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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:50 PM
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Why LED headlamps?

My new X5M came with the optional LED headlights. Had I special ordered the car I wouldn't have spent the extra $1,900. Tonight I drove our '12 650 with Xenons and the '13 X5M with LED's back-to-back and I can't discern any appreciable differences. I can, however, see a hell of a difference with the lights on both of the BMW's compared to my Toyota Tacoma

What's the big deal with LED's?
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Last edited by dkreidel; 01-28-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:18 AM
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Die Wolfe Die Wolfe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
My new X5M came with the optional LED headlights. Had I special ordered the car I wouldn't have spent the extra $1,900. Tonight I drove our '12 650 with Xenons and the '13 X5M with LED's back-to-back and I can't discren any appreciable differences. I can, however, see a hell of a difference with the lights on both of the BMW's compared to my Toyota Tacoma

What's the big deal with LED's?
They look different when I compare them side by side (looking at the headlights). But I've never driven our 535i (xenon) and my X5M (led) back to back. I'll have to try that...
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2013, 11:55 AM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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With Xenons, the rings are yellow, wtih LEDs, the rings are white. Much better look wtih white.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by serge1 View Post
With Xenons, the rings are yellow, wtih LEDs, the rings are white. Much better look wtih white.
No.. My Bi-Xenons have white LED rings.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2013, 03:13 PM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
My new X5M came with the optional LED headlights. Had I special ordered the car I wouldn't have spent the extra $1,900. Tonight I drove our '12 650 with Xenons and the '13 X5M with LED's back-to-back and I can't discren any appreciable differences. I can, however, see a hell of a difference with the lights on both of the BMW's compared to my Toyota Tacoma

What's the big deal with LED's?
Probs the same question people were asking when Xenons first came to market.

In my experience, the LEDs are :

1) cleaner design
2) easier for drivers who are in fromt of you, they emit a light thats easier on the eyes.
3) LEDs are e.e.
4) LEDs will probably last longer than xenon (unless u hit something)
5) they'll probably be a pita to replace if damage occurs.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoI4plz View Post
Probs the same question people were asking when Xenons first came to market.

In my experience, the LEDs are :

1) cleaner design
2) easier for drivers who are in front of you, they emit a light thats easier on the eyes.
3) LEDs are e.e.

4) LEDs will probably last longer than xenon (unless u hit something)
5) they'll probably be a pita to replace if damage occurs.
Thanks; I hadn't thought about opposing traffic or cars ahead of me
what is e.e?
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:10 PM
tribecaX5 tribecaX5 is offline
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
No.. My Bi-Xenons have white LED rings.
A 2011 with white rings/halos? I thought white halos came in '12 models.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tribecaX5 View Post
A 2011 with white rings/halos? I thought white halos came in '12 models.
Same here. My late 2011 came with LED coronas.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:38 PM
4Bimmers 4Bimmers is offline
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Led is so much less power hungry that they can idle the alternator most of the time as opposed to xenons .
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:05 AM
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Kzang Kzang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribecaX5 View Post
A 2011 with white rings/halos? I thought white halos came in '12 models.
At LCI they became white LED halos.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kzang View Post
At LCI they became white LED halos.
Not right at LCI (new bumpers and tail lights). LCI started early 2011, and LED coronas started in late 2011.

I think the OP is talking about LED lights as main lights, not coronas.
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serge1 View Post
Not right at LCI (new bumpers and tail lights). LCI started early 2011, and LED coronas started in late 2011.

I think the OP is talking about LED lights as main lights, not coronas.
Yes, I know what the OP is referring too, I was just trying to let you know the 2011 X5 had white LED corona / Halo as well since you mentioned as below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serge1 View Post
With Xenons, the rings are yellow, wtih LEDs, the rings are white. Much better look wtih white.

Perhaps I am wrong about starting from LCI version though. But you are right the OP is talking about the main lighting system and not the daytime running lights.
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Bimmers View Post
Led is so much less power hungry that they can idle the alternator most of the time as opposed to xenons .
I think this is the main reasons for going LED and of course keeping up with the competition AKA Audi.
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kzang View Post
I think this is the main reasons for going LED and of course keeping up with the competition AKA Audi.
Good one. I did not drive mine next to a full-LED bmw yet, but did drive behind a full-LED audi last night. The light from LEDs where crisper, brighter and even more white then my zenons, and had more fill to it. And more evenly distributed, too. Also, it appears the boundary between the light and darkness is much sharper and I remember some users considered that a minus - you totally do not see anything in the shade. I am not sure if audi's LEDs are much different from bmw's, but difference from my zenons was striking.

My question to OP - does full-LED option mean that *all* lights are LED? Meaning the turn, backup, brake, etc which are still bulbs with standard package? I like real full LED setup, they look more dynamic, bright, and have higher contrast. That RS in front of me looked like a spec from new Tron movie, very futuristic, especially breaking and cornering.

P.S. xenons, of course.
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Last edited by bxmxwx; 01-28-2013 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Correction
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:35 AM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kzang View Post
I think this is the main reasons for going LED and of course keeping up with the competition AKA Audi.
While Audi sort of pioneered LEDs (though I have been seeing Cadillacs with LED tail lights before seeing Audis), BMW was the one to pioneer using lighting to distinguish its brand (started with halos in 5 series).
Good thing, only BMW has twin rings - easily recognizable. Everyone else plays with LED strips. Anything from Porsche to damn Hyundai (hate those copy/pasters).

