One thing that I think is cool about our vehicles is the fact the dash lights will change color from blue in normal mode to red in sport mode. So that was the basis for me to add some interior lighting but make it change with the mode selection.
I'm not going to go into alot of detail mainly because with this mod there is a chance if you are not careful that you could burn traces in the ECU, which wouldn't be covered by the warranty. So with that said let's begin:
You will need:
tape (make sure it's good tape, 3M 33+ is what I use)
Relays (I used both micro and standard)
Transistors (Radio Shack is your friend)
Diode (3 amp)
Handful of yellow and blue female quick disconnects to use on the relays
Bunch of 18 gauge red and black wire
18 gauge fuse holder
5 amp fuse
Panel removal tools
I'm sure other things that I forgot
The footwell lighting is very minimal, which is probably the intent from Lexus, but I like more lighting in the car so I figured I would add some lighting to a couple areas, namely the footwells, under the seats, and in the door pockets.
I used led strip lighting, red and blue colors with a black base.
The black base led's were used just in case you were going to be able to see the strips during the day, I wanted them to blend in as much as possible.
I cut 6 sections of the red color leds, about 4" to 6" long, then I did the same for the blue leds.
Since the sections were cut you have two options; 1) use a solderless connector that would slide on to the led light end so you could connect power and ground or 2) solder a power and ground wire onto the led light. I decided for #2. The strip lights come in two options; one with a silicone covering protecting the lights and one that has no covering. I am using the ones with the silicone covering.
Using a razor knife cut through the silicone covering but DON'T GO ALL THE WAY THROUGH. You want to cut enough into the silicone covering to pell it off but not too far down because you could cut a trace and make the lights not work. I cut inbetween the contacts and the led light:
make sure all the silicone covering is off the contacts:
now taking my soldering iron I dropped a dab of solder on each contact on the led light strip. The reason for this is it will make connecting the power and ground wires easier.
I took my power and ground wire (18 gauge wire) and pretinned it by adding solder to the wires. This too will halp when attaching the wires to the led strip:
so now since the wires are tinned and the led strip has a dab of solder, just put the ground wire on the ground contact and using your soldering iron connect the two:
Do the same for the power side:
and your connections are done.
Just a note, there isn't a whole lot holding the wire to the led strip sp be careful when handling it. You may want to power the lights up on a bench just to make sure they work:
Now just repeat for the rest of the cut strips.
I put 1 red and 1 blue strip under the drivers footwell on the plastic panel under the dash. I think i was only able to use a 4" section of each because the panel was so small, but don't worry you will get alot of light out of those sections.
The passenger side footwell had more space so you could use a longer strip.
I put strips under the front seats, I just placed them in the frame of the seat pointing down. Remember you are placing two strips in each place; one blue and one red.
The strips in the door were a little more difficult since you will have to run wires through the door boot. The strip leds were placed in the door pocket as low as possible and facing towards the outside of the car. If I faced them up I don't think I would have got the same effect.
Once all the lights were put in I ran the wires (power and ground for each strip) to the drivers side kick panel. I did this because that's where I would be getting power for the lights and the ease of access.
The power for the relays and lights will be at the main harness going into the fuse/ECU box. I ended up using the a thick, black wire (maybe 12-14 gauge) which was second ignition. This is where the Multimeter comes in. Please use a Multimeter and not a test light, there are a bunch of wires in that harness and you do not want to fry something.
The trigger to make the lights switch from blue to red can be got at two locations; either at the overhead console (where the red and blue leds are from the factory) or the control **** on the dash.
These wires are to be connected through a transistor
then to a relay
to control the lights. If you get the transistor backwards this is where you will fry something.
I ended up adding two more relays so the lights would only come on when the parking lights/headlights were on.
after all is said and done the results are:
and sport mode
I know I skipped over some parts but at least you get the jist of what went into this mod. Alot of work for a simple outcome but it makes it that much more unique just like our cars.
Feel free to ask questions,