Light Bar Idea

Discussion in 'Lighting Discussion' started by Conlan Rose, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    So I've been looking at light bars and wings and trying to decide what I might want... Then after seeing prices I figured out I can build one for less than $30. All I need is licence plate light mount and a metal angle. With some bolts and paint it should be awesome, maybe not pretty, but exactly what I want. Also It will be easy to remove if I don't want it on.

    Also it will allow extreme flexibility on what I wanna mount. should be a fun project.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Your goal should be for it to be exactly what you want AND pretty. It generally takes extra fabrication time to get both when building something, yourself ... but it's well worth the time because you end up with a result that blends with your ride rather than clashing with it. (For some implementations clean work is work that draws NO attention to itself -- meaning only you realize what's been done or that you fabricated it, yourself.)

    I'm willing to bet that if you take your time you can absolutely build something, yourself, that people think is either stock or something you purchased. Don't underestimate your skills...
  3. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Well this is just a starter build. Once I learn to weld the bolts will be replaced with welds making it look cleaner and I will cut and shape the metal to the angle of my bumper. I'm also doing this because I don't wanna spend 80+ on a light wing or something when I can fab up something for cheap that is stronger and suites the Tahoe well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also on the subject of light bars I plan on making my own under tailgate bar because they dont sell one that fits my truck so I need to creat on using waterproof LED strips. I bought one just to test fit to see if it will work. I plan to go red for the out side strips connected to the turn signals then white for back up the a center red for brakes.
  4. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    I have yet to test the fitting of the LED strip but from feeling around under the tailgate while open and closed it should fit. I just need to know how to wire the center strip for brakes only. Sadly I wont be able to use the red strips as running lights because there is no way to make them go from dim(running) to bright(brakes/turn).
  5. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    You should be able to wire them up so they can blink when you turn..
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    They will be. I think I poorly worded my statement so let me try again.

    The light bar will be made of 5 24cm LED strips containing 24 LEDs each. Starting from the driver side the colors will alternate red white red white red. The driver side red will be hooked up to the driver side brake/turn lead from the trailer wiring. The pass side red will be hooked up the same, but for the pass side. The center red I want to only illuminate when I press the brakes. The two white strips will be back up lights.

    Because the lights are just plain old 12v LEDs I can't tie them in to the running lights because they wouldn't change in brightness when activating the other functions. At least that is my understanding. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.
  7. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    Got any pics of the mock up?
  8. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Its only a drawing but it'll help you visualize it. I'm making up a wiring diagram.
    Untitled drawing (1).jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wiring diagram because I like planing out my mods.
    lightbarwiringdiagram.jpg
  9. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    What?? No Amber...??
  10. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Amber doesn't match. They do sell amber strips tho.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Checked it out is seems the light strip fits. I was way to cold to test everything but it fits under the tailgate. I will next need to temp mount it in place so see if the tailgate its self hits it. It cold enough out that its very difficult to flex the strip.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also I figured out a way to use the running lights I just need the strips running at 5v so they are dim. Then when the turn signal or brakes are hit they will jump up to the normal 14.4 that the other lights run on. I just need the proper resistors. I used a calculator and it said 1/4w resistors. This was the diagram it gave me I need help interpreting it for my use. [MENTION=34858]Enkeiavalanche[/MENTION] this is where I really need your expertise in the 12v industry and any one whose familiar with this. http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz it should bring you to the caculator....

    The light strip runs at 12v and has 24 LEDs. I can dim them by lowering the voltage. The lowest voltage it can still illuminate at is 5v. The LEDs use 17mA when at 5v.

    Attached Files:

  11. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Well [MENTION=50075]SurrealOne[/MENTION] told me about using a voltage regulator. I made a full diagram for the integrated circuit I will need to build to make these lights work. Hover over the image to see better. It will use three SPDT relays to switch between running lights at 5v and brake/turn functions at 12-14.4v Normal function will be running lights then it will switch to functions.
    lightbaric.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've done some pricing on the IC and its gonna cost about $70-80 including prototyping it. The parts are cheap just its a lot of them. This wont be built until around March. Each LED strip costs about $3-4. Already got one for close to free just need 4 more. And even after all this and building a front light bar mount I will save over 100 dollars. Can't beat that!
  12. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Did some testing of my light's draw at certain voltages. The white LED strip draws 250mA at 12-14v; At 5v it draws only about 13mA. I hope this holds true for the red ones as well. I need to keep every thing under 1 amp. The 3 red strips will draw only about 40mA at 5v together at 12v they will draw about 750mA together, but at 12v they are all powered by a separate supply so each will draw 250mA from their relay.
  13. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Pics of the red LED strip most are at full brightness. Remember there will be three of these illuminating my trucks rear end while braking. Should make my truck super visible to others. I may post more pic of both strips.


