LED Daylight Driving Lights

LED Daylight running lights

Normally I drive with my headlights on all the time. Also during the daytime. It is proven that this improves your visibility on the road. But if you turn on the headlights you also turn on the city lights (Europe only?), dashboard lights, license plate light and the rear lights. This all adds up to 143 watts! This energy must be created by the engine which uses fuel for doing that. The automotive industry has came up with a solution to this problem. They have LED lights specially designed for being seen during the daytime (all the new cars have it standard from factory). LED lights use very very little energy compared to conventional bulbs. These lights are always on when the ignition of the car is switchted to on. They are called daylight driving lights. But, due to europe legislation, the daylight driving lights must be switched of when you switch on the normal headlights.

At first I bought some aftermaket LED daylight driving lights at Halfords, but these lasted 3 years, and they were a little too modern for the beetle. When they stopped working I wanted to create something more retro. So I bought some cheap seventees fog light and put the daytime running lights in those.

This is the result:

AThe lights came with a module that switches the lights on as soon as the voltage is over 13 volts. Thats when the alternator is generating power, which means the engine is on. This module could also switch the DRL’s off when the lights are turned on. But that didn’t work so good, it didn’t switch the DRL’s back on when you turn the lights off. So I also used a relay, which shuts down the power to the module when the lights are turned on.

I could not do without the module, as it also boosted the voltage from 13 to 17 volts. Anyway, see the next page for wiring.

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