How to Install LED Underglow Lightingby Shea Laverty
Automobile modification has become an increasingly popular pastime across the world. A popular modification is the addition of under-glow, lights affixed to the underside of the car to cast light onto the street below. Installing an LED under-glow kit can be done by a professional, or at home.
Disconnect the vehicle's battery.
Find an installation site on the underside of the car. This site should be away from any fuel lines, exhaust systems, moving parts, areas that heat up, areas where a spare tire is accessed, or anywhere that a lift jack is used to raise the vehicle. Ensure that any holes drilled won't interfere with or cut off these areas.
Raise the vehicle up on a jack and test fit the LED light tubes. Find a location to mount them that aligns with the diagrams and instructions included in the under-glow kit. Ideally, they should be mounted so that that they are centered with the vehicle's overall length, and positioned on the chassis so they aren't visible.
Place the mounting brackets included in the kit on the tube and lift the assembly into place. Mark where the holes in the brackets line up on the chassis with a pencil or marker. Set the assembly aside.
Using the center punch, punch out the markings.
Apply a small amount of silicon seal to the holes to protect against rust.
Insert the screws into the LED tube assembly brackets, and hold the brackets up to the holes in the chassis so they line up. Tighten the screws into the holes enough that they hold the assembly in place. Ensure wiring from tubes on the side assemblies come out to the front to ensure easier wiring to the distribution block.
When the assembly is in place, tighten the screws with your power drill's screwdriver until they rest firmly in place and won't move. Repeat the process for each LED tube assembly.
Identify a mounting location for the distribution block, ideally a flat surface, high inside the engine compartment. Mount the distribution block away from moving parts or extreme heat.
Connect each tube to the outputs on the top of the distribution block.
Find a location inside the vehicle for the LED under-glow system's control panel.
Hook the ribbon wire from the control panel to the distribution block, through a hole in the engine compartment's firewall.
Connect the control panel's power wire to the positive terminal on the car batter. Attach an in-line fuse no more than 18 inches away from the battery. Attach the control panel's negative ground wire to an existing negative ground wire, or screw it securely to the chassis.
Lower the vehicle back onto it's wheels, reconnect the battery and start it up.
- check If at any time, you need to join two wires to insert extensions, strip the wires back, solder them together, and cover them with a heat shrink tube, using a heat gun.
- check Depending on your under-glow kit, you may be able to alter the direction of the LED light. The ideal direction is usually obtained by aimed the tubes towards the outside of the vehicle.
- close Always disconnect the battery first. Never work with live wires, as you risk severe injury or death.
- close Under-glow is considered illegal in many states and cities. Consult local laws before purchasing an under-glow kit to ensure they are legal in your area.
- close If you find that self-installation seems confusing, overwhelming, or you are uncomfortable with the work, don't attempt a self-installation. Find a professional who can either install them for you or can teach you how to install them yourself.
- close Depending on how old the vehicle's model is, disconnecting the battery may disrupt the vehicle's electronic systems. Consult your owner's manual about possible effects before disconnecting the battery.
Items you will need
- photo_camera Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images