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Custom LED Tail lights (Superflux, 5mm)

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78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
Posts: 157


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Post Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:25 pm

I have been thinking about LED tail lights for a long time and I think I am going to go ahead and do it, with ozzy.gif products of course. This is the stock lighting in the rear.

User posted image

These are my ideas so far...

They have to be bright, as they are stock. The car uses 4 1157 bulbs in each tail light housing. There are two brake light/turnsignals in each.

I am currently leaning towards using the superflux 4 LED chips in red of course.

User posted image

As you can see, the tail light housing has 8 rows on the vertical, and 2 rows along the horizontal, for a total of 16 individual sections, seperated by a chrome piece that goes over the red lens. Everything in the end would be doubled of course, since the car has one of the above housings for each side, a total of 32 sections.

The RED dots represent the lights that would be always lit, when the headlight switch is used. These LEDs would need to be permanently wired to a resistor, voltage regulator, or potentiometer that would allow me to keep them dimmer than the turn signals and brake lights. The turn signals and brake lights are represented by the BLUE dots. (All LEDs would of course be red).

The BLUE dots would also be wired to the resistor, voltage regulator, or potentiometer. The dimmed LEDs would be running to the headlight switch. However, since these are the brake/turn lights, they would be wired in a parallel circuit to the brake and turn switches, which when activated would need full brightness. (They would work exactly like a dual filament 1557 type bulb).

Designs 1-3 I probably won't do, as those would be installed with 5mm LEDs. I think it would take too long to wire that many LEDs into the circuit. (Design 3 would take 160 LEDs) However if it would look better this way, I would do it regardless of time. 1-3 are just the various patterns I came up with, as I want there to be a nice even lens fill.

Designs 1 and 4 are my favorites.

Design 1 would be using 5mm LEDs I think this would look the coolest inside the lens housing

Design 4 would be the one using the superflux 4 led chips. This would probably be brighter than using the 5mms, based off the comparison picture in the store.

I am not considering the high-powered 1 watt LEDs, for various reasons mainly, it would cost about 175 bucks to get everything I needed, plus heat sinks. I am also not considering using drop-in LED bulbs. I have not been totally satisfied with the ones that I have bought, mainly because of brightness, cost, lens fill. The brighter luxeon bulbs would work fine, but some of those cost between 15-25 bucks each, and the larger bulbs do not fit inside of the current housing. It would be a lot easier to do, but I think I would be able to create a cooler effect making them myself.

-Mike
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
Posts: 4357
Location: moved (twice)


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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:09 pm

from my LED experience I would suggest you rethink some of your ideas.
( http://s24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/corvettecrazy/LED/ )

First of all, you are going to need more LED's, and I would only suggest going with superflux led's. You are going to lose a decent bit of light through the red lenses. Another reason you need to use more is that once you make all your circuit boards/whatever you plan on using, adding more is going to be a pita. Which would be why you need to get with more initially and then dim them down to match brightness.

I would suggest running series of 3 on a resistor to correct voltage, and have both of those (series and resistor) on a 9 volt voltage regulator. If you want even more control or dont want to run resistors, then you should look into Pulse width modulators.

Also consider how you are going to mount them.
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
Posts: 157


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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:27 pm

Mounting, building, wiring is not a concern to me.

I guess the main question would be how many superflux would I need? 2 per section? 64 in total?

Do you have any pictures of yours mounted onto the car and ready to go?
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:51 pm

I would suggest putting as many as possible in. But that is just what I would do.

The only one on the car is the LED 3rd brake light, which has been remade (twice) since the one pictured in the link.
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
Posts: 4654
Location: Texas


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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:10 pm

I did my front blinekers with superflux LEDs. However, I did them with some cheap superflux, but they wer capable of producing 1.3lumens. It doesn't sound like a lot, but put a bunch of the together and they are BRIGHT. I made 5 sections of superflux LEDs, 5x5, so 25 LEDs per section. I then connected them all together, and placed them inside of my turn signal housing. I used a current regulating circuit to control the. It works similar to the voltage regulator except it regulates just current. It works perfect with no problems so far.
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:18 pm

Why was it redone?

