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  • 2001 eclipse led swap

    i am starting to get the parts together for doing led tails, front turns, and possibly some drl's.

    at this moment, it looks like it will be about a month or 2 before i finish prepping, and painting my tail lights, so everything is in the planning/ordering stages right now.

    the car is really only driven on weekends, is not a show car, and i have spare light housings for everything on the car, so the time i take with any particular mod is not important..

    also, i am not a fan of pwm-- the pulsing lights bother me, so all led's will be current-limited..

    i will have to figure out how many led's each part will have and the current draw, but i do want to use a voltage regulator for reliability, just not decided on using 12v, or 9v yet. opinions?


    taillights:
    a pic for reference:


    these are setup so that the tail/stop feature illuminates the larger inner circle, and the smaller outside circle is for the turn signal. at this point, i don't see any reason to change this..

    i am considering positioning led's in the shape of the mitsubishi logo for the tail light feature, and then the brake feature would just fill in the rest of the circle. while i don't believe there is anything legally wrong with this, assuming everything is bright enough, is it better to avoid doing something like this due to the possibility of it distracting other drivers?

    i have to find my scrap paper with the exact dimensions, but is there some sort of calculator i can use to determine how many led's i absolutely need to have to meet the same light output of my current filament bulbs? or maybe just a formula i can use to figure it out?

    last i figured it out(just by doing sq mm measurements of housings, and the size of the led's), i was going to be doing something like 400 led's, and i fear that it may be too bright..

    at the moment, i have settled on these led's for everything on the rear of the car:
    http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/...IGHTING2983716

    it seems that most here recommend 60 degree viewing angle, and lumiled/cree are the commonly recommended brands for their reliability.

    the third brake light should be the easiest(i have a clear housing since the pic), i figure that 2 rows of the same led will be enough..

    onto the front end:


    front turn signals:
    i have updated the turn signals since this pic to some with a clear, smoked lenses, and will be using those for the led upgrade.

    for those, i believe these led's should do the trick:
    http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/...IGHTING5487814

    these are the new housings i'll be using:

    the plan is to do 2 panels of led's-- one parallel with the car for side lighting, and the second to be perpendicular to the car to shine forward..

    ideas?


    the next thing is drl.

    i have a couple ideas here, as i really don't want to the the typical straight line of led's..

    1. a 1, or 3 watt led mounted on the cutoff, facing in towards the bulb, or possibly on the outside, facing out through the lens? i would only have it on when the headlights are off, but even so, could it take the heat? i currently run some off-brand sonar projectors with a 600 hid kit(i hope to get some 4300's later), but would like to upgrade to something else(need to research more, but i kind of like the TL's)

    2. using a piece of clear lexan, possibly using some superflux white led's, over the highbeam? thought about using a mitsubishi symbol design here as well, otherwise, not sure on the design concept..

    3. in one of the faux 'vents' below the turn signal, similar to the new mercedes, or ford taurus drl's..



    and the last project is some backlit logo's-- pretty easy, just 3 flat-top superflux led's and a thin lexan sheet behind the logos..


    thanks for reading my LOOONG post!
    Last edited by soundman98; June 5th, 2011, 08:31 PM. Reason: change title-- no more questions!!
    The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

  • #2
    Sounds like you have a good basic plan going. I never use any formulas for estimating LED quantity. I've done enough testing that I know pretty well what will be required. If I have any doubts that it will be bright enough I add more LEDs at the beginning because it always easier to go back and dim them down then to open up the housings and add more LEDs.

    No one "needs" PWM for dimming but then again PWMs don't have to flicker if you do choose to use them. You can run higher frequencies and mask it pretty well. It's just that most people like to see that feature as it imitates some OEM applicatons.

    DRL? If you've never worked with high-powered LEDs before then designing one into you headlamps is going to be a tall challenge. I would strongly recommend doing a few dome lights and such before doing a LED DRL.

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    • #3
      I gotta take some pics for you. I have done both of the things you are thinking about doing to my G3.

      I did all LED tails, LED clear turns, and i'm doing LED running lights in the vents.
      -'04 GSXR 750 -'02 F4i -'99 XX
      -'06 TSX, '03 Eclipse GTS -'01 Pathy -'00 Altima

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      • #4
        Originally posted by azdave View Post
        No one "needs" PWM for dimming but then again PWMs don't have to flicker if you do choose to use them. You can run higher frequencies and mask it pretty well. It's just that most people like to see that feature as it imitates some OEM applicatons.
        good to know, pwm might be worth-while after all.

        Originally posted by azdave View Post
        DRL? If you've never worked with high-powered LEDs before then designing one into you headlamps is going to be a tall challenge. I would strongly recommend doing a few dome lights and such before doing a LED DRL.
        while i haven't messed with any yet, i was thinking that epoxying them to the cutoff could be enough to draw the heat away, though, i will def. look into retroing my domelights/lic. plate lights first. thanks!

        btw: part of all these mods is for the experience-- i have only used 4 pin high flux led's, and through-hole 3mm, and 5mm led's for small projects, i have never built my own pc boards, or really built any power/regulation circuits, though i am plenty fluent in soldering, schematic's, and component uses..

