I don't know a damn thing about lights.

Bystickel

V.I.P. Member
As the title states, I'm ignorant, and asking for help. I need to make a light system (basic) for both my 1:9 and 1:16 scale trucks.

I do have the stock headlight LEDs from my trx4m, and they measure 3mm dia at the thinner part of the bulb, with a flange at their base that's about 3.9mm

Is this bulb size standard across all scales? I need to drill holes in all of my light buckets, and want to be sure it's done right the first time.

Is there anything to look for regarding light intensity? I'm hoping for something less intense. And I won't be spending money on a fancy controller; when I plug the battery in, I expect the lights to be on. Simple and cheap.

Feel free to tell me to 'Google it'... and any info you can share will be appreciated!

Attached are the new aluminum reflectors for my Pathfinder lights. I'm going to try to do an additional reflector over the top of the LED. I really want these to look authentic.
 

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Frizzen

Active member
I don't know much about them either.

Your most common LED sizes are going to be 3mm / 5mm. (Maybe some 7mm or 10 mm, or lots of tiny horrible options going down through 'surface mount' sizes)

There are a lot of ways to secure lights into a body. Plastic snap in bulb holders, metal lens bezels, all kinds of scale light buckets, flashlight reflectors, lego bricks... hotglue, shoegoo...

Are you wanting just Plug-Play?
What special features do you want or do not want? Turnsignals, Brake, switching highbeam when driving, Hazard, flashing stupid disco crap...
Do you know which end of a soldering iron to hold?
 

ShopGTR

Cruisin'

I buy lots from these guys, and they have great info. Also packs of 12v leds from amazon.

All my rigs use 9 volt batteries so I can run the lights separately, with an RC4WD controller.
 

SeanOB

Supporting Member
I was about to start a topic along the same lines, hope you don't mind me asking the question here Bystickel.
Are most LED's 12V, so we can just plug them into the receiver?
 

ShopGTR

Cruisin'
No, most are not 12v, unfortunately. It will have a small resistor inline near the light, usually, if it's able to take 12 volts. I use 12 volt leds but wired to a 9 volt battery. Because the normal, non 12 volt leds can't take more than 6 volts or so usually.

LEDs for example: https://a.co/d/eFYfrjX

I use these switches: https://a.co/d/1Tt19Zf

9 volt connectors: https://a.co/d/4gQaw1J


I buy packs of like 25 or so on Amazon. You can get a box of all the colors you could ever want for like $20, probably less. Then get some 9volt battery connectors. Then get some small on/off switches. Wire the switch inline to the battery positive connector, then connect all the positive leads to the positive, all the negatives to the negative, and you have all your lights powered off a 9 volt battery that you can pop on whenever you want the lights on. This is a terrible explanation of how to wire it, and it'd be easier to show, but you get what I mean.

Take it a step further and get an RC4WD light controller. Power that with the 9 volt, but keep the on off switch in line as it'll kill the battery sitting on the shelf. Flip the switch and you have all your lights remote controlled.


This is how all my cars and trucks are done. I'd be happy to post some pics or whatever if y'all want.
 
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Itruckhard

Active member
You want a Chanzon Warm White Straw Hat LED. Or white white. Warm white straw hat will look like old yellowish headlights. I prefer these 5mm straw hat ones.

Chanzon 100 pcs 5mm Warm White Straw Hat LED Diode Lights (Clear Transparent Lens 3V 20mA) Bright Lighting Bulb Lamps Electronics Components Indicator Light Emitting Diodes https://a.co/d/7nBrN1s
 

Frizzen

Active member
On youtube, Ampro Engineering did a pretty good series comparing a bunch of asian full car lighting controller kits to see what their features were, and how to trick them into being good. I believe he's got a playlist for 'Lighting'

Really sick person might suggest building from scratch, then hacking some cheap servo guts into remote switches to toggle light channels...
f6Gg6Ccl.jpg

But that's kinda crazy...

Also filling light buckets with clear hotglue before final install really helps scale out the 'bright even glow in light' vs 'pinpoint of light inside a housing' look.
 
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Bystickel

V.I.P. Member
Are you wanting just Plug-Play?
Nah, I'm too cheap for that, and I like to struggle, so I'm just going to buy some bulbs, and raid the box of tiny wires I salvaged from the last computer printer tear down.
What special features do you want or do not want? Turnsignals, Brake, switching highbeam when driving, Hazard, flashing stupid disco crap...
All I know is that I want it to signal right when I turn left.

Do I know which end of a soldering iron to hold?

I've held each end, with mixed results.

I buy lots from these guys, and they have great info. Also packs of 12v leds from amazon.

