Adding footwell and glove box lights to your ride

[KonaStar] shows us that adding some light to you car interior isn’t very hard. It’s just a matter finding some unused space and routing the cables so that they’re out of sight. Here he’s added LED lighting to the footwells and glove box of his car.

He managed to find some depressions in the molded dashboard of the car which were just the right size for a small four-lead LED. He drilled holes for those leads, and soldered some protoboard to them on the inside of the dash. This way there’s nothing unfinished to catch your eye, and the protoboard provides an area to host the resistor and interconnect.

There are switches in the glove boxes that turn the lights off when closed. These work for the footwells too. In addition, the LED lighting harness is wired to the parking lights so they will not come on when the car’s lights are off. Because he started with a lighting harness intended to add ambient light to a vehicle, the system responds to the doors being opened as well.

It’s a nice addition if you don’t mind pulling out several pieces of your interior during the install. We’re more comfortable with something along the lines of this turn signal hack.

30 thoughts on “Adding footwell and glove box lights to your ride

  1. Did this in my brothers car with the ikea dioder and custom wiring to get power from the cigarette lighter, blue in the footwells and greny blue in the glove box

  2. I did the same thing with sticky LED strips (blue though). They come in strips and run at 12v, and cost like 4 – 6 bucks! Adds a really nice touch, nice job.

  3. Nice build, but I’m not so sure about having the lights on when the headlights are on. My 18 year old GMC PU has light that illuminate the front floor area when the interior lights are turn on with the dimmer switch or when opening the doors. Those lights also illuminate a good portion of the ground next to the doors as well. The rear seat area of the extended cab does lacks decent lighting, but it’s rarely use by at night or ever, so unless I get bored, it will stay as is.

    1. Exactly, everytime there is an automotive post it becomes published. I just don’t understand it, are all the viewers on this site automotive inept?

    2. Because I don’t read “ricer car” forums. I appreciate any hack to the website. If you don’t like it, skip to the next one. Or better yet, submit one.

      The one’s who can hack, those who can’t complain about others.

      1. No. It’s used to describe virtually any vehicle with a fart pipe (sounds like a long drawn-out fart going down the road, usually in the form of a ridiculously-large shiny muffler haphazardly bolted to an unsuspecting economy car, but may possibly be a trash can full of angry bees), and a stupidly-huge wing, possibly a former public park bench turned upside down, and screwed to the rear deck lid. Stickers, neon lights, and obviously-fake badges are optional. This is usually the domain of high school kids that have no tangible automotive knowledge whatsoever, but occasionally you’ll see white trash in their 20s doing it, too. I just laugh and shake my head.

        That said, this ain’t a hack as much as it is a good wiring job, for which I do give the guy props. As to why “we” wouldn’t be comfortable with this (really?), this is just about as simple as it gets in the auto world. I’m guessing “we” wouldn’t be comfortable doing oil changes either.

  4. I’d have to say the same on this to be honest, Not really sure how this classes as a hack.

    Nicely done regardless, I have them on all my cars mainly for when I drop things :)

  5. It makes for a a good looking photo, but interior lights while driving will reduce your night vision. You want your eyes adjusted to whatever light is in front of your windshield.

    1. Yeah, agreed. Too bright to drive by. I have always liked the way the car magazines lit up the floorboards with florescent light for pictures. I tried doing that once with a 12vlt florescent light under the seats, but it wasn’t nearly bright enough. But I think it would be cool to try again but this time using Lamps out of old flatbed scanners. Now that would be a hack.

      I want to add some that dim down to a slight glow so that if you are driving and drop something or need to look at something on the floor you don’t have to be blinded by a full on floor light.

      Maybe 2 sets. One controlled by the brightness of the dash lights and a second that turns on when the doors open or interior light is switched on.

      I always love more options and more control.

      1. You wouldn’t need 2 sets if you used a uC and some PWM. You can run them dim and have the uC look for a stimulus to increase the brightness.

  6. Hey I’ve done the same with my RX300 but added blue and white so you can switch, plus they flash to my music when it plays through the CD player in the car. If your car doesn’t have under dash lights this will make a huge difference.

  7. I can’t count the number of times I have been pulled over and cited for ‘customizing’ my vehicle lighting. (ok, I can, it’s 6)

    The violations never actually stuck beyond court, but it’s inconvenient as hell.

  8. I have been meaning to wire in a new light in my trunk. The existing light mount is damaged so it never stays in place. The light doesnt work because it is frame grounded, most of the time it falls out from the frame and hangs from the wire.

  9. Did something similar to my old car a few years back. I had a blue neon mounted under the glove box that I attached in parallel with the interior light lines. When the doors opened, it would light up the foot well as a courtesy light. And since the hand brake was on, it would be deemed legal! Been meaning to do it again to my current car with a better setup than just hot wiring in there.

    1. N00B!! That’s not a brain, it’s a dinosaur egg. All the cool people keep them in their glove boxes where it stays nice and warm. Brains need to be kept cool.

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