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Diy Led Tail Light And Brake Light


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  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bris
  • Car(s):R34 GT-R, 08 R1
  • Real Name:Dan
I couldnt be bothered paying $1200 for a set of nismo tail lights so i decided to make my own along with the middle brake light. Please attempt this at your own risk.

Brake light first as its the easier one, scroll down for tail light

Tools required:
10mm Spanner
Soldering Iron
Multimeter
Dremel for cutting perspex
Drill
Power supply if possible
and half a schmick

Parts required (for one tail light)
Cardboard
5cm x 15cm 3mm perpex sheet
12 white LEDs (i used 4000mcd)
4 x 22ohm 1/4 watt resistors
1 x 68ohm 5 watt resistor
1 x 1N4004 diode
Thin red and black wire

Before you start: Any one that has an electronic back ground may realise I haven’t used the perfect resistances and I based my set up on 10v. The reason for this is so that you can adjust your input resistances and get the correct brightness for the application. For the brake light I ran 3 leds in series with a 22ohm resistor, then placed in parralell. I used an input resistor with a diode to prevent cross flow to any other circuits. Please see the led diagram in the tail light section for more info.

First thing is to remove your centre brake light, the 10mm bolts unplugging the plug and simply sliding it all out and should look like this

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Remove the outer lens;

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Making the template (this is the most IMPORTANT part of the whole process)
Measure the length and height of the inside. Draw a basic outline cardboard and cut out and make sure you have the right shape and it fits in neatly. Once you have the shape mark a line down the centre 15cm long. Now divide it so your leds will fit equally and fit them in. Place inside your lens and see how it looks, I had to adjust mine a few times hence the markings but you will know when it looks right.

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Next mark your Perspex outline and where your leds will sit. Remember you want the LEDs to be in a perfect line so take your time with the marking. Next cut the outline with the dremel and make sure it fits neatly in the lens. Adjust as required. Once happy drill your holes for the LED legs to go through.
On the back mark your + and – signs and where your resistors will sit. This will make life easier. Next place in your LEDs. I pushed the legs down to hold the LEDs into place and makes it easier for your soldering effort. Below is a few in progress shots. Please note I put my input resistor and diode on the board instead of within the wiring like I did in the tail lights.
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Next get your soldering iron out and start soldering. Once completed mine looked like this:
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Test the circuit:
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Next just wire into the standard wires, in the boot you will see which one is positive and negative. Bolts and back in and should look like this.
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Tail lights

Tools required:
10mm Spanner
Phillips head screw driver
Soldering Iron
Multimeter
Dremel for cutting perspex
Drill
Power supply if possible
and half a schmick

Parts required (for one tail light)
Cardboard
15cm x 15cm 3mm perpex sheet (two of them)
46 white LEDs (i used 4000mcd)
15 x 22ohm 1/4 watt resistors
1 x 390ohm 1/4 watt resistor
1 x 68ohm 5 watt wire wound resistor
1 x 180ohm 5 watt wire wound resistor
2 x 1N4004 diode
Thin red and black wire

Before you start: Any one that has an electronic back ground may realise I haven’t used the perfect resistances and I based my set up on 10v. The reason for this is so that you can adjust your input resistances and get the correct brightness for the application.

The wiring diagram is below, adjust your input resistors for the brightness required. I had both circuits with the same resistances so the lights looked all the same brightness.
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First thing is to remove your tail lights, the 10mm bolts unplugging the plug and simply sliding it all out and should look like this;

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Remove the outer painted part by removing all the phillips head screws and take out the wiring harness...also on both sides mark top dead centre, this is important;
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Next turn your oven onto 100 degrees and place the surround in for about 7 mins to heat up the goo. Pull it out and gently pry out the lenses, you may need to place it back in the over for a minute or two to reheat or get a tad more heat in. Be gentle with them.

Making the template (this is the most IMPORTANT part of the whole process)
Measure the outer and innner circles and mark them on a piece of cradboard, also mark your top dead centre. Cut the shape out.

