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Upgrading led / brighter bulbs thread

 
Old 11-29-2018, 10:49 AM
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Upgrading led / brighter bulbs thread


I just wanted to start a thread consolidating all the upgrades to led or brighter bulbs for our vehicles.

I know with the advent of led bulbs and the use of canbus systems it can sometimes be a hit or miss with what works.

My goal in choosing a replacement bulb is to always find the best oe comparable solution, meaning no worries, no errors and no faulty lights. It has to be plug and play and work.

All my opinions are my own and I'm not being compensated to give any of them, only hoping to share the knowledge with this forum.

H7 halogen projector bulbs.

For those who don't have the xenon from the factory I think it is best to contact Azn optics to install a retrofit hid kit. It's plug and play, will fit in the projector housing and you will have the lighting power and blue xenon colour and brightness that you were supposed to have to begin with.

I'm really disappointed in mercedes that they didn't spec our gl with xenon headlights standard from the factory even on new gls models. It is downright embarrassing in my mind and I cringe when I see other mercedes products in the road with halogeen headlights.


Xenon hid bulbs. Standard on 550 models optional on all other under lighting package

I tried the d1s philips oem standard vision bulb. This is a cost effective option. It does what it needs to do. It is the standard replacement bulb for most oe spec vehicles.Philips D1S Standard Authentic Xenon HID Headlight Bulb, 1 Pack (85415C1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CAV7T56/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_ERaaCbTQ14GPG

The bulb I would recommend and am using myself is the Philips xtremevision gen 2 d1s bulbs. These are really amazing and the light is white and crisp. Everything is much brighter and now in winter time I often don't have to use the brights and more because of how bright these bulbs are.
These should probably be replaced around the 5-8 year mark.
Philips Xenon X-treme Vision gen2 HID Car Headlight Bulb D1S (Single) 85415XV2C1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MDPEZLU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_OQaaCbEYE0XW1

Reverse light bulbs

I ended up wanting/needing better reverse lights to help with the inadequate lighting when reversing to help the rear view camera operate better at night. Also having brighter reverse lights in my mind gives me an extra feeling of safety knowing that I would be hard to miss when reversing.

I'm very happy with these bulbs. They're all really bright look well designed and have a very attractive design and thought about heats ink. I have had no errors or issues whatsoever.

[2018 NEWEST] 1156 LED Bulbs Reverse Light 2800 Lumens Extremely Bright BA15S 1003 1141 7506 LED Bulb Used for Backup light, Tail light, Brake light (Xenon White) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GTL2Z2J/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_1HaaCbCSTRWTV


Parking light front bulbs

I used these bulbs from yorkim. I wanted to match the blue colour from the xenon headlights instead of the atrocious yellow colour parking light bulbs that are always on with the headlights. So far im happy with this brand. I tried a different brand that would burn out within a week so I returned those.

These give no error and so far work great and theyre quite bright. The best way to get them out is with a pair of needle nose pliers with a minimum length of 8" once you got the hang of it it should take 2 minutes and save close to 80$ when compared to the dealership

Yorkim 194 Led Bulb Canbus Error Free T10 bulb White Super Bright Light 3-SMD 2835 Chipsets, T10 LED Bulbs for Car Dome Map Door Courtesy License Plate lights - T10 Wedge W5W 194 168 2825 Pack of 10 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HQ5S15Q/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_PEaaCbV1JK0B8

I have not found a reliable led replacement for the turn signals inner and outer nor a proper replacement for the h7 brights.

Any other recommendations and findings are greatly appreciated!

Hope this helps some people!


update: new license plate bulbs 💡

New license plate lights that work without errors or issues. Be sure to order the correct fitment according to what is on your vehicle. The curved or square license plate light. Gas models may have the curved version listed as diesels, diesels may have the square version listed as gas only. Be sure to check your car first.


