Adding LED to Footwells

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by ltwhiteagle, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. ltwhiteagle

    ltwhiteagle Junior Member

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    I wanted to share my experience about adding LED lighting to your vehicle's footwells, but this guide is pretty universal for most any vehicle though. I was reading that some models of pre-2012 Prius's didn't come stock with footwell LED for some trims, so you'd probably have to use a "Tap-a-fuse" device tapping a ignition-on fuse, but you won't get the auto dimming feature doing it that way. Regarding auto dimming, I never noticed it before adding these new LEDs, but when the headlights/DRL/parking are on, the footwell LEDs get brigher when a door opens and dim back down when the doors are shut, including the overhead center console LED.

    Adding LED lighting was remarkably easy, and this is coming from someone who's not a diy'er or handyman. The process is pretty straight forward, took about 15 min with first light, then 5 min with subsquent lights, so about 30 min in total. The cost was $28.67 for supplies and $6.88 for tools if you don't already have a wire stripper.


    Buy supplies - I used Amazon ASIN numbers rather than links in case you're reading this from the future and the links get broken like they often do here:

    1. Light sockets, I bought this 10 pack for $7.99 and they were perfect, these are called "T10" or "194" connections, they're very common vehicle light sockets, Amazon ASIN: B015QUN0B4 Partsam 10x T10 194 Extension Harness Plugs Connectors Wiring Sockets Instrument Cluster
    2. Quick splice connectors, I bought these for $8.99 but you really only need the red 22-18 awg ones, you'll need 2 per LED socket, Amazon ASIN: B074MR3PGL CBTONE 60 PCS Quick Splice Wire Connectors - Quick Splice Electrical Wire Terminals T-Tap Connectors Wire Splice Connectors with Nylon Fully Insulated Male Quick Disconnects Kit
    3. LED bulbs, I bought these blue ones from SuperBrightLEDS for 99 cents each, I did the standard shipping and they arrived in 3 days. It says it's 1 lumen for blue and I wouldn't go any brighter, I actually had to put some semi-translucent tape over these to tame them down a bit. 194 LED Bulb - 1 LED - Miniature Wedge Retrofit part # Part Number: 194-B-120
    4. Extra Wire - If addiing LEDs to rear seat footwells or anywhere else, you'll need wire for length, I bought this for $7.69, Amazon ASIN: B00QTCBZ4I 65.6ft Extension Cable Wire Cord JACKYLED 20M 22awg Cable for Led Strips Single Color 3528 5050
    5. Wire Strippers, I picked up the cheapest pair I could find at Walmart for $6.88 STANLEY STHT74938 - 6" Wire Stripper
    6. Lagunitas Little Sumpin' IPA, but this is a very personal decision but vital to completing any car project
    Installing the LEDs
    1. Passenger Footwell - Start with front passenger footwell to get your feet wet. You won't need to remove the glove compartment. Locate the panel the footwell LED lighting is coming from and there will be 2 tabs securing it in the front (front is closest to glove compartment). Once you pop the panel off, remove the LED wire connector. Next remove the LED housing from the panel, it will take some finessing, I used a flat head screw driver. You'll be installing one of the 194 connection plugs in the spot where you just removed the stock LED housing from, it's a square opening on the panel and the plug is round, so shave about a 1-2mm from 2 sides of the connection plug but don't install it on the panel just yet. Go back to the connection wire you unplugged from the stock LED and use your connection splicers to tap each wire behind the connection, there are 2 wires, black and red. Use the "male" splicer connectors and secure them on the end of the 194 connection plugs, you'll probably need to expose some wire here and clamp down the connection, the Wire Stripper tool is perfect for this. Then plug the male connection into the female splicer and install an LED bulb in the plug and it should come on. Turn car lights one and the bulb should light up. If the light doesn't come on, try these troubleshooting steps:
      1. Make sure car is on and lights are on
      2. Make sure it's black wire to black and red to red you're connecting to
      3. Make sure the male connection slides into the female port all the way, I had to bend my male connectors to go in right
      4. The bulb I ordered wasn't polarized, but some are, so try pulling bulb out and flip it around the other way
    2. Driver's Footwell - Basically same thing as passenger footwell exactly, the panel though has 3 tabs rather than 2 I think.
    3. Rear passenger footwells - Use a splicer connection to tap the same wire you did for the front footwell LEDs, the LED's draw so little power that taping the same wire more than once isn't an issue. Once you do the second tap, use some of the wire from that spool and connect that to the tapped wire. I ran about 6 ft of wire into the back seat area. When connecting the wire to the light plug connection, I just twisted the ends together like a bread twist tie and used electrical tape to cover the wires back up. There's wire springs under the front seats and I threaded the light plug between them so the light pointed down. Then install the bulb and it should turn on, if not follow the trouble shooting steps from passenger footwell section. Finally hide the wire running to the rear LEDs by tucking it up under the bottom of the center console, you should be able to take a flat head screw driver and push the wire up under the plastic pieces where it meets the floor carpet.

    I'll post pictures sometime later this week. Let me know if you have any questions.

     
    #1 ltwhiteagle, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  2. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    How did you mount the LED light sockets?

    Pictures Please.:)
     
  3. ltwhiteagle

    ltwhiteagle Junior Member

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    2012 Prius
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    Didn't know I couldn't edit a post, otherwise I would have waited to post my original one to embed pics. So I'll try to explain these pictures without being inline:
    I misspoke above when I said the driver panel came off like the passenger, there's actually 2 screws in addition to the plastic tabs on driver's footwell, vs the passenger footwell is just 3 plastic tabs to pop off to get the panel to drop.
    This picture shows the passenger footwell tabs to need to pop off the panel:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This picture shows the driver's footwell panel with a tab to push out in the middle, and a screw to undo on the left:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As stated above, the new LED socket is round, and where the stock LED socket receptical you just removed is square, so you trim two sides of new socket to make 2 sides flat, trim up to the new socket main body, ie just enough to fit in the square receptical and install it:
    [​IMG]

    Another picture of the new LED socket in the stock LED receptical:
    [​IMG]

    After the new sockets are installed in the panel, connect the wire tapes to the socket wire harness behind connector for the original stock LED connector:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's another picture of tapping the stock wire showing the additional taps for the rear footwells and wire (from the spool) going to the rear footwell:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After you tap the wire for the rear seats as shown above, this picture shows the wire I threaded under the rear seat springs and how I mounted the LED. The just used some tape to secure the LED to point down:
    [​IMG]

    This is the final for the rear footwells installed:
    [​IMG]

    Here is the front footwells:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #3 ltwhiteagle, Jun 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  4. Starbrand

    Starbrand Senior Member

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  5. ltwhiteagle

    ltwhiteagle Junior Member

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    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
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    III
    Thanks @Starbrand The tutorial you linked produces very different results than mine, just depends on what results you want. My post replaces the stock footwell lighting and adds rear seat LEDs, this maintains original functionality so the LEDs come on and stay on with the DRLs/Parking/Headlights and keep the auto dimming functionality when the car is put into drive, making them perfect for night driving.

    The tutorial you linked only has the LEDs come on when the dome light is activated, and the LEDs described are about 100x brighter making it not conducive for night driving. Since I don't like my domes coming on at night in most situations, I didn't choose this direction. Thanks for the link showing the other various options out there!
     
  6. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Clean install right there (y)

    The power leds to the 2012 footwell lights are around 8 volts so I unplugged the led power lead to the factory orange leds and plugged it to a COB strip led array "milky" type mounted with double side tape :cool:

    Maybe one day I'll get to the blue led underglow body project.
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
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