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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #1
I installed these last week. So far, so good. I gotta tell ya, they give the car an awesome atmosphere, but are dimmer than the stock lights (overall). The Dome lights (small tubes) are bright as hell, but the little push-in ones aren't as much. Overall, still an awesome sight :)

I would post pics, but I don't have a good camera; it would also not do it justice.

Here's what you'll need (this is for Hyperwhite/Xenon look): I used Polarg bulbs, although Raybrig and PIAA make similar ones.

• 4 x (10mm x 44mm) 2 for trunk, 2 for visor (Polarg M-88)
• 3 x (10mm x 37mm) 1 for glove compartment, 2 for footrest (Polarg M-28) Please note that these bulbs are 10W and the car calls for 5W -- I'll keep an eye on the housings for these.
• 7 x (T10/W5W/194 - push-in 5W bulbs) 3 for overhead compartment, 4 for rear passenger lighting (Polarg M-4).


And that's it. Not exactly rocket science, but it makes the car look pretty cool. If you want a powerful reading light, leave the original bulbs in the front dome's reading light housing and just replace the center one.

The tube lights don't need an exact fit -- if you get between about 40 and 46mm, the bulb should fit the trunk/visor, and about 34 to 38mm will fit the glove/footrest.

Polarg also makes red ones... I wonder how close to our BMW red they are? Might complement the ambient lighting in the car... just food for thought. :)
 

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ya can you please tell me how your housing is doing after a couple of days/weeks because i will deff look forward to doing this if it doesnt do anything wit any of the housings.
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #4
Will do... incidentally, anyone know how much the footwell housings cost? Just in case ;)
 

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wow, yeah i may go and experiment with the red ones... and definitely let us know about whether or not you experience any melting on the bulbs at all.:thumbup: whats the wattage on those bulbs?
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #6
The tubes are all 10W, the push-ins are all 5W. The reason I'm crazy enough to still do this is twofold:

1). The housings shouldn't be too expensive.
2). It looks like the bulbs are rated on light output, not necessarily actual Wattage put out (I've seen a number of sites that specified they were 5W, 10W output 'cause of the xenon in the bulb...) I hope I'm wrong, honestly -- I really don't think it'd be a good idea for bulb manufacturers to start playing with set measurements.
 

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I got some red ones at Auto Zone. Work great. Not much light output but it lights things up enough toi see & not kill night vision. Red is so great for that.
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #8
Bham BMW M3 said:
I got some red ones at Auto Zone. Work great. Not much light output but it lights things up enough toi see & not kill night vision. Red is so great for that.
Yeah, red is supposed to be the best color for night driving 'cause it strains your eyes the least -- or so I've been told. I was tempted by the Polarg reds... I might just order a pair just to see how they look :) Maybe just replace the reading lights ;)

Update
Well, I was chatting w/dad earlier today, showing him the lights, and I left the doors open until the autodimming feature kicked in. The housings were pretty warm (juuuuust hot enough to hurt your fingertips and/or back of your hand). The plastic was not soft at all, so I turned the lights back on and the car caught on fire... ok, I'm kidding :D -- actually, after about 25 minutes they felt like the OEM bulb warmth and didn't appear to get much warmer. When I have time I'll hook up a thermometer to the things and compare stock vs Polargs -- see if there's even a difference.

So far, the prognosis looks good :thumbup:. I'll borrow my friend's digital camera soon and take some nice nighttime pics for y'all to check out. BTW, mixing the bulbs (my footwell ones were backordered a couple of days) looks really crappy... :)

That reminds me, the M28s are a little bit shorter (like 3mm) than the footwell bulbs (real-life measurements: OEM: 38mm, Polargs: 35mm), so you have to bend the connector on the housing a little bit -- luckily one side lends itself to that; it's not really much and it's not noticeable (unless you know what to look for) and it'll still accept both lights, but I thought you should know.

Oh, just so you know, I changed all the interior lights -- the license plate ones are the originals. I'll check 'em later on tonight and see if they're 5W or 10W. If they're 10W you ought to be OK replacing them... which I might do -- I like the hyperwhite bluish look :)

I'll post again near the end of the month, if something new happens, or if my housings melt, whichever comes first.
 

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I have bimmian's bulbs for about 8 months now. No housings melted so far, but I think I never had it on for more than 30mins. I read somewhere about melted housing, it costs about 20-30$. Interior bulbs only, oem at license plate.
 

