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Thread: Automatic Headlights?

  1. #1
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    Automatic Headlights?

    Has anyone installed an automatic headlight system in their Delorean? Lights that come on when the car starts and go off when the car is turned off? This is common in the new cars today.
    Shannon

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chris 16409's Avatar
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    Houston tried that with their reproduction headlight switch and module. The way the feature was implemented was not reliable, and would turn the headlights off when you wanted them to stay on.
    Chris Miles

    For Better or Worse I own a DeLorean!
    1983 Grey Manual, VIN #16409, Fresno, California

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    Senior Member DMCVegas's Avatar
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    I think we're talking about two different things. Having headlights that will not come on unless the key is turned is different than having automatic headlights that turn on when it gets dark.

    For the former, we just had a thread about that Headlight Switch. For the latter, you'd really need a 3-position headlight switch, coupled with the aforementioned switched power supply. Not to mention a photocell mounted somewhere on the dashboard.

    Unless you wanted to install a secondary system with a separate switch that runs off of the Accessory power feed, and then intercepts the headlight circuit itself. Which would be much more complicated than just a 3-position switch.
    Robert

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    Not really banned Michael's Avatar
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    I fail to see why anyone would want that "feature" on any car they own. I had DRL's on my new work van I bought a few months ago, it was the very first thing I disabled.


    PS, if the OP does want constant headlights and doesn't want to be bothered by pressing a button when he starts the car, I guess you could run the headlight switch to a switched power feed and add an inline fuse, but that's a lot of trouble to go through to bypass the previously mentioned task of pressing a button.
    Last edited by Michael; 11-15-2017 at 11:12 PM.

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    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    Ive had this unit for a few years. Works great.
    There is a photosensor that turns the lights on at dusk (sensor mounted in rear window, ideally should be mounted in middle of dash)
    It also has a jumper that allows you to use the low beams as DRL, or just operate automatically with the tail/marker lights.
    As part of the installation I tied the left and right marker light circuits together and incorporated a relay.

    https://www.amazon.com/Directed-Elec.../dp/B000CJ24YY
    Last edited by Josh; 11-15-2017 at 11:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jonathan's Avatar
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    DRL's are mandatory in Canada and one of many things I'm glad the public here is told what to do instead of being permitted to use their own judgement as to whether they support it or not.
    One damn minute Admiral...


  7. #7
    One of those purists you keep hearing about. sdg3205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I fail to see why anyone would want that "feature" on any car they own. I had DRL's on my new work van I bought a few months ago, it was the very first thing I disabled.


    PS, if the OP does want constant headlights and doesn't want to be bothered by pressing a button when he starts the car, I guess you could run the headlight switch to a switched power feed and add an inline fuse, but that's a lot of trouble to go through to bypass the previously mentioned task of pressing a button.
    What is it about DRL's that Americans don't like? Like Jonathan says, all vehicles up here run them so it doesn't even cross my mind.
    Dave

    Here, somewhere.


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    Admins Never Retire Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMCVegas View Post
    Unless you wanted to install a secondary system with a separate switch that runs off of the Accessory power feed, and then intercepts the headlight circuit itself. Which would be much more complicated than just a 3-position switch.
    I have NOT tried it, but it looks like you could do it with 2 jumpers and a diode:
    Remove the Low Beam Relay's feed (30, N), feed it with a jumper from the High Beam Relay's center terminal (87a), then jump the RPM Relay's "Hot only when engine is rotating" terminal (87b, YR) to the Low Beam Relay's trigger terminal (86, UP) through the Diode. (This should make the Headlights come on (High/Low, depending on the switch position) when the engine starts...me thinks;-)

    D_DRL_Mod.jpg

    If the Tail Lights etc come on too, a diode in the existing UP wire should fix it...

