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How to install LED Turn Signals in your 3IS! (Bright, safe, and proper LEDs)

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How to install LED Turn Signals in your 3IS! (Bright, safe, and proper LEDs)

 
Old 09-05-16, 10:28 PM
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E46CT
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Default How to install LED Turn Signals in your 3IS! (Bright, safe, and proper LEDs)

Hi all! I wanted to share my LED adventures with you guys. I am a stickler for good proper lighting and I've always loved installing LEDs in my cars. There's so many choices out there and you can fill overwhelmed. Most LEDs out there are complete junk, too dim, cheaply/poorly made, too blue or too flimsy. I've found the ultimate LED package and I am very happy with the setup.

I had these installed on my Lexus CT200h before I sold the car and they performed brilliantly. In that car, you replaced the flasher relay up under the dash to avoid the hyper-blink associated with installing LEDs. Well as many of you know, the Lexus IS has its relay built into the cluster (so I read) so there's no replacing the relay.

So what to do? Well I found these resistors on Amazon. What they do is basically fool the car into thinking you have the correct bulbs. These are necessary if you install LED bulbs on the front and rear turn signals if you want them to blink properly.

What's the benefit of LED turn signals? Well they are brighter than stock (you'll notice road signs reflect when you use your turn signals) and more noticeable to other drivers as the instant on-off blink vs the old-fashioned blink that regular bulbs give. All in all, it makes your IS look modern as you're cutting through traffic. =)

Note on the front of my car you'll notice I have hyper white LED flashers... I have the ambers on order. I had these laying around from my CT200H but when I returned the CT200H to Lexus I forgot to take out one pair of LED amber flashers. So somebody out there has some cool amber LEDs on their CT200H! Haha... the whites look pretty cool though. They're slightly more blue/purple in the video than they are in person.

As for the interior LEDs, I chose an LED panel. Extremely bright as you can see in the pics and video.

I purchased a 194 LED pack for all bulbs in the car using 194s. (Except the main dome light front and rear AND trunk where I used the ultra bright LED panels.

Always obey local and federal laws with respect to lighting. Modify your car at your own choice and risk. Consult a professional if you do not feel comfortable. This information is for education purposes only. I assume no risk in sharing this info with you.

What I installed on my own car:

Front and Rear Turn Signals: http://amzn.to/2nrNSsc (You'll need two sets, one for front and rear--REVISED LINK)
Reverse lights: http://amzn.to/2c8yWwi (I have something similar to this, I can't find the exact ones I bought. But these are the correct size.
Interior LED SMD Panel: http://amzn.to/2bTJC1m These are for front dome light, rear dome light, and trunk. So you'll need 3. If you want, get more for the doors or any other place you want bright light. They come w/ the correct adapters which allow you to plug it into 194 receptacles.
Interior 194 LED pack: http://amzn.to/2cCHs8Z (These cover the doors, vanity lights, front floor areas, mirror puddle lights, and individual map lights and dome light front and rear if you choose to skip the LED panels)
Resistor pack: http://amzn.to/2bPKSnx (You'll need this pack of two)

Here is a video of the LEDs in action: (I just figured out how to embed the video--thanks)


And some pictures:











Showing the resistor wrapped to the REAR turn signal wire bundle:


For the mirror, carefully pry the mirror glass off. Tilt mirror glass using fingers all the way up. Then in the gap, stick your fingers in and pry the two bottom hooks away from the back of the mirror glass. Then the mirror glass unhooks by lifting straight up. Be gentle and be careful. Use a flash light to look behind the glass to see what you're working with. Then using a philips screwdriver, remove the screws holding the plastic frame to the exterior mirror cover. Don't let it fall on the ground. Then the puddle light is at the bottom.




Install tips:

Front LED turn signals: Easy. Twist with fingers counter clockwise. Replace bulb. Tons of room to work with. You do NOT touch the front turn signal wiring harness. You'll be installing resistors at the REAR only.

Rear LED turn signals: Open trunk. Take flathead screwdriver and gently pry the two caps holding the tail light to the body of the car using a 10mm socket. You'll need to remove the tail light by pulling towards you. Wiggle as you pull. There's one plastic friction fit clip which secures the tail light in addition to the 10mm bolts you just removed. When tightening this, tighten by hand only. They're very fragile and do not need to be torqued on. I recommend taping the steel fender of the car when you pull the tail light. The plastic hooks of the tail light will rub the painted panel as you pop it out. It's a little hard to control where it goes. So tape up the fender right by the tail light so you don't scratch your paint. Make sure the tapes very secure and right on the edge providing full protection.

Let tail light dangle. Put a towel on the lip of the trunk so the tail light doesn't scratch your bumper paint. Then take your resistor and install one red wire (side) on one of the turn signal wires (power or ground, you choose) and the other red wire on the other side. Doesn't matter what side is which. What you are doing is providing resistance to the turn signal circuit for that side of the car. The car essentially thinks (sees) two 25w bulbs for a total of 50w every time the flasher blinks. In other words, the car thinks your stock bulbs are in place. Of course don't forget to install your LED turn signal bulb!

Then zip tie the resistor to the turn signal harness and wrap any metal edges in electrical tape. I loosely wrapped mine so the metal heat sink has room to breathe and dissapate heat. It shouldn't get too hot as turn signals flash and aren't constant on. You can secure them however you'd like. Make sure you do it in a manner which allows you to fit the tail light back onto the car. Install the tail light slowly and use a flash light to see there's room. Mine had more than enough room.

