Cheapest Daytime Running Lights - Global Makeover

Hello! I bought these cheap daytime running lights for the sake of the body, intending to replace their filling with my own. As a result, only a transparent protective “glass” remained intact. Dedicated to fans of alterations and improvements ...
Such DRLs have already been reviewed on redlightgreen(,, and to be honest, I think that installing such flashlights does not make any sense, since they just have scanty brightness, and in principle they can not increase the "visibility" of the car on the road in the daytime. Well, at night only abnormal will turn them on instead of dipped beam. Therefore, these kids were remade by me into a kind of "monsters" in terms of brightness.
Those who want to see the result of the revision may skip a good half of the text, but I will start from the very beginning.
Once upon a time, in the middle of June, I received an emaila letter from DealExtrema containing a burning one (I don’t quite understand the meaning of the word, but it is in place) an offer to buy LED lamps, etc., at huge discounts Okay, I think I'll take a look at what they are offering there ... I’m not going to buy anything. But still, I was sensitized to 10-watt LED modules on an aluminum substrate, I bought two warm lights, two cold lights. For what application, at that time I didn’t know for sure, but I wondered what for home lighting. 4 modules cost $ 17, which, as I later learned, was not cheap at all. I admit, the order was somewhat hasty. Here is a link to the cold light module, the discount is now much larger, and the price is now $ 3.46 per piece:
Well, ordered so ordered, I began to wait. The parcel arrived in 40 days: a standard bag, and in a bag 4 modules, each shoved into the “pocket” from the “little bubble”. Well and it is not surprising that the mail abused such packaging: two of the four modules were very decently bent. First of all, of course, the diextreme is to blame, which saved on packaging, it was possible to cram pieces of cardboard at least to make it stiff. Here's how it looked:

These photos I took then for a dispute withseller, but it turned out that the transaction protection time in PayPal I scorned. I often buy on Aliexpress, and their protection system suits me until it fails (pah-pah-pah): I just track the remaining "protected" time, and Aliexpress itself reminds me that the time is running out. Dilextream works through Paypal, and accordingly the protected time starts from the moment of payment, and not sending, which I did not think about. In general, summer is not the best time for a showdown with online stores: a cottage, a village, a river, a construction site, work, etc. distract from tracking online orders. Day there, day here ... and while I was preparing “evidence” about the damage to the goods, the transaction protection time at Paypal was over. As a result, I now more closely track orders made through PayPal and open a dispute a few days before the end of the “defense”.
Well, firewood itself ... Let's start the tests. I straightened the aluminum base of the damaged modules as best I could. But naturally, such a powerful mechanical effect did not pass without a trace: the LED that hit the bend does not light up, and if you play a little with the bend of the aluminum base, it periodically lights up. Another LED on the other side of the module also blinks - maybe the module was bent in this place and then straightened by the Chinese? For a less bent module, all the LEDs light up and do not blink. According to the “happy occasion”, one strip of cold light and one strip of warm were bent, so I did not get a full pair of intact modules, unfortunately.
The brightness of the purchased LED modules turned out to bevery high, which prompted me to use them as daytime running lights. There is no DRL on my car, and the front of the car has such a design that few DRLs can be installed in it without giving the car a collective-farm appearance. The 10-watt LED modules I bought fully fit into the overall look of the car, and just fit in the only places that can be installed according to GOST for installing DRLs.
I must say that several of my friends are alreadyspent the nth amount of money on DRLs at prices ranging from 500 to 4000 rubles, both online and offline, and despite the laudatory comments on the store sites, no one was completely satisfied with the result. For some, DRLs died in a matter of days, for someone they began to blink, for some they still work, but in brightness they are several times weaker than necessary, etc. One guy put the bought cheap DRLs as a boot light, as did the author of the review mentioned above.
I myself also looked after myself DRL, but in the endthrew this thing. I didn’t want to buy branded “lights” for 3-4 thousand rubles, because the high price, judging by the experience of my friends, does not at all guarantee quality and reliability. Poor soldering and assembly, saving on materials (an aluminum case is good, but for high-power LEDs, the cooling surface area is still not enough), saving on the thermal interface - even expensive DRLs die from this. And it’s zero sense from the guarantee, it has long been noticed that it’s much easier to get money from a Chinese for a bad product than from a store in a neighboring house.
Even what the Chinese offer over $ 50 is notinspires confidence. First of all, a good LED flashlight should have a good heatsink, and the Chinese have so far succeeded except in simulating the radiator fins with the profile of a plastic case, faking brands. Well, it is understandable why the Chinese DRLs, even with the truthfully declared power, overheat and die. For example, such a “flashlight” came to one friend with an aluminum case, another with a plastic one (photo for example, the seller was different):

