Ambient Lighting System Upgrade

DavidArmen

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Ever since getting my 2021 JLUR, I’ve been doing minor work and upgrades on her and occasionally dabbling in minor projects. One of those projects was upgrading my Rubicon’s interior ambient lighting system.

Here’s my setup.

Instead of LED strips, I decided to go with rectangular light pods that contain 3 LED’s, each with a translucent lens to soften the light:
830AC906-20BE-419C-854D-2618D04E2EE7.jpeg
6C51D381-26D6-4628-BE28-EA8D231B2E77.jpeg


The factory ambient lighting system contains one warm white LED in the driver footwell and one in the passenger footwell. My setup consisted of disconnecting those LED’s and tapping into the ambient light positive lead, which was White/Light Green in my Jeep, and the ground wire, which was Black/Green (the Yellow/Purple wire is the courtesy lighting for when you open the doors).

The system consists of LED pod pairs in 9 different locations inside the vehicle; one set in each footwell, one set in front of the front seats and one set behind the front seats, and three sets for underneath the rear seats. Each set would contain two pods connected in parallel, so six LED’s in total.
534E3182-2AF0-4B59-A72F-7B3F6D05CB56.jpeg

I'm not a big fan of T-Taps but I haven’t discovered anything better for this type of scenario.

F474C50E-052A-466C-861C-C4CC1B5DD7D7.jpeg
B0F91720-AB87-4CC0-9EDF-B903B49C8681.jpeg


After installing the LED’s and routing the wiring around the sides of the Jeep underneath the carpeting, I connected all Sets in parallel to keep the voltage at 12volts and I am not worried about the current load since each pod is only 0.72watts. My setup contains 18 pods split into two circuits, the driver side ambient wire and the passenger side ambient wire, so each circuit only has 9 pods, making it 6.48W, or 540mA.
F4BC01DC-EEC4-4F90-8C96-BE1D9D3F9DAD.jpeg
025E9262-13EA-4B48-9C24-BCC0C437D8A3.jpeg
75A8D162-FD46-46AA-8F77-965359A9F602.jpeg


Since the system is using the same circuit as the factory Ambient Lighting System, I have full control over the lights with the ambient lighting scroll wheel next to the headlight controls, which I can use to dim the lights or turn them off altogether. Also, since the Jeep turns on both the courtesy and ambient LED’s when you unlock it or open the doors, this system also automatically turns on whenever any doors are opened or whenever the Jeep is unlocked.

5CFD1AF0-528C-4573-93A9-68185B16F3D8.jpeg
85C9D5AA-0F47-4A6B-A495-1D18967B91B2.jpeg
F7248258-352D-42A4-A63C-DA5C87C68419.jpeg


I’m aware of the fact that not everyone in this forum is a fan of the color red! Fear not as there is an endless number of different color LED’s that you can get online if you choose to tackle this simple project!

I unfortunately purchased these specific LED’s at a local LED store so I can’t give a link to it but any LED light can be used as long as they are 12v and don’t have a chip that makes the LED change colors and do other tricks as those types will most likely not be dimmable with the dimmer scroll wheel in the Jeep. I hope this helps anyone who wishes to upgrade any of their interior lighting.
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Shub_32

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Thanks!
Those posi-taps look very promising. I appreciate the tip!
Are you positive on the wires and what they do? I’m installing exterior light on both sides so the lights come on when the doors are unlocked or open.I tried the white wire and that turns them on with the roll switch. Please help. Lol
 
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DavidArmen

DavidArmen

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Are you positive on the wires and what they do? I’m installing exterior light on both sides so the lights come on when the doors are unlocked or open.I tried the white wire and that turns them on with the roll switch. Please help. Lol
Happy to help! First off, what is your wrangler trim and do you have 2 or 3 wires connected to your driver and passenger footwell LED modules?

If you just want the lights to come on when any of the doors open or when the Jeep is unlocked, it does not matter if you have two wires or three. If you have two wires, one will be ground and the other will be the courtesy light positive. Courtesy light being the lights inside that turn on when doors are opened or when jeep is unlocked. If you have three wires, the third wire will be the ambient lighting positive wire what works with the dimmer scroller but you will disregard that since you only need it to be on when doors open or when jeep is unlocked.

