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Light bar installation to 2013 Model S

Zuikkis

Member
Aug 19, 2020
229
262
Finland
Hi!

It's getting dark and the Model S lights are not that bright. I already had swapped the original 25W HIDs to "US spec" 35W, but still it didn't feel too good at high beam.

I bought this curved 98W led light bar:
Arctic Bright Curved Slim 98W LED lisävalopaneeli | Karkkainen.com verkkokauppa

Only 89eur at local store, and has EU approval.

6438014264042_4.jpg

Here's the dimensions.. I'm pretty sure this "Arctic Bright" is some Finnish-only relabel of some cheap China junk, you can probably find the same product with different brand elsewhere.

I wanted the installation to be as "hidden" as possible, so the light bar wouldn't pop out visually when not in use. I thought that it must fit behind the upper grille. I googled around if anyone has done similar setup, and found this thread from the Australia section of this board:

My Light Bar Project

So it is indeed possible!

First I removed the bumper. There's excellent instruction on this forum:
How To: Front Bumper and Headlight Removal

Bumper is very fast to remove, only takes about 15 minutes. Air suspension helps, you can raise it to max high to reach the two screws above wheels in fenders.

kuva1.jpeg


With bumper removed it's obvious the light bar fits really well to the upper air duct! I just pushed it there and it fitted nicely. So there's no need to cut or trim anything.

kuva2.jpeg


I removed the plastic piece so it's easy to drill holes for the mounting brackets.

kuva3.jpeg


Then, I added two extra stainless steel brackets that are riveted to the metal bar inside the bumper. So the light is now attached very securely. There's bolts going through the air duct which are not visible in the photo, sorry. :)

kuva4.jpeg


For the power I figured I just use the power taps inside the nose cone. The light has wiring with relay, so it's safe to connect to permanent supply and then just the relay control wire is wired into the original high beam.

kuva5.jpeg


Finished product, behind the grill. Completely invisible!

kuva6.jpeg


But not so invisible when you flip high beams on.. :)

kuva7.jpeg


Even though the light is curved, the beam is surprisingly narrow. Doesn't look very bright from this angle.

I just drove a small 20km trip at dark just to test this light, and I have to say it's incredible. Didn't take any photos, sorry. But now it really feels safe to drive at night. :)
 

Zuikkis

Member
Aug 19, 2020
229
262
Finland
Hey!! Nice install!!! Where are the high beam signal cables located? How did you tapped into?

Does the light seem shadowed by the grill?

Thanks!!!

I have a 2013 model with HID lights. High beam signal is available directly in the headlight connector, either side. I just measured all the pins how they change if toggling low / high beam. There is one wire that gets +12V when at high beam..

I used a wire tap to connect the wire to the light bar relay.

I don't think it's shadowed much by the grill. Obviously it might block a little, but it's still incredibly bright when compared to the stock lights..
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,029
494
Springfield, VA
Seeing the thread title I was expecting to see a tacky light bar bolted to the roof or the hood. What a nice surprise. Very stealth and cool looking!
 

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