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Thread: How to install LEDs under dash?

  1. #21
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    I haved use a microcontroller to setup my lighting using PWM to drive LED's. I am a computer engineer and for those with relevant knowledge this is quite a simple project. PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation and is basically a way for a simple digital output to affect the brightness of the LED by switching it off and on VERY fast (100's of times a second) the length of on time vs the length of off time is seen by our eyes as reduced brightness but because its so fast we cant see the "flicker".

    I used one of these Parts & Kits for Arduino Online, Buy Microcontroller Boards, Electronic Components for Arduino - LeoStick (Arduino Compatible) - Freetronics as the controller and 3 of these Parts & Kits for Arduino Online, Buy Microcontroller Boards, Electronic Components for Arduino - NDRIVE: N-MOSFET Driver / Output Module - Freetronics to control the LED's

    The scuff, front and rear LED's are controlled by separate driver modules and are thus controllable independently. The scuff only pulsates while the door is open. The front footwell (under dash) and rear footwell (under front seats) LED's fade in (get brighter then stay on full brightness) quickly when the door opens then fade out slowly to full off after 60 secs (at the moment rears fade out after 20 secs). If the ignition is set to ACC or ON the front LED's only fade out to about 20% brightness and stay on rather than fading out completely. When the ignition is turned off again the front and rear fades back in to full brightness.

    The only inputs to the AVR are drivers door, passenger door and a "hot on ACC & ON" signals. Also need "always on power" for the leostick itself via a 5V regulator.

    Beauty of using the AVR is I can change the programming later if I decide I dont like particular settings (e.g. brightness and timings). Also can add extra inputs and output drivers for other uses.

    Here is a vid of my pulsating scuff (looks wicked) and driver footwell. BTW the scuff plate came from exLEDshop.com and and is just a basic led light that is normally connected to the door switches and so is either on or off, it does NOT pulsate by itself. This vid does not show footwell LEDs fading in or dimming though.

    I may put together more details if there is interest in the project.

    Last edited by Tokra; 01-14-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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  3. #22
    Member unhappyelf's Avatar
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    This is awesome......I am also a computer engineer by degree at least. I can't believe I hadn't thought about doing this before, I even have all the parts sitting around. Was there an easy place to grab all of the inputs, or did you have to run a wire to each door and acc?
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  4. #23
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unhappyelf View Post
    Was there an easy place to grab all of the inputs, or did you have to run a wire to each door and acc?
    All signals and voltages are accessible from the IPM (Intelligent integrated Platform Module) (i.e. the white box all the fuses are in under the dash). I have all the electrical schematics so was quite easy to find correct wires.

    Only needed to tap into 4 wires total (did not cut just striped back a little insulation and soldered onto) + 1 ground.
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  5. #24
    Senior Member x_Diesel_x's Avatar
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    Looks awesome Tokra.

    Care to share a simplified version of how to go about that? Looks like a rather awesome effect. What was the cost of the needed controllers and will they work with a wide variety of LEDs?


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  6. #25
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    I am interested in the simplified version myself

  7. #26
    Senior Member oldsalt's Avatar
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    Given that there are only a few of us South Australians active on the forum*, would you consider installing this in our cars (for a fee naturally)?

    *The South Aussies that agreed to go on a run are the ones I mean and that was only three inclusive of yourself.
    My forum, if you are Ex or Current Australian ADF http://www.tri-service.org/

  8. #27
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    I bit more of a vid just to show my fading effects. These are all fully programmable as to level, speed and timing.

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  9. #28
    Member unhappyelf's Avatar
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    I was poking around the Hyundai Service website and found the install instructions for the OEM footwell lights. It seems only two connections are needed from the interior fuse box to connect the OEM wiring. Conceivably you could just hoot to that and a always on for the micro controller. I attached the pdf of the OEM install. The good bits are on pages 6-11.
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  10. #29
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x_Diesel_x View Post
    What was the cost of the needed controllers and will they work with a wide variety of LEDs?
    Total cost of controller components, plugs & wire would be roughly $100 (not sure exactly as it went through a few different R&D stages before this final version so cost me a little bit more than that and I lost track of costs). LED strips came from eBay @ ~$15 for 5 meters of flexible blue leds (I cut into suitable lengths for my needs). Scuff plates came from exLEDshop.com
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  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokra View Post
    I bit more of a vid just to show my fading effects. These are all fully programmable as to level, speed and timing.

