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Old 10-13-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
Gator6977
 
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DIY Color Changing Halos for Under $20

RGB_Halos.pdf

So, youíve decided you want multi-color halos without the absurd price. Ever wonder what makes the various products on the market tick? After a bit of looking, I found that itís nothing more than a controller, a few resistors and the right LED. A little more looking found that you can buy the stuff needed for fairly cheap. While the method I will detail does involve baking your lights, Iíve done three sets and theyíve all survived, but I do believe that with enough determination, the JDP method will work as well. The price, not including the adhesive sealant, wire, tape and butt connectors is about $16.45 all shipped to your door and ready for assembly.
Things you will need:
3W 4-Pin RGB LED w/ Platine base (x2 and available on eBay)
RGB LED Controller (available on eBay)
10W 10 Ohm Resistors (x3 and available on parts-express.com)
A Tube of Adhesive Sealant (I prefer the type that fit in a caulking gun as theyíre much easier to use and make sure it for use with plastic. Most silicone based ones are and I found work best)
Soldering gun/Solder (If you are one of the few that donít know how to solder, watch a few videos and get to practicing.)
Wire (smaller the better, I used 18ga)
Wire Crimpers/Butt Connectors
Small zip ties (The black ones tend to hide better.)
Double Sided Sticky Tape (Just a little is needed)
A Drill with about a 3/8Ē bit (doesnít have to be exact, just has to create a hole large enough for wires to pass through)

Removal of lamp assemblies:
(FYI there are 4 10mm bolts on each side, not 3. The fourth one is close to the side marker. There is also a 7mm near the side marker as well.)
Disassembly of lamp assemblies:


RGB LED Controller from eBay

RGB LED, again found on eBay

Start by cutting the end off the controller and strip the wires back a ways. (The little black part is the optic the IR remote communicates with, leave it alone.)

Solder or otherwise connect the red, green and blue wires to a 10W 10 Ohm Resistor. Connect the black wire to a length of wire that is easier to work with/connect to. Be sure to mark which color each wire is at its end. Also be sure to use plenty of electrical tape here. I wrapped each connection then wrapped them all together as it becomes easier to hide once installed.

Solder wire to each RGD LEB. Each wire controls a color with the fourth giving it power. For reasons of simplicity, I used a length of about 4 feet per connection on the one for the driverís side. I used about 18Ē for the one on the passengerís side. Be sure to solder them in the directions shown above. That way the wires will be out of the way and go on each side of the heat sink. Donít forget to label which color is which at the end of the wire!

At this point, youíre ready to throw your costly assemblies into the oven!! Take a breath and watch the videos a couple times. Remember, 220 degrees for 20 minutes. A minute or two longer does make it easier to open, but as with this whole DIY, do so at your own risk. Iíve now done three sets. Itís really not that bad once you get the first one in and can get yourself to stop staring through the little window with the light on.

Once inside, and after you unplug the only plug that connects the lens from the rest of your assembly, there are only six torx screws you need to concern yourself with. The four in red secure the halo to the assembly. The two in blue secure the heat sink to the halo.

Sorry for the bad picture. This is the plug in that holds the lens to the assembly. It is also the plug for the weak factory white LED that powers the halo. Cut the end of one off and connect the positive and ground wires to the stripped power/ground wire of your controller. This will later plug back into your factory harness inside the assembly and power your halos on using the factory switch/auto lamps on function/any aftermarket harness to run your halos with your drl/fogs.

As I am very unoriginal, I stole the basis for this idea from Ofer (2SSRS). Shiny side down I wrapped the portions of the halo that arenít able to be viewed with tin foil.

I then tightly covered the foil with electrical tape. No sense wasting light that can be better reflected to viewable area.

If youíre not sure of the viewable area, place the halo back inside the lens. There are raised areas that block the areas wrapped in foil/tape.

Next is the installation of the RGB LED. Note, the bulb protrudes more than the factory one. Meaning the two screws that hold the heat sink onto the halo DO NOT TIGHTEN ALL THE WAY DOWN. This will destroy the LED. Simply snug them in place. I also use a small dab, and I do mean small, of super glue to hold the LED in place against the heat sink. If you wired your LED like I did mine, it should go in place with minimal effort as the wires will be on either side of the heat sink.

