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"Project Halo" - The 159, Brera & Spider HALO DRL Project

260583 Views 1621 Replies 202 Participants Last post by  DEMIS
2015 Stock Available :)

---- Project Update - August 2014 -----

Quick refresher for those just joining the thread....

Project Halo started as a concept to integrate BMW Angel eye style DRLs into the 159/Brera/Spider triple headlight configuration. Initial development work was completed by myself & YonasH. YonasH pioneered the first sets of Halo's in a kit form that could be bought and installed as a DIY solution, however both of our efforts to disassemble the headlights resulted in failure or breakage and the only viable solution was to cut the lenses off, install the rings and glue the lenses back on.

As this was not a viable option, development ceased for around a year before starting up again after discussions with Coxy1 on headlight disassembly. Coxy1 was able to pioneer an approach the taking the headlights apart, but only if they were new ones where the glue had not yet had time to cure fully (several years of use on a car cures them fully!!)

Once this had been solved, I restarted development on the electronic controllers for the headlights to meet UK specifications and simplify the amount of electronics & wiring needed in comparison to the approach YonasH took.

Project Halo UK headlights are now a full DIY project for anyone who wants to get involved. All parts are available online from the usual suppliers, and a full parts list is available on the wiki:

Their is a pre-order system in place for the controllers, and they are manufactured in batches of 10 sets, so once we get to 10 people who want controllers I organise a manufacturing run to have them made to order.

This is what the headlights look like on the car:

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Executive car Alfa romeo
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Executive car Alfa romeo 159

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Alfa romeo 159 Executive car
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Alfa romeo Alfa romeo 159

And this is a description of there operation:

On start-up, they run Mode 1 once, then default to Mode 2 below:

Mode 1: Fade from 0% to 100% to 80% in sequence from Led 1 (inside) to Led 3 (outside)
Mode 2: Daytime operation – all Leds at 80%
Mode 3: Night operation – all Leds at 70%
Mode 4: Indicator Mode – Outer Led & inner Led rings at 70% - middle ring off
Mode 5: Main Beam - All rings at full power

Modes 3,4 & 5 are selected by +12v signal on each of the 3 inputs to the controllers. There is a 400ms delay after the indicator stops before the rings return to Mode 2,3 or 5. This is to allow the controllers to detect that the indicator has stopped flashing. I nay yet get that down to 250-300ms but any less and it doesn't work properly.

General Q&A

1) Will the headlights come with a warranty?
- All components each come with their own supplier / manufacturer warranty. This is not a commercial venture, its a community project!

2) Will this be available in other countries
- The Halo conversion can be completed on any car in any country, So far we have Halo's in Norway, Sweden, Russia, Australia, Austria & the UK

3) Will this be available as a DIY kit to install in my existing headlights?
- Yes, instructions are available on

4) Will the units work with my factory fit Xenons?
- Yes they will

5) Will these units work with after market HID kits, LEDs and other lighting mods?
- Yes they will.

6) Will these units work with my automatic headlight feature?
- Yes, the switching between modes of operating is automatically controlled by the electronics inside the new headlights so it doesn't matter how they switch on and off.

7) How long will they last?
- The LED rings are quoted as having 20000 hours lifespan, but I can't vouch for that!! What I can say is we have done everything electrically viable to guarantee the LED's the most optimum / safe / stable conditions fully isolated and protected from the car's electronics system so they will last as long as they possibly could.

8) will they work with other vehicles?
- Technically the controller units can run up to 4 rings each, so they could easily be adapted to be used in 147, 156, & GT's. We would just need to modify the code, and measure the headlights to get the right rings. If there is enough interest I will pursue this but will need the help of some owners!

9) So how much?
- Price is TBC but around £450 covers your costs including 2 new headlights!

10) When can I buy them
- All parts are available now so get involved!

---- Project Update - August 2014 -----

This thread has been created to monitor progress and share ideas around the modification of the 159/Brera & Spider Triple headlight unit to include a Halo DRL unit. We have setup a new thread for this rather than hijack the DRL thread that started this.

The inspiration and potentially the end look of the unit can be seen here.

Current contributors to the R&D work are:

Yonash, from Poland who is way ahead on the project with a full unit ready to disassemble and a source for both CCFL & SMD LED Halo Loops.
JabawokJayUK, starting at the beginning and right now trying to source a headlight unit from a breakers yard!

