The quest for better interior lighting revisited (inst. for Direct Replacement LEDs)
These are direct plug and play LEDs with resistors soldered in already...just be sure to read the entire instructions and post in THIS THREAD with questions
A)In order if brightness HVAC/Keyring Halo.
3)Blue & Amber
*The Hvac & Keyring halo don't have the green film so almost any color will work fine but these are the best IMHO.
B)In order of brightness Instrument panel:
2)Green (believe it or not green doesn't seem to be quite as bright as the blue LED's but it's damn close. you'd think it would have been brighter because of the OEM green film)
B)For the blinker(s) and odometer lighting:
3)Amber & Red
Here's the updated instructions with updated URLs:
Here's the pics in MY GALLERY
In my quest for better interior lighting i have tried a handful of different approaches but all failed. Bulb condoms were too faint & discolored because of the OEM green film. Traditional LEDs were too hard to solder and far too risky.
Here's the HVAC Disassembly instructions I know the instructions are down for the HVAC disassembly but it's nothing an imagination and phillips head can't cure.
MATERIALS NEEDED: 2 to 4 194 (buy extra) Red (OR any color) Signal/Marker Focused LED Opaque Lens seen (1st row and 3rd from the left) here: http://autolumination.com/194.htm
*I used opaque bulbs to help spread the light better. the frosted lens of the bulbs works a lot better than the angled and focused ones.
Once you've opened the Hvac you'll need a pair of needle-nose pliers or some sticky hands to pull the bulb out of the socket. Once you have pulled them out you'll either need 2 to 4 bulbs depending on model. My car (2003 WRX) used 2 bulbs. When you look at the replacement LEDs you'll notice that they're far to big to fit. You'll need to trim the plastic portion on the bulb with a pair of wire cutters in attemp to make them the same size/dimensions as the OEM bulbs. Look at the 11th picture in my gallery to understand what they need to look like. Once you've trimmed them they should fit nice and snug without problems. Test them both and you're done with the HVAC.
2A) THE KEYRING
MATERIALS NEEDED: 1 (buy 2-3 just in case) 74 (Red OR any color) LED Instrument Panel Focused LED clear lens. seen (top row 3rd light from the left) here: http://autolumination.com/74.htm
The size 194 bulbs won't fit! The size 74 bulbs fit & match well seeing how the actual plastic in the keyring is frosted...it acts similar to an opaque bulb. Once again trust me that these bulbs are the best type/size... i tried a few others.
Once you've refered to the instructions above for the Keyring all you'll need to do is slide off the ring and twist the socket out! then pull the oem bulb out of the socket with the pliers and replace it with the size 74 LED mentioned above. Then put everything back together in the reverse order! you're now done with the Keyring.
1B) INSTRUMENT PANEL & BLINKER LIGHTS.
MATERIALS NEEDED: 8 (buy more just in case) 74 (blue) (NOTE: RED/AMBER DON'T WORK WELL) LED Instrument Panel Focused LED clear lens. seen (top row far left light bulb) here: http://autolumination.com/74.htm
First you'll need to adjust the steering column into it's lowest position. Then you'll need to undo the trim section of the panel by unscrewing the 2 top screws. Once you'ce done that simply pull the trim section out and set it aside. Next you need to undo the 3 screws that mount the actual instrument panel and pull the panel out. Be sure not to unplug the three wiring harnesses to the panel because you'll need to test each LED. IF you don't test each LED you install you'll have a huge guessing game on your hands later. There should be enough room for you to peek behind the Instrument cluster so you can actually see the electrical board all the light sockets are pluged into. start with the bulb closest to you and simply twist the socket and pull the light with socket out. Switch the OEM bulb with the 74 (blue) LED and put it back into the socket to test. If it works then move on to the next bulb. If not then you'll need to bend the light +/- filaments so they come in contact with the metal inside the socket until they work.
Based on the model of your car you'll want to check the instrument panel for the amount of bulbs before you order. My 4EAT used 1 for the tach, 2 for the speedometer, 1 for the E/F gauge, 1 for the temp gauge, and 1 for each blinker and one for the odometer light...a total of 8 bulbs needed for the Instrument Panel.
Here's a NEW pic that can be seen in my gallery. I have blue LEDs in the Instrument cluster with x2green LEDs for the blinker lights and 1 green LED in the odometer. The Hvac and Keyring Halo both have green LEDs. My setup looked crappy because of my Alpine Stereo face being green... i figured why fight the green. it grows on you a lot faster with vivid LED lighting. If you have a red face stereo then a red hvac would be better (you get the idea)
First of all, let me say that your setup is tight as hell. I have an '02 wrx and I was wondering if all this is the same in my car. I looked at the first link that says something about disassembly and obviously that was for an sti. Are the other links for my wrx also? And I was also wondering if I could just buy some condoms for the oem bulbs or if the led bulbs from autolumination were the best way to go. Sorry if these seem like stupid questions, but hey, i've been told I'm a stupid guy! haha
Everything that's included in the directions will work for the MY02-04 Wrx and STi so it'll work for you too. My car's a 2003 wrx so i hope this answers your question seeing how it's the same (except for the keyring IIRC).
So the colors i posted in regard to brightness in the cluster,hvac and keyring also apply for the same colors in bulb condoms. I tried all the same colors of bulb condoms and to tell you the truth DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. on a scale of 1 to 10 in brightness (a 10 being reverse indiglos) the bulb condoms are a 3 and the replacement LEDs are a 7/8. If you're thinking about geting bulb condoms i suggest you save money.... you might as well save another $25-30 for the LEDs and shipping.
EDIT: to tell you the truth this IS the best it's going to get unless you buy a STi cluster or another type of indiglo cluster
Thanks for directing SuboobaruWRSEX the right direction Alan.
Imprezastifan88: Are you refering to why my needles appear to be green? If you are then that was due to the powerful light from the LEDs. Luckily for me they turned a green color which still matches my HVAC/Keyring. The light traveled down the needle in the same respect a fiber optic works...remember those muti-needle flashlights you could get at a carnival where to the tips of the strands are different colors of light? Same thing happens here.
To be honest i could have removed the needles (although it's highly discouraged) and painted them a different color but i thought it looks unique so i left them. Hope that helped explain it...
I have read your article about interior lighting. . . fantastic. I have a question on how to change the lighting on the:
Foglight/cruise control button
Door controls (ie windows&locks)
OEM Boost Gauge
Everything in my interior is blue exept those things. Any info is greatly appreciated
Thank you for being the "Guru of Lighting"