"Project Halo" - The 159, Brera & Spider HALO DRL Project - Page 10 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #226 of 1445 Old 21-06-13 Thread Starter
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I have a possible cheaper alternative DRL option that does not involve taking your lights apart. I have BiZenons, and I not brae enough to risk breaking them. So I have an alternative tread with similar name that shows the alternative DRLs.

"Project DRL" - The 159, Brera & Spider DRL Alternative Project

LIGHTS ON
http://www.dozycow.co.uk/images/brera_drl_on.jpg

LIGHTS OFF
http://www.dozycow.co.uk/images/brera_drl_off.jpg
This looks like a nice easy option Steve. The plastic fanciers come off very easy allowing you to drill them for the 3 independent LEDs. What you planning on using for them? Don't forget you will need PwM control over the units else it will create a dazzle condition at night and potentially interfere with the visibility of the indicator.

When I initially started looking into the Halo conversion, and then gave up due to the need to cut the lenses, I also looked for alternative DRL locations. I focusses on the Fog light surround as the option though as I thought it may offer a better overall look:

Mockup-Web.jpg


Now we have the original idea working without light destruction I am happy to go back to plan A, but doesn't mean that Plan B may not feature in the future as well


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This looks like a nice easy option Steve. The plastic fanciers come off very easy allowing you to drill them for the 3 independent LEDs. What you planning on using for them? Don't forget you will need PwM control over the units else it will create a dazzle condition at night and potentially interfere with the visibility of the indicator.

When I initially started looking into the Halo conversion, and then gave up due to the need to cut the lenses, I also looked for alternative DRL locations. I focusses on the Fog light surround as the option though as I thought it may offer a better overall look:

Attachment 171536


Now we have the original idea working without light destruction I am happy to go back to plan A, but doesn't mean that Plan B may not feature in the future as well
I spent a long time considering something that complimented the 159/Brera/Spider front, which was original and not too predictable. I wanted it to look like Alfa designed that way too. So accenting the trademark triple headlamps seemed like it might look classy and original. I did not want it to look like just another strip light.

I asked Laurence at AutoLusso to get me a 'busted' light surround to play around with. However, whilst drilling the plastic does not seem difficult, I don't have the skills to work out how to wire the lights into the loom, and then switch off at night too.

The lights that look best in terms of brightness and size are those fitted to the front of the new Honda Civic. I don't like the arrangement on the new Civic, but they feature 4 bright leds which are large and bright.

So any suggestions on how to make this work would be appreciated, and suggestions on the best LEDs to choose would be great. I can the get on and make a set up and post a DIY guide on how to repeat it.

Steve

Last edited by GoSteve; 22-06-13 at 01:16.
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How did you get your photos to appear in the post?

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I spent a long time considering something that complimented the 159/Brera/Spider front, which was original and not too predictable. I wanted it to look like Alfa designed that way too. So accenting the trademark triple headlamps seemed like it might look classy and original. I did not want it to look like just another strip light.

I asked Laurence at AutoLusso to get me a 'busted' light surround to play around with. However, whilst drilling the plastic does not seem difficult, I don't have the skills to work out how to wire the lights into the loom, and then switch off at night too.

The lights that look best in terms of brightness and size are those fitted to the front of the new Honda Civic. I don't like the arrangement on the new Civic, but they feature 4 bright leds which are large and bright.

So any suggestions on how to make this work would be appreciated, and suggestions on the best LEDs to choose would be great. I can the get on and make a set up and post a DIY guide on how to repeat it.

Steve
The main problem with LEDs is they are directional with a limited field of view, so mounting a led in the plastic facia will create a single bright focussed dot, unlike the Photoshop mock-up you created where you have a nice haze around the LED's. Also to be bright enough to be seen, they would need to be something like the 3w Power LED stars. 2 issues with this requirement, 1) bright leds get quite hot so the plastic fascia may melt (tbc) and 2) they are so bright staring at them is going to hurt your eyes due to the pinpoint focus.

