Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

Have you heard of voltage spikes in your cars electrical system? Have you had a set of LEDs burn out after only having them installed for a couple of months? Chances are they were the helpless victims of voltage spikes. These voltage spikes are found in every car or truck. There a few causes of voltage spiking, but they all originate from the alternator. The alternator is the electrical power plant of your car. It charges the battery and provides the power to keep all the electronics in your car operating. We know that your car uses a 12 volt battery, 12 volts DC (direct current). Did you know that your cars alternator actually makes AC (alternating current) power? There is a component called the rectifier that converts the AC voltage into DC voltage. This part is either built into the alternator or mounted separately. The demand of your cars electrical system increases or decrease the load on the alternator. You may have experienced changes in the electrical load of your car, a common example is while you are waiting at a traffic light at night. You may have noticed your  headlights dim for a moment when your cars radiator fan kicked on. That is a change of load on the alternator, the alternator responded by generating more current to keep up with the higher demand created by the radiator fan and the lights returned to their original brightness. This continual up and down cycling of power being generated causes dips and spikes in voltage that over time will degrade the LEDs in your lights.

LED failure caused by voltage spiking is slowly starting to become a problem of the past. V-LEDS incorporates the latest technology on all of our new High Power LED products. We have been incorporating regulated power supplies onto the circuit boards of all of our High Power LEDs. These LEDs are not susceptible to damage caused by voltage spiking. What is the difference and how does it work? Lets take take a look at the difference between standard LEDs and High Power V-LEDS.

In the photo below I have taken apart some highly popular V-LEDs. The 194_HP_W_6K and the 194_5_SMT_W_6K. You can see the difference right away in the circuitry. Lets start with the 194_5_SMT_W_6K. This is easily our most popular LED. Its popularity comes from three places. 1) Price, at $7.99 for a pair you can’t go wrong. 2) Output, Brighter than a filament bulb without blinding you. Great color too 3) Application, with 4 LEDs around the sides and 1 on top it works in pretty much every application. The only downfall to this LED is the circuitry that regulates the power to the individual LEDs. In the photo you can see that  I circled a resistor. This is the component that steps the voltage down to the operating voltage of each LED. If you measure the voltage after it passes through the resistor it reads like this: 12 volts = 9.6 volts, 14.2 volts = 10.2 volts, 19 volts = 13 volts. The LEDs are ran in a series circuit that divides this voltage equally. This means that when operated at 12 volts the voltage is dropped to 9.6 volts by the resistor and is then divided amongst the 5 LEDs. This equals 1.92 volts per LED. This product is designed to be operated around 12 volts give or take a couple of volts. But what if your car has a spike up to 19 volts or greater? By using the same math at 19 volts we end up with each LED seeing 2.6 volts. It doesn’t seem like that much more voltage but the LEDs will get brighter and overheat, thus causing premature failure.

Now look at the 194_HP_W_6K. This is what sets our High Power LEDs apart from our entry level LEDs and from all other LED products on the market today. There is no math needed to show what will happen with different input voltage on this LED. The regulated power supply provides a consistent 3.6 volts to the LED. All of our High Power LEDs are stable from 9-24 volts. It will not affect the brightness of the LEDs at all. We have different variations of High Power LEDs. From our Platinum Series bulbs to our DRL/FOG bulbs to the brightest dome light we sell, all of them use our .5 WATT diode and a regulated power supply that controls the voltage that each LED receives. On our flank LEDs  and DRL/FOG LEDs we have also incorporated Bridge Rectifiers. These components allow for dual polarity use. These LEDs will light up regardless of which way they are plugged in.

To sum it up there is a difference, the V-LEDS difference. We bring “The Latest in Automotive LED Technology” to our customers. With each and every new product we develop it is our goal to raise the bar and bring you the best LED lighting products you can find. Hopefully this will help you understand why some of the LEDs we sell cost more than others. Simply put they are engineered to be better, brighter and last longer than anything else you can find on the market.

If you have questions on our products and how they work you can email me directly here:  tech@v-leds.com

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment, James the tech@v-leds.com

The Idea

There is something to be said about the V-LEDS experience in your car. It is amazing how replacing a bulb with V-LEDS  change the look of your car. Whether you replaced the dome lights or parking lights, using V-LEDS drastically improves the aesthetic appeal of any car. This simple fact spurred on conversations about another product idea. This idea was based on a product we already sell, the switchback. We have been playing around with some prototypes of this new design over the last couple of months and it is turning out to be a really cool idea.

