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David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification

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David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification

Old 11-06-11, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by David Hayes View Post
I gave my taillights to another prominent member of the forum to gauge his reaction and observations. Will have him post up his comments, positive or negative, soon.
David, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this detailed write up.

I really wanted the LED tail lights look, but really didnt want bad light output. I am saving this webpage with intents to do just this mod during the winter!

Sharing information and innovation is what the FD community should be about.
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Old 11-06-11, 11:19 PM
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Thread from the dead has suddenly become a magnificent DIY, step-by-step tech build thread of the highest order. Thank you for sharing how you did it in such detail and that looks like quite the nice house you've got there.


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Old 11-07-11, 06:34 AM
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^Thank you Mario. I hope the detailed DIY information will help others and will lead to better products for the community. That is my sincere desire. There may also be better ways to accomplish the task so if anyone finds that better way, then post it up.

As for the house, it's a really cool ultra high energy efficient modern place at 3,500 ft. in the mountains. We have 40 acres which makes it quite the contrast from our high rise condo in Jax - nice and quiet versus lots of activity. We'll take the quiet any day.
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Old 11-09-11, 10:00 AM
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Picked up the taillights yesterday from Neil (M104-AMG). This is the first time I have seen the newly modified units (new turn signal design - rings and center section) on a car. I love them. The brightness seems to be spot on and the third ring adds to the overall look. I will put them on my car later and post up some pics/videos.
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Old 11-09-11, 02:56 PM
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Third ring?

Last edited by mar3; 11-10-11 at 02:54 AM. Reason: Killed quote since reply was back-to-back to post in question...
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Old 11-09-11, 10:02 PM
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The work David has done is impeccable and well thought out. His LED conversion with just the tail-lights is SIGNIFICANTLY brighter than stock. Even the "turned-down" turn-signal lights are bright and in your face at ALL angles, something the stock 93-95 lights just aren't that very good at (aka, off-axis visibility).

If you didn't know better, his conversion looks just as good as stock, but with improved visibility with the LED's.

David, thanks again for all your R&D.

:-) neil
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Old 11-10-11, 12:54 PM
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Dope. I want to do this. How much for all of the materials?
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Old 11-10-11, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by M104-AMG View Post
The work David has done is impeccable and well thought out. His LED conversion with just the tail-lights is SIGNIFICANTLY brighter than stock. Even the "turned-down" turn-signal lights are bright and in your face at ALL angles, something the stock 93-95 lights just aren't that very good at (aka, off-axis visibility).

If you didn't know better, his conversion looks just as good as stock, but with improved visibility with the LED's.

David, thanks again for all your R&D.

:-) neil
Thanks Neil. I appreciate the observations and the compliments.

Originally Posted by TRISPEEDFD3S View Post
Dope. I want to do this. How much for all of the materials?
See the first post, total cost was around $390. This was buying everything new, including glue, metal, etc.
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Old 11-10-11, 02:01 PM
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Well, this thread certainly has taken another turn through editing. I have asked the moderator to restore the thread back to the information it contained yesterday. The thread clearly did not start out as it is now being positioned, a DIY thread. It was a technical review of my Theorie LED taillight modifications and then how I corrected the problems from that conversion.

Pics of the new design taillights on my FD. A note, these pics were taken with my iPhone 4 crappy camera. I left my better camera back in Jax so the pics and videos are not as good as they could be:

Shots of the parking lights during the day, overcast conditions:







Shots at night:



Attached Thumbnails David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0393.jpg   David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0394.jpg   David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0395.jpg   David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0404.jpg   David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0403.jpg  

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Old 11-10-11, 02:04 PM
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Brake light shots during the day, overcast:





Attached Thumbnails David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0396.jpg   David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0397.jpg   David Hayes DIY LED Taillight Modification-img_0398.jpg  
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Old 11-10-11, 02:13 PM
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And videos of the lights. I also have thrown in one of my Range Rover for intensity comparisons. The light intensity is similar:

During the day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElQ1fCDrq70

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grybYve3mwk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZhAk9ef3aI

At night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH3b6-3QKVg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHGptapEYm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sEFGIEQ8_4

And one of my Range Rover hazards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwPWEzQau84
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Old 11-10-11, 02:28 PM
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David thank you for the great DIY. The choice of editing is certainly interesting.

I wonder why an epic thread such as your 3 rotor build has not been edited but this one has considering the share valuable information about individuals, products and the like that should be available for ALL FD owners to consider and draw their own conclusions.

I'd suggest by editing certain information out of this thread, lack of information exposes potential second and third hand buyers to potential danger if they are not aware of what led (get it, LED...ok bad pun) you to pursue this path in the first place.
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Old 11-10-11, 02:52 PM
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Your post captures exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you and I do like the pun

The thread no longer represents why I went through the time and effort to do the DIY modification. Although I disagreed with prior decisions that led to multiple other past edits of information in the thread, until yesterday I was okay with what had been decided and the resulting information presented. As of now, that balance no longer exists.

I hope the moderator can fix what has happened as the rules set forth in the thread were followed.
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Old 11-10-11, 02:55 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by David Hayes View Post
The thread clearly did not start out as it is now being positioned, a DIY thread. It was a technical review of my Theorie LED taillight modifications and then how I corrected the problems from that conversion.
First of all let me say congratulations on making your own tail lights, looks like you've spent more then a little bit of time on them. The thread started out as a "review", I believe there is a forum for reviews. Your original thread morphed form a review thread into a DIY thread. You removed all of the components from Toms conversion and used your own. You meticulously documented all of the parts used in your design including pictures, part numbers prices and the time it took you to build correct? If that doesn't fit under the the definition of a DIY, I'm not sure what does. Can you not see the difference between a "technical review" and a complete re-design?