    2013-02-25_15-45-13_845.jpg 2013-02-25_15-45-28_367.jpg 2013-02-25_15-46-51_600.jpg 2013-02-25_15-46-57_136.jpg 2013-02-25_18-04-36_998.jpg 2013-02-25_18-04-47_420.jpg 2013-02-25_18-05-24_649.jpg 2013-02-25_18-05-29_15.jpg 2013-02-25_18-05-35_497.jpg 2013-02-25_18-05-38_862.jpg 2013-02-25_18-05-47_150.jpg 2013-02-25_18-05-58_866.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    More pics in the pitch black.

    2013-02-25_21-37-54_41.jpg 2013-02-25_21-38-01_33.jpg 2013-02-25_21-38-12_810.jpg 2013-02-25_21-38-32_948.jpg 2013-02-25_21-39-59_254.jpg 2013-02-25_21-40-26_580.jpg

    I think all pics after this point are the lights at 5v. Above they are at 12v
    2013-02-25_21-39-42_758.jpg 2013-02-25_21-40-18_226.jpg 2013-02-25_21-41-03_93.jpg 2013-02-25_21-41-10_75.jpg 2013-02-25_21-41-14_493.jpg
  14. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    If this does not work out you can always mount them under the Tahoe model you have...:rofl: Sorry.. Nice pics..
  15. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Or as accent lights in the truck. I need to order more strips now. One more white and 2 red.
  16. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

    I have 8 of those red strips inside my truck, everybody calls it a whore house on wheels lol!!! It does have that look to it though, I give you a lot of credit for this project. I would just buy the premade bar and call it a day, but you learn a lot more the way your doing it...
  17. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    I don't know which is cooler ... a whore house on wheels or that you think it be labeled as such is funny. :)
  18. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    At first I saw only Surreals post from my profile and I was thinking what in gods name brought that up. [MENTION=23036]TRPLXL2[/MENTION] I can't use a premade bar because they don't fit my truck. I looked it up long before planning this project. The Tahoe's with tailgates can't fit the bar while the gate is down because of how the top bumper trim is made. Any way my bar will fit my style better and allow me to fix any problems with it.

    Also I don't intend to use the red for the inside of the truck more likely if this doesn't work the red strips will be mounted under my hood to give the engine a cool red glow while open.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did price annalysis and the total cost of light bar including buying things like a bread board, jumpers, and bulk wire. Ends up to be a little over 100 dollars.
    [TABLE="width: 571"]
    [TR]
    [TD]Product[/TD]
    [TD]#[/TD]
    [TD]Price RS[/TD]
    [TD]Total[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Project Enclosure (8x6x3") [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Multipurpose PC Board with 417 Holes [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]2.49[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]2.49[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]NTE 25-E400-10 Terminal Block Eurostyle [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]2.7[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]2.7[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]1N4004 Micro 1-Amp Rectifier Diode [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.49[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.49[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]12VDC/1A SPDT Micro Relay [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]3[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]3.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]11.97[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]TO-220 Heat Sink [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]TO-220 Mounting Hardware [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Wisher WJW-60B Jumper Wire[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]+5V Fixed-Voltage Regulator 7805 [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Modular IC Breadboard Socket [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]9.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]9.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]90-Ft. UL-Recognized Hookup Wire (22AWG) [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.49[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.49[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Schmartboardâ„¢ Qty. 10.3" Jumpers and 40 Headers [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]5.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]5.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]24 LED Strip Car Flexible Bulb Light Waterproof Motocycle Bike[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]2.94[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]5.88[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Hopkins 48145 12" 4-Wire Flat Extension[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]5.2[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]5.2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Amico 24 LED Waterproof Flexible Car Vehicle Red Light Strip [/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]3[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]5.12[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]15.36[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Invincible Marine 5-Way Male and Female Trailer Wire Connector, 24-Inches[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.99[/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]8.99[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD="align: right"]102.5[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
  19. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    You for got to add Labor....:neutral:
  20. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    [MENTION=34858]Enkeiavalanche[/MENTION],
    I don't want to think about how much I owe myself in labor. You shouldn't encourage a young modder to think about that, either, unless you want him to quit modding.

    :fighting0072:

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