The Concept

The concept is simple. Two different colors of LEDs built onto the same bulb. What if you had the ability to flip a switch and change your high beams or fog lights from white to blue, green, red or amber? That is what the SHO line is, an LED lighting system for showing off. It’s illegal to drive around with blue and green lights on your car. But what about when your car is parked or on display at a car show? With the flip of a switch you can instantly change the look of your car with these new lights.

The Finished Look

Here is what your car can look like with the SHO line by V-LEDS. These will be available soon and we will keep you updated on our plans of releasing them and different applications that they can be used for.

On the Left the SHO lights are white and they change to red by flipping a switch.

Let me know what you think of this concept. What colors would you want to see on an LED like this? You can leave a comment or send me and email to tech@v-leds.com.

Thanks for reading, James

Have you ever gone to start your car in the morning and find that your battery is dead? You end up searching around for jumper cables and calling your neighbor over for a jump start. After you get your car started you notice the dome lights were left on because one of the kids left the door open or you forgot to turn off the map lights the night before. Nothing can be more irritating, especially if you’re already running late for work. The filament bulbs used for lighting the interior of your car use quite a bit of power, more than you would think for such a small bulb. These bulbs can drain your battery down in a matter of hours if left on. All of this could have been avoided if you had just installed some efficient V-LEDS in your dome lights.

V-LEDS bulbs use far less power (80-90% less) than a conventional filament bulb to produce the same amount of light, if not more. You can leave your dome lights on for hours on end without draining the battery after you replaced them with V-LEDS. There are other benefits you will enjoy from using V-LEDS. The solid state design of V-LEDS makes them naturally shock resistant. The vibration of driving down a rough road will cause the filament of a regular bulb to break and burn out over time, something you don’t have to worry about with V-LEDS. The expected lifespan of a V-LEDS dome light is typically 10,000 hours or more!

Chances are you are already using LED technology in your day to day life. From illuminating the buttons on your remote control to  digital road signs and even on your personal electronics like your cell phone and i-pod. LED technology is used across a wide range of products. From illumination in cars to televisions, the possibilities are endless. LEDs are even starting to show up as standard equipment on new automobiles. From tail lights and brake lights to illuminating the interior, LEDs are the lighting of choice as they use less power and never need to be replaced.The good news is that you dont have to buy a new car to enjoy all the benefits of LED technology.

V-LEDS specializes in LED replacements for every type of filament bulb found in automobiles. And its as easy as 1 2 3 to find a V-LEDS replacement for your car. Not only can you get the efficiency of V-LEDS but you can customize the look of your interior with different color V-LEDS. V-LEDS bulbs have incredible benefits over standard bulbs. They are much brighter, operate at cooler temperatures, are extremely energy efficient and have a much longer life span. So go ahead and do yourself a favor, replace your interior bulbs with V-LEDS and avoid that potential morning frustration of jump starting your car.

Examples of V-LEDS dome light bulbs

Things have been pretty busy around the shop lately. New products coming in that need to be tested, vehicle specific kits that needed some tweaking and I did some pretty sweet headlight customization too. I always seem to be writing about how to fix some LED compatibility issue, this time I am going to show off some work I completed recently. V-LEDS sponsored a drift car last year that competed in the Formula Drift circuit. We met a lot of people who are involved with the drift circuit and they quickly caught the V-LEDS lighting bug. One of the teams sent us their headlights and asked us to work our lighting magic on them. Here is what we came up with for this particular set of lights.

Stock 370Z headlights

These lights are from a new Nissan 370Z. They are pretty nice light housings and almost seemed to be begging for V-LEDS touch. We did not get to see any pictures of the car and the race team only had a couple of simple  requests, AMBER LEDs around the projector headlight and to black out all of the chrome. I have been perfecting my headlight baking skills lately while testing our new Bi-Xenon projector upgrade kit and quickly set up my industrial sized easy bake oven.

The V-LEDS industrial sized easy bake oven.

Here it is in all its glory. It doesn’t look like much, but its amazing what a heat gun and a cardboard box can do! After baking the headlights in here for a while I was able to pry the front lens away from the back portion of the housing.

After getting the lights disassembled it was time to get modifying!  Prepping and painting the chrome parts. We had a friend who works at a machine shop cut us out some nice aluminum rings to go around the projector headlight lens. I disassembled some of our 194_HP_A and 194_2_HPFS_W_6K LEDs and soldered wires directly to the circuit boards. I used some epoxy to mount the LEDs to the “landing strip”area of the housing and to the aluminum ring. Here are some pictures that show how the project progressed through some of these steps. I tested the Amber LEDs around in the aluminum ring after it was assembled and it looked pretty dope. At this point I could not wait to get everything done and put back together to see it complete! If you click on the image it will take you to the complete photo gallery on our website.

