soooo .. light output? gotta have pics! I'm considering retrofitting my RSX lights
i posted this up on eclipseforums.org after figuring it out, but figured that it might get some more use here.
EDIT: for my headlights, i used radioshack brand, flat lens high flux, 4 pin led's. If you search google for "flat lens, flat top, lenseless, high flux led", you can find plenty of other suppliers that are a little cheaper, and might be closer to you. back to your regularly scheduled how-to
basically, a company called Cincity Designs has started doing headlight modifications where they add a certain colored glow to the projector, or add led's around the outside edge of the projector dome to highlight it.
they charge a reasonable price of about $250-500 or so, to do this, depending on the headlight of course, and also will add a ccfl halo around the projector, adding to the effect.
i decided that i did not want to send my brand new headlights out to anyone for a electonic/lighting mod, that i figured could be done with basic shop tools, so i went through their many videos of modded lights, and figured out how they did it
i did this mod specifically on 'Sonar' brand, 2000-2005 eclipse projector headlights, so you should be able to get the basic idea, but might need to modify the led locations/instructions for different style/brand headlights.
NOTE 1: this will void any warranty that the headlights might have so make sure that they are working before pulling them apart.
NOTE 2: please go through the how-to first, and if you feel you might not be able to complete the mod, i would highly recommend contacting cincity to do it for you--this mod alone is about $50 in parts, and a new headlight would cost well over
what they would charge to professionally do it. http://www.cincitydesigns.com/
NOTE 3: i assume the instructions listed here for dissasembling the headlights should work on other models, but please take it as informational only-- there are many different types
of headlights, and just as many different ways to seal the lights, so it is very possible that the instructions included here will not work...
here it is: I got the idea from Timtemo's headlights, and after having the headlights on the car for 2 days, I pulled them back off to fix a horrible, jagged cuttoff, and figured, while i had them off and pulled apart (and voided any warranty i might have had), to try to modify them similar to what cin city would do, except for the cold cathode halo (part of the reason they charge so much).
some electrical experience is neccesary, and soldering is required (you might be able to manage without, but why?).
So, after too many different leds, heres the parts that i settled on:
you will need at least 2(one per projector) of these leds in any color from radio shack, and a proper resistor for each- I used this website to find which ones i needed- http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz :
I highly recomend the radioshack version, because ther is no lens to direct the light, so it has a much more even light output at all anges than similar led's from superbright, or kingbright that have lenses.
i also used 2 of these flexible led strips(these are at most auto parts stores, or at walmart in the auto or auto lighting section-- most are made by Pilot, in almost any color):
the picture shows dual color ones from a airplane supply(search 'pilot led strips'), but they are similar to the ones from any autoparts store.
here is the end product of both effects:
radioshack led for projector
first, you will need to take your headlights apart, gtsXracer did a very good how-to for this(technically, it is for taking them apart for moisture, but it still works)--http://www.eclipseforums.org/ftopict-212614.html
Originally Posted by gtsXracer
the demon eye is the harder of the 2 to make. I used some insanely tacky glue for this:
be very careful w/ this glue, it is very tacky, and will stick to anything it touches-even more than silicone. the good part is that it is still very flexible after it dries-which is great for this application.
to wire the led, I used some small peices of cat 5 cable that i had lying around, I soldered these directly to the led, and ran them to a different part of the housing that i had the resistor at, so that the resistor wouldn't get in the way of the led.
just to be safe, i used some very small heat shrink tubing around the wires, for a little extra protection against everything melting and shorting out. I ran each wire on the opposite side of the projector housing, so that the wire its self is what is supporting the led.
the led needs to be angled so that it is directly reflecting off the cuttoff metal, but is not visible to the lens. otherwise, it will create bright spots on the headlight, directly above it. this is where the flexible glue comes in.
here is where the led will need to go to light up the cuttoff in the projector
here is the led glued to the bottom of the projector:
after the led is glued, you will need to power it on, and adjust it for the best view.
the led strip goes around the projector, just make sure to position the leds so that they are evenly spaced. you will also need to watch the rotation of it, the screws for the halo will get in the way at certain times, they can also cause odd reflections on the projector lens. I ended up taking out one of the screws becsu it was always in the way. the easiest way is to use electrical tape and to just keep test fitting it, until it looks good.
after you have it in the right location, standard silicone works best to glue it in. the glue that was used for the demon eye just didn't work all that well, it was too flexible, and didn't hold the strip all that well while it was drying.
it should look somehting like this:
if you look close at this picture, i also modified the housing by removing some of the plastic by the slot the halo wire goes through, so that wire doesnt interfere with the placement of the led strip-- otherwise, the leds will light up the lens in more of a oval, than a circle. try to get strip as flat as possible against the housing, all the way around
NOTE: DO NOT TRY TO NARROW THE STRIP BY ANY AMOUNT!!! there are very thin electrical traces on the edges of the strip that are ruined when you do this, and will not light portions of the strip. on the other hand, while trying this, I found that you can trim some of the leds off the strip without affecting the rest of the strip. If i remember right, the leds are lit up in 3's, so to trim off the last 3 led's shouldn't hurt anything(It might have been 2 led segments, so don't try it unless you are willing to destroy the strip).
once the glue has dried, you can run reassemble the housing, and run the wires out of the hole in the bottom. I would highly recomend that any color other than white be connected to switch, so that you can at least turn them off when the cops are around.
and as noted above, in most areas, having any color lighting other than white or yellow on the front of the car is illegal, so use your own judgement, and don't try blaming me for a ticket
this is the basics to how to light up the projector lens. I imagine that these instructions should be roughly the same on any set of projector headlights, the hardest part is setting it up, and getting the effect you want.
djviller: the led's without a lens will give it a better effect because the light spreads out more even. i did find another company that sells them much cheaper, and bought a bunch, but i can't seem to find the link or my bill right now.
when i started going through it, i went through about $200 worth of different types of leds, with varying lens types-- all of the ones with the lens in front tended to put all the light right in the middle, and would not be noticable at all when you were not looking directly at the lens. which would make all that work for naught...
i have tons of pics! just haven't uploaded most of them...
heres the ones that i have uploaded--
the effect is really not noticeable at all during the day--only when the sun goes down, i posted a couple different shots in different types of lighting conditions, the one in the shop, with the headlight off the car, will give you the best idea of how poor the light output is during the day.
Great write-up. Great work.
The LEDs with lenses, you can grind them down, sand with fine paper and then use clear nail polish to bring back the smooth clear finish if all else fails and you can find that site.
Isn't it illegal to open/modify the headlight housing? Not trying to rain on your parade or anything, just wondering?
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But most I haven't seen cops enforce a lot of things... like people with 150db sound systems blasting for no reason (that don't even sound good) and another of my extreme dislikes, illegal HID kits that shine everywhere and blind everyone. I hate those.
Also if you do yellow accents rather than blue or red, you'll never get pulled over. Even cool white (slightly blue), you'l probably never have a problem. Especially if the job is nice and clean like soundman98's, I'd be surprised if anyone thought they were anything other than OEM replacements.
i doubt that its illegal to open/mod your HL
it IS however illegal to install HID's into a car that did not come with it from factory
also i know in PA & NJ it IS illegal to have ANY red or blue lights on the front or your car (basically from the front tire to the front bumper)
theyll impound your car if they can hear your music from 75ft away in my city. its awful, and i know for a fact any kind of red light facing forward is an immediate ticket. cops salivate at any reason to pull people over, theyll even stand on the side of the road with cameras just looking for people without seatbelts. its such a waste of manpower...