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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at installing this strip or a similar strip on the chrome grille just under my hood. I know cutting LED strips is fine and I know to re-seal the strip after cutting it. My question is about the dynamic pattern. It scans out from the middle of the strip to the edges and then lights the whole strip.

If I cut a strip like this one, does that throw off the start-up pattern, or does the LED strip find its new center after cutting it? I really don't want to have to cut both ends as that would require rewiring the connection end.
 

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Everything I've read indicates the center will be off if one end is trimmed, the led strip won't find a new center. If you already have the strip, check to see if you can trim both ends. It might just be a matter of re-soldering the power leads (or an internal controller) to the strip after cutting. That way you could trim both sides equally.
Another option, find a shorter one. I have one ordered (from China) that's 40" which is almost perfect for our grilles. Here's a link: https://amzn.to/3GJnTq4
 

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Or put black heatshrink over the 'excess' ends and install with them folded out of the way (and/or just cut off the far end and heatshrink-fold the matching amount of the wired end).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Everything I've read indicates the center will be off if one end is trimmed, the led strip won't find a new center. If you already have the strip, check to see if you can trim both ends. It might just be a matter of re-soldering the power leads (or an internal controller) to the strip after cutting. That way you could trim both sides equally.
Another option, find a shorter one. I have one ordered (from China) that's 40" which is almost perfect for our grilles. Here's a link: https://amzn.to/3GJnTq4
Yea, I've been looking at that one too. It is one of the few shorter kits out there, but I was worried about the lack of reviews and shipping time. With this knowledge though, I'm going to give it a try.
 

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Is installing these new LED strips- for extra light to the front end or just for custom look effect?
Both I would assume here- but instead of cutting LED strip lights, you might try something different.

Look to the RV or the Marine industry for enclosed LED lights. Amazon among others have
a wide range of lights, that are not strips to be cut, soldered, heat shrinked for external lighting.
I too considered adding an extra set of LED lights to just under the front chrome strip above the bumper.

Waterproof enclosed casements that could be added & secured to the small black plastic grill, with what looks like easy wiring- that could be tied into the parking lights/side marker lights.



Still an LED strip inside this- but no cutting involved. Several sizes
and price ranges, plus colors too if you're into that. I think this set of
2 was about $30.00 plus shipping/tax but you might find something
similar at your local RV/Boat store. Same day purchase and installation
with maybe an 1 hour labor of your time. Check measurements for
Length, width and height plus how to secure these mini light bars to our
small plastic grills below the chrome strip beforehand. Drilling through
the plastic grills with some sort of small thin backing plate, for support.
Silicone adhesive or small black wire ties could be used also- maybe.

When I looked at these at my local store- they came in 3 lights per bar, for about
$17.00. They also had a 6 light and 9 light bars for approximately- $34.00 give or take.


Extra light is a good thing- especially in dusk or dawn conditions when deer could be
involved. But be careful of how much lumens output, and forward projection these
lights will add to your low beams when in use. You don't want to blind oncoming
drivers with major wattage covering a wide area of the roadway. They must have some
downward tilt toward the road surface.


LAC
 

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Is installing these new LED strips- for extra light to the front end or just for custom look effect?
Both I would assume here- but instead of cutting LED strip lights, you might try something different.

Look to the RV or the Marine industry for enclosed LED lights. Amazon among others have
a wide range of lights, that are not strips to be cut, soldered, heat shrinked for external lighting.
I too considered adding an extra set of LED lights to just under the front chrome strip above the bumper.

Waterproof enclosed casements that could be added & secured to the small black plastic grill, with what looks like easy wiring- that could be tied into the parking lights/side marker lights.



Still an LED strip inside this- but no cutting involved. Several sizes
and price ranges, plus colors too if you're into that. I think this set of
2 was about $30.00 plus shipping/tax but you might find something
similar at your local RV/Boat store. Same day purchase and installation
with maybe an 1 hour labor of your time. Check measurements for
Length, width and height plus how to secure these mini light bars to our
small plastic grills below the chrome strip beforehand. Drilling through
the plastic grills with some sort of small thin backing plate, for support.
Silicone adhesive or small black wire ties could be used also- maybe.

When I looked at these at my local store- they came in 3 lights per bar, for about
$17.00. They also had a 6 light and 9 light bars for approximately- $34.00 give or take.


Extra light is a good thing- especially in dusk or dawn conditions when deer could be
involved. But be careful of how much lumens output, and forward projection these
lights will add to your low beams when in use. You don't want to blind oncoming
drivers with major wattage covering a wide area of the roadway. They must have some
downward tilt toward the road surface.


LAC
The hood light strips being discussed are purchased mainly for the dynamic light pattern they do when first turned on (light moves from outside to inside and back again. Different manufacturers offer different patterns. The amount of useful lighting is negligible.
Connecting to a head or parking light really isn't an option since our lights don't even power up during a start if outside in sunshine (light switch in auto). The new strip (to operate at startup and stay on) is best connected directly to a switched fuse in the under hood box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is installing these new LED strips- for extra light to the front end or just for custom look effect?
Both I would assume here- but instead of cutting LED strip lights, you might try something different.

Look to the RV or the Marine industry for enclosed LED lights. Amazon among others have
a wide range of lights, that are not strips to be cut, soldered, heat shrinked for external lighting.
I too considered adding an extra set of LED lights to just under the front chrome strip above the bumper.

Waterproof enclosed casements that could be added & secured to the small black plastic grill, with what looks like easy wiring- that could be tied into the parking lights/side marker lights.



Still an LED strip inside this- but no cutting involved. Several sizes
and price ranges, plus colors too if you're into that. I think this set of
2 was about $30.00 plus shipping/tax but you might find something
similar at your local RV/Boat store. Same day purchase and installation
with maybe an 1 hour labor of your time. Check measurements for
Length, width and height plus how to secure these mini light bars to our
small plastic grills below the chrome strip beforehand. Drilling through
the plastic grills with some sort of small thin backing plate, for support.
Silicone adhesive or small black wire ties could be used also- maybe.

When I looked at these at my local store- they came in 3 lights per bar, for about
$17.00. They also had a 6 light and 9 light bars for approximately- $34.00 give or take.


Extra light is a good thing- especially in dusk or dawn conditions when deer could be
involved. But be careful of how much lumens output, and forward projection these
lights will add to your low beams when in use. You don't want to blind oncoming
drivers with major wattage covering a wide area of the roadway. They must have some
downward tilt toward the road surface.


LAC
Thanks! What I want is largely for effect and visibility, but not a lot of light blasting forward. Let me see if I can find a video...
 

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Hi Karl,

I ran mine across the top of the grille so it's squeezed between the grille and hood. I had to take a small notch out of the top center of the strip to keep it from catching on a hood weld when the hood is opened. Others with almost no gap between the hood and top of the grille have mounted the strip 'under' the top chrome strip and around the bottom of the Saturn logo. Here's a pic.
Car Vehicle Grille Automotive lighting Hood


Either way it looks great when the key is turned on. This is mine
Car Vehicle Land vehicle Grille Hood
 
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