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Thread: custom tail lights

  1. #1
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    custom tail lights

    Hi folks,

    not sure if it's okay to post here if thread with same topic is on dmctalk already. But I guess two forums means different people also.
    Besides, I have incorporated insights gained from the discussion there.

    So here is the (updated) plan for a custom Delorean tail light. We have two options:

    First option ("full") operates with a whole set of LED's which evenly cover the entire light - all segments, including the reverse light, brake lights, tail light, and turn signals (including the outer, dark by default, triangle).
    This requires to cut the entire rear part of the tail lights. It will also be costly to produce and a lot of work to modify the tail lights.

    Second option ("reduced") uses the standard (OEM, or one of the re-makes from Houston, Ed or Grady) boards with "standard" LED bulbs. Only a minor modification will have to be done on the OEM tail light to include a board for the outer (dark by default) triangle of the turn signal. Features would be limited, but still offer a considerable advantage over the stock config.

    Here is the overview:

    Features Option 1 (full) Option 2 (reduced)
    turn signal incorporates second segment (outer triangle) X X
    sequential ("running") turn signals X X
    foglight functionality included X X
    use of original connector ("plug and play") X X
    panic brake light (>6 m/sē braking leads to fast blinking) X X
    use of all three red sections for tail light (darker) and brake light (brighter) X --
    DMC Logo as tail light and/or brake light optional --
    necessary modifications of OEM lights (lenses) heavy minor
    Full area equal brightness LED lights X only outer turn signal triangle; rest would work with standard boards and LED bulbs
    price (pair LHS and RHS) approx. $ 580 220
    warranty 1 year X X
    user configurable (switch) to behave 100% stock X X

    The panic brake light would work with an accelerometer which sits directly on the board. Synchronization with other side (as there is no direct connection between both tail lights) by first brake input.

    We would appreciate your thoughts on this project and how likely you would buy.

    Who is "we"? A friend of mine and I. We are both Electrical Engineers with a Master's Degree and we have been friends for almost 20 years as we met at the university. While my friend is a hardware developer with 15 years work experience, I have 13 years work experience in automotive development, also working for Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz) in Stuttgart for a few years.

    Thanks, Joe

  2. #2
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    Here is an animation of the sequential turn signal as it would appear in option 2 (reduced). In option 1 (full), four vertikal segments would be used instead of three.


  3. #3
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    Updated Brake Lights

    Joe,

    I am planning on putting updated brake lights on the Iron Man Delorean. I like what you are proposing. However,
    I am also hoping to actually create a new tail light design. This would include custom tail light board (which are pretty easy to create with the new COB LEDs.

    What chip are you planning on using for control?

    Bob

  4. #4
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    Hey Bob,

    "Iron Man Delorean"? Is this something like Wolfgang Hank's Delorean World Tour? You have a blog or something?

    About the project: we have started with the most difficult part, i.e. the outer blinker triangle, in a way that modifications to the OEM lights do not affect its original operation (meaning that all original segments are still operated by original "bulb boards"). The challenge is that behind those triangles the water seal is running through, and that space is extremely limited due to an inner layer of the Fascia (the plastic part could be cut out but that is not an option). Both means that the LED's have to sit very close to the glass. I have made preliminary tests with LED's that have 0,67 W, showing that one could see exactly where they were sitting from outside while lit up. Therefore we are experimenting with lower brightnesses now (which means, more LEDs). As we take maximum consideration to long-term reliability, we use one current control for no more than 5 LEDs. This means, low power LED's means higher costs. To answer your question: We are still discussing the selection of LED's. We are also taking into account the possibility of inserting another diffusing screen between LED boards and the original glass. In fact this will most likely be necessary.

    As we both have challenging jobs, houses and small kids this project will run for several months until we have a working prototype and at least one year until we have a product that we could sell.

  5. #5
    I have found that more LEDs with less current usually has more light than fewer high current LEDs. But yes if you can't move the LEDs as far from the lens it will show dots of light.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  6. #6
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    Custom Tail Light

    On the 2015 Electric Delorean I simply drilled 0.25 holes in the back of the tail light housing and inserted the LED into those holes and siliconed them in place. This included 4 Yellow LED to light up all the yellow areas in the tail light. I then soldered the LEDs together for the circuits - brakes, lights and turnsignal. I then made a custom harness to plug into the stock connector.

    The stock tail light board is gone. This set up is a lot brighter than stock.

  7. #7
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    You have an EV conversion? Awesome.

    Your tail light mod sounds clever. Our intention was/is however to produce one complete part that modifies the entire light. Apart from cutting away the reflectors no manual work should be required, especially no soldering and stuff. However, from the feedback we got not many people are willing to cut their OEM lights. We have therefore decided to start with the outer blinker triangle and so far leave the other segments stock. Of course LED bulbs should be inserted into the original boards instead of incandescent bulbs. This way they are already much brighter than stock. It also looks pretty even with the bulbs from Delorean Go and the user benefits from the typical advantages the LED's have such as much less current, higher brightness, immediate full brightness after switching on and longer life span.

    @Dave: thanks for the hint. We seek to use as few LED's as possible, but highlights should not be visible or at least look reasonably distributed as if they came from the lens itself. So we still have to experiment a lot until we find the right setup.

  8. #8
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    Hey folks,

    if you want to keep updated about the project please follow the corresponding thread at dmctalk.
    http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?17...l-lights/page2

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