How to Install Interior Car Lights

Posted on: May 5, 2018, by :

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But, if you plan on installing multiple pairs of lights, this approach can lead to a tangle coming from the battery itself. For more than two sets of lights, youll want to invest in a distribution control panel that is fuse-protected. This provides a plug-in for wires and also makes it easy to work on the system. This is by far the easiest and the best way to install and manage multiple lights.

You can use anexpandable circuit. Expandable circuits allow you to connect accessories, such as interior car lights, of a certain voltage to the fuse panel without cutting or splicing existing wiring. Expandable circuits come in several different sizes, depending on the diameter of the fuse, so make sure to check before you purchase the expandable circuit.

Installing interior car lights can be intimidatingno doubt about it! Just the thought ofinstalling LED lightscan make even the most naturally talented mechanic roll his or her eyes in horror. Soldering guns, screwdrivers, two-way toggle switches, electrical tapethese are only some of the many tools needed to manually install interior car lights.

When determining where to install the fuse in the wire, make sure its no more than 18 inches away from the batterys positive terminal. Youll also need to put some heat shrink wrap around the soldered joint, so be sure to put it on the wire before you solder the two ends together.

The instructions have been organized into sections, depending on the method you use to access the power for the lights. Before you start the actual installation, its a good idea to read through the instructions, from the beginning to the end at least once, before you begin.

Cut the main power wire for the kit, and then attach each end of the wires into the sides of the toggle switch. Congratulations! Youve made your first successful connection!

Some cars feature spare holes, pre-drilled for purposes just like this. They are usually covered by rubber grommets. To determine if your car has a spare hole, check for these rubber grommets on the back wall of the engine compartment.

Your circuits should now be complete, and your lights should work when they are switched on. Its also a good idea to double check everything at this point. If your lights seem faint or they flicker, check your connections and make sure they are solid and secure.

Lay out all the parts of your lighting system. It is then recommended to test your kit or LED tubes to ensure they work before installing them in your vehicle. Next it is time to ensure your wires are long enough to reach where the light will be located. When youre sure that youve measured accurately, its time to begin the real installation.

holding down another grounding wire can also be used. Just secure your ground wire to the same screw.

To determine the size, remove a fuse from the fuse box and measure it. If it is 1.9 millimeters in diameter, you need a standard size. If it is 1.6 millimeters in diameter, you need a mini; this is the most common size. If the fuse is 0.9 millimeters in diameter, you will need to buy a low-profile expandable fuse.

Its time to get grounded! This next step involves fastening the ground wire from your light to the grounding power of the car chassis.

How to Install Interior Car Lights

For the rest of the walkthrough, well be using the example of a single LED tube.

Insert the cigarette lighter adaptor into the cigarette

However, if something does quit working after the first time you turn your lights on, check the fuses. After you replace a blown fuse, the system or accessory should work. If, for some reason, it stops working again because of another blown fuse, check thoroughly to make sure no wires have been crossed, and that you are connected properly to the battery.

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Locate the existing holes in the firewall of the car. The wires will have to go through one of these holes to reach the toggle switch, which will be mounted on the dash.

lighter receptacle. Turn your lights on, and enjoy!

Like the expandable circuit method, installing LED lighting kits via the cigarette lighter receptacle calls for a wire stripper and a wire crimper, but also a cigarette lighter adaptor.

To find these holes, you can open the hood of your car and look at the back wall of the engine compartment. Youll notice other wire bundles and tubing going into this wall at various points. These are the types of openings that you are looking for. You can also find these openings by putting your head under the dash and locating where the wiring is exiting the wall on the passenger compartment side.

The wire can usually be attached to bare steel that is found under the dash. If you cant find any bare metal, a previous grounding site with a screw

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If a spare hole or available space in a pre-existing passageway is not available, you may have to drill a hole in the engine compartments back wall. Be sure your drill wont be hitting other car parts like brake lines, electrical lines, or even gas lines. Make sure you also insert a rubber grommet around the hole so that the sharp edges dont rub the wire.

