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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Instrument cluster lights modified (with Pictures)

Hi All,

Well I was looking to change my instrument cluster ... the lights were going bad so I took it apart... one of the prism was found broken so I broke the other too and then bought some 20 LEDs ( blue) and got creative I'll attach the step by sstep photos tonite. It took me 4-5 hours but I think it was worth.
I know a picture is woth a thousand words.... I'll post soon.
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry for the delay....I got busy so I'll try to put some photos now....
:)


The prisms were removed first
21 Leds were marked so that all the three gauges get enough glow(10$)
Dremel was used for the holes and inclined the holes towards the gauges
Leds were glued in with Krazy glue (3 $)
4 sets were wired in parallel each set has 5 leds in series no resistors required
connected to external 14 volts DC to test and ......thats all

well tok me 5 hours but next one won't take more than 2

Cheers:)
 

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Wow..that looks great! Any particular reason why you chose blue? Does the dimmer function still work with the LED's?
 

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Niceee! I think a wiring diagram would help some folks out here that aren't to familiar with electronics, and maybe add a potentiometer....that is if the stock one in the cluster panel won't work. Very nice even light spread!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Wow..that looks great! Any particular reason why you chose blue? Does the dimmer function still work with the LED's?
Hi Curlytom,
Thanks... the reason I chose blue Leds was I have done interior lighting for mu Audio an d on speakers which is Blue an d my interior is Blue so just to match ...on e can go with red or white or any colour .

Further Dimmer wasn't working before.... still i 'm in process to choose hook up via dimmer or go through external 12 volts as my other blue interior lights are....via a switch on the console So I think I'll keep all blue lights via this switch.

I'l update once I finalize
Stay in touch
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
wow..... this is absolutely amazing.... :)
just wondering is there any color beside blue?????
like white or yellow???
Hi Prakesra,
Well I have used only Blue colour one can use any Leds come in all colours red /Blue/green/yellow/White.... But with Blue I found the colours of the needles glow out and Blue matches with my previous interior Lighting

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Niceee! I think a wiring diagram would help some folks out here that aren't to familiar with electronics, and maybe add a potentiometer....that is if the stock one in the cluster panel won't work. Very nice even light spread!!
Hi Appatula,

Once I finalize/Test which way to go and (if dimmer can be used) I'll post the wiring Diagram, Ptentiometer would definately be a good option I'll keep you guys updated actually I have started too many projects on this Princes so I get swayed from one side to another ......:rolleyes:

Cheers.
 

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maybe things have changed, but as far as i know LEDs are not dimmable. diodes are either on or off.
it looks good, but i would think that the brightness would be distracting. i personally would go with a different color.
 

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maybe things have changed, but as far as i know LEDs are not dimmable. diodes are either on or off.
it looks good, but i would think that the brightness would be distracting. i personally would go with a different color.

Dimming LEDs is very much possible however can be tricky. LEDs can be dimmed, however the trick is to gain adjustability of current and voltage separately.

If you use a variable resistor, or "POT= potentiometer" to lower voltage to say 6v it would cut the forward current to around 4-5mA so the dimming isn't very noticeable and you will find that the POT will not be proportional to the dimming effects throughout its sweep because of the voltage to current relationship. All in all though For something like this a POT will work, but adjusting the brightness will have its limitations.

There are also ways to cut current without limiting voltage via the use of diodes, or multivibrators, ect. Google will be better apt to help you on that.:thumbsup:


Also just to clear things up, diodes limit current in one direction allowing electron flow in only one direction. If transistors are what your thinking about, in that case your correct. They are either on or off, 1 or 0, HI or Low, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi,

Well Iwas also thinking a easy way to adjust lighting Lets asume 20 leds is maximum brightness and now 4 leds would be just low enough to be visible so now with a multi position switch one can put 4/ 8/12/16/20 leds to glow
Now to keep the light uniform on all the gauges the leds can be numbered as below

Sorry the drawing is not so clear but (just like a dimmer) we can split the leds in 5 positions it sounds crapy /cheap but might save a hassle in going for
modern dimmers/pot etc

and also as you increase the no of leds in series the light reduces as one led is littler less than 2 volts (aprox) so if we put 6 we should be ok

I'm working on it ...( easy DIY to dim leds and also keep the light uniform on all the gauges )

Cheers
 

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Yeah, LED dimming is a trick. The removal/addition method to control LED's sounds good. Here's the real deal I chopped from some tech site:

Dimming. Drivers with dimming capability can dim the LED light output over the full range from 100% to 0%.

Dimming drivers can dim LEDs by reduction in the forward current, pulse width modulation (PWM) via digital control, or more sophisticated methods. Most dimming drivers operate using the PWM method. With this method, the frequency could range from a hundred modulations per second to as high as hundreds of thousands of modulations per second, so that the LED appears to be continuously lighted without flicker. A benefit of the PWM method is that it enables dimming with minimal color shift in the LED output. According to the Lighting Research Center, dimming causes LEDs to experience a similar shift in spectral power distribution as an incandescent lamp. However, if colored LEDs in an array are used to produce white light, the amount of shift, particularly with red and yellow LEDs, may produce an undesirable effect on the white light that is produced by the system.

Dimming does not result in a loss of efficiency. During dimming, the LEDs are still operated at the same voltage and current as during full light output. In addition, lamp life is not affected by dimming, as is sometimes the case with frequently dimmed fluorescent lighting. Rather, dimming LEDs may lengthen the useful life of LEDs, because dimming can reduce operating temperatures inside the light source.
 

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If transistors are what your thinking about, in that case your correct. They are either on or off, 1 or 0, HI or Low, etc.
Transistors are either ON or OFF only if they are used as switches. They can be operated outside the saturation range an used as amplifiers as well.
 

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So how did you power this when you put it back inside the vehicle? Hooked it up to the existing wires? And all the LED's are bridged up to each other right?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So how did you power this when you put it back inside the vehicle? Hooked it up to the existing wires? And all the LED's are bridged up to each other right?
Hi Fatality
Now powering up I have two options:
1) Power 12 volts through my existing/external lighting, via on-off switch which ic on my centre console ( here I don't have to keep all my Blue interior lighting on all the time ....also some of the leds, dance with the sound of the music on my 5.1 system)
or
2) I'll have to check the volts coming on the back of the pannel ,which power up the two glass prisms (2 bulbs via dimmer ) as you can see in the photo ( since I had removed the prisms and the 2 bulbs still there just beside the 2 tiny turn signal bulbs I can hook up all the 4 parallel banks of leds( ....and each bank has 5 leds in series) to the wires as shown in the photo below. You can check which one is +ve out of those two.
I can't check on mine coz I had some problem so no power reaching there I have to trace back the ckt.

I think I'll go with external 12 volts if I can't trace back the power.

I hope it works.

Cheers
 

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Neat modification! I think I would choose amber or red as I think it would be easier on my eyes at night, but still very, very cool! :thumbsup:
 

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Would it be possible to take a picture of all the wiring, from the LED's to the power source n all. I just need a visual on this.
 
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