Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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runbackwardslights

Tie 'moving' exterior marquee lights to your speedometer
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
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This would be a fun accessory for your 'slammed' Japanese car, along with the tinted windows and overkill stereo system and decals and etc. On the bottom of each side of your car (or possibly on the undercarriage), install a strip of small, bright LEDs. Install a computer that can sequence the LEDs so that they appear to 'move' towards the back of the car at an adjustable rate (a la Las Vegas marquee lights). Then tie the computer to your speedometer, so that the lights always 'move' backwards at the exact same speed your car is moving forwards. The result is that at night, the lights don't appear to be part of the car at all, but rather it appears that stationary lights on the road are lighting up just for you as you drive over them. Use this cool effect to impress women.
Jeremi, Feb 06 2002

Undercar neon lights http://www.dragondi...ndercarneonkits.htm
[mcscotland, Feb 07 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

More undercar neon lights http://www.coolgift...lectronic_neonA.asp
[mcscotland, Feb 07 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Rotating Blinking LED sculpture http://www.bea.st/s...2.12.27.4/index.htm
A little rotating sculpture I made a while back.. the relevant fact being that the LEDs stay on for roughly a millisecond to avoid any motion blur and still produce plenty of light, even in a lit environment. [xercyn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I'm having a hard time visualizing this. Wouldn't this just end up looking like chaser lights moving down the street? Where is the intended observer located in order to see the effect you describe; the "stationary light?" I'll give a benefit of the doubt croissant, though.
bristolz, Feb 06 2002
  

       This is a novel idea, and there are people who would probably purchase and install such lights, so I am giving you a crossaint. However, do not fool yourself into thinking that this will "impress women". It won't.
dana_renay, Feb 06 2002
  

       I'd be impressed with lights that make you appear to be going backwards like the old wagon wheels in films. I have no idea how that would work though.
po, Feb 06 2002
  

       boys' toys (whoops forgot the apostrophe!) please elaborate Peter. Why sodium lights in particular?
po, Feb 06 2002
  

       Croissant, and you should probably patent this, quick.   

       [dana_renay]: Yes, this will impress women. Not the more discriminating sort, no, but some, at least. Like the girl I saw in New Jersey wearing a T-shirt that said, "Any man with a nice car doesn't need justification."
Guncrazy, Feb 06 2002
  

       I don't think the effect would be as pronounced as you think. It would just look like a dot of light... then another... and another. How exciting.   

       You'd be better off to place a single column of LEDs on the side of your vehicle, and have a computer linked to your speedometer create those persistence of vision messages by lighting the approriate LEDs at the right times, in the manner of those wavy clock wand things.
waugsqueke, Feb 06 2002
  

       [Guncrazy]: that's just a rip-off of ministry's 'jesus built my hotrod' which is probably a rip-off of something else
cuba, Feb 06 2002
  

       I've had the exact same idea. Problem is that here in Virginia, USA, extraneous lights are illegal. I'd also put (eerie green) lights under the hood that glowed in proportion to the RPM of the engine.
phoenix, Feb 06 2002
  

       If i'm correct in most of the U.S. exterior lighting is looked down upon but it is actually illegal if it's red/blue/"official" colors...   

       i know a number of people who purchased and installed the flourscent lights that mount on the undercarriage of the car... I think those are ok, those were popular- for a while.
Gecko, Feb 07 2002
  

       This is kind of baked (I will try to find a link). I read about it in one of those boyracer magazines (FastCar I think). You can get light kits to put under the car, which shine a neon light on to the road and give the impression the car is kind of floating. These are however completely illegal in the uk.
mcscotland, Feb 07 2002
  

       [mcscotland] I've seem cars with those silly under-car neon lights in London though.
hippo, Feb 07 2002
  

       70 mph = 30 m/s = lights flickering over a 2 metre strip would have to do so in about 0.06 seconds, which might be too fast to make much impression.
pottedstu, Feb 07 2002
  

       Sounds intersting. Though personally I'd prefer some LED's in the bonnet (hood) of my car for that retro cool KITT effect. Although I'm not sure if that'd really work in a Citroen Saxo...
CoolerKing, Feb 07 2002
  

       CoolerKing: pretty certain you can get these too.
mcscotland, Feb 07 2002
  

       Mcscotland - The under car neons are ok as long as the light source itself is not visible. ie, you can see the glow but not the tube. I like Pheonix's idea for glowing under hood (bonnet) green lights. Kinda Flubbery, or Tommy Knockers in its concept.
LardyBloke, Feb 07 2002
  

       Excellent idea, especially for those fond of japanese imports (as suggested). Croissant to you, and your idea.
Salty Ham, Feb 07 2002
  

       CoolerKing: Buy yourself an earlyish Toyota Supra (should be fairly cheap second hand). The knight rider effect should be fairly easy to duplicate with a new bonnet with said led array installed.
kaz, Feb 07 2002
  

       [kaz] Yeah, I know the one you mean. I bought one on Gran Turismo for that exact reason.
CoolerKing, Feb 07 2002
  

       In Australia, Jaycar electronics offer a 'Night-Rider' kit, which does almost the same thing, except that it's not tied to the speedo. Pity.
QuadAlpha, Feb 08 2002
  

       A light-based optical illusion sounds like a pretty idea. Reminds me of Cannonball Run, a movie in which these Japanese competitors had done up their car for cloaking at night.
effervescent, Apr 03 2003
  

       In the UK, under car lights are illegal whilst driving, which kindof ruins that idea. If you were driving at 70mph, no one will be loking at your car as your probably on a highway. Round town, at 30mph it would take bout 0.15s. Most of the people who waould want it though, would be driving at about 20mph = 0.2s. This is easily vissible. trouble is its illegal
miasere, Apr 03 2003
  

       You'd need a super accurate speedo, or it'd be out of sync.   

       That being said, how long would it be before drivers would be "beat-matching" cars like DJs and records?
rapid transit, May 20 2003
  

       Neat idea. I'd like to also have some controls to make the lights sequence in other weird ways too. That would help maintain the novelty once you sold a bunch of these kits in a given town. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Jun 09 2003
  

       I read recently about a guy who got arrested and jailed for having a couple of blue LED's on his windshield wipers. I forget the state, but apparently the law considers any sort of blue light to be an attempt at impersonating an emergency vehicle, regardless of whether there would be any possibility whatsoever of confusion.
supercat, Jun 09 2003
  

       How many light bulbs does it take to screw a woman...
silverstormer, Jun 09 2003
  

       Two things: First off, the brightness/time response issue. I have built several devices that move LEDs at high speed while blinking them, and they are easily visible. This is thanks to the whole 'eye works like an integrator' effect.. which on a side note enables tons of cool effects. [personal link]   

       Secondly, given that you do this... why not make there be several different heights of lights, and get them to blink in certain sequences, based on your speed of course, so that you can make text, pictures, etc... all of which appear to be reflected off the car and appear stationary to the viewer. Now - that's- what impresses the women.
xercyn, Jun 10 2003
  

       ok as an american recently transplanted to england the way i read the reg is that the lights are niether legal or illegal as long as they are not visible. so if you mount them far enough under the body all they can basically say is please turn them off. and as long as you dont smart off you should be golden. but i'm still having trouble visiualizing this concept
spooky2, Jul 14 2003
  

       Close encounters of the nerd kind...   

       I am not sure how it is suppose to attract women - by hypnosis perhaps.
riposte, Jul 15 2003
  

       coloured lights are easily enough to attract the birds who flash for Max Power at cruises, 'moving' ones are overkill.
stilgar, Aug 12 2004
  
      
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