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  #1  
Old 04-01-2014, 08:16 AM
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callling all LED experts

currently testing some H8 LEDs , one i like (40) watt would not work in my xenon system,,,, flashing (like hazards) when hot. im bench testing them now and the resistor is going 250 to 280 degrees, checking with temp melt pencil and infrared. this seem terrribly hot for a headlamp module to handle,, im told 150f is normal.. LUX tells me theirs goes to 150f
However on the bench they do not flash. even when i enclose the resistor.

therefore my question is ;; is the light control module a problem in my car, no error codes listed and no previous issues,, i really dont want to buy more to test.
the bench test tells me there is nothing wrong with the led light assy.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2014, 08:53 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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What is the set you're using?

Are you sure you are looking at a resistor? Or an LED driver?

A load resistor (used to trick the FRM into removing a bulb out error) will get hot. Very hot. This is normal.

A LED driver should not get hot. It will get warm, but never hot. If the driver has failed, it can get burning hot. If you're using a LUX kit, this will trip the internal thermal protection and cause the LEDs to flash on and off as the driver tries to supply power to the LEDs.

What is the voltage at the AE harness in the car? And the voltage on your test bench?

It could be that the AE circuit in your car is providing under 12v. This is normal due to PWM manipulation by the FRM. I've seen voltage as low as 7v. In this case, your LED driver will be trying to provide "boost" voltage. However, if your LED driver does not contain a boost circuit, this will cause it to overheat. You can either code FRM and force the PWM manipultion off so the circuit sees 12v+. Or wire the AE to a relay run direectly off the battery. You can use the jump terminal for 12v+ and the AE circuit as a trigger. You would still need to wire load resistors (large ones) to eliminate the error. Or you can code the bulb check system out. Coding is the preferred and cleanest method.

Most LED drivers accept a wide range of voltage input. They typically accept 5v-32v DC. This is more than enough range in an auto environment. LED drivers are pretty tolerant of transient voltage and spikes normally don't affect the drivers.

Now there are cheaper ways to drive LEDs. With a Vreg and a resistor. This is a very inefficient way to power LEDs and also less stable.

I really need to know more in order to figure out what your issue is.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 04-01-2014 at 08:57 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2014, 09:20 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
What is the set you're using?

Are you sure you are looking at a resistor? Or an LED driver?

A load resistor (used to trick the FRM into removing a bulb out error) will get hot. Very hot. This is normal.

A LED driver should not get hot. It will get warm, but never hot. If the driver has failed, it can get burning hot. If you're using a LUX kit, this will trip the internal thermal protection and cause the LEDs to flash on and off as the driver tries to supply power to the LEDs.

What is the voltage at the AE harness in the car? And the voltage on your test bench?

It could be that the AE circuit in your car is providing under 12v. This is normal due to PWM manipulation by the FRM. I've seen voltage as low as 7v. In this case, your LED driver will be trying to provide "boost" voltage. However, if your LED driver does not contain a boost circuit, this will cause it to overheat. You can either code FRM and force the PWM manipultion off so the circuit sees 12v+. Or wire the AE to a relay run direectly off the battery. You can use the jump terminal for 12v+ and the AE circuit as a trigger. You would still need to wire load resistors (large ones) to eliminate the error. Or you can code the bulb check system out. Coding is the preferred and cleanest method.

Most LED drivers accept a wide range of voltage input. They typically accept 5v-32v DC. This is more than enough range in an auto environment. LED drivers are pretty tolerant of transient voltage and spikes normally don't affect the drivers.

Now there are cheaper ways to drive LEDs. With a Vreg and a resistor. This is a very inefficient way to power LEDs and also less stable.

I really need to know more in order to figure out what your issue is.

This is interesting....yup, the more divergent actual voltage is from regulated target, the hotter poor Vreg/driver'll get. Any Vreg/driver worth it's salt'll have thermal protection, and there we go.

Hey, big current draw somewhere!

OP - can you post hires photos of electronics - showing components?

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 04-01-2014 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:48 AM
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Using BMWled system. 69$ set
Driver is bigger unit. Not so hot. 100 or so
Resistor is smaller and up to 270deg or so
Current draw is 1amp
Bench 12.5 to 14. Gota run more later
Thanks Cal
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:15 PM
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fdriller

Flashing LED update
car voltage runing at idle (head lamp off) is 10.3 volts
with sw on only 12.5 volts
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:29 PM
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supplier (bmwled) offers full refund and said they haven't had a problem???? the only thing i haven't done on the bench is test at 10v the actual car output when running, will try to do tomm.
stated they can send new driver components if i want to change.
these lights have good color and brightness and are 40 watt which is what i wanted- so i havent decided yet what i will do.
looking at other suppliers--i like what LUX tells me.
also, i have order 2 covers in case i decide to put a hole in the covers and leave the hot box outside the module
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:51 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Well if your 40W bulbs have 4 individual LEDs on them, your issue is input voltage.

The input voltage for the LED driver MUST be higher than the total voltage drop of the LEDs.

White LEDs, in general, drop about 3.3v. Wired in series to receive equal current, you add the voltage drop together. So you're looking at a voltage drop of 13.2v.

Try this. Wire the bulbs to the jump terminal under the hood. (The red cap). Then ground the circuit somewhere. There is a ground pin sticking out of the fender on the pass. side.

If the LED don't flicker....this further confirms input voltage as an issue. The voltage out of that terminal should be about 12.3v - 14.8v, depending on if the engine is on and what the load on the alternator is.

The 1v difference between voltage drop and battery voltage is probably from me estimating the voltage drop. White LEDs can have a voltage drop as low as 2.9v, some even lower. So in that case, a total voltage drop of 11.6v.