I'll put it in perspective for you... on my desk I have some 30w power LEDs that I was going to use to make a replacement main beam. The heat syncs that came with them are 5" in diameter and 2" deep finned chunks of ally. so big in fact they wont fit inside the headlight! only low power leds are cold

Dont get me wrong, I like your idea, and it has potential to look good, but you will need to give the electronics side some serious thought and r&d.

I'll chat with Coxy, we may have a fascia kicking about given we have destroyed a couple of headlights during development! depends how repairable what we did is though!!
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The main problem with LEDs is they are directional with a limited field of view, so mounting a led in the plastic facia will create a single bright focussed dot, unlike the Photoshop mock-up you created where you have a nice haze around the LED's. Also to be bright enough to be seen, they would need to be something like the 3w Power LED stars. 2 issues with this requirement, 1) bright leds get quite hot so the plastic fascia may melt (tbc) and 2) they are so bright staring at them is going to hurt your eyes due to the pinpoint focus.

I'll put it in perspective for you... on my desk I have some 30w power LEDs that I was going to use to make a replacement main beam. The heat syncs that came with them are 5" in diameter and 2" deep finned chunks of ally. so big in fact they wont fit inside the headlight! only low power leds are cold

Dont get me wrong, I like your idea, and it has potential to look good, but you will need to give the electronics side some serious thought and r&d.

I'll chat with Coxy, we may have a fascia kicking about given we have destroyed a couple of headlights during development! depends how repairable what we did is though!!
I fit led halos in headlights and they give off a similar glow like the photoshop pictures they also didn't get hot enough to melt anything, if anything fog light bulbs or headlight bulbs are far hotter

here is a picture of my work
SAM_02031.jpg
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I fit led halos in headlights and they give off a similar glow like the photoshop pictures they also didn't get hot enough to melt anything, if anything fog light bulbs or headlight bulbs are far hotter

here is a picture of my work
Attachment 171582
The leds you are using are low power ones so they will not get hot. The rings are made up of many small low power leds next to each other rather than a single high power led.

This is the 30w led I mentioned. LeD 30w - YouTube notice the large chunk of alloy its sat on? that's not for decoration...
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The leds you are using are low power ones so they will not get hot. The rings are made up of many small low power leds next to each other rather than a single high power led.

This is the 30w led I mentioned. LeD 30w - YouTube notice the large chunk of alloy its sat on? that's not for decoration...
yes but they are bright enough for drls and give off the same light of the OP picture
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Hey Marky, I think we are cross purposes here. the main crux of this thread, and the OP's post are about Halo's via rings, like you used on the Hyundai's and your GT. A ring is made up of many small low power surface mount LED's wired in series to provide a single looking ring of light. They don't get hot and they work really well.

This smaller discussion was looking at Steve's idea to use a single LED, NOT ring of LED's as an alternative DRL solution. In his suggested approach, as mocked up in a prior post, I was pointing out some of the issues with the design that would, hopefully, help him along his development path.

Essentially, the less LED's you use the higher the power they have to be and therefore the more heat they create. so a single 3w LED vs 60+ 0.01w LED's produce entirely different heat signatures to achieve the same light output. I used my example of a 30w LED to demonstrate this point.

Incidentally, did you take the rings you installed direct to switch so they are on at the same intensity level all the time?
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Hey Marky, I think we are cross purposes here. the main crux of this thread, and the OP's post are about Halo's via rings, like you used on the Hyundai's and your GT. A ring is made up of many small low power surface mount LED's wired in series to provide a single looking ring of light. They don't get hot and they work really well.

This smaller discussion was looking at Steve's idea to use a single LED, NOT ring of LED's as an alternative DRL solution. In his suggested approach, as mocked up in a prior post, I was pointing out some of the issues with the design that would, hopefully, help him along his development path.

Essentially, the less LED's you use the higher the power they have to be and therefore the more heat they create. so a single 3w LED vs 60+ 0.01w LED's produce entirely different heat signatures to achieve the same light output. I used my example of a 30w LED to demonstrate this point.

Incidentally, did you take the rings you installed direct to switch so they are on at the same intensity level all the time?

ah I see sorry (mistaken for the halo ones further up this page)

I wire them as the sidelights using a 501 connector, I used to drive round with them on for long periods of time (3-4 hours) as they looked good haha
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If you wire them through a relay to switch power, you can have them come on with the ignition and go off with main beam, which would make them legal enough to scrape through an MOT, given that the GT has its indicators well away from the headlights.

