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Will LED's work on our head-lights/tail-lights?
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Thread: Will LED's work on our head-lights/tail-lights?

  1. #1
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    Question Will LED's work on our head-lights/tail-lights?

    Hey guys,


    Just installed some 5000k HID on our new 500e. Been doing some reading on the forums. Up next is hopefully to level the car with some madness springs with some new wheels and tires.

    In the meantime, I want to upgrade the rest of the lights: DRL, Fog Lights, Brake, Reverse lights, turning as well possibly.

    I tried searching, and I think I read that our 500e's don't get along too well with LED bulbs. That possibly the check bulb lights will go off on the dashboard?

    Has anyone changed their DRL, or any of the listed bulbs with LED's?

    TIA

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    You will have to add load resistors to the circuit to simulate the electrical load of standard bulbs, or purchase so-called "canbus" LED bulbs that have a load resistor built-in.

    What is your goal? If you were hoping that LED bulbs will be brighter, most will actually be dimmer. The light fixture lenses and reflectors are optimized for standard bulbs. Whatever you do, change the bulbs only on one side first and compare the brightness with the other side. Verify that you can easily see the light in bright daylight. Many aftermarket LED bulbs are dangerously dim.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to rkw For This Useful Post:

    bryanintowson (12-20-2016)

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    Thanks! Yes was looking to (1) change the color to match the shade from the new 5000k on my headlights (2) more light output.

    Will definitely see if they will be dimmer than OEM. Thanks!

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    I'm a big fan of LED brake lights. I've converted all my cars, except for my 500e as it's on a lease and will be going away soon. However, you have to be careful and not get cheap ones. I've always had issues with cheap LEDs in tail lights. Interior lighting they are fine, but for tail lights, I spend the money. If you go with ones that have name brand emitters like Samsung or Cree, they should be every bit as bright as the original incandescents. The fact they illuminate about 200ms faster the incandescents is a major safety increase as well! It may not sound like much, but that's over a car length at freeway speeds!

    Some tips:
    CAN bus compatible for tail lights. I'm not a fan of cutting the wire harness to add load resistors.
    Have the LEDs match the color of the lens (don't use white LEDs for brake lights as their brightness is reduced).
    Test one side first. As already mentioned, sometimes you can have compatibility issues or just bad lights. Good to compare and make sure they are good before fully converting.

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    I did the Madness HID upgrade 6000k. Super happy with the results, I can actually see at night now. No dash warnings. I tried replacing the brake,tail lights combination bulbs and the front turn indicators with CANBUS ready LED's. This immediately threw dash warnings and the lights would plain not work at all. Parking lights LEDS on all 4 corners did work as did CANBUS replacements for the fog lights. I also replaced the interior dome lights with success. A note on the fog lights, before I installed the HIDs the fog lights were bright and made a big difference in the near field. The HID"s are so bright though that I can barely see a difference on the road with the fog lights on.

    I also had the Madness springs installed, car looks great and my alignment shop was able to dial in .8 degrees of negative camber. My car has a bit of creak from the front struts now and the rebound is a bit bouncy, not enough damping for my taste. If you do the springs, I would recommend also changing to the Koni struts. I may pull them out and do a full coilover. If you are interested in the Madness springs, I can sell them to you.

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    500e.jpg Ride height with Madness springs

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    Since we're talking about suspension in this thread too, I'd like to withdraw my offer to sell the springs to anyone. I just can't put someone else through the hassle I went through. I had a set of Bilstein coil-overs installed today and they are so remarkably good that it's made it apparent that just dropping shorter springs into the 500e just does not work. The front creaks and they bounce you to the moon over bigger dips. None of these problems exist with the coil-overs. If you're considering lowering your 500e, do it with the Bilsteins, you'll end of saving hours of hassle and ultimately money by doing it right the first time.

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    So what's it look like now compared to before with just the springs installed. Some members might like to compare in case their maybe gonna consider doing it to their E model Fiats. Would be interested seeing.
    !!!!! Gulia Hunt Begins !!!!
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    Have you had any issues with your HIDs? I'm assuming the projector headlights in the 500e have proper cut-offs and doesn't blind cross-traffic the way a reflective housing headlamp would. I'm about ready to buy a used 500e and lighting and visibility is important to me.

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    I too am a new 500e owner and after some researched just install this kit https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KJ8JCKW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1, 5000k 9006
    The input wires on this kit (maybe others as well) needs to flipped as it's opposite of the 500e wiring, pretty easy to do with a small flat head screw driver to pull out contacts in the connectors.

    The module and all the wiring are small enough to jam into the headlight housing with a little bit of fiddle, no drilling required. It has proper cut out, very nice improvement over stock. I'm very impressed for how little the kit costs.

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