To remedy this you either need to wire a relay....messy.

Or code the car with custom values using nettodat coding to force the car to raise the PWM duty cycle. This will raise voltage.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 04-02-2014 at 07:53 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2014, 08:41 AM
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thanks
not new to electronics but new to BMW's (leave me alone system)
not yet tested at 10v,, need to get the wires soldered,, melted at the 12v bench test, resistor got up to 280f,, light was ok at 13.5 volT
WHAT IS THE NORMAL VOLTAGE FOR THE H8 LIGHT WITH RUNNING CONDITION?
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2014, 09:07 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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It's different for every car. For the AE circuit, it's around 7v-13v.

Also depends on which headlight mode you're in. Voltage for DRLs will be higher than with headlights on.

I would remove the load resistor. It's a waste of energy and unnecessary source of heat.

Meet up with a coder or learn how to code yourself. Code the PWM duty cycle to raise it. Code out the cold and warm bulb checks as well as the check control notifications.

Now you'll be error free with working bulbs and no extra wiring or resistors, etc.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
It's different for every car. For the AE circuit, it's around 7v-13v.

Also depends on which headlight mode you're in. Voltage for DRLs will be higher than with headlights on.

I would remove the load resistor. It's a waste of energy and unnecessary source of heat.

Meet up with a coder or learn how to code yourself. Code the PWM duty cycle to raise it. Code out the cold and warm bulb checks as well as the check control notifications.

Now you'll be error free with working bulbs and no extra wiring or resistors, etc.

Careful! LED may burn brighter; like commensurantly short.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:13 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Careful! LED may burn brighter; like commensurantly short.
This resistor is not acting as a current limiting resistor. It's acting as a load resistor...that's why it gets so hot. It "burns up" the excess current in the form of heat.

People use load resistors to eat up the additional current required to meet the bulb check system requirements.

So for example, if your new LED bulbs consume 12W and the stock bulb is 35W....the bulb check system is looking for a 35w load. Let's say 12v is the voltage. You have a 2.92A current draw. A load resistor would be used to eat up the rest of the power the bulb check system is looking for, which in this case is 23W.

So the resistor is converting power into heat and wasting it. That's why I recommend to remove this resistor and code out the bulb check system. It's an inefficient way to remove the error, albeit the easiest way. you also need to pay attention to where you mount this resistor since it will get so hot. It can melt things.

High power LEDs should be driven with constant current drivers. CC drivers normally accept anywhere from 4v-40v DC but the input voltage MUST be higher than the voltage drop of the LED array, as mentioned before. The only exception to this rule is if you can use a boost driver which will boost voltage to meet the demands of the LED array voltage drop.

Also the bulb doesn't actually consume 40W. LED AE vendors sell the bulbs rated at the absolute maximum values of the LED dies. In most cases, these are 10W emitters. 4, 10W emitters = 40W. In reality, it is consuming less than 40W....way less. This can easily be verified by paying attention to whether or not you get a bulb out error. A bulb out error will mean the bulb is consuming less than 35W. The bulb check system will not warn of a bulb that pulls too much current. It will just blow the fuse.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 04-02-2014 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:31 PM
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This resistor is not acting as a current limiting resistor. It's acting as a load resistor...that's why it gets so hot. It "burns up" the excess current in the form of heat.

Gotcha. Yup, LED's are best driven with a constant current device.

Yup, load resistor will dissipate the lion's share to keep the computer happy. Whack some fins on that puppy.

Is there no way to adjust target current and voltage in memory? Oof!
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:45 AM
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LUX has solved all potential problems with LED??
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:40 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Lets back up a little bit.

How is this resistor wired?

In parallel, across ground and power?

Or series, on the positive line?

It should be parallel across power and ground.

Wiring it the other way will limit current into the driver. This could also be why your LEDs are flashing.

LUX uses LUXDrive led drivers. He had custom drivers made but they are more or less the same.

They accept 5-32v DC. But like I said, input voltage needs to be higher than voltage drop of the LEDs. How many LEDs are on each bulbs?

He could have also integrated a boost circuit to prevent issues like this.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:28 PM
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technically the voltage never changes, its always 12v. the PWM is what happens is causes a multimeter to think its a lower voltage. LUX Angel eyes have been designing their own LED Drivers for 2+ years now as well
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:27 AM
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how much current slippage does the bulb check system allow relative to the ideal?

Last edited by tommylicious; 06-09-2014 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:29 AM
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Not much. I have custom LED reverse lights consuming 19W and it throws the BOW light. Stock bulb is 21W.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:16 AM
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so if you want to trick the BOW with a load resistor, you're better off with *slightly* more power running through the redesigned circuit than slightly less? how much extra power can the system tolerate through the rear turn signal circuit safely?
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:36 AM
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It's limited by the wire gauge. I would say max, a 3 amp draw @ 12v. When the car is running, that voltage may go up to 15v so you need to watch current draw.

The best option is to remove the bulb check all together through coding.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:13 AM
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since i installed LUX i have not had a single issue, more exp but no issues, no excessive heat etc
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:17 AM
tommylicious tommylicious is offline
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fdriller your reverse lights actually consume 19w or are they just rated as such? if they are 19watters they got to be really honkin'!
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:34 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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They ACTUALLY consume 19w. I had custom heatsinks made and designed the unit myself.

I wanted to make these plug and play but space was a constraint. So the heatsink is under-designed to meet my PnP criteria. They cannot be run for more than 8 minutes or heat becomes an issue for both the LEDs and the housing. After 15 minutes they are at 250-275 F depending on ambient temperature. The lexan/ABS plastic the taillight housing is made of will withstand about 300 F before it starts getting soft.

I'm about 5 feet from the wall.
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