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Engine Bay Lighting

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Forum Name: Lights, Neon, LEDs, HIDs
Forum Discription: Under Car Lighting, Strobe Lights, Fog Lights, Headlights, HIDs, DRL, Tail Lights, Brake Lights, Dashboard Lights, WigWag, etc.
Printed Date: December 02, 2022 at 4:11 PM

Topic: Engine Bay Lighting

Posted By: bryan_gt
Subject: Engine Bay Lighting
Date Posted: January 31, 2006 at 6:23 PM

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?


Posted By: fingaz22
Date Posted: January 31, 2006 at 8:16 PM

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.

hu,alpine cva 1005/dva 5205
sound processor,symmetry(first one).
sub amp,power 1000 the terminator.(1992).
subs,spl comp dual 1 ohms.
punch 150hd on a 10" ev.

Posted By: firstrax
Date Posted: January 31, 2006 at 8:59 PM

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

Posted By: bryan_gt
Date Posted: January 31, 2006 at 9:23 PM
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.

Posted By: firelizard
Date Posted: February 01, 2006 at 1:57 AM

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)

Posted By: bryan_gt
Date Posted: February 02, 2006 at 8:24 PM
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?


Posted By: ingolf
Date Posted: February 02, 2006 at 9:40 PM

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. ?

Posted By: ff-mike
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 12:02 PM
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.

Posted By: Shawn123421
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 2:02 PM
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


Posted By: ff-mike
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 3:24 PM
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

Posted By: bryan_gt
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 5:02 PM
Hmmm I can't seem to find anyone selling 5w Luxeon Stars except on ebay...and they arent white. There has to be somewhere that sells everything I need all in one site. LED, wire, heatshrink tubing, a 12v switch, and terminals.

Posted By: firstrax
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 5:57 PM
The problem with Luxeon is that they gave exclusive distributorship to Future Electornics. All other sources of distribution buy from from Future. A 3 watt should be bright enough. BTW, Future dropped there price 40% on all luxeon products.

Posted By: firstrax
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Also, luxeons will need to be mounted to heat sinks or a piece of sheet metal.

Posted By: bryan_gt
Date Posted: February 06, 2006 at 6:41 PM
If it gets that hot I dont want it near the hood underlining...guess im back to LEDs now.

Posted By: tbird9290
Date Posted: February 19, 2006 at 11:07 PM
Eccentric Audio is where i bought mine from on ebay. It just depends if your  looking for some in your area or off ebay or somethin. There pretty bright.

This is what I Think doesn't mean I am wrong doesn't mean im right. I Make my ride look the way I want it I don't care what everyone else thinks... All Eyes On Me -2Pac

Posted By: sonicdrft
Date Posted: March 12, 2006 at 5:05 AM

wouldnt u have to worry bout the heat in the engine bay..?

Posted By: veovius
Date Posted: March 12, 2006 at 2:57 PM
I would think that you should be more worried about engine heat then the LED heat, when it comes to the underlining. 

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