jadnashuanh
Posts: 3841
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:44 pm

It is somewhat anomalous listing them as 80W bulbs if they are actually 40W! Anything equal or less than the original bulb wattage should work with the wiring, switches, or fuse, IF they are built with the proper bulb-out sensing so you don't get constant faults.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

NoMoreGas
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:45 pm

40 Watts/3600 lumens PER Bulb. Lower draw and more lumens per bulb. Halogens are no more than 1100 lumens per bulb. More efficient with way more light. Win win.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 3841
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:53 pm

No problem...your original post said 80W, not two 40W bulbs, which IS likely to cause problems.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

NoMoreGas
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:16 am

Many adverts on ebay/amazon display combined total wattage and lumens per pair of bulbs. One has to read very carefully and ask questions of the sellers. That said, the ones I showed as an example I actually have been using in my car for the past 8 weeks without any issues. They are much brighter than the original halogen which were, in my opinion, dangerously underpowered for where I live. In addition to the benefits of more light they are very well focused by the reflectors in the housing. In addition they have an approximately 30,000 hour life span which is about a 3.5 year life if they were constantly on. These bulbs will outlast the life of the BMW.

sithsmith23
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 am
Location: UK

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:59 pm

hello

I've swapped over the full beam to 'whiter' bulb, no probs. Also got some LED's for indicators but seemed to have trouble of disconnecting/getting into the current bulbs. Did not seems as easy as swapping over the full beam and did not want to get too heavy handed...any advice/steps to access the indicator bulbs, I could seem to find a 'catch' to depress to release the connector.

ta

I33t
Posts: 878
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:01 pm
Location: Australia

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:36 pm

I replaced mine right after delivery but it was easy. I think they just pull out. The connector was stiff as I remember.
2014 BMW i3 BEV deposit placed 19th Dec 2013
Delivered in Melbourne 4/12/2014. Arrived locally 11/12/14, with 24km on the clock.

CaptBreadbeard
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:45 pm

I33t wrote:Oh, I see now. You put LEDs in the turn signals, not the main beams...

These Philips LEDs are to replace H11s. They aren't cheap, but Philips makes good bulbs unlike a lot of the LED junk out there.

http://www.xenondepot.com/h11-h8-h16-philips-Ultinon-LED-Bulb-p/12834unix2-h11.htm

On a side note, these are 9.3W bulbs vs. the 55W halogens. That's 18.6W for the pair vs. 110W or saving ~91.4W. Since the i3's battery is ~18.8kW-hr of usable capacity, for every hour of operation these bulbs would save 0.5% of the full capacity. At moderate highway speeds and given the range of the i3, that could add up to nearly 1% saved! Or a lot more in the city where the non-drivetrain power consumption will generally make up a larger percentage of the consumed power.

Even better still, they put out many more lumens than the standard halogens and a whole lot more than cheaper LED H11 replacements (saw some under 1200 lumens!).

Edit:
Decided to have more fun. At $0.10/kW-hr of electricity, using these bulbs would save approx. $0.01 per hour of operation (rounded up to assume charging losses). Average speeds, as far as I've seen for the average driver, are nearer 30MPH (total operating time, not average moving). 12k miles a years, yields almost 400hrs of operation per year. Thus, these bulbs save the average driver approx. $4/year. Or put another way, these bulbs pay for themselves after at around 540k miles of use. Hmm, that's going to take awhile...

CaptBreadbeard
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:06 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:Many monitoring circuits look for a certain load from the bulbs, and if the aftermarket bulbs are not configured right, the monitoring circuit can become confused. Often, you have to add a resistor in there to make that load look 'proper'. OFten, the details on how to do that are available on the website where you bought the bulbs. Some bulbs have that 'built-in'.

Don't have an i3 yet, but BMW uses CANBUS and if it's anything like their bikes (I have two), it may be able to code out the error. Resistors work as well, but it's more of a hack IMHO.

CaptBreadbeard
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:14 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:Not sure what I'm missing here...

H11 halogen bulb - 55W, about 525 Lumens, maybe 500 hours life (varies) - $20 each (rough idea)
H11 equivalent LED bulb, about 2400 Lumens (on average), thousands of hours life (one I was looking at claimed 25K-hours), instant on - $100+ each (more or less, depending on quality and color temp - some as much as $250 ea) IOW, price varies
H11 equivalent HID bulb, 35W versions, about 3000 Lumens, 15000 hours life (and free replacements on one I was looking at), take a moment to reach full brightness, about $50 each with the ballast. For most people, the bulb will outlast the time they have the car. You can say the same for the LED, but how many people would pull it back out to move to their next car to make use of it? probably nobody. With the traffic, I don't get a chance to use my high beams much anyway, but might consider upgrading for those times I am out of town and there is no traffic. Might save a deer and the car! Certainly will if I get a bulb die rather than just putting back a halogen.

Given the price/performance, why not an HID upgrade verses LED? Is it the on/off cycles? Some reach full color temp pretty quickly. If you want more light, you can get a 55W HID bulb for not much more and increase that output quite a bit. But, a nearly 60% power savings and 6x the lumens using a 35W version seems like a good compromise.

If I did lots of driving where I regularly used high beams, I'd probably go that route, and may just for the hell of it to try. Thoughts?

HIDs work for low beams which remain on, high beams not so much because they take time to come on. Also, the high inrush current and high-voltage of HIDs combined with the quality of some aftermarket kits often leads to less than ideal results...occasionally dangerous too.

CaptBreadbeard
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Re: DIY: Highbeam Headlamp Replacement / Upgrade

Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:16 pm

Has anyone driven their LED conversions during the winter snowstorm yet to see if they ice up? This is something OEMs test LED headlights for, so I'm curious how they work in this car.

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