Hello, I am new here but I found this form through a youtube video. I have had the idea to create custom taillights for my car for a while now. I want to be able to have the taillights operate with the break, turnsignal, reverse, and if possible, be able to set up different light patterns. Any example projects or hardware that you would use to accomplish this will be appreciated.
Hate to put a dampener on such a pretty project.
If I were you I would check with the relevant vehicle design/registration authority before you go too far. I think you will find there are some serious requirements regarding visible lights on a vehicle and limitations and criteria for modifications. Changing from incandescent to LED lamps seems to be OK as long as the colour is maintained. A contributor a short while ago wanted to flash his brake lights. There are some strict rules regarding this and the flashing has to be controlled by deceleration and acceleration rates of the vehicle which involved sensors to measure this. I have not heard anything more and it may have become too hard.
You can try but don’t be surprised if you get pulled over before too long.
Good luck. Cheers Bob
Thank you for your insight robert, for what I am trying to specifically do is create updated taillights using rgb. The light pattern aspect would just be for show.
I would still check. The relevant authority could still have some dampening input. There are rules, for instance if you are driving along with the white reverse lights on this would be a traffic offence as the only time you can show a white light rearward is when reversing.
PS. If you have too much of a fancy show you will end up with a vehicle defect notice and be off the road.
Welcome to the forums!
As Robert has said, there is a bit of an issue when working on automotive applications as it can have legal issues behind it. With this in mind, The first step I would take is to learn about High output LEDs in this guide. Hopefully, this will help you get an idea of what you need to get a project of this nature up and running.
It becomes a hell of an issue when your car gets grounded which is the next time rego inspection comes around if you are not pulled over before.
Completely agree, it is at the risk of the person making the modification. Might be best to double-check with a registered electrical mechanic, or alternatively make a removable shroud to swap out if there’s a specific use case like a car show that it may be used for in a setting where it’s not legally impactful.
There are many things that are illegal guys. Including the fact that most cars here in California have window tint that is too dark by the standard of the law. I found a company that makes tailights and ended up finding that they make boards to do the thing I was originally wanting to do.
If I had known you were in California I wouldn’t have bothered about vehicle requirements as I don’t have any idea. I was quoting Australian scenarios, in particular NSW. The powers that be can be quite heavy on modifications of any kind. Mechanical mods like lowered suspension and heavier engines can become a nightmare with engineering certifications etc. All in the name of safety which is all good. Lights (front and rear) come into this big time. Sometimes the rules are pretty strict.
But you are there and we are here so good luck with your pretty project.