Interior LED lights are one fine way to get additional visibility when driving in the dark. Not only do they shine brighter, but they also cost less energy. If you are someone who frequently rides your car before dawn or after dusk, you know the significance of proper interior lighting.
However, the traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs are the common choice of manufacturers, at least now, to light up your front and back seats. Since they come nowhere near LEDs from every angle, installing some LED bulbs seems like the correct idea. We have prepared a guide to that process in this blog post.
Why LED Interior Lights?
LED interior lights inside your car can provide you with several benefits. They are not just for show. Upgrading to them can cause the following-
A Decrease in Electricity Cost
Did you know that LED bulbs need over 75% less electricity than incandescent ones? Yes, they can give you a boost in the energy efficiency inside your vehicle. Note that current electric cars still get their energy from coal and fossil fuels. They are greener than fuel engines, though. So until we can move to solar and wind power, we better save that extra electricity to help the environment.
A Brighter Interior
It is without saying that LED bulbs provide a really high brightness compared to the stock bulbs inside your car. Hence, installing them can allow you to see the compartment, backseats, and the nooks and crannies, depending on where you put them.
A Long-Lasting Service
While incandescent bulbs cost lower than LEDs, they burn out too quickly. Meanwhile, LED bulbs can survive way over 20,000 hours. As a result, you won’t have to spend behind them for a long while.
LED bulbs may seem so costly compared to incandescent. But if you consider their energy efficiency and long-lastingness, they suddenly appear as the low-cost choice. Yes, experts advise going for LED interior lights for this reason. Moreover, the price of LEDs is decreasing now.
There is no rule regarding lighting colors inside your vehicle. So, you can choose LED bulbs of any color you love, unlike incandescent or halogen ones. Customize your car how you want it.
LED lights come in many shapes, sizes, and types. You can get LED strips, bulbs, or literally any appearance and fashion you desire. It is time to get rid of that dull yellowness of your stock interior lighting and enhance it with a bright and white LED bulb set.
Installing Process of LED Lights in Car with Switch
The installation process of the LED light inside your car’s interior can be simple or complex, depending on your experience in handling electrical components. If you find it confusing, consider contacting an automotive electrician for the job. Anyway, let’s get to the process. First, we will see how to install the light and then the switch. But before everything, make sure to disconnect the battery connections and turn the entire system off to avoid accidents.
Replacing Existing Stock Lights with LED Bulbs
First, decide on which lights you want to install. For example, there are dome lights or trunk lights. If you are replacing it with your incandescent, then get a LED bulb with compatible connectors that match the stock ones.
If you are changing an existing stock light, you can follow these steps-
- Take out any protective cover over the stock light. You may follow the vehicle’s manual to know how to remove it. It may mostly come out after rotating a bit, or you may need to remove some screws.
- Clean the cover if necessary.
- Take the stock light out and install the new one in its place.
- Afterward, put the cover back on.
- If you want to put a switch for the light, you can check the later part of this article.
Installing LED Stripes or Similar Lights
- These steps are for installing LED stripes in the interior of your vehicle. You can perform this process before or after installing a switch on your dash, depending on how you find it more manageable.
- At first, put the Velcro under each LED strip you will install.
- Attach the LED stripes to the places you want to install them. We suggest at least putting one in the driver and passenger footwell. Other LED light types have their own ways of mounting. Follow their method to install them in the right places.
- You can use additional means to secure each light if you want.
- Next, it is time to connect them to the switch and power.
Installing a New Switch
- If you want to install a new switch on your dash, you must open the particular panel. Afterward, it is time to make a hole on the panel cover where the switch will be mounted. Next, measure the base of the switch and drill the hole accordingly.
- Place the switch mount below the hole, slide the switch through it, and secure it with nuts or screws.
- If the switch came with any instruction manual, read them as not all switch types use the same ways to connect to wires.
Connecting the Wires
- If you are replacing your stock light with a LED bulb, you will need to find its power source (the wires) and use a wire cutter to cut it in a place where it is easier to route it to the switch. If it cannot reach the switch, you can use a pigtail.
- Connect the power supply to the switch using the correct method based on the switch type. Test if the toggle works by reconnecting the battery terminals. If it doesn’t, recheck the connections.
- Make sure to secure the wires properly in the end with tapes.
If you are installing new LED strips or similar auxiliary lights, you can follow the steps to connect them to the power supply and the switch:
- First, locate the vehicle’s fuse box under the driver’s footwell.
- Next, check your vehicle user manual to find the accessory fuse on the fuse box.
- Remove the accessory fuse and place it in a fuse adapter. Afterward, put the fuse adapter on the box where the accessory fuse was.
- Connect the other terminal of the adapter to the power box of the light.
- Connect your LED lights to the power box.
- Now you will cut any place on this power supply to connect it to the switch, as we mentioned above.
- Connect the negative wire (black) to any grounding point inside your vehicle. You can do it by loosening a bolt on the firewall, sliding the wire under it, and tightening it afterward.
- Test the lights using the switch and any additional remote control if you have one. If anything doesn’t work, you can check the connections in reverse and ensure they are done perfectly. Don’t forget to connect the battery terminals before the testing.
- Conceal all wires and secure them.
You are now done installing interior LED lights in your car with a switch.
Installing new LED lights inside your vehicle can light up your mood and car interior. But the process can be a bit complex for people without enough experience. In that case, contacting an electrician is the right call. Make sure to exercise total caution during the process. It is best to wear rubber gloves for the entirety for additional safety.