Some of the new Mercedes Benz E300s that I've had as loaner cars have the logo projector door puddle lights that project a Mercedes Benz logo on the pavement. I like the looks of it and saw that I could order the projector courtesy lights from Amazon and that they are pretty inexpensive.
As one would expect, they are from China and, as usual, quality varies. I picked two of the better looking ones, based on their descriptions, and ordered a set of each. One projects the Mercedes three pointed star logo and the other displays the color laurel wreath with the Mercedes Benz star logo.
|Mercedes-Benz star logo||Laurel wreath and
Mercedes-Benz star logo.
|Sold by Krada||Sold by: Bailunte|
There are some real differences between the two units other than the logo that's projected. The units sold by Krada are in a box labeled "Ghost Shadow Light." The ones sold by Bailunte are in a self-titled box solely labeled "Bailunte."
I installed the Krada lights in the front doors. The projected logo looks good. There's some color fringing but the projectors aren't build with L-series lens glass. Overall, the image is fine.
The Bailunte laurel wreath image is also very good with the units installed in the rear doors. It's a little smaller of an image, but otherwise is fine. The blue laurel wreath looks good and matches the center caps on Sadie's AMG wheels.
Here's one big advantage of the Bailunte's design. The projector can be swiveled by inserting a screwdriver into the top of the unit and rotating the projector assembly before installing. This compensates for the lamp not being installed level to the ground in the rear doors. Installing the Krada lights in the rear doors results in an ovoid image that looks awful. Swiveling the Bailunte's projector, the logo image projects well.
Additionally, the Krada light uses two cool white LEDs to light the red surface of the light and the red plastic selected for the lens has a blueish tint. The cool white LEDs and the tint of the red lens results in a purplish glow that's not very pronounced.
The original light from Mercedes Benz uses an incandescent bulb, which is replaceable. The original light, at 13.58 VDC, draws 350 milliamps.
|Mercedes Benz Original Light|
This is the Krada light. The projector attaches to the circuit board with double sided tape, but was not well attached and was loose in the housing. The blue-white illumination LEDs, of which there are two, are dim and coupled with the oddly colored lens, provide minimal lighting of the lamp and the color is more burgundy colored than red, which looks odd. You can see in the third photo that the full bridge rectifier SMD package has cold solder joints as do the power connector's pins. I approve of using a full bridge rectifier on the power input. Polarity doesn't matter, thanks to this design decision, and the voltage drop across the forward biased rectifiers is immaterial, since the LEDs only need about 5VDC. Not so good, the circuit board is not retained by a screw or clip in the housing. The only retainer is the badly attached projector wedged between the board, housing, and lens, and the power connector pins, which are cold soldered.
Also, as mentioned earlier, the projector is fixed, so using these in the rear door looks awful and there's no way to compensate for the door edge's angle.
The current draw is low, as one would expect from an LED module, about 120 ma, still, I'm not impressed.
|Krada Logo Projector Lamp|
The Bailunte is a pretty good light. The lens is lightly tinted red, in comparison to the OEM lamp. But since they us a single red LED, it the color is fine. Could have used a second LED to illuminate the entire lens, but, it works okay. The lamp appears to be pretty well made but the leads to the projector LED look hand soldered by a newbie. There are a couple of messy, blobby solder joints, so points off here, too. But the projector is well secured by the housing and is not loose. The circuit board is also secured by a screw, a plus. Because the projector can pivot, the lamp can be used on the rear doors of the E-Class where the bottom edge of the door light is not parallel to the ground. With the other lights, only two of the four in the box can be installed since there is no way to compensate for the mounting angle. Using these every door can have a logo projector puddle light.
Current draw is low here too, about 150ma.
|Bailunte Laurel Logo Projector Lamp|
The projector design between the two lights is similar. However, the removable film holder is slightly different, as shown here. The holders with films from one brand can't be swapped to the other brand. It either is too thick to fit or is too thin to stay in place. On the other hand, both films are 10mm in diameter, so you can, if you wish, open the film holder and swap the films themselves. Just be careful about orientation!
Because the images are about 10mm in diameter, it's possible, I suppose, to project any image you'd want, by creating your own film. My old Xerox color laser printer will print photos at 2400 dpi or 944 dots per cm. Alternatively, 35mm film is about 43mm on the diagonal so filling the frame about one quarter full should result in a 10mm image. I'd shoot color reversal film like Kodak Ektachrome slide film so no post would be necessary. One could also shoot T-Max and use the negative images, which would look good, too. Shooting color negative film wouldn't work well since the stock isn't clear.