Hey, what's the deal with the commercial ad here?
The Tire Rack - Performance Specialists

Interested in having us take a look at your E46 M3 products? Drop us a line at:

Purchased From: Bimmian.com
Website: www.bimmian.com
Application: E46 M3 and most other BMW's - Direct Replacement

Well, those of you who have read my scathing review of the previous Bimmian bulb product, the Platinum Vision, know that I had very few kind words for them. Generally the bulb were spray painted orange bulbs with a small circle left unpainted to let the light shine through. Workmanship was what one would expect of a back yard project over a six pack and the worst part was that they hardly gave off any light making them a road hazard. Full Platinum Vision review here.

Ian at Bimmian was generally displeased at my review so once he had a new product to replace the Platinum Visions he asked if he could send a set of the new Solaris bulbs to me for a new review. After a bit of reflection I decided to take him up on his offer. I was also asked to remove the original Platinum Vision review which I refused to do. I have no dog in this fight so here goes.

So what do you get and how well do they work?

The Solaris bulb set is comprised of 6 bulbs: 4 signal light bulbs and 2 side marker bulbs. Installation is the same as OEM bulb replacement. (see: front turn signals, rear turn signals, side markers)

Most people don't like the egg yolk effect the orange bulb creates behind the clear turn signal lens. Solaris (and Platinum Vision earlier) are silver coated to blend in with the reflector and disappear behind the lens. The finish on these is uniform all the way around the lens and has a chrome-like look. These bulbs do not look like they were spray painted in a garage but rather like a professional product. Side marker bulbs are also uniformly coated in the same chrome like finish. The theory is that the finish allows light to escape out while hiding the orange tint of the bulb when it is not lit. Even the packaging has a professional look this time around.

The big issue with the last version was that they were a hazard to your health due to the fact that during the day there was no way in hell that anyone more than 10 feet away could actually see your turn signals or hazard lights. I'm happy to say that these are better. But are they good enough?

Honestly, the bulbs are not as bright as OEM's but are much closer then the old Platinum Visions. You can actually see that a turn signal is on during the day. Another interesting point is that the Solaris bulb gives off a deeper orange light, almost a shade darker than OEM which I would guess is a preference thing but it did not bother me at all.

All the bulbs installed without a hitch and all of them worked.

So what's the bottom line? Well I've decided that my vanity can live with the slightly dimmer light given off by Solaris bulbs than stock. I may yet change my mind but for now they are still in my car. I have received some reports regarding durability of the bulbs and those were not entirely encouraging. I will add to this review if anything occurs to mine but for now so far so good.

Below are a few movies I made comparing Solaris and OEM bulbs both during the day and at night. In the end it's really up to individual owners to decide if their vanity is worth what one might argue is a slightly diminished safety margin. Like I said above, mine are still in the car - your opinion may differ.

Rear Turn Signals - Solaris Driver's Side / OEM Passenger Side - Daylight Watch Movie - 3.7MB
Rear Turn Signals - Solaris Driver's Side / OEM Passenger Side - Night Watch Movie - 2.1MB
Front Turn Signals - Solaris Driver's Side / OEM Passenger Side - Night Watch Movie - 3MB
OEM Side Marker Daylight Watch Movie - 1MB
Solaris Side Marker Daylight Watch Movie - 1MB
Front Turn Signal - OEM - Daylight Watch Movie - 3.7MB
Front Turn Signal - Solaris - Daylight Watch Movie - 3.7MB

Hope this has been at least somewhat helpful…

Solaris Bulbs

Close Up: Front/Rear Bulb

Close Up: Side Marker Bulb

OEM and Solaris Bulbs

Front Turn Signal Comparison

Rear Turn Signal Comparison

Side Marker Comparison

copyright 2002-2004 / disclaimer