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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Update: Project is completed and instructable made for those interested

Hey guys, I am starting a project and wanted to get your opinions/suggestions. I have seen a lot of aftermarket "raptor style" LED installs and think they look really cool in the Compass grill. I dusted off the photoshop skills and mocked up the images below of what I am thinking. I like the look of amber LEDs in the grill, but am thinking white LEDs may actually go better with the rest of my lighting.

I will be wiring them up with an ignition controlled circuit. They will basically always be on, like my DRLs. If anyone else is interested, I bought the LEDs I plan on installing from Amazon. They arrived super quick and seem to be really good quality with projector lens and aluminum housing.

14465

14468


I plan on installing over the long Thanksgiving weekend and will update you all with photos!
 

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(puts on troll googles)

Why just a couple tiny LEDs? I think you should replace each of the 7 slots in the grill with full-size 55w+ projector-beam halogens. Then when someone flashes their brights at you on a 2-lane highway late at night you can hit the switch and light those suckers up like the the heat-flash of an atom bomb. Scorch their retinas and send 'em right into the ditch.

You could also use them to signal NASA for SOS when you are buried in the mud stuck somewhere because its not a real Jeep and doesn't have real four-wheel drive.

I assume at some point Eugene is going to replace the DRL markers with LEDs the same color temp as his light bar, or at least I hope so. Different shades of white light together like that don't look right to me.

(takes off troll goggles)

You might be able to find those LEDs as dual with both white and amber options (3 wire). I would have a hard time permanently deciding between the two.

If I was doing it I think it would be fun to put one in all 7 slots and use a microcontroller to switch between road legal solid white or solid amber, and then have some "off-road" patterns and maybe colors too kinda like the scanner on the car from Knight Rider. If you were already whipping out an Arduino for that might as well use RGBs so you can do all kinds of fun patterns and stuff. I would rather have the 7 rings light up vs LED dots though and that could be hard to fabricate... never under estimate my ability to dream a simple project into a massive nightmare 😆
 

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Discussion Starter #5
(puts on troll googles)

Why just a couple tiny LEDs? I think you should replace each of the 7 slots in the grill with full-size 55w+ projector-beam halogens. Then when someone flashes their brights at you on a 2-lane highway late at night you can hit the switch and light those suckers up like the the heat-flash of an atom bomb. Scorch their retinas and send 'em right into the ditch.

You could also use them to signal NASA for SOS when you are buried in the mud stuck somewhere because its not a real Jeep and doesn't have real four-wheel drive.

I assume at some point Eugene is going to replace the DRL markers with LEDs the same color temp as his light bar, or at least I hope so. Different shades of white light together like that don't look right to me.

(takes off troll goggles)

You might be able to find those LEDs as dual with both white and amber options (3 wire). I would have a hard time permanently deciding between the two.

If I was doing it I think it would be fun to put one in all 7 slots and use a microcontroller to switch between road legal solid white or solid amber, and then have some "off-road" patterns and maybe colors too kinda like the scanner on the car from Knight Rider. If you were already whipping out an Arduino for that might as well use RGBs so you can do all kinds of fun patterns and stuff. I would rather have the 7 rings light up vs LED dots though and that could be hard to fabricate... never under estimate my ability to dream a simple project into a massive nightmare 😆
If I don't like the white lights, I would just swap them out with the same model, but in amber. I really think I will like the white though since it will match the rest of my lighting.

But no plans on installing an arduino haha this is going to be simple and rugged. I don't want to be tampering with it every few months!
 

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Yeah lighting the rings themselves would be really tough. I know you can buy the covers in black and red but you would need them in like a clear and then somehow embed the LEDs into them. Maybe someone will take the time to make 3D models for the rings and then you could print them in clear plastic, but my experience with clear printed plastic is not that great it doesn't come out super clear due to the process of printing and the stuff I tried yellowed after some exposure to the sun. Perhaps you could 3D model some molds and then cast ring covers in clear epoxy with the LEDs inside... but that would be a ridiculous amount of work. I suppose you could skip the 3D modeling step buy purchasing a set of black grill ring covers and using them to create the molds... hmmmm, still a big project.

Alternatively, could maybe drill the LEDs into the bottom of the grill slots and position them such that they shine backwards and up onto the middle of the grill sections. Not sure if I am describing well what I am picturing there... this would not be lighting up the rings it would be lighting up the honeycomb sections within the rings. If the angle was right it could have a cool shadowed effect, maybe.

I kinda want to play with this now, but won't likely ever have time. Still, I'll throw it in my list of ideas in case I'm ever trapped on a desert island with my car and a full work shop but nothing else to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah lighting the rings themselves would be really tough. I know you can buy the covers in black and red but you would need them in like a clear and then somehow embed the LEDs into them. Maybe someone will take the time to make 3D models for the rings and then you could print them in clear plastic, but my experience with clear printed plastic is not that great it doesn't come out super clear due to the process of printing and the stuff I tried yellowed after some exposure to the sun. Perhaps you could 3D model some molds and then cast ring covers in clear epoxy with the LEDs inside... but that would be a ridiculous amount of work. I suppose you could skip the 3D modeling step buy purchasing a set of black grill ring covers and using them to create the molds... hmmmm, still a big project.

