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Thread: LED replacement for console dials?

  1. #1
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    LED replacement for console dials?

    The bulbs inside my console dials are dying (and my clock doesn't work ). Has anyone successfully replaced their bulbs with LEDs? I would like to solve this problem once and for all!

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    I guess no one has done this.

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    There are several threads on bulb replacement that can be posted, if that is your question. But I don't recall any about sourcing and using LEDs. I think the bulbs are BMW parts as shown in this thread, with special mounts, which may be why there's no history on using LEDs.
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...highlight=hvac
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  4. #4
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    I haven’t seen anyone replace the bulbs with LEDs yet but you can get replacement bulbs from any autoparts store. The only real difference between teh BMW bulbs and the generic bulbs is that the non BMW bulbs are a little brighter so I would recommend replacing all three bulbs at the same time.

  5. #5
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    What about the bulbs for the HVAC? Is there an alternate source for those? BMW wants ~$8/each for those little buggers.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinci View Post
    What about the bulbs for the HVAC? Is there an alternate source for those? BMW wants ~$8/each for those little buggers.
    Do you suppose that it is not a BMW part consisting of bulb plus base, and that you can get a generic bulb without the base?
    http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Site...3797/ES165448/
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage42 View Post
    Do you suppose that it is not a BMW part consisting of bulb plus base, and that you can get a generic bulb without the base?
    http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Site...3797/ES165448/
    The HVAC bulbs are a composite housing and bulb with the bulb is molded into the housing. The bulbs do not come out of the housing; plus they are really expensive. They are also a PITA to get to unless you are pulling the center console for some other reason--in which case REPLACE THEM.

  8. #8
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    there isn't an aftermarket bulb for the HVAC controls I picked up a spare control module just for the bulbs but other than that I think your only real option is to pay dealer pricing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bingley View Post
    The HVAC bulbs are a composite housing and bulb with the bulb is molded into the housing. The bulbs do not come out of the housing...
    That's why I have a spare bulb in housing, on hand waiting to go in if needed.
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  10. #10
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    I haven't tried this yet, since I don't have any burned-out bulbs, but the BMW panel bulbs sure look like these B8 style bulbs:
    http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...panel-led/222/

    It would be worth a try for the cost.

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    subscribed

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
    I haven't tried this yet, since I don't have any burned-out bulbs, but the BMW panel bulbs sure look like these B8 style bulbs:
    http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...panel-led/222/

    It would be worth a try for the cost.
    It would be good to get a pic of the base of those. From what I see, they don't look similar but I think you're on to something. I'm going to do some more digging.

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    The problem with using LEDs is that they are so bright they will wash out the amber color.

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    Quote Originally Posted by canaryM View Post
    It would be good to get a pic of the base of those. From what I see, they don't look similar but I think you're on to something. I'm going to do some more digging.
    Follow the link to the SuperBrightLEDs website, then scroll to the bottom of the B8 listing and they provide dimensioned drawings. I just don't have any BMW lights out and available for measuring.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Knowthebattle View Post
    The problem with using LEDs is that they are so bright they will wash out the amber color.
    With LED bulbs, you can buy amber, red, or any other color. Typically that really enhances the look when used to back-light a similar color, precisely because there is no other color to wash out the intended one.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bingley View Post
    The HVAC bulbs are a composite housing and bulb with the bulb is molded into the housing. The bulbs do not come out of the housing; plus they are really expensive. They are also a PITA to get to unless you are pulling the center console for some other reason--in which case REPLACE THEM.
    They aren't molded into the base, but they are attached. I examined a blown bulb that I replaced a while back, and it can probably be made to come apart. The question will be if I can find something else to go back in its place.

    I was just curious if anyone had already been down that path.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinci View Post
    They aren't molded into the base, but they are attached. I examined a blown bulb that I replaced a while back, and it can probably be made to come apart. The question will be if I can find something else to go back in its place. I was just curious if anyone had already been down that path.
    I took one apart last weekend and tried just that--the bulb is soldered to the plug pins in the middle of the housing, and the housing is formed around them--no way to unsolder/resolder without melting the housing in the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
    Follow the link to the SuperBrightLEDs website, then scroll to the bottom of the B8 listing and they provide dimensioned drawings. I just don't have any BMW lights out and available for measuring.
    Didn't catch that, thanks! Looks like these are the twist on types. Ours are plug-ins.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bingley View Post
    I took one apart last weekend and tried just that--the bulb is soldered to the plug pins in the middle of the housing, and the housing is formed around them--no way to unsolder/resolder without melting the housing in the process.
    Challenge accepted, Mr. Bingley, challenge accepted.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
    Follow the link to the SuperBrightLEDs website, then scroll to the bottom of the B8 listing and they provide dimensioned drawings.

    B84D_mm.jpg

  20. #20
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    These are still twist-ons. Maybe they can be removed from their original socket/housing and placed in the OEM one?

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