        Originally posted by TuffguyF4i View Post
        I gotta take some pics for you. I have done both of the things you are thinking about doing to my G3.

        I did all LED tails, LED clear turns, and i'm doing LED running lights in the vents.
        any info can def. help!


        on another note, paging through my digikey catalog, i have just started toying with the idea of led backup lights-- possibly 2-4/side of some cree xr-e/xp-e's with reflectors.. i back up a long dark alley at night, and i don't like the idea of blinding airplanes using a hid kit-- i want to light up the alley, not the night..

        and my dual-led halo's are kind of dim, so i am also considering revamping those with some smd led's. though i need some rough measurements of the halo ring thickness before i start picking led's..

        for the halo ring, is it common to wire the entire ring of led's in parallel, or are there some easy tricks to making a thin ring while using series/parallel circuits? i am really at a loss at how to do this other then using a multilayer board, and not sure i want to get that far into this project..


        one last question-- i assume that the voltage regulation goes hand-in-hand with the amount of led's per-string that are used, is this the correct thinking? or to put it in other words, is there any advantage to using 12v regulation over 9v, or 5v regulation?
        Last edited by soundman98; November 29th, 2010, 09:21 PM.
        The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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        • #5
          Your gonna need more heatsinking for high power leds . epoxying them to the cutoff shield is a very bad idea i would think . The cutoff shield gets pretty hot itself .12v reg are always best usually but some projects i will use 9v if it calls for it . 9v regs run hotter . 5v never really .
          Last edited by boostedrst; November 29th, 2010, 10:50 PM.

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          • #6
            a little of a update, and more questions....

            so these led's are fine?
            http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/...IGHTING2983716


            i found my old figures--i will not be using this many led's but would prefer to order too many then too little..

            the small outer circle has a total area of about 5541.77mm sq. so i can theoretically fit 93.9 led's-- so i plan to order 94, or 188 total for both small circles..
            the larger inner circle has a total area of about 12271.85mm sq. so i can theoretically fit 207.9 led's-- so i'll order 208, or 416 total for both large circles..

            so all together, i need to order 604 led's. does this sound correct?

            and a stupid question-- if i order using the above link from future electronics, they will all be the same bin #(hence the same color temp/output) right?


            the next question-- vregs--i will go with a 12v output, but..

            what model/brand/output amperage should i be looking at?(it seems most of the sharp vreg's seem to be out of stock in most places now.)


            thanks everyone for your help so far!!
            Last edited by soundman98; December 18th, 2010, 02:39 PM.
            The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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            • #7
              i will not be using this many led's but would prefer to order too many then too little..
              And Im sure that if you end up with extras you won't have a problem finding people on the forum looking for spare lumileds
              Haven't retro'd in a while....

              Current setup:
              1998 Eclipse
              Projector: TSX with clear lenses.
              Bulbs: Philips 85122
              Ballasts: Genuine Hella Gen. 3
              Shroud: E46-Replica
              Work in progress:
              2007 VW Rabbit
              Projector: TL with ZKW-R lenses
              Bulbs: Philips 85122 (to be upgraded to Osram 66240 SVS)
              Ballasts: Genuine Hella Gen. 3
              Shroud: Panamera

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              • #8
                ^^ that's what i figure. there never seems to be enough led's to go around!!


                right now, i think i am going to focus on just the tails.. at this point, they are going to be the largest led-mod plan for the car, so if i can tackle them with minimal issues, the rest of my led ideas will be relatively painless. all except the high power led's heat requirements..

                the plan always changes...

                looking over vregs, i am starting to think it would be better to use 9v regulators so that the tails still work without the car running..

                the common sharp vreg's should be fine: (0-20v input, 2a max)

                http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...=425-2281-5-ND


                i assume that it is ok to parallel voltage regulator outputs?



                according to the led calculator:

                for the larger circles, i will have a total draw of about 4.9a-- for the formula, i used 70ma @ 2.6v draw from each led for a 208 led array(3 led's in each series string, 1 spare w/ 150ohm)..

                for the smaller circles, it reports 2.5a, same specs-- 70ma @ 2.6v, with a total of 94 led's--3 leds per series string, and 1 w/ 150ohm..

                so for the larger circles, i will need to use 3-6 vregs per side, depending on the final led layout

                for the smaller circles, i should be able to use 2-4 vregs per side depending on the layout.


                i would prefer to run the led's around 40-50ma, and will be using less led's, so all of the power calc's should be over-rated to my final-design..
                The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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                • #9
                  it has been a while since i updated this thread. i am going to try to keep it updated, because it doesn't appear that anyone has really documented any 3rd gen eclipse mods yet..(at least my searching doesn't show much)

                  so far, i have designed both the tail, and turn signal boards, and have printed them out on some photo paper, just waiting for a full day so i can take my time preparing, and etching the boards..

