Custom Footwell Illumination Writeup
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This is a discussion on Custom Footwell Illumination Writeup within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I left some of the details out, but it's still a pretty long post.. LED strips used: 9" 7 Color ...

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    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    Custom Footwell Illumination Writeup

    I left some of the details out, but it's still a pretty long post..

    LED strips used: 9" 7 Color strips from LEDGlow. This starter kit includes a controller, 2 LED tubes and a module to connect up to 6 strips of LEDs. I also ordered the "add-a-circuit mini with 4amp fuse" and the "4 piece 9" expandable tubes". The total came to $52.

    The add-a-circuit allows you to tap into the cars fuse panel and add the LED’s to any existing circuit you wish. The 4pc expandable tubes bring you to 6 LED tubes, the maximum number supported by the starter kit.

    They all come with feet that you can attach to the end of the LED strips to help mount. I used the feet to mount all the strips so that I can twist the strips in the feet to adjust the angle of the light.

    Tools used:
    -wire cutter/stripper/crimper
    -add-a-circuit with 4A fuse
    -flashlight
    -Electrical tape
    -zip ties
    -screw drivers (flat and Phillips)
    -scissors
    -needle-nose pliers

    Step 1: Remove Center Console
    You’ll need to remove the center console in order to hide the wiring. I used this video as a reference for how to do it:


    Things I did differently from the video that made it A LOT easier:
    1) I used a flathead screwdriver to help remove the shift and e-break boot. Pull the boot back from the edge slightly and slide the flathead screwdriver in there. GENTLY twist the screwdriver to help pull the boot away from the edge, while simultaneously pulling upwards on the boot to help get it out.
    2) After both boots are disconnected and you remove the screw underneath the e-break boot, remove the screws from the armrest compartment and lift the cup-holder/armrest assembly up. In the video he removes the front part of the center console before removing the cup holder part. This makes it much more difficult. If you remove the cup holder part first, the other part comes out very easily





    Step 2: Tap into the fuse box
    -Figure out which circuit you want to add the LED strips to. I chose the Interior Illumination circuit. This is fuse number 16 (10A). This will turn the LEDs on when you turn your headlights on. Note: these LEDs will not dim when you dim the rest of the dash, you have to use the controller that came with the kit to dim them.
    -Use the needle-nose pliers to remove the fuse
    -Insert the fuse into the open slot on the add-a-circuit. Note: the add-a-circuit came with a 4A fuse. I thought it was unnecessary so I removed it, but then the radio/climate control lights didn’t come on. The add-a-circuit requires both fuses to be in place
    -Insert the add-a-circuit into the slot you removed the fuse from



    -Run a wire from the center console area to the add-a-circuit. This was easy because it’s all open underneath the steering wheel





    Step 3: Mount LED Strips
    This is the time consuming step. I mounted one LED strip under the dash on both the driver’s and passenger’s side. One LED strip under each of the front seats pointing forward, and one LED strip under each of the front seats pointing backwards (6 LED strips total)

    I don’t currently have any pictures of how I mounted them. It was tricky finding good places to mount them, you need be creative. I used many zip-ties along with some electrical tape. Set aside plenty of time and do this part right. Don’t get frustrated with how long it may take to mount each of them; it’ll be worth it in the end. Be sure to mount them as high so that the floor doesn’t block any of the light.

    -The two underneath the front dash took the longest time. Be creative and find a good spot. I used zip ties for these.
    -The one underneath the driver’s seat pointing forward was very easy, there’s a perfect bar to mount it on.
    -There wasn’t a great place under the passenger’s seat for the forward facing light. I ended up mounting each end of the LED strip to the bar that you use to adjust the seat position (it’s not on the part of the bar that your hand would grab, it’s further back and kind of ‘hanging’ in the air between the part of the bar that runs parallel with the side of the car). I’m realizing now that I should have just taken a picture of this haha, but I'm at work right now and it's raining out side. If anyone wants to see then I'll take a picture later and post it.
    -The two underneath the seats pointing backwards were easy. There are springs underneath the seats that provide easy mounting points with zip ties.

    Step 4: Run the wires
    -For the LEDs that are under the dash, run their wires through the front of the center console. It’s easy to get the wires through there because the plastic is just pressed up against the cloth interior. Lift it away slightly and slide the end of the cable underneath.
    -For the LEDs under the seats, BE SURE TO LEAVE ENOGUH SLACK SO THE SEATS CAN SLIDE BACK AND FORTH. These cables will be positioned underneath the cup-holder/arm rest part of the center console when you lay it back down. There’s enough give there that the cables will rest there just fine when you lay it back down.
    -I plugged all the ends into the kit and zip tied the slack together to neaten it up a little bit


    (In the image I circled where I connected the ground wire from the kit. Just loosen the bolt a bit, slide the end of the ground wire underneath and tighten the bolt back up.)

    -I originally wanted the controller to come out through the cubby so that I could keep it in the cubby, but I couldn’t get it to fit through the hole in the back without cutting some plastic away and making the hole bigger. I didn’t really want to do this, so I ran the controller up the center console and through the glove box.






    Step 5: Re-assemble center console
    -At this point you’re ready to start putting things back together! The first thing I did was put the cubby piece back in



    -Next I tried laying the cup-holder piece back down. I noticed that the part of the kit that connected the cables was getting in the way, so I had to move it off to the side



    apologies for the blurriness

    -Then lay the cup holder piece back down, snap the front part in, and put the screws back in. As always, don’t screw in the screws all the way until you have all three screws back in place. Then tighten them up.
    -Putting the shifter and the e-break boots back in was 1000x easier than taking them out. Just put them in place, push down along the edges and they fit back in very easily.