So I decided to take a different path,abandoning the plastic housing of the DRL, as the main structural element. For me, the basis of DRL should be a radiator of a decent surface area, the attachment of DRL to the car is also performed for the radiator, as for the heaviest element. An LED module is installed on the radiator, and a transparent “glass” merely serves to protect the LED module from the external environment. The idea, of course, is not new, and the dear DRLs have just been done. Although the LED module that I bought is considered waterproof, since the LEDs are flooded with a compound, it is unlikely that the elastic compound will withstand close contact with rain, snow, ice and dirt, plus the washing off of this very dirt.
So I started looking for a suitable building,rather, not even a case, but a protective glass for their home-made DRL. And in the end, the choice fell on the hero of the review, as the cheapest of the suitable size on Aliexpress. I was interested in the case itself, but neither the number of LEDs, nor their brightness bothered me, so I was looking for the lowest price for "boxes with glass". Boards with LEDs from these “boxes” can then be used somewhere, for example, for the same trunk lighting.
And so, some 1.5 months after the order,these DRL came to me. The box from DRL was very crumpled, but all its contents were safe and sound. Here is a photo of DRL, the “glass” is even covered with a protective film. After receiving it, I checked them - they work, and they shine from 12v somehow too brightly, I suspect that the current through the LEDs is too high. But for now, the fate of these 16 LEDs does not bother me.

But the filling of the DRL: a board with LEDs and a reflector - I will postpone it for the time being, and in the future I will use it somewhere. The quality of soldering on the boards is so-so.

Search for a suitable heat sink among its considerablereserves of "aluminum casting and rolling" led to the only radiator suitable for the length (L> = 150mm) from the power supply unit of an old computer. This is the last, third such radiator from my collection - two have already been sawn into pieces at different times and put into different electronic devices.

Two strips were sawn off from this radiatorabout 20mm wide, which is about 3-4mm wider than DRL glass. Particular precision was not needed, and therefore one radiator turned out to be about 1mm wider than the second.

Then began the machining processa radiator using a hacksaw, a belt grinder, files, grinding wheels and whetstones, drills, taps. The difficulty was that the surface of the radiator, where I was going to put the LED module, was not initially flat, but contained short “ribs”: they had to be cut and the surface ground. But with the right tool, all problems can be solved. Here is a photo of radiators at one of the manufacturing stages.

In general, the first time I used tapea grinder for processing something harder than wood, and I liked it, without a machine I would have spent much more time, but I still would not have got a quality plane. The last three fins of the radiators had to be cut, as they would interfere with the installation in the car. Here is the result:

The plane “did not lead to zero” and was not polished to a mirror: the obtained surface cleanliness is more than enough to cool the LED module.
Maybe someone will say that it would be easier to buyradiator of suitable size, cut in half and enjoy life. I really worked out such a version. But nothing suitable was found in the radio stores. It was possible to order a piece of an aluminum radiator profile of the required length in some kind of Chip-Dip, but then the ribs would then go along the long side of the DRL, which in this case, it seems to me, is not optimal for cooling. I preferred that the ribs were across the DRL. The Chinese also offer radiators (on the same Aliexpress) in a large assortment, but with the length I need from 150mm, the radiator was already pulling at $ 25 + wait another month. Well, the thickness of the base of the radiator is 3mm - somehow childish. Naturally, I preferred to save, but saving required additional efforts, the result of which is pictured above.
The next step is the installation of LED modules on radiators using KPT-8 thermal paste (not yet finished).

My main soldering iron for medium-sized itemsat 25W could not cope with soldering wires to the module, which indicates good heat dissipation from the module to the radiator. 40W soldering iron with soldered wires to the modules coped by 5+.
Then I connected the module to a power source, andtested the thermal regime of DRL at a rated current of 720 mA. I was wondering if the thermal regime would go beyond. Unfortunately, I did not record what the voltage was directly on the module, but vaguely recall that it was about 12.1V, which corresponds to a power of 8.7W. At the same time, the module “shone like a beast” (in the pictures the current is reduced so as not to blind the camera).

