Kia Optima Forums banner

1 - 20 of 96 Posts

·
08/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disclaimer: I am not at fault if you ruin your lights while following this guide. There is no reason you should, I have done 3 sets this exact way.

LEDS: http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/top-emitting/high-power-led-flexible-light-strip--nfls-x3/1465/

You will need 2 19.7in strips
Choose the color, I have found that the Natural White matches a 5000K HID pretty closely

This DIY yourself is for opening up your OEM DRL LEDs and installing a new LED strip into them for brighter, whiter light.
Supplies:
Oven
Flat head screwdriver
Philips screwdriver
Needlenose pliers
4 wire taps
DRLLED3.jpg
  1. Start by removing the wiring pigtail from the back, then all the screws and finally the two moisture guards (black rubber pieces and the filters they cover)
    DRLLED4.jpg
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and baked lights for 12-15min (until you can pry them gently apart with a screw driver) try not to flex the gray plastic too much as it may stay where you put it (heat it up again to move it back)
    DRLLED5.jpg
  3. The remove the lights and lenses as one piece from the housings (these slide out in a 45 degree angle from housings, if the lights were on the car they would slide out straight forward) There is a wire that will need to be disconnected here you can eaither clip it as close to the little white plug as possible or push the top of the plug towards the PC board and slight it out you wont need the plug for the final build anyways
    DRLLED6.jpg DRLLED7.jpg
  4. Remove the screws that hold on lenses
    DRLLED9.jpg
  5. Remove the screw that holds on the pc board then the board (same white clip as step 3)
    DRLLED8.jpg
  6. Before you remove all of the LEDs with the strip, mark the metal plates where each LED is centered, it will make it easier to apply the new ones in the proper location the first time.
    DRLLED10.jpg DRLLED11.jpg
  7. Use dremel and wire brush bit that removed all the old adhesive from each metal base on the lights. Keep the metal bases and try not touch the plastic dots on them. THese help with heat dissipation from the LEDs
  8. Use the dremel again to cut a slot in the plastic just above the top LED platform (think of the base part as stairs going up with the metal parts being where you would place your foot on each stair to locate the top LED platform) This slot only need to be large enough for the new LED strip to fit through as one LED will not be used plus it puts the wiring behind the base piece and into the back housing.
    DRLLED12.jpg
 

·
08/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
9. Slip the LEDs through the slot so that the wiring is behind the base
DRLLED15.jpg
10. Remove the adhesive backing
11. Starting with the bottom LED platform begin to adhere the LEDs, try to keep them centered on the metal bases. Plenty will go unused and the strip is quite flexible.
DRLLED13.jpg
12. Put the projector lenses back on to help hold the LEDs in place while the glue sets. Watch were the extra LEDs are placed so they don't bunch up in some cases they will stick to the side walls and go up past the next LED platform before bending back down, this is ok
DRLLED14.jpg
13. Once the glue has set use the wire butt connectors to connect the green wire coming into the housing to the red wire of the LED strip then do the same with the black wires.
DRLLED16.jpg
14. With the wire taps in place check to confirm the lights polarity is correct using batters (I used two 6V lantern batteries in series)
15. With all things checked slide the LEDs/Projector lenses back into the housing (try to route the wires may take a couple tries)
16. Slide the lens back on as far as you can and place the units back into the oven for 10-15min
17. Take the units out and push them back together so each of the clips go back into place
18. Install them on your vehicle (this is a different DIY)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
Yeah that's a bit much lol

But I'm sure some people around here could find this useful.
 

·
08/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
There really isn't anything technical or difficult about this process at all. The hardest part is getting the lenses off and even that isn't bad. I've done three sets (the first times I have ever separated lights) and I didn't mess up any of them. Outside of that is some screws, some stickers and little dremel work.
 

·
Registered
2012 Optima SX-T
Joined
·
711 Posts
Spot on with the write-up! Great work!

Wish I would have known about the metal plates for heat dissipation before I yanked mine.

If I could note a couple of things, I would say that you could increase the temperature and decrease the time; and I'll tell you why. Also, if you get the LED strips that Homebrwd and everyone recommends from superbrightled's, the website tells you about not bending the strip past a 90° angle. I would like to add that these strips are MUCH more durable than the website gives them credit for. Look at the pictures that Homebrwd put up. Some of them do a really sharp 180° turn. Mine did the same thing, and they still work. All I'm saying is not to be afriad to move this strip to how you need it.

I've done about a dozen sets of BMW headlights, and I've pinpointed it down to 225°F for 5-8 minutes max. This allows the glue to soften up plenty enough for an easy separation, but it's not too much that it allows you to start bending the plastic. When I did this mod to my LED DRL's last week, I went at 225°F for about 6 minutes and it was plenty enough for the glue; and the plastic housing didn't soften up at all (except for the tabs which are soft to begin with).

For anyone nervous about doing this, believe me it's MUCH easier than it sounds.
 

·
08/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
Discussion Starter #16

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I did this mod yesterday and while I agree that it should take 60-90 minutes, but that's it's you've already done the job before. I spent probably 3-4 hours on this, because I was unfamiliar with things like what the glue should feel like when it's soft enough to pry the lights apart afer cooking them in the oven, and how to disconnect the small wiring harnesses that go to the PCB board (which I later realized aren't needed for reassembly).

My main concern is the unevenness of the light. With all those LCD's bunched up badly in certain areas, and or pointed in various directions, the light looks very uneven when veiwed from certain angles, even almost dark in certain spots. I may take the lights apart again today to try to get the lights more even, and possibly have 4 or 5 lights unused instead of just the one sticking out of the back, so they won't be as bunched up.

I was also concerned that many of the LCD's are pressing directly against the clear plastic housing inside, and I wonder if overheating might occur, and maybe even a fire if it got hot enough in there or something shorted out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Thanks man, I reopened my DRL's this morning and got them lined up better. I must have missed the part in your instructions where you said to make sure you have an LED light centered on each of the metal plates. I just sort of crammed them in the best I could, and a few were centered but most were not.

Looks much better now, though there is one lens in the middle that is just slightly dimmer that the rest, but this is only when it's veiwed from one certain angle, and may be due to the design of the lens, because I have an LED very well-centered on that particular metal plate.
 
1 - 20 of 96 Posts
Top