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Engine Bay Lighting


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bryan_gt 
Member - Posts: 5
Member spacespace
Joined: January 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: January 31, 2006 at 6:23 PM / IP Logged  
My car does not come with the engine bay lights that pop on when you open the hood, thus, making it hard to see in there at night. My goal is to add some bright LEDs to illuminate it. I tried the search function and found nothing so forgive me if this has already been covered.
Can anyone suggest a certain brand/type of LED for this project (white)? What is normally used to switch them on automatically when the hood is opened? In what order would I wire this up?
fingaz22 
Silver - Posts: 410
Silver spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: March 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posted: January 31, 2006 at 8:16 PM / IP Logged  

most cars and trucks use a mercury switch in the light housing too switch the light on and off.   it works from the level of the hood. 

you can use the same style switch and some lighting of your choice. 

like the leds you mentioned might not be bright enough if you just use one, but there is always that option of using more, more,more. and get it all at your local parts store. let us know if you need more help in specific area.

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firstrax 
Copper - Posts: 113
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 18, 2006
Posted: January 31, 2006 at 8:59 PM / IP Logged  

A single lumileds LXHL-LW3C will make a very bright engine bay light. Brighter than any factory installed light.

bryan_gt 
Member - Posts: 5
Member spacespace
Joined: January 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: January 31, 2006 at 9:23 PM / IP Logged  
Hmmm... I was contemplating putting 4 leds hidden in the bay. Maybe something cheaper and not so bright? I'm undecided whether or not I want one bright one mounted like most or the 4 light option.
firelizard 
Copper - Posts: 54
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 02, 2006
Location: Canada
Posted: February 01, 2006 at 1:57 AM / IP Logged  

Put some LEDs together in a cluster  and attach them to the underside of the hood and voila, under-hood light.

Or you could use an LED dome light, either just the bulb or the whole thing (just make sure there's no plastic on hot stuff action)

bryan_gt 
Member - Posts: 5
Member spacespace
Joined: January 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: February 02, 2006 at 8:24 PM / IP Logged  
A few more questions if you dont mind...
What guage wire should I use?
What is the usual way to tap a wire for power?
Are there any sites you guys can suggest that would carry everything I need with decent prices?
Thanks
ingolf 
Member - Posts: 21
Member spacespace
Joined: January 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: February 02, 2006 at 9:40 PM / IP Logged  

i think something around 14 gauge would be ok for wire. and just go straight from battery to switch to led for power.

for prices.. alot of places, google led sales.

www.eled.com ?

ff-mike 
Copper - Posts: 199
Copper spacespace
Joined: November 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: February 06, 2006 at 12:02 PM / IP Logged  
The brightest LEDs readily available (5 watt Gen 3 Luxeon Stars) use less than 1/2 amp each. You could realistically use 20 guage speaker wire for them.
Shawn123421 
Member - Posts: 12
Member spacespace
Joined: October 17, 2004
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posted: February 06, 2006 at 2:02 PM / IP Logged  
yup, leds you almost no power, so you can go with small wire, but don't go too small cause the wire might break with motion
ff-mike 
Copper - Posts: 199
Copper spacespace
Joined: November 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: February 06, 2006 at 3:24 PM / IP Logged  
Very true. That is why I went with speaker wire as it is usually a stranded variety. If it was in a firmer enviroment I would have went with telephone cable / cat3
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