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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 05-14-2016, 04:49 AM
nickr1985 nickr1985 is offline
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Installing LED bulbs instead of halogen

Hi everyone

This is probably a stupid qu, but I was buying replacement tail light bulbs (halogen) and saw LED alternatives available.

I take it you can't simply stick LED ones in the car instead? Would the wiring need to be changed?

Thanks in advance!!

Nick
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2016, 05:10 AM
Freshazfuk Freshazfuk is offline
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I did my whole exterior with led instead of the cheapo S the only ones I didn't replace were the hid and fogs....I did get alot of errors but you could solve that with resisters or even better just code all your errors out ....good luck

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  #3  
Old 05-14-2016, 10:50 AM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickr1985 View Post
I take it you can't simply stick LED ones in the car instead? Would the wiring need to be changed?

Current draw will be diff - your ride will know. Hafalook at heat issues.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:04 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Some LEDs, but not all, claim:
"CANBUS Compatible
Properly equipped with load resistors, Lumen LEDs will not interfere with CAN Bus data systems on modern vehicles so equipped. ...bulbs are CAN Bus compatible, and have been designed with a higher level of advanced technology that allows proper data flow so they'll work right every time with no error messages, and without confusing any computer controls. l"
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2016, 02:55 PM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilt View Post
Some LEDs, but not all, claim:
"CANBUS Compatible
Properly equipped with load resistors, Lumen LEDs will not interfere with CAN Bus data systems on modern vehicles so equipped. ...bulbs are CAN Bus compatible, and have been designed with a higher level of advanced technology that allows proper data flow so they'll work right every time with no error messages, and without confusing any computer controls. l"

So! CAN bus bulbs! I just gotta see one o'those!

Yepper, a "higher level of advanced technology" definitely allows proper data flow.
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2016, 03:47 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY DUE View Post
So! CAN bus bulbs! I just gotta see one o'those!

Yepper, a "higher level of advanced technology" definitely allows proper data flow.
Just taken from the web...https://www.superbrightleds.com/carbulb_notes.php
"What are CAN Bus Bulbs?
CAN Bus LED bulbs are simple plug-and- play LED bulbs which are made specifically for CAN Bus-equipped vehicles. These bulbs work with your vehicle's advanced computer system, so when your vehicle's computer reads them, they respond back correctly. View All CAN Bus Bulbs Here

"What does CAN Bus mean?
CAN Bus means Controller Area Network Bus. This system monitors your vehicle and reports operating conditions. CAN Bus systems are commonly found in European vehicles such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Porsche, and in many American vehicles. While most late model American vehicles have CAN Bus systems, it is always good to check with your vehicle dealer to see which system your vehicle has before purchasing electrical products.

"Will CAN Bus LED Bulbs Prevent "Bulb-Out" Indication?
Each vehicle has different requirements that the CAN Bus system is looking for, but in most cases CAN Bus LED bulbs should prevent a "bulb out" indication in areas such as tail, brake, and running lights. If you use a standard LED bulb that is not a CAN Bus application, you would consistently get a "bulb out" dashboard indicator because your system can't communicate with a standard LED bulb.

"Will CAN Bus LED Bulbs Prevent Hyper-Flashing?
CAN Bus bulbs will not prevent hyper-flashing of turn signals. These bulbs are communicating with the CAN Bus system, but the relay still needs an appropriate amount of load to operate correctly. Your electrical system could require load resistors or an electronic flashing relay to stop hyper-flashing. The factory relay causes the hyper-flash when it thinks there is not a bulb working. For more information, click the question "Why do LED Bulbs cause turn signals to blink so fast? Can I fix it?" above.

"Can you use CAN Bus LED bulbs in non-CAN Bus applications?
CAN Bus LED bulbs should not be used in non-CAN Bus applications because in most cases they can cause other vehicle circuits to have problems. Electrical systems are much like the flowing water in a river; if a log or other obstacle is placed in its path, the water backs up, but then finds another route. A CAN Bus LED bulb presents more resistance than the stock bulb due to built-in resistors and may cause feedback into other circuits in the non-CAN Bus electrical system."
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  #7  
Old 05-14-2016, 04:16 PM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilt View Post

Well I'll be dipped.....like what I think I'm seeing - PCB shown looks like LED controller, a number of diodes or caps, inductor, and LED. Like Ethernet over power lines, CAN bus can be interfaced.

