need advice and guidance or my led car project

Hello everyone, if this isnt in the right section, please tell me and ill try to move/post to the right section.

So, I have a project in mind for my car that I have been seeing a lot in the webz, and that's multicolored lights/effect in the head/taillights of cars. But that's all pretty and fun but its expensive to buy for each individual corner of the car. Ill leave an example: like this, or like this That's basically ws2812b led strips behind the original plastics (or at least that's want I want) with a controll unit.

My idea is similar to that, but not that fancy, my car is a simple 1999 audi a3 (not that specific one).

So for what I have been investigating, I know its possible do something cheap and reliable (that's the goal) with Arduino, FastLed library and some WS2812b LED's.

My idea is mounting some of that led strip inside the headlight casing under this piece of chrome plastic, that has like 1cm of spacing to the rest of the chrome pieces.

I want to get those led strips to light up in various colors with the fastled library for like 5 seconds, and after that stay light up in white for use as daytime running lights. (because im tired of replacing cheap led lights on the presence lights, that after some weeks/months of constant use start to flicker due to being cheap/the heat from the xenon headlights.) Also when turning the car off, I would like to get that fastled library kicking in for 5 sec, buts thats not important if its too much hassle.

I would like to do, if its even possible, to also control and change those lights and effects remotely (android app/remote controll...) so no need to remove the control unit and can showoff some when parked.

Now, Im ok with soldering wires and that stuff, but programming I can follow instructions and modify to some degree.

Resuming: -Turn on the car, get that light effect for some time -After light show is done, every led stays light up in white to use as daytime running lights. -Possible remote control (or wired to somewhere inside the car) to change light effects or to solid light (when parked) -If possible, use only one control box for both headlights to get everything in sync. -Car runs on 12v dc, I can get switched power (preferably) so the control box only gets power with key in ignition. -It would be a big plus to get some fuses along the way and a switch, so only power up the system when I want. I have got a basic schematic from another place if this is any help to get me started

From what I understood until now, I will need: Arduino uno, the ws2812B leds ofc, 12v to 5v converter?, Bluetooth module if I can get an app to work with the fastled effects, some wire (anything specific?),lots of patience and most important, being cost effective. Also this is a daily car.

So if you guys can guide me and give some advice on what I need, what fits best and where to solder stuff where, programming what and how..., that would be immensely appreciated.

Any question or any info needed please ask and ill do me best to provide clearly, so you guys can help me out.

From what I understood until now, I will need: Arduino uno, the ws2812B leds ofc, 12v to 5v converter?

Yes, you'll need a 5V regulator or step-down converter. The Arduino itself has a built-in voltage regulator, and using it the Arduino operates from 7 to 20V. But the built-in regulator can't power all of those LEDs, it's only for the Arduino.

Calculate the total current required for the LEDs. I think it's 60mA per LED (with all 3 colors on). Then get a 5V switching regulator or DC-DC converter with more current capability than you need. A "regular" linear voltage regulator will get hot and it may not be able to handle the current. Switching regulators are more efficient (they don't get as hot or waste as much energy) and they are available with higher current ratings.

Get a regulator board or module, not just a chip where you'd have to build the complete circuit. Switching regulators aren't super-complicated but they are trickier than linear regulators and a circuit board is better (more reliable) than something you hand wire-up.

Bluetooth module if I can get an app to work

I'd recommend you hold-off on that. Build the thing and get it working first. You can plug-in a Bluetooth shield and program it later. I'd recommend you get a 2nd Arduino and some extra Neopixel/WS2812B strips so you can leave the 1st version in the car while do your Bluetooth development in the house. If you use plug-in connectors you it will be easy to "upgrade" and you can either use the new Arduino or re-program the old one.

So if you guys can guide me and give some advice on what I need, what fits best and where to solder stuff where, programming what and how..., that would be immensely appreciated.

I'll leave the details to you, but there's not a whole-lot to wire-up. Everything has to be powered (and grounded), then there's only one signal wire for all of the LEDs. Then you'll need to wire-up whatever switches & controls you want. Or, if you only want it to "do something" when you turn the car on (or lights on) you may not need any switches/controls.

Wherever you connect a 12V input the signal needs to be knocked-down 5V. (You don't use a voltage regulator for signals... Only for power.) You can use a [u]resistor-diode over-voltage protection citcuit[/u]. You can add another resistor to make a [u]voltage divider[/u], but since the "12V" isn't regulated you'll still need the diode.

Hello, so for the Arduino unit, I found two different Uno R3, this one, and this supposedly newer R3 (the second link says it now uses an ATmega16U2 instead of the 8U2).
Which one should I get?

For the 12v to 5v step down, I found this one LM2596 that can output 5v up to 3A, but its recommended a heat sink for anything above 2.5A or power output greater than 10W.
Is it any good for this or should I look at something else?

I would like to operate both headlight led strips from a single arduino unit if possible to keep costs down, so if I need something more powerful or that can sustain the power without getting too hot, please tell me.

From what I have researched, the WS2812b led strip, each led uses at max 60mA (its RGB+white, will it use one more 20mA when white?), they run at 5v, the power consumption is about 6W per meter and it has 30 LED’s per meter (according to the manufacturer).

From a schematic I saw online, it recommended using an 330 Omhs resistor between the arduino and the LED strip data pin, to reduce noise on that line. Is it really needed?

I haven’t bought anything yet, first I’m trying to understand what hardware I need so I buy the correct parts and everything at the same time.

Thanks for the very insightful tips, and helping me out accomplishing this project.