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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Register your Fusion Hybrid at the official Ford authorized registry here.


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My LED "Eyebrow" Running Light Project


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   MaineFusion

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:50 PM

Today I finally got around to installing LED strips I bought as "eyebrow" running lights. So that others can not only see the end result, but do it themselves, this post will document all the steps
 
Prototyping the idea
When I was having my car washed and waxed I started talking about my idea to install LED daytime running lights as eyebrows. So they took an LED strip they had and we prototyped the idea out by holding the LED strip in place using masking tape and powering the LED strip up with an 18 volt tool battery. I didn't like how exposed the strip had to be so I wanted to see if I could find something that would work better.
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Finding the right LED strips
After lots and lots of searching, I found these side glowing LED strips by iJDMTOY on Amazon.com for my LED eyebrow running light project. I would have preferred something a little whiter and a little brighter but these seemed like the best option available. Having LED strips that emitted the light out of the side was important so that I could hide the light strips under the edge of the hood. You can get these LED strips on Amazon.com or at iJDMTOY's own website. Every three LED's is a spot where they can be cut to length which worked out just perfectly.

NOTE: The photo description of the LED strips is slightly wrong for what is provided. Although iJDMTOY's photo show cut points every five lights, it is actually every three lights.
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Threading wires
We threaded the wires for the LED strip between the lens and the front molding. There is a slight gap at the corner of the lens but it required gently lifting the molding slightly to slip the wires in place. To add a little extra protection to the wires against chaffing, we wrapped the wiring in a layer of electrical tape. When wiring the LED strips, several inches of slack was left for each LED strip so that the headlights could be changed when it becomes necessary. To get the passenger side wires over to the fuse box area, we carefully took off the trim housing that the hood brace locks into. This revealed a perfect place to run the wires. We also made sure to avoid the hood latches so that they wouldn't ever catch the wires.
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Trial positioning using masking tape
To find the just the right position for the LED strip at the edge of the hood, we taped the strips down with masking tape and closed the hood to try them out. After a little repositioning attempts we finally found the right spot, which is just about 1/4" below the black edge of the headlight lens.
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Wiring into fuse box
I didn't want to compromise any existing wiring by splicing into wires. Our first plan was to solder to the spare 10 amp fuse labeled as 13/14 in the fuse box under the hood. At first this seemed like it would work good as it lost power when the ignition turned off. It turned out later, after the install was complete that this fuse location didn't lose power when the ignition was turned off unless the HVB was depleted. So I had to come up with a plan "B". Finally I decided to attach the LED strips wire to the automatic windshield wiper 15 amp fuse (#3) as I knew from these forums that the windshield wipers did lose power when the ignition was turned off. To prevent accidentally blowing that fuse at a bad time. We hooked into the power side of the fuse and then wired in a separate 5 amp fuse for the LED strips. Eventually, if I can find one that will work, I'll replace the 5 amp fuse with something smaller (like a 2.5 amp fuse).

We found the fuse box quite difficult to open due to tight space. I also wish Ford would have provided some spare fuse locations we could tap into properly instead of soldering to the fuse. I also wish that there were spare fuse slots that turned off when the ignition was turned off. There didn't seem to be any way to open the underside of the fuse panel to wire stuff in properly. I didn't want to modify the box itself to avoid causing damage.
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Cleaning lenses and heating LED strips
Once the final position was determined for the LED strips the lenses were carefully cleaned and a heat gun was used to warm up the LED strips so that their adhesive would stick better.
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Final position and securing of the LED strips
The final position of the LED strips ended up being about 1/4 inch below the black edge of the headlamp assembly.
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The cut ends of the LED strips were hot glued to the headlamp assembly to ensure they would stay in place and to waterproof them.
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Here is a closeup of the LED strip showing its distance from the black edge of the headlamp assembly, the hot glue spot and a couple of the LEDs at the edge of the strip.
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The finished look
Our first look at the final result. Even in the garage bay it was pretty bright and hard to take a good picture of the LEDs.
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Here's a closeup of one of the headlamps. I did notice that each set of three LEDs has a slight gap to the next set where the strip can be cut. It would have been nice if they were all equal distances apart.
gallery_12057_318_38903.jpg

Here's the LED "eyebrows" at night. Camera's don't take good pictures of headlights at night. The effect looks way better in real life. Still, it looks like one angry car. Maybe it needs vampire teeth in the grill for Halloween!
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#2 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:52 PM

Very cool! So even when the headlights are on the LED strips stay on? Does anyone have any ideas of how to wire some LED driving lights so that they would turn off when the headlights come on?