This project went pretty smooth considering all of the custom fabrication involved. I am very happy with the way they turned out, hopefully the race team likes them too. I can’t wait to see them lit up on the car, but we have to wait until the next race season to see the complete package.

The Final Product

Thanks for checking out my work. Let me know what you think in the comments.

James, the tech@v-leds.com

Are you wondering how to use the HID Harness with your V-HIDS headlight conversion kit? I want to cover a cool feature that comes standard with every “single beam” V-HIDS kit we offer. This feature allows for quick plug-n-play installation of the HID Harness and other accessories your car may need.

H11 HID bulb and Input Adapter Jumper

The feature that I am talking about is what I refer to as the “Input Adapter Jumper”. The picture to the right shows the jumper wires as they come in the kit, attached to the HID bulb. They are routed through a rubber grommet with the HID bulbs wiring. This is so you can route them into your headlight housing and keep a water tight seal if you have sealed-back headlights. This input adapter jumper has as a male 9006 connector on one end and the specific end of the bulb type of the kit on the other end, this one happens to be an H11. This allows for a direct connection from your cars headlight socket to the input connector of the HID harness.

Connection of the Adapter to the HID Harness

Input Connector of the HID Harness

The HID Harness has a single input connector shown here. It is a female 9006 plug. This is where you connect the adapter to the HID Harness. Here is another bonus to this setup. If your car is equipped with a warning light that indicates you have a burnt out headlight and you need to install an inline capacitor or inline resistor you’re in luck. These parts come with male and female 9006 connectors too. So if you need any additional parts to get your V-HIDS kit working they will plug right into this setup without any modification to your cars wiring harness.

9006_INLINE_RES INLINE_CAP_ADAPT 9006_DRL_MODULE

9006_INLINE_RES INLINE_CAP_ADAPT 9006_DRL_MODULE

Here we see the 9006_INLINE_RES,   INLINE_CAP_ADAPT and the 9006_DRL_MODULE. Each one is designed for different applications. I will be covering these applications in the future. In the following pictures you can see how easy it is to install them inline. Using the 9006 style connectors allows adding these parts to this setup to be quick and easy. A complete wiring schematic for the HID_HARNESS is at the bottom of the page too.

9006_INLINE_RES Installed

If you do have any application questions feel free to ask. You can email me direct at: tech@v-leds.com

INLINE_CAP_ADAPT Installed

Thanks for reading, James the tech@v-leds.com

Here are links to other articles that contain additional information on some of these products:

HID_HARNESS

DRL_MODULES

9006_DRL_MODULE Installed

Installation Diagram For HID_HARNESS

Installation Diagram For HID_HARNESS

Hello again, I have been receiving a higher volume of emails concerning replacing your blinkers with LEDs. Most of them pertaining to the faster flash rate (Hyper-Flash) that occurs when doing so, and if there is a way to get them to flash at the normal pace again.

This is a very common question. The answer is YES, it can be fixed. Here at V-LEDS we only know the fixes for the cars we have directly worked on ourselves. We log the information so we can help when needed. We still get questions from customers who are either confused by what they may have read on a forum or who are still unsure of what is needed. I hope that I can answer some questions surrounding this issue.

Lets cover why they start Hyper-Flashing in the first place. The answer is safety. Vehicle manufacturers use this feature to let you know when one or more of your blinker bulbs has burned out.

How does the car know? There is a part in the car that controls this. It is called a flasher unit. Each cars flasher unit is designed to monitor the electrical load that it is powering. This basically means that the flasher unit knows how many watts your cars bulbs will draw when they’re on. It monitors the cars circuit as Left and Right, or monitors all 4 bulbs independently. When one of the bulbs is burnt out, removed, or replaced with a lower wattage bulb or LED the flasher does its job and starts Hyper-Flashing on the side of the car that this has occurred.

Correcting Hyper-Flash when you upgrade to V-LEDS is relatively easy once you understand what needs to be done. Lets cover the easiest route first. If you are lucky to own a car that has a replaceable flasher unit than check that first. Where is it? Every car is different. Here is what I do, first I turn on the hazard switch. You will now hear a clicking sound from under your dash board. (*If you don’t hear a clicking, but more of an audible blinker “sound” then your car most likely does not have replaceable flasher unit. That sound will be coming from a small speaker located in the instrument cluster that is controlled by a computer) (*in some cars the flasher unit is built into the HAZARD switch itself, feel the switch. Do you feel it clicking?) After verifying your car does not use either of these flashers, reach up under the dash and start feeling around. The clicking will be accompanied by a tapping that can be felt in the sub frame of the dash.  It will be noticeable but may be hard to locate. If this is the case you may need to remove the lower dash covering to access the flasher unit. The flasher will usually look like the picture above, however there are quite a few variations. Once you locate the flasher unplug it. The hazard lights should stop working, if they continue you have the wrong part. Reinstall it and continue the search.

