01-11-2010, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Charlottesville VA
My Ride: '04 325xi
GCoop | F1 AutohaŘs Halogen Non-Projector LED Angel Eyes Review
F1 AutohaŘs Non-Projector LED Angel Eyes
Angel Eyes specifically sized for Halogen Non-Projector headlamps
During my search for an angel eye product for my E46 with the standard halogen headlights I discovered that the kits being offered by the various vendors all had rings of the exact same size. Since the stock halogen headlights Low/High beam reflector bowls are different sizes there would be a gap between the angel eye and the rim of the reflector bowl when using rings of all the same size. Aesthetically this gap bothered me. I had seen CCFL rings that were specifically sized for and perfectly fit the stock halogen headlamps and I have been searching for their LED counterpart ever since. My search culminated in sending out a plea to all the vendors asking for a solution. If interested, you can view the plea thread here. (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=727053) That plea was responded to by some vendors but they all tried to sell me a product that wasn't what I was looking for. Out of all the lighting vendors in the E46 community Mike@ F1 AutohaŘs was the only one that really offered to help get me exactly what I was asking for.
So, if you are like me and have been looking for an LED angel eye kit that is specifically sized for the stock halogen headlamps, I am happy to announce that our wait is over!
Note: In the spirit of full disclosure I must convey that I was given a price on this kit below what you will pay. I was given this price break for two reasons only:
This review WAS NOT a requirement of the price agreement at all. This review is my contribution to the E46 community to provide information so that consumers know what's out there and do not have to go through the same product search pains that I did.
- Being a first/early adopter of this kit here in the U.S. I received a manufacturing sample (No retail box, instruction sheet etc.)
- Also, since I was their first customer a final retail price had not been worked out yet and I agreed to provide end user feedback to F1 AutohaŘs about the kit in exchange for a price below what they thought their retail was going to be.
OK with that out of the way let's get on with it.
Type:SMD (Surface mount led)
Fits: E46 with non projector headlamps only
Color: White ~6000k
Size: Number of LEDs: Low Beam Rings--78 LEDs
Low Beam Rings--145mm
High Beam Rings--131mm
High Beam Rings--66 LEDs
Warranty: 1 Year
What you get: 4 SMD LED rings (2-78LEDs@145mm and 2-66LEDs@131mm), Wiring harness with remote on/off with fade, 8 multi toothed clips (2 per ring), Sheet of double sided tape, and 2 wiring T-Taps are also included (not Picured).
In the short time I have had this kit installed (Less than 1 month as of Jan 11, 2010) I have not had any issues with its operation. Installation is exactly like any of the other LED kits currently offered. I had no troubles with installation and, as expected, the rings fit my face lifted E46 with no special modification required. The ring diameters matched my non-projector halogen lights just like I wanted. They look almost as good when they are turned off as when they are on. When the rings are sized like these are it is very hard to tell that the rings are not part of the headlights themselves. You really have to look close. The casual observer walking by your car in a parking lot would never know. As far as brightness is concerned the rings are fine in my opinion. I wouldn't want anything brighter.
As you may have noticed in the product specifications the larger pair of rings have more LEDs than the smaller pair. This is deliberate. Spacing between the individual LEDs on each ring is consistent meaning it takes more LEDs to fill up the larger ring. Unless you count the individual LEDs you would never know as the difference in number of LEDs between ring sizes is not visually perceptible.
- Fitment-Specifically sized rings make the rings appear like they are part of the headligh. No gaps between the ring and reflector bowl rim.
- LED-None of the drawbacks associated with CCFL technology
- Backing-The rings have a solid opaque backing to prevent light from the LEDs filling the reflector bowls. Some of the other kits I have seen have an adhesive tape style of backing that tends to peel off over time especially with the heat the halogens put on them. That will not happen with this kit.
- Wiring harness-In what has now become industry standard, the kit comes with a wiring harness that integrates the remote on/off fade functionality.
- Brightness-Bright enough for me. I can see well enough with these on to unlock my front door at night with no other light source.
- Good Looks-We've all seen angel eyes on E46s before, but when they are on YOUR car. WOW! Also, looks good even when they are off.
- Compete Kit-Kit has everything you need to install. No running to the store for T-Taps or other connectors.
- Price-As they say-The price is right. At $99 it is one of the least expensive LED kits on the market.
- Warranty-Anytime a vendor stands behind a product they are selling it's a good thing for us as consumers. F1 AutohaŘs are offering a 1 year warranty on this kit.
- New product-As such with any new product in the marketplace quality and reliability are unknown at this point. F1 AutohaŘs are backing up the kit with a 1 year warranty so that makes me feel better. I would think anything that might go wrong is likely to happen within the first year anyways. The 1 year warranty does seem to be the standard among the MyCarr and other similar LED kits at this price point. And For 99 bucks I can't argue. Regarding quality and reliability, I plan on keeping this review updated as time goes on.
- LED Spacing-Up close, and I'm talking less than 5-7 feet here, when the angel eyes are on you get somewhat of a pearl necklace effect where the individual LEDs start to become apparent. It's really no more (likely less) than any other 60+ LED kit out there in my opinion and you have to be looking for it. You might be able to see it on some of my included pictures. Anything over that 5-7 feet and the pearl necklace look fades away. You guys should know how picky I am by now and this really doesn't bother me. I list it as a concern here for those it may bother.
- Fragile-If careis not taken during installation I can see where it might be easy to possibly damage the rings. Especially while installing the clips. I did not have any issues with my rings and having never personally installed other kits this could be the norm for all I know. I have no worries about them now that they are installed. I might just be a nervous Nelly as well.
- Color-Currently there is only one choice of color offered (Pure White ~6000k). I hope as time goes by that there will be a more OEM "Yellow" type of color offered.
Being the first to try out a virtually unknown product is a little scary and this time was no different. I knew that a very similar product was being offered to our European friends (The vendor wouldn't ship to the US) but I couldn't really find any detailed information about it. Mike@ F1 AutohaŘs answered all of my questions beforehand and supplied me with all of the information I asked him for. I am happy to say that after receiving and installing this kit I have no regrets at all. The product has met all of my needs with the sole exception being the "color" offered. Although after installing and seeing them on my car I was really impressed with how they looked. Like I said before its definitely different when it's your car they are on. Fitment was and is more important to me than color and that is the main reason I chose to go with this kit. If rings in the halogen headlight sizes are ever offered by the manufacturer in the OEM "Yellow" type of color I will probably go that route. Until that happens (I'm hoping) I will sport these.
So the real question is now that I have them and know what they are and have to offer-"Would I still buy them?" I have to say absolutely, even with the concerns that I have listed. They are just rings of light you put on the front of your vehicle after all and this kit performs that function the same as any other.
If you have stock halogen headlights and are looking for an LED angel eye kit that is specifically sized for them you should definitely check out this latest offering from F1 AutohaŘs. I must say my journey to achieve angel eye bliss has been a long one and I am glad I have finally found a product that I can be happy with.
On to the rest of the pictures:
As you can see I am not a photographer. Please excuse the exposure, aperature setings, etc.
Pre-installation test bench photos
During Installation Lense off
All photos taken are attached below in no paticular order
Last edited by GCoop; 01-11-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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