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Thread: How to install a LED strip to give your grill a subtle glow

  1. Default How to install a LED strip to give your grill a subtle glow

    Hi Everyone,

    I recently installed a LED strip behind my grill so that it has a subtle white glow at night. I'm new to the forum but thought I'd create a how to since I couldn't find anything on the internet for this sort of thing.

    Let me know what you think!



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    What I have done is install a 12v dC led strip that was about 30cm long behind my grill to give this glow effect. I wired it into my day time driving lights so that it is on if they are on. I used speaker wire to run the power to the LED strip and didn't bother with an in line fuse etc. since LED's use almost no power.

    1. Begin by locating the plug for one of your headlights under the bonnet. You should be able to find it in the following location

    2. You should be able to remove the plug by clicking out the switch here.


    Once you have pulled the plug out you can touch your red wire from your led strip of lights to the spot 10 in the clip, and the black wire to an earth on the car. Do this to make sure it is the same wire as your day time lights. It should only active when you have your daytime lights on.


    For me this was the blue wire in the picture here:



    Locate and pull out the blue wire from the housing.



    Now you want to strip back a section of this wire ready to attach the wire you will use to run for your LED's. I used speaker wire but any insulated wire should be fine.
    To strip it back make a slit in the wire, then cut around the wire and peel it back. I recommend practising this on some spare wire first to get a feel for what you're doing - you don't want to cut the wire badly!


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    Finish stripping back the wire, then take your speaker wire and wrap it around the exposed section of the wire.



    Make sure you have a good connection, then go ahead and solder it in place. If you haven't soldered before watch this video, it's pretty easy, but just practise on a spare wire first.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLfXXRfRIzY



    Once you have finished soldering, use some electrical tape to firmly secure and seal the wires together.



    Push the blue wire back into it's housing with the other wires, and tape it in place to make sure it doesn't accidentally get pulled back out if it gets snagged on something.



    Now you just need to earth the black speaker wire. There should be an earthing point directly below where you unplugged your lights - see the picture below.



    Strip the end of your wire, use a size 13 spanner to loosen the bolt, slip the exposed wire under the bolt somewhere and tighten the bolt again to earth/secure the wire.

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    Last edited by ElBoss; November 17th, 2014 at 01:11 PM.

  3. Default

    You should be able to feed your speaker wire out through your grill. There's a gap just next to your air intake.



    Once you've got the cable out you will need to feed it the rest of the way down, you will have to go around the foam behind your number plate.



    Once you've finished feeding your wire all the way through to the bottom. Take your LED strip and put some blue-tac on it. I think this is fine for now I'll think of something more permanent later.



    You should be able to insert your LED strip at the bottom of your grill. If you reach in through the gap you should find a flat section across the whole thing. This is where I stuck my LED's. I found that if it was as close to the front of the car as possible it will light up your grill more than if you push it further back.



    Now all you need to do is trim your speaker wire to the correct length, attach your LED wires to the speaker wire you have run. Solder them together and tape them up with electrical tape. Or if you have some heat shrink that would be even better.




    Tuck the wire back in behind your grill out of sight and you're done!


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  4. The Following User Says Thank You to ElBoss For This Useful Post:

    Doff (March 25th, 2015)

  5. #4

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    nice and detailed post!!

    Thanks!!

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    There's one thing you should remember when considering installing an inline fuse. The fuse is not there to cater for the draw of whatever you're powering, in this case your LEDs, it's to cater for a short circuit.

    If the insulation were to wear through at any point and earth against the body then you would start a fire unless there's a fuse to blow somewhere.

    The way you've wired it will blow the fuse protecting the DRLs if this happens so you're protected there provided it's of low enough rating to blow before your speaker wire melts. If, however, you happen to use a higher draw source, say your headlights, or directly from the battery, then you would find your speaker wire melting before blowing the fuse.

    Blu Tac will probably go hard in this cold weather and lose its stick. I'd be looking for a more permanent solution before it lets go and you end up dragging your light behind you.

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