Posts Tagged ‘DRL Upgrade’

V-LEDS strip lights are a great way to add lights to the interior or exterior of your car or truck. The possibilities are endless for location and functionality of these style of LEDs. We have added another LED strip light to our already popular lineup. These LEDs are not the standard V-LEDS strip lights though. The first major difference you will notice about these strips is the LEDs are aimed to the side, not straight up like our standard strip lights. Second, these strip lights feature dual color, White and Amber LEDs wired separately on the same circuit board. These dual color strip lights function the same as our popular switchback LEDs. A simple 3 wire installation makes them easy to install in any car or truck.

V-LEDS Dual Color Switchback LED Strip Light.

Want to see more pictures of these lights installed on the V-LEDS Project Scion iQ? Click here and see the photo gallery.

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

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

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

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.