Author Topic: Ambient Lighting project  (Read 2994 times)

Offline RichardCX5

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Ambient Lighting project
« on: September 03, 2016, 10:39:50 am »
I've decided to continue my ramblings over on the 'what did you do to your car today' thread over here instead so as not to take it over! Up until this point I had sourced the JDM OEM overhead console with ambient LED but had to kludge it together since the UK/JDM overhead consoles are not a straight swap. I'd found that the JDM overhead light was way too bright and very distracting at night, plus I wasn't a huge fan of having a white light anyway, so I've decided to start my own ambient lighting project!

I much preferred the red overhead ambient lighting my old Audi had so I wanted to replicate that in the CX-5. I'd fitted the JDM ambient lighting loom already with standard electrical connectors so can swap easily whilst I work out the best way to go about this.



12v 5mm wide-angle flat-top LEDs picked up from eBay



As I'd already messed up this trim piece from the overhead console fitting the JDM LED I don't have to worry too much about being neat. Two 5mm holes drilled and the LEDs glued in place.



Finished and ready to fit. I would have liked to have recessed the LEDs with a nice taper but the plastic piece is only about 3mm thick, perhaps for version 2 I'll work out a way to do that unless anyone has any bright ideas?



Fitted and testing! As I said it'd be nice not to be able to see the LEDs but luckily they're not too distracting. This is on the first fit and at first I thought they were too bright, like the JDM light (which in this picture is the oval at the front being lit up by the red LED). I had a look online and saw a great tip to scuff the surface of the LED with sandpaper to diffuse/dim the light which worked like a treat!



Very difficult to picture but you get the idea. I much prefer the red light to the white of the JDM, more in keeping with the orange LEDs of the pre-facelift models and more suited to the idea of warm-coloured 'comfort' lighting.

Today I might try out another LED in the compartment forward of the gearlever depending on how easy the trim pieces around there are to remove, another JDM accessory I'm going to rip off! :)

(EDIT - link to my JDM posts if you want to read up on that first) http://mazdacx5forums.co.uk/index.php?topic=337.msg3730#msg3730 starts there and about ten posts afterwards
« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 10:43:18 am by RichardCX5 »
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline BigAl

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 11:57:04 am »
My previous Subaru Forester had a similar setup with a single blue LED in the overhead panel. It was slightly recessed in a tube, so it wasn't visible itself unless you got under it and looked straight up (no chance of doing that accidentally). Could you do something similar?

Alan

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2016, 12:36:15 pm »
My previous Subaru Forester had a similar setup with a single blue LED in the overhead panel. It was slightly recessed in a tube, so it wasn't visible itself unless you got under it and looked straight up (no chance of doing that accidentally). Could you do something similar?

Alan

I had a hunt around yesterday whilst I was doing this but couldn't find anything suitable. I think you'd have to be careful about the choice of material as the light could bounce off it creating just as bright a light source as the light reflects off the tube.
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline Ant

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2016, 01:56:57 pm »
This is a really interesting topic - I've been thinking about ambient lighting in the sunroof switch blanking panel like this for ages. Thanks Richard for doing all this development and prototyping work! ????

Can I ask please, where are you powering the LEDs from? Does the JDM loom run back to the fuse box on the passenger side and if so, is it easy to remove the A pillar trim, given there's an airbag under there? (I ran a dash cam cable down there but tucked it under the trim rather than removing it.)

Thanks

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2016, 02:40:14 pm »
This is a really interesting topic - I've been thinking about ambient lighting in the sunroof switch blanking panel like this for ages. Thanks Richard for doing all this development and prototyping work! ????

Can I ask please, where are you powering the LEDs from? Does the JDM loom run back to the fuse box on the passenger side and if so, is it easy to remove the A pillar trim, given there's an airbag under there? (I ran a dash cam cable down there but tucked it under the trim rather than removing it.)

