Introduction: DIY LED Tail Lights

About: Let's make something.

Hello and welcome to my Instructable!

Today I wanted to cover LED Tail Light installation. The project vehicle is a 2000 Jeep Wrangler. For those of you who don't know, aftermarket Wrangler parts are ridiculously expensive. I wanted to find a good LED Tail Light replacement for the factory "box" shaped lights, but could not find a pair for less than $150. This is where I took a trip to good old Walmart. I went to the automotive section and found their "trailer" lights. I decided to go with these oval shaped ones and spent less than $30 for both. Installing them is pretty easy, check it out!

Materials & Tools:

- LED Tail Lights (The main attraction).

- Butt Splice Connectors (Used for your new wiring harness to connect your old plug).

- Angle Grinder (Or other cutting tool to create a slot for the new lights).

- Buddy or Roommate (To serve as your hands to line things up and test your new lights).

Step 1: The Mock Up

Always doing a quick mock up before installing is best. With these lights you can pretty much face them any direction you'd like. I went with diagonal. If you have a buddy, have them hold the light in place; this way you can take a step back and see how it looks. Thanks roomie!

Step 2: The Stencil

This part is pretty important. I created a stencil of the light on a piece of cardboard. I then transfered the stencil to my desired spot on the Jeep and traced the outline with a pencil. This ensures that I get a perfect fit when it is time to place the light. Utilize your buddy or roommate again to get the perfect line up.

Step 3: The Cut

Before you cut, always make sure you know what is on the other side; also be sure to block any sparks from reaching fuel lines and the tank. My cut was done very carefully with a 3" angle grinder. If you have fancier methods available (like a plasma cutter), use them! After my rough cut, I touched up the edge of the metal with some sand paper.

Step 4: Wiring the Lights

The wiring is very simple! The LED has a positive, negative and ground. I removed the harness from my old tail light and frankensteined it onto my LED harness by connecting positive to positive, negative to negative. The ground was simply locating a screw to the frame. This allows me to use the factory plug. I used heat shrink butt splice connectors that create a nice water tight seal.

Once the wiring was done, I put the light into place! (I had to use a rubber mallet to assist because it was such a tight fit.) Quick test and then I moved on to the other side.

Step 5: Testing and Final Results

Once I finished the other side, my buddy and I went through the blinker and brake light check. Everything was good to go. I drove outside into the darkness and was impressed by my results.

Hope you learned something! I am always willing to answer questions. Thanks for stopping by!