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      04-08-2021, 12:50 PM   #1
bmwdiag123
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Led headlamps retrofit

I’m sorry if there’s already a solution for this but new to this retrofits and I have pre-LCI F30 and it has xenon headlamps. Is there any way for doing adaptive led retrofit that comes in LCI type F30? And if so what all items do I require to do this retrofit. I did a lot of searching and I couldn’t find any clear retrofit option for this one. I saw a post in ebay which provides some kind of plug and play cable which enables connecting new type adaptive led headlights directly without any coding or anything. Is it possible to do that?
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      04-08-2021, 04:11 PM   #2
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Anything is possible if you throw enough money into the equation. You's need new headlamps, probably a different headlight wiring harness, and extensive coding. There's no such thing as plug and play LED, even when it's just bulb swapping from halogen, let alone what you propose.
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      04-10-2021, 02:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
Anything is possible if you throw enough money into the equation. You's need new headlamps, probably a different headlight wiring harness, and extensive coding. There's no such thing as plug and play LED, even when it's just bulb swapping from halogen, let alone what you propose.
I meant for connecting old pre lci headlights to new lci. Does this make my process easier?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-BMW-F3....m46890.l49286
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      04-10-2021, 08:45 AM   #4
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From the listing: This is just the wiring and does not include the LED headlights.
Necessary coding/programing needs to be performed to enable LED headlights to work after the retrofit.
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      04-10-2021, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
From the listing: This is just the wiring and does not include the LED headlights.
Necessary coding/programing needs to be performed to enable LED headlights to work after the retrofit.
Yes i agree. But with the led headlights and this cable and coding/programming I can do led retrofit right? No other extra modules will be needed right?
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      04-10-2021, 03:27 PM   #6
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I can't say from personal experience. I went to all LED, replacing the halogens and other incandescent bulbs, but I didn't change lamps or replace zenons.
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      04-11-2021, 06:30 AM   #7
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If you don’t mind could you post a pic of those or what kind of led you replaced in your headlights. Because mine is too dull and less powerful. That’s the reason I thought of upgrading the entire headlight. Does led swapping make xenon headlight more brighter and powerful?
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      04-11-2021, 08:08 AM   #8
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You cannot put LED bulbs into lamps made for zenon HID bulbs. LED bulbs are no brighter than HID anyway.
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      04-12-2021, 07:30 AM   #9
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Okay okay. So I'll try by changing new xenon lights and see if they are better enough. Thank you so much for your response
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      04-12-2021, 11:27 AM   #10
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That's what I would do, honestly...I have LED headlamps in mine (non-adaptive though). I like them okay enough. But the beam pattern with low beams only really isn't all that great unless you turn the foglights on, too. Without them, they just don't have the nice sharp cutoff and width you'd expect. And there is some variance in the light distribution, nothing major, but patches of small slightly darker/brighter areas than others that are again masked only by the fogs.

I've heard the adaptive ones are brighter but I'm not sure the beam pattern is any better, other than being automatically adjustable. With the HID and new bulbs, I think your lights are just as bright as the LEDs but probably have a much better low beam pattern.
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      04-12-2021, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auburnf30x View Post
That's what I would do, honestly...I have LED headlamps in mine (non-adaptive though). I like them okay enough. But the beam pattern with low beams only really isn't all that great unless you turn the foglights on, too. Without them, they just don't have the nice sharp cutoff and width you'd expect. And there is some variance in the light distribution, nothing major, but patches of small slightly darker/brighter areas than others that are again masked only by the fogs.

I've heard the adaptive ones are brighter but I'm not sure the beam pattern is any better, other than being automatically adjustable. With the HID and new bulbs, I think your lights are just as bright as the LEDs but probably have a much better low beam pattern.
I have the OEM LCI non-adaptive LED headlights as well. This was the "mid" option for headlights, replacing the older xenon headlights.

It is way better than the halogen headlights but BMW basically put LEDs into a reflector housing - light distribution is way worse than the top adaptive LED option. I had a car with LED adaptive and the beam pattern is much better. Also the option for auto high beam is useful in dark areas.
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      04-13-2021, 06:56 AM   #12
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My front panel of the headlights have got a crack like pattern due to heat/sun light. So anyway I have to change those things. So I thought to upgrade it to new type led headlights(even if the adaptive functions did not work). Because it gives a facelift(LCI) look to the car and I thought LED lights are better than Xenon. That's the reason I'm researching for this LED retrofit.

Due to those cracks on the headlight, the light seems less powerful especially the high beams.
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      04-13-2021, 07:50 AM   #13
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Where function is concerned there's no real advantage to LED over HID. LED last longer, but the main reason why they've supplanted HID is that they use much less power. That might not be a concern with fueled cars, but it's a big deal with hybrids and plug in electrics.
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      04-13-2021, 10:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
Where function is concerned there's no real advantage to LED over HID. LED last longer, but the main reason why they've supplanted HID is that they use much less power. That might not be a concern with fueled cars, but it's a big deal with hybrids and plug in electrics.
One advantage with LED's lower power consumption for all cars is what it doesn't do to the battery...

