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Thread: 12 volt headlight mod thoughts

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    Senior Chief/Moderator DUG's Avatar
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    Default 12 volt headlight mod thoughts

    Now that I have LED tail lights and turn signals coming cheap, I think a head light upgrade might be a good idea.

    I looked into 24 volts LEDs and I don't want to spend that kind of money.

    I'm thinking about going 12 volts. I think the selection and prices are better on the 12 volt side. Any suggestions for bulbs that throw more light yet don't break the bank?

    I don't want to hack my wiring so I think I would unplug the drivers side and tape it/zip tie it out of the way. Then unplug the passenger side and use it to control two relays.

    Using two 24 volt relays with the proper military connectors added to mate to my disconnect harness I would run the low beam wire to one relay and then high beam wire to another. When energized they would let the 12 volts on through to a custom wiring harness I'll make just for the head lights.

    If I have a 12 volt failure I could simply reinstall the original headlights since I didn't hack anything up.

    Would the 25 amp x 2 relay I used to turn my 12 volt system on and off be heavy duty enough? What gauge wire will I need to run from the 12 volt battery to the relays and head lights? What size in line fuse should I use?

    Not sure if I'll actually do it, since I'm not positive I want to "count" on the 12 volt system for anything important. I guess if I found a safe place to stash my old lights and was willing to reinstall them to get home if needed that could work.

    Thoughts/suggestions?

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    If you do the relay thing, make sure their contracts are rated for DC.

    You may wish to consider using voltage dropping resistors instead. If you add a.resistor in series with each bulb's high and low filiment that has the same resistance, it.will drop the voltage down from 28 VDC to 14 VDC. If you don't have an Ohm meter.to measure them, you can calculate the.value resistors that you will need.

    As an example, to use a.standard incadecent 12 VDC bulb on your 24 VDC system, you would.just need to know the.wattage ratings of.the.bulb. 55 watt for high beam and 45 watt for.low beam (just guesses, so don't hold me to it).

    Using Watt's law, power equals.voltage times.current. So. , 55 watts equals current in amps.times.voltage.which would be.14 VDC. Divide both sides by 14, and the current equals.about 4 amps. Now.that.wei.know the.current draw on high, we use Ohm's law.to calculate.the.bulb.resistance. Volts equals current times resistance. Or, the.high.beam resistance equals 14 VDC divided by 4 amps equals 3.5 Ohms.
    /COLOR Get a.resistor of 3.5 Ohms (or as.close.as.you can get) that is double your head lamp wattage.(55*2), 100 safe or.so and put.it in series with the.high.beam filiment to safely run it on a 24 VDC system. Since.you would.be.going to LEDs, the.wattage values would be much smaller.
    Last edited by shovelheadmike; 01-05-2011 at 23:34. Reason: spell
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    This is the relay that I use to turn my 12 volt system on and off:

    http://pickerrelays.com/Data_Sheets/...Data_Sheet.pdf

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    Before I do all that I'd get a aftermarket lens that mounts in a sealed beam housing and install HID's. The ballasts on many HIDs will work on a range of voltages. I did a light swap from sealed beams to HID/composite setup on my samurai.
    1992 M1038
    1969 M35A2 wo/w, hoist in bed, heater, Ooga horn, Recentered HEMTTs and 395's, "Candy Smasher"
    1968 M543A2 Wrecker - You know, for heavy lifting...
    1984 M931 - SEMTT project
    198? M270 trailer TBD...
    1985 M1008 - SMOKEY 8" lift, 37" humvee 24 bolt wheels/tires, turbocharged.
    And a few M105 and M101 and other trailers

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    Quote Originally Posted by patracy View Post
    Before I do all that I'd get a aftermarket lens that mounts in a sealed beam housing and install HID's. The ballasts on many HIDs will work on a range of voltages. I did a light swap from sealed beams to HID/composite setup on my samurai.
    What is the cost on going that way?

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    Administrator patracy's Avatar
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    1992 M1038
    1969 M35A2 wo/w, hoist in bed, heater, Ooga horn, Recentered HEMTTs and 395's, "Candy Smasher"
    1968 M543A2 Wrecker - You know, for heavy lifting...
    1984 M931 - SEMTT project
    198? M270 trailer TBD...
    1985 M1008 - SMOKEY 8" lift, 37" humvee 24 bolt wheels/tires, turbocharged.
    And a few M105 and M101 and other trailers

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    Administrator patracy's Avatar
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    1992 M1038
    1969 M35A2 wo/w, hoist in bed, heater, Ooga horn, Recentered HEMTTs and 395's, "Candy Smasher"
    1968 M543A2 Wrecker - You know, for heavy lifting...
    1984 M931 - SEMTT project
    198? M270 trailer TBD...
    1985 M1008 - SMOKEY 8" lift, 37" humvee 24 bolt wheels/tires, turbocharged.
    And a few M105 and M101 and other trailers

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    Thanks for the links.

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    Administrator patracy's Avatar
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    If you want HID's just search on ebay for HID and 24V and you'll see tons.

    I'd stay in the 4200K range. I like how "white" my lights are on the samurai. But I don't care for the blue/purple lights all the kids go for these days.
    1992 M1038
    1969 M35A2 wo/w, hoist in bed, heater, Ooga horn, Recentered HEMTTs and 395's, "Candy Smasher"
    1968 M543A2 Wrecker - You know, for heavy lifting...
    1984 M931 - SEMTT project
    198? M270 trailer TBD...
    1985 M1008 - SMOKEY 8" lift, 37" humvee 24 bolt wheels/tires, turbocharged.
    And a few M105 and M101 and other trailers

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