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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 06-14-2013, 01:41 PM
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Snareman Snareman is offline
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LED or Xenons?

Does anyone have much experience with the LEDs or are they too new? Just wondering about the advantages over the Xenon's and how much they would be worth the extra cost.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2013, 01:48 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Don't have experience with them, but personally I don't think they're worth the extra cost. Regarding headlight technology I think the new thing coming that may be worth extra money over xenons is laser headlights, which BMW has in development now. http://wot.motortrend.com/bmw-shows-...#axzz2WE4CyiDb
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Last edited by tturedraider; 06-14-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2013, 01:51 PM
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Snareman Snareman is offline
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How Stuff Works - BMW Laser Headlights.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:49 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is online now
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IIRC, current LED light tech is not as bright as xenons...
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2013, 03:50 PM
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Snareman Snareman is offline
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So what's the advantage of paying a bunch more for the LEDs?
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2013, 03:54 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is online now
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Originally Posted by Snareman View Post
So what's the advantage of paying a bunch more for the LEDs?
//marketing.
and it looks cool.

an HID @ 35W with a color temp of 4100-4300K puts out 3200 lumens. (6400 per pair)
a halogen H7 puts out ~1500 lumens each bulb @ 55W
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Last edited by Orient330iNYC; 06-14-2013 at 04:00 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2013, 08:14 PM
Supagoat Supagoat is offline
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I'd avoid LED headlights for now... Seen too many Audis winking at me with their running lights out to believe in the supposed long life of LEDs right now.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:15 PM
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BatteryPowered BatteryPowered is offline
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I'd avoid LED headlights for now... Seen too many Audis winking at me with their running lights out to believe in the supposed long life of LEDs right now.
LED diodes (bulbs) have extremely long life. Same can't be said of the drivers (controllers) that are responsible for diode control, which usually fail pretty fast.

I don't think it's an issue of lumens with LED in automotive world. LED drivers generate A LOT of heat, hence if you see LED fixture/light, most of it is a giant heatsink with tiny diodes attached to it. Those heatsinks need air circulation and there's none behind the light assembly.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:21 PM
bmw_or_audi bmw_or_audi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Don't have experience with them, but personally I don't think they're worth the extra cost. Regarding headlight technology I think the new thing coming that may be worth extra money over xenons is laser headlights, which BMW has in development now. http://wot.motortrend.com/bmw-shows-...#axzz2WE4CyiDb
Thanks for the interesting link. Technically speaking, it is not really laser light. The laser just provides the energy source, essentially replacing traditional electricity.
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  #10  
Old 06-15-2013, 05:31 AM
Supagoat Supagoat is offline
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Originally Posted by BatteryPowered View Post
LED diodes (bulbs) have extremely long life. Same can't be said of the drivers (controllers) that are responsible for diode control, which usually fail pretty fast.
Those heatsinks need air circulation and there's none behind the light assembly.
Right. I wasn't referring to the diodes themselves but rather the apparatus by which light is produced. I've got several LED light bulbs in my house and I added LED running lights to my Miata, so I do think they're a pretty good thing in general but even if they were to fail, I don't rely on those to get me home at night.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:33 AM
HokieXDriver HokieXDriver is offline
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Aren't LEDs more power efficient than xenons?
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:48 AM
Elk Elk is offline
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Yes
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:17 PM
bmw_or_audi bmw_or_audi is offline
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Originally Posted by BatteryPowered View Post
LED diodes (bulbs) have extremely long life. Same can't be said of the drivers (controllers) that are responsible for diode control, which usually fail pretty fast.
But it doesn't have to be so. If they don't skimp on controller circuit design, it should also last a very long time. Super bright LED flashlights have been around for a while now and they don't have nearly as much room and airflow as in cars to properly manage heat dissipation. Car manufacturers will eventually zoom in on the exact amount of penny pinching they can get away with.
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