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Make your own super-bright map & dome lights


The theory is simple, and can be applied to just about any other car with 12V leads. So, let's get started!

- 100 led's of your color choice
- 37-ohm resistors (available in packs of 5 from Radio Shack)
- Soldering Iron
- Rosin
- Flux
- Copper Braid (for $%^&-ups...great to have)
- About 1ft. of 22ga. wire
- PCB (available from Radio Shack)
- Dremel or other rotary cutting tool
- 9V Battery
- 560-ohm (or greater) resistor


Step I: Pop the cover off of the dome light.

Step II: Remove the dome light by unscrewing the two large screws that hold the dome bulbs in place.

Step III: With the dome light removed, pry the four tabs holding the dome bulb backing in place off.

Step IV: Make a template for your PCB using the old backing.

Step V: Cut the PCB and fit test.

STEP VI: Test your first LED. You are going to want to test each and every LED before you put it in the assembly...simply attach a wire to the pos end of a 9V battery, and a wire with a 560-ohm resistor to the neg. end. Touch the LED with the wires. Do this with every LED.

STEP VII: Lead the prongs of the first LED through the PCB, and bend the leads out.

STEP VIII: Space out your next LED, bending towards the LED in front of it. Connect the (+) to the (+), and the (-) to the (-). Solder the leads together, then cut off the extra lead on the new LED.

Continue this process for the first row.


Step IX: Test the row with a battery. If the row does not light up, double check your leads.

Step X: Continue making your rows in the same fashion, testing after each row is done.

Step IX: Now, here is where you have one of two options. You can either bend the (+) and (-) OEM leads or cut them off. I cut them off.

STEP XII: Put the new PCB in place. Mounting depth is up to you. You are now going to use the 22ga wire to connect all 5 (+) and (-) leads separately. Once they are connected, thread the wire through the small hole in the OEM dome assembly and solder to the OEM (+) and (-) leads, respectively. You MUST attach a 37-ohm resistor to the (-) side lead. The + side of the OEM board will be the one closest to the 12V stamp on the assembly. I glued once side of the PCB using GOOP All-Purpose Marine glue for additional strength. Solder the leads.

Here's how it will look all done.

STEP XIII: Test the entire assembly using a resistor-free 9v battery. Touch the respective leads to the ends of the battery. You should light up the night sky.

STEP XIV: Install. Enjoy.

Now, as a quick note I want to add, it would have been much easier to run the (+) and (-) in opposite directions. YOU SHOULD DO IT THIS WAY...I DID NOT THINK OF IT AT THE TIME.

Follow the same method for the map light.