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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 08-11-2003, 06:29 PM   #41
Terry Kennedy
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Originally posted by blkonblk330i

That link does not specify about the 10w bulbs in place of the OEM 5w bulbs, nor does it tell you that you have to bend some of the metal contacts to accommodate the bulb.
While I haven't ever ordered anything from Bimmian and I'm running stock interior lights, someone asked my professional opinion about this a few days ago. You may find my response informative:

Note that they aren't Xenon in the sense that the headlights are. The headlights work like street lights - an electrical arc flows through Xenon gas to generate light. This requires a very high voltage (look under your hood and you'll see a "Caution - 25,000 volts!" sticker on each headlight assembly).

If there is any Xenon in the interior lighting kits, it used in the same way as halogen is used in "Halogen" lights - instead of a vacuum inside a regular light bulb, it is filled with an inert gas. The idea is for longer bulb life (at a given wattage) or a brighter light at the same life as a regular lamp (for a higher wattage). Technically, the glowing light filament emits particles of the filament, which get deposited elsewhere inside the bulb and reduce the thickness of the filament, which makes it hotter and eventually burns out. This is why old and burned-out bulbs have black marks inside the bulb. Halogen and other inert gases greatly reduce the loss of metal from the filament.

Anyway, these interior "Xenons" are just incandescent light bulbs painted blue (to filter the emitted light into the blue range). Because of the filtering, they need to be a higher wattage for the same light. This makes them run hotter. Compounding this, not all of the interior lamps are the same size, so some of the sockets wind up using physically oversized and higher-wattage bulbs. The sellers can't just use stock BMW bulbs for these because by the time they painted them, they'd be way too dim, and no manufacturer makes a higher-wattage one in that physical size.

If you want blue interior lights, I'd suggest installing "superbright" blue LEDs. It seems the few sellers offering these haven't quite figured it out yet, since there have been reports of burn-outs. LEDs should last close to forever if run properly. That, of course, is the trick. A LED is a regular diode that, when reverse-biased (power put through the other way) emits light. Hence, "Light Emitting Diode - LED". However, if you put too much power through it, it will run brighter but burn out much faster. Thus, you need to use a series resistor to limit current through the LED to the maufacturer's specified limit. For example, the LEDs I am using for my "illuminated cupholder" project have a spec of steady (operating) current of 30mA and an absolute maximum rating (the most it will take for a few seconds without burning out) of 150mA. Using Ohm's Law we can calculate the necessary series resistance once we know the other 2 of the 3 variables - we know the LED wants a max of 30mA and we know that the operating voltage of the car is 13.6V. But I expect that the sellers just want to get the brightest output possible and don't care if the LED burns out in a month or 2, as they'll get a repeat customer (although unhappy) for at least one more set. Thus, they'd probably run a LED like mine above at 75 or even 100mA.
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Old 08-12-2003, 02:43 PM   #42
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I should have monitored these bulbs a bit closer. I noticed that I have damage to my footwell and license plate lenses due to these bulbs. I replaced them all and went back to stock. No sense risking more damage.

Chaulk up another damaged vehicle from these bulbs. Bimmain needs to take these off their site. These bulbs are BURNING HOT. I couldn't even touch them after they were on for a few minutes. I've had overall good service from Bimmian, but this makes me wonder about them naturally.

Very unhappy. But, it was my call to try em.
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Old 08-12-2003, 03:36 PM   #43
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Originally posted by He and his
Bimmians been getting smacked around lately...........
I haven't seen anything positive about them lately, and I also noticed that people whom usually support Bimmian don't really defend them anymore. Their business is going to go downhill if they don't do something about this.

They should have done something to correct the problem like a refund or replacing baked parts, But now they have to deal with all the people that aren't going to buy their products anymore. Just bad business if you ask me
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Old 08-12-2003, 03:42 PM   #44
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hmmmm i made my own
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Old 08-12-2003, 04:06 PM   #45
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I ordered an european license plate holder from Bimmian. I thought their serive was good with timely delievery.

I guess I lucked out...

2003 330i Titanium Silver / Black - [Sold]
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Old 08-12-2003, 04:25 PM   #46
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there is a known issue with the xenon lights
why do you keep buying them?!

i, however, have gotten other things from bimmian and the service and quality has been superb.
Yeah I havent updated my sig yet with my 335, kill me.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:08 PM   #47
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i ordered bulbs last week and he told me they would go out the very next day which was 2 weeks ago......i havent received a damn thing now i dont yet have my car but it is coming this week however now i do not even want to install the damn xenons..........the LSB reflectors are on backorder also....i think the webmaster of e46 fanatics should consider removing them as sponsors because that was the main reason i went ahead and ordered from them because i considered them trustowrthy but now they arent showing very good service
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:14 PM   #48
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am i allowed to just cancel my order....after hearing about these xenons i much rather leave them stock.......and i am sure i can order the reflectors from somewhere else

would i be allowed to cancel the order????
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:59 PM   #49
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Old 08-12-2003, 07:00 PM   #50
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mine took 3 weeks to arrive. they go by snail mail from canada.

send them an email if its not too late to cancel.

i regularly check the other lights and they don't seem to cause any melting, since they are lower wattage and are not used as often. just don't install the footwell lights and license plate lights.

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