Custom "Rear Dome Light"
So I have always wanted to add a rear dome light to my car since 08's and some 09's didn't have one from the factory. The only thing stopping me is the hassle of tracking down a car to salvage one from, ripping out the headliner, and wiring in the new setup. There's got to be an easier way. So I was thinking, why not just get a strip of flexible LED's and put them on the back window right behind the headliner?
So I started checking the area I had to work with and this is what I found. There is a blacked out sliver of glass on the rear window that would stop the light from distracting other drivers behind me (if I ever needed to turn them on while driving):
Untitled by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Can't see it on the picture above? Allow me to zoom in for you.
The blacked out area is about 1" wide and runs about 41" across the entire window.
Lip by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Untitled by DarderSauce, on Flickr
I figure if I can get a 41" flexible strip of LED's, I can splice it in to the dome lights so they will turn on when you open the door.
Finally I would be able to see the serial killer in the back before they sneak up on me from behind.
HERE COME THE QUESTIONS!
1. Does anyone know if there is an easy spot to splice in the wiring for the LED's on the rear driver or passenger side pillar?
2. I figure that blacked out strip of window is part of the rear defrost so I wouldn't want to do anything to mess with it.... Any thoughts about how a guy could attach the LED's to the window or get it to hang just in front of it so they would still shine on the back seats?
3. Can anyone recommend a good site for flexible LED's that come in a variety of lengths (~ 1 inch wide) and colors?
That's about as far ahead as I have thought the project through. If I can get this to work I will write up a how to guide for other people that want to do the same thing. What do you guys think?
Just Putzin around looking for LED strips and I came across this:
Figured I should get the waterproof strip just in case I ever run into condensation issues on the rear window. Better safe than sorry. ~$27 for 39.3" which would be perfect.
I have bought stuff from Super Bright LED's before and I was happy with it so I figure they would be a safe bet.
Can anyone tell me if I could safely splice in a strip of these to my factory wiring if they require 9~14.8 VDC?
#1, Idk because I dont own an MK2, However on my MK1 there is no such wiring that I know of back there.
#2 the black part is Not part of the rear defrost, feel free to stick your led strip to it.
#3 Superbright, Ozinum.com or for cheapest- ebay.
Thanks for the info Sky, always appreciated
If you get the light strip up there high enough where you can't see it but it still puts light down where you want it, 3M tape might hold it up. It's out of place, so how it looks shouldn't matter too much. This is an interesting idea, but seems like you'll have to wire it to the front A pillar if you want it to go on when the door opens or unlocks.
I think you are right about the wiring part, but running a wire from the front A pillar to the back should be pretty easy. I think I will be able to hide all the wires I need to run so that's nice.
you should be able to piggyback the wires up in the A-pillar for the front dome light, and run them under the edge trim above the doors to the rear to connect your LED strip there. 00-07 hatchbacks can use the rear dome light from a wagon, as in europe the wagon rear dome is standard equipment in all hatchbacks.
Those LEDs will work, I have done a ton of led work to my mk2 and those should be fine. Not a huge fan of that site but the product looks good.
When I installed my rear dome I spliced into the front dome with a simple "T" splice, there is no other place you can tap into to achieve what you are trying to do. You will need to take the front dome light off and do some testing with the LEDs. There are 3 wires in the front, 1 line is always hot for the map lights, one is operated by a switch tied into the doors and locks, and the third is your ground. On the LEDs there is two wires, ground to ground and hot to switch wire, that is where the testing will take place.
If you have any questions or concerns pm me I have a ton of exp with random led projects.
I knew after asking a wiring/LED question your answer wouldn't be too far behind. I think I might be able to get away with splicing into the same spot I used for the illuminated sill plates I've got. The only thing I am unsure about is whether they would come on when I use the keyfob. But here is what I was thinking:
Remove the pillar panel
5 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
The wires shown in this picture are where I spliced in before
8 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Specifically, the purple/grey one. Just slice & splice
7 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Then run it behind this little guy
6 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Behind this guy
2 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
4 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Then under the rest of the trim along the side all the way to the back
3 by DarderSauce, on Flickr
Von, do you know if the LED's I plan on using would require more power than the wiring I plan on using would supply?
I will do some testing to see if the sill plates come on when I use the keyfob. If they do, and I can get enough power from the spot mentioned above, I am going to splice the wire to that. What do you think?
The LEDs you linked will work from 11-14 volt DC, our cars run right around 11.5-12 volt DC. For the most part all the stuff on the interior works off the same 12 volts, there are some exceptions but most are under the hood. The power draw from LEDs is so small you won't have to worry about any more pull on the existing wires, unless you plan on making a light show at some point.
When I ran my under seat LEDs I ran my wires the same route, you can also shove the wires above the headliner as well, it's not glued down or anything, it just uses more wire to go along the floor.
I expect pics when it's done. :)
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