DIY LED Car Grille Glow Lights

Introduction: DIY LED Car Grille Glow Lights

About: Necessity is the Mother of Inventions they say, I live in challenging land called INDIA. where the Sub par conditions like power issues, heat, Dust and environmental factors are just tough! and They have for...

You've seen in Sci-FI, games and on TV. Beautiful and powerful cars zipping past you, charismatic LEDs glowing and Shining.
Dream? Not Anymore!
With my Easy to follow Instructable, now add Dazzling LED Grille lights quick and cheap. Whole project costs near 250 Rupees (5 dollars)

Next page please.

Step 1: Birth of an Idea

Projects always take life in brain rather than on Sheets and Tools,
Think Think think....

Look at your Vehicle, Stare, Dream, Gleam!

Dream up what position, Colour of glow, Intensity etc will look good on your Car. Also keep in Mind about the car's shape , Colour and Body style. 
Mine is a white SUV, So i went with a white, diffused glow. Simple and beautiful.

Step 2: Tranform to Reality

Once you've got the concept framed, it time to get hands dirty.

We have to open the Front Grille or find a way to access it. For many vehicles, Front Grilles are simply accessible by popping up the hood. Give yourself a pat on back if that works for you.

For my SUV, i had to unbolt the grille itself. Please refer to your Service manual for instructions. You could also stand safe by paying an authorized service center or mechanic to do this for you.

Usual steps are-
Pop the hood
Locate screws or revets and undo them
Gently the pry the grille while paying attention to Plastic locks.

Once the Grille is out of the way, we move to your next step

Step 3: Find a Place

Opening the grille will give you a better idea about mounting and Positioning the LEDs. It will also depend on the type of LED you are using. You could employ 5050 SMD Strips (Like I did) or 5mm LEDs or even Luxeon stars!

Seriously, I would suggest to stay away from Cheap LEDs. Automotive enviornment is very harsh, so make sure your LEDs will stand up to Water, dust, heat and Vibration.

Physical mounting aside, Its also important to Figure out Electrical connections.

(Some of you eagle eyes have spotted my LED Fog lamps in this pictures, Hold your horses! Instructable for the same is coming up.

Step 4: Bring on the Lights

After you have the measurements and Position at hand, its time to ready up the LED lights. I Have used 4 lenghts of 1 Meter LED strip for Even and Bright glow. To ensure that solders are water tight and Durable, I dabbed some hot glue over joints. I also used clear tape over the LED strips to paste them well in case the adhesive Backing fails.

For the Electrical connections, I used a multimter to trace an IGN Relay. This realy gets power when the engine is running and turns off after the Engine shuts down. Just like DRL relays behave. Perfect!

I also added a Diode to drop some voltage, because Automotive Voltage can swing all the way up to 14.8V!, A diode works for longevity of the LEDs.

Please do test your Lights before fixing the Grille Back. Now re-assemble the Grille.

Step 5: Step Back and Be Amazed

Take her for a Spin, Enjoy the Comments and praises.
Your Dream Car Mod is here. Rejoice!

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I read this article while researching a plan for an under-shelf
    light for my desk (!). Your car looks way cool, but one small warning .
    . . . You mentioned selecting a colour for the lights, but beware.
    Depending on the country you live in this may vary, but here in UK it is
    illegal to show a red light at the front of the vehicle. A yellow /
    orange light is probably acceptable in most countries as long as it is
    not flashing if you are moving (and could be confused with turn signals
    on front or rear) and other flashing colours are illegal (blue can
    appear to be police, fire, ambulance. green could be a doctor on a
    call). NEVER put a white light on the rear if you want to make your
    boot / trunk look cool!

    A very good "ible" though and I'm tempted to look into putting a (flashing) amber light behind the grille of my Ford Focus for volunteer work in my emergency role and parked at the site of an incident :LOL:

    Zen Innovations
    Zen Innovations

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey there!

    It appears color rule is same in my country as yours. And the color scheme you mentioned is Correct too. Thats the reason I use White or Warm white lights on front.

    Good luck with your Emergency role!

    Zen Innovations
    Zen Innovations

    6 years ago

    hello Sam, I read your instructable as well as our communications once again. 1. adding a diode is easy. you add it inline as you do a resistor. cut your positive wire, add a diode in between (with silver strip towards led ) and seal it off. you're done. 2. I wished to add connections, however each car is vastly different so I could add generic comments only. xuv 500 thunderbolt is eons more complicated over your swift so I didn't want to confuse readers with cryptic instructions (and they won't work on their car ) 3. you could tap into any fuse or relay that comes on when vehicle is on. with some ingenuity, it would be easy to locate such relays in the engine bay. user manual shall mark these and provide a legend. if you don't seem to find appropriate relays, it will be better to call a mechanic instead. I hope you liked it, please vote as I'm appearing for glow contest.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If am not wrong the entire zest of the ible was how to do connection from where to take the power source and how did you attached the diode. But those are no where to be seen except a vague information. I would suggest to include those pictures in details which will make it demanding.

    Like this which was done a few months back