How-To Light up your door handles... - Focus Fanatics
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
devil_dog_switch
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How-To Light up your door handles...

This is another of a few How-Tos to come from me in the next few weeks...

this one is to light up your inside door handles, this one requires a little bit of dexterity...

oh and i'm sorry for no pictures of during install, i'l get a few showing the wiring and all that later on, but i didn't think about getting them during install as i was in a hurry to beat the sunlight.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

Wire (I used 16 gauge but really the smaller the easier it will be to wire, but harder to solder)
Soldering iron
Solder
3mm LEDs (your choice of color, you may also go with 5mm for brighter glow but it will be harder to hide)
12v Resistors
Shrink tubeing or electric tape
Drill with 7/64 drill bit
Cutter
Optional: glue of some sort, I used gorilla glue.

Steps:

Ok first off pop your door handle covers off, this can be done using a flathead screwdriver to the bottom center of it, between the cover and the rest(if you've ever taking your doors off you'll know how already).

Next drill holes, i used two but you may do up to five if you want a REALLY bright area.

Now depending on where and how many of these little holes you drilled taek something, i used a small peice of wire, and measure aprox the distance of the holes and cut bridging wires from each, don't worry if you measure from hole to hol exactly, you'll have PLENTY of slack when you are done.

Now where the dexterity comes in play. solder the LEDs and resitor into a circuit.


the way it goes is like this...
12vsupply-------resistors-----LED----2ndLED---(or more)-----ground
you only need one resistor in the line to make them all work right, and it MUST be before the first one. this way you have less wires in such a small area. make sure to insulate the sides of the LED tails so they won't touch, and when soldering, you don't need a whole lot.. i found that one out. the more you solder the better you will get though trust me.

now take your LEDs and put them in the holes predrilled, you'll find they won't fit... that is ok, what you want to do is take that drill and open it up a little.. a snug fit is perfect a loose fit is ok too. here's why....
what I did was i got a decent fit going and put a dab of gorilla glue on it.. not a whole ton, just one drop, it's enough to hold it in throughout regular use and door vibrations (speakers, road, opening and closing) but thin enough that you can pop it loose if need be later with a little chipping or whatnot. to hold the LEDs in place if it is a loose fit (while the glue drys) just get some tape and tape around the handle, you should be able to make it hold it tight enough overnight.

if you choose not to use glue, get some good tape and try to make it a snug fit.

now run your wires up the handle and thru the little opening under your switches, from there wire it anyway you like.. mine go thru my door jams to a central switch that all my lights will be hooked up to.

it is a bit of a tight fit yes, but it does fit, and it gives an interesting look, definitly a custom look.

end look: (using 2 3mm bright blue LEDs)::



and yes i did a blue LED swap to the window buttons.. i've been a busy little bee lately..


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Old 03-01-2009, 01:03 AM   #2
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Cool idea, thought I would make it a lot dimmer. That just seems to bright and distracting for me. Also might want to make a housing for the back of the leds or like tape the back of them so that the light doesnt shine through the cracks in the handle itself.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:07 AM   #3
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i like it, i agree with Wag though... maybe do your lock switches too ;)
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:32 AM   #4
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yeah i already swapped the LED in the switch just need to power it, and yes i agree with making a backing for it.. didn't really notice it too much till after the pics. i'll tackle that tommorrow, just some simple tape will work. as far as the brightness.. i'm wanting bright.. this is a small section of my car that's getting lit... it'll all work together but i am wanting it to stand out (though i may grind down a little around the lights to let the light fan out a little
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:43 AM   #5
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That looks good. Nice writeup.

You know what would look cool? LEDs behind the door pull handle (to open the door from the inside).
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:48 AM   #6
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looks great! id like to see a daytime pic.

just for ease of installation, i would settle for the lights to come on with the parking lights(wire them with the switches). this will eliminate the need to run a new wired from the door to the cabin area.

you mention the leds holding up to vibrations. what about not popping out of place when you grab the handle? this is my only concern and the reason i havent tackled this project myself.

ill sticky this until chad has a chance to add it to our ever-growing How-To Archive

good work
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:53 AM   #7
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the best part about using the 3mm LEDs is they don't actually go thru, that is why there is more of a hotspot than a full glow.. but that's why i used gorilla glue as well.. the little drop is strong enough to hold it tightly in place. i've already tried to push it out .. didn't happen.

and as far as the running light, you'll still have to wire it into the cabin.. the window switchs are always on, if the car is on the switches are on.. so that wouldn't work.

a little tip in wiring into the cabin.... the top one (of the two) connectors is the place to wire it thru, take it off and there are two very small holes, just big enough for 1 wire each, push it thru there and then hunt for the wires on the cabin side, then you have full access to your fuse box, or you're own switch.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waffles ZX3 Kona Sport View Post
That looks good. Nice writeup.

You know what would look cool? LEDs behind the door pull handle (to open the door from the inside).
yeah i was thinking of that too, i might add some later i just have to find a good place to put the LED, i don't think the ones I have would be good, i think i need to order some wide angle one, mine are more direct aim
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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great write bro! very nice indeed.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:59 PM   #10
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Yes, they look good, I did this last year. Here is an addition to your photos for the How-To.





This is the rear mini window


I put a small light in each lock well.




Here is a shot of the handle and lock well




A second shot of the handle and well


From where you sit and stand, you really never see the LED's



This was such a fun project. I really enjoyed working on it.
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