Every car I've owned that was equipped with HID had a tendency to severely corrode the battery terminal, I guess due to the massive power draw on igniting the bulbs. You could delay it with dielectric grease but it would always eventually present itself.
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      04-13-2021, 12:28 PM   #15
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HID draws a lot of current, but only when initially lighting up. Then they draw about the same as halogen. That's not going to cause battery terminals to corrode. Corrosion happens because hydrogen gas is released from the acid in the battery. You don't get that with a BMW AGM battery, which is a necessity with the battery being located inside the cabin.
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      04-13-2021, 12:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
HID draws a lot of current, but only when initially lighting up. Then they draw about the same as halogen. That's not going to cause battery terminals to corrode. Corrosion happens because hydrogen gas is released from the acid in the battery. You don't get that with a BMW AGM battery, which is a necessity with the battery being located inside the cabin.
Must have just been poor quality batteries. My last three cars or so all had HID (battery under hood), and all three would end up corroding the positive terminal. None of my prior cars (halogen) did. When they were under warranty, I took them to the dealer to address the issue...who told me it was due to the massive initial power draw it takes to ignite the bulbs. And that the only thing I could do was clean the terminals regularly and apply dielectric grease...

They probably just didn't want to give me a new battery.
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      04-13-2021, 03:39 PM   #17
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That 'massive initial power draw' is a fart in a hurricane compared to the current flow when the starter motor is engaged. They were handing you a line of bull. The first car I had where the terminals corroded was a '63 Chevy, and that was long before HID. I got into the habit of greasing my terminals after that, on every car I owned until the Bimmer.
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      04-13-2021, 09:04 PM   #18
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This is more a stream of consciousness but I was trying to understand the LCI-LED headlamps and I think I came to the conclusion that:
  • LCI F30 - Non adaptive LEDs are reflector type/newer DRL design
  • LCI F30 - Adaptive LED - Still reflector based/newer DRL design?
  • LCI F32/F36 - Non-Adaptive LED is projector beam w/ classic corona style DRLs
  • F32/F36 - Adaptive LEDs are reflector based/newer DRL style

I guess I always assumed that LEDs in the reflector set up with new DRL design was always adaptive until I realised there exists that set up in non-adaptive setting. Then it occurred to me that I don't think I've seen an LCI 3 series with the projector beam LEDs?

I could be completely wrong but also why would there be two iterations of non-adaptive LED headlights?
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      04-13-2021, 09:37 PM   #19
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On the F30 LCI, none of the LEDs (or halogens) are projectors. I like the way they look just fine, but kind of wish they were for the better cutoff...

Halogen vs. LED are easy to spot, obviously. Adaptive vs. not are harder, but still possible at a glance...



Non adaptive





Adaptive...

You will note that both have a horizontal ‘divider’ going through the lamp, but the non-adaptive version has it up near the top. Whereas, on the adaptive, it is split right in half.

But, neither are projectors.
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      04-13-2021, 09:55 PM   #20
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Yah it's all very strange to me then why LCI 4 series have non-adaptive projector LEDs but adaptive reflector LEDs (aligned with the 3 series).

I very much like my non-adaptive LED projectors and I wonder if it performs marginally better than non-adaptive reflectors. I know there was a lot of ranting through this forum about the non-adaptive's performance.
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      04-13-2021, 10:03 PM   #21
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Are you sure they are LED?

When the headlights come on, do they flash, dim down, and then slowly brighten up? Or do they instantly turn on and stay at full brightness?

I’m not an expert on the subject, but I didn’t think BMW made projector LEDs for the F3X. I’m thinking you have HID. Which honestly, is at least as good as, but most likely better than, the non-adaptive LED for the reasons mentioned above.
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      04-13-2021, 10:28 PM   #22
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Oh they did.

https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1344265

Quote:
Twin headlights help ensure the front end of the BMW 4 Series models sticks to the traditional BMW template. The BMW 4 Series Coupe, BMW 4 Series Convertible and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe are now equipped with new bi-LED headlights as standard. The headlights are composed of a familiar silhouette: flat-bottomed headlight tubes encircled by daytime running light rings and a dynamic cropped look produced by the characteristic “eyebrow” design. The tubes’ dark-coloured holders give the interior of the headlight assemblies a clear, cool look with winsome technical appeal. LED front foglamps also form part of standard specification.

All models in the new BMW 4 Series are now optionally available with a standout feature in the form of adaptive full-LED headlights, whose highly expressive light arrangement intensifies the front end’s dynamic and technically advanced appearance. The familiar layout with twin circular headlights has been incorporated into a hexagonal setting that creates an even greater sense of precision and sophistication than standard trim. The headlights have been deliberately designed to make the space-saving technology in the headlight tubes clearly visible. The headlight units are cropped off slightly at the top by the LED indicators that form the headlights’ “eyebrows”. This has the effect of making the light arrangement seem wider still, which in turn gives the new BMW 4 Series models an even more powerful stance on the road.
I recently swapped out my father's old Xenons with fresh Osram CBB bulbs in his bi-xenon projectors and though it was drastically improved, I still maintain what I said that the non-adaptive LED projectors on my 440i were just as potent.
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