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Thread: Race Car Lighting

  1. #1

    Default Race Car Lighting

    I have been looking at replacng the lighting in my racecar with LED's all around and stumbled accross your fabulor forums in my research. Let me set the scene a bit.

    I have an older Audi [early 90's model] which is used exclusively as a race car. It is trailered everywhere and is no longer road reg'd so there are no legality isues to be considered. I just need to make sure I'm not blinding anyone in their mirrors.

    Given the age [and usage] of the car I don't have any complicated fault warning systems to worry about. I am looking to completely redesign the lightling package around the use of LED's so this includes head, tail, brake and turn lighting. The original enclosures will be used howver I can [and for headlights, will] relocate the location of the LED's for the factory location within the enclosure.

    Headlights - I want to sticker over the headlights with sponsor signage so I would like relocate the headlight bulb to the bottom inside corner of the factory enclosure so I would like to change it to a projector type of light so it can project through a smaller area left clear in the signage.

    Brake/Turn/Tail Lighting- I imagine the simplest solution would be to get something to fit the OEM sockets e.g. from ebay.

    High Intensity Rain lighting - I would like to replace the current high mount brake light with a high intensity rain light along the lines of what we see in F1 cars. Given how wet it has been lately and how impossible it is to see through the spray I'd like to assist other competitors to NOT run up my arse. The solution would still need to be in the form of a single or double row of LED's as I don't want to have it projecting down into my line of vision through the rear view mirror.

    Being a complete numbie with LED's I am probably going to be asking some stupid questions so please be patient as it might take me a couople of goes to understand what I need to do. Anyway on to the project sections;

    Headlights

    Given I would like to limit the opening through which the headlight can shine I was thinking that some kind of projector style of beam would be the go but is this possible for a headlight not originally designed for it? Would the front of the OEM enclosure [which is glass] defuse the beam too much? Is there any other things I need to consider? If not, then I can see 2 approaches;

    1/ Is there an off the shelf bulb which I could use and fabricate a holder to locate it in the new location within the OEM enclosure.
    2/ Fabricate a cluster of LED's on a bread board or other substrate which is then fitted to the OEM enclosure in the new location.

    High Intensity Rain light

    The car currently has a high mount brake light enclosure located at the top centre of the rear windscreen, it conatins a single row of [not very bright] LED's. I would like to change the function of this unit to a High Intensity Rain light which flashes when it is activated from the switch panel in the dash. I think I can reuse the circiut board from the OEM high mount brake lights as it is easily accessable when I remove the enclosure so if I can retrofit the new suggested RED LED's that will make fitting it back into the OEM location.I think there are currently 10 LED's in the board but I don't know their spec's so I will just used the bioard and wire in the required combination of LED's and resistors/capacitors etc.

    General

    I am not sure about the power conditioning requirements for the power supply, if there are driver requirements are for this type of lighting and any other thing people thing I need to consider.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by b7rs4 View Post
    It is trailered everywhere and is no longer road reg'd so there are no legality isues to be considered.
    Scheinwerfermann will correct me if I'm wrong, but: Although the vehicle itself is not going to be registered, it seems that the use of any products such as HID kits or LED drop-ins are still going to be problematic due to those items' inherent illegality.

    Granted, NASCAR headlamps are just decals (so much for "Stock Car"), but that is an abolute removal of the headlamps, not the substitution of HID kits in dubious projectors.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    One answer:

    go speak to veteran racers in the same class and rules category of your car, and use what the old timers use.
    posted by jh333233
    Dont cheat me, im expert in using crap light

  4. #4

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    What year and model Audi? I had an early 90s 100 which would have taken the S4 headlight without modification to the hood and fenders. The S4 had a projector low beam (and either the fog or high, I was never sure as I never purchased them). Will this lighting be primarily for identifying the vehicle or for illuminating the road at night? I have found that LEDs headlights are rather expensive, but you did not mention a budget. These may be what you are looking for, and Hella claims ECE type approval if you are in Europe.

    Not sure if this thread applies exactly to what you want, but I was intrigued by the suggestion of mixed LHT and RHT projectors for more distance in the middle of the road for racing.

    Also, LEDs in reflector housing do not typically perform as well as the incandescent bulb that the reflectors were designed to use. You'd likely be more visible sticking to the stock bulbs.

    -E.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Scheinwerfermann will correct me if I'm wrong, but: Although the vehicle itself is not going to be registered, it seems that the use of any products such as HID kits or LED drop-ins are still going to be problematic due to those items' inherent illegality.