But if you wanted to connect those LEDs to the ambient lighting system and use the left side dimmer scroller to dim those LEDs, then that third ambient positive wire would be a requirement so your connectors going to the driver and passenger footwell LED modules have three wires.

In my 2021 JLU Rubicon, the wiring was:
Ground: Black/Green Stripe
Courtesy Light Positive: Yellow/Purple Stripe
Ambient Light Positive: White/Neon Green Stripe
 

Shub_32

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Happy to help! First off, what is your wrangler trim and do you have 2 or 3 wires connected to your driver and passenger footwell LED modules?

If you just want the lights to come on when any of the doors open or when the Jeep is unlocked, it does not matter if you have two wires or three. If you have two wires, one will be ground and the other will be the courtesy light positive. Courtesy light being the lights inside that turn on when doors are opened or when jeep is unlocked. If you have three wires, the third wire will be the ambient lighting positive wire what works with the dimmer scroller but you will disregard that since you only need it to be on when doors open or when jeep is unlocked.

But if you wanted to connect those LEDs to the ambient lighting system and use the left side dimmer scroller to dim those LEDs, then that third ambient positive wire would be a requirement so your connectors going to the driver and passenger footwell LED modules have three wires.

In my 2021 JLU Rubicon, the wiring was:
Ground: Black/Green Stripe
Courtesy Light Positive: Yellow/Purple Stripe
Ambient Light Positive: White/Neon Green Stripe
Hi thanks for the quick response. It’s a 21 rubicon. Has three wires. My 18’ Sahara had three also. I tapped into it and added 2 recessed bolt leds above the mirror. They came on just like the other courtesy lights. I had no problems. I’m reading so many threads about diodes and whatever else. I’m not doing any at that. Instead of adding two interior lights I want two exterior.Do you see any problem tapping into the courtesy light wire? I will tap into each side separate. I understand that the exterior lights will come on if I roll the switch on but that’s ok.
 
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DavidArmen

DavidArmen

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Hi thanks for the quick response. It’s a 21 rubicon. Has three wires. My 18’ Sahara had three also. I tapped into it and added 2 recessed bolt leds above the mirror. They came on just like the other courtesy lights. I had no problems. I’m reading so many threads about diodes and whatever else. I’m not doing any at that. Instead of adding two interior lights I want two exterior.Do you see any problem tapping into the courtesy light wire? I will tap into each side separate. I understand that the exterior lights will come on if I roll the switch on but that’s ok.
I see absolutely no problem with tapping into the courtesy light wire, especially since the exterior lights are also LEDs. Those exterior lights will come on when the jeep is unlocked and a door is opened, but will otherwise be off (unless right side scroller is clicked all the way up, but as you mentioned you already know about that). So it would be perfect for your situation.
 

Shub_32

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I see absolutely no problem with tapping into the courtesy light wire, especially since the exterior lights are also LEDs. Those exterior lights will come on when the jeep is unlocked and a door is opened, but will otherwise be off (unless right side scroller is clicked all the way up, but as you mentioned you already know about that). So it would be perfect for your situation.
Ok Sounds good. Thank you very much!! I’ll let you know how I made out in a week or so.
 

Nash_Dj

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Happy to help! First off, what is your wrangler trim and do you have 2 or 3 wires connected to your driver and passenger footwell LED modules?

If you just want the lights to come on when any of the doors open or when the Jeep is unlocked, it does not matter if you have two wires or three. If you have two wires, one will be ground and the other will be the courtesy light positive. Courtesy light being the lights inside that turn on when doors are opened or when jeep is unlocked. If you have three wires, the third wire will be the ambient lighting positive wire what works with the dimmer scroller but you will disregard that since you only need it to be on when doors open or when jeep is unlocked.

But if you wanted to connect those LEDs to the ambient lighting system and use the left side dimmer scroller to dim those LEDs, then that third ambient positive wire would be a requirement so your connectors going to the driver and passenger footwell LED modules have three wires.

