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Old 28th November 2012, 21:39   #1
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Default DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Always fancied the idea of having underbody neons or LEDs, but still being a student, that too with zero saving habits, i could not afford branded kits.
What I can afford is a DIY project, I thought! Here we go!

My i20 still has them, only on the sides (not front and back), running fine, but have taken off the polo ones due to some reliability issues caused by a flawed design, i am working on a better design and hopefully my Polo will have them by the year end.

On the i20:
1. Bought around two metres of water proof LED strips (60 LEDs per metre).
2. Two nos. aluminium Angles from the local hardware shop. (Angle= L section)
3. Used feviquick to stick the LED strips to the Angle lengths. Though the strips are self adhesive, its just not robust enough. Tried the feviquick on aluminium and heated it reasonably, nothing happens, it still holds tight, tried it in water, still tight, brilliant!
4. Tthe exact measurements were taken and the L sections with the LEDs were prepared on my desk.
5. Borrowed a drill machine from my housing society electrician, used a 3mm drill bit to make 4 holes on each side of the car, on the protruding metal strip on which the jack is to be used, i20 owners might notice.
6. Suitable nuts and bolts were used to mount the strips, the LEDs facing down.
7. Now comes the boring, wiring part. the wires were routed properly using cable ties, and connected to the leaft rear fog lamp terminal using proper crimps and joint terminals, again the friendly electrician came to my help. Wires were not spliced. the LEDs can be switched on or off using the Fog lamp ring on the light control stalk, the only glitch being that the LED can only be turned on when the headlights are on.

PICS: The car is back home at Allahabad, so these are the only pics i have right now, will ask a friend to click better pics and email.
DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20-i20.jpg
DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20-img00702201209031832.jpg

VW Polo:
1. Same as above.
2. Used aluminium C-sections instead of L-section, of suitable lengths.
3. Same as above.
4. Same as above.
5. Used a near by garage to get the drills done, carried my drill bits, the friendly guys charged nothing, only chai paani was cool!
6. Used Brass coated screws (3mm diametre and length no.8), no rust till i took them off.
7. wiring was routed inside the cabin usint one of the drain plugs in the spare wheel well of the car, routed it right till the HU, completely invisible. coudnt figure where to source the current from, so drove the car to my ICE installer who used a few crimps and connected the wires to HU current source. NOTE: the LED strips run on 12v DC, and so do most car components and headunits. I added a switch later by tapping the LED wire in between.
NOTE: No wires from the manufacturers were spliced or cut.

PICS: no WIP pics because I was alone doing everything and both were more of hit and try DIYs, which turned out exceptionally cool.

DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20-img00431201203071907.jpg
DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20-img00432201203071908.jpg
DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20-img00433201203071908.jpg
DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20-img00465201204051909.jpg

PS: the LEDs from the Polo have been taken off, working on a better design.
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Old 29th November 2012, 20:57   #2
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

You may want to confirm if you are allowed to have such lights on/under a car. They tend to distract other drivers and that may be why, I think, the law doesn't permit anyone to have such lights installed.
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Old 29th November 2012, 23:56   #3
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinu_h View Post
You may want to confirm if you are allowed to have such lights on/under a car. They tend to distract other drivers and that may be why, I think, the law doesn't permit anyone to have such lights installed.
Yes i may for sure want to confirm if its illegal, because i have seen quite a few people on the streets with underbody neons or LEDs, a few are on the forum also I think.
And i would like to point out that i really dont drive around with the lights on all the time, its just a simple DIY project.
I am as law abiding as a human can be, I assure you.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:01   #4
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Terrific DIY. Keep it up

As for what the law says, I believe this is not allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
Yes i may for sure want to confirm if its illegal, because i have seen quite a few people on the streets with underbody neons or LEDs, a few are on the forum also I think.
And i would like to point out that i really dont drive around with the lights on all the time, its just a simple DIY project.
I am as law abiding as a human can be, I assure you.
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Old 30th November 2012, 07:38   #5
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Not a fan of the above underbody lights. Many Indica cabs here have these LED lights and is an irritant to other drivers.

