Jeep Builds Make your own jeep build thread here, discuss and view jeeps here. All Jeep models are welcome here.

Electroluminescent Lighting

Old 08-26-2014, 09:46 AM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kent Washington
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default Electroluminescent Lighting

I love the look of the LEDs in new cars so decided to swap every light in the cab with them. At first I tried getting those LEDs you find all over ebay but was pretty unhappy with them. They were either too large or not the right color. Im just going with a simple white color scheme and even that is hard to match colors. Some were purplish and some were blueish. I ripped all those out and build my own out of 3mm and 5mm diffused white LEDs with 200ohm resistors. I was able to match the colors now but was ending up with alot of bright and dark spots. I tried building little light strips but the light output still wasn't even. I then had the idea of using Electroluminescent Lights (EL) for a clean even light output. They just showed up in the mail last night so I began with the transfer case shifter.


The EL panel is the pink square. I had to get a special inverter which converts DC to the proper AC needed to power the EL panel. The panel can be dimmed by decreasing the DC power supply. This panel I bought can be cut into 4 pieces.


I needed to break the plastic bits that hold the light housing onto the back of the transfer case shifter panel. I will glue them back when Im done no problem.


This is the back of the display. The coloring is printed onto the plastic. I was really hoping for just a sheet of blue that I could take off, but oh well.


I was seeing if I could reuse the existing display but I really dont like the look of it with the light on behind it. The EL light is white, the camera is just turning it blue in this picture.


I needed to get the exact dimensions of the text layout so I can recreate it in CAD.


Farewell letters


Nice and clean

I am going to draft up the new text in CAD so Ill move onto the other shifter.


Yay! I dont have to scrape the ink off! This one just uses a sheet of blue plastic for the color.


I cut the EL panel to fit under the display.


I need to come up with something to place on top of the EL panel so its not pink.


I was thinking of just a sheet of paper but it shows up blotchy when the light is on below it.


Here Im testing it out with different materials like paper, mylar plastic... Any ideas??? I love the look though!! Nice and clean and even.


So here it is so far. I will draw up the transfer case display today and brainstorm on finding the right material for the light to shine through. Any suggestions would be amazing.

Ill keep updating as the project goes on. Sorry for the crappy photos. I didnt realize how bad they were until today.

Eventually I will do my whole dash like this once I figure everything out.
kll9000 is offline  
Old 08-26-2014, 03:11 PM
  #2  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kent Washington
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Here is the new lettering that I drew in AutoCAD and printed to scale. The reverse image is getting printed onto a clear sticker which will go on the back of the plastic plate with the EL behind it.
kll9000 is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:10 AM
  #3  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kent Washington
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Ok my shifters are complete and look exactly how I was hoping! Here is what I figured out:



Here is the combination of materials that I stacked to get the proper light and color output. The plastics came from the covers of trapper keepers from office depot. I bought about 10 different colors and thicknesses to try to find the best one. First I have the new text printed on photo paper, then a white plastic behind it, then a translucent blue to counter the pink from the EL panel, then another white taped to the front of the EL panel. If I arranged it any different then this it would come out looking weird... very strange.



I then started soldering everything up and getting it ready for the final fitment.



Nice and clean with shrink tubing.



preparing the inverter to install and hook up.



All ready with a custom connector in case I want to revert back to the old ways.



I did the same color stack for the transmission shifter and routed the EL cables through two holes I drilled in the side



I decided to change the shift indicator blue because why not






Perfect!



Everything all buttoned up.



Here it is installed. Sorry for the bad photo I will get a better one later.



Now the moment of truth... it looks exactly how I was hoping! I wanted the blue in the transfer case to be very slight and the blue in the shifter to be bold. What do you think? I think it is safe to do the rest of the gauges like this.
kll9000 is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:28 AM
  #4  
CF Veteran
 
Desertfox1023's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 2,333
Year: 1994...mostly...
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0L I6 HO, Lot's of Bolt Ons
Default

Nice, I like the idea
Desertfox1023 is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:54 AM
  #5  
CF Veteran
 
PocketsEmpty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: York, PA
Posts: 4,169
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Awesome. You could sell this!
PocketsEmpty is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 02:52 PM
  #6  
Junior Member
 
soundsmith89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Stanardsville, VA
Posts: 53
Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

For the sheet of material you were looking for, I was going to suggest lighting GELs... They make all sorts of colors, and even some diffusion gels too...

http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/colour-list.html
http://www.rosco.com/filters/roscolux.cfm

Guess you've already figured out a solution to that though...

If you're going to try and do some more, I can send you some scrap pieces that we have lying around to give it a try.
soundsmith89 is offline  
Old 08-29-2014, 06:55 AM
  #7  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kent Washington
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Wow I didn't even think of that! Thanks for the info. That will definitely come in handy for future projects.
kll9000 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Coffinshaker
Stock Grand Cherokee Tech. All ZJ/WJ/WK Non-modified/stock questions go here!
8
10-12-2015 08:27 AM
BluJay
Stock XJ Cherokee Tech. All XJ Non-modified/stock questions go here
19
09-25-2015 02:37 PM
Tsunami
Stock XJ Cherokee Tech. All XJ Non-modified/stock questions go here
0
09-10-2015 09:56 AM
RyanHardin1
Stock XJ Cherokee Tech. All XJ Non-modified/stock questions go here
9
09-10-2015 08:21 AM
nrwphoto
Stock XJ Cherokee Tech. All XJ Non-modified/stock questions go here
0
09-09-2015 10:41 PM

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Electroluminescent Lighting


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: