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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not sure where I should put this since it's both interior and exterior, and it's not really a tutorial, so I put it here in Electronics. Previous posts by others helped me complete this project. A big Thanks to all of you who went before...

I've just finished my webpage that shows off the results of my latest project: puddle, footwell, courtesy, cargo, ignition, glovebox, dome, ambiance, and 3rd brake light strip. 149 LEDs in all!

You can read about it on my website (link in my Signature below). Click on the "Light Frenzy" page. Comments welcome!
 

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Nice job BrickPig. What color is the wire for the dome lite circuit and how long did it take you? It really adds some needed light without breaking the bank. I did the same kind of thing for adding lite for the b/u problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Dale, thanks. The dome light wires can be accessed if you remove the driver's knee panel and then remove the silver panel that holds the side mirror adjustment controls. It is a white 3-conductor ribbon wire with red stripes connected to a 6 conductor plug. You can double-check by tracing the path of this ribbon wire into driver's A-pillar.

As mentioned by others, the dome light is supplied with 12v + all of the time (this is my power tap for the white lights) and the other two wires are ground. One of these remaining wires is ground all the time, but the other is ground controlled by the dome light ECU and does the fade-in/fade-out. I used a 12v light bulb to test what wire was which. Also BE CAREFUL since some folks have accidently fried their ECUs and replacement is around $500.

The whole job took a number of days (I think somewhere between 3 and 5 days) since I was being careful with my wiring logic, wire runs, and soldering. I especially like how the cargo lighting came out, it was really dim back there before with the single incandescent bulb.
 

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2011 Scion xB Release Series 8.0 SoundWave
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looking good man, like the work. love the interior lighting as I have done mine as well. You can have alot of fun with plexi and sandblasting. see below.
 

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Looking good, I have the Streetglow light strike underglow kit and it has a courtesy light feature so that when you unlock the doors or open the doors the underglow comes on, to do that I have to tap in to the dome light, which wire do I tap in to so it comes on when I open the doors or unlock the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
ToasteRS5.0, please see my reply to Dale above. I would tap into both the power and the ground fade-in/fade-out wires.

I don't remember the exact wire colors, but looking at the 6 conductor plug from the driver's perspective:
- the upper left wire is constant ground
- the middle right wire is constant power
- the lower left wire is fade-in/fade-out ground
but please TEST your wiring using a multimeter or 12V bulb to make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here's what I did to test:
- to make your test light, get a 12V light bulb, solder 1 wire to the input contact and solder a second wire to the ground contact
- remove the driver's knee panel. For best access to the domelight 6-conductor plug, also remove the silver panel to the left of the steering wheel.
- turn OFF the dome light via the dome light switch (so current cannot pass thru the bulb)
- get in the car, close the door, wait 30 seconds (so the turn-on/turn-off time expires)
- connect 1 wire of your test light to a chassis ground, and touch the other wire of your test light to one of the 3 conductors of the 6-conductor plug (leave the plug in place, plugged in, when you do this). When the bulb lights up, you have found the constant +12v wire. (should be the center right conductor as viewed from the driver's seat)
- retaining the +12v contact you just found, remove the wire of your test light from chassis ground and touch that wire to one of the two remaining conductors of the 6-conductor plug. When the bulb lights up, you have found the constant -12v (constant ground) wire (should be the upper left conductor as viewed from the driver's seat)
- again retaining the +12v contact, remove the wire of your test light from the constant -12v (constant ground) conductor and touch that wire to the remaining conductor of the 6-conductor plug. You can now open/close the door to verify the fade-in/fade-out feature also works on your test light. (should be the lower left conductor as viewed from the driver's seat)

evilcalvin, I know you have extensive experience with electronics. Can you please educate me, why did you say "don't use a test light"? Did you mean a powered test light?
 

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On the subject of the cargo lights. How difficult was putting the lights in place i.e. drilling holes for the wires,running the the wires, and getting them to the existing light fixture? Did you solder them to the fixture clips,or to the wires allready there?I've seen posts on getting the left side panel off, and one has to take a lot of other panels off to get there. Thanks for your help.
Dale
 

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DO NOT USE A TEST LIGHT! esp a homemade one. the resistance to ground if you tap the wrong wire can set off an airbag or really damage your ECU. spend the few dollars and get a multimeter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if you tap the wrong wire
I first started working on cars in the late 1970s. I agree working on modern cars with today's electronics, computers, ECUs, and airbags is a bit daunting. The caution around airbags is warranted as they are expensive.

However in this particular case, I knew what I was looking for. In this case, the 3-conductor white ribbon cable with a red stripe connected to the 6-conductor plug behind the driver's knee panel is pretty easy to find. Also I traced the path of the 3-conductor white ribbon cable into the driver's A-pillar to be sure.

I have to agree about the airbag tho...makes me nervous. I read other posts from this forum and others to be certain of my wiring scheme, before I started this project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
On the subject of the cargo lights. How difficult was putting the lights in place i.e. drilling holes for the wires,running the the wires, and getting them to the existing light fixture? Did you solder them to the fixture clips,or to the wires allready there? I've seen posts on getting the left side panel off, and one has to take a lot of other panels off to get there. Thanks for your help.
Dale
Hi Dale. I did not remove the panels. I did partially remove the rubber cargo hatch weather strip in order to slip wiring behind the panels. The wiring runs from the cargo light to the top of the LH C-pillar, then above the headliner to the RH C-pillar. The wire running to the LEDs can be rather small (#22 or #24) since they draw very little current. I drilled a small hole in each C-pillar panel for the wiring to emerge, then attached the LED strip to the panel with the included 3M mounting tape.

Two factory wires run to the cargo light fixture: constant +12v, and ground controlled by the cargo door switch. I wanted my LED strips to mimic the cargo light behavior (on/off by the local switch) so I placed the negative LED wire in the cargo light fixture, between the bulb end and it's contact in the fixture. The other LED wire was connected to the +12v wire. The job only took a few hours. Hope this helps!
 

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i wasn't doubting your abilities, i was just putting out a general statement because there will be people that will read that thread, make the test light, use it and pop goes the airbag. just a word of caution, lol.
 
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