This is a cheap ebay harness to do it for you http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Daytime-Ru...-/260990331633
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there is also a harness that dims the side that's indicating while indicating
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Hi J,

This thread is really good, because it demonstrates clearly, that it is not as straightforward as just buying some LEDs and sticking them on the front.

I get the issue regarding brightness and heat dissipation too.

From the research you have done so far, do you think it would be possible to implement the kind of design proposed in my photoshop mockups without introducing too many design issues. The benefits of HALOs and Strips, seems to be the combination of low power LEDs means there is not heat dissipation to deal with, and the combined light output of lots of small LEDs together, creates a nice effect. But to go to individual high power LEDs would suggest they would need to be much more powerful to be of any use, and as such are going to be big and hot.

So, any possible solution looks like it needs to be a small unit, designed with its own reflector assembly to give the glow effect. Otherwise it is just going to look like a bright dot of light.

So, we just need a suitable LED which has it's own small reflector built in designed to be standalone and is small enough to fit in the small gap between each of the lights on the 159/Brera/Spider.

Steve
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Cheers Steve, yes the thread is about development that we can all learn from. I am not an electronics engineer but in the space of designing and building the Cylon Brake light conversion and the Halo's I have taught myself how to program micro-controllers and basic / intermediate level electronics engineering. All down to this forum and some of its members who helped me along the way and still commit much time on email outside of this forum to help. RC is a big contributor and is no doubt reading this in the background

I have melted many components, burnt my fingers and blown more chips than I care to remember along the way, and am by no means an expert, just an enthusiastic amateur!

I think what your proposing is entirely doable, and incidentally, the exact circuit I am building for the HALO's would also run your approach too, so its interchangeable (would just need the voltage tweaking is all, but my design allows for that).

You're right though. The hard part of your design is finding the right LED's. Start by going through the options on Rapid Components and even ebay for possible LED types. The easiest install option is a "through hole" type round LED, but these are usually the lowest power type. Rapid do some larger style ones at 10mm in diameter that are bright and might just do the job, so worth buying a few and seeing how they fair. Ultrabright 10mm LED

For a simple test you could just put resistors in-line and wire them back to a 12v source to see if they would be bright enough. USe this site to cheat on the math involved LED calculator for single LEDs

diagram.png.png
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Hi J,

Thanks for the detailed reply. I checked out the sites, and the calculator is really useful. I was surprised at the low prices of the LEDs too.
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Bit of a brief update.....

Been working on the circuit design and have it pretty much sorted now. Just waiting on some newer style PSU's from china with the ability to maintain the voltage during a low power situation (buck/boost), i.e when the engine starts and the battery takes a kicking from the alternator, the rings wont flicker and fade, so the start-up sequence will carry on looking smooth

Aside from that I have just been battling with the design, making the best balance of cost vs complexity vs longevity. I now have it as simple as it can be, while containing the right design elements to keep the life of the rings at their optimum. The key here is that the rings are separated from the cars power supply and individually regulated to the perfect voltage/ampage needed to keep them happy. This keeps them bright and safe from the poor power supply in the car that would eventually blow them if improperly regulated. The same goes for the micro-controller that does the effects and state changes. This should keep the electronics alive for a very long time!

I'll be knocking up some prototypes as soon as the PSU's arrive and moving on to the circuit board design phase as the hand soldered, breadboard PCB approach is not gong to be viable for production versions, so I will have to have some custom circuit boards made up.

Few more weeks till we have them on the demo cars now....
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Even though not technically available for my car I'm looking forward to seeing the final version. Will be pretty jealous if I ever see a 159/Brera coming the other way with this upgrade. Hats off to those involved....
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Even though not technically available for my car I'm looking forward to seeing the final version. Will be pretty jealous if I ever see a 159/Brera coming the other way with this upgrade. Hats off to those involved....
Your member car is still listing a 159, so why couldn't you have them?

