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Old 06-04-2004, 07:00 AM   #1
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Ending the Confusion of Aftermarket E46 BMW Angel Eyes

the Confusion of Aftermarket E46 BMW Angel Eyes

How the available kits work, and what's best for YOU!

BMW "angel eye" kits are easily one of the most popular upgrades
for your Bavarian machine, but they are also the source of an enormous
amount of confusion
We've put together the most extensive write-up of the various BMW
"angel eye" technologies so you can figure out what product
is right for you. Each BMW angel eye solution is organized by technology
used to produce the angel eyes and includes an overview of that technology
as well as a few pictures and links (where applicable) to the product.

Cathode Fluorescent Lighting BMW Angel Eye Kits

Superb Brightness, High Tech "HID"
Look, Easy to Install, and #1 in Our Book

Wheelpower Phosphyre Halos

Cold Cathode
Fluorescent Lighting (CCFL) is in essence a variation of the technology
used in fluorescent light bulbs. These angel eye rings (or "halos)
produce the absolute brightest, most consistent light output of all aftermarket
BMW angel eye solutions and provide the most aesthetically appealing appearance
as well.
This is our choice for the very best angel eye solution
on the market.

  • Advantages:
    Very bright look - best appearance. Wide range of fitments: E30,
    E36, E46, E39, E53, E38, etc. Cool, high tech appearance - real
    eye catchers. Simplest installation process.

  • Disadvantages:
    Somewhat fragile rings, so installation
    requires more care

Available Products in the Market:

Phosphyre Halos (99+ 3 series ONLY)

BMW Angel Eyes

BMW Angel Eyes

Uses uses
thin CCFL angel eye rings and has a very bright white "Xenon"
look. Halo ring color is "HID." VERY cool looking. Comes
in "Plus" and "Enhanced" versions:

- Comes with angel eye rings,
wiring, ballasts, installation clips and built in adhesives.

Price: $300-$340

- Same as "plus"
version, but includes ridged "sleeves" surrounding each
angel eye ring to create a thicker, more OEM appearance. Most popular
angel eye product & style on the market!

Price: $350-$390

Projector46***8482; w/ DDE Lightning***8482; (HID Optional, 99+ 3 series only)

BMW Angel Eyes

BMW Angel Eyes

headlight replacement for your halogen headlights to Euro projectors
with INTEGRATED DDE Lighting (i.e. built into the design, not installed
on the aftermarket) with optional HID upgradeability. (For those
that don't know, DDE Lightning uses the same tech as WheelPower
Phosphyre Halos and is manufactured by the same company).

improvement in lighting output and looks. Very "OEM"
appearance for angel eye install. Available for E46 Sedans up to
8-31-2001 build dates, all E46 Coupes up to 2003 model year, and
ALL '01 to '04 M3 vehicles.

Price: $650 - $900

L.E.D. Based BMW Angel Eye Kits

Outdated, Dim, and Probably Not Worth Your Money

L.E.D. Kit in E36 ZKW's

The very first kits to come to market in the fairly new BMW "angel
eye" market were L.E.D. based solutions using plastic rings of some
kind with L.E.D's placed in the ends of the rings. While these work
in a marginal way (that is, you can see them at night and ONLY at night),
brightness is simply inconsistent (top of the rings brighter than the bottom)
and not comparable to OEM.

  • Advantages:
    Cheap, color can be changed by switching L.E.D's

  • Disadvantages:
    Not bright; can't be seen during day or dusk - visible
    at night only, inconsistent ring illumination

main variation exists:

LED Angel Eye Kits
Hawked on eBay as "best out there" solutions, these kits are
usually just four rings and 8 L.E.D's that come with no instructions or wiring.

Approximate Price: $50-$75

/ Halogen Based BMW Angel Eye Kits

Clean, Classy OEM Look

DDE LumenX Gen V in E36 ZKW's

An evolution of the L.E.D. based kits, this setup instead uses "light
boxes" with a high intensity bulb to produce the light for the angel
eye rings. This light is routed through fiber-optic cables into the angel
eye rings which are installed in the headlight assembly. This is, in fact,
a replica of the technology used in factory BMW angel eye installations
such as those found on the E39 5-Series. As such, the look is a close to
OE BMW angel eyes as possible, consistent in brightness, and very classy

  • Advantages:
    Classy OEM look, good brightness,
    fits a variety of models, very durable

  • Disadvantages:
    More parts = more time consuming installation process, harder to find

There is
really only one major player for this type of angel eye solution in the
BMW market, but the product has been discontinued and can be difficult
to find:

Daylight Demon Eyes Generation V, LumenX
product, installable in a wide range of vehicles: E30, E36, E46, E39,
E53, E38, etc. Perfect for those who want exact duplication of OE
BMW Angel Eyes

The Clear Choice...

CCFL Angel Eyes

simply no other BMW angel eye technology on the market with the same brightness,
ease of installation, quality of light output, and variety of options
to meet your needs. If you want the best, CCFL is it, bar none.

article was written by Micah
D. Cranman
, CEO and Founder of M3
, your source for the finest high performance upgrades
& accessories for your E46 BMW. M3 motorwerks does offer a full
line of BMW Angel Eye upgrades. See
their online catalog for more information!
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