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Retrofitting Puddle Lights

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among the many great things that come on modern cars, puddle lights have got to be up there with heated seats, so sit back and behold as i take you through a puddle light retrofit...

in reality this kind of thing is only limited by your imagination, and technical ability. so if you want ones that only come on at night automatically with external sensors for each door, you are welcome to do so, this is a far more simple install utilising the following

4 strip led lights, each one foot long with wires pre-attached. you can also use a massive roll and get custom lengths but that means you need to solder wires on...

4 switches (techie jargon: spst) just something to turn each door's light on and off

lots of wire, i'd guess i used about 15 metres... go to the dollar store/pound shop and pick up one of those cheap 30 metre rolls, they will suffice for this application

a few terminal blocks to connect wires with...

and 8 female spade terminals to attach the switch to the wire. you can solder the switch but it'll be a pain if you need to remove the door card in future


1 large bladed flat screwdriver (wrap it in tape to prevent marking things)

1 phillips screwdriver

pair of pliers (the more force exerted the better)

wire snips/stripper

a small flat screwdriver for screwing the terminal blocks shut

Time: for a first timer in auto electrics 3-4 hours or 1 afternoon an experienced person could do it in 2 hours i'd guess...


forgot to add the spade terminals and switches to this pic :S

Step 1: install lights on the doors

unscrew all the screws and fasteners indicated in the picture. remove the window switch panel by using a flat head screwdriver. disconnect the window control, and set it to one side, then slide a screwdriver in the rear( right in the pic, left on the other side and find a point where its quite firmly attached and wiggle till you hear a pop like somethings breaking. don't worry nothings broken, it just sounds it... then place your fingers in the new wiggle space and pull it like you want it off, there and then... it will come off...


next take your light and peel off the sticky stopper and stick it to the door, might be a good idea to make sure the bottom of your door is clean first, lest it comes off covered in mud


that was the front, now lets do the back.

remove the fasteners located in the positions shown. remove the handle cover as indicated by the arrows and the screws are right behind that where the arrows are. repeat the process of pulling it like... well... you know the drill by now...



now stick your light to the bottom of the door, once again making sure it's got a clean surface to stick to.post-29209-0-97000700-1339258845_thumb.j

well done, you done one side, now go to the other side of the car and repeat for both doors...

step 2: switch...

simple step here, pick a place to mount your switch, and drill a hole the size and shape of your switch. stick said switch in said hole and the job's a good'un. repeat for all four doors. (hint for the wize, look on the back of the door card before you drill. it's far easier to install the switches in a plastic only hole, as opposed to foam and cardboard hole)

step 3: wires

placing the wires is easily the most tedious part, of the job



learn from my mistaken assumption, those rubber things that are full of wires, will not accept new wires, hence i routed the wire outside the rubber thing. with regard to the wiring inside the door, just make sure that your nice wire placement doesn't interfere with the windows when all the way up or down... or for that matter anywhere inbetween. remove the door sills and the pillar cover, they just pull off, maybe with some persuasion from that trusty screwdriver... the rear door wire will route something like this


the front one will come out near the fuse box on the drivers side,just leave a good length of lead and leave it hanging for now same with the rear one. replace the pillar cover, just push it back on, then the rear door sill, observing the little spike and hole to align it, then replace the front sill again observing the little spike.

on to the other side, identical process but find some way around the glovebox. my solution was on wire above one below, and they are both completely hidden in normal operation. its the two white wires, if there's any doubt.


push them through to the drivers side and get a double terminal block ready, you're going to do this:


all four doors are going to go into one side of the terminal block and two wires will come out of the other side, this is where a 12 volt supply comes in handy to check all of the lights polarity... the red and clear wires on my lights leads appeared to mean nothing, probably because they were cheap and chinese... so discover which way they need to be connected and put like terminals together, and into the terminal block. the two wires coming out of the other side will go up into the drivers side front door pillar

step 4: wiring these lights in :biggrin:

once again with the trusty screwdriver, pry the pillar loose


now rip it off, and feel manly... or womanly....

wiggle the soft and quite revolting sticky electrical tape to expose the wires underneath

cut the red with a white stripe, and the blue with a red stripe and strip a small portion... do NOT cut the wire that is red with a blue stripe like i nearly did... i have no idea what it does...


now terminal block it back together, with one of your new puddle light wires in one end of the block.... if it doesn't work then check your polarity, try the other way...



tuck the wires away neatly and you are finished, test all of your lights before replacing the pillar cover, and congratulate yourself on a job well done... if any o your lights dont work double check the connection you just made in the pillar... make reference to the photo below and make sure you get the little guide bit in the hole, then slap it in and play with it till it looks right...


now have fun playing with your new lights :biggrin:

pics of them working in the dark to come soon. (when it's dark)

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Wow! love it,.. i want that in my car,.. :happy:

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