In my 2021 JLU Rubicon, the wiring was:
Ground: Black/Green Stripe
Courtesy Light Positive: Yellow/Purple Stripe
Ambient Light Positive: White/Neon Green Stripe
Hey David, I am looking on various posts and this one of yours made me looking on my 2021 JLU WILLYS and I am now officially confused... I have two scrollers on my dashboard left from my steering wheel and only 2 wires going to those lights in the foot wells. The lights turn on with the doors open. So, why the ambient scroller without the ambient light, or why there is no ambient light when they put the scroller? 😁😁😁😁
Can that scroller be used for something else, than?
Also passenger foot well, but more on the side wall actually has a single green wire coming out of the wrapped bundle and just hanging there, losely tucked between the wire harnes and the wall of the Jeep. Note, it is not the auxiliary wires bundle that is located more towards the front of the foot well/Jeep, Any idea what is it for?
Thanks a bunch!
 
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DavidArmen

DavidArmen

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Hey David, I am looking on various posts and this one of yours made me looking on my 2021 JLU WILLYS and I am now officially confused... I have two scrollers on my dashboard left from my steering wheel and only 2 wires going to those lights in the foot wells. The lights turn on with the doors open. So, why the ambient scroller without the ambient light, or why there is no ambient light when they put the scroller? 😁😁😁😁
Can that scroller be used for something else, than?
Also passenger foot well, but more on the side wall actually has a single green wire coming out of the wrapped bundle and just hanging there, losely tucked between the wire harnes and the wall of the Jeep. Note, it is not the auxiliary wires bundle that is located more towards the front of the foot well/Jeep, Any idea what is it for?
Thanks a bunch!
Apologies for the late reply! You still have that second scroll wheel because every single JL has tiny LEDs inside the interior door handle releases, the ones you pull to open the doors and exit the jeep. So even without the footwell ambient lights, the scroll wheel is still present in all JLs because of those door handle LEDs. If you turn that scroll wheel and look very carefully at the top of the door handle cavities during night time, you will see a tiny LED dimming above the door handle release. This is the reason you still have the second scroll wheel even though you don’t have the ambient lighting system in your front footwell areas.
B07E0910-97E5-411D-BA7A-75AA01C0DAA0.jpeg

Technically, if you were to find the circuit, you could tap into it and use the ambient light scroll wheel to dim other lights that you install but I have no idea where else you can tap into the ambient lighting circuit if you don’t have the ambient light positive lead (White/LightGreenStripe) in your footwell.

As for the two wires, it indicates that you do not have the ambient system in the footwells since those two wires are for ground (Black/GreenStripe) and the positive lead of the courtesy lights (Yellow/PurpleStripe), which turn on when the jeep is unlocked and/or a door is opened. The third wire is what would’ve been the ambient positive lead (White/LightGreenStripe), if it was there.

As far as the tucked-in wire, I really can’t say as I haven’t noticed any unused green wire in my jeep’s footwell area. Do you have any photos of said wire? It would also help if you could check whether the wire is just green or if it also has a stripe of another color, to help better identify what it may be for.
 

Nash_Dj

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Apologies for the late reply! You still have that second scroll wheel because every single JL has tiny LEDs inside the interior door handle releases, the ones you pull to open the doors and exit the jeep. So even without the footwell ambient lights, the scroll wheel is still present in all JLs because of those door handle LEDs. If you turn that scroll wheel and look very carefully at the top of the door handle cavities during night time, you will see a tiny LED dimming above the door handle release. This is the reason you still have the second scroll wheel even though you don’t have the ambient lighting system in your front footwell areas.

B07E0910-97E5-411D-BA7A-75AA01C0DAA0.jpeg


As far as the tucked-in wire, I really can’t say as I haven’t noticed any unused green wire in my jeep’s footwell area. Do you have any photos of said wire? It would also help if you could check whether the wire is just green or if it also has a stripe of another color, to help better identify what it may be for.
David, THANK you very much for the reply. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I just went to my car and played for a while with the switches. I have checked and indeed there are 2 tiny LED lights in the door handles. However on my 2021 JLU WILLYS, they are controlled only with the right (courtesy wheel switch/dimmer), rotating the left wheel switch does nothing to them. Double checked and confirmed!

