Cabrio dome light - FINALLY! - North American Motoring

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Cabrio dome light - FINALLY!

  #1  
Old 12-04-2006, 09:59 PM
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Cabrio dome light - FINALLY!

Look what I found!



I plan to glue some powerful flat magnets to the back of this and stick it to the integrated roll bar inside the convertable top... Anyone that's been in the cabrio knows that the rear of the car is VERY dark, and even though I've added additional lighting in the rear under the seats, it's still too dark back there for my tastes.

Because the top moves, I was going crazy trying to figure out a way to get a wire in there I such a way that it wouldn't break the first time I opened the top... Now I can just pull it off when I open the roof - this runs on AAA batteries.

Sorry guys - no link to this - I found this on eBay and he seems to only have the one. I'll keep looking for more though and in case anyone wants to know, the name was "3 White LED Portable Battery Operated Light".
 
  #2  
Old 12-04-2006, 10:05 PM
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SORRY - I misread the auction - he has one left if anyone needs one! Only $10!

http://cgi.ebay.com/3-White-LED-Port...QQcmdZViewItem

It comes with Velcro to mount it, but I think that magnets would be LOTS better. I think I'll actually glue on magnets with Epoxy and cover them with thin felt ofr material so they don't scratch up the metal roll bar.
 
  #3  
Old 12-05-2006, 04:34 AM
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I hope those work better than the stick up kind they sell at Walgreen's. The batteries always semed to be dead. We had two closets that had never (in 40 years!!!) been wired for lights. After several sets of those stick-on battery lights, we finally got an electrician to find some hot wires to extend to the closets.
 
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:46 AM
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You might want to go with the velcro. The first time you hit a good bump the magnet is likely to let go and it will hit you in the back of the head or disappear under a seat never to be seen again.
 
  #5  
Old 12-05-2006, 06:02 AM
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I thought about that, but I'll try a super strong magnet first... I'm trying to avoid the glue mess from Velcro. I know a place that has the riduculously strong ones.
 
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:51 PM
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Careful you don't pull bridge girders down on your head with those Super Strong Magnets...

(good idea! )
 
  #7  
Old 12-06-2006, 07:06 AM
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If you check camping supply stores both brick and morter and online you can find tent lights that do the same thing. The magnet is sperate and meant to be put on the outside of the tent and you put the light up on the inside of the tent. The magnets are very strong.

The coleman one will not work since it is a normal bulb and eats up batteries pretty quick. I have seen ones that look almost exactly like the one posted that uses LEDs to keep the current draw down. It wouldn't be much of a problem to mount the magnet to the unit permanantly if needed.
 
  #8  
Old 12-06-2006, 08:26 AM
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Great suggestion, Hunter99. I was actually looking for camping lights when I found the unit in my original post. The ones I found were a tad large, but I might have just not seen the smaller units. Hopefully the one above will be as small in real life as I'm imagining and will be virtually invisible when installed.
 
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:11 PM
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I saw these today in the Smarthome catalog (the same people who sell the infamous seat coolers). How do they compare in size, weight, etc? Good luck with the install!
 
  #10  
Old 12-06-2006, 12:15 PM
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Well, I don't have my unit yet, but if you look at the size of the LEDs the Smarthome ones look quite a bit larger (wider, for sure)... That said, they still might not be very noticable when installed - give 'em a try and post pics when they're up so we can all see. They're also available in different colors, so you could color coordinate the light with your interior.
 
  #11  
Old 12-06-2006, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by katesmini View Post
I saw these today in the Smarthome catalog (the same people who sell the infamous seat coolers). How do they compare in size, weight, etc? Good luck with the install!
I saw these in a three pack at costco the other day.
 
  #12  
Old 12-07-2006, 12:32 AM
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I've been interested in adding rear passenger lighting ever since I got my MCC a year ago. I have the darkest interior combination -- black octagon cloth seats and anthracite interior trim. Looks great contrasted against Pepper White when the top is down, but completely pitch black in the rear when the roof is up.

Rather than a dome light, I've been taking a different approach. I am planning to install rear reading lights somewhere in the area forward and above the rear speakers. I would wire them so they light up automatically as courtesy lights, and also could be manually switched on at any time. In addition I also want to install rear footwell courtesy lights.

My thought was to use an OEM reading light from a car (usually mounted in the headliner). My criteria was that the fixture has an integrated switch and any plastic trim would be dark (rather rare because most headliners are light grey or beige). I looked on quite a few car manufacturer websites trying to find pictures of their reading lights. I settled on the rear reading lights of the BMW X5 which are located over the rear passenger doors. I purchased a pair from Classic MINI/BMW:



That was some 9 months ago and I still haven't gotten around to installing them. Mostly it is procrastination and motivation holding me back because I know the hassle it will take to remove the interior panels and rear seats to properly install the wiring. Also while the panels and seats are out I could take the opporunity to install sound dampening (e.g. Dynamat), but that involves making yet another decision and commitment.

I certainly have not looked at all the possible reading lights. If anybody knows of other ones I should consider, I would welcome suggestions.
 
