Author Topic: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it  (Read 23971 times)

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Offline Daveg

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*HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« on: August 04, 2008, 06:58:08 PM »
A while ago there was some discussion about how some models have a blue ambient light that shines down on the gearstick area.  If you don't have this light and want it, follow these instructions (at your own risk):

You'll need an LED strip:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160262105675&

and some blue lighting gel in the colour of your choice:
http://www.bluearan.co.uk/index.php?id=PLIFILT19&product=GEL_SHEET_119_-_DARK_BLUE&browsemode=category

I have spares of both the above from my install should forum members want them.

1: Firstly follow my thread here to remove the centre console 
http://www.mazda3forums.co.uk/index.php?topic=1843.0

2: This is the important part - the aircon controls unit.  See the black cover at the bottom?  We are going to remove that and put some lights there.



3: Pop open the casing by gently peeling the clips back.  Remove the black cover and clean the remaining sticky tape with something such as 3M citrus cleaner (paint safe).



4: Apply some strong double sided tape and then stick down some lighting gel of the colour of your choice.  I went for blue.



See what it is yet?



5: I bought a long strip of white surface mount LEDs.  The strip is flexable and the LED's are strong - it's perfect as it is so small. Even better the strip can be cut into small 3 LED sections perfect for this use.  Connect them with some wire and then attach them in the location shown below.  A glue gun works perfectly for holding/securing them in place.



6: Connect the LED's to the very left two pins on the aircon unit's PCD.  Top is switched +12V and bottom is 0V ground.



7:  Now clip the cover back on, plug the unit back in, re-assemble the dash and wait until dark to admire your glowing gearstick:





Please post here if you decide to do this mod =D

Dave
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 06:58:51 PM by Daveg »
BEEN DONE | TWM short shift | angel eyes w/custom control |  Osram Silverstar head+fog lights | removed side mouldings | iPod interface | ambient downlight mod | boot light mod | CX-7 aerial | bonnet dampers | clear fog lamp |
TO COME   | rear tint |

Offline neeldub

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008, 07:07:59 PM »
excellent write up dave.. stickied  ;D
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Offline Stuno1

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 08:36:17 PM »
nice one mate, well done.
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Offline daiking

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008, 08:55:23 PM »
Nice work.

I would be a little apprehensive with soldering onto the climate pcb, is there any chance of an easier connection to the ashtray illumunation?

Offline Daveg

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 09:10:11 PM »
Nice work.

I would be a little apprehensive with soldering onto the climate pcb, is there any chance of an easier connection to the ashtray illumunation?


Cheers,

Yes, you could easily run a wire down to the ashtray bulb for example.  I hadn't thought of that and to be honest I think most people would prefer it.  I personally like it clean, and since soldering things is second nature I prefer to have it all sealed in if you get me.
BEEN DONE | TWM short shift | angel eyes w/custom control |  Osram Silverstar head+fog lights | removed side mouldings | iPod interface | ambient downlight mod | boot light mod | CX-7 aerial | bonnet dampers | clear fog lamp |
TO COME   | rear tint |

alexpatrick86

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 02:02:54 PM »
i dont knwo if the picture is standard or whatever, but the pic which has the instrument cluster int it aswell, is that how blue the background is meant to be. i find that onyl the top half of my dials are lit by blue adn not all of them. is this correct?

Offline Daveg

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008, 02:16:10 PM »
i dont knwo if the picture is standard or whatever, but the pic which has the instrument cluster int it aswell, is that how blue the background is meant to be. i find that onyl the top half of my dials are lit by blue adn not all of them. is this correct?

I'll check tonight when it's dark for you.  It may be that because the photo was a long exposure (about 30 seconds) that the blue has bled down and makes it look like the whole dial is blue.

Dave
BEEN DONE | TWM short shift | angel eyes w/custom control |  Osram Silverstar head+fog lights | removed side mouldings | iPod interface | ambient downlight mod | boot light mod | CX-7 aerial | bonnet dampers | clear fog lamp |
TO COME   | rear tint |

Offline finnster

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2008, 03:27:33 PM »
I found the blue light under my Climate Control when I read the earlier thread about it, did not notice it before.

Can anyone shed any light (pardon the pun) as to why Mazda decided to put one there - I really cannot see the point, it is almost as if they finished building the car and had a few LED's left over so thought what the hell do we do with these??

Dont get me wrong I do like the light and the wierdness of it but still cannot see why  ??? ???
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Offline Daveg

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2008, 05:24:17 PM »
The blue glow is actually a lot more subtle than it looks in the pictures.  I thought it was a bit random until I noticed my mates BMW convertable had the same thing.
BEEN DONE | TWM short shift | angel eyes w/custom control |  Osram Silverstar head+fog lights | removed side mouldings | iPod interface | ambient downlight mod | boot light mod | CX-7 aerial | bonnet dampers | clear fog lamp |
TO COME   | rear tint |

Offline daiking

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2008, 05:56:10 PM »
i dont knwo if the picture is standard or whatever, but the pic which has the instrument cluster int it aswell, is that how blue the background is meant to be. i find that onyl the top half of my dials are lit by blue adn not all of them. is this correct?
Standard look of dials in the dark: Edit: lower spec post 2006 models have white dials hence they show up blue

Edit: picture of dials taken out - not needed


I think its the white dials in Daveg's photo that is making it look very bright.

DaveG, could you include where you got the LEDs from in your opening post? thanks
« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 10:55:40 AM by daiking »

Offline Daveg

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2008, 06:56:21 PM »
DaveG, could you include where you got the LEDs from in your opening post? thanks

Ooops, forgot to put that in! Edited in now.

Dave
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 06:59:36 PM by Daveg »
BEEN DONE | TWM short shift | angel eyes w/custom control |  Osram Silverstar head+fog lights | removed side mouldings | iPod interface | ambient downlight mod | boot light mod | CX-7 aerial | bonnet dampers | clear fog lamp |
TO COME   | rear tint |

Offline Willpower

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2008, 03:45:32 AM »
i dont knwo if the picture is standard or whatever, but the pic which has the instrument cluster int it aswell, is that how blue the background is meant to be. i find that onyl the top half of my dials are lit by blue adn not all of them. is this correct?
Standard look of dials in the dark:
( picture as above)

I think alexpatrick has a 2.0ltr Sport Dave. In which case the lighting is different as he has blacked out dials. I'll try and get a picture of mine.
Look at life through the windscreen, not the rearview mirror.
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Offline daiking

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2008, 10:35:37 AM »
I think alexpatrick has a 2.0ltr Sport Dave. In which case the lighting is different as he has blacked out dials. I'll try and get a picture of mine.
That might be why  ;D

Offline Willpower

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2008, 09:49:38 PM »
i dont knwo if the picture is standard or whatever, but the pic which has the instrument cluster int it aswell, is that how blue the background is meant to be. i find that onyl the top half of my dials are lit by blue adn not all of them. is this correct?

Perhaps this picture will answer your question..   This is a 2004 2.0 Ltr Sport with black out dials  



While taking this I had to adjust the exposure several times because my camera was trying to get as much light as possible. What you see is as accurate as I can get it and matches what the human eye sees.
The blue effect comes from the bulbs at the top of the dials and illuminates the rest of the outer circle by reflection / transmission only. There are no further light sources around the dials.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 09:58:26 PM by Willpower »
Look at life through the windscreen, not the rearview mirror.
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Offline Mobymg

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2008, 10:38:46 PM »
Dave nice mod,i already have one but is very dull,is it possible to fit in brighter bulb/led in there?

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Re: *HOW TO* Retro-fit blue ambient light on models without it
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2008, 10:38:46 PM »