LED lights are the preferred lighting solution for most modern vehicles. Automobile manufacturers have easily accepted the value of integrating LED lights into their existing setups. In order to augment the performance as well as efficiency of car headlamps.
However, this isn’t the first application that comes to mind when we talk about LED lights in cars. In fact, this shift to LED headlamps only happened recently, at least on the OEM side.
So, it isn’t even the most widespread use of LED technology in vehicles. A more popular, and far older use of LEDs in cars comes in the form of interior lighting.
We are of course talking about the lights that often found inside the console panel, or under the dashboard and car seats. Those kinds of programmable LED lights have been around for quite some time.
They were first made popular by the tuner sub-culture, before gaining mainstream popularity through video games like Need For Speed, and movies like Fast and Furious.
The reason behind the early adoption of this LED tech was the size and efficiency of the LED strips. Which made it possible for the first time, to integrate LED lights into small spaces both in and outside the vehicle.
At the same time, these modules were also a lot cheaper than proper LED headlights. As they don’t produce nearly as much light as a proper LED headlamp. So, you don’t need the same quality of LEDs to deliver the results needed.
Add to this, the bonus of being able to control the color of the LED light with a remote control. Meant that you could have a different experience of ownership each day. Just by changing the color of the interior/exterior components.
This made these LED lights the perfect way for updating the aesthetic of your vehicle. Without making any permanent changes to the vehicle. In fact, when turned off, these LEDs easily blend in with the interior of the vehicle.
So, you don’t need to worry about losing your warranty or getting fined. As long as you switch them off when not needed. These benefits, when combined, made for a compelling case for the use of integrated LED lights in vehicles.
So much so, that a lot of car brands has started offering integrated LEDs as an option straight from the factory. With some modern models even featuring separate color profiles that work across the dashboard layout as well as the interior inserts.
Once again, you don’t need to rely solely on the car makers to offer these options. As they are often bundled into expensive feature packages that are certainly not worth the amount they charge.
Brands like OSRAM offer OEM quality yet cheaper alternatives in this field. With their special range of LEDambient light solutions. That are made from high-quality materials and come with the assurance of a proper 2-year warranty.
The most well-known option in this segment is the LEDambient TUNING LIGHTS CONNECT. This is the name of the programmable LED strips that are sold by the brand.
Each strip contains dozens of small LED lights that can be controlled via your smartphone and/or a remote. They sit on a flexible strip that can be fixed to almost any surface using double-sided tape or other adhesives
This means they can be easily used to light up any number of spaces inside and outside the vehicle. Including but not limited to under the seats, under the car, under the dashboard, inside the dashboard, inside the wheels, inside the trunk, or even inside the bonnet.
Thus, offering you complete control over the aesthetic of your vehicle. The great thing about this product is that it even comes with a special splitter to help divide the lighting into different zones. Which can all be controlled via the app.
The smart control unit that enables these Bluetooth-based color changes. Can also be used to sync the lights with the music you are listening to inside the vehicle. So, you get a live-disco feel wherever you are.
The same can be done with other products from the LEDambient lineup. Which include headlamp products like the LEDambient PULSE CONNECT. As well as fog lamp products like LEDambient HYBRID CONNECT.
All these units can either be synced together, or individually, to get the best look possible. Although, it is only the HYBRID CONNECT model that actually requires you to disassemble the fog light housing before you can enable it’s plug-and-play connectivity.
If changing colors isn’t your thing, you can opt for the simpler LEDambient INTERIOR STRIP KIT. It is a more standardized offering, with each kit coming with a 1.5m long strip that houses 90 LEDs. You can only get a 4500K white light with this setup. But it does bypass the complexity of adding a special control unit.
No matter which option you pick, you will always get the best possible performance, with unmatched efficiency. So much so, that you can use a standard 12V wire to power them all.
Which can either be connected to a in-car charger for interior lighting. Or even sent directly to the battery terminals, to free up your 12V sockets within.
One thing to keep in mind is that even with all these benefits, and a proper 2-year warranty. Most of these products are still not ECE-certified. So, make sure you think hard before potentially voiding the warranty of your vehicle.
This shouldn’t be an issue for the majority of customers. Who will be using these LEDs to augment their older vehicles for better aesthetics.
The great thing is that no matter what kind of vehicle you need these lights for. You can easily install them with basic tools and no need for a mechanic.
Therefore, making them the best first DIY project you can undertake when updating your older vehicle to modern standards. At the same time, if this is truly your first time doing anything to the lighting system of your vehicle. We do suggest consulting your regular mechanic for any advice they might offer in ensuring that the installation process goes smoothly.