Tuesday 21 August 2012

Light Up Rear Panel Part Two

And some fella said 'let there be light'..

So previously we had a clear panel with a bad paint job and two whacking great holes cut in the back. Not the most promising of starts I hear you cry. Ah, but remember that sometimes you need to destroy to be able to create! pffft... say the philosophers. Get on with it cry the readers...

So as to remain legal in the UK the rear panel must 'light up' red. Anything else is of course possible but you will be breaking the law on UK roads. Personally I like the red as it fits in with the lights. It is possible to purchase paint from Foliatec known as 'Glow Bulb' I like this as it's quick and easy only requiring one coat. However you can use Tamiya clear red etc, you get the idea. For instance on my car the internals are painted Tamiya red.

I did not paint this... This is not the finish

Characters painted internally with clear red
 Next up get tin foil or some adhesive backed foil. Stick this to where the centre lug is. What we want to do is cover all the way along behind the lettering with this. When the sun shines on the car during the day it helps make the lettering stand out, additionally it also helps the brightness when the panel is lit with reflected light.
Exhaust tape (but tin foil will do)

Remember to cover center section behind lug
 I was keen to 'try' a different LED set this time and picked some bright red 30CM strips up from ebay for very small money. These run off 12 volts and can be easily wired into the lighting circuit. However I think that  probably a 60CM would be better. I'm going to try out a 60CM strip to see how well it works. Currently I attached strips top and bottom.
pre wired Red LED, this is a 30CM strip 60 would be best.
 Using some plastic card, two strips were made to cover the holes made previously. Foil was attached to these as mentioned previously.
'PlastiCard cut to fit over holes with foil attached to 'inside' part
 The strips were then glued back into place. Probably does not matter what glue as long as it sticks. I like my glue gun, the bodgers tool!
Glue (or two part epoxy into place)
 As I used two light strips, I neatened up the wiring and tinned the wires. Ready for installation.
lets not have any messy wiring!
 Here is the finished product (from the lighting perspective). It is actually quite hard to take a photo as the camera dwells on the light source making it appear that the bulbs are brighter than they actually are. However it is fair comment to say that the S and the E are slightly dull in the flesh. Hence my final hurrah at trying a 60CM strip in the unit.
Some product?
I hope you enjoyed this outing into something practical and yet at the same time quite useless. Naturally the panel can be wired to the lights or if you have a sad copy type spoiler without brake light it could be wired to that.

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