For the passenger footwell and the right side bunch of wires, indeed there is a green/white wire coming out/splits of the main vertical bunch, around 8" long, it is finished with the same type of heat-shrink cap as the other wires (say, on the separate aux switch wires), everything is TESSA taped nicely and this is nowhere close to the AUX switch wires, which are located towards the left side of the passenger footwell.
Here are few pics, please ignore the surrounding wires/fuses, they are for my ARB dual compressor, I installed underneath my passenger front seat.
I would really like to figure out what this green/white wire is for, and if can use it for what is it made or re-purpose for something else (if it is useful) 😁

20211226_161632.jpg


20211226_161729.jpg


20211226_161346.jpg
 

Blanco Willys

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Ever since getting my 2021 JLUR, I’ve been doing minor work and upgrades on her and occasionally dabbling in minor projects. One of those projects was upgrading my Rubicon’s interior ambient lighting system.

Here’s my setup.

Instead of LED strips, I decided to go with rectangular light pods that contain 3 LED’s, each with a translucent lens to soften the light:
830AC906-20BE-419C-854D-2618D04E2EE7.jpeg
6C51D381-26D6-4628-BE28-EA8D231B2E77.jpeg


The factory ambient lighting system contains one warm white LED in the driver footwell and one in the passenger footwell. My setup consisted of disconnecting those LED’s and tapping into the ambient light positive lead, which was White/Light Green in my Jeep, and the ground wire, which was Black/Green (the Yellow/Purple wire is the courtesy lighting for when you open the doors).

The system consists of LED pod pairs in 9 different locations inside the vehicle; one set in each footwell, one set in front of the front seats and one set behind the front seats, and three sets for underneath the rear seats. Each set would contain two pods connected in parallel, so six LED’s in total.
534E3182-2AF0-4B59-A72F-7B3F6D05CB56.jpeg

I'm not a big fan of T-Taps but I haven’t discovered anything better for this type of scenario.

F474C50E-052A-466C-861C-C4CC1B5DD7D7.jpeg
B0F91720-AB87-4CC0-9EDF-B903B49C8681.jpeg


After installing the LED’s and routing the wiring around the sides of the Jeep underneath the carpeting, I connected all Sets in parallel to keep the voltage at 12volts and I am not worried about the current load since each pod is only 0.72watts. My setup contains 18 pods split into two circuits, the driver side ambient wire and the passenger side ambient wire, so each circuit only has 9 pods, making it 6.48W, or 540mA.
F4BC01DC-EEC4-4F90-8C96-BE1D9D3F9DAD.jpeg
025E9262-13EA-4B48-9C24-BCC0C437D8A3.jpeg
75A8D162-FD46-46AA-8F77-965359A9F602.jpeg


Since the system is using the same circuit as the factory Ambient Lighting System, I have full control over the lights with the ambient lighting scroll wheel next to the headlight controls, which I can use to dim the lights or turn them off altogether. Also, since the Jeep turns on both the courtesy and ambient LED’s when you unlock it or open the doors, this system also automatically turns on whenever any doors are opened or whenever the Jeep is unlocked.

5CFD1AF0-528C-4573-93A9-68185B16F3D8.jpeg
85C9D5AA-0F47-4A6B-A495-1D18967B91B2.jpeg
F7248258-352D-42A4-A63C-DA5C87C68419.jpeg


I’m aware of the fact that not everyone in this forum is a fan of the color red! Fear not as there is an endless number of different color LED’s that you can get online if you choose to tackle this simple project!

I unfortunately purchased these specific LED’s at a local LED store so I can’t give a link to it but any LED light can be used as long as they are 12v and don’t have a chip that makes the LED change colors and do other tricks as those types will most likely not be dimmable with the dimmer scroll wheel in the Jeep. I hope this helps anyone who wishes to upgrade any of their interior lighting.
These look like sign led’s 👀
 
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