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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I decided to start a new project on the rav, the plan is to have eight blue LED strips wired in ways where they will illuminate according to various functions.

Four of the LED strips will be used to illuminate the floor: two strips under the dash, and two strips under the rear seats. The other four will be under the doors; one under each door to create a "puddle light" effect.

I currently have white LED strips under the dash that are always on when the key is inserted:



The blue LEDs will essentially be replacing the white ones, having a similar look but with blue light instead of White.

Now for the tricky part, I'm trying to achieve illumination when certain actions have been performed. In particular, I want the four floor LEDs to illuminate when the parking lights have been turned on, and I want them to fade in/out and illuminate along with the ring of light around the ignition. I also want the door LEDs to illuminate only when that particular door is open.

I need help locating places that can be tapped in order to achieve these effects. I am aware that it may involve a little more electronic components than just wires and solder. I am hoping that its possible to use diodes for the floor LED circuit, as the diodes will prevent current from travelling from one source of power to another. I am also hoping the door LEDs can be illuminated as easily as tapping into the "door open" sensor and somehow using it as a switch?

Any help is appreciated, this is probably one of the most technically involved projects I have done on the rav (next to installing an amp and deck) and I don't want to mess anything up. I want to plan this out as much as I can so that when if comes to installation, I can hopefully do it in one shot!
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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The circuitry is already there for the footwell lighting. My Limited has 2 orange LED's on either side of the console that light up the front driver's and passenger's floor. It comes on at full brightness when the unlock button on the remote is pressed. They remain on until the transmission is shifted into anything other than Park, when they dim to about half brightness. I think this behavior can be modified somewhat with Techstream. I'm pretty sure the wiring is there for you to tap into. Have you downloaded the electrical wiring diagrams from my profile page?

Or you could go this route. Note this thread is from 2009 before LED strips became cheap and popular:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4-3-interior/76953-diy-how-add-interior-blue-ccfl-lights.html
 

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I haven't hacked into the wiring of a 4.3 at all yet but I think you're going to run into needing a micro controller because the interior lights are incandescent light bulbs and are dimmed as such where as dimming LEDs usually requires a PWM controller or you get random flickering as the voltage is lowered. You should consult the electrical manual to find out where you can tap into the door switches and the parking light relay. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-4-3-general/143313-wiring-diagrams.html
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
I haven't hacked into the wiring of a 4.3 at all yet but I think you're going to run into needing a micro controller because the interior lights are incandescent light bulbs and are dimmed as such where as dimming LEDs usually requires a PWM controller or you get random flickering as the voltage is lowered.
Nope, I changed all my interior lights to LED's and they dim just fine with no flickering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've tested an LED strip by placing the wires on the contacts in the bulb socket of the dome light, it dims just fine so I don't think I'll need a microcontroller to get the dimming effect.

I did look at JuneBug's profile for the manuals, I found the package for the 2011 model and I couldn't find anything regarding the dome lights or the ring light around the key slot. Maybe I'm not looking in the right PDF file? I checked two of them, one called "Automatic Light Control" and "Light Auto Turn Off System". None of them mention anything about the dome lights or the ring light. I did however check in a different package that contains many, many PDFs. I think it was a repair manual, I browsed it but I'm not sure what to look for... I went to the "interior" section but it only contains assembly and disassembly of the dome light housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Regarding the wiring for the foot well lighting, I highly doubt it exists in my base model as in the past I had assumed that the fog light harness would have been there too... Turns out is wasn't. I still got the fog lights to work by simply creating my own harness directly from the fog relay to the lamps. Judging from my past experience, there probably isn't a harness for the foot well lights. The only orange light I have on my base model is the one in the center console pocket, its very dim and stays on only when the parking lights are on. Other than that, there are no other orange lights other than what exists on the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
May have found important information

Okay, after looking through the repair manual I think I finally found something useful. Here are four pictures of the wiring diagram for the interior lights:









The second picture identifies the ring light around the ignition. The third picture identifies something called "Door Courtesy SW". I'm assuming thats for lamps installed on the door (as there are four of them), which I do not have on my base model.

Can these diagrams help me identify what should be tapped in order to use the same power source as the ring light? And how about the doors? Anything here that can be used?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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You should download the 2007 wiring manual, the 2011 addendum only shows what was changed from 2007. The door courtesy switches are the little rubberized plunger switches on each door that turn on the dome light. Yes, if you could tap into the FSPT output on the body computer, that would be an ideal power source for your LED strip. Note the footwell LED's show a series resistor and zener diode in parallel. This would be necessary to drop the 12 volt output of FSPT to power the LED. I'm assuming your LED strips are already set up for 12 volts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I will download the 2007 manual asap, I didn't realize that the 2011 version wasn't as detailed.

About the body ECU, where is it located? And once I find it, according to the diagrams, I would be looking for a purple wire? Or more specifically, pin E15 according to the diagram? Yes, I bought the LED strips with 12V working voltage, they illuminate with voltage ranging from 9-16V. Assuming E15 solves my fade in/fade out issue, how about the door plunges? Could they be used to somehow turn the light strips on and off?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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I will download the 2007 manual asap, I didn't realize that the 2011 version wasn't as detailed.

About the body ECU, where is it located? And once I find it, according to the diagrams, I would be looking for a purple wire? Or more specifically, pin E15 according to the diagram? Yes, I bought the LED strips with 12V working voltage, they illuminate with voltage ranging from 9-16V. Assuming E15 solves my fade in/fade out issue, how about the door plunges? Could they be used to somehow turn the light strips on and off?
I'm not exactly sure where the body computer is located. Maybe behind that panel above the hood release? The full manual shows the locations of every harness and connector.

I think the door switches provide a ground when the door is opened. Each door is a separate input to the body computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just checked the manual, body ECU is located near the fuse panel on the driver's side, under the dash. Guess I have to find pin 15 and test it out, hopefully it hasn't been disabled from the factory or something, considering the fact that I don't have the footwell lights installed.

Would it be safe to use the door switch as a ground if I had 12V coming straight from the battery (fused) to the LED strip? Would it not interfere with the body ECU?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Solved 90% of my issues

After doing some research, I discovered where connector E15 was and what pin on E15 is FSPT. #2 on E15 is FSPT but there was no wire or pin for #2 on the connector, so I inserted a thick wire into #2 and secured it.



The red arrow points to the the black wire I manually inserted into #2 on E15.



This is the other end of the black wire which will be used as a ground for the LED strips.



In order for the LEDs to function properly, they need to be connected to +12V at all times, even when the vehicle is off and the key is not in the ignition. I used a fuse tap on the fog light fuse since I know that fuse is hot at all times.



This is it working after installing just one LED strip under the driver's side. The effects are very nice; the lights fade in and out when the doors open and close, they remain on when the vehicle is on and in park, and they dim to about ~30% brightness when in any other gear than park.

I will update as soon as I finish wiring the other floor lights and figure out a solution for the LEDs under the doors.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Nicely done, Alex!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update

I got all four seat lights wired and working, I might leave the door lights for another day because it's a lot of work and I don't have much free time at the moment.





Sorry for the bad focusing on the second picture, its the only one I took at this angle.
 

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Excellent work, Alex! What's the little box with the yellow light just above the hood release?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Excellent work, Alex! What's the little box with the yellow light just above the hood release?
That's a bass control knob for my subwoofers, it's a pretty big control box so I put there since I didn't want to destroy any interior panels to stick this thing into. Green light = subwoofer amp is on, red light = protect mode.

It's the amp on the left:
 
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