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      09-12-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
1speedbike
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Alpine HID V3 Direct Sunlight Pics + Review

A couple weeks ago I received my Version 3 HID kit from Alex @ Alpine! I was excited to install it, but then Irene hit my area so I had to wait a little while to install it. I have had the kit on for about a week and a half now, but prior to this I was running Alex's V2 kit. Here are my impressions..

Install:

Relatively easy. Not as easy as a plug and play bulb, and honestly the hardest part (as always, for me) is getting the freaking headlight caps back into place correctly. I must have done this over 50 times in my time of BMW ownership, yet I still can't easily get these headlight caps back into place without killing myself. But that is something you need to deal with even with regular bulb replacements.

The "extra" steps needed to install this kit aren't hard at all. Disconnect the battery.. loosen a terminal behind the windshield fluid tube, connect a couple extra wires.. and that's about it. I have pre-drilled headlight caps so everything else is just a matter of connecting wires and finding places to put and tie down the wires to make it look clean. Very easy to do. Even easier than V2 because this kit doesn't require a hookup to the negative terminal or a separate grounding wire.

Look:

As always, these look great! Below, I have pictures of the lights in DIRECT sunlight on a cloudless day. You can still see the rings clearly, which can't be said of many competitors. These lights are really the brightest out there. However, at night (and dawn/dusk) the brightness isn't overwhelming. I don't know why some people insist this, but you definitely don't blind other people with these lights. I've never been pulled over for them (with my V2's either).

The rings themselves seem to look slightly better than with the V2 kit as well. The light appears a little more distributed through to the outer ring, even in pictures. However, pictures tend to exaggerate how much light is going to the inner ring, so the difference isn't as ridiculous as some pictures tend to show. They look just plain great!

Reliability:

Here's where I offer a word of caution. With the V2 kit, I had to get a couple of ballasts replaced because the lights would just NOT consistently turn on. By this I mean that at the worst, I'd have to restart my car 3-4 times to get both bulbs to be on. However, Alex would always be there to supply me with a replacement ballast for free.

With the V3 kit, I've had my passenger side light not turn on ONCE so far when unlocking the car with my lights set to illuminate on unlock. They've both always turned on when starting up the engine so far. Since this has only happened once, I chalk this up to a fluke. I'm hoping I'm right. I CAN say, though, that the ballasts in this kit look much more heavy-duty than the ones from the V2 kit and all of the wiring (and the ballasts themselves) look to be of a higher quality. Alex claims that the bad ballast problems have been solved by the higher quality components, and I think he's right. I haven't had any problems so far, other than that one instance.

Overall:

I forget how much I paid for the V2 kit, but I know I paid (and I know that the V3 kits are priced) a little lower than the expensive LED kits out there. Not the weisslicht, which is priced cheap, but a couple of the higher end kits. This HID kit will be pure white (or blue, or yellow, or purple if you want), bright as ever in direct sunlight, and not too bright at night.

The only issues you'd have are if you don't like the idea of external wiring going into your headlights (though the rubber grommets seal up the headlights nicely and don't let any moisture in), and the possibility of some reliability issues.. but I honestly think the infamous ballast problems are solved, and even if you do encounter an issue, Alex will always hook you up with a replacement without question.





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      09-13-2011, 07:09 AM   #2
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Looks good, I'm still weary on the ballast quality though. I'm sure he uses a "better quality" ballast now, but how much better? Who makes them? Where they from? Most aftermarket hid kits, mainly ballast are made poorly except DDM who make some great aftermarket kits by-the-way. I would just hate to take a chance with these not knowing how long they will last..While the LUX kit is great and made of nothing but top quality parts. I also don't really think the cheaper price tag should be a selling point for these either, being that even the DDM aftermarket HID kits cost like $60-$80 and are considered to be the best out there. While on the other hand, these kits have been known to fail and not work at times and cost over double of most aftermarket kits these days. Not trying to bash Alex or his products, just putting my perspective on this product.
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      09-13-2011, 11:35 AM   #3
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i would love to see these in person, i just dont like the way they look in pics

hopefully the reliability has improved, as that was one of my main concerns
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      09-13-2011, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley1524 View Post
Looks good, I'm still weary on the ballast quality though. I'm sure he uses a "better quality" ballast now, but how much better? Who makes them? Where they from? Most aftermarket hid kits, mainly ballast are made poorly except DRM who make some great aftermarket kits by-the-way. I would just hate to take a chance with these not knowing how long they will last..While the LUX kit is great and made of nothing but top quality parts. I also don't really think the cheaper price tag should be a selling point for these either, being that even the DRM aftermarket HID kits cost like $60-$80 and are considered to be the best out there. While on the other hand, these kits have been known to fail and not work at times and cost over double of most aftermarket kits these days. Not trying to bash Alex or his products, just putting my perspective on this product.
I also have a pair of Alpine HID v3s and I've been satisfied with them.

