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Ambient (Submarine) Lighting Wiring Help


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Okay so after having a golf a while ago and an astra this week i'm fed up with not having the submarine lights as I find it a good feature at night.

I have looked into buying the new unit from the fiesta:


for about £80?!?! Not worth the money as this looks just like the one in my focus but with the led slots:


So I turn the unit around and check the Haynes manual which says there is one Orange and Blue, one Black and Yellow finally one Black and blue.

I then noticed the extra Orange and Blue connector, connected to a large copper circuit, but powering nothing.


So I took the unit out the car and dismantled it:




And as I suspected the holes are there for the led's, just need to add them and drill two holes in the button surround to emit the light. So I de-soldered some red led's from an old ps2 controler (checked it was all working first)


Removed the copper section covering the hole and put the led in:



Plugged to test and nothing, obvs tried earthing the other side and also connecting to the negative wire already in place. I'm not an electrical genius, just like to try things :D.

Any help and advice is welcome as I don't want to pay £80!?! :S


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If you look at the light fitting there should be a mini spade connector thats where the power feed goes and its gets its earth through the main circuit , you will need 12v LED's , the ones from the PS controller may not be 12v and therefore may have already burned out.

You will also need to check the LED is the correct way around as they are a diode

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subtle orange or red glowing lights that create a soft glow over the gear lever.

They look very nice.

I miss these on my new focus :-(

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@ Preee

Okay mate thanks for the advice

http://www.maplin.co.uk/12v-3mm-leds-35738 think those will do the job??

The extra spade connector was already connected when I removed the cluster, but the extra LED circuit does not connect to the main light circuit at all. there doesnt seem to be a point where the two circuits meet :S

@ DaveD,

Submarine lights can be known as 'ambient' lighting. its normally just two red LED's built into the map light cluster that shine directly down on the gear stick area, illuminating it in a soft red ( not like blackpool iluminations :P ) just a faint light, helps seeing in the dark and just looks nice. Its standard in the focus ST and high spec fiesta's also most VW's, Audis, Vauxhalls etc.. just google it for some pics :)

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Yes Haz those will do the trick.

If they do not connect at all then you could just loop a small wire earth side in the earht circuit of the light fitting , check the polarity of the LED's beforeyou solder them in.

Looks a good idea as the cost of those fiesta lights are crazy , but i have just looked and not found any the same as you have there on eBay.

I already have them in the front and have been considering putting them into the back , so i watch your post and then search for a fitting :)

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Run one end of the LED connection to the single wire that connects to the light fitting and the small bayonet connection to wire 16 behind the headlight switch to create a live connection that comes on with the side lights.

Just fitted an original one and it works a treat.

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  • 7 months later...

I'm having trouble with your guide Haz. I have attached the LED's as specified but the crucial pictures in your guide where the LED's are in the circuit are blurred and I can't see eaxactly how yours looks. :mellow: Has anyone got a back picture of this light fitting so I can have a look at the circuit with the LED's in place?

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Here are some slightly better pics :)

One of the 3mm LED with some crappy insulation on one of the legs :P and one of each of the LEDs in the circuit. Don't know why but my iPhone camera likes to focus on everything but the actual area I want to take a picture of :S




Also a link to the guide as there isn't one in the thread ;)

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I know the 3mm LEDs are crappy to be fair. The 5mm ones are 'apparently' double the light output, but I'm not too sure if that's right.

Glad you found the guide a help though :)

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I fitted some 5mm ones Haz. Now they actually shine on the gear stick. Not too bright, not too dark. I just got a couple of clear Red LED's from work and fitted 1.5k resistors, heat shriked the resistors around the + leg and fitted them.

As you may be able to see, there is a little bit of light leaking from the right LED into one of the map lights. That is because to get these buggers in, I had to drill two 6mm holes. Unfortunately the right one took the brunt, and part of the plastic "wall" went with the drill. Nothing a bit of my magic putty we use at work won't fix. :)


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Yeah they do some 5mm super bright ones at maplins that apparently have over twice the brightness of the 3mm ones :) might get some tomorrow and see if that's true

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  • 2 years later...

It just pops off, you may have to apply a bit of pressure with a screwdriver.

Be aware that the light control switch will drop out so take care not to lose it.

I do have an original ambient light unit available at present, I was going to put it on eBay but can offer it here for £20 plus postage.


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I've found wiring in some LED strip just below the switch panel/above the ashtray 'garage door' gave much better lighting effect around the gearshift area than the submarine lighting LED's. Maybe different if you're able to raise the lighting output compared to Ford's original set up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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