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#3 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:41 PM

A relay powered by the headlight feed would do it.  Wire the LEDs in series with the normally closed contacts on the relay.  When the headlight power comes on the relay pulls in and opens the connection to the LEDs.


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#4 OFFLINE   MaineFusion

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:39 PM

Very cool! So even when the headlights are on the LED strips stay on? Does anyone have any ideas of how to wire some LED driving lights so that they would turn off when the headlights come on?

 

Yes they are on all the time.  They actually look pretty cool when the headlights are on because of their bluish hue vs the yellower lamps.

 

A relay powered by the headlight feed would do it.  Wire the LEDs in series with the normally closed contacts on the relay.  When the headlight power comes on the relay pulls in and opens the connection to the LEDs.

 

A good solution although, the LEDs themselves may draw less current than the relay.

 

What I'd like to figure out is how to properly wire into the fuse box without tapping in on a fuse from the front.


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#5 OFFLINE   SD Diver

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:51 PM

Any updates?  If you had to do it again today, are there any different lights that you would consider?

 

Thanks!!


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#6 OFFLINE   Sleddog

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:03 PM

One question for you.  Where did you ground the lights?  Battery or a body ground?



#7 OFFLINE   MaineFusion

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:26 PM

Any updates?  If you had to do it again today, are there any different lights that you would consider?

 

Thanks!!

 

These were the only ones I found that pointed sideways from the LED strip, which allowed me to hide them under the hood.  All other pointed straight out and would have had to have been completely exposed, which wouldn't look good when they were turned off.

 

One question for you.  Where did you ground the lights?  Battery or a body ground?

There are grounding posts near the fuse box that we grounded off to.


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#8 OFFLINE   DeeCee

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:06 PM

Installed similar LED's on my FFH except I mounted mine below the headlight. Found the edge lit LED's at my local WalMart. Also wired mine to the 15A wiper fuse hot side and then added another inline 3A fuse to the LED's. Could have used a lower amp fuse for the LED's but the 3A was the lowest I had on hand.


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#9 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:04 PM

Hmm a Catfish with LED eyebrows. very interesting. just needs whiskers, has anyone found black curb feelers yet?


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#10 OFFLINE   MaineFusion

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:14 PM

As an update, my LED headlamps are still working well and have stayed glued to the headlamp assembly (knock on wood).  This is in spite of several car washings and a Maine winter that just won't quit.  If I could have any changes to them, I wish they weren't so blue and I wish they were brighter. Equidistant spacing between all of the LEDs instead of the clusters of three would have been nice.

 

Instead of catfish whiskers; I'd like glowing vampire fangs on my grille.


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#11 OFFLINE   corncobs

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:39 PM

As an update, my LED headlamps are still working well and have stayed glued to the headlamp assembly (knock on wood).  This is in spite of several car washings and a Maine winter that just won't quit.  If I could have any changes to them, I wish they weren't so blue and I wish they were brighter. Equidistant spacing between all of the LEDs instead of the clusters of three would have been nice.
 
Instead of catfish whiskers; I'd like glowing vampire fangs on my grille.

I saw some really nice once at PepBoys they were really white and bright.
I'm not 100% sure but IIRC those are the once I saw

http://www.pepboys.c...led/?quantity=1

Might have been a different kind but for sure from Alpena.

Edited by corncobs, 16 March 2014 - 07:44 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   robertk

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:35 PM

I purchased a set that are white and then turn orange when the turn signal is on.  I see where to use the wiper motor to power the "white" side of them, but where can I take the power from so they turn to orange when the flasher is on?  I'd prefer not to tap into the factory wires, but take off a fuse or relay if possible.  Will this cause issue with any can-bus warnings?

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

 



#13 OFFLINE   Davis Vanderslice

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 12:37 PM

Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I'm about to do this project on Thursday or Saturday. Just tested it with the battery and liked the look. I have to get a few things repaired from the dealership tomorrow and after that I'll have about 100 miles of warranty left, so I'll do it afterwards. 

I'm a bit confused on your wiring though. Did you solder a wire to the fuse and then run that wire into another fuse of lower amperage? Would a piggyback fuse work? Just seems cleaner.

I'll post some pics afterwards, going to be painting the callipers red that day as well to accent the black wheels. 


Edited by Davis Vanderslice, 07 April 2015 - 12:38 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   Davis Vanderslice

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 04:53 PM

Attached File  20150411_162840.jpg   83.7KB   0 downloadsWell here's my result. I'm quite happy with it,but it's only temporary right now. Having hid's put in next week and then I'll redo this with more durable wiring techniques


Edited by Davis Vanderslice, 11 April 2015 - 05:19 PM.





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