If it curved, go with the link that describes itself as diesel ones only.

iJDMTOY OEM-Fit 3W Full LED License Plate Light Kit For Mercedes ML M GL R Class Diesel Version ONLY, Powered by 3-piece Osram Xenon White LED & Can-bus Error Free
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K4T75FF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_--LjCbNKG7JQC


If your light is square go with the one that is specified gas models only.

iJDMTOY OEM-Fit 3W Full LED License Plate Light Kit For Mercedes ML M GL R Class Gasoline Version ONLY, Powered by 3-piece Osram Xenon White LED & Can-bus Error Free https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K4WQKVM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_X.LjCbB4EBE20

Last edited by kombifan; 12-28-2018 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:09 AM
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Bump!
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:15 PM
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I replaced my factory d1s bulbs in my 550 with OSRAM Xenarc Cool Blue Boost. They put out way more throw than factory and my cut off line is sharp. I have a set of the Phillips gen2, but haven't installed yet.

For the small "city light" I went with a white Phillips. I also went with Phillips on the reverse lights.

I'd like to somehow integrate small fogs in the bumper with the already factory led strips.

Last edited by Yup497; 12-01-2018 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:14 PM
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Does anybody know how to change the rear view mirror map light?
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JesusV View Post
Does anybody know how to change the rear view mirror map light?
for my model year it is led and as far as I know it isn't serviceable
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:29 PM
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mine is a 2012 gl 550, but the light has a warm light color, looks like a regular bulb #1961llb2 or 194 based on the light bulb chart.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:23 AM
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I did a separate thread on my project to change the headlights and fog lights to LED. It's not easy but if you're mechanically inclined, it's doable, and the results are excellent.

I also did the brake (one of the pair) and backup lights. For each of these I added parallel resistors to eliminate the CAN bus errors. Again, a lot of work, but I'm happy with the results. Particularly the backup lights; not only are they now actually usable for illuminating the rear, they are much more useful for telling other vehicles that you are backing.

I did LED replacements on the "parking" lights, but it was a charlie foxtrot of the highest order. I gave up and will go to applying the effort to something more useful, namely the amber corner marker lights. I'll move the load resistors to those and put in amber LEDs.

Hit me up if you want info on any of the above. I should post a picture of how I installed the load resistors on the rear modules.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kombifan View Post
I have not found a reliable led replacement for the turn signals inner and outer nor a proper replacement for the h7 brights.
My '07 doesn't have "inner and outer" turn signals. Just one at the corner. Am I missing something?

I wonder if the '10 has more tolerant software on the CAN bus. If not, I'm real curious what your bulbs are doing with the extra wattage they're dumping as heat. With a load resistor, at least you're getting that heat away from the socket, etc. The excess heat shouldn't be a problem, because the peripheral lights are only on for brief periods, but still I'm curious.

It's pretty stupid that by '07 the MB engineers didn't anticipate people installing low power consumption replacement bulbs.

My high beam H7 LEDs are fantastic. It's unreal how much light they throw down-road.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by eric_in_sd View Post
I did a separate thread on my project to change the headlights and fog lights to LED. It's not easy but if you're mechanically inclined, it's doable, and the results are excellent.

I also did the brake (one of the pair) and backup lights. For each of these I added parallel resistors to eliminate the CAN bus errors. Again, a lot of work, but I'm happy with the results. Particularly the backup lights; not only are they now actually usable for illuminating the rear, they are much more useful for telling other vehicles that you are backing.

I did LED replacements on the "parking" lights, but it was a charlie foxtrot of the highest order. I gave up and will go to applying the effort to something more useful, namely the amber corner marker lights. I'll move the load resistors to those and put in amber LEDs.

Hit me up if you want info on any of the above. I should post a picture of how I installed the load resistors on the rear modules.
try the parking lights I posted. They work great! No issues with canubus or heat and they're always on with the headlights
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kombifan View Post
try the parking lights I posted. They work great! No issues with canubus or heat and they're always on with the headlights
Remember, you've got a 2010. MB could easily have changed the software to not flag the lower current of an LED.

