Our Community is 940,000 Strong. Join Us.

interior lighting???

12-03-2008, 10:27 AM
i wanna put neon lights in my car, under the dash, under the seats, and on the radio. but all the lights i find plug into the 12v cigarette lighter.

anyone know of a website, or book or anything that could teach me to wire them? i also want to rig them up to switches. i just need to know how...:confused:

12-11-2008, 11:47 PM
ok so i bought a neon dash cover, i need to supply power to it and i dont know exactly wich wire to connect it to or exactly how o.0
heres the one i got;

12-14-2008, 10:25 PM
If you start with a neon light assembly that plugs into a cigarette lighter 'socket', keep in mind that the contact at the front center of the 'plug' is the positive contact, and you can open up the plug to find out which of the two wires it connects to. The side contact is the negative contact - that can be connected to any piece of steel structure under the dashboard. The switch to ontrol the neon light should usually be in series with the wire to the positive contact, rather than the wire going to the ground side of the circuit.
You may not need a switch however, if you can find the wires that fed the original light bulbs in the dashboard; they could power your neon lighting.
If you dont own a digital VOM, they can be bought for under $10 at any place that handles inexpensive chinese tools and stuff. Its an important tool for working on the electricals of any car.
You mention neon lighting - but lights can be neon (using a small circuit to create the high voltage needed for ionizing the neon gases inside the glass tubing of a neon light), or can be incandescent - like the turn signal and headlamps of most cars; or can be l.e.d's - light emitting diodes. I mention this because the incandescent lights dont care which way they are installed; the postive wire can be connected to either contact on the light bulb. Some Neon lights also dont care which way they are connected, but some will only work if hooked up 'correctly' - with the +12 volts going to one of the wires (like the wire in the center of the 'plug') and the other wire being connected to 'ground', (like the wire going to the side of the 'plug' you shove into the cigarette lighter).
And the l.e.d's always care which way they are connected. I always put a resistor in series with an l.e.d. which I am first setting up a lighting circuit. This prevents me from burning out l.e.d.'s, which is what is likely to happen if you install them backwards from the way they should go, or with no resistor in series with it. I think a 100 ohm resistor would be fine for checking out which way to connect an l.e.d. (if it lights up, you have it connected the proper way). For using an l.e.d. that is by itself (not part of a commerically made lighting item) you MUST have a resistor in series with the +12 volts coming to the l.e.d - or it will burn out because of too much current. Most small l.e.d.s should have no more than 15 or 20 milliamps going through them. Thats .015 or .020 amperes. Measuring that current is one of the functions of the VOM volt ohm milliameter. You put the VOM in current measuring mode, and put it in series with the l.e.d. When the l.e.d. is lit up the VOM will tell you how much current is going through it.
You can find the resistors on ebay, or at Radio Shack.
You probably can find plenty of 'how to' books, by dong a google.com search, using '+automotive +electrical +"how to" '. The periods in front of the words tell the search engine to only return the websites that have all words in them, in some order. The quotation marks around 'how to' tell the search engine to find that phrase in the websites it gives you.
I have a Weller soldering gun, and use heat shrink tubing on most connections - much more stable than electrical tape. A blow dryer or a bic can be used for a heat source to shrink the tubing.
And last of all - start trying things out. If you havent spent a few hours or days doing things that dont work.....you wont learn what DOES work.
I use the word 'Neon' to refer to the cars, the word 'neon' to refer to a type of lighting.

12-19-2008, 03:31 PM
ok so i put it in, i scotch-locked the wires to the dimmer.
i couldnt tell wich of the two wires were possative so i connected the one with a white run on it to the dash. it didnt work, so did i connect the wrong wires?

Add your comment to this topic!