Instructables
Picture of Car Interior LED Lighting Multicolor
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Finally a super project you will like when daylight goes by 6 and dark side captures. If you like or this helped you get into your shoes or inspired to do something similar or more creative than please don't feel shy to VOTE ! I will be contesting for LED contest which closes on 7th Jan 2013 so please vote each VOTE counts !!!!!

Everyone must have felt this trying searching in dark under seats and those map lights which are soo dim that one needs have to a torch to search so WHY NOT USE INTERIOR LEDS and make your car STAND OUT.

NOTE : Since i don't want to cut down my main wires and RISK the wiring, all i did was just hook on top no cutting of MAINS.

Now enough of my blah blah ................ LETS get STARTED
 
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Step 1: Requirements

Picture of Requirements
- LED strips (i will prefer to use RGB strips which gives me more color choice and not get stuck with one color)
- RGB LED Strip Controller (+ Remote this is free accessory with controller) i required less than a meter
- 4 strand wire (since RGB strips have connections for RED | GREEN | BLUE | +ve)
- Connectors (twist and turn to break)
- Soldering Gun
- Silicon Gun stick (i dont use gun but just heat it on lighter and damp on required surface)

And more of Patience and Brains ;p
Cause once you hit this you will really beg to sun go down and ride your pimped vehicle ;p

Thanks a lot for this! I gave my brother his graduation project in the form LEDs in his car. He loved it! Took me two days to complete it, but only because it was first time doing this sort of thing. Here's some pics. Again, thanks a lot for this. Because of this, I didn't have to give my brother some boring gift like a watch or something...

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samalert (author)  SoulSlayerAbad4 months ago
Aha thats nice he must be flabbergasted :)
(removed by author or community request)
samalert (author)  amartin-burgos6 months ago
What connectors are you talking, I don't think connectors have voltage or current conditions, they simply are connectors. I too have the same 12v led strip. So go and hit it.
nerd74739 months ago
Cool man nice instructable I may use this as a reference if I ever do this to my car!
samalert (author)  nerd74737 months ago
anytime mate
bhvm11 months ago
Sam, Please put a diode between the LED and Car Power. A diode drops about 1v , so your car 14.8v something will come down to bearable 13.8v. I';ve been doing the same on all my auto projects. Will significantly increase the life of your LED(and hard work)
Else, is that your swift? are you in India?
samalert (author)  bhvm11 months ago
Guess what i burnt my RGB controller. I was very greedy and it burnt :P i still dont know the reason why. Am still learning about amperes voltage and stuff and thanks for letting me know to hook up a diode (drop 0.7v to be precise) but what value and which type should i use? am also working on sound controlled LED strip but am finding it difficult to get hold of the parts.

What i did previously was 4 strips on each side. But now i wanted more light so i twiced the strips like a pair in each making it a total of 8 strips which melted my controller even when it was 2A. I still dont know why it happened.

And my LEDs never burnt i used it for almost for a year but then while servicing i removed it and still have to hook it up not getting enough time when festivals are around the corner.

And before working on my LEDs i had read about your ible on Safari but i was using a strip and your ible was for 4x3w led x2strips = 8 bright LED's.

And yes am from India mumbai - with SX4
bhvm samalert11 months ago
1)Those chinese Controllers, when labelled as 2A, one should consider them as 1A
Now, as you will be buying new controllers, I'll suggest going for 2. One Left and One Right side. That should halve the load and allow enough power. However you may have troubles syncing the colour. Other option is to look for 3A or 4A controller.

2)For the Diodes, you should be fine with a common diode like IN4007. You could go a size larger than that, they're pretty cheap anyways. I Usually put Heavy duty diodes like 6A4 which is a beefy diode rated for 4A at 600v. Having some headroom always helps and makes the diodes run cooler.

3) Diodes have Maximum Voltage and Max Amp ratings. However anywhere above half of their rating value, they get very hot. Hence grossly over-size them like i do.

4)LEDs never burnt perhaps because the controller self-sacrificed itself before any dangerous voltage could reach them. Also the Controller could have ~1v drop by itself.

5)Drop me a line in case you need any more info.

P.s - Don't put sound reactive LEDs in car. Hugely distracting and could cause accidents/Headaches.
B.F.L.M1 year ago
In my car i seem to have a few empty spaces in my fuse box, can I just buy a 12v fuse and hook it up to one of those? and how would i go about doing that?
samalert (author)  B.F.L.M1 year ago
There are plenty of tuts available for what you intend to do.
One thing what you can do is check the fuse box under the HOOD and check which fuse gets activated on headlights then connect the LED strip. By doing this led will lit when headlights are turned ON. [problem here is getting wire from hood to interior. This is great when one wants LED near headlamps "Angel Eyes" or something similar.]

Secondly you could find empty fuse slots under DASHBOARD but then you have to connect a switch for the same.

Try youtube very lengthy and shaky videos but worth a try.
Taisou1 year ago
It would be great if you could make am instructible for syncing with music. I would love to be able to use it while parked.
shera.syan1 year ago
Car battery Voltage is always above 12v.
It ranges as below depending on the life of the battery.
With Engine OFF =13v to 14v (Check Direct from Battery with multimeter)
With Engine ON = 14v to 14.9v (Check at any connection with multimeter)

Car stereos are usually rated at 14.4v to 14.6v, but they have a Voltage allowance ranging from 11v to 16v.
if you need pics i can send them in email of my modding how it is done .. I've also modded my Alto's instrument cluster lighting to LED...
would be great to also have your instructions and photos.... Tx
ron.dacosta@gmail.c o m
shera.syan1 year ago
Under $5
1. You can make a third Brake Red light, lighting up along with your tail lamps(if you are bored with your old light)
and
2. License plate light for front and back plates....
shera.syan1 year ago
It took me just 30 min to fit them in car... 15 min to solder them with Soldering Gun.
1 mtr water proof strip- white. cost Rs 100 (almost $2 US)
2" wide transparent cellophane tape,
1mtr ribbon wire only Rs.10 (having 10 colors of wire)
solder gun
Push type on/off switch
screw driver to open the front panel of cigarette lighter and connect wires to switch and cigarette lighter LIVE point.

rest you know how to do it... Speed Console has LED Lights to light up... you can see the White light bleeding behind the NEEDLE..... Console light remained green because the background of console is filmed green hence it will show Green light only.. I'm satisfied with White TRIPmeter..
any question feel free to shoot..

