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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 03-13-2015, 01:15 AM   #1
willgdwn
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e46 touring 20" light bar

What do you all think about installing a light bar in the grill of the front bumper? I want to use a factory fog light switch and make it look as factory as possible.
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:20 AM   #2
nallman
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Out of curiosity, are you going for looks or functionality?
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:58 AM   #3
willgdwn
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Out of curiosity, are you going for looks or functionality?
Functionality, but I want it hidden as best I can
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:01 AM   #4
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What do you mean what do we "think about it?" If you're gonna rally this car in the backwoods, it's a great idea. Other than that, it's stupid.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:41 AM   #5
willgdwn
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What do you mean what do we "think about it?" If you're gonna rally this car in the backwoods, it's a great idea. Other than that, it's stupid.
That's what I meant, I want opinions. I live in an area where there are lots of deer and animals on the road. Seeing how they are extremely bright I thought it would be a nice mod for better visibility.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:01 AM   #6
Solidjake
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What kind of bumper do you have? Something like this?

http://www.imcdb.org/i450915.jpg
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:56 PM   #7
willgdwn
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[QUOTE=Solidjake;16553519]What kind of bumper do you have? Something like this?

http://www.imcdb.org/i450915.jpg[/QUOTE
It will be used with an mtech ll
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:48 PM   #8
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A few thoughts:
1. Avoid anything that uses 3W LEDS, they just aren't bright enough to throw light very far down the road. (I've used them before and they only have about the range of the high beam) Stick to at least 5W, but 10W would be the best.
2. While not "stealth" I would use this mount: http://www.visionxusa.com/product/ac...e-plate-mount/ ( if you mount it behind the lower grill, which is what I'm assuming your doing, you will light up the road 5' in front of the car so much it will reflect back off the pavement and blind you more than cast light down the road, keeping the light higher, will help eliminate glare and help cast the light further down the road.
3. Wire your lights so that the trigger wire for your relay goes from your high beams to an interior switch and then to the relay. Here in AK (where literally half the cars on the road have a light bar because we live in the dark for 7 months of the year) we all wire our lights this way, so that when you go from high beam to low beam your light bar is turned off at the same time. This makes it so much easier to use the bar, because you are not trying to turn of your normal high beams on one switch and your bar on another when you encounter oncoming traffic. Plus with an interior switch you can kill the power to the bar at all times for more "in town" driving when the bar would be overkill but high beams are still necessary.
Let me know if you want info on the wiring, I haven't done this on a BMW yet, but I have wired up many different vehicles like this, and the hardest part is figuring out if the headlights are positively or negatively switched.

Let us know how it all works in the end, as I'm planning on adding an 11" bar to my sedan at some point.

Last edited by DRA2120; 03-13-2015 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:57 AM   #9
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^ Good info


I plan to visit AK one day
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:52 PM   #10
willgdwn
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Originally Posted by DRA2120 View Post
A few thoughts:
1. Avoid anything that uses 3W LEDS, they just aren't bright enough to throw light very far down the road. (I've used them before and they only have about the range of the high beam) Stick to at least 5W, but 10W would be the best.
2. While not "stealth" I would use this mount: http://www.visionxusa.com/product/ac...e-plate-mount/ ( if you mount it behind the lower grill, which is what I'm assuming your doing, you will light up the road 5' in front of the car so much it will reflect back off the pavement and blind you more than cast light down the road, keeping the light higher, will help eliminate glare and help cast the light further down the road.
3. Wire your lights so that the trigger wire for your relay goes from your high beams to an interior switch and then to the relay. Here in AK (where literally half the cars on the road have a light bar because we live in the dark for 7 months of the year) we all wire our lights this way, so that when you go from high beam to low beam your light bar is turned off at the same time. This makes it so much easier to use the bar, because you are not trying to turn of your normal high beams on one switch and your bar on another when you encounter oncoming traffic. Plus with an interior switch you can kill the power to the bar at all times for more "in town" driving when the bar would be overkill but high beams are still necessary.
Let me know if you want info on the wiring, I haven't done this on a BMW yet, but I have wired up many different vehicles like this, and the hardest part is figuring out if the headlights are positively or negatively switched.

Let us know how it all works in the end, as I'm planning on adding an 11" bar to my sedan at some point.
I like the high beam Idea but I do not want any switches other than factory in my car. I had planned on using the fog light button for activation of my light.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:11 PM   #11
DRA2120
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I'm not familiar enough with the lighting system in these cars to say this as fact, but my guess is that since the fog lights need to be turned on every time the car is started, I would think that the factory fog light switch is only a momentary switch instead of a continuous switch, which means that when you push the fog light button it just sends a voltage signal to the LCM which then takes over the job of switching the fog lights on and off. What that means is that if it is a momentary switch, then the light bar would only be on as long as you were holding the fog light button down. Again, I may be totally wrong and if it is a continuous switch then you can very easily use that as your interior switch and still do the wiring off of the high beam. However, if I'm right then you will need to mount another switch somewhere in the car. It can be hidden as you won't really need to use the switch very often.

Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable about the switch can chime in and let you know what kind of switch it is and if it will work properly for what you are looking for.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:08 PM   #12
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My guess is you want to improve the high beam lights? A light bar is okay, but why install on the fog lights? Use e relay and take the control current from one of the high beams.

Other option on the e46 or any bmw is to install extra lights inside the kidney grill
This is how I have done it, it's not the best biggest thing on the market but it sure does improve the high beams a lot without interfering to much on the looks.



Lights are Vision X Light Cannon
http://www.visionxusa.com/product/au...-light-cannon/

Last edited by Icee; 03-22-2015 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:10 PM   #13
DRA2120
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^^^
what size light cannons are those. Thats the exact setup I want to do on my car, but I didn't think there would be enough room.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:17 AM   #14
Icee
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That's the smallest 4.5" . Had to cut some plastic but that's all, even used original holes. Just had to make them a bit bigger

Last edited by Icee; 03-23-2015 at 03:19 AM.
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