Homemade LED DRL (Daytime Running Light)




This is my first instructable and I'm from Portugal, so, please be kind with me and sorry for my english because it's not perfect.

So, the idea here is to make a LED DRL but all by myself and, it's easy, cheap and the final result is awesome!

I will try to explain all steps, one by one so you can understand and try to make your own ;)

Step 1: Things That You Need

List of materials and tools that you need to make 1 DRL

  • 4x 1W Led beads
  • 4x Heatsinks
  • Piece of aluminium (this will be your DRL base)
  • Epoxy glue
  • Drill machine
  • Deburr Machine (to cut the piece of aluminium)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Soldering iron
  • Bunch of old wires

The LED's and the Heatsinks you can find easly on ebay, just search for "1W led beads" and "1w led heatsink" and you can find them on the links below:

LEDs: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0...

Heatsinks: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0...

Step 2: Cut the Aluminium Piece

Now you have to cut the aluminium piece with the size that you want.

My piece of aluminium will have 10cm of length

Step 3: Solder the LED Beads to the Heatskins

On this step, you have to solder the LED Beads to the heatsinks.

Be careful to solder all in the same position as I show you in the pic above, so it can be fine in the end ;)

By the way, I will use 4x 1W LEDs in each DRL, and every LED "need" 3/4V so, 3x 1W LEDs would be enough but with only 3 LEDs, the brightness is too much and the whole thing heat up so fast so I added 1 more LED and it works really fine and the brightness is equally fine too ;)

Step 4: Solder All the LED's in Series

Now you have to solder all the 4LED's, in series as you can see in the pic above.

If you solder them in the wrong position it won't work!

Step 5: Test It!

Test the LEDs with any 12v source to check if they are working fine. If they work as mine, move to the next step.

Step 6: Glue the LEDs on the Piece of Aluminium

On this step you have to glue the LEDs on the piece of aluminium.

This piece of aluminium will work as heatsink and will help to cool down the temperature of the LEDs

Mix the epoxy glue and be sure that the LEDs are secure on the aluminium piece so they do not fall from your car :O

Step 7: Time to Drill Some Holes!

Make 2 holes on the aluminium piece with the drill machine, 1 in each side of it, just like you can see in the picture.

Step 8: Add Some Wires

Now, grab some wires and solder 1 on each side.
1 Red wire on the positive side (+)

1 Black wire on the negative side (-)

I recommend you to put some hot glue on these 2 solders points, where you put the wires, so they become safer and never break ;)

Check the next step to see what i'm talking about the hot glue.

Step 9: Hot Glue in All Solder Points

Put some hot glue on each solder point too because these little bits of hot glue will protect the LEDs from rust and apply as much as you can because as you see in the picture above i'm getting some little points of rust.

If you want, instead of hot glue you can apply some paint and it will protect it too ;)

Step 10: Aplly the DRLs to Your Car

The process is almost done!
Now you just have to make another DRL so you have 2 of them and then, just applly the DRLs on your car.

It's easy, if you have space enough you can fix it with some screws, but if not, like me, put some epoxy below the DRLs and finish the work with some hot glue in front and in each side of the DRLs ;)

Step 11: Connect the Wires to Your Car

This is the easiest part but for some of you guys this could be a little hard because in some vehicles the fuses are hidden and are hard to find :O

You just have to connect the (- negative) wire to some negative part of your car and then the (+ positive) wire of the 2 DRLs together in some fuse of your car that only work when you turn on the ignition.

You have to test the fuses to see what fuses work with the ignition off and what fuses work with the ignition on.

But if you want you can connect directly to the battery and put 1 switch inside your car so you can control it and turn on/off when you want, but I prefer to turn on the ignition and they turn on automaticly and when I turn off the car the DRLs turn off automaticly too ;)

Step 12: And Its Done ^^

And this is the final result.
In my opinion it looks great, better than some cheap chinese DRLs kits, cheaper and it's all made by ourselves, and I think that is the point ;)

Step 13: My Other DRLs Project

I have made another pair of DRLs to our work truck and it looks awesome too!

So that's it, hope you guys enjoy this Instructable and every question that you have or any error that you find please tell me.

Please comment and make suggestions! Thanks!

Have a nice day everyone, and a big hug for all =D



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    12 Discussions


    4 years ago

    everything on this instructable is wrong!!
    at first every DRL kit in each EU Member State is requiring certification. This means safety first! looking at these lights, If I were you, be aware of cops a lot! They might write ticket for this.. maybye not in Portugal but definitely in Germany or hereby in Czech republic.
    mounting the LED chips with hot glue gun? by the way led chips are producing light but also significant amount of heat. If you didn't know.. please do the math and imagine what hot led chip will do with glue from hot glue gun..
    yeah, maybye you can say it is working fine for me, it is not heating so much to melt the glue... But please dont be so pathetic and next time mount them the proper way!! and If I put all of the shortcomings aside, LED chips should be facing the cover glass at least.. to prevent LED chips get demaged and get dirty.
    I did not mean to be rude by this comment, but please first use your brain, then think about safety and how to make it little quallity and durable, when you are making such things.

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    the LED chips are mounted with epoxy glue, and the whole DRL light is fixed on my car with epoxy glue too, I just put some hot glue on the borders to fix it more and about the heat, they don't heat as you think and with the wind they cool down the little temperature that they have.

    If I put a glass or something in the front of the light the wind don't will do the cool down efect ;)

    and I tested it first for a few months in a work truck that travel everyday many km's and they work fine and don't get damage, so that's why i made this whole thing this way ;)


    Reply 4 years ago

    unles you used special heat resistant epoxy, didn't you..? ;-) regular epoxy is not suitable for these applicatitons..
    second, you are not following any safety and also electronic and technical construction rules. In this case you can glue the LED chips directly to the bumper next time.. (y) yeah, You did a very good job!
    but anyway, what suits you.... for me as electrotechnical engeneer, this is just terrible!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    my epoxy glue handle fine with some temperature so i have no problem with it ;)

    i used the 1W LED heatskinks because it's easier to make the solder points and it helps too to cool down the temperature.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Oh you and the warm climate! I would have a bad time leaving wiring unsealed like that. :)

    3 replies

    This is a terrific project, DRL's are a proven safety item and is a good idea to retrofit older vehicles. I just have one small suggestion- Step 7: Drilling Holes. This is best done before mounting the led's since a slipped drill bit can damage the cluster. Just dry fit them in place first, then mark and drill the mounting holes. Well done for your first submission, and your English is easily understood.

    1 reply

    Thanks buddy ;)

    When I made this 2 holes i made them carefully and slowlly but it is a godd idea made them before mounting the LEDs ;)