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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are some shots and a few tips from my LED light swap.

"DOME" LIGHTS FRONT - Overhead & Floor
I used panels for these for maximum lighting: http://store.ijdmtoy.com/Luxer1-12-LED-Interior-Light-Panels-Car-Dome-Light-p/led_luxer1_panel_sku53.htm
They are universal fit which is nice, and they are BRIGHT. They are great for the floor lighting and a could be a touch too bright for some in the overhead fronts, but I like it. The Blue looks really great against the Nordkap and brushed aluminum!





The front overheads are easy to get to, just pry out the plastic covers with a boning tool or similar.

FRONT MAP LIGHTS
No shots sorry, but I used these in Cool White. http://store.ijdmtoy.com/SMD-LED-Map-Dome-Interior-bulbs-578-211-2-Festoon-p/led_6smd_d42_sku23.htm
These are a touch brighter than stock and I love the cool white color. These can only be switched on manually so they don't need to match the blue. Most often these will be used for reading so white is a better choice than blue.

Getting to these bulbs requires removing the whole front lighting assembly. The trick is to first pull down the plastic bit around the sunroof switch:

When that's down you can see some tabs that hold the assembly in place. Pull down on the assembly while moving the tabs free. You'll get it. NOTE that you are not pulling the assembly out from the headliner but just removing the plastic lighting assembly from its base. Once off you can access the bulbs easily.

REAR OVERHEAD:
I used these in Blue: http://store.ijdmtoy.com/SMD-LED-Map-Dome-Interior-bulbs-578-211-2-Festoon-p/led_6smd_d42_sku23.htm
To get to these, just grab the light assembly and pull it free from the headliner - pull the front side out first. Easy.

THAT DARN DIM GLOW:
The LEDs will glow dimly even when "off". Some even glow when the car is off and locked. Eventually they will turn off completely and they consume such a meager amount of current there are no issues with battery draining.
But...I think that looks crappy. The floor lighting is fine with the dim glow and I kind of like it, but the overheads are just distracting when glowing.

THE FIX:
To remedy the glow, you need to wire in resistors in PARALLEL to the lights. I tried a few different wattages and ohms and everything worked. I ended up using 1 WATT, 100 OHM from RadioShack: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062295&filterName=Type&filterValue=1-watt+resistors The Shack is overpriced but if you have a local store it's worth it, otherwise find them online.

I went with 1 Watt after discovering that the 1/2 watt ones were getting hot pretty quickly. None of them failed after using them for several weeks, but the 1 watt resistors stayed cooler.
DISCLAIMER: I arrived at 1 watt by a highly technical "let's feel how hot it gets test". I didn't do any calculations or current measurements, and I'm not an electrical engineer.

Excuse my poor soldering and crappy taping, but here's how it looked:


and the panels:


NOTES ON RESISTOR PLACEMENT:
  • Again, you only need these if you don't like the dim glow.
  • The resistors are non-directional so either side can go to + or -.
  • Any bulb that can be turned on by itself needs a resistor to remove the dim glow. This includes front map lights and the rear overheads.
  • Any bulb(s) that turn on in pairs only need a resistor on just ONE bulb in the pair. This includes the front floor lights and front overheads.

The write up takes longer than the swap!
 

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good job on the resistors - not my cup of tea when it comes to the color but otherwise quality work
+1
The problem with blue lighting is that anything written or printed in blue ink on white paper will be nearly impossible to read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
+1
The problem with blue lighting is that anything written or printed in blue ink on white paper will be nearly impossible to read.
#1 and #3 are reading lights and are in COOL WHITE
#2 turns on all of the interior door-activated lighting which is BLUE.
Most often passengers would use their reading light vs. turning on all of the interior lights.
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Props for a good DIY, but I will skip comment about light colors.
 

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#1 and #3 are reading lights and are in COOL WHITE
#2 turns on all of the interior door-activated lighting which is BLUE.
Most often passengers would use their reading light vs. turning on all of the interior lights.
Whew... Thought you swapped all the lights!
Props on the install!
 

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Nice match for the nordkap. I wish there was a color in between cool white and blue.
You can probably use white LED's and use gels to get the exact color you want.:)

Gels are available in almost any color. They are used for filtering stage lighting and can take a ton of heat. Looks kind of like cellophane and can be cut to size.



Cheers!
Ron
 

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Gels cut down on the amount of light that is actually transmitted through them (rather significantly, depending on the color).

Some manufacturers will also sell more "unique" LED colors, or you can build your own array using single LED's in the spectrum of your choice :D
 

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Gels cut down on the amount of light that is actually transmitted through them (rather significantly, depending on the color).
This. I have a friend who is a FIEND for LED lighting. He put a strip of white LEDs in his third brake light on his work truck (with a red lens). Looked pale orange, and didn't seem very intense. Swapped it out with the same product, but in red, totally blinding perfection. ;)
 

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This. I have a friend who is a FIEND for LED lighting. He put a strip of white LEDs in his third brake light on his work truck (with a red lens). Looked pale orange, and didn't seem very intense. Swapped it out with the same product, but in red, totally blinding perfection. ;)
right, when using a lense of sorts in front of leds, you always want to choose the led color that matches the lense color to provide the best output. red leds for red lense, amber/orange/orange-red leds for amber lenses. of course this doesn't apply to clear lenses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Total cost for this project?
The LED panels were $10/Pr. X 2 = $20
The festoon style bulbs were $11/Pr. X 2 = $22
Shipping = $10
3 Pr. resistors at the Shack @ $1.50 = $4.50
TOTAL: $56.50
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Notice that this thread is nearly 5 years old. LEDs of that day did not include built in resisters... the eBay ads don't specifically say they have resisters but it is likely(?) that they do if no CANBUS errors or thrown...
 
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