I also recommend wrapping the base of each bulb of each of the four turn signals with a little bit of electrical tape to hold it to the bulb socket. The bulbs DO securely click into place but you never know, you don't want a bulb getting lost inside the tail light or head light. Then you're really SOL!
Enjoy. Feel free to ask any questions!

Last edited by E46CT; 03-31-17 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 09-06-16, 12:19 AM
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how did you change the light in the trunk, I've had hard time trying to pop the housing cover.
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Old 09-06-16, 12:54 AM
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did you add lighting to the lexus logo welcoming plate too? alsoi see you have the rubber sealing for door lol
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Old 09-06-16, 01:32 AM
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great thread man thanks!
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Old 09-06-16, 05:04 AM
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Good post. Not sure if you knew though, but iJDMtoy sells plug n' play resistors for the turn signals. Thats what I did with my IS... as I didn't want to splice into any wiring. Plus, you never have to worry about the resistor coming lose and hyper flashing.

I do have a question about the Amazon Panels- are two panels included in that link for $9 shipped? I currently have single T10's in my dome lights and would like something brighter, as well as the trunk. Just wanted to make sure I was reading the Amazon page correctly.
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Old 09-06-16, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by leo877 View Post
how did you change the light in the trunk, I've had hard time trying to pop the housing cover.
You pop it off just like the vanity light I believe. Small flat head screw driver.

Originally Posted by UngBuck View Post
did you add lighting to the lexus logo welcoming plate too? alsoi see you have the rubber sealing for door lol
No that came from the factory with the Lexus logo lit up. And yep I wrote a thread on the rubber seal. Good eye!

Originally Posted by robert2423 View Post
great thread man thanks!
Thanks!

Originally Posted by CrackerJac View Post
Good post. Not sure if you knew though, but iJDMtoy sells plug n' play resistors for the turn signals. Thats what I did with my IS... as I didn't want to splice into any wiring. Plus, you never have to worry about the resistor coming lose and hyper flashing.

I do have a question about the Amazon Panels- are two panels included in that link for $9 shipped? I currently have single T10's in my dome lights and would like something brighter, as well as the trunk. Just wanted to make sure I was reading the Amazon page correctly.
Yep I know about those JDM Toy plug and play...I saw those. They're expensive--I believe $40-50 a pair?. And small/dim. Thought about it. But I already had these bulbs which are way nicer quality and brighter. Being bright is important to me due to safety. Plus with the JDM Toy part, you'll need TWO sets with TWO sets of resistors. And you have stuff dangling in your engine bay. I prefer a clean stealth install. Also you're paying for the JDMToy exclusitivity of that single part. They know nobody really knows of any solid options for this car so they'll charge you a premium. As far as the panels go, I believe two come in a pack. The description should clarify. If so, you'll need only two packs.
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Old 09-06-16, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by E46CT
You pop it off just like the vanity light I believe. Small flat head screw driver.No that came from the factory with the Lexus logo lit up. And yep I wrote a thread on the rubber seal. Good eye!Thanks!Yep I know about those JDM Toy plug and play...I saw those. They're expensive--I believe $40-50 a pair?. And small/dim. Thought about it. But I already had these bulbs which are way nicer quality and brighter. Being bright is important to me due to safety. Plus with the JDM Toy part, you'll need TWO sets with TWO sets of resistors. And you have stuff dangling in your engine bay. I prefer a clean stealth install. Also you're paying for the JDMToy exclusitivity of that single part. They know nobody really knows of any solid options for this car so they'll charge you a premium. As far as the panels go, I believe two come in a pack. The description should clarify. If so, you'll need only two packs.
So you only need to install resistors on the rear?
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Old 09-06-16, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by imrankh24 View Post
So you only need to install resistors on the rear?
Correct. One resistor per side. I bought the 4 pack but I learned you only need one per circuit. Makes sense since you're trying to duplicate the stock bulbs which are what? 25w each? 25wx2=50w. Which is the rating of the resistor. =)
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Old 09-07-16, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CrackerJac View Post
Good post. Not sure if you knew though, but iJDMtoy sells plug n' play resistors for the turn signals...
This does not work in the 3rd gen (it is for 2nd gen) because the turn signal relay is integrated with the instrument cluster. What E46CT is listing would be the way to do it.
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Old 09-08-16, 11:43 AM
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out of topic, but, what did you do to your armrest ?
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Old 09-08-16, 12:21 PM
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Thats just my phone charger wire sticking out
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Old 09-08-16, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by E46CT View Post
Thats just my phone charger wire sticking out
I was trying to understand what the question was about. Then I thought maybe this question was about the non-nav controller area - which is much different than the nav one - no pocket due to palm rest?
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Old 09-08-16, 07:39 PM
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Oh yeah that could be it. No nav for me
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Old 09-09-16, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RocketG35 View Post
I was trying to understand what the question was about. Then I thought maybe this question was about the non-nav controller area - which is much different than the nav one - no pocket due to palm rest?
Lol sorry. I wasn't clear enough with the question. that was exactly what I wanted to know. I kind of like it more than the nav one. Thanks RocketG35, E46CT.
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Old 09-09-16, 02:15 PM
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Whats the nav one look like?

i think it might be a grass is always greener situation.. that spot is awkward. My phone doesn't fit it quite right and my phone always flies in turns. I have to train myself to put my phone on the passenger seat. Nowhere for it to go!
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