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  #1  
Old 03-25-2012, 10:07 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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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)

Starters:
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)
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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)
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Order/Install
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 - Superbrightleds.com and Autolumination.com. 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.
Interior:
- 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)
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Last edited by samadkins29; 03-25-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2012, 10:24 AM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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Sam, because of YOU, I have been TOTALLY obsessed lately with the Lighting Upgrade portion of my 7.
I have read damn near EVERY thread created on this forum on the issue.
I also now find myself riding around focusing in on every BMW I see to check out the headlights.
And now you wanna start a thread that has me checking this website every few minutes for the completion,..
well,.......I hope you're proud of yourself for puttting me in this state of mind!
P.S. ..Umm, Hurry up with the REST will ya?!
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2012, 11:27 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Ill get back on it once I'm home from work
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:42 AM
jenkx jenkx is offline
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This is great info. I've learned so much about lights. I'm going to upgrade a lot of my lights real soon.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:57 AM
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pkathee pkathee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samadkins29 View Post
Ill get back on it once I'm home from work
Get off work and finish up your thread already..........

Anyway, good stuff bro. Extremely resourceful.

I am on the market for some upgraded Angels eyes but I’m still debating on whether to get the MTEC V3 or the UMNITA ICE VXX.

Since this is your expertise, please shed some light when you get a minute.

Thanks, Sam (aka, the Lighting guru)
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2012, 11:20 PM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Ok, guys. For those of you who have been waiting. The full post is now done. I may edit it if needed. The HID guide was WAY easier. I didn't realize how much could go wrong with LED's before I started typing the guide.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2012, 11:49 PM
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bisdak bisdak is offline
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Good work. Thanks for doing this.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2012, 05:07 AM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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Great Job Sam!
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2012, 08:33 AM
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Put it in the DIY forum
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2012, 09:03 AM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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^^^ @ Mopauly..What kit or lights do you have on yours (Signature pic)??
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:06 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkathee View Post
I am on the market for some upgraded Angels eyes but I'm still debating on whether to get the MTEC V3 or the UMNITA ICE VXX.
I would say give the UMNITZA a try. They list it as 10W. So it must be brighter. I know a lot of people on here have the MTEC's so it would be nice to get a proper comparison done.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:25 PM
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^^^ @ mopauly..what kit or lights do you have on yours (signature pic)??
mtec
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2012, 06:44 PM
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Homerun Sam.. cant stop keeping up with your threads... Thanks for the info!
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2012, 11:04 AM
exam23 exam23 is offline
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I just performed this upgrade about a month ago and let me tell you. It was a pain in the rear. Who in the world would design something like the angel eyes light where you will have to take off the entire front bumper cover and than remove the headlights and then the bracket that holds the headlight to get to (1) bulb. Then to add salt to injury, you have to recalibrate the active lights cause you have to disconnect the plugs. What a pain? Was it worth it... Yes, if you a fan of LED white Angel eyes.. Hehee...
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:36 AM
Camiolo760Li Camiolo760Li is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exam23 View Post
I just performed this upgrade about a month ago and let me tell you. It was a pain in the rear. Who in the world would design something like the angel eyes light where you will have to take off the entire front bumper cover and than remove the headlights and then the bracket that holds the headlight to get to (1) bulb. Then to add salt to injury, you have to recalibrate the active lights cause you have to disconnect the plugs. What a pain? Was it worth it... Yes, if you a fan of LED white Angel eyes.. Hehee...
Shouldn't have been that hard. People say you have to remove all of that. If you really try though you can swap the LEDs just by unbolting the headlights and pulling them a bit forward. It only took about 30 minutes to do both of mine. Only thing I needed to remove entirely were the airboxes on either side of car.

My bulbs are from Bimmian. Couldn't be happier. 6w bulbs.



Not the brightest, but still visible in bright sunlight.

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Old 04-16-2012, 06:38 AM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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Guys, I just received my MTEC V3 and was trying to install them but couldnt figure out
how to remove a black plate that was right behind the bulb connectors. I called the BMW shop
and they want to charge me $250 to put them on for me because they said the BUMPER
has to be removed,...but I thought in all the threads I've read, they said that the bumper
DOESNT have to be removed on the '04 models? Did I Mis-read?
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  #17  
Old 04-16-2012, 08:57 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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The headlights need to be pulled out as far as you can(un screw them). Its a tight fit but you should be able to get your hand i there and remove the dust cover. The metal plate is not removable.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:08 AM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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^^ Sam..do you mean pull the headlights forward WITHOUT removing bumper??
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:15 AM
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^^ Sam..do you mean pull the headlights forward WITHOUT removing bumper??
Sho its really easy man. I juuuust did mine yesterday morning and first attempt.

The headlight moves forward about 4 inches once you remove the 4 screws holding the assembly in place. Passenger side ya do need to remove the air box. I tried doing wiyhout and just couldnt get my hands in there even moving it forward.

Saved $250
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:19 AM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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^^ok..KOOL Pdux72...will try it again! I just didnt want to "tear up" anything
being too "aggressive" with it. Show me how yours look now Pdux.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:50 AM
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Pdux72 Pdux72 is offline
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^^ok..KOOL Pdux72...will try it again! I just didnt want to "tear up" anything
being too "aggressive" with it. Show me how yours look now Pdux.
Sure thung when i get home today.. at the J-O-B- till 5.. yours will look much better. I purchased the $30 specials off eBay..

It should just slide forward with a little wigglin. Took me about an hour for everything. Will need a couple torx bits and 8mm socket with extension.. mostly just using fingertips to remove dust cap and bulb but very doable!

Last edited by Pdux72; 04-16-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-16-2012, 10:54 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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I bought cheapos on ebay as well. Been good for 2 years now! @Sho - yes just pull teh headlight forward w/o removing the bumper. As Pdux said, I ended up pulling my airbox as well.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:00 PM
ShoNuff745i ShoNuff745i is offline
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^^Sam,..Thnx for the comeback..gonna try it again maybe later this evening if
I get home at a reasonable hour.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Camiolo760Li Camiolo760Li is offline
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Don't be afraid to get your hands in there and scuff up your knuckles. You guys are lucky to not have an airbox on each side....
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:53 PM
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pkathee pkathee is offline
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Don't be afraid to get your hands in there and scuff up your knuckles. You guys are lucky to not have an airbox on each side....

Yup, tell me about it………….

I had to remove both air filter boxes to get to mine. I even released the Headlamp assembly screws and moved the whole unit forward. Nonetheless, after an hour of frustration and antagonizing pain of trying to twist the angel eyes lamp caps off, it still wouldn’t budge.

I ended up dropping the bumper. It took me about 30 minutes to do so. If I had known, I should have tackled this approach first prior to the air filter box route……..

Anyway, for proper leverage, I recommend removing the front bumper. Honestly speaking, it is not as hard as it sounds.
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