How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vibe

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info

How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vibe

Postby KITT222 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:59 am

This tutorial will go through the basic steps of converting your ugly, yellow incandescent bulbs to bright, white LED lights. The LEDs used in this tutorial are from any of these auctions: http://stores.ebay.com/Fyre-Flys-LED-Sh ... 34.c0.m322

If you DON'T have a sunroof order 4. If you DO have a sunroof order 3. Any other LEDs similar to these will work. Personally, after doing this twice, I prefer the connectors used in this tutorial. If you get the polarity wrong you can just flip the connector.

This was done on my friend's 2003 Vibe AWD withOUT sunroof, so it has the mirror maplights. I will also post the difference in it if you have a Vibe WITH a sunroof, like my own.

Disclaimer: I can NOT be held liable if you hurt yourself, others, your car, your cat, die in a fiery death or anything else which could happen. I claim no responsibility if something goes wrong, especially an alien abduction and/or zombie apocalypse. That said the only issue I've encountered is a blown fuse because of my own stupidity.

Tools needed: just two screwdrivers: a real thin one and an average one, both flatheads. You could use just a single thin one, but having the second one is pretty convenient.

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The LEDs come as 12 SMD LED lights on a plate with a wire and a connector. The connector goes to 1 of 3 plugs. One is a wedge, one a twist-style, and the last a spring-loaded dumbell (for lack of a better word). For those without the sunroof you'll need to use two wedge ones. Sunroof'd owners, you'll need a twist-style. All will need to use two of the springy ones.

I'll start at the primary ones: the ones that light up when a door is open. If you don't know which ones these are, they're the square-shaped ones in the ceiling, one in the cargo area, the next smack-dab in the center of the passenger area ceiling. Start by turning the roller-thingy and turn the interior lights OFF (not the line so they're only on with the door, OFF). Then take your big screwdriver and sticking it between the light lens and the headliner, like so.

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Slowly pry it off. If you just pry at it, the entire thing could come out of the ceiling. But that is unlikely. Just be careful. Once you get one of the clips out the entire thing just snaps off. Once that is off, you'll end up with this:

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Lens:

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Remove the power-cell looking light, and get your LED light ready.

Comparison:

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The spring part will need to be fully compressed. squeeze it all the way, and insert it. In my case red was on the drivers side, and black on the passenger side. Test it by turning the dial from OFF to ON. If it doesn't work you can reverse the connector or the spring part. Then remove the backing to the tape on the back of the LED plate, and stick it to the plastic. It fits perfectly in the plastic ribs!

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Make sure the wires are flat, and put the lens back on. It snaps into place.

Comparison of the new LEDs to the yellow incandescent lights.

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Repeat for the other light. The second one goes way faster. I did the next one in under 30 seconds.

Now for the NO sunroof-specific section. This is for those with the maplights in the mirror. Take your skinny screwdriver and pry the lens covers off with the little notch facing the front of the car. Or, if you have fingernails like my friend does, you can just take it off like that.

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To remove the bulb, save your fingers, and CAREFULLY take your skinny screwdriver, get it behind the bulb and slowly, bit by bit, pry it out.

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It will shoot out, so be ready. We weren't ready, and now my friend has a bulb somewhere inside of his car where we can't find it. Once the bulb is out, you'll have this

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Wedge in your new LED wedge-connector. Test the light. If it doesn't work, play with the connector and see if it lights up. It is VERY bright though, so avoid staring directly at it. Tape the connector once the light works. Carefully stuff the wires into place. Once the plate is inside the space where the lens can fit back on, test it again. It may not work, so again play with the wires. What we did was continually test it as we were stuffing the wires into the reflector. Once you get it into place, slip the lens on. Test it again. You won't need the tape, it will just be held in by the lens. This is a finicky procedure. No cutting is required. Once its in, this is what it should look like.

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Lit up comparison

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Now repeat for they passenger side one. This one is easier to get the bulb out of, but you need to be more careful when stuffing the wires and putting the lens on. Two people is ideal for just getting the lenses back on. Once you're done, this is what it should look like when lit up

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Results!

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Maplights on in a dark garageLights on, in a garage only illuminated by a rather annoying streetlight

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And you're done! Bask in your new glow!


For those with a sunroof, here is a short tidbit for you.

Take this connector. It looks like the base of a bulb.

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Take a Philips-head screwdriver and unscrew the screw in the cover.

