LED interior lighting - weird problem - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 12:09 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
LED interior lighting - weird problem

So I've been on this quest to get the best looking blue interior lights. I am crazy about the color blue and I wanted blue lighting inside my car. I first bought the crappy blue colored bulbs from Lightlens.com which sucked. Then I ordered these LED bulbs from Ebay which shipped from Hong Kong. I got these over the weekend and installed them and here's what happened:

First, the "festoon" bulbs that go under the dash (by your feet) worked fine, but were a little short. This was easily handled by simply bending the metal contact inwards and making it a tighter fit. The bulb only works in one direction, so I had to turn them around until the light came on. These are 36mm with 6 LEDs. They look real nice.

Then, I installed the wedge bulbs in the overhead dome light and the two dome lights in the back seat. Now these bulbs have 4 LEDs and are wider than the OEM filiment bulbs, so I had to file down the plastic around the outer edge of the bulb to make them fit. When I plugged them all in, nothing worked. I was stumped and thought that I must have broken something so I spent hours trying to swap bulbs, test current with a tester, etc. Finally I gave up and put all the OEM bulbs back in, except for the floor bulbs and now it works.

NOTE: when I tested the current of the wedge bulbs, they didn't read. But, when I pluggen one of them into the reading lamp, it turned on briefly.

I am stumped. Why don't these LED lights work in the overhead dome lights? I thought maybe it was due to the dimmer, but then I looked at the floor lights last night and they dim, just like the filiment bulbs!

Any ideas? If LEDs simply won't work in the overhead lights, then what bulbs can I get that give off a true blue hue and are bright and actually work and are safe?

Mucho thanks.

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 01:26 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
miztuhdan is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to miztuhdan
I'm going to be honest. Your best bet is to get OEM period. If you want that blue-tone, possibly try another car company that offers the blue-lighting on the interior; see how they do it. I don't know if the outside of the bulb (the housing) is blue or if the bulb is actually blue. Achieving a blue color is hard on regular bulbs because it is such a high temperature color that it will burn out easily (I think). I'd go for the ghetto paint-the-housing-blue feature if I was all into making everything blue without hassle. Also, in order to do this correctly, you would need to buy the Xenon Interior lighting from Jlevi, Umnitza, etc, then proceed with painting the housing blue.

I'm not too familiar with interior lighting, but that's all I have to offer. Hope it helps (ps: ebay for aftermarket stuff is risky, especially when it comes to things that not many people would buy: ie. blue bulbs, red bulbs, blah blah)


Track Day-- Spartanburg, SC

United BMW Parts Department
miztuhdan is offline  
#3 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 01:52 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
Once again, the man speeks wise words. You're gonna laugh, but I did get some transparent blue paint and I painted some clear thin plastic that I cut to size and inserted into the housings. It worked, but of course it greatly diminished the intensity of the light output.

I agree with everything you said in the above post. I will probably go for the Xenon kit from Jlevi, but I previously emailed that site to see if they could sell me a couple of bulbs (I only need 3 little wedge bulbs) rather than a $60 kit for 16 bulbs. I never got a reply, so I assume they don't want my business.

But hey, part of the fun of this car so far is trying things that I have never done before. I'm learning a lot and when all else fails, I chalk it up to learning experience. (I'm trying to be a "The glass is half-full" kind of guy)

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 02:07 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
miztuhdan is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to miztuhdan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean02
Once again, the man speeks wise words. You're gonna laugh, but I did get some transparent blue paint and I painted some clear thin plastic that I cut to size and inserted into the housings. It worked, but of course it greatly diminished the intensity of the light output.

I agree with everything you said in the above post. I will probably go for the Xenon kit from Jlevi, but I previously emailed that site to see if they could sell me a couple of bulbs (I only need 3 little wedge bulbs) rather than a $60 kit for 16 bulbs. I never got a reply, so I assume they don't want my business.

But hey, part of the fun of this car so far is trying things that I have never done before. I'm learning a lot and when all else fails, I chalk it up to learning experience. (I'm trying to be a "The glass is half-full" kind of guy)
If they didn't respond, they possibly didn't get it. Jlevi usually responds with haste. Re-send it.


Track Day-- Spartanburg, SC

United BMW Parts Department
miztuhdan is offline  
#5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 03:40 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
I shall do so.

Check this out, during lunch I go to my car and tried two of the LED bulbs in the overhead dome light for kicks. The first one didn't work, but the second one worked! That's the first time any of them worked in that socket. I checked and all the lights are working with this wedge bulb and the two festoon bulbs on the floor.

Perhaps it was just a bad connection with the other bulbs. Perhaps some work and some don't. Anyway, I don't understand and I don't care anymore. All I know is that 3 of the 6 bulbs I ordered are now working.

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 03:48 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
miztuhdan is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to miztuhdan
Return them saying they came defective with the scratching that you did haha. Use that money to buy the Xenon fit bulbs


Track Day-- Spartanburg, SC

United BMW Parts Department
miztuhdan is offline  
#7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 06:52 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
LOL. Yeah, "Hey guys? I purchased these bulbs from you and then filed them down so they'd fit in my lights and they don't work. Can you hook me up?"