Lets point something out, Toms conversion cost you $400 total. You've just spent $400 on components alone plus 20 hours in labor. I think if anyone were to do your re-design conversion as a service, it would cost at least $800-$1000 based on the material and labor inputs..

Thanks again for your service to the community

Originally Posted by David Hayes View Post
Pics of the new design taillights on my FD. A note, these pics were taken with my iPhone 4 crappy camera. I left my better camera back in Jax so the pics and videos are not as good as they could be:
Last time I checked the Iphone4 camera was pretty good when used in the right hands. See the videos below, pretty impressive stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex0yJ...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOoGjtSy7xY
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Old 11-10-11, 03:11 PM
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Looking good David,, when you quitting your day job to do these conversions for profit? lol j/k. I really like how the turns came out.
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Old 11-10-11, 03:26 PM
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Hi David,

Just some helpful feedback I wanted to share. It looks like your lights are plenty bright from straight behind the car, but they lose brightness if you are viewing them at an angle - the left side lights look evenly lit because you're right behind them, but the right side lights look unevenly lit and darker. If I remember correctly, to meet DOT & NHTSA requirements the lights must meet a brightness rating from a 45 degree viewing angle. I would guess this photo was taken at about a 30 degree viewing angle, and already the passenger's side tail is looking a lot darker compared to the driver's side.

I'm looking at this pic:


Perhaps you should use wider-beam LEDs for the center? That's what I used in my Version 2 of my lights (wide-angle high-power 5050 SMD LEDs) - it's a shame I'll never be able to produce them since you have since given my personal information to the NHTSA and told them that I was "illegally modifying tail lights." I was really hoping to offer the Version 2 tail lights to all of the Group Buy customers and new people as well, but that obviously can't happen anymore.

Anyway, hope this feedback helps you to perfect your re-design and DIY guide.
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Old 11-10-11, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by theorie View Post
it's a shame I'll never be able to produce them since you have since given my personal information to the NHTSA and told them that I was "illegally modifying tail lights."

wwwwwwwwhat?!?

did he really throw you under the bus like that?
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Old 11-10-11, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by got_hp View Post
wwwwwwwwhat?!?

did he really throw you under the bus like that?
I think the mods would prefer that conversation to be left out of David's DIY / development thread.
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Old 11-10-11, 06:08 PM
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LMAO... And on it goes....
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Old 11-10-11, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by theorie View Post
I think the mods would prefer that conversation to be left out of David's DIY / development thread.
Interesting, because the 3 rotor engine is a federally illegal engine on all levels by DOT and EPA standards.
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Old 11-10-11, 06:57 PM
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And off we go... again and again
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Old 11-10-11, 07:00 PM
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I have no intention of staying in this thread, just thought it was interesting that govt agencies had been brought up over something so small and since everyone is in this community to help each other. If one really started nitpicking, A LOT of cars would be federally illegal in more than 1 way. Federal Law > State Law.
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Old 11-10-11, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by theorie View Post
Hi David,

Just some helpful feedback I wanted to share. It looks like your lights are plenty bright from straight behind the car, but they lose brightness if you are viewing them at an angle - the left side lights look evenly lit because you're right behind them, but the right side lights look unevenly lit and darker. If I remember correctly, to meet DOT & NHTSA requirements the lights must meet a brightness rating from a 45 degree viewing angle. I would guess this photo was taken at about a 30 degree viewing angle, and already the passenger's side tail is looking a lot darker compared to the driver's side.

Perhaps you should use wider-beam LEDs for the center? That's what I used in my Version 2 of my lights (wide-angle high-power 5050 SMD LEDs) - it's a shame I'll never be able to produce them since you have since given my personal information to the NHTSA and told them that I was "illegally modifying tail lights." I was really hoping to offer the Version 2 tail lights to all of the Group Buy customers and new people as well, but that obviously can't happen anymore.

Anyway, hope this feedback helps you to perfect your re-design and DIY guide.
I noticed the same thing in a lot of pictures. Also, these lights still look way to bright, even toned or dialed down as you mentioned. In a lot of pictures and videos, one doesn't even see the color of the light/lens, just blinding white. Is it safe to drive around with them like that?

Originally Posted by Miata_mx5 View Post
Interesting, because the 3 rotor engine is a federally illegal engine on all levels by DOT and EPA standards.
On a completely unrelated note, that's funny. I tried googling 3 rotors engines about a month ago to find information regarding their legality. I did not find anything conclusive, but I assumed so.
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Old 11-10-11, 10:01 PM
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I have led tails one one of my rx7's, its impossible to accurately photo graph them and they appear white in certain areas also on camera. They are not blinding. Its just the properties of the emitter.
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Old 11-10-11, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by David Hayes View Post
And off we go... again and again
After reading the initial iteration of this thread I decided that maybe just going with some superbriteled replacement bulbs would be the best. The work you've done (with the careful testing) has me seriously doing this mod. Thanks for all the hard work. Hopefully all the thread crapping won't result in the entire thread being removed. That would be a real shame.
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