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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First, thanks to Mr. Hyde for the excellent idea.

1) If you replace your stock license plate bulb with LED's - you will surely get a "Lic Plate Bulb" error.

2) You can install a load resistor but I hate those things. They are bulky, they get really hot and they consume a lot of power.

3) Sandeep/Mr. Hyde realized there is space above the license plate light housing to install a small stock bulb.

Adding a stock bulb is an excellent idea as it fixes the light fault error after LED installation. So I did what he suggested here and I am very pleased with the results:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=110724&highlight=license+plate+led

4) So I did the same thing. I installed a small 5W bulb, (same bulb used on our sidemarker light) on top of the bulb assembly so as not to trigger a fault light. Works great!

For LED, I installed a 3 LED festoon bulb at Autolumination.com. This is their brightest festoon bulb currently being offered.

So here you go, another easy worthy mod for sharing.

Here are some photos.

Thanks again to Mr. Hyde for this great idea.

Again, another note, especially to the newbies.

I am posting to share info and knowledge.

I am not asking you whether you like this mod or not, or whether you approve of this or not.
If this LED upgrade is too bright for you, then dont do this. I did this for myself, not for you.
I am not out to please you or anybody else. Just myself.
I am not seeking for your approval.
So kindly keep criticims to yourself.
 

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LOL! Dan, you really outdid yourself this time...how many LEDs do you have in your M5 now? BMW should contact you about adding LEDs to all their lights! I actually have the LED bulbs but had the same bulb out error. This setup is genius! Hyde had a great idea going here. Are there any issues with the donor bulbs generating too much heat on the inside of the assembly? I'd like to try this setup because I really do like the way the LED lights look!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Chris and Jason! Although not being requested - I appreciate the compliments.

Jason, yes, the idea by Mr. Hyde is indeed pretty ingenius.
We hate load resistors as they are bulky and get really hot, and eats a lot of power from the battery.

There is no heat build up issues with the addition of the stock bulb. My suggestion to you is to go to Schmucks (Shucks) and find the smallest size and the smalles wattage bulb you can find.

Smallest bulb will be easy to fit inside the license plate light assembly cavity.

Small wattage bulb (like 2 watts or 1 watt) will generate much less heat than a 5 watt bulb.

The original BMW license plate bulb is 10 watts and gets fairly hot.

So, for your application for your 997 TT P Car, I suggest finding a small 12 V bulb, about 1 or 2 watt and that should work. We dont need anything bright. Just enough resistance on the bulb so as not to trigger a license plate fault light.

Let me know if you need help. Come on by the house and I will help you.
 

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the mod looks great...but is there a way to make the license plate light up evenly instead of having that shadow in the middle? I thought the whole purpose of the led lights was so the plate would light up more at night?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
You can angle the LED bulb to face towards the center and that may help. Other than that, I am not aware on how to fix that.

if you take a look at the BMW design, the lights are on the left and right side of the trunk opener switch. This is the reason why the light shines towards the sides of the license plate.

If the trunk opener switch is not mounted in the center of the trunk, then one LED bulb installed right up above dead center of the license plate itself will do the trick.

the mod looks great...but is there a way to make the license plate light up evenly instead of having that shadow in the middle? I thought the whole purpose of the led lights was so the plate would light up more at night?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update:

Turned the parking lights on this morning to see how these new LED lights look at night - whoooaaaa! Nice and bright! And no heat! LED bulbs are cool to the touch.

Highly recommended mod for the ones that are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A couple of quick tips:

1) Remember that LED's are polarized. The positive LED leads needs to be connected to +12V or they wont work. The LED's are marked which end is + and which end is -. So ensure you know which BMW wire is plus and minus and match the ends together.

2) You will need to spread / bend the clips of the bulb holder as the Festoon LED's are larger than stock bulb. Then, bend the bulb holder clips to form a "cup" towards the LED ends so the LED wont come out. See photos above on how I did this.

3) Solder the stock bulb first to the license plate light assembly, then install the LED. Life is easier this way.

4) You can solder the LED bulb to the metal clips but dont apply too much or too long of heat or the LED end metal clips will come out as the LED end metal clips are soldered to the LED bulbs. I suggest just bending the metal clips.

For other general questions, instead of sending me a PM, go ahead and post it here so others will also benefit with the information.

Good luck.
 

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Just a point here. I really do like all of the LED mod's and in fact I have done several of them myself, but I really am not too keen on making my license plate MORE visible. In fact, what I would really like is a way to make it invisible! Is there an LED for that?!


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Mark. I understand what you are saying as far as your concern of making license plate more visible at night.

I am not aware of anything currently in the market that will make a license plate invisible.

On day time, it will always be visible. At night, we can always install a separate switch to turn off the license plate lights.

Just a point here. I really do like all of the LED mod's and in fact I have done several of them myself, but I really am not too keen on making my license plate MORE visible. In fact, what I would really like is a way to make it invisible! Is there an LED for that?!


Mark
 

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LED are awesome, but I prefer to have mine dim as can be harder for the cops to read your plate :)
 

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whatheheck,

Nice job and thanks for sharing. I like looking at what you've done with your mods. That's what is great about this board.

Slightly OT but I wonder if someone has shown us his detailing techniques on their 997 TT.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks.

FYI, on some of my previous posts, sharing mod info to the rest of the board - I've had comments like:

"I dont like it",
"It's too bright for me"
"I dont understand the point with all of your mods"
"Why do you do all of these LED stuff?".

So now, every time I post something, I have to remind people that I am posting here to share knowledge and info. In case they want to do this mod, here's step by step DIY instructions.

I have to remind people that I am not asking for comments or their approval. Just sharing knowledge. Plain and simple.

Bottom line: I do the things that I do because I want to, and because I can.
And I am not out to please anyone but myself. As long as I am happy, for me, that's all that matters. It is my car. Other people can do whatever it is that they want to their OWN car.

I guess I like this comment as much or more than the mod itself . . "I am not out to please you or anybody else. Just myself. I am not seeking for your approval." :)
 

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Dan, you have to remember that this is an open forum so any way you put it, people ARE going to leave comments like that. That's the difference between folks like yourself and everyone else; they all have a difference in opinions.
 
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