Don't think so. I'll just bite the bullet and live with three working bulbs (that look sweet by the way). Hell, maybe the other ones will just magically start working too!

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 01:21 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
Well, so much for that lame-ass theory. I tried to re-install the other LEDs in the rear last night and I got one to work. When I was installing the final one, all the lights shut off again and now nothing works....again.....(sigh).

I give up. I did just find this Xenon light set on Ebay for a really good price (about $40 LESS than Bimmerwerks). And it's actually meant for an E46. Only question is will these blue colored glass bulbs burn like the ones I purchased from Lightlens.com? Those weren't Xenon, but doesn't Xenon burn even hotter than regular halogen?

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 01:41 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
It's fun talking to myself. I can have entire conversations! (kidding)

But I thought I would update anyone who cares to read my lame posts:

Last night after work I opened the door to my car and the lights came back on, except for the above-console dome light. I took that LED out and turned it around 180 degrees and put it back in and it worked again. Go figure.

There is no pattern to this working / not working. It's like the car is trying to compensate for the lost voltage or something and when I mess with the bulbs, it will shut down the whole circuit and then after several hours reset itself or something (like a circuit breaker). Anyway, I'm back to where I was on Sunday when the two floor LED lights and the above-console LED are working and the rest of the lights are standard filiment bulbs. Works fine and looks cool, but man I wish I knew what was going on. Don't other people install LEDs?

Jlevi, are you going to sell me some Xenon interior lights? I emailed you yesterday. Thanks!

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 01:52 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
miztuhdan is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to miztuhdan
I wouldn't purchase bulbs from eBay.. do so from a trusted vendor (Jlevi, Umnitza) because they will not only send you the instructions, but every single piece that you need to make it work. If the Xenon bulbs burn hotter, clearly they will short out your current fuses. If they do not, no problem. Does the eBay guy deliver this message?

A guy from Bimmerforums bought LED tail lights from eBay.. 5 days after he put them in he put them back in his garage. Why? They shorted his fuses. Do your research first! After buying all these "cheap" options, you woulda saved more money buying it from the vendor!


Track Day-- Spartanburg, SC

United BMW Parts Department
miztuhdan is offline  
#11 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 07:04 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
See, you have all this experience. I'm learning the same mistakes you have learned. Hard knocks and all.

But I have purchased some goodies on Ebay that work and I like (and saved money on). Such as my clear corners, cabin filter, etc. So Ebay isn't all bad. But sponsors are better and true BMW sites are better. And they know it---that's why they charge you more dough!

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 09:35 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
miztuhdan is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to miztuhdan
I don't have that much experience, most of my things I bought off eBay as you did.

My eBay list:

M3 Body Kit (sucks--I'll take it off when it gets fucked up)
Bi-Xenons (I got super lucky on this auction.. it was dirt cheap)
CCFL Angel Eyes (Normal bid--no troubles)


Track Day-- Spartanburg, SC

United BMW Parts Department
miztuhdan is offline  
#13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 12:22 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
Yeah, it's pretty hit-and-miss on that site. But it's still kinda fun.

I f*cked around with the rear interior lights again and got one of them to work with the LED bulb. I have one more to mess with tonight and if it works I'll take a pic. Looks pretty crazy, like a friggin' space ship!

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 10:45 AM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ocean02 is on a distinguished road
(Thread Starter)
Well, I tried my theory of turning off the lights then plugging the last LED light in over the rear seat and then turning them back on. It worked (once I finally got the bulb to turn on---had a bad connection at the base, which I fixed with a dab of solder) but the lights immediately turn off when that bulb is in there. This tells me that the circiut doesn't like the LEDs all the way around. For some reason I have to have at least one filiment bulb in there. So I will try putting a filiment bulb on the floor light and putting the LED over the rear seat, so at least all the visible lights are LED.

Here's a couple dark photos of the lighting with the blue LEDs. It looks much better in person.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Blue LED 2.JPG
Views:	167
Size:	8.0 KB
ID:	23401   Click image for larger version

Name:	Blue LED.JPG
Views:	152
Size:	12.6 KB
ID:	23402  

Ari Cohen
2002 BMW 325i
5spd manual
Ocean02 is offline  
#15 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 03:14 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
miztuhdan is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to miztuhdan
Pimp :P


Track Day-- Spartanburg, SC

United BMW Parts Department
miztuhdan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Closed Thread

  BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com > BMW Model Specific Forums > 3-Series (E46, E90)


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Weird Lighter Plug Problem maxxym 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 4 04-12-2012 06:20 AM
Desperately Need Your Help: BMW325i "Service Engine Soon" light problem CNMB250 3-Series (E46, E90) 4 12-19-2007 06:26 AM
Weird E34 540 tranny problem, help needed.. antose9 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 8 11-08-2005 11:43 PM
Weird Electrical Problem thekid 3-Series (E36) 7 11-05-2005 07:13 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome