Cab Ambient "mood Lighting" Under-dash - How I Done It -

Dellmassive

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Cab Ambient "Mood Lighting" Under-Dash - How I Done It -

This Thread continues where this one left off . . . . .

Cab Ambient Lighting (factory Mod) - How I Done It -

.....

On the previous thread we looked fitting the OEM roof light fitting, to replace it with an OEM unit with added RED LED downlights . . . . which worked out great.


Now lets look at the rest. . . . . . . . .

originally i was looking at these:

T5 T5.1 Footwell LED Lights Upgrade Kit & Trim Removal Kit


93-jpg.52453


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94-jpg.52454


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FYI there is a small 3way switch on the rear of each of the TL lights that selects the colour red/blue/white

I also got a set of OEM white LED lights from the Forum Shop via @Pauly which done the same thing . . .

The Vans lower dash panels already had the lower light cut-outs which just needed a gentle persuasion with a Stanley blade to reveal the holes . . .

Following this guide we had the lights in . . . . picking up the Curtisey light circuit (Red/bvrown & red/black)

71d4e805-18b6-4ba7-b6cc-4c21ee62951a.jpg

0820fc82-2952-42c6-822a-1a3daef8ff6a.jpg
there was a cutout guide if needed - but it wasnt =]

edb178e7-50d8-4d3e-86b0-acbacc411563.jpg

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The Curtsey light feed gave us lighting in the footwell when the door was opened at night . . . we chose the White Led units . . .

20190619_155824.jpg
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20190619_215556.jpg
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20190619_215544.jpg


Next on the agenda was the matching Red LED ambient back-ground lighting . . . . We had seen from the previous thread that you can connect LED to the Ambient light feed (at the rear of the Light control switch) that would work the same as the rest of the dash and be dimmable . . . . as the rest of the dash.....


Now orginally i was going to cut-out a second hole in the lower dash plastics to fit a second lot of LEDs (this time Red) so that the existing would come on with the open door curtsy light in white, but then at night we could have the other LEDs red one come on . . . .

just before fitting these i come across this post on Amazon . . . .

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121-jpg.53255

They looked to do the job . . . and i wouldny need to cut the dash plastics . . . . perfect i thought. =]

They were RGB and had a remote and fancey sound/music mode - sweet.

So i ordered a few sets . . . . . .

There were two versions, 12v and USB so i grabbed one of each . . .

when they arrived a quick test showed they worked great . . .

20191028_180515.jpg

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one thing i did notice was that the 12v versions were brighter, but both looked the same appart from the lead . . .

one had a USB end . . . one didnt . . . . but both leads worked on both units, so effectively the units were the same, but being fed from either 12v dc or 5v dc from the USB . . . that explained why the 12v setup was brighter . . . .

Over to the van we went and connected to the same 12v ambient feed as the OEM roof light . . . . . . . . . . . . . switched on for a test . . . . . and nothing. !!!

just a dim glow, remote didnt work, lights didnt work . . . . Nothing.

Tried the second set - same result =[

Getting the meter out and checking for voltage we could see that the voltage went from 11v to 2v when the dimmer roller was moved . . . . . so all good right?

well no . . . .

Annotation 2019-12-12 150730.jpg

moving back inside everything worked as it should . . . . So what gives???????


Then it dawned on me . . . . . . Maybe VW are being cleaver and using not just a variable voltage? . . . but a variable LED driver circuit . . . . ?

Back out the van with a different meter . . . .

Annotation 2019-12-12 151054.jpg


BINGO !!!! sussed it . . . . The amient feed is using PWM LED driver to do the dimming . . . . using a duty cycle . . .

Thats why the DVOM meter was showing a volt range of 2v to 12v . . . . it was just the RMS of the PWM signal . . . .

Also that why the new LED lights werent working . . . . they had there own LED PWM driver circuit on board that didnt like the PWM voltage being supplied . . .

a quick test later we had this . . .

Annotation 2019-12-12 151425.jpg


i stripped out the 4x Led strings and cut out the fancy LED controller and remote etc . . . . we were left with 4wires per string. . . .

one for RED
one for BLUE
one for GREEN
and one for common -0v

once they were connected to the Ambient feed all was well =]

So the Ambient feed is a PWM LED driver as seen here at 95% on . . . . . which can directly feed the LED strings . . .

upload_2019-12-12_15-18-20.png

upload_2019-12-12_15-19-30.png

this was double checked here . . . . . .

upload_2019-12-12_15-20-11.png

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So i decided that i just wanted the RED LEDs connected, so taped the blue/green wire out the way and connected the other 4x strings to the PWM feed . . . .

this is what we had now . . . .
upload_2019-12-12_15-21-35.png
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upload_2019-12-12_15-21-48.png
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upload_2019-12-12_15-24-24.png

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upload_2019-12-12_15-24-47.png

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Perfect . . . . . .

they dimmed down perfectly . . . . . . .

But there was a sugestion about using a Resistor or small DC-DC boost/Buck converter to reduce the brightness if needed?

I had a DC-DC volatge droper/booster so gave it a quick go . . . . i wired it up inline with the LED string . . .

upload_2019-12-12_15-27-42.png
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which seemed to give us this . . . .


upload_2019-12-12_15-29-3.png

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with massive rounded off sloaps . . . .

So it looked like a DC-DC voltage droper did work but the input/output capacitors rounded off the PWM signal . . .

Im yet to try the test again with some resistors . . . . .

in the meantime its all working well and im very happy with the result... =]
 

Dellmassive

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resistor dropper tests comming soon . . . . .
 

Dellmassive

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Moving on wards.


it looks like we have the same Grey/blue ambient light feed at the door switches on both door cards . . .

upload_2020-1-6_14-58-35.png

so next step has to be a bit of this . . . . Door pocket lighting . . .

as seen here on HazzyDayz website . . .

upload_2020-1-6_15-0-14.png

i think well stick with the cheap RGB colour strips and do the same as above and bin-off the controller and wire directly yo the RGB/0v wires . . . most likely RED so it all matches, and will be connected to the rest , so still dimmable . .

https://amzn.to/2uj2hiA


upload_2020-1-6_15-2-49.png


..

upload_2020-1-6_15-4-14.png


Fitting coming soon . . . . . . .
 

cgtmiles

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This may be a stupid question so I apologise in advance if so but the travel in-lite set LEDs have a switch to choose the colour so could it be possible to rewrite those in the same way as the ones you bought to use the red LEDs for the ambient lighting and the white LED for the courtesy light?
 

Dellmassive

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Yes.

That's a very good idea.

You would need to open up the lights, and solder direct to each colour string.

But possible and a great solution to keep the OEM+ Look
 

Deaky

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This may be a stupid question so I apologise in advance if so but the travel in-lite set LEDs have a switch to choose the colour so could it be possible to rewrite those in the same way as the ones you bought to use the red LEDs for the ambient lighting and the white LED for the courtesy light?
Not quite that simple as the ambient circuit is constant -ve with a dimmed +ve and the courtesy circuit is constant +ve with a dimmed -ve.
 

Dellmassive

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Not quite that simple as the ambient circuit is constant -ve with a dimmed +ve and the courtesy circuit is constant +ve with a dimmed -ve.
Hmmm... more testing required =]
 

cgtmiles

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I think the instructions in the kit say it can be wired either way round so didn’t think the polarity would matter but I guess it will as you would need 4 connections not 3.

I did also wonder if the courtesy LED light module has the driver built in and not in the supply which I guess could cause the same issue seen with the aftermarket LEDs.

seems a shame though as the lamp module nearly has everything sorted to make this work in a really neat way

close but no cigar!:(
 

Deaky

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Here is one out of the casing. I guess the IC takes care of the polarity

708D3990-3964-4A7B-91B9-2FF91246505C.jpeg 10F9CF21-B9DE-4AA2-8330-C68A7B7B587C.jpeg
 

cgtmiles

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So add 2 input pins, remove the switch, add another IC and hard wire to the correct coloured LEDs, simple. Or start again

just need to work out what to use the blue LEDs for :cool:

just to be clear (in case it’s not immediately obvious) everything here is way beyond my abilities! I’m not even sure I can wire up the kit in its standard form yet
 

Dellmassive

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Here is one out of the casing. I guess the IC takes care of the polarity

View attachment 58191 View attachment 58192
Correct =]

The MB6S is a bridge rectifier, ac to dc, so it will run any polarity.

Screenshot_20200113-091142_Chrome.jpg

Assuming the led strings have a common ground via the pcb.?

It may be possible as above to just remove the IC and switch, but leave the current limiting resistors.

Then cut the common neg track.... and just solder to each end of either led chain to keep them isolated.....

Some micro pcb skills required by the looks of it.


... would need a better shot of the led side of the pcb to trace the tracks out.... @Deaky ?
 

Big.mac

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I read through this thread and a couple of others over the weekend, ordered a set of the Travelin Lite footwell LEDs on Tues, they arrived yesterday and I fitted them today. I opted to connect them to the ambient circuit by hooking into the back of the dimmer switch and I’m very pleased with the result. They look great and the dimmer switch controls them nicely. £30 well spent. Very simple installation.

The one issue I had was that the Posi taps that are provided are a bit too large for the blue/grey ambient wire (but fit the brown well). First go the tap just pushed the wire to one side rather than piercing it. I solved this by wrapping a little tape around the wire before inserting into the tap. This made the wire sit more centrally and held it more firmly in the tap and it worked first attempt after doing this.
 

Dellmassive

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I read through this thread and a couple of others over the weekend, ordered a set of the Travelin Lite footwell LEDs on Tues, they arrived yesterday and I fitted them today. I opted to connect them to the ambient circuit by hooking into the back of the dimmer switch and I’m very pleased with the result. They look great and the dimmer switch controls them nicely. £30 well spent. Very simple installation.

The one issue I had was that the Posi taps that are provided are a bit too large for the blue/grey ambient wire (but fit the brown well). First go the tap just pushed the wire to one side rather than piercing it. I solved this by wrapping a little tape around the wire before inserting into the tap. This made the wire sit more centrally and held it more firmly in the tap and it worked first attempt after doing this.
very good, post some pics of your hard work here >
 

fezza68

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Are they that bright that tbey need to be dimmed down via the dimmer switch would you say?.
 

Big.mac

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Are they that bright that tbey need to be dimmed down via the dimmer switch would you say?.
I think that will be down to personal preference. I like my dash (and all other ambient lights) down very low so I have dimmed them. My wife on the other hand has hers set so it burns my eyeballs out. I have set these to red and i doubt they would be too bright without the dimmer. There’s a couple of pictures below, to be honest its hard to get a decent picture that shows the right brightness, they dont look as bright as this in real life.

21B387B9-88C4-4898-8E0C-D45076B50FEE.jpeg

B754A564-4F71-42D6-BD60-06CD02A07636.jpeg
 

fezza68

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Im in the process of doing this mod along with the leds in the overhead light near the rear view mirror as i find it very dark in the cab. Just dont want them too bright.
 

Big.mac

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Im in the process of doing this mod along with the leds in the overhead light near the rear view mirror as i find it very dark in the cab. Just dont want them too bright.
You asked what they would be like without dimming them. I'm not 100% certain but pretty sure that if you connect them to the ambient circuit on the blue/grey wire they will work through the dimmer switch anyways. This was only the second thing I've done to this van (had it two weeks) and I have to say it was a very simple job. The first was fitting some side bars.
The instructions from Travelin Lite suggested connecting to the wiring on the passenger side. Their instructions are a bit out of date and don't mention that to get to that connector you need to remove the glovebox. I ignored them anyways and connected into the back of the dimmer switch, much easier to get to. You could also go to the back of the main light switch which is just as simple.
 

fezza68

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I dont want to use the dimmer switch to dim them down. I want to have them on constant but not too bright.
 

Donk

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How about fitting a separate little dimmer switch in a blank on the dash. That’s what I’m thinking of doing.
 
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