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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I wanted to share a cool mod that costs under $10. I know there's some threads out there regarding interior illumination, but I found the information a little confusing sometimes. However, I would have not been able to do this mod without looking at them first. The one I referenced the most was http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/lighting/17835-diy-interior-illumination.html visit that for other trims and other wiring options.
Ok, having said that, what is different about this mod is that it is specifically for the EX trim (not sure about DX and LX, but keep reading), and also, I wired these so that the LED's will always be on when the headlights are on (ie no switches).

Step 1:
Buy your LED's. I got mine from ebay for like $2 (not a typo). I wasn't really sure about the quality, but the price is right :) They turned out ok. When searching, type "LED" and "12v" to get the right matches, there are hundreds. The product I got was : 30cm 12V Blue LED Flexible Strip Christmas Party Light. Buy 2, one for the right and left sides.

Step 2:
My LED's came with no polarity indication. Make sure you identify which wire is the negative and which one is the positive side. To do this, get a 12v square battery, and touch the leads of the LED until it lights up. Remember which side is the negative and which side is positive.

Step 3:
Locate the fuse box located below the steering column on the driver's side. On the EX (08), the headlights' fuses are 16 and 17 (again, other trims may be different, like the SI's 21). In either case, double check this by reading the sticker on the side, it should say "L h/l" and "R h/l" for left and right headlight respectively. I verified this by actually pulling out the fuse, and then turning on the headlights. The headlight should not come on when the fuses are out. To pull the fuse out, open the hood of your car, there is a fuse box on the upper right hand corner with a fuse remover.

Step 4:
With the fuse removed, bend the LED lead (exposed wire at the end) like a hook, then place the fuse back in it's place with the LED lead wrapped around either side of the fuse. Basically, the LED lead will be wedged between the fuse and the fuse box. Reference the pic below. I know it's the wrong fuse in the pic, but it's because I was using 21 (only works for SI). Connect the negative lead to any grounded screw on the car. I used the big silver bolt seen in the pic below (upper right hand corner).


Step 5:
I did one fuse per LED strip (16 and 17), because I didn't want to overload the circuit (I know LED's draw very little power but just in case). The LED strip under the steering wheel was easy, cause it's just right there. For the passenger side, I ran an insulated wire behind the center console. Sorry, no pics of this.

Step 6:
Test to see that everything works, by turning on your headlights. If it doesn't, make sure the polarity is correct, and that the fuses are well in place. I blew a fuse, so check that too. BTW, the lights are just bright enough at night, and didn't bother me while driving. Enjoy your new lights :)
 

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Nice DIY.
Okay well I did mine a few months ago with the same ones.
I know they're bright as fawk, right? Haha.
I ended up cutting them down to 3 LEDs on each side, and they were still too bright, I'm only using one on each side.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The extra wire that I used for the passenger side was recycled from an old computer power supply (don't know the exact gauge), but because the current and voltage is so low, almost any wire will do.
 

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Step 5:
I did one fuse per LED strip (16 and 17), because I didn't want to overload the circuit (I know LED's draw very little power but just in case). The LED strip under the steering wheel was easy, cause it's just right there. For the passenger side, I ran an insulated wire behind the center console. Sorry, no pics of this.
can you explain what you did? I'm gonna do this install tomorrow
 

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good job!

I've got mine solder to a ciggy head and plugged it in.. didn't wanna tap wires, but i want them to the dome fade, which i will work on with time...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, hook up the LED strip on the drivers' side to fuse 16 (positive side), then hook up the negative to ground (chassis of car). Then, run a wire from fuse 17 to the passenger side. The way I did it was this: In the small cubby under the radio, the top lid comes out. Pry it out with a flathead screwdriver. Then, I ran the wire from from the drivers side, placed my hand inside the car (through the opening you just made), pull the wire, and then feed it to the passenger side. I just went out and took these pics, hope it helps

 

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When you ordered your LED strip, did each strip come with two differently colored wires? Because I'm looking at a set with a copper wire and silver wire... I wanna assume that the copper wire is + and the silver one is -
 

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When you ordered your LED strip, did each strip come with two differently colored wires? Because I'm looking at a set with a copper wire and silver wire... I wanna assume that the copper wire is + and the silver one is -
Yeah they came with 2 different colors, I forget which side is which, try hooking it up with a 12v battery to confirm + and -
 

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Hey!! i went with thoes light strips also. I decided not to put them on my car because I didnt think it was bright enough . Your camera exposure might be a lil high because these are technically SMD strips and not LED strips. They are not that bright. I dont think SMDs go over 1000 mcd. I recommend. I ended up going back and buying real LED strips for 2 dollars more on ebay.

I recommend these. From US not china. faster shipping.
LED STRIP BULB FLEXIBLE GRILL BOAT/CAR BLUE 12 V 30 CM : eBay Motors (item 140398283837 end time May-09-10 22:20:46 PDT)

much brighter. I would say these are closer to about 8000mcd.
 

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Thanks for the link, raybyduhbay. I went ahead and ordered a couple of those strips to try this later this week. May I ask where you guys have grounded the negative lead from the passenger's side strip? Is it safe to use the same grounded bolt used for the driver's side, or is there one underneath the golvebox compartment? Please LMK. Thanks.
 

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Just did mines. Took me an hour or so but that's because I skipped checking the polarity and ended up getting it backwards till I checked with a 9v battery. On mines, the copper was negative and the silver was the positive.

Mine is only the driver's side atm because the ebayer I bought it from only shipped me 1 out of 2 that I ordered for no reason. Just sent him an email to see what's up.



It ended up not being as bright as I thought, but just right (I was afraid of it being too bright like in the pics). It's like a nice, ambient foot light. It's about as bright as the instrument panel lights, if not a bit weaker, which is just right for an ambient light. Otherwise I'd be afraid of my eyes improperly adjusting in night driving. It's not as dim as it looks on the pics, and I don't know how to increase exposure on my camera, but it looks nice irl. Not obnoxiously bright, nor too dim.

I've checked out the other thread with the cathode tubes and I have the same tubes in my computer; I knew those were too bright and the process seemed more complicating. This DIY fit the bill nicely :clapping:
Very nice, quick, and very simple DIY. Should be done in less than an hour if you know what you're doing.

First post btw. Just got the car 2 weeks ago.
 

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definitely seems a lot easier than cathode tubes, and definitely not as easy to break lol.

does anyone else have pictures of these lights? or better pics. the first set of pics the lights look really bright, while the pic by BANGER the lights look very dim =s

and would it be possible to extend the wires at all by soldering more wire or by splicing the wires so i can put lights in the back seats too
 

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I just received (2) of the ones raybyduhbay linked. They are noticeably brighter than the SMDs OP posted. I plan to use 2 of the LED for the rear passengers and 2 of the SMD for the front. I think the LEDs are safely bright, so if you want emphasis on brightness, put those instead.

I haven't wired them up yet, but I plan to tap 1 LED and 1 SMD into each headlight fuse. Can anyone confirm if this is alright? They consume little power, but I wanna be sure...

And since I haven't wired them, I will try to post pics of them side by side sometime soon, so you can gauge how bright the LEDs are versus the SMDs.
 
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