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Thread: Interior Accent Light

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
    Marysville, Wa
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    Interior Accent Light

    I have these instructions in PDF format but the PDF File is to big to attach. So if you want the instructions in PDF Format the PM me

    So to explain. These instructions are for creating and installing an interior accent light to light up the cup holder area at night and not be too bright to be a distraction. I have the parts lists for a blue accent light and an Ultraviolet light kinda like a black light. P.S. Kinda long.

    So first off here are the parts you need Note: Parts are from Radioshack unless otherwise specified.

    Blue light Parts
    1) 5mm Blue LED (Intensity 2600mcd, 3.7V, 20mA) – 276-0316 - $4.69
    2) 4.7k-Ohm 1/8-Watt Resistor (Carbon Film, 5% Tolerance) – 271-0008 - $1.19

    Ultra Violet Light Parts
    1) 5mm Ultraviolet LED (Intensity 350mcd, 3.3V, 20mA) – 276-0014 - $4.69
    2) 1k-Ohm 1/8-Watt Resistor (Carbon Film, 5% Tolerance) – 271-0004 - $1.19
    3) 470-Ohm 1/8-Watt Resistor (Carbon Film, 5% Tolerance) – 271-0009 - $1.19

    Parts Needed for Both
    1) LED Holder (Chrome T-1 ¾ (5mm), ¼” Mounting Hole) – 276-0080 - $1.69
    2) 3/32” Heat Shrink Tubing –HS-ASST-9 - $13.63
    3) Solder (.32 Diameter 60/40 Resin Core Solder) - 64-017 - $3.49
    4) Soldering Iron (40-Watt Pencil Iron - 64-2071 - $10.99
    5) Zip Ties (5-1/2" Nylon Wire Ties (30-Pack)) – 278-1631 - $3.79
    6) Parts Holder (Not Needed but very helpful) – 64-079 - $9.99
    7) Stepper Drill Bits (From - $12.99

    Assemble the LED

    1. Pull out the rubber stopper from the bottom of the LED Holder.

    2. Insert the LED prongs into the little holes in the stopper and slide the led down as far as it will go.

    3. Reinsert the LED and stopper into the LED Holder.

    4. Now attach a Red wire lead and a black wire lead to the LED. I soldered the wires directly to the LED leads and then put Heat shrink tubing over each. (Note: The longer lead on the LED is the Positive lead. {See Previous Pictures} It matters because it is a Diode and current can only flow one way through a diode.

    5. Now depending on if you used the Blue LED or the Ultraviolet LED will determine which resistors to use.
    a. If it is the Blue LED then you want to use a 4.7K-Ohm resistor on EACH lead. This will give a total resistance of 9.4k-Ohm resistance. Again I soldered the Resister to the lead and then soldered another lead to the other side of the resistor and then covered with Heat Shrink tubing.
    b. If it is the Ultraviolet LED then you want to use the 1k-Ohm resistor on one Lead and the 470-Ohm resistor on the other lead and again solder them to the leads and then add more lead to the other side of the resistor. And cover them with Heat Shrink tubing.

    Now to install the LED into the overhead console
    note: To remove the overhead console you literally just pull it down. There are no screws holding it in.

    6. Now you are going to remove the Compass module from the Overhead Console.

    7. Next you are going to drill the hole in the overhead console. This hole will end up being 5/16.
    a. Note: I drilled the hole as close to the lip that extends out from the green Compass display area. This in turn needed to be grinded back from the hole to make room for the nut that went on the LED Holder. (This is where I recommend using the stepper drill bit. It is less likely to catch the plastic wrong and damage the housing.)

    8. Now Insert the LED into the Hole and tighten the nut on it, and then bend the leads over like in the picture above.

    9. Now you can install the Compass module back into its spot.

    10. Route the wires for the LED around and underneath the Compass Module

    11. Now is where you’ll need to tap the wires into the existing wiring in the overhead console

    12. The two wires you need to connect to I am going to point out in the next picture (The one on the LEFT is POSITIVE and the one RIGHT is NEGATIVE)

    NOTE: If you hook it up just like this then the light will dim with the dimmer switch.

    13. As you can see from the previous pictures I have soldered the wires together and covered with heat shrink tubing.

    14. Now I did some zip ties up in here to make the install a little neater. And of course now the Overhead console repair is complete and ready to be reinstalled.

    15. Now it is time to reinstall the Overhead console back into the truck.

    16. After installing I have tested the light. I tried many different resistances and decided on the ones I specified above to be about the perfect brightness.

    17. Here is an image of the LED lighting up the cup holders. In order to turn it on, just turn on the headlights. Note: This image makes the light appear WAY BRIGHTER than it is. I used a long exposure on the camera and it came out brighter than it actually is.

    Note: I am showing this pic to show how much area this light covers. It is exactly how much coverage I wanted and it is just bright enough for me to see where to put my drink and to find the remote. I used a long exposure time to capture this image which is why it turned out so bright in the picture, even though it may only be 1/8 to ¼ as bright as the pic.

    Here are the wiring diagrams I used to determine which wires I needed to use for this.

    A link to more pictures

  2. #2
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    m5james's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Mill Creek, WA
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    I love it!!! I've been wanting to do this for a month or so now, and stumbled across this thread while trying to find an overhead console from MM that incorporates his guages.

    Interior accent lights like these are in all of my BMW's, all in a subtle (dimmer than yours, but you'd mentioned it has something to do w/ your exposure) amber/red color, usually done in pairs. Thank you for this write-up. I guess I'll have to do it and see it in person, but I'm thing of doing dual in an 8 configuration so that I get full coverage of the console and the cupholders as well. I'll also be sanding and painting the chrome bulb holder as I'd prefer it to blend it. As for your wiring, and this works great, but have you ever considering wiring it into the compass so that you can shut the accent light/compass off as a pair? Nonetheless, this'll work as needed.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by m5james; 09-17-2012 at 08:53 PM.
    2002 HD F150 DSG #01235

    Powertrain: Unknown tune, 6lb lower running 13-15lbs, TR5IX's @ .36, BA2400 MAF, deleted precats/Magnaflow postcats, K&N filter w/ heatshield, L&S separator, rebuilt 4R100 w/ shift kit. Plans - KB2.3, BA2400, 255's, TR6IX's, new tune!
    Interior: Harley custom mats F&R, Glowshift 7 color LED boost gauge. Plans - 3M Di-NOC wrapped in graphite carbon fiber, LED conversion, sound deadener
    Exterior: Debadged, N-Dure bedcover w/ hidden snaps, Escape foglights w/ 3M film, hidden hitch w/ flipdown license plate
    Entertainment: BZ1370 deck, JL 10W3v2-D2 in rear console
    Suspension:Hellwig 7626/7621 F&R swaybars w/ Lightning Bilstein shocks

  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
    Marysville, Wa
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    So I know it's been a couple years but did you ever try to do this? It is still rockin' in my truck and I still love it. Just curious what you think?


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