Blue LEDs In Fog/Defroster Controls

The purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to install new LEDs in your rear defroster switch, and your fog light switch. For mine, I used blue LEDs to replace the normal yellow or green ones that are found in the switches. If you have some knowledge of electronics, and can solder this should be no problem.

-Soldering Gun
-Blue LED (Radio Shack #276-316)
-2 Small Flat Blade Screw Drivers
-Fingernail Clippers

1. Remove Switch Housing From Car.
It is very simple to remove the switch bezel from the car. You just have to use your fingers to pry on either the top or the bottom. If you can't get a good grip, use a flat blade screw driver. Be gentle, you may break the tabs. Once out, disconnect the wires and take inside.

2. Remove Switches From Housing
This is one of the trickiest parts of the install, getting the switches free from the bezel. If you just have the rear defroster, then it should be much easier. I suggest using 2 small flat blade screw drivers, and working the top free, and then doing the bottom. This part is very hard to do, and will take some time, just be very careful not to break the tabs off when prying back the clips.

3. Opening Up The Switch
You will find that this step is much easier than the previous. You will just need to lift the outer housing with the screwdrivers, and pull it off. Once open, you will then need to take off the front part of the switch. Pry up on the little tab in the middle of the front cover, and pull it off.

4. Looking Around
You will notice there are 2 lights, one led (either green or yellow) and one covered incandescent light. For this we are only dealing with the LED. I don't know what the power consumption is on the incandescent, so I did not bother with it. You will also notice the LED is flat, and fit nicely in the hole on the front of the switch. Your new LED is (probably) round, so it will not be going in the hole, but staying outside it. Note the electric charge of the led that is currently there, the positive lead is in the front. On your new LED the positive is the longer lead.

5. Removing the LED

The LED that is currently there will need to be removed. You can snip it off, and then de-solder the leads and push them through, but I suggest just heating up the back side of the board, and pulling off the LED. You may notice the holes fill up with solder, if that happens just heat it up and try to move it away to open up the holes again.

6. Installing the New LED
Now you will need to take your new LED, and install it in the switch. There are 2 ways you can do this, either just place the in the 2 holes (keeping with polarity) or bend the leads to turn like the previous one did. I suggest bending as it looks the best, and is just as easy. Remember that the new LED is (probably) round, so it will not fit in the hole, so you will need to bend the leads to make the LED closer to the board. Just simply bend the lead with your finger, and line it up in the holes. Make sure the longer positive lead is bent shorter, as it needs to go in the hole closest to the outside of the board. Take your solder, and soldering iron, and flow the solder so the LED stays in place. Then take your finger nail clippers, and trim off the rest of the leads.

7. Adjusting the LED
You will want to aim the LED so it looks the best for you. Placing it right in the middle is how I think looks the best, it is the brightest, and glows the best. You could do it from the side to make it look more ambient, but I don't think that works too well.

8. Assembling
Assembling is the reversal of the removal, thankfully it is very simple. Place the front switch on the board, and then slide the outer switch housing over it, locking it into place. When installing into the bezel you can now decide which side you want the switches on. For mine, I decided that I wanted to switch them, if you do this too, there will be a tab you will need to file off in order for it to set in. Otherwise, just place the switches in the bezel, plug in the connectors into your car, and put the light housing back in... and your done. Let me know how they turn out.


©2001 - 2005 AJ Quick