I'll check 'em out, though. I've already got the load resistors; I just have to move them to the other circuits.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:50 PM
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I replaced my license plate bulbs with these from Amazon: http://a.co/d/gCHoGSy

Although they shine bright as the sun, it still causes an error message on the dash saying the bulbs are out.. Any suggestions?

-Mel
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DrMel View Post
I replaced my license plate bulbs with these from Amazon: http://a.co/d/gCHoGSy
Although they shine bright as the sun, it still causes an error message on the dash saying the bulbs are out.. Any suggestions?
2010, huh? So much for my idea that MB had made the CAN bus more tolerant by 2010.

A little education for everyone: The system monitors the current flow through each light circuit. If the current flow drops below a certain value, say 50% of nominal, the system alerts the driver that the bulb is out.
LEDs make about 8x as much light per watt as filament bulbs.
Typical LED retrofits run about 1/4-1/2 the wattage of the filament bulbs they replace. Therefore they make about 2x-4x the light. You could make them the same wattage, but LEDs have a problem with heat - and they're already bright as the sun.
The LED makers go to 1/4-1/2 the wattage instead of 1/8 because people like bright, and people will be less likely to have bulb-out errors the higher they push the wattage.
Some bulb makers build extra wattage dissipation into the bulb housing. That's why some of them are bulky aluminum. That's not a super nice way of doing it.
My LED headlights have little aluminum boxes in line with the bulb; this box dissipates the extra wattage safely away from the bulb.
For the smaller bulbs, the solution, if you're a nerd like me, is to measure the filament bulb current flow and the LED current flow; subtract LED flow from filament; figure out the resistance you need to dump that extra current, and the power rating of the resistor you'll need for it. You order that resistor from China (or locally, if you're impatient and don't mind spending a few extra bucks), wait a month, and when it arrives, wire it in parallel with the bulb. That's the right way to do it.

I do not know how the %-of-nominal figure is settled on. DOT mandated? Also, some systems, MB included, will test bulbs with pulses of current, so the bulbs "flash" before the system figures the bulb is hopeless and quits trying.

My guess is your license plate lights run pretty high wattage (bright as the sun), but still low enough that it triggers the error. I think you're sierra oscar lima unless you want to stuff a resistor up there somewhere. It's not what I'd do for mere license plate lights; I'd send 'em back as not actually being CAN bus compatible.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by eric_in_sd View Post
2010, huh? So much for my idea that MB had made the CAN bus more tolerant by 2010.

A little education for everyone: The system monitors the current flow through each light circuit. If the current flow drops below a certain value, say 50% of nominal, the system alerts the driver that the bulb is out.
LEDs make about 8x as much light per watt as filament bulbs.
Typical LED retrofits run about 1/4-1/2 the wattage of the filament bulbs they replace. Therefore they make about 2x-4x the light. You could make them the same wattage, but LEDs have a problem with heat - and they're already bright as the sun.
The LED makers go to 1/4-1/2 the wattage instead of 1/8 because people like bright, and people will be less likely to have bulb-out errors the higher they push the wattage.
Some bulb makers build extra wattage dissipation into the bulb housing. That's why some of them are bulky aluminum. That's not a super nice way of doing it.
My LED headlights have little aluminum boxes in line with the bulb; this box dissipates the extra wattage safely away from the bulb.
For the smaller bulbs, the solution, if you're a nerd like me, is to measure the filament bulb current flow and the LED current flow; subtract LED flow from filament; figure out the resistance you need to dump that extra current, and the power rating of the resistor you'll need for it. You order that resistor from China (or locally, if you're impatient and don't mind spending a few extra bucks), wait a month, and when it arrives, wire it in parallel with the bulb. That's the right way to do it.