Alternatively, could maybe drill the LEDs into the bottom of the grill slots and position them such that they shine backwards and up onto the middle of the grill sections. Not sure if I am describing well what I am picturing there... this would not be lighting up the rings it would be lighting up the honeycomb sections within the rings. If the angle was right it could have a cool shadowed effect, maybe.

I kinda want to play with this now, but won't likely ever have time. Still, I'll throw it in my list of ideas in case I'm ever trapped on a desert island with my car and a full work shop but nothing else to do.
Some great ideas here. If you wanted to light the rings, I would use the flexible LED strips. Those are usually RGB and controlled with a remote too which could do some cool things. I dont think there would be a way to install a 'light panel' to cover the honeycomb grill though. And I like simple light patterns, so the 'raptor style' three dot and rings would be good projects and I'd be interested to see how they turn out if someone tries them.

BTW, does anyone have a part number to replace a grill if I don't like these lights installed? I will be drilling holes and would like the safety net of replacing the grill honeycomb insert if the project goes south.
 
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BTW, does anyone have a part number to replace a grill if I don't like these lights installed? I will be drilling holes and would like the safety net of replacing the grill honeycomb insert if the project goes south.
Part number 5UP86RXFAB, 2019 Jeep Compass TRAILHAWK 2.4L I4 A/T AWD Grille. Texture. Honeycomb. Color: [black/red] exterior: [brilliant black - 5UP86RXFAB

PS if you add your vehicle information as a signature it makes it easier for other to help you, I searched your old post to find out what year your Compass is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Hey guys, I am starting a project and wanted to get your opinions/suggestions. I have seen a lot of aftermarket "raptor style" LED installs and think they look really cool in the Compass grill. I dusted off the photoshop skills and mocked up the images below of what I am thinking. I like the look of amber LEDs in the grill, but am thinking white LEDs may actually go better with the rest of my lighting.

I will be wiring them up with an ignition controlled circuit. They will basically always be on, like my DRLs. If anyone else is interested, I bought the LEDs I plan on installing from Amazon. They arrived super quick and seem to be really good quality with projector lens and aluminum housing.

View attachment 14465
View attachment 14468

I plan on installing over the long Thanksgiving weekend and will update you all with photos!
Compass Grille Marker Lights | My Jeep Compass Forum
 

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Alternatively, could maybe drill the LEDs into the bottom of the grill slots and position them such that they shine backwards and up onto the middle of the grill sections. Not sure if I am describing well what I am picturing there... this would not be lighting up the rings it would be lighting up the honeycomb sections within the rings. If the angle was right it could have a cool shadowed effect, maybe.
Interesting idea! There may also be enough space under the front lip of the hood for an led strip to mount and shine downward.
EL strips might work to outline the grill segments.
 

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Have the ever made progress with improving EL wire to withstand UV for longer? Been years since I looked at the stuff but it used to be mostly indoor usage only with short-ish life to start with and then greatly shortened life if outside exposed to UV, but maybe its gotten better.
 

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14484
3 amber led pods wired with a DRL switch to the battery. With 4 emergency switchback lights with 16 patterns on a remote, wired to the battery.

Follow along with my compass on Instagram @trailhawkcrf
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
View attachment 14484 3 amber led pods wired with a DRL switch to the battery. With 4 emergency switchback lights with 16 patterns on a remote, wired to the battery.

Follow along with my compass on Instagram @trailhawkcrf
Hey Julsch! Your work was some of my inspiration actually, I saw your photos posted on another thread. Very cool work. I actually powered mine from the fuse box circuit labeled "secondary engine loads" because it was an empty slot and was in a perfect position to use an "add-a-circuit" connector.

Here are the finished photos! The whole project took me about 4.5 hours including time to grind down the aluminum housing on the lights to fit flush in the grill slots. I'm very happy with how they turned out and am interested to see how long they last.

14492
14493
14494

IMG_20201129_133236542_HDR.jpg


They were surprisingly bright!!
 

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Hey Julsch! Your work was some of my inspiration actually, I saw your photos posted on another thread. Very cool work. I actually powered mine from the fuse box circuit labeled "secondary engine loads" because it was an empty slot and was in a perfect position to use an "add-a-circuit" connector.

Here are the finished photos! The whole project took me about 4.5 hours including time to grind down the aluminum housing on the lights to fit flush in the grill slots. I'm very happy with how they turned out and am interested to see how long they last.

View attachment 14492 View attachment 14493 View attachment 14494
View attachment 14495

They were surprisingly bright!!
wow looks great! I was trying to figure a way to connect it to the fuse box but gave up and got the DRL switch because my legs would just stay on 24/7.

Great work!
 
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