After half an hour, the radiator temperature turned out to be 57degrees: in the first 10 minutes the radiator warmed up to 55 degrees, and over the next 20 minutes only two degrees were added. I did not test longer, because I am sure that there will be no further temperature increase. Measurements were made with a Chinese digital multimeter with an external thermocouple (coated with thermal grease and pressed to the measurement site). For control, I checked my temperature, and the device showed 38 degrees, which is more or less true, but I completely admit the error in measuring the temperature of the radiator plus or minus a couple of degrees. Well, the thermal regime check was successful, 57 degrees are not so much as to fear for the health of the LEDs.
Next, the completion of the DRL body, so that it"Glass" could be put on a radiator. I had two options for improvement: put a glass on the radiator along with the black plastic base of the case, cutting off the back of the black base. Cut off:

Or use one “glass”, fix it directly on the radiator, cutting off the flange from it, which previously went into the inside of the black base. The glass is intact:

It would be nice to make a groove in the radiator so that ina glass bead was immersed in it, but without a CNC machine this is a little difficult. I started with the first option, going, if I do not like the result, go to the second.
After sawing off the rear black part of the DRL housing, I tried on the remainder of the housing with glass to the radiator with the module, turned on the power, made sure that the glass worked like a diffuser.

But I did not like this design. Too much emptiness was under the protective glass, besides I would have to seal two joints: the joint of glass with plastic, and the joint of plastic with a radiator.
So I moved on to option 2: I removed the black part of the case altogether, cut the bead from the glass, shortened the fixing “posts” into which the screws had been screwed before, cut M2.5 thread in the holes of these columns to fix the glass with M2.5 screws to the radiator. It was possible, of course, to use self-tapping screws, but I was afraid that the fragile transparent plastic would crack, especially since there was a great chance that I would have to put and remove the glass several times, and the self-tapping screws were held securely only for the first time.

In general, the weakest point of my design isoutput wires. Not only were there already enough unnecessary holes in the radiators that had to be closed, but the wires didn’t come out in very convenient places, and it was inconvenient to seal them. But he did from what was, so I had to get out. First I wanted to bring the wires into the holes at the end of the LED module, but the wires were next to the radiator fasteners to the car, which was also inconvenient, so I brought the wires between the edges.
And here's what happened in the end:

And how they shine:

Installed glass extends the lightthe flow, distributing it a little down, up and to the side, this creates the effect that a larger area is shining than the surface area of ​​the LED module. Which, in general, was necessary.
With a decrease in current, dead “pixels” become noticeable (first a fully working module, then “crushed”):

For good, the radiator should protect the forestry complex, otherwiseSilumin starts to oxidize actively. I haven’t decided yet, I’ll paint, or just varnish. For mounting, you can use the complete brackets, although they are really very flimsy. I haven’t put it on the car yet, as it was a little sick, it got colder on the street, and it is unlikely that the installation will take 5 minutes. Maybe I will not be in a hurry to put DRLs until spring, since in the winter that morning, that evening you have to drive with headlights, and DRLs are simply not needed. In addition, I do not yet have drivers with a stable output current, I am in search, and I do not want to put resistors on a temporary hitch. In addition, I have not yet decided what the final scheme for connecting the DRL to the car will be, so that the operation of the DRL corresponds to GOST. Generally I do not like to do something hastily.
This homemade product took more than a month, as at homethere is very little free time, and I did everything gradually, a little: today I brought a radiator, sawed it tomorrow, sawed off one radiator the day after tomorrow, second one after the day after tomorrow, after one polished the day after tomorrow, etc. Therefore, he reached out to the cold weather.
Sealant "glass" has not yet been coated, butit is clear that before installing it in the machine this is simply necessary. It was necessary to cover the radiator with varnish or paint before installing the modules and sealing the wires, but then I omitted this moment. At least I’ll paint it with the removed “glass”, so I don’t seal them.
So maybe my homemade product will lie until spring, and when I have a complete set for installation (DRL + drivers + thoughtful circuit), I will put it.

Well, everything seems to be. In my opinion, normal (external) DRLs should have just such a design: the radiator is the same body as the LEDs on the radiator, and the LEDs are protected from the external environment (glass). Everything else is from the evil one. The brightness of these converted DRLs is certainly not lower than the required by GOST, and I will try to observe the rest of the GOST requirements during installation.
The big request is not to breed discussions on the topicillegitimate self-installation of DRL. It is clear that if you cut such lanterns at night, then for this case you need to be on the first bitch. These are “daytime running lights”, they will be used in daylight, and will be connected in accordance with the standards. Finally, the coolest option of collective farming, which one of the sellers on Aliexpress offers: