Posts Tagged ‘DRL’

UPDATED PRODUCT:

The 9005 DRL_Module has been redesigned to handle higher current loads. We have identified and upgraded critical components in this modules power supply. These upgrades allow the DRL_Module to be connected directly to our high power LEDs like the 9005_28_W and the 9005_15_HP without the use of a relay harness.

Key features of the 9005 DRL Module:

-Increases the low voltage of most vehicles existing DRL circuits.

-Reverse Polarity Protection; unit will not be damaged if connected backwards.

-Stable with high wattage LED bulbs, up to 15 Watts power draw.

-No modifications required to your vehicle, simple plug and play installation.

If you are unfamiliar with what the DRL_Module is used for you can find a good explanation here: What is a V-LEDS DRL_Module?

When we get asked this question “How long do your LED products last?, I bought a pair of LEDs and they burnt out after 6 months.” we will ask a series of questions to help a customer understand how or why their LEDs burnt out. The number one cause of LED failure is heat. LEDs have a heat threshold that they need to stay below to maintain a long lifespan. There are many different types of LEDs, all of which have different heat thresholds. What causes LEDs to overheat and fail? A few things cause LEDs to overheat. We have found that if you install an LED bulb inside your headlight housing and it is placed relatively close to the headlamp bulb it will fail much faster than if the LED was installed in its own separate housing. The heat generated by the headlamp will heat up the circuit board and the LED to temperatures much higher than the LED was meant to operate at, this will cause the LED to fail. Other problems we have found is the LEDs can overheat themselves if they are installed in a small housing. Example; being installed into a  license plate light, most cars use a 194 style bulb to light up the license plate. If you install a High Power 194 LED for this application you will most likely have a product failure. If you install a standard LED it should last a long time. The small light housing does not allow for quick heat dissipation. The High Power LEDs generate a lot of heat, so they need some space to dissipate the heat so they do not fail.

Another source of LED failure is from overdriving the LEDs. Like most things in life, less is more or more is less. Example, turning up the level of boost on a turbocharged engine. This will gain more power from the engine, at the same time you will get less reliability out of the engine. Turning up the boost drastically increases stress on internal components of the engine. Over time the engine will fatigue and fail. The same principle applies to LEDs. A small increase in the amount of power delivered to the LEDs will increase the amount of light they produce. This is like turning up the boost on the turbocharged engine; you get higher levels of performance, but sacrifice on the lifespan of the LED. We see a lot of LED failures when cars have voltage spikes that increase the amount of voltage that powers the LEDs. This is why we do not simply “turn up the power” on our LEDs to make brighter products. When V-LEDS creates a brighter LED bulb we design it around a brighter LED. We then use power supplies capable of driving these LEDs to their full potential. That being said, we are still pushing these LEDs to their maximum power levels so they are extremely bright. This is necessary for brake lights or turn signal lights for safety. This also creates more heat that needs to be removed from the diodes. Upon inspection of our High Power Series of LEDs you will see that we have engineered proper heat management into our products. So instead of just turning up the power, we turn on the innovation. Every aspect of the LED bulb is considered to ensure the longest lifespan possible. However if you install a High Power LED next to a high source of heat like a headlamp or if installed into a small light housing there is a higher chance of premature failure. Other factors play into the lifespan of the LED as well. We have seen everything from moisture to abuse that will burn the LEDs out prematurely. The power supply that controls the power to the LEDs is susceptible to failure as well. The LEDs may be just fine, its just the power supply has failed.

For a more in depth, technical understanding of the causes of LED failures you can read this bullet list on Wikipedia.

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.

Introducing the V-LEDS Scion iQ. This little car is amazing in many ways. From being fuel efficient and fun to drive, to being completely different from the majority of the cars on the road. The Scion iQ is a hit. After looking this little car over we thought it would make a great addition to the family of V-LEDS cars. We noticed, like all Scions, it is a great vehicle ready for upgrades. We will continually update all the mods we do right here on the blog.

V-LEDS 2011 Scion iQ with DRL_3W_W_6K Installed as DRL.

Lets start with the addition of one of our latest products, the DRL_3W_W_6K. These LEDs are sealed units that house a 3 chip, 3 watt diode. Ideal for use as a DRL (daytime running light) or accent lighting. These things are bright! We installed a total of 10 of these, 5 on each side, on the trim panel next to the fog lamps. We wired them to ignition power so they turn on whenever the car is on. In addition, we also wired in a relay harness. The harness is wired into the fog lamp circuit, it turns the DRL LEDs off whenever the fog lights are in use.  These LEDs are impressive! They are bright, even in direct midday sunlight. They are so bright that they cast light onto the ground as well as you can see in the photo.

Installation of these lights is pretty straight forward. If you have some basic tools and wiring knowledge you can create a completely new look for your car or truck in an afternoon. Is this a look you want for your car? Here is where you can find the product on VLEDS website: DRL_3W_W_6K  After you click the link you will land on the product page. You will need to know how many of these you need. They are sold individually, as 1 EACH. On our Scion iQ we used a total of 10 each.

First lets take a look at what you need:

An electric drill with various sized drill bits

Tools for wiring; crimpers, solder iron, test light etc.

Wiring accessories; wire, zip ties, crimp terminals, loom etc.

For our Scion iQ we chose the lower fog lamp area to install these LEDs. We removed the plastic trim panels and found that they were perfect for mounting these LEDs to. The fog lamps are optional on the iQ. This location will work regardless if it has fog lamps or not.

Here are some pictures of the installation process:

Drill a 3/16 hole to mount the DRL LED

After locating and marking where you want to install the LEDs use a 3/16 drill bit to make a hole. (A little side note: after you have drilled your ALL the holes snap this cover back on the car and drill holes in the plastic of the bumper too. This allows for the wires to pass through the bumper for easy wiring.)

Routing wires through drilled hole.

Next, route the wires from through the hole and insert the threaded mount into the hole. Use the supplied nut to secure the LED to the mounting surface.

Routing wiring through bumper

After you have located, drilled, and installed all of the LEDs you will need to route all of the wiring through the plastic of the bumper. Here is where the tip from up above comes in handy.

All wiring is routed and ready to be connected to the car.

After the wiring was routed through the bumper we covered it in some loom. We also have 9006 style connector ends in our shop, so we went ahead and crimped some of these on the wiring. The ends made for a direct plug into the relay harness we installed. (Installation note: the Red wire is 12 V positive+ and the White wire is Ground-)

DRL lights on.

After finalizing all the connections we were ready to test the lights. They are pretty bright, this made it troublesome to get a quality picture.

We offer these lights in 3 colors. 6K White, Amber, and Red. You can find them here on VLEDS.com:

DRL_3W_W_6K  To be used as a DRL, Fog, or auxiliary light. The possibilities are endless.

DRL_3W_A  To be used as a blinker or Amber DRL.

DRL_3W_R  To be used as an auxiliary brake light.

Thanks for reading. If you have questions regarding this product please send an email to our customer service department at sales@v-leds.com. We are quick to respond via email and can answer any questions you may have about our products.

Here are some more photos of our Scion iQ.

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

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