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Old 09-13-2006, 10:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY: Ambient lighting in door handles

I added some ambient lighting to my interior door handles. I don't have any pictures (didn't have the time since rain was on the horizon), but i'll try to describe it as best as possible.

I went and bought a pack of 3 blue LEDs. These LEDs are 1/4 inch and have a little black trim ring that holds it to the door handle plastic. They're also pre-wired with a positive (red) and ground (black) wire. I picked these cause it made for easy work. 1 LED for each door...and one extra (that I have planned for something else).

1. Take off the door panels (not too hard...there are other DIYs around here that tell how to, so I'll skip that). To do this "mod", you don't need to disconnect the door handle cables.

2. The inside of the door handle has a plastic cover to cover the screw and plastic clip. You have to take this cover off to take off the door. Thats where you can install the LED. They're numbers 5 and 22 in the pic below.


3. Take each plastic cover and mark a spot to drill a hole near the upper front (as if you were looking at it from inside the car facing forward). This is the thinner part of the cover. I suggest drilling from the outside in (so you can file off the excess plastic on the inside and keep the outside looking clean). The hole to drill will be 1/4 inch...try to make sure you don't drill near the plastic ribs on the inside part of the plastic cover...that will make it more difficult to install the LED and will the LED in that position would probably show too much light and not be as "ambient".

4. Start drilling with a smaller drill bit and work your way up to the 1/4 inch bit. Trim away the excess plastic with an exacto knife. Once you have a 1/4 inch hole, trim away the excess and file away any burrs. You can now put the LED in the hole. The hard part is done. lol

5. Buy some t-connectors to attach the wires to the car's wiring. I used 16/14 gauge t-taps with male connectors. That allows me to disconnect the LEDs if I ever need or want to and not affect the wiring of the car adversely. You'll need 4...one for the positive and one for the ground for each door.

6. Attach the male connectors to the ends of the LED wires.

7. Take everything out to the car now...you're almost done. Thread the two wires through the front slot in the door handle (it is right next to the round hole that the plastic clip goes through...the slot you thread the wires through is rectangular. There is a little tab on the front part of the plastic cover...the tab goes into the slot).

8. Attach the other end of the t-tap connector to the wires leading to the window controls in each front door. I wired it here because I could always have those LEDs on and they would stay on when the car was turned off and take advantage of the accessory power. I used the following wires to tap into. Note that on the driver's side door, the window controls are part of the larger connector.
  • Driver's side - green = positive
  • Driver's side - Black = ground (note that I used the black wire closest to the green wire).
  • Passenger side - Green = Positive
  • Passenger side - black = ground (note that the wire is a smaller gauge than the others...and again, it is closest to the green wire)

**Note: I suggest you verify these wires for your car before attaching the connectors...they may end up not working for you (i.e. your preference maybe).

9. Connect all the connectors and position the door panel on the door. Pull the wires tight behind the door panel and then attach the door panel. After installing the door handle clip and screw, pull the wires for the LEDs tight while installing the plastic cover and LED. Then finish putting the door panel back together and turn on the car to see how it looks.

See page 2 for pics and a How-To on how to do the rear doors.

Hope I didn't miss anything (except the pictures)...feel free to ask about it if I have!

--------

So, I decided to use the dremel to grind down the LEDs in front to fix the beam pattern. With the normal rounded bulb, the beam is too focused. When you grind it down and make it flat, it disperses, making the light more "ambient". I strongly suggest doing that. Here are some pics of the two front doors (before I did the rear doors...thats a whole process in itself).

-------























see post 16 for more info
https://www.8thcivic.com/forums/231664-post16.html


Last edited by PokeyD16Z; 10-01-2006 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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mmm def just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivicmmm def just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivic
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Can't wait to see it!~ My dads RS6 has this and I really like it.

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Old 09-29-2006, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i wanna see pictures!!!!
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Pics please!
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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CivicWithNav just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivicCivicWithNav just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivicCivicWithNav just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivic
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does this dim with the interior lights?
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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PWRDByAdobo just put it into 4th gear on 8thcivicPWRDByAdobo just put it into 4th gear on 8thcivicPWRDByAdobo just put it into 4th gear on 8thcivicPWRDByAdobo just put it into 4th gear on 8thcivicPWRDByAdobo just put it into 4th gear on 8thcivicPWRDByAdobo just put it into 4th gear on 8thcivic
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Thanks for giving me a DIY for my next mod (maybe this weekend) KUDOS FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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mmm def just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivicmmm def just put it into 2nd gear on 8thcivic
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Post some effin pics already!!
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yeh pics!

where did you get such a nice parts diagram?
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chylld
yeh pics!

where did you get such a nice parts diagram?

