Gauging Interest: Mini Interior Lighting Conversions

Discussion in 'Car Builds, Projects, Idea's Experiments' started by Interior Flair, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Interior Flair

    Interior Flair New Member

    Mar 29, 2010
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    #1 Interior Flair, Mar 29, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
    Gauging Interest: Mini LED Interior Conversions - Now w/Pics!!

    What is the interest in converting the factory interior lighting of the mini from factory orange to red, blue, green, white, and other colors? This is a service we may offer if there is enough interest.

    UPDATE:

    We finished a prototype conversion today. We converted the tach, speedo, manual climate controls, switch panel, steering wheel controls, overhead mood LEDs, and dome light. We went with a white/red theme and the owner could not be more pleased. We removed the factory orange from the tach and speedo needles, painted them red, and backlit them with red LEDs. Displays were converted with red LEDs. The manual climate controls gave us the most problem. We had to remove the orange faceplate film and fabricate new clear light pipes for the dials. We installed a white LED on the switch panel that illuminates the pocket and a 9-LED festoon bulb in the dome light.

    Here are the before and after shots:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

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  2. Onramp

    Onramp Enjoy the Hiways of Life!
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    I'm ALWAYS open to things like this. Whatcha got in mind - a multiple color setup, or a change to one preferred color.
     
  3. Jason Montague

    Jason Montague New Member
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    :Thumbsup::Thumbsup:Me Too :popcorn::popcorn: Jason
     
  4. RonsMinnie

    RonsMinnie New Member
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    Explain -- is this like mood lighting where you can change/shift colors or is it just replacing the white light with a single color?
     
  5. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
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    I met this gentleman at the ABF Road tour over the weekend. We are going to identify a local MINI for conversion. Once that is complete I think everyone will have a better understanding.
     
  6. nabeshin

    nabeshin New Member

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    It's gauge lighting I think, center console back-lighting.

    What I'd like to see is interior courtesy lighting that is either white, or red, and it is instantly changeable with a switch. I just think it would be cool to have red lighting like a submarine. Would be for finding stuff inside the car at night, or reading cd labels... while driving, uh, at night.
     
  7. Interior Flair

    Interior Flair New Member

    Mar 29, 2010
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    The idea is to change factory tach, speedo, climate controls, steering wheel controls, and radio backlighting, along with displays and other illuminated bits from factory color to other colors like red, white, blue, green, etc. Schemes like red on indicators with blue backlight and other contrasting schemes make for, well, contrast.

    Other suggestions like footwell and ambient lighting could be possible as well.

    Like Nathan said, a DFW local owner willing to offer their vehicle as a guinea is required. Basically right now interest is being measured and ground work laid for possible future offerings.
     
  8. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2009
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    The topic of gauge color lighting comes up occasionally on other forums, and there is always interest when pics are posted.

    Simon of EssentialMINI in the UK (http://essentialmini.co.uk/) has been doing it but only locally (actually a while-you-wait service taking a few hours). Here in the US, a few people on NAM have done it on their own gauges (see here and here) and informally done it for a few others by special arrangement, but there hasn't been a regular service available for people to use. If you read the threads (and the topic keeps popping up occasionally), there is clearly interest. However, I think a problem you might have is the need to ship gauges to you and put the car out of commission during the turnaround.

    For other interior lighting in the car, there are lots of possibilities. You can see examples of what I've done in my NAM gallery. Others have done similar things but everybody improvised their own one-off custom mods. There would be interest if you can assemble lighting kits ready to install.
     
  9. versus

    versus Active Member

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    Sounds promising, looking forward to pictures. :popcorn::Thumbsup:
     
  10. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2009
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    I would looooooooooooooove to change my gauge lights to match my "mood" lighting. Is this for Gen 1 or Gen 2?
     
  11. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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  12. RedMini

    RedMini New Member

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    I would be interested in getting: Tach; Speedometer; over head console and center swiths done in either blue or white LED's the read is hard to see. Would that also be the Gels (Tachometer computer readout and automatic climate control).
    Where does the line start.
     
  13. Batrugger

    Batrugger New Member

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    Always wanted it to look like interior lights of my 04 VW:
    IMG_7607.jpg
     
  14. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

    Jun 11, 2009
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    Color change isn't that hard...

    but don't expect it to be changing like the mood lighting, or with a switch. While that's possible, it's not easy at all. These are all surface mount LEDs. Those that have rolled their own have taken the stuff apart and done the work themselves. I got a few extra tachs thinking I'd screw around with it, but never really got the time.

    The parts are inexpensive, but the risk if you screw up badly are large. The NAM thread has lots of examples of peoples work. Surface mount soldering isn't hard, but it takes a steady hand and good eyes!

    Hay, if you do this, get the InvisiLens for the perfect look! (Shameless plug, I know!)

    Matt
     
  15. Interior Flair

    Interior Flair New Member

    Mar 29, 2010
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    Right now we are looking to perform the first conversion on a Gen 1 and need someone local to volunteer their vehicle for conversion development. We have been performing conversions on everything from a 1968 Falcon to a 2009 GT-R and have been doing this full-time for 4 years. We also bring to the market 30 years of electrical engineering experience. We stand behind our work 110% and if by chance something gets damaged, we fix/replace it!

    We envision changing everything that is currently factory orange, including the displays.

    We have performed extensive research and development on multi-color lighting solutions and Matt, you are spot on. The only way to implement this scheme is on custom mood lighting or development of overlay printed circuit boards. BTW Matt, those lenses are trick!
     
  16. jiminni

    jiminni Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2009
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    A guy in our club changed his gauges to blue, it was very labor intensive, as he went in a changed all the individual LEDs, or so he said? It came out very nice :Thumbsup:
     
  17. jiminni

    jiminni Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm.....do I see a "swap out" system in the works?
     
  18. Interior Flair

    Interior Flair New Member

    Mar 29, 2010
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    A local friend of mine has offered up his Gen I as a test bed. Thanks James! We have studied the links provided in this thread (thanks guys!) to research the process and we already have the parts needed in stock. Stay tuned for updates!
     
  19. Interior Flair

    Interior Flair New Member

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    Update: My buddy is coming over today to have his Mini dash lighting converted. Full photo shoot and write-up forthcoming!
     
  20. Interior Flair

    Interior Flair New Member

    Mar 29, 2010
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    First post updated with before and after shots of a white and red conversion on a Gen I 2006 S.

    Thoughts and impressions welcome!
     

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