I have been thinking about changing the angel eye brightness on my car for some time. It's easy on pre 2008 cars, but on my car I've always had issues getting it to work.
Today I spent hours decompiling the factory code to ascertain how to change the brightness. The biggest thing that bottered me is that the angel eyes would dim when the headlights were turned on. I wanted them to stay bright all the time. After 6 cups of coffee, I decided to take a step by step approach and determine how exactly all of the factory functions worked together.
1) What controls brightness with the headlights on?
2) What controls brightness with the headlights off?
3) What controls the brightness of the welcome lights?
4) What are the voltages set to?
5) Is there some sort of dimming function that can be removed?
6) How are angel eyes coded across the model lines - E90 vs E92, and M3 vs non M?
**UPDATED** You tube video showing brightness (notice how the factory yellow appears half way into dimming off, that's a good way to judge how much brighter it gets over stock programming)
Turns out that the E90/E92 M3's have specifically different coding for the angel eye brightness, which explains why my previous attempts to make them brighter on this specific application were unsuccessful. It's very strange the way that BMW configured the code -- almost counter-intuitive. Nonetheless, I now have a solid understanding of the interworkings of angel eye voltage, and am hoping to pass this on to you!
I've always been a person that has wanted to keep the car as factory as possible. Replacing bulbs, adding ballasts, modifiying wiring, and adding resistors has always left me feeling like there was a better solution. Not to mention the warranty concerns of having aftermarket hardware. This solution is 100% factory and stops them from dimming unnecessarially.
Furthermore, unlike some other solutions, you can still turn them off in your iDrive. Some other coding I've seen leaves them at full brightness all the time - I personally like to have options. For those that want the angel eyes off when the headlights are on, that is possible too, while retaining the options to turn them off/on with the headlights off.
This is an all inclusive solution to the factory dimming angel eyes, without physically touching the lights or opening the hood.
Enough talk, onto the pictures!
I'll start out with a couple of other light programming first -
1) Inner lights as daytime running lights. These are BRIGHT!
2) Angel Eyes Off w/ headlights on
3) Closeup of Angel Eyes off w/ headlights
4) Angel Eyes dimmer than stock:
5) Stock Brighness
6) Ok, now we are getting somewhere - now BRIGHT!
Both cars bright:
I will be working on this some more next week, just wanted to share with you guys
Edit: I know the pictures are not very good so I will try to get better ones up.