After you find the flasher unit you need to note how many contacts it has. Some have 2, or 3. Others have 5, or 8. You need to know this so you can compare them to the parts we have listed on our website. Like I mentioned before we really don’t know what part will work in every car, only the cars that we have worked on. So compare yours to what we have available and see if we have a match. Note I said this is the easiest route, even though it sounds like quite the project. That process should take a novice DIY’er about 30-40 minutes to get done. It is fairly easy to do on most cars, and is plug-n-play.

Option 2 requires some tools to get it done. This option is for cars where you cannot replace the flasher or we do not offer a replacement for it. Now that we understand how the flasher unit works we can trick it. The trick is to put the original load back on the flasher unit. We have Load Resistors to allow us to do that.

We have 2 choices of resistors, a 6 OHM and a 3 OHM. Which one do you use? The 6 OHM is the equivalent load of 1 bulb. So if you replace 1 set of bulbs, (the front OR rear bulbs) you will need to install 1 pair of resistors. The 3 OHM is the equivalent load of 2 bulbs.  If you replace all 4 of your bulbs than use 1 set of 3 OHM resistors.

Where do I install them? The resistors need to be installed to the wiring of the bulb at the light socket. We supply splice taps for a painless installation. Below is a video on how these connections work, note my awesome hand modeling skills!

Find a suitable location away from any heat sensitive materials on your car like plastic or wiring harnesses and mount the load resistor. If you are using the 3 OHM load resistors you can make the connection at the front OR rear turn signal wires.

Things to note about this option are: Load Resistors are sold in pairs. One for the Left blinker circuit and one for the Right blinker circuit. Some cars monitor all 4 bulbs separately, if this is the case with your car you will need 2 sets of 6 OHM resistors. Some cars use more than 4 bulbs as blinkers. An example is the new Dodge Challenger. It uses a total of 4 bulbs in the rear and 2 up front. This increases the wattage of the blinker circuit and needs a larger amount of load to correct the Hyper-Flashing. In that car we used 1 set of 3 OHM resistors in the rear and 1 set of 6 OHM resistors  in the front as it monitors all 4 blinker circuits independently too.

I hope this was informative and helpful. If you feel that I left something out or have more questions leave a comment. You can also email me directly here: tech@v-leds.com and  I will answer any other questions that you may have.

Thanks for reading,

James, the tech@v-leds.com

There has been some confusion about our DRL module. Its primary use, when to use it, and exactly what it does. I will explain some the features and specifications of the DRL_MODULE. First and foremost: THIS IS NOT AN ADD-ON DRL KIT.

Where does the term DRL come from? DRL is the abbreviated version of  Daytime Running Lights. It is a safety feature that has been implemented by vehicle manufacturers. This feature makes your vehicle visible during the daylight hours so other drivers can see you. Manufacturers use different ways to get the same result. Our DRL Module is designed with the specific purpose of replacing the Halogen Bulbs of a single element, low voltage High Beam DRL or a single element low voltage dedicated DRL system with LEDs from V-LEDS.

We have 2 versions of this product. A 9006 version and a 9005 version. They do exactly the same thing, the only difference is the output connector. Each style will only plug into the specified base of one of our LEDs. So a 9006_DRL_MODULE cannot be plugged into a 9005 base LED. Originally this Module was polarity sensitive. The module would fail immediately if plugged in backwards. We have updated our latest production of these and incorporated a reverse polarity protection circuit inside the module that keeps this from happening. It will only work when plugged in the correct way.

Our DRL Module was designed in direct response to a need. When you plug LEDs into a low voltage DRL circuit they don’t get very bright at all. Most DRL circuits operate below 6 Volts, some as low as 3 Volts. Our LEDs need at least 12 Volts to be as bright as we designed them to be.  How do you get 12 Volts from 3 or 6 Volts? Magic? In a way yes, but that magic fits in a little black box. The box contains special circuitry that bumps the available voltage up to 14 Volts! It has its limitations, but it’s a nice tool to have available that is literally “plug and play”.  What kind of limitations? It cannot handle a large amount of current (amps) to be pulled through it. So you cannot use it to power up an HID Ballast or standard Halogen bulb. I do not recommend more than a 1 Amp draw through it.

