LED Strip Headlight Setup

Hello Folks,

I'm new to the arduino forum and after reading through the forums for a couple of days, I thought i would post some thoughts and questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm in the process of retrofitting my vehicle headlights. I've come to the part where I want to begin incorporating led strips in the mix.

Now over the past few months, I've bought several LED strips all 5 meters single color (white/Yellow/some are RGB not addressable individually, some ws2812b's 144 LED's 2 Meter, some ws2813's 144 led's 1 Meter).

(and Thanks to all of you on the forum , ive decided to use the ws2813's or ws2812b's)

My Setup:

  • Multiple LED strips (different sizes) in the headlight powered through an RTMR; similar to the one below:


  • I would like to have them on when my OEM DRL switch is on (which will most likely require a T-Tap) if that is the case, would I still need to use the RTMR?

  • When the Turn signal is on, I would like the DRL's to swithc off, and a few of them begin to sequentially blink.

  • Once the Turn signal is off, all the DRLs come back on.

I do not have a schematic drawn yet, as i have no idea how im going to start it. I understand that will probably need some resistors, capacitors, and transistors (Mosfet type N or some combination ) would i even need the relay terminal (rtmr) if i have these mediums..

I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of the electrical circuitry stuff, and I thought that posting an inquiry could help me put things into perspective and get the ball rolling.


Thank you in advance ahead of time..

I am concerned about what you are doing, do you know about headlight design and optics? Do you know that headlights are carefully engineered so the beam of light goes forward and down so lights the road but doesn't dazzle people? If you do understand this stuff and know how to engineer your lights so they don't dazzle other drivers, then continue, otherwise please stop.

I am fed up with idiots on the road with ridiculously bright white LED strips on the front of their cars that are not just dazzling, but positively painful to look at. They are dangerous. Please don't add to the number of idiots on the road.

Unfortunately, many or most cars in current production do have these LED "strips" arranged in pretty patterns around the headlights and are - apparently - permanently on the ignition circuit.

It seems that there is some perverse notion that this in some way represents a "safety" feature; it has always been a requirement in the Scandinavian countries - Volvo being the most obvious in the past - where it is suggested that oncoming traffic may be poorly visible in snowy conditions. But that was when the required sidelights were not particularly bright nor directed.

In temperate climates on proper roads with a median marking, there should be absolutely no reason to suffer glare from oncoming traffic driving safely on the other side of the road. Such glare from headlights or even these de-facto headlights simply results in driver fatigue and inattention to the manoeuvres of the oncoming traffic behind the first. If someone pulls out inappropriately to overtake, these lights are not going to salvage the situation; they are not a safety benefit but an outright safety hazard.

Interestingly enough in night driving, correctly aligned ("dipped") oncoming headlights are actually not so much of a problem; the contrast of the light against the darkness gives a quite accurate indication of the position of each car; this does not hold in daylight, contributing only to confusing glare.

@ Perry

Yes i am aware of the headlight design and optics. This situation that you typically see on the road are people placing LEDS or HIDs in their reflective housing or within halogen projects. Other examples are of people lifting their vehicles and not readjusting the headlight beam to point lower. Alas, I dont intend to have the LED strips run bright. Also, this is a learning experience most of all and a hobby for my car.

Apologies for the delayed response - it doesnt seem like i had notifications setup.

They are dangerous.

'Studies' back you up. https://lightsout.org/

'Studies' back you up. https://lightsout.org/

Sadly, that web site is not terribly impressive in itself, not because it lacks the JavaCrap stroboscoping common to most information-poor sites nowadays, but because it appears to mostly be dated to 2000. It needs to focus on more recent studies. In fact, it has actually been updated in many places with comparatively recent information; it just needs "freshening" up.

What does interest me is that I seem to recall the early 2000s as the time when "Headlights on in daytime for safety" signs appeared on our inter-city dual-carriageway freeways for a few (and it was few) years and then quietly all disappeared with little comment. There must be some hushed research since 2000 with pretty clear indications that this was an extremely bad idea. How the proliferation in the past few years, of LED DRLs with glare factors equal to headlights affects safety will be fascinating to see.

Of course, the most complex factor limiting any study is that the glare effects of DRLs are less likely to result in an accident with the vehicle bearing them, rather other drivers and bystanders. :roll_eyes: