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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Default Interior lighting idea

Long time ago I test drove the new Camaro's, and what I think about the car is a different story altogether. One thing donned on me though that I loved and was impressed with: they have EL Wire running along the dash and door panels brightening up the car subtly but tastefully at night time. Over the past few days I've been driving myself insane thinking about this because as far as the door panels go, we have a nice little area we can shove it in there. I was wondering if anyone's ever done this before and what do you all think about the idea? The drawbacks are as follows: I'd have to drill 2 holes in each panel to run them cleanly, I'd have to use superglue to mount the strips so I'm basically marrying myself to the idea and there's no going back (unless there's another way to mount them not permanently which I'm not able to think of). Now the end result I believe if pulled off correctly would floor the general population including myself. Then I may look to designing the dash. What do you all think of the idea?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GarryGraves View Post
I'd have to use superglue to mount the strips so I'm basically marrying myself to the idea and there's no going back (unless there's another way to mount them not permanently which I'm not able to think of).
If electroluminescent wire (I had to look that one up) can withstand some degree of high temperature, can use a hot glue gun to secure the EL wire in a semi-permanent fashion.

Hot glue can be removed after it has cooled and set (with some difficulty and a lot of patience).

Another possibility is double sided foam adhesive tape but it would be hard to get a clean "professional installation" look.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 12:01 PM
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I had to look it up too. I think it has some cool applications. I found this tutorial at instructables.

One think I would worry about is that it seems the wire runs on 110AC. I don't know if I would like household current live inside my car. The guy in the video says the EL wire gets hot and so adhesives don't work with it. (Would it melt hot glue?). I like his idea of using wire and shoving it in the panel seams. Another concern is that he says it gets really hot inside the car with the EL wire turned on. I suppose that depends on how much you use though.

Keep us updated! Think of the cool designs you could put on a headliner. That's a huge blank canvas.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 12:15 PM
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The wire you are talking about (EL for short) was used in the space program to give light inside the capules. These lights don't take a lot of current and don't weigh alot. The idea was something like we have today (LED's).

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 01:32 PM
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If you get EL wire that has a flat edge to it, like this 2M Long Blue El Wire Neon Waterproof Glow Light Strip for Bar Auto | eBay then you can just wedge the flat portion in the groove to hold it in place. You'll still need to drill a hole to run the end of the wire through but the rest will be press to fit. I think the look would be great and have contemplated it before myself. What has always held me back is the inverter noise. EL inverters give off a high frequency whine when in use and I am one of those people who can hear it quite clearly so that has always made EL a no go for me. If you can't hear it or can hide the inverter well enough then I would say go for it.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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I've worked with EL Wire before and know for a fact that it does not get hot or pull alot of power. I do sort of like the idea of hot glue, but I haven't worked enough with hot glue to be 100% that I can do a clean enough install with it. Now I do dig the headliner idea because I'm just about to recover my door panels and headliner so then would be the perfect time to design something to use and the wiring wouldn't be too difficult. Thing is I'm trying to go clean and subtle, so idk if EL wire in the headliner quite says that. I guess it depends on the design.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 02:31 PM
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What would you do with the battery box? Are you thinking about tying it into the headlights, so the EL comes on with the headlights?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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What would you do with the battery box? Are you thinking about tying it into the headlights, so the EL comes on with the headlights?
I'll probably wind up tapping the cig lighter, adding a fuse or maybe even into my subs. Definately there'll be a switch in there somewhere.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'm just about ready to place my order on eBay for the EL Wire, I kinda dig the idea for a design on the headliner so before I order enough wire just for the doors, anybody have a design idea for the headliner?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 02:12 PM
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I'm just about ready to place my order on eBay for the EL Wire, I kinda dig the idea for a design on the headliner so before I order enough wire just for the doors, anybody have a design idea for the headliner?
If you are going for clean and subtle I would probably just trim out the edges of the headliner with the EL and possibly frame out the sun visors. Nothing too much but enough that it will stand out.

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