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Permanent Footwell Lighting, Quick Easy Way?


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Hi, I have been trying to do this for so long but have come to no conclusion. I simply want my footwell lights to be permanently on whilst driving. I replaced the footwell filament bulbs with LED so there is now no risk of fire or overheating etc.

What is the easiest way to do this? I have heard there is a way to cut into the light timer so they stay on after the doors are shut and the engine is started.

I'm new to wiring so simple text please and no technical electric talk :wacko:


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With the advent of coloured LEDs, this so-called "ambient lighting" is quite popular. A lady friend has footwell lights with changing multi-coloured LEDs in her BMW Alpina and one lady passenger was so taken with it, she spent the whole journey saying, "I can see my shoes."

IANAL, but I can't recall seeing anywhere that it's unlawful to have an interior light, even the main one, illuminated whilst the vehicle is in motion. (See below.)

Coloured light affects your night vision less than white light. I've replaced the bulb in my interior light with one full of red LEDs for this reason.

As for wiring them, keep it simple. Find a wire at the fusebox which goes live when the ignition is turned on. Splice a wire into this and run it to one light and then to the other. Run wires from the other side of each light to earth.

PS. The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, which governs the lighting of motor vehicles, specifically allows the use of interior lighting, subject to certain conditions. Otherwise, buses would be breaking the law. Many cars have interior lamps in the back to allow passengers to work or see for other purposes during a journey. Many also have map reading lights in the front for the use of the front passenger.

Part II (Section 11, Paragraph 2) of the Regulations, which governs the fitting of lamps, states that "No vehicle shall be fitted with a lamp which is capable of showing any light to the rear, other than a red light". However, this is carried forward from the original Regulations, and there is now a list of modern exceptions to this, including rear number plate illumination lights, turn indicators and "a light to illuminate the interior of a vehicle".

Section 27 defines the restrictions on the use of lamps and Item 11 is the catch-all "any other lamp". It states that these must not be used "so as to cause undue dazzle or discomfort to other persons using the road".

So, even if your white interior light can be seen through the rear window (or my red one through the windscreen), and is not causing dazzle or discomfort to others, it is not unlawful have it illuminated while driving.

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