How to make homemade angel eyes

Written by eli laurens
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How to make homemade angel eyes
Angel eyes headlight glow rings (bmwangeleyes.com)

Angel eyes car headlights use small lighted rings to give the reflective housing a coloured, glowing effect. While the angel eyes headlights are expensive, the backyard mechanic can create the same effect, using the stock headlamps, for a fraction of the cost.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • 12 volt LED lights
  • 20 Ohm resistors
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • 16-gauge white, insulated wire
  • Rotary (Dremel) tool with small drill tip
  • Clear silicone
  • Clear acrylic tubing

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the headlight bezel from the car. Unplug the headlight wires from their respective bulbs, then use the screwdriver to free the bezel from the opening. Usually, there are small clips or tabs that will release the headlight, accessible from behind the housing.

  2. 2

    Determine what type of effect, colour, and intensity of glow is desired. LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are cheaper than the specially manufactured rings used by Angel Eyes. Using LEDs will give the same effect, but be far cheaper and easier to produce, than compact circular florescent lights (CCFL).

  3. 3

    Drill a small hole in the rear of the headlight bezel, large enough for two of the white wires. This hole should be placed where it does not affect the function of the headlights.

  4. 4

    Solder one 20 Ohm resistor pole to a length of wire, then solder the other pole to one of the LED's terminator posts. Solder another length of wire directly to the remaining post of the LED. These LED lights can be connected in series to make a chain, but one high-power LED should be more than adequate to illuminate a headlight bezel ring.

  5. 5

    Silicone the lighted end of the LED bulb to the end of a length of clear acrylic tubing. Stronger glue may be used, but under normal use, the silicone will suffice.

  6. 6

    Remove the headlight's protective clear shield, exposing the reflective bezel. Normally, this can be done by pressing a screwdriver gently into the side of the headlight and twisting, freeing the bezel from the shield.

  7. 7

    Mount the clear tubing around the exposed headlight bezel, and secure with silicone. Wipe up any drips, and allow to dry. The tubing should be permanently affixed to the ring around the headlight bezel.

  8. 8

    Press the wires into the headlight bezel's drilled hole, and seal with a daub of silicone. There should now be two white wires hanging from the hole, and they can either be connected to the car's parking lights, or to a powered switch.

  9. 9

    Reassemble the headlight housing and reinstall it into the vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • Disconnect the battery before performing this upgrade.
  • Use proper ventilation when using silicone.
  • Use protective equipment when working on a vehicle.

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