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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting to do this project for a while and I finally got around to it. The end result is a bright courtesy light under each door that automatically comes on whenever either door is opened.

- 16 (or more) Prewired SuperFlux LEDs (preferably white)
- 1 SPDT relay and Relay harness
- Lots of wire
- Heavy-duty silicone glue (the kind that is toxic to smell :p)
- Soldering iron, solder, electrical tape / heatshrink, etc. etc.
- Screwdriver, wrench
- Lots of patience

- DISCONNECT the negative battery cable when doing ANY electrical work on your car.
- TEST the lights whenever possible, because once everything is reassembled you don't want to find out that you wired something wrong. You can test the lights by connecting the positive end to a 12V source (preferably fused) and the negative end to a ground point (basically any piece of metal in the body).

PART ONE - Removing door panels

1. There are 3 screws and 2 bolts holding the door panel on, plus some clips and weather stripping. Follow the guide over at Club 3G to remove the door panels.

PART TWO - Running the wire.

2. You can TRY to run the wire through the factory loom, but I had trouble getting it through. It comes out between a metal panel and the glass in the door, so it is hard to maneuver. Instead, I removed the rubber grommet on the car-side of the hinge and pushed my two (pos/neg) wires through. I replaced the grommet as best as I could with the wire sticking out. It's hardly noticeable.

3. If using my method, you may want to now wrap the wires together with electrical tape, or you can just leave them as they are.

4. Pull the wires UNDER the weather stripping that surrounds the actual door. If you pull up on this you will be able to slide them through. Now, route the wires along the door and against the weather stripping until you get toward the outer edge of the speaker. Leave this there for later.

PART THREE - Installing the lights

5. With the door panel removed, measure and mark the points for your holes. I had 8 LEDs per door, and I measured about 35 inches from end to end. You may want to start on the outer edge because the inner edge isn't going to need as much light anyway. My spacing ended up being about 4.4 inches apart. Drill the holes on the tapered edge of the door panel so that you will not drill into the protective styrofoam or the map pocket.

6. Drill the holes. They should be 3/8" if you are using the prewired SuperFlux LEDs.

7. Insert the LEDs in each hole, wire-first, and tape the front edge so they don't fall while the glue dries. Flip the door panel back over and liberally apply glue on each LEDs backside so that they stay in place.

8. While the glue dries, strip the wires and connect them all in parallel. (Positive to positive, negative to negative)

9. I used masking tape to secure the various wires to the door panel. It's not pretty but it gets the job done.

10. Connect the wires for the lights to the wires that you strung into the car. If you can get a modular plug, that would be better so that if you remove the door panel again you don't have to cut the wires.

11. Replace the door panel as per the 3G guide. It's a bit tough. Before pushing the clips back in, make sure the wiring isn't sticking out and if you used my wire-stringing method then have them tuck into the door panel to the outside edge of the speaker - not directly under it. It should stay put.

12. Repeat the above steps for the other door if you haven't already. Also, you may want to test the lights with a constant 12V source and a ground point before reinstalling the door panel.

PART FOUR - Setting up the Relay

13. You need a point for the relay to trigger when the door opens. I used the factory footwell light on the passenger side. I cut and stripped the two wires leading to it (orange and green i believe) and connected each side to pins 86 and 85 with wires. (it doesn't matter which goes to which). When you depress the door switch, you should hear the relay click, and pins 30 and 87 will be connected.

14. Connect a constant 12V source (fused) to pin 30. The fuse should be no more than 10 amps, though the lights probably use less than 5 amps. An add-a-circuit is a good way to get a 12V source and a fuse without running wires to the battery.

15. Connect the positive wires from both doors to pin 87.

16. Wrap the wire that's connected to pin 87A (the middle pin) in electrical tape. It will be live when the door is closed, so you don't want it to touch anything.

17. Connect the negative wires from both doors to a good ground point. I used the bolt directly behind the cabin fusebox and it works just fine. Any other screw connected to the body should work, too. Just "hook" the wire under the screw/bolt as you turn it.

PART FIVE - Finishing Up

18. Wrap up your wires and hide them under the dash. I used wire ties, and I glued the relay to a plastic piece above the factory light. Reassemble your car and marvel in the glory!

Here's the end result:

Have fun!

Moved On
1,861 Posts
There is an easier way. Tie the negative into the door trigger wire which should be in the kick panel of whichever side. Hook the positive to a constant and voila. Also, the little L.E.D strips they sell at Autozone work pretty good. My friends 2000 Acura TL we did:

Can't see the courtesy lights but it gives you an idea how bright the interior is
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