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Once the screw is out, do the same as you did with the other dome light covers and pull off the cover. You might pull the whole thing out, which I do not know the consequences of. I brace my fingers against the buttons, and pull on the cover. It works okay for me. Once its off you'll be left with this:

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Pull out the bulb and put in the new LED adapter. I've done this a long time ago. That bulb is in Timbuktu for all I know. Here's the finished result:

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Note the wire colors. By the sounds of it its pretty common that polarity is flat-out wrong. Since the connectors I used a while back weren't reversible I had to pull the wire out of the connector and put them in the other way. Its still holding up. But still, test, test, test to make sure it works.

Snap the cover back on, reinstall the screw and you're finished.

Enjoy the glow sunroof'd Vibers!

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Last edited by KITT222 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lovemyraffe » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:05 am

Nice write up.

March 2011 MOTMFebruary 2010 MOTM

My GenVibe garage

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Postby Persephone » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:20 pm

Ordered my lights. . . I am so excited. Thank you for this.

My lovely Gambit.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vibe (KITT222)

Postby vibe-a-licious » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:07 am

thanks for the tips and website. Got my set of LEDs on order now
2005 Vibe AWD
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Postby LarryKingsShoes » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:09 pm

Thanks for the guide, KITT222. It looks like it's pretty straightforward. I ordered my LEDs when you first brought up your plans of writing this and have tried swapping out the cargo light. The bulb that is already in there is really tough to get out. I still haven't gotten it out. I have a plan, though.

I wasn't thinking when I ordered them and only bought 3. I hadn't even considered wanting to swap the map lights, too. I may end up ordering a few extras and just doing the map lights and cargo light for now. The back seat light can wait a few weeks for the delivery.

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Postby KITT222 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:57 am

Thanks everyone!

Original post edited for sunroof'd Vibers

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Re: (KITT222)

Postby chadhgraves » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:32 pm

Those look great! I've never thought about doing that. Excellent tutorial with pics too. Looks easy enough and will probably never have to replace the lights for the life of my car. I'm definitely ordering some of those.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby 07cdnvibe » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:37 am

nice write up, i have done this but i have installed all red lights, it is a bit harder to see in the car when looking for change etc but you get use to it at night but looks very nice when sitting somewhere, adds a nice ambient lighting....lol great for sitting at the drive in etc.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby liquidaluminum » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:09 pm

Kitt, I noticed that you were using the 12 panel LEDs I've got a question for you. On the dome light and the light above the hatch, I noticed that since it's only one panel for each, they sit on one side respectively. Say I wanted to put another panel on the other side of the dome, do you know if enough power is being supplied to allow for splicing one panel into another, so it looks a little more even when the lights are on?
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby KITT222 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:26 pm

liquidaluminum wrote:Kitt, I noticed that you were using the 12 panel LEDs I've got a question for you. On the dome light and the light above the hatch, I noticed that since it's only one panel for each, they sit on one side respectively. Say I wanted to put another panel on the other side of the dome, do you know if enough power is being supplied to allow for splicing one panel into another, so it looks a little more even when the lights are on?


They are offset since I can't place the 12-LED panels on the connectors, but I'm sure that enough power is supplied to the socket for two LED panels. There's a big difference in voltage from the incandescent Edison style bulbs to the modern LEDs. I kinda want even more light to my hatch at night, so I may consider more lights eventually.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby Derf » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:33 pm

Thanks for the great write up, made coverting my lights a lot easier.

Have 2005 moon and tunes. I can confirm that this kit will work for the moon roof map light and interior lights. It is the largest panel, that will still fit;
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221024398108?ss ... 1439.l2649
With double side adhesive on back(Can be glued but did not need to)
LED Qty : 48 5050SMD LEDs
Voltage: 12V DC
Color: Pure White
Color temperature: 6000K-6500K
Luminous flux: 240LM
Lifespan : About 5,000 hours
Dimension: approx. 58mm x 43mm

With this panel the current draw is comparable to the bulb taken out, but is so much BRIGHTER
This light is bright enough to comfortably read a book with, and perfect for the back hatch area, you can see the pack of gum that fell out when your stuffing your groceries in the back... :D
2005 Neptune Vibe "Bandit" Auto, Moon & Tunes 1.8L 195k
1994 Ford Taurus 3.0L "Tortoise", slow and reliable 251k
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby cptnsolo77 » Tue May 28, 2013 3:30 pm

I just used the above LEDs. Thx for the info. Perfect fit & WAYYY brighter than stock lighting. I didnt use tape for the map light though. It just sits on the lens cover. There isnt much to really stick it to. The 2 dome light i did use the adhesive. Great little upgrade. Its the small mods that are usefull & fun 8-)
* 2003 Vibe Auto Satellite Silver w / Moons & Tunes
* Kenwood Excelon KDC-X597
* Polk DB651-Speakers
* Soundproofcow Roadblock R sound deadening in all doors
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* NGK Iridium IX Plugs
* 28 MPG City/Highway with AC on
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby petervivian » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:53 am

Does the LED light get hotter than the stock bulb?
05 Frosty Vibe, 13 Fortana Red CC
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby KITT222 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:08 pm

petervivian wrote:Does the LED light get hotter than the stock bulb?