Looking further.

-- Struck out, Wikipedia....

Whelp, looks like they're just bulbs after all - no CAN bus interface. They simply mimic current draw of OEM bulbs - nothing more. Yep, didn't think I saw a CAN bus node chip - appears there is none - disappointed!





.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY DUE; 05-14-2016 at 04:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2016, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
...they're just bulbs after all - no can bus interface. They simply mimic current draw of oem bulbs - nothing more...
+1
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2016, 08:20 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Ladies and Gentlemen, perhaps we have just shown that there is a lot of bull**** posted on the web by retailers and manufacturers, which is not believable, not truly accurate, and not worthy of your time?!

Last edited by wilt; 05-14-2016 at 08:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2016, 03:59 AM
nickr1985 nickr1985 is offline
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Thanks for the interesting responses! So it can be done ... Mimic normal halogen bulbs.
Anyone recommend any brands?
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2016, 05:22 AM
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bocabimmer bocabimmer is offline
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I still don't see the point. So you're not going to decrease electrical load on the car, and BMW tail lights look so good because of the amount of refraction and the opacity in the housing anyways. What is going to be different?
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2016, 10:25 PM
nickr1985 nickr1985 is offline
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It's saying there's a bulb out ... Looking I see it's the tail light near the white part of the rear cluster on the E91... This is the part which goes up with the lid. I can't see any way to access this part of the cluster though??
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:21 AM
nickr1985 nickr1985 is offline
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I have no idea how to access this tail light on the touring?? I took the back panel off... No access?
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2016, 07:32 AM
nickr1985 nickr1985 is offline
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I'm kinda confused by all this. Presumably the car has CANBUS installed already so can I just swap the bulbs from halogen to LED without getting the rapid blinking or dash warning?
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:50 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickr1985 View Post
I'm kinda confused by all this. Presumably the car has CANBUS installed already so can I just swap the bulbs from halogen to LED without getting the rapid blinking or dash warning?
BMWs (and other cars) can be somewhat finicky in the electrical properties of bulbs because of the bulb checking of the car! The bulb checking, in looking for a 'burned out bulb' might trigger an error when too little current is drawn by a bulb. CAN bus came about around 1987, and in the past (well before E90s came into being) sometimes even a 'brand new (incandescent) bulb' might not conform to what the checking circult is expecting to see, sometimes causing the need for a 'BMW bulb' to be installed. But the term 'CAN bus bulb' is a misnomer...the bulb itself is STUPID, the control module checks bulbs and the control module communicates over the CAN bus to tell the driver a bulb is out.

Last edited by wilt; 06-26-2016 at 08:00 AM.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2016, 08:44 AM
nickr1985 nickr1985 is offline
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Ah I see. So is the car specifically configured to normal incandescent bulbs by default, then?
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2016, 09:13 AM
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[Oops, sorry. I thought I was in a different forum, although I am pretty sure the answer is yes.]

Last edited by johnf; 06-26-2016 at 09:38 AM.
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2016, 03:17 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Quote:
...they're just bulbs after all - no can bus interface. They simply mimic current draw of oem bulbs - nothing more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oulixes View Post
+1
+2. It's just a marketing gimmick. Although they do simulate the load much more efficiently then just slapping a load resistor on the circuit.

Load resistor simulate the load by adding resistance, which ultimately is just energy wasted as heat. That's why they get so hot.

A "CANBUS" bulb will use a circuit that will simulate that load much more efficiency and waste much less energy in the form of heat.

If you can't code the bulb checks off, a "CANBUS" bulb will be maintain the efficiency of swapping to LEDs.

By using a load resistor, you are not saving any energy/power if one were to care.

The only bulbs I have swapped to LED are my angel eyes and turn signals. Typically, I agree that switching to LED in a halogen fixture is no good but if the bulb is just lighting up the housing and not used to project the lighting, ie headlights/foglights, then it's fine.

The nice thing about LEDs though is that they are instant on. Check the video below. Left is halogen, right is LED. The hazards are on and they are coded for euro/double blink hazards.

This is type of bulb I got but make sure it's the right base. Front and rear is different I believe. http://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-30W-Err...item3ab95f943a

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Last edited by fdriller9; 06-26-2016 at 03:36 PM.
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