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Old 30th November 2008, 18:44   #1
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Default Experiment! Replacing conventional headlights bulbs with LEDS!

im from mumbai and need the co-operation of atleast 3-4 tbhpians who can spare a couple of hours a week(or more, if the need arises) for accompanying me on this quest, willingly give me their telephone nos and lend their old bhangaar headlights. im embarking on a project where i want to replace the reflector and bulb from my esteem headlight and place a projector beam made of LEDS. esteem why, because thats the car i drive daily and i would love to replace the conventional system. i shall update the thread if we make headway.
my only problem is that im a dentist and have NO knowledge about soldering or resistors.but i do have the time, the resources and the perseverance to start a project like this!
ARE YOU GAME?
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Old 30th November 2008, 19:56   #2
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Hey buddy, the LED lamps your thinking of is quit a big task, I have been trying to get LED head lamps on my bike initially than my car [once I got a car] theres a big problem with heat with LEDs and the heat sink has to be big, over this if there isn't good flow of air over the heat sink the reflector will melt.
I was using 1-3 watt LEDs from luxeon, need at least 20 watts of total power to get a good light for head light appilcation, but the heat shoots up to around 120-150 deg C in about a 1min at an ambiant temperature of 25 deg C and than the LEDs go in themal shutdown mode, if the ambient temp is Higher than the heat generated is quit fast. To keep the LEDs working reliably tha temp has to be maintianed at around 60-90 deg C [for this a big heat sink area is needed].
You can use these [lower wattage] LEDs for fog lamp setup. Head lamps need a low and high beam setup and that is agian a big project.
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Old 30th November 2008, 19:57   #3
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and adding to the above, I dont think LED's can project light like a headlamps, can be used when you need low light effects only.
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Old 30th November 2008, 19:58   #4
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we can fit a nice computer fan with leds to cool the lights. will look good and serve their purpose too! where theres a will theres a way!

DIY LED car headlights!
howzzzzat?
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Old 30th November 2008, 20:04   #5
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Nice to see an adventerous Dentist !! Hope you are sucessful !

All the best. And I thought you are / were on a budget when you started restoring your car.. Great going !!



Cheers
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Old 30th November 2008, 20:32   #6
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heheh. thanks for the words of encouragement ricky. actually more than a necessity, this is a matter of interest. and its not going to cost the world. worst comes worst i will have to get a new set of headlamps. im ok with that
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Old 30th November 2008, 20:36   #7
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lets first experiment on Tail lamps.
For headlamps why not try a projector conversion
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Old 30th November 2008, 20:38   #8
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Focusing is not an issue, as there lenses available to focus light beam for these LEDs, but the distance of the beam needed requires higher wattage.
I am attaching some photos of the experimental setup, these are 9 watt each, unfocused [no lenses] and no reflector LED setup. Each unit has 3 , 3 watt LEDs. but due to heat generation of the setup ,and controller, it consumes around 13.5 watts each.

Frank, cooling the setup with a fan is an idea which has been tried, that needa a steady supply of cool air as well, but what if the fan stops working in the middle of the night? and the space is quit small behind the lights.
The link you have given for the regular 3mm LEDs, you can not rely on them alone [headlight] you will need additional regular bulbs to give a good drivable light. The heating in these LEDs is not a big problem.but Light generation is not that good .
Attached Images
  

Last edited by dinar : 30th November 2008 at 20:49.
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Old 30th November 2008, 21:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
Focusing is not an issue, as there lenses available to focus light beam for these LEDs, but the distance of the beam needed requires higher wattage.
I am attaching some photos of the experimental setup, these are 9 watt each, unfocused [no lenses] and no reflector LED setup. Each unit has 3 , 3 watt LEDs. but due to heat generation of the setup ,and controller, it consumes around 13.5 watts each.

Frank, cooling the setup with a fan is an idea which has been tried, that needa a steady supply of cool air as well, but what if the fan stops working in the middle of the night? and the space is quit small behind the lights.
The link you have given for the regular 3mm LEDs, you can not rely on them alone [headlight] you will need additional regular bulbs to give a good drivable light. The heating in these LEDs is not a big problem.but Light generation is not that good .

I feel, even the HID projectors (ofcourse from scrap) could be used for controlling the beam if high wattage LED is used with.

Dinar, how did you cool taht 10+ watts LED setup? Please share, may be on a LED lighgting thread, as this is frank's thread for his ambitious project.

Frank, I suggest you to try a foglight/Auxiliary light set-up with LEDs before veturing on to Headlights.
The instructables link (DIY LED car headlights!) is a good reference. He used low power low intensity LEDs in quantity which are cheap as well. Using highpower LEDs in less number seems to be good idea for me as they are now available and for prices better than that of few years back. They are really powerful. Cooling is going to be a challenging task with them and you have to find a good heatsink method. Good luck for your project.
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Old 30th November 2008, 21:30   #10
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hey guys, thats cool. Infact Ive been toying with the idea of LED lamps for my Jeep too.

Any circuits / ideas welcome
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Old 30th November 2008, 22:10   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyamhegde View Post
I feel, even the HID projectors (ofcourse from scrap) could be used for controlling the beam if high wattage LED is used with.

