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Door card lights, brighter?

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Leobx16v   
Sat Feb 20 2016, 11:33PM
Joined: Mar 13 2015
Member No: #2090
Location: Blackpool
Right, after taking off my front door cards to do the door mechanisms I noticed there are light bars in the door cards with a LED at one end shining across, has anyone tried to make them brighter because obviously you wouldn't know they're there if you didn't look. I was thinking about maybe replacing the LED for another maybe brighter one, I just think it's a bit annoying having a light you can't see.

Cheers, Leo.
Trainman   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 06:17AM

Joined: Apr 12 2010
Member No: #86
Location: Penwortham
They become brighter, the brighter you have the dashboard lit, having said that, they are fine in my Cream interior but they weren't so good in the Black one I had.........
FreakyFrenchFan   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 07:05AM
Joined: Feb 08 2015
Member No: #2057
Location: Bicester
They are supposed to be subtle.
frozenbeard81   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 10:47AM
Joined: Feb 05 2016
Member No: #2503
Location: Bagshot
With the brightest setting for dash they are more than bright enough.
e3steve   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 11:12AM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
'Tis another thing that I keep meaning to get around to tinkering with. The current LED is a yellow 'waterclear', which I'm going to change for a bright white, just to try.

The problem is that the LCD is too bright at night for my liking; dimming it to a comfortable level makes the doors' lighting too subdued.

My mate's A8 has white LEDs illuminating the interior door openers, but his interior is typically Audi-dark -- a graphite shade.

I'll also try changing out the LEDs' current-limiting resistors. "Normal" values, at 12VDC, used to get the LED to its maximum brightness vs. current (most colours' max current is 20mA) is circa 1kR to 1k5R (R=Ohm [Ω]), so I'll take a look at the as-built resistor value later.
2 User said Thank You to e3steve for this Post :
 cruiserphil (21 Feb : 17:44) , 321dave (21 Feb : 19:15)
gmerry   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 12:14PM
Joined: Dec 11 2009
Member No: #21
Location: Scotland
Whilst on the subject of interior lighting, I've always found the speedo, gear selection display etc too bright when on "dark" and minimum brightness (this is for long night time drives in the depth of the countryside). Has anyone found a way of dimming these further.

Regards
G
FreakyFrenchFan   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 01:43PM
Joined: Feb 08 2015
Member No: #2057
Location: Bicester
I would sell the cars if your not happy with them. Lol!!!!
e3steve   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 09:38PM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
gmerry wrote ...

Whilst on the subject of interior lighting, I've always found the speedo, gear selection display etc too bright when on "dark" and minimum brightness (this is for long night time drives in the depth of the countryside). Has anyone found a way of dimming these further.

Regards
G
I just use the DARK button on long drives at night and when there's little or no road lighting dans les autoroutes, Gordon; one leg en route to l'Auvergne & back for us involves being on the same stretch of road for 113km!
e3steve   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 09:41PM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
FreakyFrenchFan wrote ...

I would sell the cars if your not happy with them. Lol!!!!
"Customisation", Simon! Putting right that which Citroën missed...
e3steve   
Sun Feb 21 2016, 10:08PM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
e3steve wrote ...

'Tis another thing that I keep meaning to get around to tinkering with. The current LED is a yellow 'waterclear', which I'm going to change for a bright white, just to try.

The problem is that the LCD is too bright at night for my liking; dimming it to a comfortable level makes the doors' lighting too subdued.

My mate's A8 has white LEDs illuminating the interior door openers, but his interior is typically Audi-dark -- a graphite shade.

I'll also try changing out the LEDs' current-limiting resistors. "Normal" values, at 12VDC, used to get the LED to its maximum brightness vs. current (most colours' max current is 20mA) is circa 1kR to 1k5R (R=Ohm [Ω]), so I'll take a look at the as-built resistor value later.
Further to the foregoing:

The installed resistor is 330R. This is quite a low value to run a waterclear LED at 12VDC, so I think the dimming device possibly reduces the voltage to the door LEDs. I measured the current draw today (but, alas, not the voltage!) -- a tad under 10mA.

I've now installed a waterclear pure white LED on one door card's optic rod, and I've used a 150R current-limiting resistor therewith. Current draw is 19mA.

Comparison:





1 User said Thank You to e3steve for this Post :
 cruiserphil (22 Feb : 09:05)
e3steve   
Mon Feb 22 2016, 03:20PM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
FreakyFrenchFan wrote ...

