How to upgrade to LED + Angel Eyes - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 7 Series & 8 Series > 7 Series DIY

7 Series DIY
Do It Yourself forum dedicated for 7 Series BMW Owners

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 03-25-2012, 09:07 AM
samadkins29's Avatar
samadkins29 samadkins29 is online now
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,286
Mein Auto: 2011 535i
How to upgrade to LED + Angel Eyes

Since I posted the HID thread, I figured I would come full circle and post the LED/Angel Eye thread. This will be a guide that will focus on the hardest part of changing over to LED - making sure your ORDER is correct!

(Guide should be used in partial conjunction with the HID guide)

Whats is LED? LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. The name is rather self explanatory. Unlike bulbs, LED's emit a single spectrum color. The "color" is defined by the wavelength it produces. No site is going to list the LED by wavelength, it will always be listed by color. IE "Blue, Red, Green... etc" So I'm not going to go into further detail.

LED upgrades can be defined by three stages:
Interior (Easy!)
Exterior (Moderately Easy!)
Turn Signals/Door Handles/Side turn signals (I put this as its own stage because its not simply plug n play. Parts will need to be removed in order to install)

What are lumens and why does it matter? Lumens is simply the amount of usable light. With LED's the amount (#) of them and the Watts (W) are what control brightness/lumens. For example blue light produces huge glare but not much usable light. Glare will make it look bright, but its a false positive. Meaning white leds will light up the interior more than blue leds, but the blue leds will "look" brighter when starring at the led itself. Unlike regular bulbs, you can simply stack more leds onto a single base. What does this mean? Well in theory, a 5 LED white bulb could produce the same lumens as a 7 LED blue bulb. My point being, the less lumens a color produces, the more leds (or watts) you need if you want to achieve the same amount of usable light. This will be covered further in the "Order" section.

Now, your most likely wondering why you should make the switch. I can tell you it doesn't matter how old or new your car is, LED is the way to go. But, if you still need some reasons, here they are:
- LED's can be acquired in many different colors
- LED's use less power
- LED's never "burn out" (however it is possible to get a defective one)
- LED's are cheap! (Well slightly more expensive than a bulb, but you never have to replace it again!)

*A small note about lens color:
For Red or Amber Lens, the LED Bulb color must match the lens color. A red lens will filter out all but the red portion of the light so if the light is all red, none or very little light will be blocked by the lens. The light from a White LED contains very little light in the red portion of the visible spectrum so most of the light would be filtered out by a red lens. (As Pictured)
Click image for larger version

Name:	lenscolor.jpg
Views:	2679
Size:	25.6 KB
ID:	318519

Hey what the heck! I'm just here for the Angel eyes!! Ok ok, ill do that section now. Angel eyes can be broken into two groups of people. Ones who want to simply change the color of the rings and those who want the brightest rings possible. You will need 1 (pair). 1 angel eye will light up both halo rings for a single headlight. For those that just want to change the color. Any set will do just fine and can be had in just about any color (Red, Blue, Green, White). I personally own a cheapo $40(R-dash) set I bought on eBay two years ago and have had no issues so far. Now for those of you who either want better build quality or to have the brightest available angel eye led's the brands that I recommend are MTEC(via eBay) or UMNITZA. As to which is brighter? It goes back and forth as a "new"version gets made thats better than the last. Either way they are both very bright! Please note that when manufactures use terms like 5000k and 6000k they are referring the the HID (K)elvin scale and not how "bright" it is. You can use my HID guide as a reference.(Apart from the "Install" section, this is the end of the Angel eye writeup)
Click image for larger version

Name:	mtec.jpg
Views:	2574
Size:	39.6 KB
ID:	318520

Much like the HID's you are simply replacing the standard Halogen bulb with an LED bulb. The type is defined by its base. This is where most people run into problems. Unlike standard car bulbs (H3, H7, 9006... etc) bulb types can be the same but have different part numbers. To help you with this:
HERE is a Cross Reference Chart
HERE is a Bulb Guide

I cannot stress enough how important it is to A) Visually check each bulb (take a picture and measure it if needed) and B) to use the cross reference chart correctly. Nobody likes to waste money buying an LED to find out its the wrong type or doesn't fit. Another note to remember is even if its the right bulb type it may not fit. A good example of this is on our tail lights. Some of the available led bulbs have sooo many leds on them that the diameter wont fit through the hole in our tail light. PLEASE please, double check all the bulbs and make sure your ordering the correct size/type!!!! Take notes while you check your bulbs!!

Ok, so you have double checked what bulbs your going to replace and written down how many of each type. Using the cross reference chart you can order LED's from either of the two sites I recommend - and You don't need to worry about Watts, since all LEDs will draw less power than Halogen bulbs. Those two companies provide the best LED's I have found to date. Again, you can order from eBay or any of our site sponsors if you prefer. Some LED's will be advertised as having more LED's on the same bulb or "High powered" drawing more watts. Both of these are true advertising. You can have 4 leds on a bulb the same as 30 leds, but it still needs to fit into the light housing. If your looking for a few more lumens, then spend the extra money and get the "HP" version of the bulb your replacing(if available). Last thing to consider is the angle of the LED's. Most will shoot light out relatively straight. For floor lights or lights that need to "flood" the area you may wish to choose leds that have additional led's that shoot out from the side. Giving a wider field of light.

*A Special note about Turn Signals. Turn signals require extra resistors or "flasher" units. This makes it so that they don't "hyper flash"(flash rapidly) due to the low watt usage of LED's. If you don't want to mess with all that. Then you can order White, Red, or Amber halogen bulbs. Alternatively you can look on eBay for ones that have the resistors built in (ive seen them before, but cannot confirm if they work). (I will edit this section if more information becomes available.)

Since car models vary, I will be writing the install section as generally as possible. You car may require the removal of other parts to gain access to the bulb your replacing. You will to need to search up removal instructions for any additional parts you need to remove.
- Remove plastic cover (usually clips on/off)
- Remove halogen bulb
- Installed LED (Certain bulb types will need to be "aimed", so that the leds a pushing the light in the right direction)
- Replace plastic cover
*Most LED's are not marked for (+) and (-). If the LED doesn't turn on , flip it around.

Exterior / Turn signals (Rear):
- Remove plastic cover (usually clips on/off)
- Remove halogen bulb
- Installed LED
- Replace plastic cover
*Most LED's are not marked for (+) and (-). If the LED doesn't turn on , flip it around.

Angel Eyes / Turn signals (Front):
- Remove headlight (additional parts may need to be removed)
- Remove halogen bulb
- Installed LED
- Replace headlight
*Most LED's are not marked for (+) and (-). If the LED doesn't turn on , flip it around. Angel eyes will only connect one way.

Door Handles / Side Turn signals / Other hard to get to bulbs:
- Remove all needed parts in front of the bulb
- Remove halogen bulb
- Installed LED
- Test before putting back together
- Replace all parts
*Most LED's are not marked for (+) and (-). If the LED doesn't turn on , flip it around.

THATS IT GUYS!!! (Sorry for any typos)
Click image for larger version

Name:	Picard_full_of_win.jpg
Views:	1546
Size:	33.6 KB
ID:	318529

Last edited by samadkins29; 03-25-2012 at 10:18 PM.
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 7 Series & 8 Series > 7 Series DIY
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.