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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-25-2014, 09:08 PM
jrhayes92 jrhayes92 is offline
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Bulb Question

There seems to be one billion threads, stories, methods, and opinions on how to alter the yellowish OEM halogen lights to a pure white color. There does not seem to be a definite answer however. Obviously, it ends up being personal preference.

I have searched and searched for simply a list of bulb replacement alternatives that will properly fit and run. I am not really up for cutting, splicing, adding harnesses, etc. I am just looking for a bulb replacement to modernize my lights.


I have a 2009 328i with Halogen lights, just to clear that up.

Is there not just a bulb that I can swap out to give me that white look? I realize upgrading to HID's is the best possible solution, but not exactly in my budget at the moment.

Any help is appreciated, as all of the information can be overwhelming when searching through the forum.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2014, 12:46 AM
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Philips diamond vision h7 55w 5000k is the best

About $50

Dont buy cheap chinese made on ebay

Canbus after market hid about $110 -$200 installed

After market hid may not be legal in some states as they are too bright
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Last edited by SilverX3; 01-26-2014 at 12:48 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2014, 07:10 AM
jrhayes92 jrhayes92 is offline
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Thanks for replying!

This may be a dumb question, but the bulb itself seems to be blue. Is that an indicator that the bulb will burn blue?

Also, any suggestion to which fog lights would best match?

Last edited by jrhayes92; 01-26-2014 at 08:04 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2014, 04:09 PM
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XxxxK higher the xxxxK bluer the colour.... Blue gives you whiter beam... I find 7000k too white hard to drive on rainy night

5000k is ideal
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:24 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Doing some research myself on the topic of bulbs -- my last car was E46 with factory Xenons, and my (very new to me, purchased 4 weeks ago) current car is 2011 E90 with halogens...
  • It appears that any higher wattage than 55W is generally not a good idea...it taxes the wiring of the car, it could melt/damage something in the headlight assembly, and it is not street legal. Exception seems to be Osram 65W does not overly tax the wiring or melt/damage things.
  • It seems that while bluer lights seem nice (appearance), and the eyes seem to perceive the light better, they may not really be truly brighter (as measured by instruments).
  • The bluer the light, apparently the worse they are for trying to see in rain/fog...(my speculation) maybe because the bluer light is dispersed (yellow disperses less) and causes more glare reflecting back to your eyes in the near field, so you see less because your pupils have closed down so you see less in the far field.
  • One truth is that blue exterior of the bulb is effectively a filter, reducing the number of photons being put out (reducing brightness).

I just ordered some Phillips Clear Vision Supreme bulbs, which are whiter than OEM bulbs, but I have not received them yet to try out. At about $24 for a pair of bulbs, not exactly a high risk purchase if they don't work out well.

Last edited by wilt; 01-28-2014 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:24 AM
Momukhamo Momukhamo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverX3 View Post
Philips diamond vision h7 55w 5000k is the best

About $50

Dont buy cheap chinese made on ebay

Canbus after market hid about $110 -$200 installed

After market hid may not be legal in some states as they are too bright
what do you suggest for xenon? my car still has the yellowish light i want to replace it also..
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:39 PM
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If you're going to go xenon, don't bother trying to throw a HID kit on your existing housing. You won't like the results. It won't look cool and the light output is terrible. There are housings that you can get for (relatively) cheap that, although not OEM, will at least give you a better beam pattern.


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Old 01-28-2014, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momukhamo View Post
what do you suggest for xenon? my car still has the yellowish light i want to replace it also..
something like this

very easy DIY

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/H7-CANBUS...item35c728b42f
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:01 PM
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:11 PM
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2014, 04:25 PM
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Posted on Youtube.com about the Superstar Ultras
"Uploaded on Dec 22, 2011
We compare the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs against the stock Honda Element (2008) bulbs. The drivers side bulb burned out so we decided to do a head to head test. The Sylvania bulbs are brighter and create a wider beam with whiter color light. I'd say 25% brighter than the stock bulbs. Lifespan on these bulbs is less than normal bulbs by as much as 75% so these are not long life bulbs. If your stock bulbs last 4 years these might last 1 or 2 depending on use. I did relace both bulbs after performing the test as I liked the results.

UPDATE 3/6/2013 - BULBS BURNT OUT TODAY. BOTH BURNT OUT AT THE SAME TIME - SEEMS LIKE THE VOLTAGE SPIKE OF ONE GOING OUT CAUSED THE OTHER ONE TO FAIL AS WELL. THE HIGH BEAMS STILL WORKED BUT THE LOW BEAMS ON BOTH SIDES FAILED. SO 1 YEAR AND 2 MONTHS LIFE SPAN HERE IN THE NW U.S."
And on glancers.com (9th generation Lancers)
"Review:
Anyway, I got myself some Sylvania SilverStar Ultra's for free (don't ask), so I thought I'd install them and see what they're like. I chose to only upgrade my low beams (9006) and my fogs (H11). Reason is, I like to flash my brights at taxi cab drivers because here in Vegas, we all hate them, and when you flash your headlights in bursts like that, it significantly lowers the life of your bulbs. Since, these Ultras are infamous for their short life span, I need every ounce of bulb life I can get....

"All in all, if I paid the full $100 for these lights, I would be a little disappointed. There is a difference, but you need a really good eye to notice it. If I was driving home at 4am from the club and was staring at the freeway sign ahead of me, reflecting (no pun intended) back on how my old lights use to look against that sign vs how they look now, by the time I come to a conclusion on whether or not there's a difference, that sign will already be half a mile back. "
And on tdiclub.com (VW Passat TDI):
"Four months into my ...HID Conversion Kit (Click Here) and I am very pleased with them in my 2005 B5.5 Passat (projector low beam housings). ...Previously, I spent more in one year on two sets of Sylvania SuperStar halogens than I did on this kit. If they last even one year, money saved."