Thanks

No worries, this silly sort of stuff makes me happy :)
The JDM loom is very handy in that it's sheathed in soft plastic, and foam in the section above the headlining to avoid rattles. It also has an inline fuse and ring attachment for an earth. Strangely, the kit doesn't include any form of installation instructions so it's up to you to figure it out yourself.

I attached the positive wire to the feed to the glovebox light using the supplied blade tap - US owners don't have a glovebox light so they've generally tapped into the dimming control at the back of the stereo which is also switched 12v with the parking/headlights. I didn't want to start messing with the stereo loom so thought the glovebox light was a less risky option (plus it's much closer to where the wiring comes out).
The earth I attached to an existing earth point next to the passenger footwell fusebox.

The other benefit of the official loom is that it includes a new strap for the A-pillar trim. The trim is attached to the car using standard clips as well as a strap that has to be cut when removing the trim. To remove the trim, pull the weatherstrip off the door frame along the length of the A-pillar, then the A-pillar trim unclips at the top before sliding up towards the roof. My CX-5 doesn't have a sunroof so there was a handy set of clips running down the A-pillar where the drain tube would be. It's very important to run any cabling above the airbag to avoid fouling it, and to replace the strap when refitting the trim.

Hope that helps!

p.s. I haven't got time to upload the pictures now, but later I'll go into detail how to fit an LED in the compartment in front of the gearlever, it looks great! :)
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2016, 06:49:13 pm »
Next step in my ambient lighting project is an LED in the storage in front of the gearlever. Not much in the way of functionality with this one, it's more of a cosmetic and 'wow factor' mod :)



Some (dis)assembly required. Actually it wasn't that difficult, unscrew the centre console and slide it back an inch, undo a few screws under the gearlever panel and a few trim clips later this lot can be removed.



So my plan was to install an LED somewhere in this storage area, probably at the top but I didn't know where the best clearance in the dashboard would be so it took a trip back out to the car with this to work out where it would fit - at the top is fine though there isn't a huge amount of space between the top of this unit and the bottom of the climate unit.



Back inside and I taped an LED (5mm flat top 12v wide-angle) in to see what it would look like. Nice!

[/url]

Measured halfway across the box, and drilled a 5mm hole. I chose to put it as far back as possible.



Test fit once I'd drilled the hole, all good so far.



I also removed the glovebox and trim panel to get better access to the fusebox area.



Cable run from centre console and tapped into the ambient lighting loom mentioned above, useful as it's separately fused.



Test run!



And all fitted back into the car. Once it's dark I'll have a look and see what the final result is.
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2016, 08:53:43 pm »
...and a few pictures in the dark









This one shows the cumulative effect from the overhead lights as well as the cubby LED, pretty nice!
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline rmvf

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2016, 10:14:56 pm »
 :) nice job Richard, that would suit mine as the footwell lights are red aswell, like it
Also running a pearl white petrol sport nav from 01/05/ 2012

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 10:31:51 pm »
:) nice job Richard, that would suit mine as the footwell lights are red aswell, like it

Cheers :) I thought about adding red LEDs to the footwell as more ambient lighting but want to gauge how bright this will be first.
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline Ant

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2016, 11:00:51 pm »
Thanks for answering my questions Richard - very helpful for when I find some time to have a look at this myself. It seems I'll need to source a new strap for the A pillar though.

Good work on the LED in the storage compartment too.

I would be going for red LEDs as well to tie in with the welcome illumination kit in my car. (My previous Golf had red ambient lighting which looked good)

On recessing the LEDs in the overhead console, would you actually need a tube as such? If you could bond a small piece of scrap plastic that is thick enough to the back of the panel and drill the mounting hole through that, you could presumably position the LED so that the flat end was flush with or slightly below the console surface?

Thanks again.