Cheers!
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Old 30th November 2012, 07:44   #6
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Personally the only things I find irritating on the road are dangerous blinding high beam lights from idiots who have no concern for the safety of others. Underbody LEDs are totally harmless. Its like saying driving a Ferrari or a Ducati is dangerous because other road users get distracted staring at them.
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:59   #7
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
Terrific DIY. Keep it up

As for what the law says, I believe this is not allowed.
Thank you! Will make sure I dont break any laws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Not a fan of the above underbody lights. Many Indica cabs here have these LED lights and is an irritant to other drivers.

Cheers!
To each his own, but i dont think you can really compare the installation and positioning of these lights to the one that the indica cabs have, i.e. i have made sure that the glare of the LEDs doesnt show one bit.The LEDs have been installed facing downward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHG View Post
Personally the only things I find irritating on the road are dangerous blinding high beam lights from idiots who have no concern for the safety of others. Underbody LEDs are totally harmless. Its like saying driving a Ferrari or a Ducati is dangerous because other road users get distracted staring at them.
I love the way you have summed it up, I couldnt think of a better example.
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Old 30th November 2012, 13:16   #8
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

One could always wire them to the interior lights to turn on when the driver opens the door! Kinda like puddle lights! Then they wont be illegal anymore
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Old 30th November 2012, 19:38   #9
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

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Originally Posted by sohail99 View Post
One could always wire them to the interior lights to turn on when the driver opens the door! Kinda like puddle lights! Then they wont be illegal anymore
Thats quite doable, but I am really bad with wires, so maybe I'll have to get in touch with an expert.
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Old 30th November 2012, 21:01   #10
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Default

Fantastic DIY! Looks uber cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sohail99
One could always wire them to the interior lights to turn on when the driver opens the door! Kinda like puddle lights! Then they wont be illegal anymore
That will be quite a challenge to drive with the door open!! :-D I am sure the primary idea of the lights were to show off a bit while the car is in motion.

Don't agree with the indicabs distracting in the sense you wrote, most of those guys have it along the boot lines or number plate border or blue / green lights on the headlamps (and some Innovas & Scorpios which have these along the running board or side step) as DRLs. This is executed differently.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 30th November 2012 at 21:04.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 10:15   #11
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Default Idea!

I normally don't endorse underbody lights, but you seem to have taken the time and effort to do this perfectly. Kudos to that! Most people just stick the strips on the underbody of the car and it can be seen from the sides. I assume that since you used a mount, the LEDs are not visible from outside.

My only gripe is that you used Blue. They're way too common. Try a different color next time.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 10:32   #12
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Excellent DIY! The execution of the job is simply brilliant. Kudos to you for that

I think blue is cool for ur car as well. Could be good if you could share some WIP pics when you do the same on ur Polo. Will be useful for some people.

+1 To sohail99. The puddle lights sorta idea would be simply awesome and it is unique as well. But I would prefer a little lighting in the interior rather than the outside when one opens the door.

Cheers,
Kaushik
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Old 2nd December 2012, 10:52   #13
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Interesting, I am awaiting an order of multicolored waterproof LED strips, with controller and remote, that allows you to choose what colour the strip should show.

For wiring, I will have it connected for control via headlight (not fog lamp), as my strips will need about 24 Watts of power.

Mounting, will probable see if your idea can be applied.

I earlier went for neon tubes, but they break easily on Mumbai speedbreakers.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 11:25   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential
Interesting, I am awaiting an order of multicolored waterproof LED strips, with controller and remote, that allows you to choose what colour the strip should show...
You ordered it online? Mind sharing the details please? And yea, the strip looks like a better idea than tubes.
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Old 12th December 2012, 09:58   #15
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Default Re: DIY underbody LED lights on Polo and i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
Interesting, I am awaiting an order of multicolored waterproof LED strips, with controller and remote, that allows you to choose what colour the strip should show.

For wiring, I will have it connected for control via headlight (not fog lamp), as my strips will need about 24 Watts of power.

Mounting, will probable see if your idea can be applied.

I earlier went for neon tubes, but they break easily on Mumbai speedbreakers.
Would definitely want to see how it turns up!
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