2006-Current (2nd GEN) Lexus IS DRL Guide

Posted: November 3, 2010 in How to:, Technical
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Do you own a Lexus IS? Do you have questions about upgrading your DRL to V-LEDS? Are you confused about what is needed and cannot find a straight answer? I am going to go over all the information that is necessary when purchasing our IS DRL KIT.

Lets cover the history behind V-LEDS’ solution(s) for upgrading this cars DRL. This should answer some questions. It started when the owner of V-LEDS purchased his 2007 IS 350. Naturally he wanted to change every bulb in the car to V-LEDS. When it came time to change the DRL to LED he found an interesting problem. First he found that the LEDs would flicker. Second he noticed that they were not as bright as they should be. We received reports from other Lexus owners who had the same problem.

What causes the flicker?  The flickering on the LEDs is caused by “pulses” of power on the DRL circuit. The DRL system in the 2nd GEN IS runs at a fluctuating voltage ranging from +3 volts to +6 volts. It basically cycles up and down at a fast rate. This prolongs the life of a Halogen bulb running at low voltage. The filament of the halogen bulb does not show this as flickering; it regulates this cycling into about a +4.5 volt constant voltage. Our LEDs on the other hand react quickly enough to changes in voltage. As the LEDs react to the changing voltage they look like they are flickering.

Why aren’t they bright? Because the DRL system operates at such a low voltage the LEDs will not be as bright as they should be. The LEDs need to have at least +12 volts to be as bright as we advertise them to be.

V-LEDS came up with a solution for the problems we experienced. The solution is our DRL Module. This part fixed the problem. It made for an easy plug and play installation that required no modification to the car or headlight housing. This, combined with a pair of 9005 LED Bulbs was the first IS DRL KIT we offered. (*please note that the original IS DRL KIT package is no longer available)

Fast forward to now. Im sure you have questions as to why we sell a relay harness with the new IS DRL KIT. As a company, V-LEDS is committed to engineering the brightest and highest quality LEDs available on the market. The LEDs that were included with the first IS DRL KIT have been replaced with a new, brighter design. After bringing this product to market we found that it was overloading the DRL circuit when used with our DRL Module. It would blow the DRL fuse immediately when connected. The solution for this is the LED Relay Harness. It requires more work, but it is a better, reliable solution. We have put this kit together so you have an option of upgrading the lights on your car. The big red flag that seems to get waived is that you have to drill a hole in the bulb cover of your headlight assembly. Yes this is true, and I understand the concerns of dust and moisture being able to get into the light housing. Before we completed the installation (drilling of the hole) in our car here we drove around for a long time without the covers on at all. We live in Washington state, it rains here, a lot, and we did not have any moisture problems.

Here are some photos from the installation process that show what is needed for drilling and wire routing.

I drilled a 3/8″ hole in the cover. I chose this location as it was not directly behind the bulb. I took this into consideration as it could interfere with the fitment of the wires after they are routed into the headlight housing. I made the hole in the exact spot on both sides as the headlight  assemblies are symmetrical mirrors of each other.

The plug ends need to be removed to route the wires through the cover. Question for you: Do you think the kit should come with the plugs removed so that they just need to be installed after this step? Inserting the pins into the plugs is straight forward. It would make it easier to not have to remove the pins first.

This is the drivers side after the wire has been routed through the cover and the pins installed into the plug ends. The wire loom fits very snug in the hole and should repel moisture and dust.

This is the passenger side. Note that there are 4 wires on this side. One connector is the same as the drivers side. The other connector is the input trigger for the relay in the harness. This is where the DRL Module will be connected. The cars DRL plug will plug into the input of the DRL Module. The DRL Module will stay inside the housing behind the cover.

Finish up the remaining connections of the Relay harness. (Battery and Ground) and secure the wiring looms with the factory harnesses. The LED Relay Harness was designed with longer wire lengths and a single ground connector for ease of installation.

I do see a need for improvement in regards to an installation guide. We are working on an instructional video that will show the entire installation process. The video will not be ready in the immediate future, but its coming soon. Also we are in the process of finding a different solution to routing the wires through the bulb cover. Currently this kit is not a quick and easy dunk of an install, but if you give yourself adequate time where you are not rushed it will go smoothly. We are working on improving/simplifying some of the steps required to get this done. If you have suggestions on an area that you feel can be improved, please send me an email directly at tech@v-leds.com. I take all opinions into consideration when working on special projects like this.

This can also be used to power an HID kit for DRL and High beams as the Relay harness can handle the power draw of  the ballasts.

Thanks for taking the time to read this over. I hope it answers any questions you may have about upgrading your DRLs. Feel free to leave a comment or email me.

James, the tech@v-leds.com

Comments
  1. Gianmarco O'Brien says:

    Dear V-Leds,
    Indeed, this install requires some written (with pictures) step-by-step instructions. If I were to purchase the kit, does it come with instructions or is this is only “how-to” for do-it-yourselfers? Please let me know. Thank you.
    – GM

  2. As of right now this kit does not have any installation guide. We are working on the final steps of a complete kit and once that is done we will assemble a complete installation guide. It is a pretty straight forward install if you are used to working on cars. The Lexus line of vehicles is not necessarily the place for beginners to try their hand at something new as they are engineered above and beyond basic cars. They are a little more complicated to take apart and reassemble. If you are comfortable with wrenching on your car and have a garage with some tools than this should be a simple job.