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98 Hatchback
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, last Halloween my daughter was given an LED flashlight that had a lamp setting to it that contained 6 LED's wired in parallel on a board (one LED is out). When she broke it, I decided to save the board because I thought it would come in handy down the line for a project. Yesterday I decided my dome light was not bright enough.

I removed the dome light and fit the board inside and it looked like a perfect fit. I drilled holes on the dome light plastic frame where the wires from the board would go through and I also tapped the middle for an M3x.05 machine screw. I also added some dabs of melted plastic to act as my standoffs so the board wouldnt rest completely on the plastic, not that there is anything wrong with that.


Next, I drilled a clearance hole on the board for the mounting screw and soldered the wires onto the board. Please note that I'm in no way an electrical guru as you can tell by my bad soldering.


I then added a resistor to the positive (+) wire lead as was calculated by this online LED resistor calculator: http://metku.net/index.html?sect=view&n=1&path=mods/ledcalc/index_eng

Parameters: Parallel circuit/ 12V supply Voltage/ 4.5 Voltage Drop Across LED/ 20mA Desired LED Current/ 6 LED's connected.
Heatshrink was added to the wires where the resistor is soldered onto but I decided to cut off the heatshrink that was covering the resistor for cooling. I tested the ciruit and noticed that the resistor got hot very quickly. If the system fails, I will probably upgrade it.



I was trying to find a way to hook up the wires to the socket where the original light bulb was fitted, but when I tried prying off the socket, the whole thing broke. So Instead I decided to solder the wires directly onto the leads. Before I soldered anything, I found the terminal that supplies the 12v, the positive (+) wire from the board was soldered onto this.


I fastened the board onto the plastic case with an M3x.05 machine screw.


This is the light turned on:


 

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also, to the OP... if you were to use multiple resistors (that add up to the same resistance as your current one) you should have better luck with the heat dissapation due to the load being spread out
 

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98 Hatchback
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Discussion Starter #9
also, to the OP... if you were to use multiple resistors (that add up to the same resistance as your current one) you should have better luck with the heat dissapation due to the load being spread out
Cool, thanks! I will probably try that sometime. So today I looked closely at the LED that wasn't working and one of its leads wasn't soldered completely to the board, it was just floating. I soldered it and now all the LED's light up.

Now find a reasdily available source for those boards and we are in business
Well, in terms of business I don't think there is one. There is already a company or two that sell replacement LED bulbs and adapters that contain 8 LED's to a board.
 

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Screwy lewy in red
2005 Honda Accord LX
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1,546 Posts
Those LED lights are great at night. I seen I guy on the side of the highway at night in the pouring rain and he had installed one on the inside og his engine compartment. The light was really damn bright.

Mad props for the DIY LED dome light!!!!:TU::yes:
 

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98 Hatchback
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Nice DIY, haven't seen you on here in a while.
Yo! Yeah, I've been kinda busy and haven't worked on my car for a while.
I got my Bisi stg1 Cam sitting idle while I contemplate replacing just the head in my car or doing a total rebuild with new piston rings and all.
 

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VTEC withdrawals
i "ride" yo momma
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1,339 Posts
i think radioshak sells board idk. good write-up man. ive been wanting to do tail lights like this for FOREVER
 

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Ferio inspired
90' Civic sedan
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2,441 Posts
even easier is a rear view mirror from a mid 90s GM that has map lights.

i can imagine it with LEDs in them too! that would be bright as hell :yes:
 
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