ 20k miles a year .. I've had light bars shined in my face, it sucks
I'm really not trying to be a dick or anything I just thought a light bar would be a good alternative as it was $25 and fog light housings are $30 each
I intend to mount it really low aiming downwards to I can light up more of the road to get a heads up on potholes
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      01-30-2019, 11:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
Did that thing just come out of a rally?
I had a rally phase around then where I was involved in rally stuff a bit. Went to local races, did a rallycross in a friends car, helped friends build their rally cars, so that kind of stuff inspired it but i never did any races or rallycrosses in it. The first picture is from a snowboarding trip in Colorado where it did awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honncho View Post
thank you! I talked to a guy over at ddm tuning and he recommended something similar, he said to avoid running cables to the truck I could drill a hole in the battery post in the hood and use that?
I don't really want to make a big mess of wires or install an ugly switch in my cabin so I'm not too sure on the light bar, it does look sick though mocked up
My first thought is to get your power from somewhere around where the positive cable comes up on the right side of the car under the hood (the jumper cable point under the hood). That should be essentially a big wire back to the battery. If it can handle the starter motor, it can handle a light bar. It's probably fused back near the battery at something like 40A. This is just a guess, I don't know this for sure.

I'd come off one of those positive studs with some 16GA wire, fuse it for 6 or 7 amps (the light bar probably draws what, 4A?), then into your relay and then into the light bar. The fuse should be as physically close to the source of the voltage as possible for maximum safety, preferably immediately. Make sure to put looming on your wire. Its cheap and easy and makes things way safer and cleaner looking.
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      01-31-2019, 09:05 AM   #17
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I installed a pair of Rigid Industries D series Pro LED lights behind the grille of my E91, very, very good light output, easily 10x brighter than my high beams, they're over 4700 lumens each and makes a world of difference. I had a shop do the wiring, but basically they get power from the + terminal under the hood, ground somewhere around there. I had them wired to the high beam bulbs, and then i have a switch in the car. So basically, when the switch is "on", they only come on with the high beams, and if i switch them "off", i can use only the high beams like normal. Pics comparing the high beam vs the led lights, the one pic where they're yellow is with the amber covers, cuts the light output by probably half, but very, very nice in the snow to give contrast, but they're a pure white color. Hope this helps, btw i only use these out of town with no traffic. I also kinda dig the way they look, although it's probably not for everyone. Got the inspiration from a thread on here where some guy put a pair of Hella halogen or xenon lamps in his e90.
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      01-31-2019, 02:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steini9494 View Post
I installed a pair of Rigid Industries D series Pro LED lights behind the grille of my E91, very, very good light output, easily 10x brighter than my high beams, they're over 4700 lumens each and makes a world of difference. I had a shop do the wiring, but basically they get power from the + terminal under the hood, ground somewhere around there. I had them wired to the high beam bulbs, and then i have a switch in the car. So basically, when the switch is "on", they only come on with the high beams, and if i switch them "off", i can use only the high beams like normal. Pics comparing the high beam vs the led lights, the one pic where they're yellow is with the amber covers, cuts the light output by probably half, but very, very nice in the snow to give contrast, but they're a pure white color. Hope this helps, btw i only use these out of town with no traffic. I also kinda dig the way they look, although it's probably not for everyone. Got the inspiration from a thread on here where some guy put a pair of Hella halogen or xenon lamps in his e90.
thanks man, I honestly wish I had an e91 instead
that's a good idea wiring it into the high beams
I'm thinking of doing something similar but instead just a 20 inch light right behind the lower grille
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      02-01-2019, 04:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honncho View Post
thanks man, I honestly wish I had an e91 instead
that's a good idea wiring it into the high beams
I'm thinking of doing something similar but instead just a 20 inch light right behind the lower grille
That would probably work, i read though that these cars draw like 90% of the air for cooling from the lower grille in the bumper, not sure how or if it would affect cooling, i live in Iceland and my car is a diesel so i don't need to worry about that at all, specially since they're in the grille, i'd at least try researching if it would be bad for cooling
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      11-30-2019, 02:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honncho View Post
thanks man, I honestly wish I had an e91 instead
that's a good idea wiring it into the high beams
I'm thinking of doing something similar but instead just a 20 inch light right behind the lower grille
I did exactly this. Unfortunately, my 20" LED bar was just a tad too long to fit properly inside the opening at 515 mm. I'm very happy with the result though, makes driving at night much more relaxing.

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      11-30-2019, 10:37 PM   #21
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Light bars are for douchebags, I was in Nashville when some guy in a truck had his running on his truck. I would have flashed my high beams on him if I thought he wasn’t carrying. No one needs that much light, especially on a public road, just slow down.
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      01-08-2020, 04:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
Light bars are for douchebags, I was in Nashville when some guy in a truck had his running on his truck. I would have flashed my high beams on him if I thought he wasn’t carrying. No one needs that much light, especially on a public road, just slow down.
Good thing I'm driving a BMW then, huh?

Seriously, that argument can be made with a lot of things. Good lights? Nah, just drive slower. Good tires? Nah, just drive slower. It's never a bad thing to have proper equipment for the sort of driving you do.

With that said, I'm convinced that the light from the light bar helped convince a deer not to cross the road yesterday as I was driving home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx4bw2lVbyY
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