Still very excited about the prospect of a set of these lights. Which is odd in some ways as it's a mod an owner will never really notice!
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--- Major update ---

It's all about the Benjamin's baby....

Its been asked a few times and I have been working out the numbers in the background for a while now. Coxy and I have discussed it and we have a number...

495 the set.

That's the cost for 2 x brand new headlights, with rings installed and working as per the demo's you have seen. All you need to do is drop the bumper and swap your headlights.

Ok, you can close your mouth now. I know it aint cheap.

Here is the rationale.

Parts alone are well over 350 then their is the time it takes to break the headlights apart, install the units, build the circuits and wire it all up. That's 2 people's effort at around 5 hours each person, per set. so add 10 man hours labour to the cost of parts and we are still making a loss to make it viable.

I realise that is going to make this a mod that many just wont be able to have / afford / want to spend that kind of money on, and thats cool, but for those who will, we need at least 10 of you.

There is no point in doing a production run under 10 sets as the electronics cost escalate quite badly with lower quantities involved. As an example, if someone wanted a one off set, the cost of parts goes from over 350 to closer to 450 so they would be priced at 595!

We are going to need to know who's in at this number before we commit beyond the money we have spent on dev (many 's spent so far!).

So whos in?

PM me ideally and I'll add your name to the list.

The dev sets are going to be built and installed on at least 2 cars in the next 3-4 weeks.

Cheers
Jay
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Your member car is still listing a 159, so why couldn't you have them?

Still very excited about the prospect of a set of these lights. Which is odd in some ways as it's a mod an owner will never really notice!
@ MarcG.....Yeah still have the car just mine has xenon headlights. Was explained earlier in the thread it should be possible was just the cost of the lights prior to the modification. Think someone said around 700 a unit from the dealer......can't verify that as the ePER website seems to be playing up.
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--- Major update ---

It's all about the Benjamin's baby....

Its been asked a few times and I have been working out the numbers in the background for a while now. Coxy and I have discussed it and we have a number...

495 the set.

That's the cost for 2 x brand new headlights, with rings installed and working as per the demo's you have seen. All you need to do is drop the bumper and swap your headlights.

Ok, you can close your mouth now. I know it aint cheap.

Here is the rationale.

Parts alone are well over 350 then their is the time it takes to break the headlights apart, install the units, build the circuits and wire it all up. That's 2 people's effort at around 5 hours each person, per set. so add 10 man hours labour to the cost of parts and we are still making a loss to make it viable.

I realise that is going to make this a mod that many just wont be able to have / afford / want to spend that kind of money on, and thats cool, but for those who will, we need at least 10 of you.

There is no point in doing a production run under 10 sets as the electronics cost escalate quite badly with lower quantities involved. As an example, if someone wanted a one off set, the cost of parts goes from over 350 to closer to 450 so they would be priced at 595!

We are going to need to know who's in at this number before we commit beyond the money we have spent on dev (many 's spent so far!).

So whos in?

PM me ideally and I'll add your name to the list.

The dev sets are going to be built and installed on at least 2 cars in the next 3-4 weeks.

Cheers
Jay
Seems resonable to me i'm still in
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Seems resonable to me i'm still in
Knew it would be at least this. Made a half promise to myself I wouldn't splash more than 500 on it. This isn't more.

So i'm in.
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@ MarcG.....Yeah still have the car just mine has xenon headlights. Was explained earlier in the thread it should be possible was just the cost of the lights prior to the modification. Think someone said around 700 a unit from the dealer......can't verify that as the ePER website seems to be playing up.
Ah yes of course. The xenons.

Not having them to miss them so it's easy to say I'd definitely be thinking of selling them to fund this mod.

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We're all Alfa owners, so there must be at least 8 more foolish people who will go for this?

And I reckon it's always a mod you can sell on. You'll never get the value back if sold on the car so when you finally move on from your Brera/159/Spider put back on your old lights (which you have carefully stored) and then I bet there will be a healthy crowd here waiting to snap up a used set...
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Just to be on the safe side.

You will need to re align the head lights once the new units are fitted to the car.

Obvious I know but feel the need to state the requirement.
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