                  design setup:
                  on the larger, inner circle, the outer rim of the design is going to be used for tail illumination, with the center used for stop illumination.
                  on the smaller outer circle, the outer rim will also be used for tail illumination, and the center will be used for the turn signal.

                  thanks to jp7 for the idea, i designed all the boards in autocad:

                  led layout of the inner circle:


                  and heres the inner circle trace layout, with the led layout overlayed on it:


                  and here is the printed version of the inner layout:


                  led layout of the outer circle:


                  and the trace layout overlayed with the led layout:





                  parts list so far:
                  ferric chloride
                  oven cleaner
                  assorted drill bits-- from harbor freight: i believe these are cleaned/unusable manufacturing bits, but should work fine for my little projects
                  dremel drill press
                  360 lumiled red-orange 4-pin led's(each large circle takes 117, and the small circles will take 49 each)
                  1/16" single sided circuit board

                  lots of time..


                  i really need to get my tail light mod done first, and that can only be done in the garage, or on a nice warm day--the evercoat filler doesn't smell nice enough to the rest of my family for them to allow me to do it inside .

                  and some pics of what i intend to do with the tails:

                  this is about how they are supposed to look after they are all done:


                  and this is how far i am now:


                  i have the rough openings made, and roughly sanded, but need to pop the red lenses off, dechrome the housings, and fill in the gaps with the evercoat body filler, then it's all primer, paint, and clearcoat, and then i can move onto fitting the led boards.
                  The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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                  • #10
                    Im at best buy right now but ill link you to some other stuff and examples on club3g so you can see what some other people have done

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                    • #11
                      i just sifted through 6 pages of club3g search pages-- out of 30(2 search terms-- "led", and "led tail") iceman's sequential front turns, and a couple of custom third brake lights were all i saw related.. everyone seems to love those crummy halo-type led tails though...
                      The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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                      • #12
                        I see you're going with the "skyline" look... You probably are too far into your plan to really turn back now, but check these out, although you've probably seen the post since you searched http://www.club3g.com/forum/show-shi...il-lights.html. The general consensus is that those tails are just OK, if you niteshade them, there are only 2 real options for aftermarket tails, that being one of them. You might be able to do the skyline effect as well if you had those tail lights.

                        Also, the TYC tail lights when lit look just like LEDs are in it, because of how it reflects, but I suppose you're just going for the additional brightness of LEDs.
                        (I have a bunch of new, black, 1st Gen TYCs for 2000-2002 if you were interested-just throwing it out there)
                        Last edited by jstewart92; February 13th, 2011, 07:55 PM.

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                        • #13
                          that was what i referring to as "crummy halo-type" tails... you still need a filament bulb, and the led's are cheap chinese junk-- as stated in some of the threads, they have a tendency to burn out-- probably both due to the quality, and the design only using resistors to drop the voltage..

                          i did briefly look at the "comet-style" tails, but they just look too weird for me to use, though i am toying with the idea of picking a set up, mostly for the flat mounting surface, so i can attempt to replicate some mercedes tails on my car..

                          those tails i am modding now have that same 'glimmer' that the tyc's do-- they are just cheap ebay stuff, not real tyc's. the filament is what bothers me..

                          i get the impression that you have a lot of the tyc's left... i wouldn't mind buying a set, except i already have 3 pairs..

                          see, unlike what seems to be so many members of club3g, i have no problem spending money on hobbies--i just prefer to make my own solutions instead of paying someone else to do it...

                          i have a obsession with led's-- that is why i am doing this project and a little circle of them isn't enough anymore--its like drugs! i have followed cars with led lights longer then i should have, waiting for them to hit their brakes so i can see the led design, and guess what type of led they used...
                          The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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                          • #14
                            lol, too much like drugs... I look forward to your outcome though.

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                            • #15
                              ok, a little of a update.

                              i'm breadboarding the smaller tail lamp design to make sure it gets the desired output..

                              the specs:
                              using HPWT-DH00-H4000 series LumiLED's.
                              2.6 vf
                              70ma.

                              the part that most concerns me is the taillight feature-- the stop/turn feature is going to be run at about 60mA, because i don't see too much of a difference between 70mA, and 60 mA, so to save the life of the led's a little...

                              on the breadboard, i have ended up using 820ohm resistors-- so i am running the led's at about 2mA each.

                              led calc info:
                              • each 820 ohm resistor dissipates 3.28 mW
                              • the wizard thinks 1/4W resistors are fine for your application
                              • together, all resistors dissipate 16.4 mW
                              • together, the diodes dissipate 104 mW
                              • total power dissipated by the array is 120.4 mW
                              • the array draws current of 10 mA from the source.

                              i am going to grab the light meter from work on monday to get some actual readings off my current filament tails to confirm that it is bright enough, but in the meantime, does this data sound right/ok?
                              Last edited by soundman98; April 9th, 2011, 11:57 PM.
                              The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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