FiremanDan2928
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:27 am

LED Hi beam conversion

Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:18 am

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and I recently purchased a 2016 Rex i3. Although I have the LED low beams, I was wondering if anyone has upgraded to LED Hi beams. They look terrible having LED low beams and standard HI beams. Anyone that has done this please let me know. Thanks

alohart
Posts: 1920
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:13 am

Many i3 owners have done this by replacing the incandescent high beam bulb with an LED bulb. However, the reflector and lens were not designed for an LED bulb whose light source is usually in a different location and is a different size from that of an incandescent bulb. The result is a worse illumination pattern than that of the incandescent bulb.

A better approach would be to replace the entire light including the reflector, the lens, and the bulb. However, I'm not aware of any replacement reflector and lens that would fit an i3.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4788
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:56 pm

IF you could find a DOT approved LED replacement, it should work. Almost impossible to find, though, as noted, it's hard to get the light pattern and location the same, and the companies involved don't want to spend the money to test and verify.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

vreihen
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:21 pm

What i3 headlight options are available in the free parts of the world that we don't get?????
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

alohart
Posts: 1920
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:19 am

vreihen wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:21 pm
What i3 headlight options are available in the free parts of the world that we don't get?????
Most North American i3's have LED low beam headlights that are not standard in other markets. There are a few "value package" and maybe even some Deka World versions that have incandescent low beam headlights. No pre-LCI i3's have LED high beam headlights, so no LED high beam parts exist anywhere in the world.

I believe that all post LCI North American i3's have LED high and low beam headlights in the main headlight housing.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

vreihen
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:25 am

I'll have to poke around the US and Euro parts catalogs one of these days, to see if it is possible to DIY an LCI update and/or the Euro headlights.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4788
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:51 pm

You'd probably never be called out for it, but keep in mind, any lamps used on a vehicle registered in the USA is supposed to have DOT approved fixtures/bulbs in key, critical locations. Headlights are one of those critical locations. Physically fitting doesn't mean it's a DOT approved bulb or housing. Now, some of the rules we have for lighting are way behind the times. In headlights, the BMW adaptive laser beam headlights available out of the country are MUCH more capable than those sold here. THere's a (current, hope it eventually gets changed) rule that requires a hi/low headlight switch. Those headlights in Europe, for example, do not have that simple switch and the beam shape and intensity can vary almost continually to adjust to the prevailing conditions. To get the laser headlights we now have, the FDA got involved, and forced an additional functionality that requires a housing breakage detection system to shut the laser down if the lamp housing is damaged (FWIW, the laser beam points backwards, not towards the front of the vehicle on the BMW design, and energizes phosphors to make the visible light). Sometimes, I think we have too many rules and regulations, but hey...it is what it is. It took years to get halogens, then xenon, then those that could move to show around corners...we're years behind the rest of the world.

A typical LED bulb tends to have a very splotchy light pattern, which can lead to eye fatigue. It takes some engineering and customization to make one work well and be backwards compatible with an incandescent or halogen bulb designed fixture.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

vreihen
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:39 pm

I like living dangerous. Heck, I even removed the tag from my mattress with no plans to consume it. :lol:

In these parts, 1/4 of the cars on the roads have botched LED/xenon bulb swaps into incandescent housings. The i3 is quirky/rare enough where nobody would ever notice that a set of Euro lasers were retrofitted.

My neighbor at home to one side is 2,200 acres of state forest, and the other side is 450 acres of undeveloped/wooded county parkland. I have not driven my i3 at night yet to know how the existing headlights work out, but one view of the BMW laser video on YouTube makes me think that I have to have them before winter to see deer/bears hiding along the shoulder waiting to be startled and jump in front of me when the EV silently sneaks up on them.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4788
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: LED Hi beam conversion

Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:59 pm

BMW claims that their laser beam powered headlights offer 2x the max range of any other lights currently available. But, retrofitting a set of those into an i3 would be a major project, and the cost would be considerable.

If you've watched their videos, you'd realize that the laser points towards a lense at the back, then the light hits phosphers and gets converted to visible light. By moving the beam around (fast), they can create almost any shape beam they want. In the USA, it gets hobbled considerably, but maximum range is still impressive and the color temp is close to daylight.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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