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DIY Almost Free Super Bright LEDs

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by Darscot, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    I recently installed a set of Abstract Ocean puddle lights, I highly recommend them. This left me with two unused LEDs and I thought I might as well mess with them. I popped one open and they are just a single LED on a board. Wiggle the board up and down by the end opposite the metal connectors. The board pops right out and leaves the two pins behind. I had a roll of LEDs left over so I snipped out a three LED section and soldered them to the post. If the pins are on your left the pin closet to you is negative. My strip was a little long but it’s fexible so it’s easy to wedge in there. It’s ugly but once you pop the cap back on it looks perfect. Each LED is much brighter than the single LED in the original and now you have three. They even work in the foot wells. I think a roll of 12v LEDs is like $15-20 and that is enough to do at least 20 cars so your a few cents per light. I only did two so far took me about 10 minutes. The strip I have is warm but I prefer cool so I need to grab another strip.

    0EC056FB-DB07-4612-BA8D-0443BAC32F6C.jpeg

    This is the board popped out.
    DF1D71E6-5B97-4E4A-9CB3-8F0C99C4AA00.jpeg
     
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  2. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    Here is my trunk open in my pitch black garage.

    07C9AF08-1DD8-445C-8434-9EBF429BC7CF.jpeg

    This is a foot well with the original, the trunk has two but you can see the difference.

    43D09CC9-C236-4CF3-BF4B-9674B13B84F9.jpeg
     
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  3. JeffnReno

    JeffnReno Member

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    Where did you buy the 12v LED roll from and I can't tell from the picture but I'm assuming they are soldered in parallel and not series? The picture with the single LED appears to have another component on the strip. Is that needed when using the 3 LEDs?
     
  4. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    The 12v strip I got from amazon, I’ll post some pictures. The strip has that component as well it’s just folded under. My strip is a warm white, they would look great in a red car. Any other color I would buy a cool white.

    CFACC970-B754-439F-BB33-0AA251225C8D.jpeg

    968C7EA2-ED6A-41B8-AA9C-F9847FD6C833.jpeg
     
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  5. JeffnReno

    JeffnReno Member

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    Thanks for the updated pictures and info. I'll search Amazon now that I have that.
     
  6. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    I just ordered a set of cool white. I went with SMD 5630 as they are even brighter. I paid $20 CDN with two day local shipping but I did see them for half that shipping from China.
     
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  7. JeffnReno

    JeffnReno Member

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    I put a couple selections on my wish list but decided to hold off until I pull a fixture out and look at it to see if I really want to go forward with modifing it. I rarely do much driving at night so hardly use the lighting in the areas that would be affected. I don't remember even opening my frunk or trunk at night and didn't pay any attention to puddle lights either. I usually carry a small portable led light in the console for those rare times I need more light looking for something. I love the idea but it will be awhile for me to do it.
     
  8. KDGr

    KDGr Member

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    #8 KDGr, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    I ordered this set of bright white LEDs: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B074N4YVDK/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Only $17. Not quite as bright at the SMD5630, but this roll has twice as many lights/foot as the others I saw, so thought they might work better for fitting onto the Tesla light boards. And when I'm done clipping off the end, I can use the rest of the strip since it comes with transformer and dimmer. Seems a fun project, especially to brighten up the footwells.
     
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  9. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    #9 Darscot, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    Their 3 LED section does look tighter than the ones I used so you should get a better fit. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
     
  10. KDGr

    KDGr Member

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    The strip fit perfectly. Photo below. With the adhesive back, I was able to fix it in place so that the connectors touched, and the lights worked even without solder. I soldered them anyway, figuring vibration and time would take their toll. Thanks for the tips about getting the board out and which end was negative. Wouldn't have dared this otherwise. I had to use a very thin screwdriver (for eyeglasses) to pry the board out on the far end, then bent it back and forth carefully to break along the line at the pins end, as in your photo. I've only done one so far in the trunk. Looking forward to brighter footwell lights! I put blue gel over those and the door pocket lights, a nice effect but will be better when brighter. May try to add LEDs to the door pocket lights, too. They are smaller, but maybe these will fit. Cheers!

    IMG_2644.jpeg
     
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  11. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    Those look great, a much better fit.
     
  12. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Well done. Thanks for getting this started. I figured there would be no reason for me to reinvent the wheel, and you've given me a great head start.
     
  13. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Now. Who has an integrating sphere so we can figure out how much light we're getting out of the various options?

    Just because I'm a nerd.
     
  14. R1Fast

    R1Fast P3D Blue/White

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    Haha, thanks for the tip! As a PC builder I have a ton of rgb and white LEDs laying around... now I'm glad I kept all of the spare cuts.
     
  15. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Veeringly slightly off topic here... how does PC building equate to having LED strips around? Is that a thing? Putting LED strips into PCs?

    I must be getting too old. :)
     
  16. FourOhFour

    FourOhFour HTTP Error

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    Oh, yes. water cooled pc lights at DuckDuckGo
     
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  17. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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  18. Roci

    Roci Member

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    It would be pretty cool to find a tiny Bluetooth controller (maybe like the ESP3212) and wire that in to a RGB LED strip, then with a mobile app you could change the color and brightness of the lighting in your car based on mood! Might not be enough space for it in the LED assembly though.
     
  19. Darscot

    Darscot Member

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    The original light casing would probably be too small to fit everything inside. That being said there is lots of room behind the lights, you could drill a hole in the original light and just feed the wires in. Then push the Bluetooth controller inside the door or foot well and then pop the light in place. You just need all the components to be smaller than the hole for the light. I don't know much about the bluetooth controllers are they 12 volt?
     
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  20. Roci

    Roci Member

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    No, they are 3.3 V, so would need something like a voltage buck converter inline with the 12 volts to the controller. It would probably be best for all of that to be on its own circuit board or in a custom LED housing.
     

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