Now, simply drill a small hole and run your wires out.

Donít forget the plug for the power. It attaches to the same plug that the factory LED was plugged into, the one you had to detach to completely separate the lens from the assembly. Run it through the same hole as the wires leading out.

Almost done. Once both RGB LEDs are installed and the wires are ran, itís time to button things up. Use your adhesive sealant to re-affix your lens into place on the assembly. Also, use a dab on the wires/hole that you drilled into the housing. Now for the hard part. Let your assemblies sit for whatever amount of time you can take to allow the sealant to cure.

Again, sorry for the blurry pic. But, time to put it all together! I always run my wires to the passenger side, personal preference. Running the wires under the top member, use the factory holes to put zip ties through and hold those wires in place.

Hereís where I fired the camera man. Since you were smart enough to label each wire either R, G, B or P, this is just a matter of connecting the like wires! Red/green/blue/power wires from each simply attach using butt connectors to the wires coming from your controller.

Now the part youíve been dying to see, if it worked! Before I replace one screw/bolt/push pin, I test it out. All is good, moving on!

Neatly tuck your wires and use a little double back sticky tape on the back of the controller. Affix it up and out of the way on the top support bar near the radiator and run the little black ďeyeĒ back out the small area next to the radiator.

Now, put it all back together and start turning heads. The first time I did this, not including the time my assemblies sat curing, it took me about 3-4 hours to completely for the first time ever tear everything down and put it all back together. This last set took me a couple hours, mainly because one lens didnít want to come apart. The hardest thing to get over, for me at least, was gathering the cajoneís to throw my stuff in the oven. Beyond that, itís not all that difficult. Enjoy!


Last edited by Gator6977; 10-13-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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wow man that is great work! a great great great write up as well!
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Do you think that a spray on mirror paint, followed up by some black paint would work/look/last better/longer than the tin foil and electrical tape? Or at the very least, tin foil and shrink wrap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator6977 View Post
As I am very unoriginal, I stole the basis for this idea from Ofer (2SSRS). Shiny side down I wrapped the portions of the halo that aren’t able to be viewed with tin foil.

I then tightly covered the foil with electrical tape. No sense wasting light that can be better reflected to viewable area.

If you’re not sure of the viewable area, place the halo back inside the lens. There are raised areas that block the areas wrapped in foil/tape.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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While a bit more messy, sure. As to how long the tape will last, there's not much heat and hopefully no moisture issues. So, it should last for a very long time. I should have mentioned to make sure the tape overlaps just a tad onto the halo. Ofer used an aluminum type tape typically used in duct work if I remember correctly. All should work.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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I was JUST looking at these LED controllers for a footwell light project I've got goin. I'm glad they work well for you, I was a little worried they might be too cheap to work.

I will be ordering this controller!

Also, Nice job on the lights!


Oh, and question. How would I power these from the interior? Is the control box powered or is the LED itself?
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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The box is powered. Simple two wires, one power and one ground. I will say that I did have an issue with one controller not working correctly. Fortunately I had an extra. I would recommend buying a second if for no other reason than to have an extra for your next project.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator6977 View Post
The box is powered. Simple two wires, one power and one ground. I will say that I did have an issue with one controller not working correctly. Fortunately I had an extra. I would recommend buying a second if for no other reason than to have an extra for your next project.
Awesome. And yeah I will probably buy multiple, they are pretty cheap.
So simply black and red, a no need for any sort of inverter or resistor? or is this box ok for 12V? If I wanted to power this off of a 12V with an add a fuse, what amp fuse do you think I should use? If you are unsure that is fine, just curious.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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Not sure of a fuse size, but it connects directly to a 12v wire. It also sends out 12v so make sure whatever you're hooking up either has a resistor already in place, typically they say something like plug and play or simply attach whatever, or you add one.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator6977 View Post
Not sure of a fuse size, but it connects directly to a 12v wire. It also sends out 12v so make sure whatever you're hooking up either has a resistor already in place, typically they say something like plug and play or simply attach whatever, or you add one.
Great! Thanks for the help and great info. Even though I won't be making halos, the info is relevant to my project.

