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Topic: Custom LED tail lights for vehicle (Read 7510 times) previous topic - next topic


Apr 20, 2011, 03:37 pm Last Edit: Apr 20, 2011, 03:44 pm by Starfire Reason: 1
Made my Dad some custom tail lights for his old car, it's a show car all modified, 600HP, etc.

So we worked on a project to retrofit some LED lights.

It uses an arduino but not any traditional board, I designed my own board with the LEDs and Maxim chips (Used for LED control) all built in, also added a USB port for programing and since there are 2 lights and you want them to be in sync, there is an I2C wire bus running between the 2.

Since the car will be at car shows I added a fourth function of a remote control to switch on a 'Show' mode that cycles through some displays, again using the I2C bus to keep the 2 in sync since resonators aren't perfect and there is a trimmer to set the speed, it's almost impossible to get them set the same speed, so the drivers side tells the passenger side light where it's at and what it's doing at what speed.

Made a nice all shrink wrapped wiring harness with molex connectors so it would install just like the stock lights, here is a video that show one in operation, they have 4 modes: Brake, Turn Signal, Tail light, and Show Mode.   :smiley-mr-green:

The black box in the video uses tiny switching power supplies (Less heat, practically none) to convert the 12VDC signals to 5VDC for the board, also contains the remote hardware.



Great work, you can easily sell these :)


Great work, you can easily sell these :)

Except (at least in most of the US) they likely wouldn't be legal on anything but a show-car vehicle (ie, motionless).

Something else I wonder about is how robust they would be; in a show-car situation, you don't need to worry about much in the way of vibration or such, but in the case of a regular driven vehicles, you would have to either come up with a better mounting solution for the LEDs, or figure out some other way so that vibration didn't cause the traces/wires/leads/solder-joints to come undone from the lights.

I think it's a neat idea, although it likely isn't sale-able to the general public; I remember seeing a similar kind of product (although designed as the actual taillights, and not behind the taillight covers of a regular vehicle) where the guy made the display into a "signage" so that when the brakes were applied, custom "STOP" graphics and animation occurred, and when stopped, messages and such could be displayed, plus turns were indicated by animated arrows...

He tried to sell them, and didn't get much in the way of takers (he wasn't asking much for them, either - something around $100.00 a pair, which was plenty cheap for what they were). IIRC, he used PICs for the devices, not AVR...

I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

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