  #13  
Old 12-07-2006, 01:03 PM
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::: Nods :::

I had this EXACT same idea. My design (still tentative) would use something like this as a starting point:



I'd remove the LEDs on the end and then wire them to the 12v. power. Trick is, I'd have to step the power down to 1.5v, since a light like this runs on only a single AA battery. For you electrical engineers out there, that would mean building something called an LM317 circuit, using resistors to step down the current... (I only know this in theory - if you can build circuits with breadboard and soldering irons, please PM me and maybe we can work something out - I haven't done circuit design since college.)



The drawback I see is that you'd have to drill something like a 45mm HOLE in the side-liner to accomodate the aluminum disc tha tthe LEDs sit in, and that's what they call "non reversable" in the MODding world. PLus, it would not be able to be swivelled or moved (like, say a MAP LIGHT would be) - I'm also looking for possible solutions that use a "eye swivel" type map light (like the lights you find on commercial airliners in the overhead) instead, but anything designed for an airplane is like $100-$300 for a simple mechanisim. Yeeks.

I also have plans to add additional LED light into the REAR HEADRESTS as well - I'm not sure how much extra light that will add, however. I expect to have that MOD done a few weeks after Xmas and I'll post pics, or course.
 
  #14  
Old 12-07-2006, 01:26 PM
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That 3 LED light is exactly what I was looking for to use on another project, and if it doesn't work, I may try it in Gromit. None left on eBay.
 
  #15  
Old 12-07-2006, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ImagoX View Post
::: Nods :::

I had this EXACT same idea. My design (still tentative) would use something like this as a starting point:
I think it is a bit convoluted to try to start with flashlight parts. There are plenty of plug-and-play 12V LED modules designed for vehicles and boats. For example see the variety of products at superbrightleds.com and superlumination.com. I looked into OEM reading lights because I wanted something with an integrated switch, and something that really looks like a car light that might have come from the factory. I would probably change the festoon bulb to an LED replacement.

Now if I could just get my butt moving to install the X5 lights, the work should take no more than a day. Maybe the short winter days will motivate me to get it done.
 
  #16  
Old 12-07-2006, 02:20 PM
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Excuse the interuption, but I have an Off Topic question:

Suzann, have you placed yourself on the Hot Orange Owners Frappr Map?

Now back to your regularly scheduled Topic....

 
  #17  
Old 12-07-2006, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
I think it is a bit convoluted to try to start with flashlight parts. There are plenty of plug-and-play 12V LED modules designed for vehicles and boats. For example see the variety of products at superbrightleds.com and superlumination.com.
Duuuuur.... They DO have a lot of options, and many look like better options than the modified flashlight idea - good suggestion!

I'm sort of thinking something like this (3 LED "puck" light), wired with a switch (so the rear passenger can light it on demand):



I'm thinking the best installation would use a mounting plate, angled downwards so the light doesn't shine directly sideways. I may have to order upa few of these and check them out. Thanks for the tip!
 
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:00 PM
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...on second thought... NAH... too plastic-y looking. If I'm going to do something like this, I want it to look quality (since it will be visible). The aluminum housing on that flashlight at least looked solid. I dunno... Too bad they don't make a puck light with that flashlight's array as a source (sigh).
 
  #19  
Old 12-28-2006, 05:48 PM
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Well, I got the unit and it works GREAT... I ended up using the Velcro, as the reinforcement bar in the cabrio roof is behind plastic and the magnet idea didn't work. I tried taking a "before" picture, but it was so dark that my camera wouldn't even focus. The blue glow at the bottom of the shot are my under-seat cold cathodes, which are insufficient to light the rear seat as I hoped they would be. The white LEDs are pleasingly cool-toned and are surprisingly bright...

 
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:36 PM
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I found a different one that works!

I had looked at a couple of these Sylvania DOT it lights on the web.

Cabrio dome light - FINALLY!-b000cmgxpm.01-ah11ro2qdrfzi._aa280_sclzzzzzzz_v38138128_.jpg

Today in AdvanceAuto they had them on sale for less than $8. So I bought a black one. Stuck it right in the same location Matt used - the bar over the rear seat. It's the perfect size for this - about the same width as the plastic bar cover, and the self-stick on the light adhered well. You just push on, push off. The three LEDs are just right! And it's thin enough (3/4") that it does interfere with anything when retracting the top - it doesn't get pushed sufficiently to turn it on!

Nobody would ever think "That doesn't belong there..."

And it's easy for my kids to hit it in the dark.
 
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:43 PM
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My rear reading lights are installed. See description and pics in this thread: https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ad.php?t=90329



An additional lighting idea I could suggest is a lamp that sits on top of the little shelf above the rear speaker.
 
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
My rear reading lights are installed. See description and pics in this thread: https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ad.php?t=90329



An additional lighting idea I could suggest is a lamp that sits on top of the little shelf above the rear speaker.
That looks GREAT
 
  #23  
Old 01-27-2007, 09:00 AM
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Yeah - thanks for making my solution look cheap, lazy and inferior.


This rocks.
 
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:09 PM
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Lol
 
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