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Thoughts on HID, LED installs

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Thoughts on HID, LED installs

 
Old 01-18-2015, 06:53 PM
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Mud
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Thoughts on HID, LED installs

I did the interior LED install some time ago, and then followed up this weekend with installation of the Morimoto 5000K HIH kit (with CANBUS), thought I would post up some comments if it's of any value here
Thanks in particular here:
https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w...installed.html
https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w...d-install.html
https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w...tructions.html











I've done quite a few LED upgrades, so I just used my stash of SMD LED's to replace all interior lighting, most are 5 SMD LED's that are CANBUS. In fact I use CANBUS in dang near any application that require 194 wedge light because they fit and hold better than the standard SMD's.
I order all this stuff direct from Hong Kong - that's where most of it comes from anyway. In the pic lower right you can see the CANBUS SMD vs the standard SMD as well as a 194 wedge style bulb holder.



I also did the license plate lights, used CANBUS 5 SMD LED's, looks like the right amount of light, it's not an airfield back there that needs to be seen for miles lol. For the trunk lid liner, you can use the stock trim clips again, but I also keep a stock of various trim clips, so I replaced the stock clips with these re-usable versions, similar to what is used in the wheel well liners or other trim areas. For the trunk, they are about 1/2" long for 1/4" hole with about a 1/2" cap. These are not exactly what I used but you get the idea:
Amazon.com: 50 Pcs Fairing Trim Plastic Push Fit Rivet Clips Bumper 7mm x 13mm: Automotive Amazon.com: 50 Pcs Fairing Trim Plastic Push Fit Rivet Clips Bumper 7mm x 13mm: Automotive


HID install:
I've done several true xenon projector retrofits but did not want to monkey with disassembly of MB expensive headlights. The OEM halogens were already in a projector assembly and while not initially designed for xenon bulbs its a mile better than sticking HID's into standard non-projector headlight assemblies. There has been consistently good feedback with the Morimoto HID kit, so I decided to install that. I've used Morimoto stuff almost exclusively with good results and I like the support from the retrofitsource.com
I removed the driver side wheel well cover, it was not really that big of a deal plus it let me look right into the area to get familiar with what was where. Passenger side I just went in from the top.
- I used the aftermarket H7 HID adapter clips to hold the new bulbs in place. It was a bit fiddly getting them securely attached, I think it will be ok but I much prefer a DS2 type of attachment.
- Unless I messed up it appears that the electrode that runs the length of the bulb is not at 6 o'clock position when the bulbs are in place. The lighting is a bit more consistent when the electrode is at the bottom. However, both bulbs are installed the same, the electrode wound up being close to but not at that bottom position.
- Since I got the CANBUS setup I did not need the male/female red/back wires in the bulb harness so I cut a slit in the grommet and removed them entirely. I then routed the OEM H7 connector through the grommet so that it was also out of the housing. Used a bit of silicone to reseal the grommet, then installed the round plastic access cap back onto the housing. All connections are made outstide of the housing.
- The rest of it was pretty straightforward, make the connections and secure the wiring. I also used some pipe insulation around the connectors to avoid rattles.
- Everything worked fine and I like the light output. I did check headlight aim and it appears to be ok.


Here's a pic of the cut-off from about 25 ft back. As you can see it has a decent cut-off but not like OEM xenon installations. One caveat about these pics is that my phone camera turns everything slightly overexposed, the brightness is not to this level in real life.

Here's HID on the right, halogen on the left. The overall light spread seems to be fairly consistent through the projectors but you can pick up a slight scatter on the HID side. Drive light LED's are 7 SMD CANBUS LED's.



I did take this night shot but it's not accurate, the car is not a glare monster - even the drive light and hockey puck LED's seem to look like hi beams on a plane's landing gear. My son's camera took a much more accurate shot, I will try to get that one posted. However, even taking that into account, the overall left to right balance of lighting is consistent and the color looks accurate for 5000K. I can always try 4500K as well, but I don't really see too much tinge of blue yet, taking account the bulbs are also settling in. I drove around for a while without anyone flashing lights or shooting at me so I think I'm good to go. Overall I'm pleased with the results - my morning commute has me on dark farm roads at 5am for a good portion of the trip and this will be of help.



Just for grins, here's the last retrofit I had done on my fondly remembered modified Crown Vic, these used Morimoto DS2 bi-xenon projectors installed into the stock headlight housings. Turn signal housing were fabricated from scratch. This one had a very sharp cutoff, huge improvement from stock. I have law enforcement in the family so wound up doing another set for the cop lol.

