The Glow down below…

I’ve replaced all my interior lamps with high-intensity white LEDs. So when you open Blimey’s door at night, it’s like opening the refrigerator door at 3AM… BRIGHT! And a nice, cool, white light.
One of the glaring – no, that’s not right…
One of the dim-witted deficiencies of the MINI cabrio is the lack of ANY form of lighting in the backseat area of the car. I stuck a Sylvania Dot-It 3-LED press-on lamp to the ceiling strut to make a rear “dome” light – and it works well once you’re actually in the back seat to use it. But it’s a little treacherous climbing in back there when you can’t see where you’re putting your feet…

I think I’ve copied about 400 things from ImagoX… he installed blue cold cathodes to light his cabrio rear footwells. While blue interior lights don’t do it for me, white sure as heck does. I purchased two white 4.7″ 12-LED strips from oznium.com a few months back after having success with the longer versions in the ImagoX “light that boot” mod.

I tapped into the wires for the passenger side footwell light (brown/black=ground; brown/yellow=hot) and ran 18 gauge 2 conductor wire under the carpet edge floor trim to beside the seat, then under the seat rail and to the Oznium strip (gold=ground; silver=hot). Strip is zip tied with 3 ties to the rear round steel cross-brace under the seat, with the LEDs pointing straight down.

frontwiring.jpg

wiringharness.jpg

seat_strip.jpg

Another run of 18 gauge 2 conductor wire runs from here, under the inboard passenger seat rail, through the console, under the inboard drivers seat rail, and to a second strip under the drivers seat.

Works great – color matches the white high-flux flank LEDs I have installed for the front footwells and puddle lights. The strips fade on and off just like the front footwells. And I like the brightness of the 12 LED strips – just right for my taste. I think the 9″ 24 LED strips would be too much.

footwells.jpg

4 Comments

  1. Hi, let me leave the first comment.

    I like this mod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have a hardtop mini and i would really like to do this mod.

    But my Electrical related knowledge is zero.

    Can you tell me what exactly do I need to buy from radioshack to perform this mod??

    do i need some sort of clip? to connect the LED to the wires??

    or do I just twist the wire and wrap some electrical tape around them?

  2. “I tapped into the wires for the passenger side footwell light (brown/black=ground; brown/yellow=hot) and ran 18 gauge 2 conductor wire under the carpet edge floor trim to beside the seat, then under the seat rail and to the Oznium strip (gold=ground; silver=hot)”

    What does “tapped” into the wire mean and how can this be performed?

    On your picture,frontwiring.jpg, you have 3 wires. are all 3 wires used?

    I know i sound like an idiot, but I REALLY want to do this for my mini!!! it looks great!

    BTW, do we connect ground to ground and hot to hot?

    Thanks a ton!

  3. Hi Alan – just getting back from MOTD.

    I used red plastic “squeeze” wire taps from Radio Shack – go ask for them like that and they’ll get you the right thing. You use those to connect the “new” wires to the existing passenger footwell harness. The photo actually shows FOUR wires – two little ones connected to the plug for the passenger footwell light (the left part) and the two separate parts of the wire I ran along the sill to the seat. You wire ground-to-ground, hot-to-hot using the color scheme in the post to ID the hot and ground wires on both the passenger footwell harness and on the oznium strip.

    At the LED end, I just twisted the correct wires together and taped. Ideally I’d get some sort of appropriate plug sets from radio shack, to make it easy to disconnect for seat removal… may do that later. But the tiny wires on the oznium strips are a pain to work with and solder… so twisting and taping will work for now…

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