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Dome Light LED Mod

bartgillam

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Joined
February 19, 2012
Messages
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City, State
north augusta south carolina
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 mercury mountaineer
I removed my front dome lights in my 1997 mountaineer and installed a single strip of 9 5050 white LED's. Extremely bright and looks amazing but i am wondering how do i make them work with the door open. I realize it has a double on switch one being the door open and one being the dome light button pressed manually. They work fine when i press the button but cease to work when the door is open. I am wondering what i need to do to resolve this. I connected the strips by removing the top console and soldering a positive lead to the red positive on both of the white switches and a negative lead on both the black wire on both the white switches. There is a white wire going into both of them which i assumed was constant power. Any help?

EDIT:: According to something i read a little bit ago the dome lights use some sort of ground circuit which i can only assume that the ground has 2 paths and the switch in the door activates one when open and one when closed..seems correct to me although i cant seem to figure out how to wire it up where it will work on both door and button switch.
 



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I know that on my Dome light that it was grounded to the roof. when one of the clips broke holing the ground to the roof, it did not work. I don't know if this helps you, just thought it might help a little bit.
 






No one has experience with wiring these lights? I have tried many different combinations and nothing seems to work..the actual light bulb holder had 3 wires going in red green and black...red from one switch green from another and the black runs straight to i assume to the door open switch is my guess. Now the LED's work right now only if i hook up the ground wire that runs into the 2 switches (they share on switch) and they only work when i press the button. They will not work when door is open. I have tried using the black wire that was in the bulb holder as the ground but they do not appear to work. It can not be this difficult but it is kicking my butt.
 






i got your message. when i did mine, i made them from single leds, vs a strip. if you have done this already, sorry for saying it, but try using a test light on all of your leads coming into the light. other words, ground a test light on something other then the dome light, and find power, then see if you need to share a ground with the power, or if you can use one side.
 






I will give it a shot but its a pain to work on the dome light with a test light as that whole console just hangs from the roof swinging. I am sure its something stupid and im just not working it out correctly..although i have literally tried everything i can think of as far as wire combinations up there. I should have just soldered some leads on the copper traces of the flex board that was up there before..life would have been easier ha.
 






i figured it out...Ford messed me all up using a black for ground..and a black for power..so it has 2 powers coming in one is constant which goes to the switches and one is door activated and then the other black wire was ground it was the color that messed me up thats how i kept blowing fuses..i was touching black to black but it was power to ground..i cant believe i missed that i swear i tested it with the meter...must have hit the same wire twice or something
 






I have now got LEDS in all three dome lights front center and back and my car looks amazing at night! I also put 2 feet of 5050 white led's in the dashboard and remove the stock bulbs changing my gauges to blue. I will be scraping the blue off eventually and installing RGB led strip in there. I also removed the stock lights behind the air conditioner knobs and put about a foot of RGB leds behind it and it looks really good. I have a short video of the lights on at night but im not sure if i can post a video here for everyone to see what i did.
 






I have now got LEDS in all three dome lights front center and back and my car looks amazing at night! I also put 2 feet of 5050 white led's in the dashboard and remove the stock bulbs changing my gauges to blue. I will be scraping the blue off eventually and installing RGB led strip in there. I also removed the stock lights behind the air conditioner knobs and put about a foot of RGB leds behind it and it looks really good. I have a short video of the lights on at night but im not sure if i can post a video here for everyone to see what i did.


yea you can! Post it up!
 






im not sure how to post a video well i guess i can put it on youtube and link to it in here ill do that then in the next post if it works
 






Here is the video of my led install (sorry for the music)
 












Just a RGB controller bought it on ebay. It has a white box and 4 wires coming off black blue green red and also a reciever for the remote control which has bunch of colors on it you can choose from and modes also can adjust the brightness
 






I'm not gonna lie, that's pretty sick. Good work.
 






thanks man! I like it except i need one more strip behind the controls to make the light more uniform. I cant seem to find any more places to put leds. Maybe solid white under the running boards straight down when the doors open would be awesome.
 






Been reading multiple threads on this and I have a few questions

1. I noticed that most people end up going a route that involves custom wiring, rather than just swapping out the bulbs with LED replacements from here

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/led-vehicle-replacement-bulbs/vehicle/----/---/

I was just wondering why? Is there an advantage to the route you went? was it just to save money?

2. Any advice before taking off the dome/map light covers? Do i need to pry from a certain point?
 






One thing I can say is that the plug and play LEDs really dont last too long before they start flickering and inevitably dying out. (or at least it has happened a number of times to me)

I suppose another issue could be light output as the plug and play LEDs dont have all LEDs pointed in the same direction, like a custom LED board would provide.
 






I went the route i chose simply because i have tons and tons of LED strips laying around. I probably have 30 or 40 feet of waterproof RGB strip right now that im trying to decide what to do with. I just like doing things myself simply because its cheaper and way brighter then those plug and play ones. On the negative side of it you can screw things up for instance i blew my dome light in the rears positive connection because i missed the screw hole by a little bit and went to "screw it in" (aka spin in a circle as it wasnt in the hole) and i pushed it into the roof grounding it out and melting the connectors quick. I realize i should have pulled the fuse before hand but i was being impatient and it bit me in the butt quick. Also since i chose the do it yourself route i can do fancy things like put one strip of 5050 white/red/green/blue etc and have a switch board and choose which colors are turned on in each area (next project i havent actually done this yet).
 






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