Installation and Review of Diode Dynamics lighting

Evolvd

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During the Black Friday sales I picked up a few goodies from Diode Dynamics:

-Interior LED Conversion Kit (stage 2 cool white)
-Switchback Turn Signal LED Kit
-Tail light Sequencers
-4th Brake Light upgrade

Installation:

The interior bulbs were probably the most troublesome to install. The map light housing was pretty easy to remove, just pull down from the roof and it pops right out. The vanity mirrors were a little tougher. I used a metal pick to pop the lens covers off and remove the bulbs. Inserting the new bulbs was a bit tricky as it's a tight fit and takes a little time to line the bulbs up. Next up was the glove box, and that was a pain. I couldn't get my fingers on the bulb to remove it so I used the metal pick again...but ended up shorting the bulb out and blowing the fuse. After the bulb was out the install was pretty easy and then I had to replace the 10 amp micro fuse behind the passenger kick panel. The trunk bulb was also a bit of a pain, the tab that keeps the cover in place wasn't easy to push in and I ended up twisting the tap 180 degrees. Luckily it didn't break the tab off and I just rotated it back into place after putting the bulb in.

The switchbacks were pretty easy. Remove 4 push pins from the wheel well liner and then remove the bulbs, reinsert new ones, and reverse. The bulbs were a snug fit, definitely no loose mounts.

The sequencers and 4th brake light mod were done at the same time and were pretty painless. I have the Shaker sub so there was a few more steps involved but nothing cosmic. The 4th brake light kit goes in between your stock harness and the sequencer harness. DD's video shows them running the extra wire between the trunk wire harness grommet and the metal...I'm never a fan of running wires against metal edges so I used the supplied flathead mini screwdriver to poke a hole in the grommet and fed the wire through that. This will ensure a water tight seal and no chance of grounding out the wire from rubbing against metal. Installing the 4th brake light wire into the bulb harness was a little tricky but if you look inside the plug you can see how the pin is oriented and that makes it easier to insert.

Overall Impressions:

The stage 2 kit for the interior is SUPER bright. Even with 15% tinted windows you can see everything going on inside the car with just the map lights on lol. I wish the vanity bulbs were directional, they would provide a better light source if the LED was positioned to shine out towards your face instead of in towards the mirror. But since I almost never use these, it's not a big deal.

The switch backs do change the blinking rate on your dash, so it sounds like "tick...tick tick...tick" from the flasher relay. It doesn't bother me at all so I have no desire to install any resistors. The bulbs outside the car flash at a normal rate so it doesn't affect what is seen by others.

The 4th brake light mod is pretty cool. European cars run a rear fog light so this is in essence the same thing but it's constantly on when you're headlights are on. Anything that helps people see me and avoid rear-end accidents is good in my book. It flawlessly changed from red to white when going in and out of reverse and a brake application definitely makes it get brighter. The white light in reverse is considerably brighter than stock and aides in visual acuity when reversing at night. One thing I didn't check is if it turns red if you brake while reversing. I'll have to look into that. My only "gripe" I suppose would be that the length of the wire going to your reverse bulb harness is probably 2 foot longer than it needs to be. I understand having a little extra to give options for wire routing but it's a bit excessive.

The sequencers are cool...I like the look of the tri-bar tails and having them sequence for all modes is a nice touch. To bad I'll never see them in action lol.

Overall, I happy with all these bulbs and their relative simplicity in install.





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Khyber

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just press unlock on the remote and stand behind it. you'll see 4th brake light, get brighter
 
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Evolvd

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I know it gets brighter, I've seen that...I just don't know if it goes from white to red when reversing. I never use my remote lol...it literally stays in my pocket all the time.
 

Steve44

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Thanks for the good writeup...I just installed the interior lights last week and am very happy with the results. Could not go back to stock interior lights after this mod!!
 

