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Hella 500 "dual use" as DRLs..

4258 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  John E Davies
I ran into a set of Hella 500 driving lights kicking around in my garage. They were intended to go on another car I have but I changed my mind and never installed them. Now, I feel that they are well suited to the OBW and so I decided to put them on.

Anyway, a quick trip to home depot and $12 later, I ended up with a couple of aluminum strips.

Two hours later, and after going through two drill bits on the dremel and being covered in aluminum shavings from the angle grinder, I ended up with this (see pic below).

In case anyone i wondering, the bracket is well supported from behind the grille. The bottom license plate bolts are there just to stop vibration but they are in no way supporting the weight of the lights.

Anywhoo, I live in a somewhat wooded area with plenty of shade and twisty roads. The twisty roads and trees last only for a couple of minutes until I make my way onto the main expressway. Though, in those couple of minutes I try to remember to turn mu headlights on as a safety measure.

Because I installed HIDs, I had to turn off my DRL feature and hence no DRLs. My Hella 500s are currently set up only when the high beams are on, but I wonder how difficult it would be for me to introduce a lower voltage from the DRL module (say... 5 volts? All I want is a very nominal illumination of the Hellas), so that (1) the Hellas would work as DRLs when the main lights are "off," and (2) have the Hellas turn off when the low beams are on, and (3) have the Hellas turn on when the main lights are set to high beam, as is the current setup.

Any smart electrical folk that can make me make sense of this virtual schematic and applying it to known existing wiring coming out of the DRL box? Any other ideas to achieve this?



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The LEDs look like they would serve their purpose of DRL well. However, I have two qualms with them: 1. From my interpretation of the statutes, they are not legal in MA. Mass law allows for any light to be installed up front, as long as it is "halogen." Everything else, unless it is OEM, is illegal unless DOT/FMVSS or CSA, approved. 2. I don't like the look of LED light bars on the OBW. I don't think it matches the character of the car. (Subjective opinion, of course.)
Do you have vehicle inspections where that would be a problem?

I've never been hassled by a LEO about illegal lighting.
Consider yourself lucky.

Those guys have much better things to do with their time than write up stupid infractions.
You would think so.

You have ALREADY broken the law big time by installing HIDs, why does the idea of LEDs upset you?
Upset? Hmm, you're probably putting words in my mouth. Upset is such a strong word...
But going back to your statement, there's just something "right" about putting HIDs onto stock projector housings. Call it a just cause if you will. On the other hand, mounting aftermarket LEDs on a 7 year old Subaru seems, well, uncultivated.

From that install link I posted:

"My beautiful Desert Sage Sport Wagon seems to fade into the background for other drivers - I have had two minor accidents where the other guys simply did not see my car, and I have lost count of the number of drivers that have pulled out in front of me from a driveway or side street... Rather than leave the parking or head lights on all the time, I elected to install some high intensity LED DRLs that I could leave on continually for some extra visibility to other drivers."
Yes, I agree (as I agreed in my first response) that LEDs certainly would help.

I will add that I noticed a _huge_ improvement in other driver's behavior after adding the LED DRLs. They really are very effective.
I would also like to add that I noticed a huge improvement in other drivers' behaviors when my Hellas are mounted (and off). THey are unusual, and they appear to not be sure how to react when they see my car from the front. (Perhaps a mental schema that recalls authority?)

I don't think turning your Hellas into DRLs is the right approach. Tho I have to admit they would look cool.
Ahh, we haven't even met in person yet you know me so well. The powers of the internet...

So, if anyone knows how to hook AUX lights up as "weak" DRLs please do share!
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I would hesitate to send low voltage to the Hallas. It is my understanding that lower that designed voltages will signifficantly shorten the life of a halogen bulb. That is why I disabled my DRL.

Wagondude: Thanks for this info. I was actually unaware of this fact. This fact will certainly change my plans. Perhaps I'll look into using the fog lights as DRLs, as I am running them with regular 55w halogens. They would have to come on independent of the low beams, and on the DRL circuit. Time to start poking around with the multi-meter!
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