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Thread: LEDs in Fibreglass

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default LEDs in Fibreglass

    Hi there, I just wondered if anyone had embedded LEDs in Fibreglass or Carbon fibre. I am about to build a Carbon fibre rear fender and would like to embed LEDs into it so that the indicator lights would only be visible when they actually flashed. I know I could drill them into the finished item, but it would be nice to have them "within" the fabrication of the fender. There may be drawbacks to this, but that's why I am asking before I build the fender. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: LEDs in Fibreglass

    High power leds would be difficult, for heat and thermal expanding. %mm leds would be fine.
    Once moist find its way along the wires some corrosion might occur in time, hard to repair after that.

    Remember the cheap rope-lights? In time the UV from sun and from the Led will discolour most plastics. Mostly depending on runtime probably. Occasional flashing should give no problem, continuously operation certainly would.

  3. #3

    Default Re: LEDs in Fibreglass

    I would expect something like this to be well suited to the painfully small SMD LEDs that you can buy in stupidly tiny sub 3mm packages that run off of ~20mA similar to 5mm leds. For any sort of production, you would have them on a kapton flex PCB, lay it up in your mold, lay your cloth or pre-preg over it (laser cut holes for the LEDs? not sure how production pricing for that would be) Then resin it up and put on your outside mold.

    Or reverse it, mold, hole punched cloth/prepreg, LED flex PCB, internal glass layer, breather cloth, vac bag etc... if you are use a vacuum bag layup. For a one-off without a flex pcb, its doable but you would definitely be plus a few gray hairs.
    Last edited by CKOD; 05-03-2012 at 09:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Stillwater, America

    Default Re: LEDs in Fibreglass

    So, you're making homemade turn signals?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Niagara Falls ON. Canada

    Default Re: LEDs in Fibreglass

    I smell a legality issue here... trust someone who designs automotive LED lights, you don't want to go through the possible $100K certification process of what you are trying to create.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    South Hill, VA

    Default Re: LEDs in Fibreglass

    This would be neat for a show concept, but they would be completely illegal to use on the roads. Unless you have a few dozen thousand sitting around, you can't self-certify and design optics to pass the required safety standards in most countries with roads.

    Edit: And there's a forum rule frequently hit on this board of "CPF will not discuss illegal activities," in this case illegal and unsafe car mods. If this is for a show-only car, to only be rolled out of a trailer onto a show floor, then we can probably advise.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

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