Hazdaz

Wiring help - installed halo lights, but trying to get them to work with both the parking lights and low/high beams.

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So I bought some halo lights and replaced the sealed beam lights with H4 halogens (for low and high beams) for the '64.  The halos are wired  in with the parking lights.  I really like how they look and they give a lot of soft light off to the corners of the car (a very weak point of the stock lighting package).  This makes taking a turn a lot easier because the halos light up the inside corner of the street so you can see any curbs or potholes. 

 

My issue is that I want to have the halos also work with the low and high beams.  I know I could wire the halos on a separate switch if I have to, but it would be nice to have them go on automatically if I put the parking lights or low/high beams on.  I've looked at the wiring diagram for the car but don't see a good way of doing this.  If I wired them to the parking lights *and* low/high beams, my understanding of this wiring diagram tells me that the parking lights would stay on, when the low/high beams were switched on.  That isn't actually a terrible thing, I don't I'd like to get some other people's opinions on this.  I also fully admit that reading wiring diagrams in not something I am great at, so I might be missing an obvious place to tap into to get this to work. 

 

 

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When I wanted my low and high beams on together, I installed Painless 30802 relay for 88-98 GM trucks. There may be another way to do it, but this worked for me.

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Run a pigtail off each of the three circuits (high, low and parking).  Put a diode on each.  Connect the cathodes of the three diodes together, then connect that to the halo lights.  Each of the three circuits will operate as it does now; any of them will trigger the halos.

 

Of course, it's better to do this with a relay: have the diodes trigger the relay while the lights draw power from the battery rather than through the dash switch.  Even better still, run all your lights through relays rather than the dash switch.

 

But if you're just trying to illuminate your turns, install some factory cornering lights.

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"Put a diode on each."

 

That was one of the ideas I had, but talking to my electrical engineering coworkers about it, they said a diode wouldn't work in this particular situation because of some electrical reason that was above my knowledge.  Now to be fair there might have been some miscommunication on my part which I can revisit and also offer up the wiring diagram for their inspection.

 

Concerning the relay issue, is there a reason why the car doesn't use relays to begin with?  Is that not a common thing for cars of this vintage?

 

The halos just look pretty damn cool, so that's the main consideration for this mod.  After installation I noticed just how much light they were puttinging out - they were bright but didn't throw the light far, which is of course why they couldn't be used for an actual low or high beam. The light they were putting out though landed in the area right in front of the car, which has been a sore point for me because of the poorly lit, narrow roads around here which makes navigating this beautiful boat a little iffy at night.  Just as an example, the other night I could see the corner leading up to my driveway better after I turned the headlights OFF and took the turn with the parking lights and halos on.  

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18 hours ago, RockinRiviDad said:

Any new news? Can u post a pic. I’d like to see what a Riv with halos

 

Pics attached.  Lights always come out differently in photos because of the white-balance.  The halo rings are much more defined in real life.  In the first pic, it looks like the entire headlights are glowing, but its just the rings in person.

 

I still haven't tried wiring them up to the low beams yet, they are only working with the parking lights for now.  My fall back position will be to have them on their own switch.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hazdaz said:

 

Pics attached.  Lights always come out differently in photos because of the white-balance.  The halo rings are much more defined in real life.  In the first pic, it looks like the entire headlights are glowing, but its just the rings in person.

 

I still haven't tried wiring them up to the low beams yet, they are only working with the parking lights for now.  My fall back position will be to have them on their own switch.

 

 

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Once you get this "nipped in the bud" be sure to write up an extensive how-to complete with part numbers and detailed installation instructions.

 

I like this idea for daytime running lights.  Once you get your system figured out, think of what it would take to have them on with the ignition switch but would then shut off when you turned o  your headlights. ?

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
  • Haha 1

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That looks cool. What is even cooler is that flag on your antenna. Thx for that. Great idea. Where’s my flag…

 

Today’s world sure has funny views on Old Glory. 

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Minor update on the LED lighting.  

 

I had to order 40 of the wrong bulbs before I got the right socket, but still not quite the right bulb.  I ended up having to do some custom soldering of a 1157 LED bulb to make them fit the proper parking lights on the Riv.  In the first pic, the passenger side has the LED parking lights while the driver side does not.  It's a pretty big difference in light output.  I kept the turn signal stock for now.  

 

In the bottom pic, this is how it looks at night.

 

I still plan on hooking them up to the lowbeams eventually.

 

I also had ordered custom sequential LED tailights from Daper lighting only for them to sit on my order for a month.  I ended up having to cancel it.  I was not happy with them at all.

 

Anyways, this is just a small update.  To be continued.

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Its not much of an update, but the halos worked great... until they stopped working altogether.  I have been super busy with other projects that I haven't honestly had the time to look into fixing them, but that has affected my nighttime driving (because the headlights stopped working as well).  Nowadays I pretty much have to be home by 7 or so, or I'm driving blind. 

 

The best thing about the halos was the fact that they would throw a lot of light toward the sides of the car - taking a turn on the Riv on a pitch black road was tough because the lights are so sunken in and toward the center of the car that corners of the road never got much illumination. 

 

Anyways, fixing the wiring (I'm hoping its just a loose connection) has now become closer to the top of priorities so we'll see.

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Are you running them through a relay?  I tried wiring some driving lights into the high-beam circuit on a van I once had that took me and my canoe into some really dark and winding river roads.  Bad idea.  The extra load being pulled by the driving lights caused my high-beam circuit killed everything.  Perhaps you need to run a separate circuit for the halo lamps ( halo - high altitude, low opening?) 

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I recall seeing a post that you (or someone else) mentioned a while ago about putting them through a relay, and I was considering it, but LEDs are soooo insanely power efficient that I wasn't really sure if it would be worth it.  My side/parking lights are also LEDs (and looking at going LED with the headlights as well) and all of them on probably put less of a strain on the electrical system than one old-school halogen bulb.  The draw from just one 60W headlight bulb is 5 amps.  The entire 4-light halo kit, I believe, was like 10-12W if my memory serves me correctly, which is about 1 amp.  I'd think I wouldn't need a relay for just 1A, but I don't know what other people's opinions are on that.

 

I believe the halos stopped working once when I hit a pothole and then they miraculously worked again, after a minute or two, but I think that started the ball rolling in loosening whatever is loose now.  Then again I might be totally wrong.  Next day I have some free time, I want to run power to the lights directly just to see if they turn on and then back track it from there and see if its a switch or other problem. 

 

If I go LED headlights I'd want to share with you guys as well.

 

To be continued...

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If you're swapping out sealed beams for some newer, high power lamps, you can jigger the wiring to use the inboard lights as DRLs and use the outboard lights as headlights.  You won't lose any illumination by doing this.  In fact, you'll probably see a marked improvement because the new lamps are so much brighter than the old ones.

 

IIRC, there's a schematic for this posted somewhere around here.

 

It's still recommended to use relays for your lights even with LEDs, as the voltage loss through the longer, smaller factory wire will degrade the brightness somewhat.

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Never thought about wiring in DRLs for the headlights.  That's a pretty cool idea, but when the halos were working, I have them on a separate switch and those acted like DRLs not unlike most modern cars.

 

Any recommendations on what type/rating relay to use?  Can I use the same type that is used elsewhere on the car or some other GM relay?  

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Use standard 30A Bosch auto relays.  They’re available everywhere, and there are scads of plugs, sockets, and mounting paraphernalia for them.

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