Last edited by serge1; 01-28-2013 at 10:37 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:41 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Originally Posted by serge1 View Post
While Audi sort of pioneered LEDs (though I have been seeing Cadillacs with LED tail lights before seeing Audis), BMW was the one to pioneer using lighting to distinguish its brand (started with halos in 5 series).
Good thing, only BMW has twin rings - easily recognizable. Everyone else plays with LED strips. Anything from Porsche to damn Hyundai (hate those copy/pasters).
Yep. And speaking of stripes - totally do not like the LED stripes for MAIN headlights. Saw it a few times head to head at night and it creates an awkward feeling of someone using overly bright side markers - my eyes kept searching for the main headlights and were dizzied by the lack thereof. Very weird feeling. Probably will get used to it eventually.
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:53 AM
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Kzang Kzang is offline
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It seems back in the late 1900s when Xenons were popular, it was only available ( factory ) on premium cars ( BMW, Mercs, Audi, Lexus, Acura etc. ). When you saw xenons from a distance you would automatically know it was a premium car. Then you would see the aftermarket bluish and purple lights on boyracers, honda civic, mustangs etc. Now the DRL ( daytime running lights ) on a BMW halos have made an impact and is being copied on Chevy Camaros and Ford Mustangs and trucks. I feel that the LED lights was used to distinguish the premium cars to normal cars. Now virtually every car maker premium or not are using LED's as their DRL. KIA, Hyundai, Honda, Ford all have LED's and still use halogen headlights.

I just don't know what directions the car manufactures are heading with the Lighting system in their cars.. Perhaps the new LED headlights will now distinguish between a premium car to a normal car using either Xenon or halogen?
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
What's the big deal with LED's?
Imho the main reasons the industry will go with LEDs are:
smaller size - designers can be much more creative
lower power consumption - various benefits from smaller batteries to whatever eco credits you can get off the government.

For consumers, it's one more thing to spend $$$ to look cool.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bxmxwx View Post
My question to OP - does full-LED option mean that *all* lights are LED? Meaning the turn, backup, brake, etc which are still bulbs with standard package? I like real full LED setup, they look more dynamic, bright, and have higher contrast. That RS in front of me looked like a spec from new Tron movie, very futuristic, especially breaking and cornering.

P.S. xenons, of course.
Yes, as near as I can tell all exterior lighting is LED; no incandescent bulbs.

I've had Xenons on BMW's for at least 15 years and am not sure I like the LED headlights on the X5M. You're right, the cut-off between light and dark is extreme and gives the impression of less lighting. I can't tell the difference in "color" from a driver's perspective but perhaps oncoming traffic and the guy ahead of me can.

dk
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:46 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
Thanks; I hadn't thought about opposing traffic or cars ahead of me
what is e.e?
Energy efficient
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  #21  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:49 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kzang View Post
It seems back in the late 1900s when Xenons were popular, it was only available ( factory ) on premium cars ( BMW, Mercs, Audi, Lexus, Acura etc. ). When you saw xenons from a distance you would automatically know it was a premium car. Then you would see the aftermarket bluish and purple lights on boyracers, honda civic, mustangs etc. Now the DRL ( daytime running lights ) on a BMW halos have made an impact and is being copied on Chevy Camaros and Ford Mustangs and trucks. I feel that the LED lights was used to distinguish the premium cars to normal cars. Now virtually every car maker premium or not are using LED's as their DRL. KIA, Hyundai, Honda, Ford all have LED's and still use halogen headlights.

I just don't know what directions the car manufactures are heading with the Lighting system in their cars.. Perhaps the new LED headlights will now distinguish between a premium car to a normal car using either Xenon or halogen?
Dammmmmmmmmmmmmm your old.....Jk...I'm guessing you meant late 90s.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:54 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Everyone's on the led bandwagon. However the integration Is key. It looks tacky when the led lights are not blended well. Lexus now, Audi couple years before and current q7, every economy manufacturer have individual units in a row. New gen Audi and BMW ring are one continuous led unit as drl and/or main beam.
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  #23  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:41 PM
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Btw, sharp cut-off can be achieved on xenons too, and it's actually 'toned down' on most cars for usability reasons.
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  #24  
Old 01-28-2013, 04:19 PM
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Most truthful reason: LED headlights are trendy nowadays Audi "forced" this trend, now other manufacturers simply add in this "me too" feature in order to not leave Audi with something "unique" to attract customers with
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:45 PM
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When Xenon headlights were optional on BMW's the upcharge was about $1,000 over conventional H4 bulbs. In the USA BMW chose to make a marketing decision and make Xenons standard, and of course raised the base price (not $1K but substantially)

Now BMW is getting $1,900 for LED lighting over Xenons. Is it possible the incremental cost of LED's over conventional H4 bubs is > $2,500? My guess is the LED's result in increased profits and not increased lighting We're doing Euro Delivery of a '14 M6 vert this summer - who knows what kind of lighting it will have
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'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
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...and a bunch of old English motorcycles

Last edited by dkreidel; 01-28-2013 at 05:48 PM.
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