RB26 S13 – Custom Headlights

I’ve wanted to do this for quite a while now.

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About 3 months back I decided to take my headlights apart and start putting in some fancy pieces. I’ve always wanted to have headlights with LED strips running around the inside casing, similar to a frame on a canvas.

So here’s how it started.

I took off the metal clips and put them in the oven at 110ºC (if you are in the U.S you want it at ~220ºF). Baked them for for about 8 minutes. I kept an eye on them both, checking every couple minutes to make sure nothing was melting. Unfortunately one of the cases melted a little bit, but wasn’t too bad.

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After the timer was done, the glass and the plastic was ridiculously hot but the sealant in between the two had melted, so they just fell apart.

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For the the LED strips, I just grabbed a 15m roll off ebay. It was cheap, it had a decent amount of lights per metre and the brightness was what I wanted. Because the strips aren’t meant to be headlights, I didn’t need a reflective surface so they were ok being an adhesive strip.

I grabbed my soldering iron, solder, wire stripper, some black wire to extend earth and a bit of green wire for the power (I had no red).

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The strip lighting can be cut after every 3 LED’s and luckily I could fit about 21 LED’s into each square on the headlight.

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I did a quick power test to see what it was going to look like.

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Exactly how I wanted!

I had to cut the long strip into two and join them together at the corner so it didn’t have to try and stick on a weird angle. A bit of solder and and a tiny bit of wire on each terminal meant I could put the second strip at the right angle.

I grabbed the other headlight and tested out if it was going to work properly.

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I ran a strip along the bottom, clamped it so the backing would stick properly to the casing and left it for a bit.

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Then cut and soldered another piece for the second headlight and stuck it in place.

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At this point it looked like my headlights were a broken piece of crap being held together by heaps of clamps rather than something I was trying to make better.

I left them both clamped for about an hour so the adhesive backing could grab properly.

After running the strip lighting, there was something else I wanted to do to the reflector boxes. I bought some clear green film at the same time I got the LED roll and spent a couple hours lining the headlight boxes with the film so it will have a green-ish reflection.

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I think they came out alright, I may even tint the glass cover before I reseal them.

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Looking forward to getting these mounted on the car properly and powered up!

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