I do not know how the %-of-nominal figure is settled on. DOT mandated? Also, some systems, MB included, will test bulbs with pulses of current, so the bulbs "flash" before the system figures the bulb is hopeless and quits trying.

My guess is your license plate lights run pretty high wattage (bright as the sun), but still low enough that it triggers the error. I think you're sierra oscar lima unless you want to stuff a resistor up there somewhere. It's not what I'd do for mere license plate lights; I'd send 'em back as not actually being CAN bus compatible.

Hope that helps.
That all makes perfect sense. There is little to no extra space in the bulb housing for a resistor. A bulb that allows more wattage and has a slightly bigger heatsink on top might still fit. But I really don't want to buy every 36mm Festoon bulb on Amazon just to find one that really is CAN bus compatible.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:13 PM
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We have a ML-350 and the headlights really suck! Big time! The low beam is so low and warm that it doesn't aluminate. The high beam is marginally acceptable.

Replaced the high beam with LED and they're fantastic. But nothing can be done to the low beam that I know of. I'm thinking of adjusting our high beam angle down so they can be used as low beam without annoying oncoming drivers.

I have a Ford pickup. Replaced the halogen bulbs in the headlights and both low and high are fantastic. It's a shame that Mercedes can't match Ford. But it doesn't in so many ways. Our next family car will not be a Mercedes. Too much money for an inferior product.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:54 PM
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My AZN optics kit was installed last night. The difference is amazing and well worth the $160 for the kit. The shop did tell me that installation was a pain in the ***, so glad I did not try it myself. The amount of light it now puts out and the distance is so much better. The cutoff is also very good so blinding oncoming drivers is not a concern.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DFWKen View Post
We have a ML-350 and the headlights really suck! Big time! The low beam is so low and warm that it doesn't aluminate. The high beam is marginally acceptable.
Replaced the high beam with LED and they're fantastic.
Yes, the high beams are easier to access.
Originally Posted by DFWKen View Post
But nothing can be done to the low beam that I know of.
Say what? Yes, it's harder, but they're both H7 bulbs. The low beams are flipped 180 - upside down relative to the high beams. I lived with the LEDs in high beams only because working on it was such a pain, but I finally got to the bottom of it. They work great. I literally had to grind off aluminum from the end to get rid of a center dark spot on the low beams, but even that was elective surgery. It can be done.

Originally Posted by DFWKen View Post
I'm thinking of adjusting our high beam angle down so they can be used as low beam without annoying oncoming drivers.
Well, that's a ... unique ... idea. Don't be surprised if you park someplace and come out to find someone took a baseball bat to your headlights.

Originally Posted by DFWKen View Post
It's a shame that Mercedes can't match Ford. But it doesn't in so many ways. Our next family car will not be a Mercedes. Too much money for an inferior product.
So help me understand: What good did you think it would do to come on a Mercedes forum and whine? No one wants to hear it. People are here because they like the cars despite their quirks, or they have them and, like with a fetal alcohol syndrome kid - which you might want to get checked for - have decided to make the best of it. I spent a bunch of time hating the GL, but I dunno ... I worked the bugs out and kinda got used to it. I took it off road and got to thinking it's kinda cool. It is what it is. Sell it. Or don't. But don't whine about it.
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Old 12-13-2018, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DFWKen View Post
We have a ML-350 and the headlights really suck! Big time! The low beam is so low and warm that it doesn't aluminate. The high beam is marginally acceptable.

Replaced the high beam with LED and they're fantastic. But nothing can be done to the low beam that I know of. I'm thinking of adjusting our high beam angle down so they can be used as low beam without annoying oncoming drivers.

I have a Ford pickup. Replaced the halogen bulbs in the headlights and both low and high are fantastic. It's a shame that Mercedes can't match Ford. But it doesn't in so many ways. Our next family car will not be a Mercedes. Too much money for an inferior product.
the Azn optics kit is your best option.