One, last question (maybe, lol). How is the IR range? Do you pretty much have to be pointed right at it?
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:54 PM   #10
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Do you have any pics of the halos in white?
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Caroline View Post
One, last question (maybe, lol). How is the IR range? Do you pretty much have to be pointed right at it?
The range isn't bad. I can get back upwards of 15-20 feet, but IR works line of sight. So, yes it needs point directly at the little eye. RF works, or is supposed to, over a greater distance within range of the receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lscamaro View Post
Do you have any pics of the halos in white?
I just took this pic this morning. There is a noticeable pinkish hue when on white. It's more noticeable if you're right on top of the light looking downward onto it. Keep in mind this is three colors trying to make white. There are other controllers out there that do a better job or allow you to set custom levels. For instance, there are ones on eBay that come with a much larger remote and DIY settings built into it. Just a word of caution, I have found that those can have a little trouble when turning pink of all colors. It tends to like to stay there for several seconds and not let you change.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:01 PM   #12
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great write up BTW.

only thing i would suggest is to use the correct OHM resistors to ensure proper color mixing. one of the key factors to making sure the colors come out distributed evenly involves some simple math using OHM's law or an LED calculator. even if the numbers are close...24 for R and 27 for B & G, it WILL make a noticeable difference. so be as exact as you can.

http://ledcalculator.net/

you have to look at the data sheet to get for the information you need, but its really simple. generally the G & B channels will use the same OHM resistor where the R channel needs more or less resistance in comparison. you have to do the calculations for each channel (R G B) to have the proper set up.

for instance:

12v SUPPLIED POWER
LED: 3W RGB
PT #: VL-H01RGB00302
.................................................. using max fwd V
...........FWD CUR.........FWD V.........MAX FWD V.........RESISTOR OHM/WATT
R...........400mA.............2.5................. 2.8.........................24ohms/4W
G...........350mA.............3.4................. 3.8.........................27ohms/3W
B...........350mA.............3.4................. 3.8.........................27ohms/3W

or...

12v SUPPLIED POWER
LED: 1W RGB
PT #: PM6B-1LFS
.................................................. using max fwd V
...........FWD CUR.........FWD V.........MAX FWD V........RESISTOR OHM/WATT
R..........150mA..............2.2................. ..3.1.......................62 ohms/2W
G..........150mA..............3.5................. ..4.1.......................56 ohms/2W
B..........150mA..............3.5................. ..4.1.......................56 ohms/2W

MAX FWD V will be brighter but the trade off is a shortened life expectancy of the LED. FWD V will still be bright enough for most conditions including daylight use when using a 3W LED.

it doesn't hurt to have a Resistor with a Wattage rating higher than suggested where a 5Watt resistor would be more than sufficient for heat dissipation. anything smaller than the recommended resistor wattage and it will burn/melt/magic puffs escape.

OP...the reason why you are seeing more of a pinkish tint when in white light mode is due to the mismatch of resistors where R resistor doesn't have a high enough resistance and is putting out more light in comparison to B & G.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:36 PM   #13
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great write up
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:23 PM   #14
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This is fantastically awesome!!
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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I do have a question too, though.. Would it be possible to only have 2 colors? I'm not specifically interested in the multi color RGB.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:16 PM   #16
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GREAT WRITE UP!! I love the uniform look of the refraction(?) tube used on the stock halo's and HATE the individual LED ring on everyone else's aftermarket rings. This is exactly what I wanted. KUDOS to you!! You've made this lighting designer very happy.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #17
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Thanks guys! This has been without a doubt one of my most favorite mods to date as I love watching people passing by jump out of their seats pointing to the other occupants of the vehicle. Great time.

