LED Reg Plate lights that don't look like they're powered by a nuclear reactor? (2009 W212)

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MB Enthusiast
Jan 10, 2019
Cardiff / London
2x E350 CDI Sport W212s... for a bit
Hi all!

I have an issue with the reg plate lights on a new (to me) W212 - there is an issue with the connection because the reg plate bulbs go on and off depending on their mood. At the moment, it's been consistent, and the right one is out. I think there may be an issue with the wiring, but I will replace the bulbs as the first port of call. It's a 2009 so doesn't have LED lights.

On my previous car (E39 BMW Sport Touring), I had to buy lots of different bulbs (all canbus etc) to get white LEDs that didn't look comically bright - I just want the newer OEM look and don't want to blind people behind me. I know it will be a lot brighter, but just a nice bright white, and not 10x brighter.

The entire 'reg plate units' that seem to be on sale on eBay have 18-24 SMD LEDs and I am worried that it will be too bright. It's obviously difficult to tell from any pictures, due to exposure issues.

So, does anyone have any recommendations of some bulbs? I assume they are just 501/W5W wedge type like the rest of the car.


Turn the LEDs upwards so the light source is facing the car, then they will be normal brightness.

They will be Festoons, rather than W5Ws
Sure - but they're nearly almost all double sided, especially if they're W5W/501 style wedge bulbs :)
Oh, those are the same type as I used in my old car. I thought the W212 had the W5W style wedges, not the normal festoon bulbs in the reg plate, despite lots of research. I don't have the vehicle manual and the online manual doesn't seem to have this information, only stuff about headlights etc.

Could you/anyone confirm the exact dimensions/bulbs required? Really struggling to find this info.

Thanks so much!

After some more research and physically looking at the bulbs through the plastic (with a torch), I can confirm that they are wedge W5W bulbs and not festoon type.

If no one has any recommendations, I think I'll just take a punt on some that look well made but don't have too many SMD LEDs!


As help to anyone who might find this thread in the future - the LEDs I purchased for the reg plate were too 'tall' (3.5mm), and so I've had to order some more. I've ordered a pair which are 400 lumen, then a much smaller, 'weaker' LED (no brightness/lumen rating), so I will try them both and report back...

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