They are supposed to be subtle.
Oh, they're subtle alright; to the point of barely visible once the console LCD brightness is adjusted down a bit!

I've just ordered some ultra-bright LEDs in both yellow and warm-white. I'll give them a try and report back. - Click Here - and - Click Here - The light output is much higher than the currently-installed yellow LEDs, which are about 2 candelas (cd). The ultra-bright are 8cd for the yellow and 14cd(!) for the warm-white. If all goes to plan, I should be able to ramp-down the dimmer and still have visible light within the ambient door lighting!

I think the true-white (6000K) is a bit too stark for my liking. The car needs something around the 3500K colour temperature; a 'warmer' light.
1 User said Thank You to e3steve for this Post :
 cruiserphil (22 Feb : 20:26)
paulx19car   
Mon Feb 22 2016, 07:53PM
Joined: Dec 09 2015
Member No: #2431
Location: cardiff
e3steve wrote ...

FreakyFrenchFan wrote ...

They are supposed to be subtle.
Oh, they're subtle alright; to the point of barely visible once the console LCD brightness is adjusted down a bit!

I've just ordered some ultra-bright LEDs in both yellow and warm-white. I'll give them a try and report back. - Click Here - and - Click Here - The light output is much higher than the currently-installed yellow LEDs, which are about 2 candelas (cd). The ultra-bright are 8cd for the yellow and 14cd(!) for the warm-white. If all goes to plan, I should be able to ramp-down the dimmer and still have visible light within the ambient door lighting!

I think the true-white (6000K) is a bit too stark for my liking. The car needs something around the 3500K colour temperature; a 'warmer' light.


Yeah, looks great!! I always thought mine were a little too subtle too. Mind yu my other cars a Mini. Multi coloured door lights in that one
Trainman   
Mon Feb 22 2016, 07:58PM

Joined: Apr 12 2010
Member No: #86
Location: Penwortham
Steve, how easy are they to change?
e3steve   
Tue Feb 23 2016, 10:43PM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Trainman wrote ...

Steve, how easy are they to change?
Not difficult at all, Steve, given a basic level of soldering proficiency. The OEM's aren't soldered; they're production-line 'spot welded', but I cut the wires to mine and started again. I'll upload an image, next time I go into the door panel.

The OEM's also have a signal diode in series with the cathode leg of the LED, but, if it ends up too short it's easy enough (and cheap enough) to replace with a new one. Signal diodes react to voltage-blocking much faster than normal blocking diodes do. I believe they're there to prevent reverse current spooking the dimming device.
1 User said Thank You to e3steve for this Post :
 cruiserphil (24 Feb : 09:12)
e3steve   
Mon Feb 29 2016, 01:04AM
Joined: Jan 21 2013
Member No: #1163
Location: Warsash, Hants & Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Well, I replaced the yellow LED in the driver's-side door today, having obtained some ultra-bright yellow and warm-white LEDs this week from ModMyPi - Click Here - £1 for ten; my two quid order came to £4.98 including postage.




I tried one of the yellow LEDs, connecting it temporarily in parallel and via my tried & tested 150R/⅛-Watt resistor value, with the OEM LED in situ; the light output is marginally greater, but I didn't bother using the yellow. The warm-white is shown in daylight in the above (poorly-focussed) image. I tested this, my choice of LED colour wavelength, in the dark this evening; the warm-white is definitely much more satisfactory:

Both r/h doors open, rear window completely lowered -
Rear door, with OEM LED, in foreground; front door above it, in background, with new warm-white LED



Rear door, OEM yellow LED, taken from inside the car -



Front door, new warm-white LED, taken from inside also -



Front passenger's door, still with the pure-white LED from my last incursion -




Tech info

1. The doors' LEDs are being supplied via the instrument dimmer system -- they're fed with 4.4V via a 330R current-limiting resistor; their current draw is 9mA each.

2. My front doors are now being fed the same 4.4V, but now via a 150R resistor; their new current draw is 19.4mA (comfortably within their design spec scope)

CONCLUSION

The light-wash onto the doors' armrests is much more apparent. Even with the instrument dimmer at its minimum level the light in the door cards is now equal to the previous level enjoyed with the dimmer at its maximum.

I think, perhaps, that the pure-white LED might just suit the dark interiors. Personally, I feel that the warm-white is more in keeping with the Wadabis (cream) colour; it's also is a very good colour- and intensity-match for the seat controls buttons' lighting.

I'll do the rears next weekend...
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