Go to HondaPartsDeals for these types of diagrams.


I assume it wouldn't be too much more difficult to tap into the cabin light circuit, but it would require getting power from the fuse box (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Just about twice as much work as this mod. I am curious how it looks, though. Pictures pictures!!
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoiseGoth
Go to HondaPartsDeals for these types of diagrams.
yeh i'm browsing hondapartsdeals now actually... but the diagrams there aren't anywhere near as high resolution?

Edit: nevermind, i'm an idiot. have to save the image to my computer, web browser doesn't display it full res.
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice instruction A plus Need picture of complete project

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Old 09-30-2006, 10:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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haha...sorry guys about the pics...I tried to take some but my crappy digicam doesn't do night pictures well. I'm going to experiment with the dremel today and try to grind down the LEDs to adjust the beam pattern (its very focused now and I have electrical tape to make it look how i want). I'll be undertaking the rear doors now, which is the same as the front passenger door. Just to appease you guys a bit, I'll take day pictures of the LEDs. The LEDs come on whenever the car is on and can't be dimmed. I suppose if you wired the driver's door to the dimmer, it would dim, but it would be difficult to do all the doors like that.
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Old 09-30-2006, 06:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Even daytime pics would be great. I'm curious what they look like when they're off also.

Where did you get the pre-wired LEDs?
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoiseGoth
Even daytime pics would be great. I'm curious what they look like when they're off also.

Where did you get the pre-wired LEDs?
picked them up at Autozone.
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So, I decided to use the dremel to grind down the LEDs in front to fix the beam pattern. With the normal rounded bulb, the beam is too focused. When you grind it down and make it flat, it disperses, making the light more "ambient". I strongly suggest doing that. Here are some pics of the two front doors (before I did the rear doors...thats a whole process in itself).
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The rear doors were significantly more difficult than the front doors, surprisingly. The original text in my first post is wrong about the wiring for the rear doors, so I'll go over it here (and edit my first post).

Taking the rear door panels off is a bit more involved than the fronts. Be prepared either break some clips or the door panels themselves (where the clips attach). These suckers are on there good. A good investment for the rear door panels is the door panel remover.

Start removing the door panel from the bottom. There are two clips on the bottom. This is the best place since there are cutouts in the door panel to slide the panel remover in. Then work your way up. You can see the white clips in the picture. If you get a clip stuck in the door, the best way to remove it is with a long needle nose plier or the panel remover. Note that the rear door lining is only plastic (and not rubber like the front) so its less pliable if you pull on any of the wires/cables coming out...plus, be carefull of the black goop (see the second pic)
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Now, for the wiring. These doors are completely different from the fronts. There are only 5 wires in each door...note that the colors don't mean the same on both doors. For the rear left, the positive is the red and the ground is the purple. For the rear right, the positive is the purple and the ground is the red. Follow the same procedure for these doors as for the fronts, using t-taps
Rear left
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Rear right
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This is the piece you'll drill a hole in...note the ribs on the back side (as mentioned in my first post).
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Here is the final product...the rear right door and the front and rear right doors. You'll need to wait for night to make any final adjustments to the intensity of the lights (can be done by blocking off some of the light with electrical tape, model paint, or whatever else...the LEDs don't get too hot, so don't worry too much about that).
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PokeyD16Z
Taking the rear door panels off is a bit more involved than the fronts. Be prepared either break some clips or the door panels themselves (where the clips attach).
hhehe i kinda know what you mean by this one. for me, the rear door window switch consoles both permanently lost a tab during my sound deadening project. i've also managed to destroy a couple of those white removable clip thingies, but they're very replaceable.

nice pics!
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chylld
hhehe i kinda know what you mean by this one. for me, the rear door window switch consoles both permanently lost a tab during my sound deadening project. i've also managed to destroy a couple of those white removable clip thingies, but they're very replaceable.

nice pics!
i lost one tab on one door...and broke a bit of the door panel on each door and broke only one clip. lol. Its quite a pain.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Great! Thanks for the shots and detailed DIY. I notice you also have the courtesy illumination installed. I'll be installing those in a week or so, and I'm considering doing this handle mod as well. If I get really ambitious, I'll try to route them to the same circuit as the overhead cabin lights. But given what I know of how much work that might be, I'll probably keep it simple.
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civicex_2006
useless

not really something i would do
to each his own
then why are you posting here? Wait...I get it now...you were saying your post was useless.

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DIY: CSX Center Console (with storage bin sliding door) - Page 3 - 8th Generation Honda Civic Forum This thread Refback 02-07-2008 05:42 AM
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