Dinar, how did you cool taht 10+ watts LED setup? Please share, may be on a LED lighgting thread, as this is frank's thread for his ambitious project.

Frank, I suggest you to try a foglight/Auxiliary light set-up with LEDs before veturing on to Headlights.
The instructables link (DIY LED car headlights!) is a good reference. He used low power low intensity LEDs in quantity which are cheap as well. Using highpower LEDs in less number seems to be good idea for me as they are now available and for prices better than that of few years back. They are really powerful. Cooling is going to be a challenging task with them and you have to find a good heatsink method. Good luck for your project.
The cooling of this setup was with a heat sink of area of around 6x6 inch,[per set] aluminum alloy. still working on a good recipe to get a good heat sink,and maintaining the ambient temperature to around 24 deg C [using AC].I have managed now to maintain the temperature of the setup at room temperature, even in the day ambient temperature of around 35 deg C. Using a new heat sink design , but the engine bay temperatures are still not managbles without active thermal design.
HID lenses do not work with LEDs that good, they have to be individually focused first than you can focus them according to needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headers View Post
hey guys, thats cool. Infact Ive been toying with the idea of LED lamps for my Jeep too.

Any circuits / ideas welcome
Same point buddy, heating issues.

Last edited by dinar : 30th November 2008 at 22:13.
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Old 30th November 2008, 22:37   #12
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how about using the same idea that the man on instructibles has adopted. use low power leds. lots of them. if he has used 48 lets use 96. someone in mumbai should help me out with the technicalities. mumbai bhpians. jaago!
cooling will not be a problem if we use low power leds.

good suggestion about the taillights. lets begin with the tail light project first. who's in??
my idea is not to make this a one off project like many people here on tbhp who have done the whole thing themselves but with a lot of difficulty. my aim is to provide a point by point set of instructions to all the teambhpians so they can do it themselves.
hope the support is good. because alone im going to be restricted to just dreaming.
hell, i am a dentist but very inclined towards technical stuff. collabaration with someone ready to implement all this is required.
come on guys pm me. lets make it happen. dinar please pm me your telephone no. thanks. i didnt know you already had an inhouse effort going on. why not rethink the same thing and work on the same lines. anything wrong with using more low power leds?

Last edited by frankmehta : 30th November 2008 at 22:39.
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Old 30th November 2008, 22:40   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
The cooling of this setup was with a heat sink of area of around 6x6 inch,[per set] aluminum alloy. still working on a good recipe to get a good heat sink,and maintaining the ambient temperature to around 24 deg C [using AC].I have managed now to maintain the temperature of the setup at room temperature, even in the day ambient temperature of around 35 deg C. Using a new heat sink design , but the engine bay temperatures are still not managbles without active thermal design.
HID lenses do not work with LEDs that good, they have to be individually focused first than you can focus them according to needs.
You meant TEC modules? that works out pretty expensive to build and also won't be compact. Also active thermal design becomes power hungry against basicpupose of going for LEDs.

Larger heatsinks with more fins/surface area and cooling fans are good, but anything more than that makes LED solution not so nice in many aspects.
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Old 30th November 2008, 22:50   #14
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Mr.Dental has gone Mental!!

It seems you have ALOT of free ime on your hands eh!! Lets put the Fairy Lights in your car as Daytime Running Lights! That will be considerably simpler to do. Drill Holes in the Light assembly and put LEDs into it.

Can you put a Front Shot of your car here please!
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Old 30th November 2008, 23:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
how about using the same idea that the man on instructibles has adopted. use low power leds. lots of them. if he has used 48 lets use 96. someone in mumbai should help me out with the technicalities. mumbai bhpians. jaago!
cooling will not be a problem if we use low power leds.

good suggestion about the taillights. lets begin with the tail light project first. who's in??
my idea is not to make this a one off project like many people here on tbhp who have done the whole thing themselves but with a lot of difficulty. my aim is to provide a point by point set of instructions to all the teambhpians so they can do it themselves.
hope the support is good. because alone im going to be restricted to just dreaming.
hell, i am a dentist but very inclined towards technical stuff. collabaration with someone ready to implement all this is required.
come on guys pm me. lets make it happen. dinar please pm me your telephone no. thanks. i didnt know you already had an inhouse effort going on. why not rethink the same thing and work on the same lines. anything wrong with using more low power leds?
Frank If you looking at using the 3 mm LEDs than the soldering part is quit easy and you will be able to do it buddy, the circuit part I will help you, there is not much in it[ for these LEDs].
Now what sort of taillight you want to design clear lens or only make replacement to the existing bulbs? you can also look at good reverse light and fog lights.

Shyam , I have uploaded some photos on LED lighting in car thread. Yes and active cooling is the present situation I was trying to tell frank as I have tried the setup by replicating the engine bay temperatures and even with the new heat sink design the setup goes in thermal break down after 2 mins.
Presently using a new design that uses the heat to criulate air trhu itself [No power required].Thats the one that can keep the temperature of the LEDs down in mid 80s even with ambient temperature around 35 deg C.

Last edited by dinar : 30th November 2008 at 23:17.
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