    This video is marked as private
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  12. #31
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    @unhappyelf, The OEM lighting seems to hook into the overhead lighting circuits. This is a variable output voltage (for dimming bulbs) this is not really suitable as an input to the AVR so I decided to just tap into the two on/off door switch wires up near the fuse box.
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  13. #32
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unhappyelf View Post
    This video is marked as private
    Oops, fixed
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  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokra View Post
    @unhappyelf, The OEM lighting seems to hook into the overhead lighting circuits. This is a variable output voltage (for dimming bulbs) this is not really suitable as an input to the AVR so I decided to just tap into the two on/off door switch wires up near the fuse box.
    You could just use a voltage divider and read the value with the analog input on the arduino. This would give you the range at which to dim your own lighting to match the OEM lights and to have all the functions of yours with just the two wires. Its simpler to wire but more complicated to program. I'm not saying that this is better, just different. I'd rather only make small changes to my cars electrical system.
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  15. #34
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    @unhappyelf: yep, agreed it would work fine that way also. As you say just a different way of achieving same thing. My only concern would be if the 12V from the lighting circuit is unregulated handling the resultant voltage fluctuations might be problematic. I personally don't have the map lights come on when the doors open (spoils the effect) so fading sync is not an issue for me but I do see where it could be useful for those that do want to sync them.
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  16. #35
    Member Tokra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalt View Post
    Given that there are only a few of us South Australians active on the forum*, would you consider installing this in our cars (for a fee naturally)?

    *The South Aussies that agreed to go on a run are the ones I mean and that was only three inclusive of yourself.
    Hi Oldsalt, Yeah maybe, but probably from more of an assistance standpoint, I would not want to be responsible for messing with someone else's car in case of possible cosmetic damage not that I had any problems at all during this install.
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  17. #36
    Senior Member x_Diesel_x's Avatar
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    Really intrigued by the OEM kit. Just took a glance at it and in trying to figure if a cheap $40 kit from the intenets could be wired in the same way.




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  18. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by x_Diesel_x View Post
    Really intrigued by the OEM kit. Just took a glance at it and in trying to figure if a cheap $40 kit from the intenets could be wired in the same way.




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    Actually I'm giving this a shot. I bought some LED strips from ebay and wiring them the same way as the OEM. I will let everyone know what happens
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  19. #38
    Senior Member x_Diesel_x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unhappyelf View Post
    Actually I'm giving this a shot. I bought some LED strips from ebay and wiring them the same way as the OEM. I will let everyone know what happens
    Please do keep me posted.


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  20. #39
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    So I finally got all of the materials to give this a try. Hopefully I will tomorrow afternoon but we will see.

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  21. #40
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    I can confirm that the process outlined in the Hyundai manual (Attached to a previous post) does work with regular LED strips like the ones in my last post



    How-to:

    Tools Needed (In my install)
    -Philips Screwdriver
    -10mm Socket Wrench
    -Dikes
    -Strong thin Piece of Wood
    -Crimping Tool

    Items Required
    -30ft or so of Wire
    -Wire Crimps
    -Wire T-Splices
    -4x 1ft sections of LED strips
    -Switch
    -Fuse holder
    -Smallest value fuse you can find(The smallest I found was 2A)

    The Hyundai install manual is a good reference for dismantling the front dashboard.
    Get it to here


    Use the T-Splices and splice the (+) Blue wire and (-) Grey wire that are attached to the front panel. After you you completed wrap the entire assembly in electrical tape.


    Run cables to each of the lights you wish to have. I had front and back lights so I used the kick plate runs


    To get to the passenger side I used a gap in the back of the foot well. You can see it here


    This is the passenger side


    I used a switch in case I wanted to turn them off, I didnt want to drill any holes though so I used the fuse door (you can also see my clutch switch on the right)




    Completed Shots
    With Overhead light


    Without Overhead light





    Total Time spent, around 4 hours
    Toal Cost, around $35

    Let me know if you have any questions.
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