Lexus IS DRL Upgrade

Applications: The first application was for the Lexus IS 350 Sedan. This car uses its High Beams as the DRL. It has a fluctuating voltage ranging from 3-4.5 Volts that lights LEDs dimly and causes them to flicker. The DRL MODULE boosts the power up so the LEDs are bright and stabilizes the voltage fluctuations. This eliminates the flickering and creates a unique look within the headlight housing as seen in the picture. This started out as a simple plug and play for an older style LED bulb. We developed a brighter replacement for that bulb and experienced the limitations of exceeding the current draw. Not of the DRL Module but of the Lexus DRL circuit. The Module draws a high amount of amperage from the DRL circuit in order to boost the voltage up so high. The current draw of our updated High Power LED bulbs combined with the current draw of the DRL Module overloads this circuit and will blow the fuse. We have developed a complete kit for these cars that allows the use of our High Power bulbs as the DRL and operates safely. This is the only vehicle application that we know of where our 28 LED High Power bulb will not work properly with the DRL Module.

Some misconceptions of the DRL Module include: Use it to deactivate the DRL function of your car, Use it to fix DRL warning lights, and Use it to add a DRL circuit to any car without a factory equipped DRL system.

If you want to upgrade your cars DRL to the crisp, bright V-LEDs, you will most likely be using this module too. If you are unsure if you need this part, or what other parts your car needs, you can always check our vehicle specific tab.  Here you can see if we have a kit already put together for your specific car.

I get asked this question a lot. I will always answer this question with another question that leads into a conversation. I am going to try get all this information out of my head and onto this page. I’ll try not to bore you with math or super detailed information. I just want to cover the basics, so here we go.

First things first, What is the application? What location are you installing the HIDs? Low Beams? High Beams? Fog lights? Replacing a stock DRL? (Daytime Running Light)

In most cases you can just plug the HID Ballast directly into your car or trucks headlight socket. Depending on how your car or truck is wired and if it is equipped automatic light controls you can get different results. I have heard the idea that the headlights pull power directly through the headlight switch itself. The added initial power consumption of HIDs will then, over time, burn out your switch which is expensive to replace. If your car was manufactured pre-1980 you may need to heed this warning. But if you own a newer car it most likely has a dedicated, fused headlight circuit starting at a relay. This also applies to your High Beams and Fog Lights.

Note before that I stated a “Fused Headlight Circuit“. This is why we offer an HID Relay Harness. What amperage is the fuse rated for your light circuit? 10 Amp? 15 Amp? 20 Amp? Every vehicle manufacturer designs the light circuit around a specified wattage of the bulb being powered. If the HIDs draw more power than that bulb you will most likely blow the fuse that is protecting the circuit. Some guys just throw the next size bigger fuse in and it works, is that safe? NO, not really. Consider that the gauge of the wiring used is calculated for the draw of the Halogen bulb you just replaced and for the original size fuse that kept blowing. IF you choose to just up the size of the fuse you may end up with a melted wiring harness! Or worse yet, an electrical FIRE! Instead you should install an HID  Relay Harness. It uses the cars light socket to click over a relay and this allows power to be pulled directly from the battery via sufficient gauge wire and a proper size fuse for HID Ballasts to operate.

Does your car or truck have automatic lights? Does your car use this circuit as a low voltage DRL? If you answered YES to either of these questions I would recommend using an HID Relay Harness.

The “Auto Lights” feature on cars will turn your lights on as soon as you turn the key to the Ignition Position. When you crank the engine over all accessories including your lights will turn off. After the engine starts and you let the key go back to the Ignition position the lights will come back on. This will cause misfires from the voltage dipping when it cuts out. In most cases the Relay Harness will correct this problem.

The “DRL” poses more than one problem. Depending on the operating voltage of the DRL will depict if you need more than just an HID Relay Harness. If you can test the voltage with a test meter and it shows a voltage of 6.5 Volts or greater you can use just the HID Relay Harness. If the voltage is less than 6.5 Volts you can use one of our DRL_MODULES. The DRL_ MODULE is my best friend when it comes to finding a solution for low voltage issues. It is essentially a power booster. It will take as little as 3 Volts and bump it all the way up to 14 Volts! You can install this between the light socket and the input of the Relay Harness and voilà! Now you have enough voltage to click over your HID Relay Harness. A properly installed  HID Relay Harness will fix most problems before you ever experience them. It’s a small price and adds a little extra install time, but I like a little peace of mind.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. You can contact me via email directly here too: tech@v-leds.com.

~James