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Old 05-24-2016, 02:19 PM   #1
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Issue with pulsing DRL LEDs.... SOLVED!!! Focus S/SE/Ti 2012-2013

If you are having issues with the newly installed LED DRLs pulsing when you turn on both your ignition and headlamps, do not fear!

The issue stems from the cheap relay control module the DRLs come with. They were not designed appropriately for modern cars. Modern cars have what is called a TIPM that serves as a central location for controlling all the electrical systems. The TIPM powers the headlights with a PWM voltage (squarewave) rather than a constant 12V/14V DC. Newer cars utilize this method because it prolongs the life of the incandescent bulbs and uses less power.

So the flickering we are seeing is a result of the headlights being turned on and off at about a 110Hz frequency (thats what I observed on mine). Because LEDs have a significantly faster on/off response time than an incandescent bulb we can see the LEDs react to the PWM signal while the headlights remain steady.

OK, so how to fix it? Pretty easy actually if you have the right tools and the patience to open up that damn hood one more time. You need to build a low-pass filter that will filter out the ~110Hz squarewave and leave you with a "flat" DC signal to trigger your DRLs.

You will need a 2.2k ohm resistor, 4.7uF capacitor, soldering iron, and some wire or prototype board. You can use a ceramic capacitor or polarized capacitor, it does not matter. However, make sure if it is a polarized capacitor to wire it up correctly with negative lead to ground!!! Also, 4.7uF is about as high as you want to go. I experimented with a few different values and going too much above 4.7u overloads the headlight circuit. Here is a picture of the circuit:


Here is a picture of the low-pass filter connected up and DRLs running 50% with engine and headlights on.


NO FLICKER!!!!!
Hope this helps some of you out there experiencing this annoying issue.


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Old 05-24-2016, 04:09 PM   #2
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Copied to the MkIII section for more visibility.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:44 PM   #3
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Thanks Sailor!
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:14 AM   #4
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jbenedic, I've got a set of those that have a switch back for blinker function that I haven't installed yet. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:43 PM   #5
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I have seen those online but don't have a set myself to play around with. Could you post a link to the product you bought?

I imagine the relay module that came with your lights has a sense wire that needs to be spliced into the wire for your turn signals. Now maybe turn signals do not get PWM'd like the headlights since they are not really on that often. I can look into that. Regardless, you should still be able to use the same low-pass filter as above on the turn signal sense wire without any issues.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:12 PM   #6
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Issue with pulsing DRL LEDs.... SOLVED!!! Focus S/SE/Ti 2012-2013

I actually got them from another user, new in box.
I unfortunately don't have a link to the original item.

They do have a sense wire that needs to be spliced into the turn signal wire.

The interesting part is I don't have stock lights. What I'm trying to determine is if I need something like that to make these work properly or not.

I'll take some pictures of the wire harness and such. I've posted pictures of it before to no avail. It seems I've finally found someone (you) that is very electrically inclined to be able to help.
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:13 PM   #7
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Do your headlights run off the same wiring harness your stock lights were on? If so, you may need to add the filters. However, it also depends on the relay module you bought. I noticed some people have installed these DRLs with no pulsing issues, but instead experience RF/EMF emissions that effect their radio reception. My guess is some modules have the filters built in or are using some other means to negate the PWM'd headlight signal which causes horrible RF noise. If you ask me it is much easier to build the filter than try to troubleshoot the source of RF noise. Hope for the pulsing issue lol
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalupaJones View Post
I actually got them from another user, new in box.
I unfortunately don't have a link to the original item.

They do have a sense wire that needs to be spliced into the turn signal wire.

The interesting part is I don't have stock lights. What I'm trying to determine is if I need something like that to make these work properly or not.

I'll take some pictures of the wire harness and such. I've posted pictures of it before to no avail. It seems I've finally found someone (you) that is very electrically inclined to be able to help.
ChalupaJones, any update on hooking up your switchback DRLs?
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:51 AM   #9
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Still haven't gotten around to it unfortunately, been pretty stinking busy


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