DIY Offroad LED Light Bar

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vestureofblood
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Very nice work, thanks for sharing! I am planning a similar project myself….. if I ever get caught up on things.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

kevinthefro
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amplificus wrote:
This is truly awesome! I’ve been wanting to do some DIY lightbar for a while now with all the available options being extremely expensive or just plain crap.

Do you have a link for the optics?

Frankly I don’t think the $2000 light bars are all that either. Bling seems to be the primary goal over function. But then again, image is everything. No one would want to buy a plain black rectangle.

I got the optics here:
http://www.ledsupply.com/led-optics/10003-l25-carclo-lens-20mm-elliptical-spot-led-optic

everydaysurvivalgear
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Good work mate you beat me to it. I’ve starting modding a small light bar for my girlfriends car. It’s 12 inches so it sits inside the bumper. Output aim in 10-15k lumens I was going to go crazy and use XHP70s but it will cost to much. I made my own heatsink also. I am not sure about where to mount my driver.
I am more worried durability then output I think.

lostheplot
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excellent build ..I run ebay cheapies they leave a bit to be desired..
thanks for posting

sorry all images down
thanks photobucket

kevinthefro
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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
Good work mate you beat me to it. I’ve starting modding a small light bar for my girlfriends car. It’s 12 inches so it sits inside the bumper. Output aim in 10-15k lumens I was going to go crazy and use XHP70s but it will cost to much. I made my own heatsink also. I am not sure about where to mount my driver. I am more worried durability then output I think.

I’m sure you can make a better light bar than what you can get off the shelf. You can space 20mm lenses and star boards 25 mm apart, so 12 LEDs in 12 inches, you can easily get 12,000 lumens using XM-L2s. http://www.ledsupply.com/leds/cree-xlamp-xm-l2-leds?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIya2939Wy1QIVkTRpCh3ohQAwEAQYASABEgInw_D_BwE

The Carclo website has beam patterns for their lenses with practically every LED available. You can get lenses for the XM-L2 in spot, flood, or elliptical and design it how you want, for example: http://www.carclo-optics.com/optic-10003l25?opticfamily=20mm Once you find the pattern you want, you can get them from LED Supply or Mouser.

I’m looking forward to seeing your build!

piyoman
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That looks really sleek! I like the logic behind your roof rack mount as well. There are quite a few examples of mounts just above the windshield which can cause whistling/wind noise problems and the thought of glare or the hood lighting up didn’t even occur to me. This seems like an achievable project for the DIY’ers but aligning the drilled and tapped screw holes must be difficult. If you don’t mind, just a few follow up questions for you.

Can you tell us a bit more about the size and dimensions of the heat sink and c-channel you made?
Are you going to modify it in the future with any thermal management circuit?
Any plans on upgrading the current from 2A to 3A?
Any condensation or moisture problems so far?

mountainair26
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Wow that is some awesome work and awesome pics in your post. Please let us know how those drivers hold up, I’ve been considering them for similar projects, on a much smaller scale Big Smile
What made you choose the xp-g2 out of curiosity? Is you’re truck set-up with an extra battery or high-current alternator? Noticed any electrical changes or anything while running El Jefe? Thanks!

kevinthefro
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piyoman wrote:
the thought of glare or the hood lighting up didn’t even occur to me.

The problem is so bad there is a guy who is making a small business out of fabricating and selling custom visors for light bars: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/roof-mounted-led-light-bar-glare-solved.377416/
Some people even paint their hoods black.

piyoman wrote:
Are you going to modify it in the future with any thermal management circuit?

I plan to add a low voltage cutoff to turn it off before the car is unstartable. I could add PWM dimming based on temperature, but it has enough heat dissipation to operate at 100% even in the worst case scenario (100F) weather, so I probably won’t bother. Maybe the next version.

piyoman wrote:
Any plans on upgrading the current from 2A to 3A?

Most definitely. It seems to run much cooler than my prototype tests on the kitchen floor. It was on for a couple of hours in ~90F when I took those night shots and I was surprised that it barely got warm to the touch. I’m going to borrow a large battery charger and test it on the car inside the garage so there’s no air movement and up the current as much as heat will allow. I’ll rerun the power with at least 10ga too.

piyoman wrote:
Any condensation or moisture problems so far?

So far so good. I saw Gore vents mentioned on somebody’s website, read Gore’s paper on the root cause of condensation, and bought one on eBay for the heck of it. Maybe it works, maybe it’s a placebo.

mountainair26 wrote:
What made you choose the xp-g2 out of curiosity?

I picked the XP-G3 for the most lumens per watt, with the desired beam pattern with a 20mm Carclo lens. I spent a lot of time on Carclo’s website comparing beam patterns and LEDs. The XM-L2 is too fat. The XP-L HI is too expensive.

mountainair26 wrote:
Is you’re truck set-up with an extra battery or high-current alternator?

No, it draws about 25A, so probably no more than the rear window defroster.

mountainair26 wrote:
Noticed any electrical changes or anything while running El Jefe?

You can definitely hear the idle change when switching it on an off, but that’s it.
vwpieces
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Shot #3 made me giggle as the hill appeared out of nowhere.

kevinthefro
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piyoman wrote:
Can you tell us a bit more about the size and dimensions of the heat sink and c-channel you made?

The whole thing is 1143mm wide, or 45.0”. The channel was made from 1.25“x2.5” rectangular tubing, .125” wall. After cutting off one side it is 57mm deep.
This is the heat sink: http://www.heatsinkusa.com/3-945/

Rat_Racer
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Excellent job and results. I share your views on off the shelf units, and had wondered if anybody here had ventured into this realm for DIY. I’ve been researching these, as I can recess a 32” light bar in my Colorado’s front bumper, but everything seems sub par on output lumens/pattern vs price vs quality complaints.

Clown
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Wow, great job!
Makes me want to get myself in to gear and build the custom light bar I’ve always coveted.

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