    Granted, NASCAR headlamps are just decals (so much for "Stock Car"), but that is an abolute removal of the headlamps, not the substitution of HID kits in dubious projectors.
    The rules require that the lighting be functional however they do not need to be OEM or even road legal so I am all good on that front.

    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    One answer:

    go speak to veteran racers in the same class and rules category of your car, and use what the old timers use.
    This is a good point however if we only ever do what the "old timers do" then we don't make any advancements. I know this might not be a great performance mod as far as overall lap times go but it is a fun little side project which I am interested in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Einarr View Post
    What year and model Audi? I had an early 90s 100 which would have taken the S4 headlight without modification to the hood and fenders. The S4 had a projector low beam (and either the fog or high, I was never sure as I never purchased them). Will this lighting be primarily for identifying the vehicle or for illuminating the road at night? I have found that LEDs headlights are rather expensive, but you did not mention a budget. These may be what you are looking for, and Hella claims ECE type approval if you are in Europe.

    Not sure if this thread applies exactly to what you want, but I was intrigued by the suggestion of mixed LHT and RHT projectors for more distance in the middle of the road for racing.

    Also, LEDs in reflector housing do not typically perform as well as the incandescent bulb that the reflectors were designed to use. You'd likely be more visible sticking to the stock bulbs.

    -E.
    The vehicle is a 1994 Audi 80/90 so unfortunately the 100's headlights are not an option.

    Thanks for those links. I have read the 24 hours race one and it is interesting reading however we don't race at noight so not really where Im headed. The first of your 3 links though has lead me to high beam version of These.

    If I can fit them into the enclosure they may just be the solution. What do you think? Probably easier than building a custom solution myself!!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by b7rs4 View Post
    The rules require that the lighting be functional however they do not need to be OEM or even road legal so I am all good on that front.
    Not exactly. HID kits are illegal per se. Even if not installed in a car at all, the very object violates the law.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Not exactly. HID kits are illegal per se. Even if not installed in a car at all, the very object violates the law.
    I'm not sure how you can make such a sweeping statement without knowing what country I'm in.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Baiting/trolling post deleted by moderator
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 05-17-2012 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Baiting/trolling

  9. #9

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    b7rs4: The lighting modifications and products you're asking about are illegal. Rule 11 of this board prohibits advocating illegal activity.

    alpg88: Yet again, you are behaving inappropriately in exactly the same way you've been repeatedly warned against . Stop it now or you will likely find yourself taking some involuntary time out from this board while you think more carefully about how to participate in a mature, adult manner.

    "HID kits" are illegal. There will be no further discussion of them in this thread, nor of "LED bulbs" or other illegal/unsafe vehicle lighting modifications. It is fully possible to have a productive discussion about race car lighting without violating the rules of this board. If you (all) can't bring yourselves to do so, the thread will be closed.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    ok, than you show us the law that makes hid kits illegal when not installed in a car, as it stated in post #6.
    Last edited by alpg88; 05-17-2012 at 02:04 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Post in direct violation of advisory of Rule 11 deleted by moderator
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 05-17-2012 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Violation of Rule 11 immediately after advisory of Rule 11...c'mon, people, be adults.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    ok, than you show us the law that makes hid kits illegal when not installed in a car, as it stated in post #6.
    This question has been answered correctly numerous times by multiple posters in numerous threads. In the United States, the relevant statute is §108(a)(1)(A) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, 15 U.S.C. 1397(a)(1)(A), which states that no person may import, introduce into interstate commerce, or sell any item of motor vehicle equipment that does not conform with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Section 108(a)(2) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 1397(a)(2), further stipulates that no manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business shall knowingly render inoperative, in whole or in part, any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with an applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

    "Item of motor vehicle equipment" is defined in the statute as a regulated device, component, design feature, or system physically capable of being installed on a vehicle certified as complying with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

    These items fall into many categories, including lights and reflectors.

    Most other countries have analogous laws on their books.

    Your question has now been answered (again). Think very carefully and refresh your recollection of the rules of this board, especially #4 and #8, as a part of deciding whether and how to add further replies to this thread.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    I am gonna throw this one out. no HID's are legal on any track I know of where the rules are made by
    responsible parties and backed by insurance companies. cheap knockoff ballasts start fires which are no no's in competition
    posted by jh333233
    Dont cheat me, im expert in using crap light

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Race Car Lighting

    Enough, questions asked and answered, here and in other threads in this forum. Discussions re illlegal uses of lights are not allowed per Rule 11. Alpg88, take a few days off and read the Rules especially #'s 4 and 11. You have been trolling in this thread. Closing this thread.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 05-17-2012 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Spelling

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