This part is for the outer lens LED pattern: Divide the circle into twenty even parts. I started with placing LEDs 5mm from the inner circle. Place your outer LEDs 1 cm from the inner LEDs and starting at the top place one LED for every two inner LEDs, please see the photos for the pattern. Place the cardboard cutout with the LEDs insie the out lens making sure you align the top dead centre of both the cutout and LEns. Although the lens look like perfect circles they are on an angle, at this stage its a case of test and adjust the LEDs so they look good from the outside. Take your time with this part as its how it will look. You will see on my cardboard cutout i circled the final positions of the LEDs due to there being a few holes in the end. Also note on my cutout how the LEDs are not in a perfect circle.

For the inner lens repeat as above but this cirle is broken into 16 pieces and as above you need to place inside the lens and look at it from the outside. Make sure you get it right.

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Next mark your Perspex outline and where your leds will sit. Remember you want the LEDs to be in a perfect line so take your time with the marking. Next cut the outline with the dremel and make sure it fits neatly in the lens. Adjust as required. Once happy drill your holes for the LED legs to go through.

On the back mark your + and – signs and where your resistors will sit. This will make life easier. Next place in your LEDs. I pushed the legs down to hold the LEDs into place and makes it easier for your soldering effort. The pattern for the markings is as below:
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once the leds are in the board it will looks like this:
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Next get your soldering iron out and start soldering. Once completed mine looked like this:
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Test the circuit:
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I used some white silicone to hold the perspex in place, use you top centre mark on both the lens and perspex to align:
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Next do your wiring harness. As with the brake light, you can adjust the input resistors for the brightness of your choosing.
Make sure you actually cut the brake light and tail light wires and run new wires. I tried to just T or patch into the standard harness and it didnt work. This diagram is self explanatory. The triangles are the diodes.
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If you did the right side first all you have to do is flip your cardboard cutouts over and you will have the pattern for the left automatically or vice versa. This ensures that your patterns are the same both sides.

Any questions please feel free to ask

Posted 15 July 2011 - 02:17 PM

610hp R34 GT-R For Sale.... Pm me


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bris
  • Car(s):R34 GT-R, 08 R1
  • Real Name:Dan
Centre brake light diagramPosted Image

Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:53 AM

610hp R34 GT-R For Sale.... Pm me


  • Location:Sydney
  • Car(s):S2 R33 GTST
Brilliant write up. Half asleep right now but will be using this and doing my 33! awesome work. I think you may have some customers asking for drop in kits.

Posted 16 July 2011 - 10:57 AM


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bris
  • Car(s):R34 GT-R, 08 R1
  • Real Name:Dan
thanks mate,

ALSO forgot to add then when putting the lens back into the surround you only need like 3 mins in the oven to reheat the goo, do not put it in the oven for too long.

Edited by sinistaGTR, 16 July 2011 - 11:16 AM.

Posted 16 July 2011 - 11:14 AM

610hp R34 GT-R For Sale.... Pm me


  • Location:Sydney
  • Car(s):S2 R33 GTST

thanks mate,

ALSO forgot to add then when putting the lens back into the surround you only need like 3 mins in the oven to reheat the goo, do not put it in the oven for too long.


I'd suggest maybe even get a new bottle of black window sealant from super cheap and give them a fresh coat. The stuff that is on the tail lights is really really REALLY messy. This new stuff is exactly what the old stuff is but easier to clean and just doesn't stick everywhere. You also ensure a perfect seal. Ive got a tube in the garage so I'll be giving them a fresh layer. Ive printed out this guide and going to go through my box down stairs to see what parts I do and don't have. Ive got about 200 UV LED's, 50 blue, 50 green but no damn white lol.

Posted 16 July 2011 - 11:56 AM


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Adelaide
  • Car(s):R34 GT-T
  • Real Name:Perry
top tutorial Dan! Im getting the soldering iron out with the old man this weekend to have a crack!