Connect your expandable circuit to the lead power wire. Each of the expandable circuits ends has an adaptor that should fit over the lead wires. Use the wire crimper to hold the connection in place.

If you dont want to hassle with looking for an attachment point underneath the dash, simply run the earth wire back through the opening in the engine compartment wall, and attach it to the negative side of the battery. If you have any doubts or hesitations working under the dash, this battery method is an easier process, and it works.

And there you go! In five easy steps, youve successfully installed an interior car light kit using an expandable circuit.

Ground the negative end of the wire to any exposed metal.

Some light kits come with a toggle switch. Kits usually have one. If you did not get a kit, buy a 2-way toggle switch from an auto accessories store. Youll be installing this in line with the main wire that powers the light kit.

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Before doing any electrical work, its always a good idea to disconnect the battery from the battery terminals. Also, be aware that disconnecting the battery in some later model cars can result in an interruption in the electronic system. Because this can easily happen, its good to have the owners manual close at hand.

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With this type of connection there should be no reason for other electrical circuits or functions to stop working. You are connected directly to the battery, so there is no chance of the lights overloading a system.

The first method of installing the lights is routing them directly to your vehicles battery. This method is the one we recommend. Its the easiest and quickest, and can be done by anyone, even the inexperienced.

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The easiest way to disconnect the battery power is to remove the battery cable from the negative terminal, lay it to one side, and make sure its not touching anything that is made of metal.

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Connect the butt connectors to the cigarette lighter adapter.

Gather together all the tools youll need for the installation. If you buy a kit, you wont need much more than a basic set of tools found in any car owners garage.


When using an LED lighting kit, this method only requires three tools: a wire stripper, a wire crimper, and an expandable circuit.

A common question is whether to use switched or constant power. Using switched power means that the lights will only work when the key is in the ignition. Constant sources of power ensure that your interior lights can be turned on or off without the keys in the ignition.

In place of the fuse you removed in Step 1, insert the expandable circuit.

Insert a constant 10 amp, or less, fuse to the expandable circuit.

Another convenient option is to use acigarette lighter power adaptor. These allow you to power LED lighting kits through your cars cigarette lighter receptacle. Cigarette lighter adaptors can be used for interior lights, but also underbody and wheel well lights.

Now its time to determine where you want to place the toggle switch, making sure its within easy reach of the driver. An inclusive lighting kit may include remote controls or control boxes to manage your kit. You can also install a switch on the dash.

Your next step is to connect a power wire that is fuse-protected from the car battery to the switch. If you bought a kit, the fuse likely came with it. If you opted for buying parts separately, then you probably have some soldering to do!

Where is the best place to mount your light? Interior lights are often mounted on the front dash, on the lower side but high enough so they arent hit in the process of getting in and out of the car. If you prefer a light in the back seat, it can be mounted under the front seat of the car and tilted so that it lights the entire car floor.

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Strip the ends of both the lead and ground wires using the wire stripper.

If youre installing only one or two lights, the best way to connect them is using the main power wire along with its inline fuse, and the ground wire (the one thats included with the lights) going to the car battery.

With your light in your hand, find the best place for your light. This first action is critical because the location of the light determines the wire lengthsomething youll be dealing with soon.

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Replace any covers or pieces that you may have removed to access the dash or other areas, and then

Insert the ends of the lead and ground wires into butt connectors. Crimp using the wire crimper to secure the connection.

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Purchase an expandable circuit. Before heading to the store, however, make sure that you know what size expandable circuit to buy, as this will vary from car to car.

But, fear no more! This inclusive guideon how to install interior car lightsshould help you immensely. Today, you can avoid the time and hassle of manually installing interior car lights by purchasing kits likethese. Not only do these kits make the entire installation process easier, but you can also choose the type and color of car lights you want. In addition, many kits come with a warranty and generous technical support from the seller.

Make sure to test your light kits before beginning the installation process, regardless of the method you choose to use. Remember that doingan installation is always easier if you are preparedand you take your time. To avoid needless frustration, consider purchasing a kit, which will have all the parts necessary for the job.

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