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Light Bar Idea

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

  1. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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 ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    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 Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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 Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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 Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

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

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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 Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

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

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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.
  9. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

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

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    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. 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.

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