  9. #9
    Senior Member DMCVegas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    I have NOT tried it, but it looks like you could do it with 2 jumpers and a diode:
    Remove the Low Beam Relay's feed (30, N), feed it with a jumper from the High Beam Relay's center terminal (87a), then jump the RPM Relay's "Hot only when engine is rotating" terminal (87b, YR) to the Low Beam Relay's trigger terminal (86, UP) through the Diode. (This should make the Headlights come on (High/Low, depending on the switch position) when the engine starts...me thinks;-)

    D_DRL_Mod.jpg

    If the Tail Lights etc come on too, a diode in the existing UP wire should fix it...
    That would probably work for a DRL system. But for a "Twilight Sentinel" one, you'd have to wire the tail lights in with diodes as well to the separate controller, using the same feed from the RPM Relay, or at least the accessory feed from the auxiliary relay. Which is why it's far easier to just go ahead and use a 3-position headlight switch. Car's wiring doesn't need to be as modified as much. The switch would operate as normal for clearance & headlight functions with the existing wiring (save for being modified to utilize the new switch). But when moved into the automatic position it would leave the switch open to avoid the use of diodes and extensive rewiring, and completely relies upon the external controller providing power to both circuits using the existing power feed. It does still need a restricted power source as a trigger, so you could either use your wiring source tapped into the RPM relay or run an additional like off of the auxiliary relay.

    Apparently they already make such a kit with a 3-position switch & logic box with photo sensor. This would actually be perfect for a future installation. I'm going to wire DMCH's headlight kit in for now, but I could just as easily run the additional wire and create a pigtail with another Packard connector to swap out the switch when the time comes. Save for figuring out where to relocate the Hazard switch, that would clear up a large chunk of real estate on the center console for a double DIN radio if the switch were to be installed on the left knee bolster like a modern car. PLUS it already has the built-in expansion & warning lamp for fog lights. Save for the additional wire and sacrifice of the left knee pad, this would probably be the least invasive modification for automatic headlights.

    Car-styling-Automatic-Headlight-Auto-light-conversion-Kit-for-VW-Jetta-Beetle-Golf-Passat-Automa.jpg

    Come to think of it, I'd probably either opt for an aftermarket bezel with a rheostat switch to relocate that, or just outright delete it. Then just cut the panel and relocate the hazard switch down there in the rheostat's current location...


    Quote Originally Posted by sdg3205 View Post
    What is it about DRL's that Americans don't like? Like Jonathan says, all vehicles up here run them so it doesn't even cross my mind.
    There's really two big reasons for it. The first is that because the headlights come on at night, people think that their full clearance lights are running and don't bother to fiddle with the headlight switch since they see light reflecting off of objects in front of them. That results in no side marker lights, nor tail lights lights burning. So people can pull out in front of you at night, and you may not see them until it's too late, and you crash into them. Whereas if they had the lights on and pulled out, you could have avoided them in time. Manufacturers try and work around this by installing idiot lights to let you know when your headlights are on, and assume that people who since cars had lanterns have relied upon seeing light reflecting as proof their lights were working, are suddenly going to rely up a tiny lamp instead. This also gets compounded by binnacles that light up even during the day to cause further false positives to a driver that their external lighting is on.

    The second thing is that not all DRLs are the same. Some are low-power, but many will run high beams during the day to overcome the brightness of natural sunlight. When you're way down south in someplace like the desert here in Vegas, or even down on the roads in Houston where it also gets up to triple-digit temps, you have a big problem with mirages. The heat rising off of the road will bend light to create a mirror image of the road & sky. High beams aren't focused beams, but rather just brighter flood lights to help you see because they scatter light everywhere. Even during the day you can still get blinded by a dazzling effect with high beams. The problem then doubles if the light is reflecting off of the road, and you can't control it with DRLs.

    This is why there is still a huge debate over the actual safety of DRLs. I don't think there's actual mandate on daytime lumen output, let alone on beam pattern. By the same token a country with a cooler climate such as Canada might not have these same road conditions that are not compatible with DRLs, so it's not really as much of a apparent problem up north.

    Robert

    Board Member, DeLorean Owners Association



    Recording Secretary

  10. #10
    Not really banned Michael's Avatar
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    Twilight Sentinel

    IMO, if you need a computer to turn on your headlights because you can't figure out it's night then you have no business driving a car on the road


    DRL's

    I don't like them because they make me feel like I'm a 77 year old in Florida with the turn signal on all the time.

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