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Old 01-18-2015, 10:45 PM
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Looks good; I can get you Morimoto stuff from TRS as well. I wonder what the inside projector looks like; there may be a plug and play solution of one of their -R replica projectors that use D2S? That's only if you wanted to get that extra last "little bit". Other than that, looks great!
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:55 AM
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Thanks Viper! I also wondered about projector replacement but for the sake of time initially went with the standard H7 HID kit. First test this morning was great, I could tell that the cut-off was below eye level seated in sedans and the additional light spread was very helpful for my tired old eyes.
As you know TRS supplies a variety of projectors, I've got some Morimoto projectors on hand but I want to do some research on this. Appreciate the buying info as well.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:08 AM
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For anybody with halogens and projectors, HID mod is a must!!! The retrofit source is the place to go to for this!! Used them for all my HID projects with my old C and never had an issue.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Viper98912 View Post
Looks good; I can get you Morimoto stuff from TRS as well. I wonder what the inside projector looks like; there may be a plug and play solution of one of their -R replica projectors that use D2S? That's only if you wanted to get that extra last "little bit". Other than that, looks great!

I did find adapters to use DS-2 bulbs in the H7 projectors - these properly align the bulbs into the housings. However, if going this route a new connector from DS-2 bulb to the current ballasts is needed, which should not be a big deal. The only question I have is if additional relays may be needed for the ballasts. Current install is CANBUS harness that is actually providing power to the ballasts, not sure if the current draw for DS-2 bulb start-up is within amperage limits of the OEM halogen circuit.


If anyone is wondering why the heck this is being discussed, the DS-1 bulb setup is OEM, the DS-2 is essentially the same just a different connector without hardware needed at the bulb itself (OEM setup). Personal preference for the light output/consistency from the DS-2 bulbs, but not so much that I would scrap the H7 setup in there now, curious as to what it would take to go the DS-2 bulb route, that's all.


I'm also considering adding a diode into the circuit to enable low beams to stay on when hi beams are selected to avoid on/off of the HID ballasts.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mud View Post
I did find adapters to use DS-2 bulbs in the H7 projectors - these properly align the bulbs into the housings. However, if going this route a new connector from DS-2 bulb to the current ballasts is needed, which should not be a big deal. The only question I have is if additional relays may be needed for the ballasts. Current install is CANBUS harness that is actually providing power to the ballasts, not sure if the current draw for DS-2 bulb start-up is within amperage limits of the OEM halogen circuit.


If anyone is wondering why the heck this is being discussed, the DS-1 bulb setup is OEM, the DS-2 is essentially the same just a different connector without hardware needed at the bulb itself (OEM setup). Personal preference for the light output/consistency from the DS-2 bulbs, but not so much that I would scrap the H7 setup in there now, curious as to what it would take to go the DS-2 bulb route, that's all.


I'm also considering adding a diode into the circuit to enable low beams to stay on when hi beams are selected to avoid on/off of the HID ballasts.

I'm really considering this "Morimoto Elite HID kit."

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Morimoto-El...H/323356087327

However, after doing a lot of research, I'm scared when you say "On/Off". Do you temporary lose miliseconds even seconds of light? I live in a place where there can be a lot of deer and little rodents crossing.

Last edited by ND_eclass; 07-09-2019 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ND_eclass View Post
I'm really considering this "Morimoto Elite HID kit."

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Morimoto-El...H/323356087327

However, after doing a lot of research, I'm scared when you say "On/Off". Do you temporary lose miliseconds even seconds of light? I live in a place where there can be a lot of deer and little rodents crossing.
With HIDs, there's a warming up cycle to get to full brightness, but it's like a second, however you will have lighting immediately... Just not immediate full brightness.


Make sure you order a Morimoto kit that's properly configured to work with your MB to not throw codes as well
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:34 AM
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Here's what I meant:
Most 4-light headlight systems that have separate hi and lo beam fixtures will turn off the lo beams when the hi beams are energized. 2-light systems use a movable internal shutter (bi-xenon setup) that shifts position for lo or hi beams - the bulb stays on all the time. Or, if its a halogen 2-light system there are separate filaments for hi and lo beams.
Diodes are essentially 1-way switches in an electrical system and can be used to keep the lo beams on while the hi beams are energized (4-light system), but you have to know where to install them and if it's safe for amperage draw especially if current is drawn through the headlight switch. I've used diodes in headlight systems before but only if separate relays are used for hi and lo beam power sourcing. Modern CANBUS systems can add another layer of complexity to all this.
I've noticed that the MB factory xenon and halogen headlight units use the same projector lens. This is great because it provides a sharp cut-off and light spread if installing an HID system. I don't install HID into stock reflectors, but on the W212 it's a good solid upgrade.
I decided against any diode fiddling into the harness as the HID light upgrade is very good and I barely use high beams at all, maybe once a year or something like that. If I activate hi beams, it shifts current from the lo beam HID ballasts to the hi beam bulbs. My initial comment was about not wanting to place undue burden on the HID ballasts/bulbs by switching them on and off all the time, like you do at night with oncoming traffic at frequent intervals. However, I have also found that Morimoto tests their systems in this exact manner. AZN is correct as usual, there is a small timeframe for cold bulbs to get to full bright, not an issue at all, and hot bulbs get back to bright immediately. But as mentioned i was just thinking about lifespan - my setup is over 4 years now I think with zero issues.
I'm not affiliated with any company and don't sell stuff, just my views as a consumer and having done some projector retrofits.
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