Offline rmvf

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2016, 07:46:35 pm »


Cheers :) I thought about adding red LEDs to the footwell as more ambient lighting but want to gauge how bright this will be first.
[/quote]

Richard i have the footwell lighting in red but they only come on when the doors open, i put this on after the red illuminated sill strips Richard are you planning of putting LED lighting into the central storage box, Reason why I'm asking is when we drive in the dark it's hard to see in it without switching on a over head light. I'm thinking  of doing this and also using my my sunglasses storage for ambient LED, I'm going to speak to a friend first but once I go ahead I will post and photobucket the pics.
Also running a pearl white petrol sport nav from 01/05/ 2012

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2016, 11:12:02 am »
Thanks for answering my questions Richard - very helpful for when I find some time to have a look at this myself. It seems I'll need to source a new strap for the A pillar though.

The workshop manual guide to removing the A-pillar trim states the trim piece has to be cut and replaced, but if you were careful you might be able to remove it without cutting it - I guess Mazda want it replacing to make sure it'll be behave as it should in the event of the airbag going off. Anyway, here's a picture of it so you know what you're looking for;



I haven't been able to find a UK seller of them based on the part number D651-68-162 so it might be a US one, I don't know whether we use different numbering systems.

On recessing the LEDs in the overhead console, would you actually need a tube as such? If you could bond a small piece of scrap plastic that is thick enough to the back of the panel and drill the mounting hole through that, you could presumably position the LED so that the flat end was flush with or slightly below the console surface?

The panel being curved makes it challenging to come up with a decent solution, but my thoughts were that finding a small piece of 'pipe' that is the same diameter as the LED means it could be sunken into it - but yes a piece of plastic glued on and then drilled through would achieve that too. Once I've found how to source the trim piece I can perhaps order a few and experiment with them!
So far though it would appear as if I'll have to order a whole new overhead console just for that one piece, though it is the same as in the Mazda 6.

Richard i have the footwell lighting in red but they only come on when the doors open, i put this on after the red illuminated sill strips Richard are you planning of putting LED lighting into the central storage box, Reason why I'm asking is when we drive in the dark it's hard to see in it without switching on a over head light. I'm thinking  of doing this and also using my my sunglasses storage for ambient LED, I'm going to speak to a friend first but once I go ahead I will post and photobucket the pics.

They sound like good ideas; if I remember tonight I'll take a picture of how my setup lights up the storage box; it's more of a gentle glow over the whole area as opposed to directed light. I thought about an LED in the cupholder as something flashy but it'd have to be a very dimmed LED or it'd look ridiculous! Once I've lived with the current setup for a few weeks I'll decide what to do as a permanent solution which may well include one small red LED above each footwell for ambient lighting, though again it needs to be dimmed so as not to be distracting.
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline rmvf

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2016, 05:13:10 pm »
Just a update Richard i going to put LED in the centre storage area like you have and in the storage box aswell, I've binned the overhead idea ( sunglasses box ) but have two more LED strips and haven't decided where to put them yet I will move them about in the dark to see where best effect will be achieved
Also running a pearl white petrol sport nav from 01/05/ 2012

Offline RichardCX5

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 05:24:17 pm »
Just a update Richard i going to put LED in the centre storage area like you have and in the storage box aswell, I've binned the overhead idea ( sunglasses box ) but have two more LED strips and haven't decided where to put them yet I will move them about in the dark to see where best effect will be achieved

Cool, for me it was best to wire into the glovebox light feed and earth next to the passenger footwell fusebox, but you can tap into the stereo dim wire. Footwell ambient lighting all the way! :)
Unofficial Mods - H&R Wheel Spacers, Red LED Ambient Lighting (Overhead/Front Console), Kicker Front/JBL Rear 3.5" Speakers, Gloss Black Vent Trims, Leather Handbrake/Gearlever Gaiters + Armrest, Red Door Piping, Folding Cupholder, LED Interior/Exterior Lighting, Exhaust Tips

Offline rmvf

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2016, 09:12:09 pm »
All done happy with the compartment and storage in front of gear selector, but not strong enough for footwell.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 09:23:33 pm by rmvf »
Also running a pearl white petrol sport nav from 01/05/ 2012

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Re: Ambient Lighting project
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2016, 09:12:09 pm »