Anglwngss, you can do the 2 color thing, if you can find the led that only does both. I did a really quick search and only found the 5mm standard type LEDs, but I know the ones similar to those already in the lamp exist somewhere. You would just need to run a three position switch to tell them to either, for example, be white or red. In one of Ofer's posts I saw him use a 5mm LED in a halo, but he had to drill the bottom of it out and used some clear finger nail polish to affix it. If you find what you want to use and have any questions, shoot me a pm as I get an instant email and will get back with you fairly quickly.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy_1980 View Post
Do you think that a spray on mirror paint, followed up by some black paint would work/look/last better/longer than the tin foil and electrical tape? Or at the very least, tin foil and shrink wrap?
you can't put heat shrink on without cutting the halo...

and as an alternative to using electrical tape, where in colder climates i has the ability to unadhere itself you can use liquid tape:
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:01 AM   #19
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Gator6977 grate work, if i can add some info, here goes, To start you want the same length light wires going from the resisters to the LED, after lots of tests this seems to help the mach of colors on the 2 headlights, Next that controller is only a IR you may want a RF Controller and extend the antenna for range.

Or there is a new one i am testing that is Wifi and works with your phone
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #20
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Ofer, your comments are always welcomed and helpful. I've not seen any color variation between the two with any of the colors, not to say it can't happen, but it hasn't occurred to me yet. And do tell more about that Wi-Fi controller!
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:27 PM   #21
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Any problems with the controller or still going strong? I'm concerned about these smoking up and melting or worse, catching fire.

I say that because my computer (which I built) recently smoked out because some cold cathodes were using a small gauge wire that couldn't handle the load.

So, any observations? Would you suggest maybe cracking it open and soldering some thicker wires in?

I know I sound paranoid, but I'm just wanting to be safe.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:54 PM   #22
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Nothing wrong with safety or peace of mind. They're still working quite well and still turning heads.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hapisok View Post
great write up BTW.

only thing i would suggest is to use the correct OHM resistors to ensure proper color mixing. one of the key factors to making sure the colors come out distributed evenly involves some simple math using OHM's law or an LED calculator. even if the numbers are close...24 for R and 27 for B & G, it WILL make a noticeable difference. so be as exact as you can.

http://ledcalculator.net/

you have to look at the data sheet to get for the information you need, but its really simple. generally the G & B channels will use the same OHM resistor where the R channel needs more or less resistance in comparison. you have to do the calculations for each channel (R G B) to have the proper set up.

for instance:

12v SUPPLIED POWER
LED: 3W RGB
PT #: VL-H01RGB00302
.................................................. using max fwd V
...........FWD CUR.........FWD V.........MAX FWD V.........RESISTOR OHM/WATT
R...........400mA.............2.5................. 2.8.........................24ohms/4W
G...........350mA.............3.4................. 3.8.........................27ohms/3W
B...........350mA.............3.4................. 3.8.........................27ohms/3W

or...

12v SUPPLIED POWER
LED: 1W RGB
PT #: PM6B-1LFS
.................................................. using max fwd V
...........FWD CUR.........FWD V.........MAX FWD V........RESISTOR OHM/WATT
R..........150mA..............2.2................. ..3.1.......................62 ohms/2W
G..........150mA..............3.5................. ..4.1.......................56 ohms/2W
B..........150mA..............3.5................. ..4.1.......................56 ohms/2W

MAX FWD V will be brighter but the trade off is a shortened life expectancy of the LED. FWD V will still be bright enough for most conditions including daylight use when using a 3W LED.

it doesn't hurt to have a Resistor with a Wattage rating higher than suggested where a 5Watt resistor would be more than sufficient for heat dissipation. anything smaller than the recommended resistor wattage and it will burn/melt/magic puffs escape.

OP...the reason why you are seeing more of a pinkish tint when in white light mode is due to the mismatch of resistors where R resistor doesn't have a high enough resistance and is putting out more light in comparison to B & G.
Anyone have any links to the correct resistors to get the nicest output of all colors. Looking to do this but am looking for resistors that will work best.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:07 PM   #24
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The only color that doesn't look completely correct is the white. The problem I had with resistors was the range in which the LEDs operate in. It's up to you to pick whether you want ultra bright, really long lasting or anywhere in the middle. I went in the middle and rounded my results from the calculator to the ones I used. Pick out the ones you want to use and run the numbers in a calculator and go from there.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:48 PM   #25
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You will go down as a legend for this money-saver hahaha I am looking forward to doing this. Do you know how to connect an led flasher to these? Will that still work with the remote?
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