evilBay LED strobe lights as backup/aux lights? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-08-2008
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evilBay LED strobe lights as backup/aux lights?

You've probably all seen a ton of these led strobe light kits (link) on evilBay lately & I was wondering if I could use just the led panels without the control box.

I'll guess that a 5v - 9v voltage regulator should keep the led's from burning out (unless they're already set up to handle 12v constant)

I'd like to use some of these led panels inside the cab, in my toolbox & in the bed for some extra light. I can't find anything in my toolbox or under the bed cover at night & it's a hassle to locate a flashlight in the dark.

With the low current draw of LED's, I thought they'd give off enough light rather than adding a bunch more driving/fog lights that will drain my battery.

How's your experience with this type cheap strobe (even if you're using them for the strobe function)??

Anybody ever butchered a set of them to see if they'll light up without the controller?

(before anyone gets antsy, yes I searched the forum, but didn't see any related to using strobes without the controller)

Last edited by buggman; 11-22-2008 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 11-22-2008
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Bumpity, Bumpity, Bumpity...

In what may possibly be a RF first, I've answered my own question.

I took a chance & got one of these cheap led strobe kits from evilBay & I found out that you CAN connect 9v to 12v (haven't tried it in the truck with 14.8v yet) directly to the led panel assemblies to get a very bright, always on led array.

I'm just using a cheap 3v - 12v ac/dc wall wart to power the led's & it only has a minimal amount of amperage output, so I'll need to do a little testing with some 12v voltage regulators/resistors when I actually install it on the truck.

The control box will work with a good old 9v alkaline battery if it's all you have laying around.
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Old 11-22-2008
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How bright are these things? I've never used them but you have my interest.
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Old 11-22-2008
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If you need just temporary lighting for the cab and box , why worry about current draw ?
Standard lamps give more lumens for what you need .
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Old 11-22-2008
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They put out a lot of light, it's very directional, but lots more than light I was expecting from a 9v battery (testing).

It's too cold to go out & test them today, but I'd say one would be plenty of light for my toolbox, the other should be enough to light up the bed (under the tonneau).

As strobes, they'll give you a seizure if you stare directly at them for very long.

They're not professional grade for use on police cars or fire trucks, but more than enough if you just want something to annoy people in the parking lot.

I might try them out as backup lights too, but it may be a little overkill. I already have a set of driving lights (switched) for backups & I just ordered some 63 white led's to replace the stock backup bulbs.

If my exhaust tips weren't so close to my roll pan, I'd get several sets in red & white to make the mother of all Line Of Fire setups.
Each panel has 22 led's & the panels are about 4" long x 1 3/4" tall... so I'd need about 6 pair to fill below the (approx 48" width) roll pan. That would give 264 led's for turn signals/brake lights/backup lights.

I wasn't concerned with the current draw of the led's as much as protecting them from excessive voltage when the truck is running (I have between 14.0 & 14.8 volts at idle).
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Old 11-23-2008
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Have you tested the voltage that comes out of that controller? The regulators could be in the LED modules themselves and it is just straight up 12v that comes out of that controller.
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Old 11-23-2008
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Hmmmm.... I'll check the controller output voltage (as soon as I can find one of my multimeters).

I might even disassemble one of the led panels just to see what's inside.
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Old 11-27-2008
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I took one of the panels apart today & there are several resistors soldered to the PCB, so I'd bet they'll be good to go even with the 14v+ I've got at idle.

I still haven't located my multimeter, not to mention it's been too cold to go out & try these out in the truck...but I'll update when I have more info.

The LED panels could use some silicone around the edges & around the grommet to seal out any moisture though.
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