Alienyoungjr do you have pictures of the blinkers?
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:46 pm

78_towncar_460 wrote:
Why was it redone?


different board lay out, instead of wires connecting the LED's its all on PCB. Painted black before the LED's were mounted, not after. Different mounting method. Different voltage on the voltage regulator. Other than the fact that to get to it I have to remove the back seat and rear deck, I have used it as my "test" subject in a way because I started the LED tail lights after, and I used the 3rd for practice.

Another option if you dont want to custom do everything, is to use LED brake light modules for trucks and similar. And just retro those into the TL. You may be able to get them cheaper at a supplier of those kinds of lights vs oz. only down fall is that you may not get the same customer service you do here.
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
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Post Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:11 pm

You mean like the actual LEDs that are installed into new vehicles?
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
Posts: 4654
Location: Texas


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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:58 am

78_towncar_460 wrote:
Alienyoungjr do you have pictures of the blinkers?


(Click to Enlarge)
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(Click to Enlarge)
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corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:35 am

78_towncar_460 wrote:
You mean like the actual LEDs that are installed into new vehicles?


the majority of OEM LED TL objects do not use superflux LED's they actually use snap LED's produced by Lumi LED (and yes you can buy directly from them)


Just a note on alienyoungjr's set up. Depending which data sheets you read superfluxes are supposed to be spaced 3mm appart for head dissipation. I am not saying they will overheat close together but just so the knowledge is out there. If not running them at full or over voltage I am sure they will be fine but I would rather not have someone make a board with them all next to each other and blow out a bunch of the LED's
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:07 am

corvettecrazy wrote:
Just a note on alienyoungjr's set up. Depending which data sheets you read superfluxes are supposed to be spaced 3mm appart for head dissipation. I am not saying they will overheat close together but just so the knowledge is out there. If not running them at full or over voltage I am sure they will be fine but I would rather not have someone make a board with them all next to each other and blow out a bunch of the LED's


Agreed. I did mine with this setup because of its use. Blinkers are not used on a lengthy bases, and seeing that they are just flashing the heat should never pose a problem to what I did. I've had this set-up for several months now, and so far no problems and all LEDs are working.
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:12 pm

I'll have to think about which way I want to go. These lights would have to be able to maintain the heat, as an 1157 is a dual filament bulb. All of the signal/brake lights are 1157s, so one way or another, they are always turned on with the headlights, not just when braking or blinking. When braking and blinking they get brighter.
pOrk

Joined: Jan 03 2004
Posts: 8391
Location: Milwaukee Wi


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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:55 pm

superbrightleds.com
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
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Post Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:51 pm

I'm not interested in bulbs.
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
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Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:39 am

alienyoungjr

how many LEDs are in each front blinker lens? Did you take the lens apart or does the design allow you to just remount behind the lens?
Aken

Joined: Feb 12 2003
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Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:52 am

125 LEDs in each blinker. C'mon, it's in the pic just a handful of posts ago icon_biggrin.gif
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
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Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:04 am

78_towncar_460 wrote:
alienyoungjr

how many LEDs are in each front blinker lens? Did you take the lens apart or does the design allow you to just remount behind the lens?


125 total in each housing, and I cut open the housing, placed the LED matrix's inside and glued them down. Then I placed the remaining housing back on, and sealed it real good with liquid eletrical tape. I used very think coats to make sure it won't leak. Well, guess what, it hasn't leaked since installation.
78_towncar_460

Joined: Mar 12 2006
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Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:17 am

and you used superflux LEDs?

So in other words it cost quite a bit per light.

They look very good! One of the more useful projects out of all of the stuff that goes on with the people on this board.
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
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Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:17 am

78_towncar_460 wrote:
and you used superflux LEDs?

So in other words it cost quite a bit per light.

They look very good! One of the more useful projects out of all of the stuff that goes on with the people on this board.


they are superflux LEDs, but they are not very bringt. They are 1200mcd, but because there are 125 of them it makes them very bright. I got them for 10 cents each.
ProjectRAGE

Joined: Mar 04 2003
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Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:23 am

Yep...get that Lincoln to have LEDs...
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