Fisher99
Posts: 402
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Front Turn Signals

Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:50 pm

Swapped out the incandescent bulbs on my 2014 i3/REX for LED's. Never understood why BMW didn't do that from the factory.
2014 BMW i3 with Range Extender Engine, Capparis White/Frozen Black, 20" wheels,, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, TurboCord EVSE

eNate
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Front Turn Signals

Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:30 pm

My thoughts on the two are that incandescent has a more pleasing ramp-up to full brightness, even though it's minor. LED turn signals done right have multi-segment LEDs that illuminate in short succession and either "sweep" or form concentric circles. Just an observation, not necessarily critiquing your choice. However, I have to wonder if that's the reason some automakers use to stick with incandescent turns when everything else is LED. Volvo made the same choice on the previous generation S60.
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Fisher99
Posts: 402
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Front Turn Signals

Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:07 pm

The "ramp up to full brightness" is exactly what I dislike about the incandescent bulbs. Lights that are meant to grab another driver's attention (turn signals and brake lights in particular) should light up bright and quick. It always amazes me how cars using LED brake and turn lights stand out in a line of traffic.

Plus, I'll bet I'll save a nickel or so in electricity over the life of the car... :D

As for why some manufacturers stick with incandescent, I would guess that it comes down to cost. At first you only saw LED lights on high end vehicles and then as costs lowered they started filtering down to more mid-level vehicles. But you still don't see them much on mid or entry level vehicles unless they have been optioned with an upscale trim package. Saving a few bucks per vehicle is still a big deal for companies who mass produce vehicles.
2014 BMW i3 with Range Extender Engine, Capparis White/Frozen Black, 20" wheels,, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, TurboCord EVSE

frictioncircle
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: Front Turn Signals

Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:41 am

A (An) LED's instant-on-&-off performance precisely transmits the owner's intent. That said, the lingering decay of an incandescent bulb is a benefit to the following driver as they may have missed the front car's abrupt LED duty cycle.

I often wish that manufacturers would emulate the "off" decay of an incandescent bulb.

Edit: wording

frictioncircle
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: Front Turn Signals

Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:40 am

My prior post has been externally validated:

https://jalopnik.com/eagle-eyed-turn-si ... 1845927919

3pete
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Front Turn Signals

Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:16 pm

It's amazing how many people have strong opinions on turn signals. I'll admit I'm one. I feel pretty strongly that turn signals should be amber (not red) and distinct bulbs from the brake lights. Oh, and I also changed to LED bulbs in the front.
Fisher99 wrote: Plus, I'll bet I'll save a nickel or so in electricity over the life of the car... :D
You could double that savings by being a "stereotypical BMW driver" and not use the signals at all :lol:

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Front Turn Signals

Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:34 pm

It seems that most of the rest of the world gets amber turn signals...flashing red lights can be confusing. And, tying it into the brake light seems wrong, too. The US has some stuck in the old world lighting laws. BMW has much more capable headlight systems that (as of now) we cannot get here as the law requires a specific hi/low switch, whereas, their best system can run the high beam most of the time and shut one side or the other off, and adjust its throw and angle dynamically.
Jim DeBruycker
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eXodus
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:06 am

Re: Front Turn Signals

Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:22 am

3pete wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:16 pm
You could double that savings by being a "stereotypical BMW driver" and not use the signals at all :lol:
Been driving used BMWs for some decades and they came all with practically new signal bulbs :P

I really don't care to much about signals, I got a vintage Volvo and it still has it's original Bulbs everywhere aside the headlamps.
If you get quality bulbs and a soft suspension they can last till eternity.

Hard suspension kills bulbs.

SSi3
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:55 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Front Turn Signals

Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:09 pm

Fisher99 wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:50 pm
Never understood why BMW didn't do that from the factory.
I believe BMW plans this out deliberately on their vehicles, especially over the past decade as LEDs started to work their way into the industry. They use incandescent front and rear turn signals, and then change them to LED (along with brake lights and sometimes headlights) come the LCI update. A great example of this is the E90 3-series.

The 2014-2017 i3 had halogen high-beams and incandescent front signals (with cool chrome bulbs tho!) for cost savings and to give them some lighting to change come the 2018 LCI. They couldn't change the underglass rear lights (like they traditionally do), but upgrading all of the front lighting gave the car a new look, improved lighting performance and thus safety. The new Bi-LED projectors are worlds better than the LED-low/halogen-high set up.
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eXodus
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:06 am

Re: Front Turn Signals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:58 am

I absolutely agree with statement.

The car industry has mastered the slow evolution and selling you on every step. "the all new 2018" while only a few pieces are new.
The sold us on 20hp gains and 1mpg efficiency improvements over decades.

Now at least the German Carmakers try this concept with EVs - but I got the feeling they get outrun by other players very soon.
The Chinese are throwing 20kwh upgrades on their cars in a yearly cycle and always including the newest and greatest tech.

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