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  #1  
Old 08-04-2013, 10:00 AM
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hriczko806 hriczko806 is offline
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Default How-to: $8.00 LED Interior Cab Lights

Disclaimer** This How-To worked for me, however, this is an "at your own risk" mod. I am only sharing what I did to make my own led dome light set.

After looking for a good set of LED cab lights and seeing how much they cost I decided to make a set myself (kind of). If you've ever tried to buy a regular set of LEDs and install them you know they don't work normally. When you click the dome light they might come on but then they wont when the door opens or vice versa. So what you need is a resistor to make it work.

Here are the steps to make your own LED dome lights for less than 10 bucks.

1. Buy a set from eBay or Amazon. I bought these.


IMG_0950 by zxsix, on Flickr

2. I bought a set of resistors from radio shack. I used 1-kohm 1-watt resistors.


IMG_0951 by zxsix, on Flickr

3. Now just solder the resistors to each end of the LED bulb. I chose not to tape or cover the resistor. I bent it down a little bit to fit better.


IMG_0952 by zxsix, on Flickr

Now install the bulbs and your good to go. I have had them installed for about 3 months without a single problem. They will heat up but Ive never had a problem with them. I actually had them on so long that the truck turned them off to conserve battery and had no issues.

Theyre very bright and for less than 10 bucks is a great mod and well worth the time.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2013, 03:25 PM
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Excellent write up. Thanks for the info! Reps for the how to.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:59 PM
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Curious; the resistor seems to be wired in parallel. what is the purpose of the resistor?
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:29 AM
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The resister is doing basically what filament in the bulb does. And that is slowing down the force of the current, creating a resistance and, thus, creating work, or in this case, light. The filament glows because of the resistance it creates in the electrical current. The resistor is, thus, duplicating what the filament does, more or less, allowing the current to slow down, do some work, and let the LED to light up on demand. Because there is so little resistance in the LED light, the current just passes right through without doing any work. Ohm's law states that the direct current flowing in a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference between its ends. It is usually formulated as V = IR, where V is the potential difference, or voltage, I is the current, and R is the resistance of the conductor. Think of electricity in the form of water. Water flowing through a hose at 40 psi is just going to flow out of the spout. But, now put a nozzle on that spout, lowering the amount of water that can come through, building pressure at the nozzle and zip, bing, batta bing, you've got a long stream of water coming out now.
On the 3rd gen Rams, we need this resistor to make the map lights work on demand. The 4th gen Rams don't seem to have this issue.

Clear as mud? There are entire college classes on just this one subject. Hope this little bit of education had given you some knowledge, at least some info for further thought. Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:43 AM
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Now, I did mine a little different than hriczko806 did his. I tried to use the resistor that he did, but came up short. Using Ohm's law, V=IR, I figured out the 1W with 1K ohms wasn't allowing enough current to pass through to light up my LED. What I needed was 10W with about 18ohms. Unfortunately, a 10W resistor is huge, bigger than my bulb. So I decided to cut the wattage in half and double the ohms. So I tried it with a 5W 47ohm resistor, and it worked. Here's a pic of what it looked like.

This resistor cost me $.99 at Frys (Radio Shack on steroids)
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerRamJet View Post
The resister is doing basically what filament in the bulb does. And that is slowing down the force of the current, creating a resistance and, thus, creating work, or in this case, light. The filament glows because of the resistance it creates in the electrical current. The resistor is, thus, duplicating what the filament does, more or less, allowing the current to slow down, do some work, and let the LED to light up on demand. Because there is so little resistance in the LED light, the current just passes right through without doing any work. Ohm's law states that the direct current flowing in a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference between its ends. It is usually formulated as V = IR, where V is the potential difference, or voltage, I is the current, and R is the resistance of the conductor. Think of electricity in the form of water. Water flowing through a hose at 40 psi is just going to flow out of the spout. But, now put a nozzle on that spout, lowering the amount of water that can come through, building pressure at the nozzle and zip, bing, batta bing, you've got a long stream of water coming out now.
On the 3rd gen Rams, we need this resistor to make the map lights work on demand. The 4th gen Rams don't seem to have this issue.

Clear as mud? There are entire college classes on just this one subject. Hope this little bit of education had given you some knowledge, at least some info for further thought. Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
I understand ohms law and electricity. I am just a bit boggled because the resistor seems to be in parallel and not in series. In parallel both loads get supply voltage.

Edit: I did some more research. Resistors in parallel with LEDs are for bulb failure detection. The system tests the circuit and with just LEDs installed reads as a false blown bulb. The resistor gives the circuit a resistance creating a measurable current draw.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple guy View Post
I understand ohms law and electricity. I am just a bit boggled because the resistor seems to be in parallel and not in series. In parallel both loads get supply voltage.

Edit: I did some more research. Resistors in parallel with LEDs are for bulb failure detection. The system tests the circuit and with just LEDs installed reads as a false blown bulb. The resistor gives the circuit a resistance creating a measurable current draw.
Bingo! I reckon I overstated the theory and not the question, which was why.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:36 PM
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That makes sense now. I knew it worked but never fully understood how. Good info!
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