However, I would like to know the answer to your question too.
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      09-13-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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Can't wait to receive my V3 set as my V2 set had so many issues I don't even want to talk about it lol.....
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      10-01-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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      10-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley1524 View Post
Looks good, I'm still weary on the ballast quality though. I'm sure he uses a "better quality" ballast now, but how much better? Who makes them? Where they from? Most aftermarket hid kits, mainly ballast are made poorly except DRM who make some great aftermarket kits by-the-way. I would just hate to take a chance with these not knowing how long they will last..While the LUX kit is great and made of nothing but top quality parts. I also don't really think the cheaper price tag should be a selling point for these either, being that even the DRM aftermarket HID kits cost like $60-$80 and are considered to be the best out there. While on the other hand, these kits have been known to fail and not work at times and cost over double of most aftermarket kits these days. Not trying to bash Alex or his products, just putting my perspective on this product.
You'd have to ask Alex about the ballast manufacturer. I know LUX products are great as well, and generally error free, but LED and HID kits are very different. The Lux bulbs aren't as visible in daylight and cannot come in the variety of colors HID kits can come in. Yes they are generally more error-free because they do not require a ballast, they are simply a bulb replacement. The ballast is what usually fails. It's a compromise, though. Get more involved with the install and risk some ballast problems vs have an install close to stock and be less likely to fail, all in the name of visibility. I consider the benefit of HID kits worth the possibility of problems, but that's just me. I know there are other adventurous types out there, but I also definitely understand not wanting to buy something without knowing 100% that it won't fail.

FWIW, my bulbs haven't gone out once since I posted this, so hopefully the quality will continue to hold up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1LazyBmw View Post
Can't wait to receive my V3 set as my V2 set had so many issues I don't even want to talk about it lol.....
Yep.. the V2 was pretty bad haha. Let us know if you get any problems with it.
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      10-08-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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Has anybody had a problem with/noticed the V3s flickering when warming up?
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      10-08-2011, 10:44 PM   #9
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Installed 8000k's recently, haven't noticed any flickering but I guess I don't see them right away when I start up.

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      10-08-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 135iiiiii View Post
Has anybody had a problem with/noticed the V3s flickering when warming up?
I notice mine flickers once when it turns on (aka unlocking the door) after it flickers it goes dimmer then slowly goes bright again.

Not sure if its normal or not?
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      10-09-2011, 05:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherkriens View Post
Installed 8000k's recently, haven't noticed any flickering but I guess I don't see them right away when I start up.


These are the 8000k? I figured they would have more of a blue hue to them. I like them
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      10-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaihaX View Post
I notice mine flickers once when it turns on (aka unlocking the door) after it flickers it goes dimmer then slowly goes bright again.

Not sure if its normal or not?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 135iiiiii View Post
Has anybody had a problem with/noticed the V3s flickering when warming up?
My V2's flickered for a split second before coming on consistently. I haven't really looked on my V3 set. But when you unlock the car and it's not on, the stock lights (and any direct bulb replacement like GPs MTecs etc) tend to not shine as brightly, so I'm assuming it's running a lower voltage. That might cause the flickering, but I've never seen any flickering while the car is on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 135iiiiii View Post
These are the 8000k? I figured they would have more of a blue hue to them. I like them
The 8000K look less blue than the new BMW LCI angel eyes. They look very nice because in person it really does look almost pure white with a bit of blue. In pictures the 8000K tends to look bluer than it really is, but christopherkriens' picture is very nice because it's not exaggerating it as much as pictures normally tend to.
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      10-09-2011, 10:20 PM   #13
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Yeah, I would say the 7000Ks are about as close to white as they come, the 8000s are just a bit more cool. That shot is with the white balance correction off so it should be close to real life.
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      10-10-2011, 06:58 PM   #14
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Looks like those are the closest color to factory low beams. Just ordered my V3 kit last night with 8000k. Thanks for all the help. Now if I can just get rid of my orange side marker lights and just make them function as a blinker only.
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      10-10-2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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Looks like those are the closest color to factory low beams. Just ordered my V3 kit last night with 8000k. Thanks for all the help. Now if I can just get rid of my orange side marker lights and just make them function as a blinker only.
You can get that coded. send a PM to the use PATRYS (or just search on the forum for ECU coding) and you'll find a bunch of info about how to do this, plus other things like the M3 digital speedo, windows up with the keyfob, etc..
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