Posted 16 July 2011 - 12:08 PM

drop beats not bombs

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane
  • Car(s):Audi S3 + Mazda CX-7
  • Real Name:Dan
The grey sealant goo is easily cleaned up/removed with Shellite if you get it on the lens or anywhere it shouldn't be.

Posted 16 July 2011 - 12:14 PM


  • Location:Sydney
  • Car(s):S2 R33 GTST
I don't know how to remove the lens out of the R33 :( Its got clips around the red lens which is attached to the black plastic frame. I tried to unclip them but there is no way that is gonna happen without cracking something... What does the glue shit hold? Is that the black sealant stuff or is it something else?

Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:46 PM


  • mad082
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just curious how it works with the different brightness required for tail lights and brake lights? do the LEDs just get brighter when you put the brakes on when the lights are on?

Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

Alright Stop!!1!ty... Hammer Time

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marc's right


You're a proper git.


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne
  • Car(s):R34 GTR V, rotax125
  • Real Name:Anthony
very smart write up. looks harder than i thought but will definitely give it a crack soon. cheers

Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:13 PM

if you dont like my spelling. talk to my english teacher.. Mr. Doesntgiveaflyingf...

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  • Real Name:Adam
well done


Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:18 PM

If we can hit this bullseye, all the dominos will fall like a house of cards... checkmate!

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bris
  • Car(s):R34 GT-R, 08 R1
  • Real Name:Dan

just curious how it works with the different brightness required for tail lights and brake lights? do the LEDs just get brighter when you put the brakes on when the lights are on?



Yes the LEDs get brighter when the brake light is on and the centre brake light also comes on. The input resistors 68ohm for brakes and 180ohm for tail light makes two different brightness, so these can be changed to the users desired brightness.

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Edited by sinistaGTR, 17 July 2011 - 06:42 PM.

Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:38 PM

610hp R34 GT-R For Sale.... Pm me


  • mad082
  • Contributor

  • 38019 posts
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yeah i noticed the 2 different resistors but i know didly squat about electrical stuff so i thought i'd just ask to clear it up for sure.

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:11 PM

Alright Stop!!1!ty... Hammer Time

Posted Image


marc's right


You're a proper git.


  • Location:Sydney
  • Car(s):S2 R33 GTST

yeah i noticed the 2 different resistors but i know didly squat about electrical stuff so i thought i'd just ask to clear it up for sure.


The brake light isn't activated until the brake pedal is pressed and when it is pressed there is a lower resistance resistor there to restrict less current. The tail light light stays on but when the brake light comes on, it is allowing more current/voltage through to give it the extra brightness.

I tried this today with my R33. There is no way the lens is coming off the damn thing. There is nothing to grab, no where to jam a screw driver into to lift the lens up after heating it. The glue is soft but still wont come out. I even tried putting something through the bulb hole to push it up and it felt like something would break before it pops out... Need more details about removing the lens... Or if anyone figures it out, post a method up.

Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:00 PM


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brisbane
  • Car(s):Audi S3 + Mazda CX-7
  • Real Name:Dan

Or if anyone figures it out, post a method up.


I've got a shagged R33 tail light here, I'll have a look....I'm not worried about hurting it :P

Posted 18 July 2011 - 08:55 AM


  • Craved
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what were the inner and outer measurements for the rings?


also, if you had the rings squared to the centre white globe holder wouldnt that remove the need for the offset circles?

Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:33 PM

Craved Coatings
Custom Powdercoating and now exhaust Ceramic Coatings







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awesome!!!
good write up mate :)

Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:50 PM


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Adelaide
  • Car(s):R34 GTT
  • Real Name:Michael
hi are these 5mm led's? or are they bigger?

Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:18 PM


  • Car(s):r34 gtr - jzx90
  • Real Name:tim
Great DIY will have to give it a go thumbs up

Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:41 PM


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bris
  • Car(s):R34 GT-R, 08 R1
  • Real Name:Dan
craved: i had them square, the angle is in the lens itself, trust me i tried without off set and you need it.

Yes they are 5mm LEDs

and thank

Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:02 PM

610hp R34 GT-R For Sale.... Pm me





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