Custom LED Ring Taillights and Controller - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Custom LED Ring Taillights and Controller

I am just about done my custom DIY LED ring taillights so I figured I would share how amazing they turned out with you guys. Here are some crude images of making them as well as a very crude video of some testing. I made the backs of the lights black to give them a tinted look, and also removed the orange turn signal plastic piece inside the housing as well.

I am using 4x 110mm LED COB rings that are controlled by the PCB board I made. The PCB board basically is a 12VDC PWM controller so I am able to change the brightness of each light individually for any event. I have 9 more boards left which I may consider selling after some more testing if others would like to make their own version of these.

The board currently has 3 options, option A is flashing brake light, option B is flashing turn signals, and option C is flash to off. The flashing brake light occurs when you press the brakes, the taillights flash once very quickly and then stay on until you let off the brake. The flashing turn signals act very similar to the mustang progressive turn signals as can be seen in the video. The flash to off function makes any turn signal, or flashing, return to a completely off state instead of a 50% state if the running lights of the car are on.

If anyone wants more information on anything just ask, enjoy!

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Crude Video 1
Crude Video 2










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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:33 PM
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look very nice

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 05:45 PM
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Very nice! I'd be interested in a board. I've already converted my tail lights to LED rings.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 10:11 AM
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Those look awesome! Great job! Reminds of the Gen 1 tails GRP used to sale. They also had the remote to change flash etc. I've since upgraded to the newer version but if I saw yours I would think they were the GRP tails. Kudos on the DIY!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I am very happy with how they came out.

Pete, I am going to have to look into what I can sell them and ship them for and I will send you a PM when I get a number. What function are you most interested in? Also do you have any knowledge with soldering because you are going to need to solder the connections for the LED rings or crimp connectors to them to fit a standard male header. You will also need to either tap into the existing wiring, buy a connector, or splice and solder for the turn signals, running lights, and brake light signals from the car.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 04:33 PM
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Thanks guys, I am very happy with how they came out.

Pete, I am going to have to look into what I can sell them and ship them for and I will send you a PM when I get a number. What function are you most interested in? Also do you have any knowledge with soldering because you are going to need to solder the connections for the LED rings or crimp connectors to them to fit a standard male header. You will also need to either tap into the existing wiring, buy a connector, or splice and solder for the turn signals, running lights, and brake light signals from the car.
The progressive turn signal function is the one I'd like to do. I don't have an issue with soldering and wiring. I already did the DIY LED conversion with three COB halos and I replaced the center bulbs with LED clusters also:

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteB37 View Post
The progressive turn signal function is the one I'd like to do. I don't have an issue with soldering and wiring. I already did the DIY LED conversion with three COB halos and I replaced the center bulbs with LED clusters also:

https://youtu.be/sX2SKuX9FJM
I can provide you with the P/Ns of the factory 6 pin tail light connectors and pin inserts if you don/t want to cut into your harness. I make LED tail light kits that are plug-n-play, no cutting or splicing. https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f12...-exige-448521/

I really like the functionality! I might like to add that board to my kits too!

Excellent design!
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Last edited by InfernoLotus; 04-28-2019 at 04:50 PM. Reason: added content
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PeteB37 View Post
The progressive turn signal function is the one I'd like to do. I don't have an issue with soldering and wiring. I already did the DIY LED conversion with three COB halos and I replaced the center bulbs with LED clusters also:

https://youtu.be/sX2SKuX9FJM
You are using multiple LED rings in each tail light, correct? Do you know what they draw current wise? I am using only 4x 110mm red COB LED rings, one in each light, and each draws 0.3A continuously. For me I am using a 2.5A fuse, but if you have multiple LED rings, or rings that draw more current we will have to up your fuse to a larger value. The limitation of the board and components (with a greater fuse) is 0.75A per tail light. We need to make sure that if you are using more than one LED ring, that all together no more than 0.75A is drawn per tail light.



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Originally Posted by InfernoLotus View Post
I can provide you with the P/Ns of the factory 6 pin tail light connectors and pin inserts if you don/t want to cut into your harness. I make LED tail light kits that are plug-n-play, no cutting or splicing. https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f12...-exige-448521/

I really like the functionality! I might like to add that board to my kits too!