It is an hid kit that will restore your faith in your Mercedes
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JesusV View Post
Does anybody know how to change the rear view mirror map light?
You should be able to take a small flat head screw driver and pop out the little round lense covers, then you can access the bulb. Its a simple T10 / 194 bulb similar to the courtesy lights.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by DrMel View Post
I replaced my license plate bulbs with these from Amazon: http://a.co/d/gCHoGSy

Although they shine bright as the sun, it still causes an error message on the dash saying the bulbs are out.. Any suggestions?

-Mel

Here is what I used....really bright and no error messages

https://www.ebay.com/itm/White-CAN-b...72.m2749.l2649
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:37 AM
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I just bought my GL550 a month ago and the first thing I did was start my LED upgrade......Thus far I have completely replaced the interior lights with all LED and the License plate lights...so far so good. Everything is clean and crispy white/blue light.

Below are my solutions for the turn signals, reverse lights, and front parking bulbs......once I get the parking bulbs in, Ill report back findings. I have the turn signals in, but I am waiting to get my H7 High beam Bulbs, Reverse bulbs, and Philips parking bulbs in before I tackle the exterior lights.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2pc-Amber-C...72.m2749.l2649

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Philips-W5W...72.m2749.l2649

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Useful-Whit...72.m2749.l2649

Next up will be the main HID bulbs...I am thinking of these....anyone have experience with them?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/OSRAM-Origi...B/232713643943
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Iceytys View Post
Here is what I used....really bright and no error messages

https://www.ebay.com/itm/White-CAN-b...72.m2749.l2649
Wow. Those are really cool! Ijdm usually makes good stuff too.

Plug and play? Looks awesome and better than replacing just a bulb.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:24 AM
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Yep....100% plug n play. Only thing I had to do was trim the plastic corners on one side just a tad so they would fit in the housing, but other than that....works great and very bright.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Iceytys View Post
I just bought my GL550 a month ago and the first thing I did was start my LED upgrade......Thus far I have completely replaced the interior lights with all LED and the License plate lights...so far so good. Everything is clean and crispy white/blue light.

Below are my solutions for the turn signals, reverse lights, and front parking bulbs......once I get the parking bulbs in, Ill report back findings. I have the turn signals in, but I am waiting to get my H7 High beam Bulbs, Reverse bulbs, and Philips parking bulbs in before I tackle the exterior lights.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2pc-Amber-C...72.m2749.l2649

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Philips-W5W...72.m2749.l2649

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Useful-Whit...72.m2749.l2649

Next up will be the main HID bulbs...I am thinking of these....anyone have experience with them?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/OSRAM-Origi...B/232713643943

Nice!

Do your turn signal bulbs flash? Are they cool ❄️ enough? No errors? ⚠️

Your parking light bulbs will most likely give errors. They are the Philips ones? The bulb needs a canbus resistor to not get an error. Try the one I linked if it doesn't work out. EBay is always difficult with returns so j like using amazon.

The osram cbb are well reviewed and liked. Look at some of the comparison videos between the cbb cbi and philips xtremevision and white vision bulbs to see what you like best.
I liked the Philips xtremevision best. Ymmv
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:37 AM
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Not sure about the turn signal bulbs yet as I havent installed as I am waiting on other bulbs, but they are canbus and supposed to not hyperflash....we shall see.

On the Philips parking light, yes they are Philips....Hmmmm....still waiting on them, but if they throw errors, I bought some extra Canbus T10 LED lights, so if they throw off a error will swap em.

Good to know on the back up lights, but they too are Canbus.........guess Ill find out too....LOL.

Thanks
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:50 PM
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I just installed OSRAM D1S CBB bulbs. The 7000k thing is just marketing thing, as they are pure white, with a slight hint of blue closer to 5500k. They look great and elegant. Lighting up more than the factory OSRAM/ Philips.
Amazon Amazon

I wrote my review:
Amazon Amazon
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