Anyone can participate and the more people we have doing the R&D the better it will be!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anyone got a list of Breakers that specialise in Alfas handy? I could do with getting my hands on a cheap battered unit for initial dev.

· Registered
53 Posts
Hi Everyone,
As Jay mentioned, I'm ahead with the project. Now I can say I'm much more ahead as I just dis-assemble this bloody headlight. It took me about 4 hours, burn and scratched hands and lots of sweat, but it is done. I will give some more details tomorrow (with pictures), but in general doing it yourself is not a best idea, I'm afraid.

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I was thinking of this since the first time I saw the Brera concept.
I don't know how feasible this idea is, but maybe if there are more people interested, we can contact one of those companies that make aftermarket headlights/tail lights and tell them about this. I'm quite sure there aren't many people here that technically inclined for this DIY project.
I would certainly buy a pair of those and it would be nice to include HIDs for high beam and LEDs for turn signals :cool:

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192 Posts
Gonna make your own?
How To Create Custom LED Angel Eye Rings
(Shame he doesn't own a soldering iron... they will be failing after a few weeks with a nice bit of corrosion on the terminals!)

What diameter do they need to be?
CCFL E46 Angel Eyes Kit 6000K [CCFL E46 6000K] - £49.99 : Car Audio 4 Less, Car Audio System

Arhhh.... more money about to be p***** out the window on something I don't need.

Gotta add a flash sequencer like I had on my last car.
When you flash the headlights, the outer pair flash, then the inner pair, then the fogs in a quick sequence - looked great,

In fact, come on.. add white led running lamps to the indicators and full beam lights so that they all come on on low beam. Wouldn't matter if the full beam side light stayed on all the time and the indicator one simply changes over to the amber one when indicating. Simple.
Oooohh.... six white headlights (yes... I know they would light up diddly). Now those sequencing would look cool.

Oh, and if you build your own. You could use RGB leds and then any colour would be available at the turn of a dial.

Boys and their toys

· Premium Member
3,479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No too sure about the DIY job Steve! the idea is to make them as stock as possible and teh margin for error in the build process in that youtube video was huge!!!

We are still sorting exact sizes out but it looks initially like you need a pair of 100mm, a pair of 95mm and a pair of 90mm to do all 3.

We will probably use SMD LED rings as the CCFLs are not as bright and are prone to failure. Like the flash sequence concept though! might be time to bring out a 555 and patch it into the mix :)

I am also now looking into the same Halo process for the rear lights :)

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192 Posts
Yep. The DIY ones are slightly pants.
Don't do the Ebay thing... you just know they will be Chinese crap.
I would have a bash at this, but I am not sure its worth the grief.
The flasher sequencer I made a few years back was actually a small PIC chip - programmed to control the lighting flash. It was made so that it could be set to sequence anything from 3 to 10 sets of lights.
That was because it was fitted to my 4x4 before. That had 6x Cibie 100w lights on the rollbar that also used to sequence (so sad).
The programmed chip needed to be able to tell the difference between a headlight 'flash' and actually selecting full beam (if the switch activated for less than half a second, it was deemed a flash).

How many Halo's are going on the rear? This could be expensive

· Premium Member
3,479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Rear would be 4 total, and 6 up front, so 10 for the set. Yonash has a supplier in Poland that he has negotiated a very cheap cost with so will be trying to leverage that arrangement for the LED ones. In terms of sequencing, I will use an ATMega 16bit programmable micro controller to handle a few basic tripped functions, such as:

Dimmed when headlights on
Dimm centre halo in sequence with indicator
Something nice when I flash the mains - yet to be determined. maybe a pulse or long fade?

Either way, the ATMega gives me the ability to really fine tune the logic on the dims, transitions etc and run each halo individually if needed.

Meanwhile, I have sourced a headlight from an alfa breaker that has broken mounts so ideal for R&D and cheap as chips :) hopefully be in the post later today!

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So what is the plan then? To bust these lights open and retro fit inside?
I am assuming these lights are pretty well sealed up, so getting them open with knackering them is going to be fun.

Had a look at my car today and decided ... no.. I like the front as it is... oh... and can't be arsed.

Watching with interest however
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