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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new here. I've got a 2014 Chevy Cruze LS, and I'm looking to install some floorboard lights. I'd like to have them on with the door lights, and also when the car is running. (I also will be putting a switch in so I can cut them off when needed/wanted.) However, I have absolutely minimal knowledge of cars and electricity. What do I need to do in order to make this happen? Also, will this affect the difficulty of wiring underglow to cut on when the car starts? I know it's LED-overkill but hey, to each their own.
 

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You'd need to tap into both the dome light and a source of "running" power - such as the cigarette lighter. Use a pair of diodes to "combine" the two sources. The lights will be on if either source is on.

No second thought, maybe the cigarette lights isn't so good. I think it stays on much like the radio - until you open the door. Or, maybe that's perfect.
 

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When you say "use a pair of diodes," how do you mean? I'm not sure how or where to place them. They prevent back feeding right? Also, will I need to use a resistor? If so, where? Between the lights and diodes?
 

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When you say "use a pair of diodes," how do you mean? I'm not sure how or where to place them. They prevent back feeding right?
Correct - it's to prevent one circuit from powering the other while still powering the LEDs.



A diode will have a band at one end. Take one diode, connect the side away from the band toward the dome light wire. Take another diode and connect the side away from the band to the cigarettle lighter (or other source of "run" power). Take the two diodes and connect band side leads together. You now have a source of 12V if either the car is running or the dome light is one. A common 1N4001 will work fine, but it's limited to 1A tops.


Also, will I need to use a resistor? If so, where? Between the lights and diodes?
I'm assuming you're using something designed to be used in a car. In that case, no additional resistor is needed.

But then, here's another thought - what about getting two LED strips? One white, one aqua. Connect the white one to the dome light and the aqua one to the cigarette lighter. The light is white when the dome light is on so you can see, but you've got a cool accent light while driving.
 
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