Excellent design!
I actually looked into your lights before I started my DIY endeavour as I really thought they looked very sleek yet futuristic. I will ask you the same thing I asked Pete, how much does each tail light draw current wise? If you are truly interesting in giving them a go I will order a few more components and start building a board for you.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by helicopter12 View Post
I actually looked into your lights before I started my DIY endeavour as I really thought they looked very sleek yet futuristic. I will ask you the same thing I asked Pete, how much does each tail light draw current wise? If you are truly interesting in giving them a go I will order a few more components and start building a board for you.
I actually never measured the amperage, they are off the shelf items and don't list any specs. I can probably measure next time I have one out. They have 3 pins, a common, a bright positive, and a brighter positive. I don't run it through a board of any kind, and have never had a blown fuse, so I have not had to worry about current draw. PM me if you want the connector P/Ns.
RL

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 04:50 AM
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I am just about done my custom DIY LED ring taillights
Really nicely done. I'm always impressed by lighting DIYs like this. I'd love to see more on the build process if you documented it at all.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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I actually never measured the amperage, they are off the shelf items and don't list any specs. I can probably measure next time I have one out. They have 3 pins, a common, a bright positive, and a brighter positive. I don't run it through a board of any kind, and have never had a blown fuse, so I have not had to worry about current draw. PM me if you want the connector P/Ns.
RL
The fuse I am referring to is the fuse on my board, and not the car. I am using a 2.5A fuse on the board, so if your lights are going to pull more than about 0.5A each then the fuse on the board will just have to be switched out for a larger one, which is no big deal.

The board features a raw form of reverse voltage protection, short circuit protection, and transient protection from the noisy 12V power system of the car and alternator.

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Really nicely done. I'm always impressed by lighting DIYs like this. I'd love to see more on the build process if you documented it at all.
Thanks for the kind words, the pictures you see are about all of the pictures I had taken. Really the process was super simple and mostly follows every other DIY thread for LED tail lights on the forum. The only thing I did differently was I 3D printed a piece of plastic that the LED rings would sit on, instead of re-using the stock plastic light diffuser. This darkened up the look of the tail lights, but also got rid of the "diffused" look which made the lights look older in my opinion. I then used a silicon adhesive to glue everything back together, and the rest was just creating the PWM controller circuit, building the board, and wiring.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by helicopter12 View Post
You are using multiple LED rings in each tail light, correct? Do you know what they draw current wise? I am using only 4x 110mm red COB LED rings, one in each light, and each draws 0.3A continuously. For me I am using a 2.5A fuse, but if you have multiple LED rings, or rings that draw more current we will have to up your fuse to a larger value. The limitation of the board and components (with a greater fuse) is 0.75A per tail light. We need to make sure that if you are using more than one LED ring, that all together no more than 0.75A is drawn per tail light.
I'm using three COB LED rings and one LED marker light per tail light. Two of the three LED rings are the tail lights. On the outboard lights, the turn signals use one COB LED ring and the marker light. On the inboard lights, brakes lights are one COB LED ring and the marker light. According to the manufacturer, the marker lights are 80mA. I don't know what the current draw is for the COB LED rings.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'm using three COB LED rings and one LED marker light per tail light. Two of the three LED rings are the tail lights. On the outboard lights, the turn signals use one COB LED ring and the marker light. On the inboard lights, brakes lights are one COB LED ring and the marker light. According to the manufacturer, the marker lights are 80mA. I don't know what the current draw is for the COB LED rings.
Do you have a link to the COB LED rings that you are using? I will have a look and see what I can find.

What is nice about the controller board is you really only need 1 ring per tail light because the board is able to adjust the brightness of the rings. Depending on how much current each LED ring pulls, you may be able to run 2 or all 3 in parallel for each tail light, and they would look like my tail lights except your rings would be thicker.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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110mm: X

100mm: X

90mm: X

Wow, there really isn't any information on those lights at all. I suspect the only way to get the current is to either measure it with a multimeter, or to contact the seller and ask for the data sheet or current draw. Until we figure out the current draw, I can't tell you exactly how everything will have to be wired for it to work correctly.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Here is another raw picture of it mounted in may car. The green and brown wires are temporary power. The other wires are ran to the LED lights and the lotus wiring harness. The board is sitting on a 3D printed back plate that I will eventually make a top cover for as well so that it is fully protected.



I sent two boards out for testing to other members of the community and if all goes well I may start selling the boards.

Here is my other side project that has been on the back burner, but I hope to finish this summer;

DIY CANBUS Digital Dashboard
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 04:11 AM
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 11:30 PM
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Got my board installed - love it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubLFTX8zsuA

I bought a plastic project box on Amazon to mount the board in to give it some protection:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The left side flashes nicely, the right side seems a little “off”.

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Got my board installed - love it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubLFTX8zsuA

I bought a plastic project box on Amazon to mount the board in to give it some protection:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Looks awesome Pete! If you need anything else feel free to PM me!

Thanks for posting
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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The left side flashes nicely, the right side seems a little “off”.
I'm having a hard time seeing the right side being off, what exactly is "off" about it, I want to look into it because maybe I am missing something obvious, thanks!

EDIT: I see what you are talking about;
To me it looks like the turn signal relay is the stock relay which works on the principle of heat which means that depending on the other lights and their tolerance on his car that the speeds could change.

@PeteB37
Are you using the stock turn signal relay or an upgraded LED turn signal relay?

Last edited by helicopter12; 06-09-2019 at 05:48 AM.
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