Last edited by wilt; 01-28-2014 at 04:27 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:44 PM
jrhayes92 jrhayes92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilt View Post

I just ordered some Phillips Clear Vision Supreme bulbs, which are whiter than OEM bulbs, but I have not received them yet to try out. At about $24 for a pair of bulbs, not exactly a high risk purchase if they don't work out well.
Let me know how that works out for you, and if possible a photo of the difference would be awesome!
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:40 PM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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Originally Posted by SilverX3 View Post
Hey now, don't encourage this behavior. You won't have to deal with him driving around, blinding everyone since you live across the world, but think of the people affected.
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2014, 11:45 PM
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I said earlier in my post... This may be ILLEGAL in some states....
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:15 AM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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I said earlier in my post... This may be ILLEGAL in some states....
Illegal everywhere.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:57 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Yea slapping HID kits in any type of halogen reflector is illegal in all 50 states.

Not only does it blind on coming traffic, the light is so dispersed, there is less usable output that reaches the road. This means you have decreased visibility.

Your only option for a plug and play bulb is another halogen bulb in the same size and wattage, however, you can change the Kelvin temp so the color is more white/blue than yellow.

OEM xenon (HID) bulbs are 4300k. They provide good output and a more "modern" looking color of white with a slight hint of yellow/blue.

4000k will be more yellow.

5000k will be pure white, very slight blue hue.

6000k will be white with a more noticeable blue hue.

I personally, wouldn't opt for anything higher than 5000k. Above this color temp, the amount of usable output on the road decreases drastically.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Illegal everywhere.
not in outback Australia

due to no street lights and complete darkness most AWD cars have after market Xenon
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:51 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Originally Posted by SilverX3 View Post
not in outback Australia

due to no street lights and complete darkness most AWD cars have after market Xenon
There are proper and improper ways to retrofit HID setups. Slapping a HID kit in a halogen reflector is not the correct way!

I doubt Australia allows HIDs in halogen reflectors. However, they may allow a proper HID conversion with a projector and no self leveling feature.

I know in some areas, all xenon setups must have a self leveling feature in order to be DOT and street legal.

I know for a fact all factory equipped xenon system MUST have a self leveling feature.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:11 PM
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we stock your E90 LCI halogen headlights angel eyes and also the low beam and high beam bulbs, your low beam is H7, and your high beam is also H7

http://www.e92-lighting.com/mtec-bul...7-super-white/
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:30 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhayes92 View Post
Let me know how that works out for you, and if possible a photo of the difference would be awesome!
Just tried to replace the H7 on the low beam position, per the videos.
  • Got the cover plate in the wheel well off...simple.
  • Got the rear cover of the reflector assembly off...simple.
  • Tried like h*ll to get the black electrical connector off the old H7, but failed. It is possible to see from the front, as you pull, that enough tension would pull the bulb back from the back of the reflector! But cannot begin to budge the connector off the pins of the bulb base.

I was trying to replace the passenger side first, so I was mostly working with my left hand. I know I could pry between the connector and bulb base with a flat blade screwdriver, but doing so with the tire mounted (although turned outward for improved access) makes left hand effort more difficult. It would make the job easier with the car on the lift and the wheel off. Nuts, I'll just wait until April when the car is due for a service with the dealer within the service agreement, and let them deal with it! Since none of the bulbs is burned out, I don't have to solve the problem immediately.

Last edited by wilt; 01-30-2014 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:08 PM
Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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Some thoughts:

Blue coating reduces light output and guarantees you look like a high school kid's car.

WHERE light goes is a function of the lens on the lights and the design of the reflector. When you move the point of light emission relative to the reflector, you change the pattern in which light is emitted. A truly excellent lighting instrument will have a lens in front which is designed to direct the light...not something you find in most headlamps, as they just have a clear plastic outer covering - not worthy of being called a lens.

Fog lights are designed with specific goals in terms of lens and reflector; they are short-range lights with a very tight cutoff which keeps the light below waist height. The purpose is to minimize reflection of light off water particles that are at about the same height as the driver's eyes. Headlights are not and cannot be fog lights, but low beams may cause minimal problems in fog if they're not dispersing too much light up higher than waist-high.

I agree with the advice above about avoiding anything above 5K Kelvin color temp. You will achieve irritating other drivers more than anything, and it probably will look unpleasant to your eyes.
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Last edited by Pilgrim; 01-30-2014 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:24 PM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
I doubt Australia allows HIDs in halogen reflectors. However, they may allow a proper HID conversion with a projector and no self leveling feature.
As far as I know, at least Queensland requires them to be in projectors, and self-leveling. But I can't see any jurisdiction allowing xenons in halogen housings. In terms of enforcement...well, that's different.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:32 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
As far as I know, at least Queensland requires them to be in projectors, and self-leveling. But I can't see any jurisdiction allowing xenons in halogen housings. In terms of enforcement...well, that's different.
For clarification purposes...
  1. There are halogen filment bulbs for reflector assemblies
  2. There are Xenon filled halogen filament bulbs for reflector assemblies
  3. There are Xenon filled High Intensity Discharge (non filament) for projector assemblies with self leveling

#2 is not the same as #3. And many web sources confusingly use 'Xenon' rather than stating 'HID'
There is little real benefit to Xenon gas in a filament bulb, in terms of brightness. Most premium Xenon-filled bulbs are also tinted to mimic the appearance of #3

Last edited by wilt; 01-30-2014 at 03:46 PM.
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