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  #1  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:00 AM
John122 John122 is offline
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LED high & low beam bulb replacement for halogens, just plug and play

I have been doing a lot of research and can not find a definitive answer on which LED replacement bulbs I could buy for my on my 2015 328i xdrive that meet the following criteria:

- both high and low beam
- no internal cooling fans on the LED heat sink
- no copper ribbon-type heat sink that needs to sit outside the housing (requiring a hole to be drilled in the back of the headlight housing)
- no coding needed to remove error codes on the dashboard
- plug and play; i.e. no cutting wire harnesses, no tapping wires, replacing harnesses, etc.
- bright white light (although anything would be an improvement over the stock halogens)

Has anyone found a plug and play LED replacement bulb that works well for both high and low beams, and meets the criteria above? If so, could you share your experience?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2019, 11:01 AM
alpinef30zh alpinef30zh is offline
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i only have low beam, high beam was just too expensive and don't need it anyways

the only problem is it does meet the criteria you mentioned except it does have fans for cooling as far as i know

heres a picture of my car, and another car with LCI LED

top notch quality, everyone tells me it looks OEM.
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Last edited by alpinef30zh; 09-16-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2019, 11:21 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is online now
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IF you are trying to achieve "better" and "whiter" light by replacing your "stock" halogens -- WITHOUT throwing bulb errors or compromising your BMW's electrical lighting system I'd skip the LED route and go for brighter / whiter halogen "caplets" available from a few REPUTABLE manufacturers (i.e. SKIP the bogus and heavily marketing claims that are all over the Internet. Some of those may actually DAMAGE your car's electrical/wiring!!

Some REPUTABLE manufacturers that come to mind that have brighter/whiter bulbs that will "match" your original equipment bulbs correctly AND optimize the light by taking advantage of your headlight lens and reflector optics include Philips >> https://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-au/c...-bulbs/halogen [check out the CrystalVision ultra] and Sylvania SYLVANIA - now OSRAM SYLVANIA - SilverStar Ultra ... or PIAA Xtreme White Plus High Performance Halogen Bulb.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2019, 12:44 PM
John122 John122 is offline
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I was going to go with the Sylvania silverstar ultras, but from what I read, they only last 8 months to a year; and I am looking for greater longevity.

Also, I want to avoid LEDs with fans simply because I'd rather have no moving parts that could fail. Thinking of a worst-case scenario, I wouldn't want the fan to fail and the headlight housing to melt.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2019, 01:28 PM
alpinef30zh alpinef30zh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John122 View Post
I was going to go with the Sylvania silverstar ultras, but from what I read, they only last 8 months to a year; and I am looking for greater longevity.

Also, I want to avoid LEDs with fans simply because I'd rather have no moving parts that could fail. Thinking of a worst-case scenario, I wouldn't want the fan to fail and the headlight housing to melt.
i always check the lights and turn them on without the engine so i can hear if they are working but yeah it will be a problem if they fail and melt the housing..
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:10 PM
John in VA John in VA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John122 View Post
Has anyone found a plug and play LED replacement bulb that works well for both high and low beams, and meets the criteria above? If so, could you share your experience?
Much info here - https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=430
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2019, 06:18 AM
John122 John122 is offline
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Thank you all for the input. I went with the Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited bulbs (halogen) for the high and low beams and they make a huge difference. According to what I read, they last about two years or so, but that is fine. They are only $24.99 a pair on Amazon and this is well worth the cost for greater safety. I also adjusted the beam pattern up a little bit to get better down-road visibility. I am happy I went with these and not LEDs or HIDs. They are cheap enough and I don't have to worry about codes, heat sinks, melting the headlight housing, etc.

I also wanted to share a great website for those who are interested in this topic. I found a lot of useful information, charts, reviews, videos, etc. at www.bulbfacts.com.
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2019, 09:35 AM
southcoastguy southcoastguy is offline
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Curious about installation process. Can you share? ten minutes later - don't bother; youtube shows me how.

Last edited by southcoastguy; 09-30-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2019, 11:23 AM
John122 John122 is offline
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Just be careful removing the old bulb... I believe the owners manual says to pull down on the back of the bulb first, then up... Well, when I pulled down on the driver's side low beam bulb, I pulled a little too much and broke the old bulb and the the broken glass ended up inside my headlight housing. It wasn't a big deal though; I just opened up the high beam cover on top and fished out the broken glass with a piece of duct tape balled up and stuck to then end of a long screwdriver. There's a video on youtube by Kies Motorsport that is pretty helpful too. In that video he actually bends the tabs on the housing slightly to help with the removal of the old bulb. I did this when I changed the passenger side and it worked perfectly; no broken bulb. If you do this, just remember to bend the tab back.

Last edited by John122; 09-30-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2019, 05:08 PM
Car Fan Car Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinef30zh View Post
i only have low beam, high beam was just too expensive and don't need it anyways

the only problem is it does meet the criteria you mentioned except it does have fans for cooling as far as i know

heres a picture of my car, and another car with LCI LED

top notch quality, everyone tells me it looks OEM.
Wow! That looks amazing. How is it to drive?
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2019, 09:34 PM
alpinef30zh alpinef30zh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car Fan View Post
Wow! That looks amazing. How is it to drive?
If you mean by "how is it to drive" how is the light output? it is amazing and i can see the road much better.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2019, 09:58 PM
alpinef30zh alpinef30zh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car Fan View Post
Wow! That looks amazing. How is it to drive?
heres a picture of light output
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:01 AM
southcoastguy southcoastguy is offline
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Ran into two problems. First, my hands are too big to get good access thru the port to remove the old bulb. Second, I ordered Osram H4 from amazon. They don't fit. They are 3-prong. The H7 currently in my car is 2-prong. Oh well. Now I am in quandary. Went back to Amazon for H7 bulbs. There are several H7 bulbs available, but reviews report a short life. I wanted a brighter light but may just stick with the ones I have now.

Last edited by southcoastguy; 10-03-2019 at 07:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2019, 08:40 AM
John MS John MS is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 Glacier Silver 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by southcoastguy View Post
Ran into two problems. First, my hands are too big to get good access thru the port to remove the old bulb. Second, I ordered Osram H4 from amazon. They don't fit. They are 3-prong. The H7 currently in my car is 2-prong. Oh well. Now I am in quandary. Went back to Amazon for H7 bulbs. There are several H7 bulbs available, but reviews report a short life. I wanted a brighter light but may just stick with the ones I have now.
I believe BMW sells brighter bulbs that have a longer life. Check with your dealer.
I tried Sylvania Silverstars in another car and they too were short lived. The generate a lot more heat, so much so it melted insulation.
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