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LED Tail Lights, home made

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Thanks to a number of members in previous posts that put me on a track to construct a bright set of LED tail lights.

A couple of thoughts first. I used my old housings but needed to modify then by cutting a slot in one side to accommodate the LED panel. I did a quickie measurement  initially and thought the panels would fit but they were about 1/8" to large and there was no way to file them smaller without getting into the circuits. I'll start with the finished picture as it shows the completed assembly and the parts needed to create same.

I ordered extra 1157 panels to add to my backup lights also. Total cost is under $50.


The bulbs are 1157 Red LED panels from Superbrightleds.com. They were being closed out at less than $3/bulb. Because I have rewired the entire car I wasn't interested in using the bulb base so I removed it. I used the red panels with a 15 degree light angle for the build.

An important point. When you remove the wires from the base it leaves a resistor behind in the plug. The resistor is necessary to reduce the brightness of the tail light portion. I tried to reuse the ones in the base but no joy. They turned out to be about 150 Ohm resistors so bought 20 of them off Ebay for $4. There was room for two panels in each housing so I used clear Gorilla glue to join two panels.


Cut a piece of 1/8" ABS sheet to cover the slot in the housing, grooved it to accept the panel and Gorilla glued it in.


This is the housing modified and painted white.


If you look below you can see I attached the LED panel assembly with clear silicone and a couple of screws. To exit the light assembly I added a bulb socket stripped of it's internals to hold the wires in place with silicone and also added a three wire Weather pack connector to connect directly into my new wiring harness.


Here's a Youtube video of the assembly powered up with a 12 volt battery.


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