I’ve wanted to do this for quite a while now.
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.
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.
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).
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.
I did a quick power test to see what it was going to look like.
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.
I ran a strip along the bottom, clamped it so the backing would stick properly to the casing and left it for a bit.
Then cut and soldered another piece for the second headlight and stuck it in place.
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.
I think they came out alright, I may even tint the glass cover before I reseal them.
Looking forward to getting these mounted on the car properly and powered up!