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Discussion Starter #1
There are many LED tail light out there. I've tried them all and wasn't impressed with the light output. So I decided to make my own using factory housing.

I use this LED to make the LED tail light. The legs were cut to the needed length:


I bought the perfboard from RadioShack to cut them in this shape for the driving/brake light. And here is how I layout the LEDs:


Using the perfboard to cut the turn-signal light and layout the LEDs in this pic:


I first had the LEDs and registers soldered like this for the driving/brake light:


and like this for the turn-signal light:


But by doing like the above two pictures, if one LED goes out, the same line, which has that burned out LED will be out, so I improve them like this:


and I only have to use one register instead of several registers per board.
I sacrified the factory bulb-tail and inserted the wires so it'll plug into the factory plug without any modification:


It was time to test how they look and feel on the truck. The driving/brake light works flawlessly. The turn-signal works, too. But it blinks as fast as the factory bulb were out. Scratching my head thinking what I would want to do. I know that I could buy the LED flasher and it'll fix the problem. But it is costly (about $12 per flasher, and I need 2).

So, this came to my mind, also purchased from RadioShack:



This going to make the car knows there is a bulb still there. The bulb is 12V and 60mA, so it fits my application. And the bulb is so small that it won't shine the light thru the perfboard.
I soldered the mini-lamp bulb on the line like this:


or on the board like this:


OK, time to put it in the factory housing. I cut the side of the housing without damaging the bolts or cable clips since I will really need the tail lights to stay on the truck through the bumps or rocks on street:


I didn't take a picture of the driving/brake, but it's the same concept. Slide the LEDs board in and epoxi the cut part. After the glue dried, here is how it looks:



I don't have the pictures of them on the truck yet as I still need to make the passenger side (waiting for more LEDs). As soon as I finish them, more pictures will be posted.
 

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Wow, good for you man. Can't wait to see them installed and on!
 

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nice work man. looks great. cant wait to see em lit up
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Pretty sweet! It's Thursday, hopefully that taillight made it?
Yeah, one is hopefully it'll show up today. Another is those extra LEDS that I ordered still in the air. Even if yours doesn't make it in time, I will still use my factory if the LEDs make it first. I have a spare set either way.

nice work man. looks great. cant wait to see em lit up
Thanks. I can't wait, either. :)
 

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Here is a few pics that I took at the meet and greet.

Left one is LED


LED


OEM
 

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That looks great! You need to do a writeup on the soldering so all us stupid guys can do it, lol. How did you affix the board inside the tail light?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That looks great! You need to do a writeup on the soldering so all us stupid guys can do it, lol. How did you affix the board inside the tail light?
How to solder? You'll need non-lead Rosin Core Iron (Rosin Core Solder (8.0 oz.) - RadioShack.com) and solder iron (15-Watt Soldering Iron with Grounded Tip - RadioShack.com) from Radio Shack. Plug the solder iron in for about 15 minutes. Test if it's hot enough by touching it to the rosin core iron. If it melts the rosin core iron, then it's hot enough. One hand holds the solder iron, the other hand holds the rosin core iron, touch both to the point where you want it to have contact. Practice a couple times will make you familiar. It isn't hard.

How do I affix the board inside the tail light? After I cut a door to slide the LEDs board in, one hand holding the wires to keep it where I wanted, the other hand uses a stick to apply the epoxy. Hold them (board and tail light) still for about a minute or two. The glue hardened itself and hold them tight.
 

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cool

Very Nice! I have a question, what happens when the mini-lamp burns out, can you get to it to replace it? What about using a resistor with the same draw as a light?
 

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Looks cool! The guys on the motorcycle forum I belong to like to do this mod to their tail light. Did you consider painting the perfboard before installing all the LED's. Might look cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks cool! The guys on the motorcycle forum I belong to like to do this mod to their tail light. Did you consider painting the perfboard before installing all the LED's. Might look cool.
Definitely painting the perfboard will add more reflection to the light. Painting either white or silver will make the light reflect better. But I didn't do it on mine. For now, I will just leave them as are.
 

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So your only using the on resistor for the entire board? What type of resistor is it? I ordered LED's thatt came with resistor's but I thought it needed a Resistor per each series of four? Need to get the stats for the LED's and resistor's I guess. They look great lit up byt the way. Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So your only using the on resistor for the entire board? What type of resistor is it? I ordered LED's thatt came with resistor's but I thought it needed a Resistor per each series of four? Need to get the stats for the LED's and resistor's I guess. They look great lit up byt the way. Nice job!
Basically, if you use a series of 3 and above, you don't need a register for that series. However, you can use a register on the series of LEDs to dim the light since it will draw some current/voltage.

Reason I used the register is to get the dimmer light on running vs braking. When brake is applied, there isn't any register needed -> brighter.

But now, I'm changing the design and the LEDs used. I'm using super-flux LEDs from those Infiniti FX's.
 

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hey xpbqn, i sent you a pm on this but you must have missed it, are you willing to make and sell these? i'd be happy to buy a set from you and send you my factory tails once i receive the led tails, that way you could have a set to make for the next guy who buys a set from you. what do you think? and how much would you charge considering you'd be getting a set of factory tail lights?
 
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