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#1: 10-20-2009, 09:44 PM
My Ambient Lighting Solution..
timmahh's Avatar
Title: Senior Member
Location: Northern California
Car: 05 GT 5MT
Posts: 392
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So this is the first one i'm putting in, would like one for the back seats somewhere but there isn't a light directly above them so i'll hold off on that until I think of something creative.

Anywho, so one of the things I liked about my TL was the ambient lighting in the front area that helped light up the shifter / cup holder area at night. I thought not having them wouldn't be a big deal in the Leggy, but to me the cockpit is very dark at night to the point where it could use some lighting.

I ordered some oznium amber LEDs and LED holders (3mm) knowing I atleast wanted one LED in the front to provide lighting. Two I think would be overkill, but one seems to be enough - for me anyways.

My initial idea was to drill holes in the map light areas and tap into the auto dimming mirror power [which I later found in another thread on here.. great minds!], but initial testing came up with a pretty fatal flaw which was a good amount of light showing in my rear view mirror.. no good.. can't deal with that. When I make interior changes to my cars I want it to look as OEM, and clean as possible.. So my next thought was to install the LED in my new auto dimming mirror, which is what I ended up doing. I had orignally planned on taking the mirror apart and doing a full internal install, however after a few attempts and a scratch on the top of my mirror housing I said fudge it.. not going to break a $200 mirror for this. So I drilled a small hole in the bottom, and one out the back to route the wires. No opening or possible breaking the mirror required!

The LED itself is small, but I didn't care for the fact that it stuck out past the housing, and was a bit too bright.. So I got some fine grit sand paper and rubbed the LED across it to accomplish two things - 1) to diffuse the light and 2) to get the height to be flush with the LED mounting piece.

Overall I am extremely happy, it turns on/off with the key, isn't really visible in the light, and provides a low key solution with good output.

Sorry for my giant novel post, here are the pics..

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