    Some pictures of the final product! I only took pictures when the LEDs were red because that’s all I plan on having them set to, but they do have 7 different colors they fade between if you want them to. They can also pulse between all 7 colors to your music if you want.

    I’m noticing in these pictures that the LED under my passenger’s side dash is pointed too far down. I’ll rotate it up a later on so that the light doesn’t get blocked by the all-weather mat like it is in these pictures.

    I believe these were taken with the red at its brightest setting. Compare the footwell illumination to the dash’s brightness






    (don't mind the frisbee)



    Last edited by Major25; 10-10-2012 at 11:16 AM.
    2012 WRB WRX Premium Sedan

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    Registered User KenBeanNet's Avatar
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    Been waiting for this. Thanks! Let me know if you can get some pictures of the LEDs locked in. That would be great. Any heat from the LEDs that need to be worried about?

    P.S. I just bought your exact items, and I plan to put in my 2013 STI Limited.
    Last edited by KenBeanNet; 10-10-2012 at 11:06 AM.


    July 2005 - WRX 2005 Limited - Sold for 12,500$ at 68k.
    August 2012 - STI 2013 Limited - Arrived October 19th

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    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    Haha no problem, I hope it helps! Sure I'll get some pics up here of the LEDs once it isn't raining out (might be a day or two).

    And nope, I had them running for quite a while at one point before I installed them in the car and everything was always cool to the touch
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    Darth Dizzle Romdizzle's Avatar
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    Custom Footwell Illumination Writeup

    I have the oem kit and it was okay at first but I think I too am gonna run a custom setup too. I was also thinking about adding an automatic dimmer into it so they fade on and off like the dome rather than just cut on/off. I added a couple of led strips to better light the cargo area. I just got some from autozone and I'm actually really satisfied with how bright they are so I'll probably use the same for the footwell lights. The just mount with double sided tape.
    Last edited by Romdizzle; 10-11-2012 at 07:09 AM.

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    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Not something I'm looking to do, but I always appreciate a good write-up!
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  7. #6
    Registered User maus's Avatar
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    That is way brighter than OEM
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  8. #7
    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romdizzle View Post
    I was also thinking about adding an automatic dimmer into it so they fade on and off like the dome rather than just cut on/off.
    Are you going to use a PWM (pulse width modulation) dimmer, or a potentiometer? I messed with the idea of putting in an easy dimming knob with a potentiometer, but it didn't work for me all that well (at least not with the LED strips/controller I bought). I had to use a larger potentiometer so that it wouldn't get hot to the touch, but because it was larger, the actual range of the potentiometer utilized to dim the lights from full to nothing was about 10% of its full range.
    2012 WRB WRX Premium Sedan

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    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvinball View Post
    Not something I'm looking to do, but I always appreciate a good write-up!
    Thanks! It's my first one I hope it helps someone!
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  10. #9
    Registered User dloring's Avatar
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    Looks great, but then again i have the exact same setup, even down to the locations.

    the one difference is the placement of the two led strips under the front of the driver and passenger seats. i used the supplied mounting clips and riveted them to the ventilation ducts.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    i pointed the strips up slightly, here's the effect:

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    my only question is: do you know the fuse to use if i want the lights to go on only when the doors are open. i grounded the ground wire to the door pin switch.

  11. #10
    Registered User KenBeanNet's Avatar
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    Any luck with pictures for passenger side seat pointing forward? I was unable to find a good place to hook to.


    July 2005 - WRX 2005 Limited - Sold for 12,500$ at 68k.
    August 2012 - STI 2013 Limited - Arrived October 19th

  12. #11
    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    Sorry about that. I'm about to leave work now, I'll take a couple when I get home and post them up in a couple hours
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  13. #12
    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    Ok here are four pics. I apologize for the bad quality, all I have is the camera on my cell phone.

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    I just suspended it between the side bars of the handle that adjusts the position of the seat. The electrical tape is just to prevent the zip ties from sliding back and forth on the bar. You can tighten the zip ties pretty tight, the strip doesn't budge. It's the perfect height too, the light coming from here looks perfect.

    I won't claim that this is the best way to do it..but it was the easiest for me. It doesn't move at all and the light is unobstructed, so I think it's a good place.
    2012 WRB WRX Premium Sedan

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  14. #13
    Registered User Major25's Avatar
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    I almost forgot to mention, one huge advantage of putting the strip on the bar as opposed to mounting it to a fixed place to the floor under the seat is that the strip moves back and forth with the seat. That means that when the seat is all the way back the strip isn't exposed to a passenger's feet, and when the seat is all the way forward the light doesn't get blocked by the seat
    2012 WRB WRX Premium Sedan

    Mods: SPT Performance Exhaust, SPT Short Throw, SPT Boost Gauge, Carbon Fiber Trunk Trim, Center Arm Rest Extension, Hella Supertones, Rally Armor UR Mudflaps (red)

  15. #14
    Registered User KenBeanNet's Avatar
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    Gotcha. I will go make the change in my car now.


    July 2005 - WRX 2005 Limited - Sold for 12,500$ at 68k.
    August 2012 - STI 2013 Limited - Arrived October 19th

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