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I have the Bimmian ones but have not installed them as I did not want to melt anything. Which bulbs have been the melting concerns? I heard the license plate ones and from reading this thread maybe the footwell? I do not have the lights on for long (other than the license plate) and rarely use the push bulbs over the shifter so if it takes time to heat up, that will not be an issue.
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #11
The only bulbs that are an issue are the footwell and license plate ones, which are 5W OEM while the xenons are 10W (theoretically twice the heat).

Update
So far, my housings are just fine. I've had the lights on continuously for about 40 minutes without ill effects. While this is a bit premature, I think I can safely say that it's OK to do the replacements of the interior. I'll test a little more just in case :)
 

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Sicily..did you put in 5w or 10w in your footwells? I will probably just not use the license plate ones since that light stays lit during driving. The interior are only on for a short period of time and will not get hot enough even if they are double the w.

I am referring to using the Bimian bulbs I already have. If your footwells are 10w and no melting, then I should be ok with the Bimmian ones.
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #14
eBean
The whole thing (with trunk but no license plate) ran me about $80 (slightly more than Bimmian's). When done, you'll have one M-28 (need 3) and one M-4 (need 7) left over (sold in pairs). The cool thing is that you'll have three spare license plate bulbs ;)

The little T10/194 bulbs are about $5-7 per pair, the tubes are around $12-15 per pair.

PDACPA said:
Sicily..did you put in 5w or 10w in your footwells? I will probably just not use the license plate ones since that light stays lit during driving. The interior are only on for a short period of time and will not get hot enough even if they are double the w.

I am referring to using the Bimian bulbs I already have. If your footwells are 10w and no melting, then I should be ok with the Bimmian ones.
The 37mm bulbs are all 10W, so that's what I put in. I think you'll be OK, honestly. I'd suggest changing one and then leaving the lights on. Feel the housings on both sides and see if there's a big temp. difference, and then periodically check 'em for the next 15 - 25 minutes (the longer, the better).

Like you said, tho, the lights don't normally stay on that long. Even while working on my car they end up turning off after a few minutes anyways.

My latest test lasted about 45 minutes; whenever I saw them dimming I would turn them back on and was very diligent about it. No problems -- granted, the outside temperature was about 57, which can be a small factor.



OK, this is a little irritating 'cause they're 31mm, but I found 8W hyperwhites here. If they're really about 31mm we're off by way too much (about 1/4 inch), but they seem substantially safer for the license plates :)
 

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any updates on night photos sicily? and would red bulbs be just as much as all the xenon bulbs (about $80)?? i was hoping they would be less.
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #16
My camera'll be here tomorrow. I'll have pics posted before the weekend's out :)

I think the bulbs'll cost almost exactly the same; they don't seem to differentiate at all price-wise.
 

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There I was, Sicily, 1918..
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Discussion Starter #17
OK, here're the pics. Once I figure the camera out a little better I'll get sharper shots. Incidentally, how do I load pics from the site? I know how to do the < img src*> stuff, but I have no idea what the path to the pics is. http://photos.e46fanatics.com/showphoto.php?photo=15540&papass=&sort=1&thecat=500 does not display the pic if I reference it with either the [IMG*] or the HTML tag. For now I'm using my ISP's site, but I can't really host much stuff there.

OK, here they are:
Dome
<img src="http://home.earthlink.net/~anduin/BMW/Dome.jpg">
Driver's Side Note how the dome light casts a neat blue glow on the steering wheel. It obviously looks much better in person ;) Also note the brightness of the footrest tube bulbs -- theses suckers are bright!
<img src="http://home.earthlink.net/~anduin/BMW/Front.jpg">
Vanity Mirror
<img src="http://home.earthlink.net/~anduin/BMW/Vanity.jpg">
Trunk As I said earlier, the tube lights are really bright, here you can clearly see the whole trunk's illuminated. The shadow on the bottom left is a small box partially obscuring the left-side light.
<img src="http://home.earthlink.net/~anduin/BMW/Trunk.jpg">
Shot from Outside, windows rolled up This is the worst pic. The car looks much better than this with the naked eye.
<img src="http://home.earthlink.net/~anduin/BMW/Outside.jpg">

OK, there you have it :)
 

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tight, thanks for the photos and congrats!

now if only i could get a full set of interior lights at a buy one get one free price so i could get both hyperwhite and red and go with what i like better.
 
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