All my rigs use 9 volt batteries so I can run the lights separately, with an RC4WD controller.
Thank you for that link! So, I did a quick search, to find that most LEDs run on 1.3-3.5 volts. ShopGTR answered my question about how they work with a 12V source.

I'll have to decide how to power them. In my TRX4M, I'll probably go with the built-in circuit, but in the Pathfinder, a separate circuit might be easier. I won't be using a controller, but might do some micro switches to have lights come on when the hatch or hood open.

No, most are not 12v, unfortunately. It will have a small resistor inline near the light, usually, if it's able to take 12 volts. I use 12 volt leds but wired to a 9 volt battery. Because the normal, non 12 volt leds can't take more than 6 volts or so usually.
Great info.

(The site is freaking out as I try to do multiple replies, so I'll try again...
 
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Bystickel

V.I.P. Member
This is a terrible explanation of how to wire it, and it'd be easier to show, but you get what I mean.
No, this is great! And thanks for those links, too.
Take it a step further and get an RC4WD light controller.
How many Pen Points do I earn with that?

I was about to start a topic along the same lines, hope you don't mind me asking the question here Bystickel.
Are most LED's 12V, so we can just plug them into the receiver?
My topics are like a freighter off the Somali coast... yes, please ask 'em here! The more, the merrier.

You want a Chanzon Warm White Straw Hat LED. Or white white. Warm white straw hat will look like old yellowish headlights. I prefer these 5mm straw hat ones.

Chanzon 100 pcs 5mm Warm White Straw Hat LED Diode Lights (Clear Transparent Lens 3V 20mA) Bright Lighting Bulb Lamps Electronics Components Indicator Light Emitting Diodes https://a.co/d/7nBrN1s
Nice. I was wondering what folks were doing to get the 'incandescent' look. I wondered of people were covering the LEDS with a transparent paint. Thanks!

...Really sick person might suggest building from scratch, then hacking some cheap servo guts into remote switches to toggle light channels...
f6Gg6Ccl.jpg

But that's kinda crazy...
Really sick, actually. Can you show us that light show? ("Hot pursuit! Ghee-ghee-Goo!")
Also filling light buckets with clear hotglue before final install really helps scale out the 'bright even glow in light' vs 'pinpoint of light inside a housing' look.
Neat idea. Thanks, Frizzen! I suppose you could choose materials that vary. from the milky look of most hot glue, to a really clear epoxy. On my Pathfinder, I made aluminum reflectors from heavy foil. I'm curious what effect those will create.
 

Bystickel

V.I.P. Member
I found these on the onlines:


I wish they had dimensions for each, but it's nice to know there's an option for buckets. Does anyone have ideas for re-purposing items into reflectors? Fishing bobbins? I need to plan a trip to the craft store.

And what about sources for headlight lenses? I found one person on Etsy who said he could scale lenses/proportion some beautiful Toyota lenses he makes, and Pandora offers this sheet of lenses, but I don't think they're big enough for my 1:9th build:


I'd love to hear thoughts on other sources, or if anybody has tried printing their own, complete with the faceting detail on the back. I was trying to come up with a method of making them by hand, but haven't experimented yet.
 
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Frizzen

Active member
Warm white LEDs for Incandescent / Halogen bulbs
Cool white LEDs for HID / Xenon

I didn't want to hijack the thread too much, heard there might be some cops around
Trying to stay more screen-accurate, the roof flasher was 'supposed' to wig-wag the rear ambers, while the red forward burn solid. But homebrew wig-wag didn't play nice with the pwm coming off the servo board. Always resetting to initial state output pin, probably needed a big capacitor or moved to a battle switch?
Also i should have gotten a much larger and more obnoxious speaker on the Evandesigns siren.

Bee-doo bee-doo bee-doo bee-doo bee-doo.
5ANmJA4h.jpg

(I really like flashy lights)

Stole the hot glue in light idea from this guy

Round lenses could include some Googliy Eyes / Wiggly Eyes.
Some boxed medicines have individual pill punch out sheets with clear plastic shapes

"Molotow" makes some really nice Chrome paint pens, work great to chrome light reflectors
 
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SeanOB

Supporting Member
No, most are not 12v, unfortunately. It will have a small resistor inline near the light, usually, if it's able to take 12 volts. I use 12 volt leds but wired to a 9 volt battery. Because the normal, non 12 volt leds can't take more than 6 volts or so usually.
Thank you! By some chance I had a whole bag of LEDs which I hadn't realised already have tiny resistors on them. Wired them up with a switch I ripped out of one of these AA battery holders. and plugged into receiver. They are smaller bulbs than I wanted so will just see if they burn out... then the second attempt I will try brighter bulbs with your 9volt-technique :giggle:
 
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