Nope, they actually stay cooler. Not as much energy loss. LEDs in general stay cooler than halogen bulbs.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby joo1ee » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:18 am

Great guide! Thanks for posting. I went ahead and ordered some LEDs for my '06 Vibe's interior this week and I just installed them yesterday. It looks like things are even easier for us these days because you can just buy an LED version of the bulbs straight-up.

For my Moon & Tunes '06 Vibe, I needed the following:

1 x BA9 (for the light next to the sunroof controls)
2 x DE3175 (for the dome lights above the passenger seat and the cargo area)
2 x 168/194 (for the license plate)

BA9
Image

D3175
Image

168/194
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They look fantastic!
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby Halo9809 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:26 pm

I was just wondering, this is probably going to seem kind of stupid, but what options do I choose for size when adding to my cart from this particular led lights on amazon? http://www.amazon.com/Cutequeen-12-SMD- ... 98LJH5LOGM
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby KITT222 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:59 pm

Halo9809 wrote:I was just wondering, this is probably going to seem kind of stupid, but what options do I choose for size when adding to my cart from this particular led lights on amazon? http://www.amazon.com/Cutequeen-12-SMD- ... 98LJH5LOGM


It would look like length-wise they're all about the same, it's just width. I'm sure the 1210 12 SMD size will be enough to light up the cabin well. The only limit would be width of the area you're putting the light. So the 1210 could be dead-on.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby Halo9809 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:46 am

Alright thanks Kitt, very helpful DIY project.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby hoooboy » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:03 am

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/White-Car-48-SMD ... 0690105496

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48 smd 5630

It fit perfect on the map light

I ordered 2 others for dome lights.
It will fit! I take some measurement and it will be perfect!
More videos soon!
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby KITT222 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:50 am

It looks like you have double the SMD boards that I have in my Vibe per light. But the one in your DIY has the same connectors that I used on my own car - this DIY was done on a friend's Vibe.
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby hoooboy » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:29 pm

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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby Halo9809 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:38 am

Installed this mod this past weekend and I must say, IT LOOKS AMAZING, like you can see everything at night time, I did however use a different bulb, I believe I used these,http://www.amazon.com/Cutequeen-12-SMD-Festoon-DE3175-DE3021/dp/B009W09HG2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394030209&sr=8-2&keywords=3175+led, they fit in my 03 base vibe dome lights perfectly!
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby 4tun81 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:53 pm

Halo, those lights are the same that I just installed. I agree, they look great! I also used:

http://www.amazon.com/Cutequeen-4PCS-Li ... ds=t10+led

For the reading lights. They can also be used for the license plates.

'06 Base Vibe
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby freidajones » Mon May 05, 2014 9:17 pm

Many thanks for this very useful thread.. I also bought some blue led lights a few days ago from the http://www.panaceaco.com.. Now it will be easy for me to install it in my car with the help of this thread..
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby AverageBabe20 » Thu May 08, 2014 10:43 pm

I couldn't believe how impossible it was to find the map light on the sunroof panel (now I see they make LED versions of the bulbs themselves instead of the ones you used, but, meh). Thanks for this fantastic tutorial, I'm glad I found it!
2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 112k miles
Moon and Tunes Package
Mods: Interior Trim Paint (Electric Blue), LED interior lights, aftermarket Kenwood radio
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Re: How To: change interior lights to LED lights in 03-08 Vi

Postby ImUrOBGYN » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:41 pm

joo1ee wrote:Great guide! Thanks for posting. I went ahead and ordered some LEDs for my '06 Vibe's interior this week and I just installed them yesterday. It looks like things are even easier for us these days because you can just buy an LED version of the bulbs straight-up.

For my Moon & Tunes '06 Vibe, I needed the following:

1 x BA9 (for the light next to the sunroof controls)
2 x DE3175 (for the dome lights above the passenger seat and the cargo area)
2 x 168/194 (for the license plate)

BA9
Image

D3175
Image

168/194
Image

They look fantastic!


Do you have any pics of these on at night? Were they equivalent or brighter than stock? I changed all of our RAV lights a few years ago but I recall the first time I was unhappy and thought the front domes I installed weren't bright enough and bought brighter later. I used a mix of panel and the ones you listed for various areas. Anyway, any insight would be appreciated.
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