Interior Lighting Idea... advice? - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2005, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Interior Lighting Idea... advice?

Hey Guys,

I've been thinking of adding some interior lighting, preferably colored, ever since i drove the car off the lot. I like the looks of under-seat/under dash neons and think i have an idea. Pleace correct me if something i say could damage my car or not work. I want to use 12-15 inch cold cathodes, like you'd put in a riced-out computer. They say they are 12 volts so i trust they will work. I would somehow attach them to the floor under the seats or to the top of the seats, and to the back(?) of the dash on both driver and passenger sides. I would wire it all to the power seat wiring under each seat or to wiring in the dash(help here too). I'm also considering the same type of thing for my trunk and engine bay. Probably white for the trunk and engine though. I'm going to design a small custom switch box to go next to the driver side power seat controls or under the seat itself. If you guys have any suggestions/ideas/concerns/problems i'd appreciate any decent response to these ideas. I don't want the lights on all the time for legal reasons and don't want the distractionof seeing the source of the light. Its slightly ricey but i just want to get a nice glow. I almost forgot.... can i use some kind of dimmer switches like you'd use at home? What are some good wires to tap into for power for these beasts? Could the switching function of a 2-color cold cathode be utilized as well as the dimming? Where can i mount these, and with what materials? I want to make this as easy to remove as it is to install, as at this point i expect to trade in the car in the future. So i'm going to make a custom switch panel or box of some sort to attach to the dash or seat, i'm going to probably use dual-color cathodes or multiple single color cathodes. If this doesn't work i'll do something else. I'm just considering computer cathodes because they are cheap and relatively easy to work with. Thanks for reading another rambling posting and thanks for any feedback on the topic.

Josiah Wentworth
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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I have several cold cathodes in my car and the y will work just fine for you. as for power the cathodes actually run on like 700 volts, which is why they all come with a small inverter box attached to them just make sure that where ou want to put them u have enough space for the inverter. its usually abou the size of a pack of gum i think. as for wiring they only use about as much power as an LED, if not less in some cases, so pretty much any power line u can tap will work. i'd suggest the cig lighter since its easy to get to. if you plan on running all the interior sets at the same time don't bother making a full switch box just use small relay and a single switch for them.
here's how i have my switches and where 2 of my lights are, in the speaker grills. looks pretty sweet having only the grills lit up at night especially with the kenwood grills underneath.
oh, and i stole the steering column switch idea from someone on this board but i don't remember who, so if he or she reads this. good idea


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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oh and as for dimmer switches, i'm sure it could be done, i'm just not sure what kind of pot you would need to do it. best bet would be to search around on some of the compter modding sites like http://www.xoxide.com and see what you can find there, i know they make sound controllers and things like that so that would be the first place i would look.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb cathodes

I figured they would work. I realize they put out more power than that, I just wanted to make sure the power from the cars wires were suitable. About the under-column switches, i think that was IntrepidXJ, if he reads this I am bowing to him for an amazingly awesome intrepid and some cool off-road rides as well. He has like 10 switches like yours under the steering wheel. For what? I have no clue. Maybe hes got a microwave oven mod he never told us about. Or a cotton candy machine. Mmmmmm... cotton candy... ANYWAYS... I was even considering going as crazy as to get one of them dimmers you'd put in the 5.25 or 3.5 bay of the computer, if its not too much or I can get it running properly. That setup acts as 3 switches and dimmers. Basically the switch idea I had was to make a plastic switch box somewhere and put 2 or 3 switches/dimmers on it so i can turn multiple colors on and off. So i could do blue OR green OR red, i'm not sure how crazy i want to get but thats the idea basically. I suppose I could do the same thing you did and just velcro a box under the dash. I don't want to make any holes or marks on anything, so I can trade it in or sell it eventually. And, no offense, I don't like the looks of those switches, and think i'd like a more discrete switch panel (like near the power seat controls on the driver side). That way they are still close to the lights themselves, but I don't have a lot of wires running around. Also, I saw an awesome idea from one of DI.NET members (i forgot your name, sorry!!) that had a 12 or 15 inch white neon tube under the hood with a switch that turned it on when he pulled the hood release. I'm thinking of something along the same Idea, for if i have something go wrong with the car in the middle of the night, or I have a desperate need to mod something in the engine bay in the wee hours of the morning. Whats a good place to tap into the cars wiring in the engine bay? Wheres a good place to mount a switch for it? How did the switch on the mod i mentioned before work? Can I hook her right up to my positive terminal with a switch somewhere on the radiator core? (top). If I can i'd like cathodes or neons on the sides so they aren't as prone to damage. Another idea... a better trunk light, such as neons or cold cathodes, probably in white or blue color. How do i hack into the lighting that turns on when i open the trunk? Is it the same wiring for when i open a door? I am constantly in and out of the trunk so i'd love a light in there, and when i do get my subwoofer and amp i'd like to show them off with it. I'll probably come up with another idea at work when i don't have access to DI.NET so if i don't forget it i'll put it up later. I WANT MORE REPLIES DAMMIT PEOPLE!!! Thanks :icon_evil

Josiah Wentworth
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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for the trunk and hood lights use either a mercury switch to trigger a relay or a pin switch that will trigger when the pin is up, and mount it where the hood will keep the pin depressed. that or a magnetic reed switch like you would use in a home security system. as for wiring in the engine bay, just run straight to the battery. iwant to say the under hood neon was originated by JOEKD, but don't quote me on that
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 11:31 AM
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yes, my underhood neon tube goes to the POS jump point under the hood and the negative wire is run through a pin switch to turn on/off
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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pin switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKD
yes, my underhood neon tube goes to the POS jump point under the hood and the negative wire is run through a pin switch to turn on/off
I was actually thinking of a pin switch at first, but i shied away from it because i am not too keen on electronics and wiring. I guess if you could explain how a pin switch works and how to wire it to one of these lights, I'd be more inclined to use it as a method. Also, where did you buy yours? How much should I expect to spend on a pin switch or two? Can i use it the same way for my trunk light? Thanks guys, i appreciate the advice.

Josiah
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 09:51 AM
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I bought my current pin switch at a local car audio shop, before that I was using one I bought at Pepboys which would fail about every three months

Running the switch is easy, just connect the end of your negative wire to the end of the "plunger" on the switch, drill a hole to mount the switch to, scrape back any paint around the hole so the switch is grounbdinmg to metal and screw the switch in

The concept is that when the switch is "open" (hood closed) the ground is not not made therefore the light is off, when you open it and close the circuit your light comes on
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 12:45 PM
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For the trunk can it be the same with the pin switches?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 09:28 PM
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You can use the trunk switch that is already there, that controls the trunk light. Adding a few other switches to just control which lights/colors come on. I will be using this to turn on my Audio/vidio trunk lighting.
Mercury switches are fine (if you do not park on steep inclines) I have one that turns on my under hood light, later I hope to use my security push pin switch to serve as dual duty for security and aux lighting.
Don't for get you can use LED lighting too far less power draw. Good Luck.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 07:17 AM
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For my under dash lights I bought a set of neons that are made for computers. They're smaller and they function at 12 volts. Also it comes with the power inverter. Also I spent about 20 bucks in all for it from xoxide.com

In my trunk I have a neon that a friend of mine gave me and I just took out the old trunk light and wired the neon into there. Much brighter then that little pissant of a light.

I'm thinking to get some white neons for the engine bay. Get another set of the computer neons and add a little silicon to the wire ends to make them water proof and it should work very well. Have a pressure switch so when you pop the hood it turns on and also have a kill switch on it so if I do any maintenance I won't drain the battery.
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