Picture of Car Interior LED Lighting Multicolor
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
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SoulSlayerAbad11 months ago

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...

samalert (author)  SoulSlayerAbad11 months ago
Aha thats nice he must be flabbergasted :)

hi there, if i already have daytime running light on my bmw e92, how do i wire rgb with wifi controller to my car? where do i plug the + and - in to so it works with my DRL in the car?

samalert (author)  tayeb.rahman.3913 days ago

The ible is about interior lights and it has nothing to do with DRL which am supposed are near headlights. The interior under dash lights are rigged from Car charger and does not affect any wiring whatsoever.

Now, +ve and -ve are quiet visible on every charger out in market rig it accordingly if in doubt read the ible carefully i have provided enough images.

Lastly if u need DRL to be running on headlights and need to wire LED's there then rig the source from FUSE under bonnet, plenty of tuts available on Ytube.

Hi, I was wondering if you were able to use any regular old wiring or if it has to be special LED wire.

samalert (author)  B_Michael4051 month ago

What does old and regular wiring means? I am not aware of these terms.

Delvin1234 months ago
Dear Sam
Can you please explain me about the connection giving on the cigrette lighter .Will i be able to switch of these lights without removing the key.Please help
samalert (author)  Delvin1234 months ago

Yes one can switch off the LED by simply using IR remote or just removing the plug.

There is nothing special in cig lighter mod. Thing is lighter or that port gives out 12v, and LED too require 12v. So i powered it from the lighter. Now how to build the connections so i used a car phone charger, now since phone require 5v it have chip which brings down the 12v from cig lighter to 5v suitable for mobile phones. So we rigged the USB charger just before it gets connected to chip and downsize/limit the voltage.

Do not shot circuit the wires it will blow fuse which i had but they are easy to replace too under dash fuse box.

Tangski2 years 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!:)

FrizenF Tangski5 months ago

it does not look like that English is your first language either. "Your presentation will show more professional if you can redo that part" is incorrect dear. "Your presentation will appear more professional if you can redo that part" or "Your presentation will show professionalism if you can redo that part" is proper. check your mistake and punctuation in your sentence: "but many have made it over here for track fans;" get it checked by your English teacher. "Keep wording simple so your instructions don't become confusing or 'lost in translation' " good combination of singular and plural number in one sentence. Cool!!

By the the author of this project has done a great job and I would like to congratulate him for this. Cheers!!

Tangski FrizenF5 months ago
LOL, OK you got me! I was in a rush at the time...Oh well. English is my only language...but I do mess up too, which is why I mentioned it. People usually notice mistakes in areas that they may also have problems with.
Anyway, thanks for the correction. I do love to write, but when in a hurry, I want to 'talk' text rather than 'write' properly. It is something I find that many lean toward when working in mixed media technology of ipods, phones etc. I then miss information. I have noted that even the most professional people tend to 'talk' or 'speak' text rather than write out thoughts in the correct formal format. And lets not go into the lingo short cuts...gads! Bad habits are hard to let go of, and the 'texting' world is famous for it. I admit it is not a good habit for me to have either! One can simply forget as one tends to write what is heard and written in everyday lingo, instead of what is formally correct for a written presentation. It would better serve myself and others in the process of having more strict observance of the said subject matter. Having said that, I do find that forums tend to lean way over on the informal bent in written expression, which does not always serve well directional format.
And by the way, yes the author has done a GREAT job of the project and presentation...unlike my mistakes. I had intended not to have the two 'the' in that sentence...sheesh...silly me!
I have probably written my thoughts here incorrect, but my intent was to have someone advance further than myself on the subject since their talent was rather obvious in the creation of the project:) I will strive to present my thoughts in a proper written format next time and just try highlighting what was confusing or incorrect to me, and leave it at that:) Just as you did for me:)
Sorry... school is out for today while I brush up on my grammar;) I thinks me I shall take up a Shakespeare play- to sooth away the rancor noises of a froth grey day. Just the ticket, yes?
Have a great day good teacher folk!
samalert (author)  FrizenF5 months ago

Glad you liked it mate. Cheers !!

Tangski Tangski2 years ago
Oh, forgot to add, also great trouble shooting tips! Many forget that process too!! GOOD JOB!!!
samalert (author)  Tangski2 years 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
tanilsarikaya5 months ago
thank you so so much for informations ....

God bless you
tanilsarikaya5 months ago

Is it start to work when you open doors ?

or manual turn on or turn of

samalert (author)  tanilsarikaya5 months ago

This is manual ON | OFF. So that i have total control over it. More on that i can rip it down in few minutes(2mins) & assemble it back(30mins).

If we flip the same in doors then it have to be rooted to dome lights. Its more or less same. Find the fuse for dome light, use extension fuse and hook it on top of it.

How can I make on -off it with door ?

And always default color blue when it open
samalert (author)  tanilsarikaya5 months ago

For single color do not use RGB (i.e. Multicolor LED) use only blue one. It would be cheap and there will be no need for remote and ir receiver. I wanted a multicolor so that i can change as per my needs i used to keep RED while driving, BLUE to show off, WHITE to search when something falls on carpet.

If you want to use BLUE using RGB u have to create your own RGB receiver which is again a big task or use Arduino(costly + knowledge) and program it.

Secondly, for door close on and off. Use source from dome light (above ible shows from USB charger/Lighter). When door opened dome lights turn on so rig the power from dome lights. Remember as dome lights LED will not be fading it will go a step down in brightness and turn off, so if you are thinking of fading smoothly like dome it wont THATS HOW LED WILL BEHAVE we have no control over it.

Now how to connect it to dome light for door on off LED

1. Splice wire of dome (risky)

2. find fuse under dash for dome light and add extension fuse over it.

Hope i made myself clear they are all available on Ytube
there is one ible but it too have used power socket like me LINK.

This video will help with your rig YTube

(removed by author or community request)
samalert (author)  amartin-burgos1 year 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.
nerd74731 year ago
Cool man nice instructable I may use this as a reference if I ever do this to my car!
samalert (author)  nerd74731 year ago
anytime mate
bhvm1 year 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)  bhvm1 year 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 samalert1 year 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.M2 years 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.M2 years 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.
Taisou2 years 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.syan2 years 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.syan2 years 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)
2. License plate light for front and back plates....
shera.syan2 years 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)
shera.syan2 years ago
i completed this  job in less then 30 min..
samalert (author)  shera.syan2 years ago
love to see your pimp !
randallbs2 years ago
SWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEET! Thanks for the 'ible, samalert. I'm going to pimp out my camper.
samalert (author)  randallbs2 years ago
Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeat ;p !
Time to envy others .
shera.syan2 years 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.syan2 years 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
lost_sanity2 years ago
Did you think about hooking it up to the Sterio's power? because im sure that is 12v.
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