Newbie has quite a specific project to do!!!

Got a project in mind? Post it in here to get help from the forums. No idea too crazy or mundane!
Bmw520
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Newbie has quite a specific project to do!!!

Postby Bmw520 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:12 pm

Hi guys I've got a very specific request to modify the interior of my car.
I have a bmw and I want to get some LEDs to match the glow the stock LEDs have in the interior.

I know the colour is 607nm. And they are quite dim.
I intend on installing them in the interior door handles to make them glow.
I just need some advice on what LEDs to go for that are suitable for automotive use and that will give me the colour I need. I need them to be as small as possible with a flat head or straw hat type if possible.
Also need info on the type of resistors ill need.

Many thanks in return. Will definitely post some pics up once done. Also have a number if friends that are interested in the same project too but unsure of what LEDs and bits and pieces to use.

vimes79
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Re: Newbie has quite a specific project to do!!!

Postby vimes79 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:29 am

Hey there.
For 12v In car lighting the best solution I have seen and not really seen beaten is the bendy stick on strips of 12v LED's. They are available in different single colours in the most basic set up so you just have 2 inputs (+12v and -Gnd) all the led's in the strip are the same colour and you can select the length of strip you want in 10cm increments. For a nice bright effective solution to down lighting and backdrop lighting the single colour 12v strips are great. (I have just fitted white ones under all my kitchen cabinets in my new house to give me hidden down lighting on to the worktops. Im rigging the power up tomorrow and will post some photos then. You can pick it up here at Phenoptix (although im not seeing them on the stock list at the moment, I know they had some in a couple of colours before the website was replaced and I dont think all the stock is back up yet )

Your 2nd option is to delve into the world of RGB colour mixing. Im sure you know that RGB LED's consist of 3 colours (Red, Green and Blue) all in one LED, they all have a common polarization which allows each colour within the LED to be lit independently or in groups or all 3 at once by adding your 12v (or whatever voltage LED your using) to 1, 2 or all 3 colours which all terminate in the end of the strip (Again cuttable in 10cm lengths where there is either a copper tape terminal for Gnd and the 3 colours or sometimes its just a layer of solder that you can just heat with your soldering iron and attach your wires to the colours you want to use. That's the easy way, If you want some more colours other then the ones that are produced just by adding 2 or 3 together on full power, you can change the colours more subtlety by adding resistance to one or more of the "lanes" or by adding a Micro Controller (sold here) that you can set up to make use of PWM - Pulse Width Modulation (Basically it turns the power on and off really quickly (much faster then the naked eye can notice or detect at all) and then that adjusts the amount of power getting to that lane through that PWM channel by speeding up the Modulation so the power is on for longer and makes it appear brighter or by slowing it down so the power to that channels lane is less and by hooking up all 3 to a PWM compatible board you can control your 3 colours on each of the 3 LED's per 10cm to get around 1.1Million colour variations. (Example of PWM controller (A little overkill for this job but same principle) - http://www.phenoptix.com/products/adafruit-16-channel-12-bit-pwm-servo-driver-i2c-interface-pca9685)
Its worth taking a look at the Wikipedia page about RGB LED's and also PWM Pulse Width Modulation.
Phenoptix do have the RGB strip in stock available in 10cm multiples which will be all in one length which you can then cut down to 10cm multiples to use in different areas and just run wires in-between them.
You can find it here : http://www.phenoptix.com/products/rgb-12v-led-strip-10cm-smd-leds-flexible-tape

If you really want to go to town then they also stock the Adafruit Addressable RGB LED Strips again in variable lengths of 10cm upwards I think (Its listed as in Meters but I needed some the other day and was offered it in shorter lengths of 10cm multiples again. It gets much more complicated here and is prob over kill for hidden down lighters etc as every single LED can be individually controlled.
Its in stock here (but worth contacting the guys here to find out about legth) : http://www.phenoptix.com/products/adafruit_rgb_led_flexi_strip
It requires a little more knowledge and the best way to find out about it is head to the Adafruit info page on that product here where you will find all the info on it : http://adafruit.com/products/306

You can off course move away from pre-built strips and into single LED's in either single colours or RGB (Same principle as the RGB Strip), you would however most likely need to do a fair bit of drilling and hiding wires etc... You would need 12v 3mm or 5mm LED's with the right resistor or you could use the super bright wide angle beam piranhas, they are 10mm squares with 5mm diam domes and available in loads of colours including RGB setup.
Here : http://www.phenoptix.com/products/superflux-pirhana-led

Final option is SMD (Surface Mount Devices) - These are VERY small LED's that are designed to be soldered flat onto a PCB. However it is possible with some of the larger sizes (which are still bloody small) to solder wires to the terminal on each end of the rectangle LED and link them together. Its tricky but doable and if you had the patience to do it you could hide them well as they are so small a dab of super glue would hold the led and you could get away with thinner wire (After Voltage and current step down!!!). You would have to drop the voltage and current ALOT though as they are not designed for that sort of use. You can find a ton of diagrams on voltage dropping and reducing Car 12v current to a lower and stable level with a fairly simple regulator setup either self build or buy one.

Im not a big modder at all, but alot of the guys here mod XBoxes etc so know a little more about this kind of thing, I think a few people have done some work in cars too.

The resister sizes is a tricky one due to so many variables on a cars 12v circuit. You would prob be best off building a regulating setup on a small PCB and mount under the dash or buy something that does the same job. Just check some car modding forums and you will find examples.

If you find what your looking for then come back here and contact the store staff as they know ALOT and this business was setup on LED's so they know them back to front. Im not going to try and explain anything other then the products I know and have used for similar projects but in my home and not on my car.
If they don't have what you want then they will most likely be able to get it easily and they still have unlisted stock so always worth asking.

Good Luck!
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phenoptix
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Re: Newbie has quite a specific project to do!!!

Postby phenoptix » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:08 pm

What he said! :D

dec0y7
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Re: Newbie has quite a specific project to do!!!

Postby dec0y7 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:32 pm

^^^^snap^^^^ this might help too led.linear1.org/led.wiz
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

xanthic
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Re: Newbie has quite a specific project to do!!!

Postby xanthic » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:37 am

You could get yourself some clear lens orange LEDs (607 nm is orange). Get a LED and a 5k variable resistor on a 12 V supply and you'll be able to work dial it up to work out your resistance to get the brightness you want. Don't dial it too low or your LED will pop obviously.


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