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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is at least a partial how-to for Alpena LEDLitz 28", white strips.

Preface:

If you read the fine print on the back of the package it states that this product is not DOT approved. That got me looking at the laws in Illinois and I spotted this bit about side lights (since most of the elements are clearly on the side and none of them actually point forward):

Illinois Compiled Statutes 625 ILCS 5 Illinois Vehicle Code. Section 12-209

(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than 2 side cowl or fender lamps which shall emit an amber or white light without glare.
That "without glare" part concerned me. Some folks have posted that they install a pot (dimmer) and such, but I wanted a solution that I don't have to fiddle with and just works for three different conditions:

- With daytime running lights at full brightness
- With headlights at substantially lower brightness
- With headlight high beams at full brightness

Execution:

Alpena LEDLitz 28" white strips don't come in a continuous 28" strip (you can buy yours elsewhere in very long strips) and these need to be spliced. These were 20% off at Advance Auto Parts with a Google promo code so I bought them anyway. Having an "I can do it" attitude this is what I did with them.

I needed 24" strips which works out okay. I cut 3 elements off the head of one strip and three elements off the tail of the other and butted them together to make one continuous strip.




That done, I needed a bit of electronics to accomplish my goal. I used three diodes with the cathode ends (the end with the stripe on it) soldered together. These diodes prevent one circuit from energizing the others. I tested a few resistors on the lights and determined that a 470 ohm resistor would knock down the glare enough that 5-0 probably won't ticket me under section 12-209. This is the cluster I made:



I goobered all of it with silicone and put heat shrink on each leg to seal it up from the elements.

Looking inside of the driver side headlight area I spotted 4 wires I could use. Important: these may or may not be the same color coded wires that are on your Volt (mine's a 2014). Use a test light to confirm these on your vehicle if you choose to do this.

Yellow - headlights
White - high beams
Light blue - daytime driving lights
Black - ground

Note: daytime driving lights are only on when the vehicle is not in park in daylight. Have the parking brake on when testing for this.

I could have spliced into the wiring harness that plugs into the headlamp assembly (a bit of a pain to get at as there's no slack in it), but I think the better place to splice in is inside the housing where I can get at the wires more easily and all my excess wiring and diode/resistor cluster can be tucked away. Besides that, if I'm going to possibly screw something up it's better to do it to the headlamp assembly and not the wiring harness.

With a hobby knife I spun a hole in the side of the plastic housing and ran my wire leads from the strips through it, afterward sealing this hole up with a smear of silicone. Then I cut a bit of insulation off of each headlamp assembly wire inside the housing and solder-spliced my circuits in. I highly recommend that you DO NOT use this style of line tap as it cuts into/through some of the wire strands and will corrode over time leading to broken wires and lost connections.

Results:

These photos show the results in daytime and night time conditions. Note the extreme glare (probably made worse by my camera lens) at night with full brightness, which is why they only go full bright with the high beams (when I probably won't be causing duress to other drivers).



 

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Discussion Starter #2
Must've explained it all too well - 550 views to-date and nary a question.
 

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OK Mister Dave, I'll bite. How do you get into the headlight assembly housing? All I see is a round plastic part that appears to rotate to unlock. It must take more force than I'm willing to apply, since I could not get it to move at all. Besides, there's not much room there either.

I certainly like the end result look!
 

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OK Mister Dave, I'll bite. How do you get into the headlight assembly housing? All I see is a round plastic part that appears to rotate to unlock. It must take more force than I'm willing to apply, since I could not get it to move at all. Besides, there's not much room there either.

I certainly like the end result look!
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/rgb-bars-and-strips/high-power-rgbw-led-weatherproof-flexible-light-strip--rgb+white-led-strip/1711/

You don't get into the headlight assy. That's why there are weatherproof led light strips like the one linked above if you really feel the need to pimp-out ur Volt!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK Mister Dave, I'll bite. How do you get into the headlight assembly housing? All I see is a round plastic part that appears to rotate to unlock. It must take more force than I'm willing to apply, since I could not get it to move at all. Besides, there's not much room there either.

I certainly like the end result look!
Thanks for the compliment. You've found the access (twist open cap). Maybe you're twisting it the wrong direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
You don't get into the headlight assy.
I did and I explained why.

Yes there are several other options for where to buy strips. I used these, but the main thing about what I did was to show how to make them work with existing circuits for specific use, instead of tapping into the fuse box for one size fits all (one size never fits all).

Some have asked where to tap in for DRL only. Some have asked where to ground the lights. In any circumstance - WHOOP, there it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Original post updated. I've learned that the DRLs can be tested for in neutral, which is much safer than in drive (or reverse). Use the parking brake.
 
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