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Shadowline Motorsport E30 LED Headlight Upgrade

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    Shadowline Motorsport E30 LED Headlight Upgrade

    I had been searching for a good while on a decent upgrade that would enhance my night time driving. I have been spoiled with HIDs that came standard with my E46 and my E70, so I stumbled across some LED low beam lights from Shadowline Motorsport that would be essentially a plug and play setup for my 9006 bulbs. Because my car came with ellipsoids from the factory, it was a pretty seamless install. The kit I used was the R6 6000k that has 4 LEDs separated by 90 degrees.


    Quality
    These arrived in a box that seemed pretty nice. Almost felt like I had purchased an Apple product with the color and "feel" of the box.







    What's interesting about these is that there is no fan on them. Apparently the heat is dissipated through the braids that are on the end of the bulbs. Other ones I have seen on the market have said fan. I will have to see how these hold up over the stresses of heat and time, which will be updated later on.

    Installation
    Installation was honestly quite simple. You take out the old bulb and put the new one in. The kit came with an assortment of o-rings and a couple gaskets, but the only thing that I needed was 2 of the larger o-rings to give the bulbs a nice and firm seating. The one thing that I had to take careful note of is that when you are installing them, make sure you have the fins in the correct position. If you don't, the bulb will somehow stay stuck and loose in the housing.

    Passenger side:


    Driver side:


    As you can see, the driver's side is a tight fit but it can be done. I was pretty careful to not scrape anything despite how robust LED's are compared to HID's.

    Lighting
    The lighting is where I am somewhat questioning this but one would also have to remember that when the ellipsoids were brand new, they were optimized for 9006 bulbs:

    9006 on the left, LED on the right (As you can see, the lighting seems more clear compared to the stock 9006 bulbs):




    Now when compared side by side to a factory BMW HID kit, the results are honestly quite impressive for something that was never really engineered for HID/LED setups.

    My E46 with factory HIDs and the E30 with the LEDs:


    As you can see, the light isn't really spread as well as the HIDs. For a relatively inexpensive aftermarket upgrade, it's not too bad.

    Another shot with both installed:


    I took it for a drive after it got dark, and although I wasn't able to get any night time shots, I can say that the lighting has certainly improved. The instant on and having a more white light is worth it to me. I will update with some night time driving when I get more free time.

    Final Verdict
    Is it worth it? Yes. As technology progresses and becomes widely available, there really isn't much of an excuse for someone to skip out on something that comes standard on a lot of modern vehicles. Like I stated before, this is a relatively inexpensive upgrade.

    If you're interested in them, visit Shadowline Motorsport's Home Page and check out the different options they have.
    1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
    2009 X5 - DD Duty
    2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler

    #2
    The Group Buy is currently open, here's the Official Thread.

    Jeff,

    Thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed review, its much appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Bryon
    Wheelwell

    Shadowline Motorsport: LED & 3D Printed Accessories - 10% off for new customers!
    LED Bulb Thread
    R6 LED Review

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the review! I'm still on the fence about LED's vs HID's, but the price for LED's is just so tempting.
      My Garage
      2001 Z3 2.5i Steel Gray/Black (Lexi)
      1988 325ix Diamond Schwartz/Black (Izzy)
      1989 325i Cirrus Blue/Houndstooth (Stitch)
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      Instagram: Stone.Hopkins

      Comment


        #4
        Do they throw a low beam check light? I am running some other LEDs right now and get the LBF in the rain or when I turn the lights off.

        Comment


          #5
          Looks radically inferior to HIDs, as with every other plug in LED upgrade that I've seen.

          LED high beams pair really well with a bi-xenon retrofit, though. They are spectacular for flashing people. I run a bi-xenon + drop in LED setup in my E36 and it's fantastic.
          2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD LBZ/Allison
          2002 BMW M3 Alpinweiß/Black
          1999 323i GTS2 Alpinweiß
          1995 M3 Dakargelb/Black
          - S50B32/S6S420G/3.91
          1990 325is Brilliantrot/Tan
          1989 M3 Alpinweiß/Black

          Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo Black/Black
          Hers: 1988 325iX Coupe Diamantschwartz/Black 5spd

          sigpic

          Comment


            #6
            Bronzit....it's growing on me slowly. Thanks for review, I have 9 year old DDM Tuning HID's in my car still amazing they still work well.
            https://www.facebook.com/BentOverRacing

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by BoulderE30 View Post
              Do they throw a low beam check light? I am running some other LEDs right now and get the LBF in the rain or when I turn the lights off.
              no, there is no check that comes on.
              1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
              2009 X5 - DD Duty
              2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by nrubenstein View Post
                Looks radically inferior to HIDs, as with every other plug in LED upgrade that I've seen.

                LED high beams pair really well with a bi-xenon retrofit, though. They are spectacular for flashing people. I run a bi-xenon + drop in LED setup in my E36 and it's fantastic.
                Cool.
                1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
                2009 X5 - DD Duty
                2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler

                Comment


                  #9
                  LEDs are a great upgrade for the high beams. I haven't seen them do too well with projectors. Maybe the smaller reflectors that projectors have need a light bulb that shines light 360 degrees?
                  AWD > RWD

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Kershaw View Post
                    LEDs are a great upgrade for the high beams. I haven't seen them do too well with projectors. Maybe the smaller reflectors that projectors have need a light bulb that shines light 360 degrees?


                    The bulbs tested by the op are the R6 which distribute the light 360 degrees. However performance will vary based on the projector design.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
                    Wheelwell

                    Shadowline Motorsport: LED & 3D Printed Accessories - 10% off for new customers!
                    LED Bulb Thread
                    R6 LED Review

                    Comment


                      #11
                      So you've had these for almost a year now, do you have an update on these?
                      1990 325is
                      m52b28
                      3.73lsd
                      g260 (1987 325is 5spd tranny)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TeXJ View Post
                        So you've had these for almost a year now, do you have an update on these?
                        Yes! They still work great to this day and have yet to experience any issues.
                        1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
                        2009 X5 - DD Duty
                        2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Awesome!
                          1990 325is
                          m52b28
                          3.73lsd
                          g260 (1987 325is 5spd tranny)

                          Comment

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