RGB LED Strip - Truck / Motorcycle

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Straight, Jan 20, 2014.

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  1. Straight

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 16, 2014
    All right, I was going to order some LEDs for the truck and bike. The plan was to have amber on the side of the bike, red in the back, and white in the front. I was ordering the 5 meter strips off Amazon, and rather than order three colors I decided I would get the RGB and learn something to make them behave as I want.

    It seems that PWM will be the ideal choice to achieve the modulated tail / brake / turn lights. I've read about a bunch of PWM drivers, but they don't seem to be capable of generating the PWM signal? Every instance I read about was used in conjunction with Arduino, where it looked like the Arduino supplied the wave and the PWM driver did... something with it. Please correct my if I'm wrong, but it looks like I'd need at least a couple 555-based modulators, one to colorize and the other for brightness.

    For the amber color I think #FFAA00 would be suitable, which is 255 parts red, 170 parts green, and 0 parts blue - meaning red would have full power, green gets 66%, and blue gets no power. I'll worry about dimming this for running lights on the side later.

    The tail light should be 1/3 brightness, and the brake light should be full brightness. It's red so it only uses one channel.

    White is 100% brightness for all three channels.

    Now for my issues:
    1. I don't have an oscilloscope.
    2. I don't have a breadboard.
    3. I don't have a tools to measure light output.

    So I need to calculate the duty cycles. I found http://www.instructables.com/id/555-Timer/step7/555-Timer-Astable-Mode-Duty-Cycle/ which I'll try out when the LED strip arrives.

    Before it gets here and I continue further with the 555 timer, can anybody tell me if a PWM driver would be more suitable for my application?
  2. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    Modifying the turn signals or brake light is an "automotive modification" and can have serious safety and legality consequences, which is why it is a banned forum topic.
  3. Georacer


    Nov 25, 2009
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