DB23

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Installed the 4th brake light/reverse light led today. Toughest part for me was separating the wire harness from the bulb plug, finally had to use pliers on the tab to get them separated. Inserting the red wire into the harness was a bit tricky but I found that if you try inserting it in each of the 4 possible orientations in turn, it definitely went in easier and further when you have it oriented correctly. Then I used a pair of tweezers to give it the final push to click.

I was going to go for just a brighter led reverse light but glad I found this instead, the brighter reverse light is a definite upgrade & the running/brake light is cool and functional and the perfect little "something different" exterior mod.
 
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MSMStannyl

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So I just finished installing the DD interior LED upgrade. I did Stage 1 which is already quite a bit brighter than stock (map lights). Can't imagine going stage 2.

One major tip for installing the vanity lights:
After removing the plastic "lenses" you will see a screw above each light. Unscrew each screw and pull the whole mirror assembly out. Pry from the top and it should pop out easily (it "locks in" from the bottom). Not only does this give you much easier access to the bulbs but it also turns the lights off since there is nothing pushing down to close the circuit (you'll see what I'm talking about when you remove it). Not sure why DD doesn't advertise this super simple method to make things easier!

Glove box:
My only recommendation is to also open the owners manual compartment. This gives you a little more clearance and visibility, however, it's still a PITA.
 

MSMStannyl

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Oh, almost forgot. OP, where did you get a new micro 10A fuse? Apparently I blew mine when installing the glove box light. Put the new LED in and it didn't work. Pulled it out and spun it around and as I was pushing it in, it turned on for a sec and then blew the fuse. I pulled the fuse to confirm. I thought I read that you could only get these micro fuses from the dealer. Is that true?
 

ucLAKings

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Oh, almost forgot. OP, where did you get a new micro 10A fuse? Apparently I blew mine when installing the glove box light. Put the new LED in and it didn't work. Pulled it out and spun it around and as I was pushing it in, it turned on for a sec and then blew the fuse. I pulled the fuse to confirm. I thought I read that you could only get these micro fuses from the dealer. Is that true?
I blew a fuse myself during install. I bought a replacement at O'Reilly's
 

MSMStannyl

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I blew a fuse myself during install. I bought a replacement at O'Reilly's
I'm not sure what that is. Is that an online retailer or a local auto parts shop? I'm hoping I can get one locally so I can replace it right away. Planning to run to Autozone or NAPA at lunch time today.

Come to think of it, another major tip I would recommend to others is to just pull the fuse to begin with. For one, that way you won't risk blowing it but it will also shut off all of the lights in question (and your Homelink garage opener as I learned this morning!) so the bulbs won't get hot. Swap over all your LED's and plug it back in.
 
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Evolvd

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Oh, almost forgot. OP, where did you get a new micro 10A fuse? Apparently I blew mine when installing the glove box light. Put the new LED in and it didn't work. Pulled it out and spun it around and as I was pushing it in, it turned on for a sec and then blew the fuse. I pulled the fuse to confirm. I thought I read that you could only get these micro fuses from the dealer. Is that true?
I got a box of micro fuses at Advance Auto Parts but you should be able to find them at other places. O'Reilly's is another store like Napa, Advance or Autozone.
 
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Evolvd

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Come to think of it, another major tip I would recommend to others is to just pull the fuse to begin with. For one, that way you won't risk blowing it but it will also shut off all of the lights in question (and your Homelink garage opener as I learned this morning!) so the bulbs won't get hot. Swap over all your LED's and plug it back in.
Good tip, I would recommend that as well.
 

Idoc

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DD LED replacement

I'm late to this thread but I just upgraded my 15 Ecoboost Convertible and could not be happier. One tip if you do not want to pull the fuse, I just kept the button pressed to turn the light off while removing and inserting the bulbs. Video was very helpful. Interior lights are great and the back up light is much brighter (Stage 2). Very easy in my opinion. Thank you Diode Dynamics!
 

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