MY MOTTO is Good Work, Less Cost ... Above modding cost is just Rs. 240 ($4.50 US only)
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shera.syan1 year ago
i completed this  job in less then 30 min..
samalert (author)  shera.syan1 year ago
love to see your pimp !
randallbs1 year ago
SWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEET! Thanks for the 'ible, samalert. I'm going to pimp out my camper.
samalert (author)  randallbs1 year ago
Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeat ;p !
Time to envy others .
shera.syan1 year ago
I did this in my Suzuki Alto... I experimented with SMD3528 strip leds.... pasted
them below the dashboard.. covered them with cellophane tape so that they don't fall if they loose their adhesive........ hooked them to the cigarette lighter point with a push toggle button to turn them on when required...... also checked the Voltage

With Engine OFF =13.9 v
With Engine ON = 14.9v
Till now they are working fine ... did the same modding for License plate connected with parking lights switch.

Its fun and I loved it...
samalert (author)  shera.syan1 year ago
I too was thinking of new socket for strips but I use charger very often and run simultaneously so; p

it would be really great if you would love to display anything you like I appreciate if you show us some detailed images of connections and rigged source
Did you think about hooking it up to the Sterio's power? because im sure that is 12v.
samalert (author)  lost_sanity1 year ago
If you mean Stereo !
I would have to either remove the Dashboard or Doors which was very tiresome.

Also, i have used this to make sure that while giving my vehicle for servicing i would remove in less than 5 minutes and place it back in less than 30 mins.
yes haha, ah very clever, i think i'll do it that way instead. dint think of servicing haha
Butters1101 year ago
This is sweet tho. there is some things I would add to be safe.
FYI, the average car electrical voltage ranges from 12v to 14.7v. So, you have to calculate for the variable output, for on the board electronics. A voltage regulator would be ideal to smooth the variable output and an inline fuse for safety. However, it looks great and make me think more about putting one in my car, thanks for posting.
samalert (author)  Butters1101 year ago
I know this question will pop ;) and have also added the same FAQ in 5th question.

Ok this is how i did my research i asked the same question on various forums technicians over the world with various discussions and forums. Then they were of opinion to directly attach it to charger port if still one need to safeguard put a resistor. They were of opinion that voltage regulator wont be necessary since those spikes would be easily handled by the LED strips. But seriously i dont want my wires to burn. So i went to a technician who actually fits these lights for $$ in context of i need the same for my car. What they do is they pull it from the main battery put a switch in between and bingo !
Then i went to a electrician he told me that my idea would be good and it will not damage anything. Now, from personal experience i have those with no problems no burning no fluctuations no dimming nothing. and am still good ;p

For voltages i tested with multimeter my spikes goes till 15.6v ;p
Just a little info for you. What you are calling negative 12 volt is simply a ground. Car chargers do not reverse the sine wave of electricity to give a negative voltage. ATX psu supplies do however. Just a little clearification for you
samalert (author)  DustySeven71 year ago
Yes correct the negative can be attached to the metal part on car body which inturn will be grounded.
Tangski1 year ago

Hi there, I do love the idea of the lighting effects for show and would be interested in doing some of that for my Camaro.  With the distractive driving laws, it is a good idea NOT to use lights with music, and you are right, very distracting.  Your instructions are rather nice, but please check on spelling, and grammar, OK? Keep wording simple so your instructions don't become confusing or 'lost in translation'. If English is your second language, (since I noted your are driving a car with a steering wheel on rh side I know that is not a normal North American car, but many have made it over here for track fans;) have someone check that out for you so your instructions are cleaned up. Your presentation will show more professional if you can redo that part.
Secondly, use those plastic tie down straps instead of string as they are much stronger and designed for electrical work. I use them often for many other projects and find them very handy! Nice use of photos and the square boxed information bits, again, just watch spelling. I know, I am not a great speller either!LOL  I think I would fall off a cliff with out spell check!!LOL Just my two cents. Great job otherwise! Visuals were really wonderful and close up for great detail, which most forget,  and do the most 'talking' anyway!:)
Cheers.
Vicki.

Oh, forgot to add, also great trouble shooting tips! Many forget that process too!! GOOD JOB!!!
Cheers
V
samalert (author)  Tangski1 year ago
Thanks for appreciating my work and yes i too found some spelling mistakes but really am of opinion of changing it after the competition ends [7th jan13](true format nothing changed from day of posting). It was a big marathon on my side during writing the ible, so forgive my mistakes.

I stay in India so right side driving and regarding tags i wasnt having any during that period so tied with something which was easily available but yes agree tag will be good and handy.

Cheers for pimping ;p
I love this. Going to be my next project. should of read this before i did my speakers.
samalert (author)  lost_sanity1 year ago
Thnx and best of luck.
Speaker Mod in your car was good too but according to me it should be painted smewhat like it should be visually appealing
It will be, i havent finished them. Once finished i will update it.
curbowman1 year ago
This is Sick! I love it!
samalert (author)  curbowman1 year ago
Thanx Mate !