How to Hook Up LED Light Strips to Car

How to Hook Up LED Light Strips to Car

When it comes to cars, it is overwhelming to see a lot of options and ideas on how to pimp your ride. From the exterior, motors, and interiors, designing your cars depends on what purpose you would like to have. One great example of how cars are being modified at its finest is from the movie sequels “The Fast and The Furious.” We can see all the details from how it revs up and too small details like lighting effects. There is a scene where all cars were all lined up, and trunks were opened, showing colorful LED lights flickering. Seeing those modifications, it brings us to have our cars be as colorful as theirs. 

There are a lot of options and ways on how to hook up LED lights to your car. The choice will be yours to decide where you will best have it placed. When hooking up a LED light strip in a car, there are things you need to set up first. In this manner, it will be easier for you to work on with your lighting without the hassle. 

First Things First: The List and The Plan

Before anything else, have a small list. You need to check first what are the things you will need to install the lights. Check if you have the right tools, you will going to use such as your:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire-cutting Pliers or if not available (the ones with wire-cutting features)
  • Multimeter – For a test light (voltage measurement)
  • And your crimp tool (crimp connectors)

When you have your tools ready, next will be your supplies, and these will be:

  • Car LED Light Strips (12v light strips)
  • Electrical Tape
  • A small assortment of wire crimp connectors
  • Fast-drying glue or a super glue gel (it works great)
  • Adapters (Fuse Tap: if you will wire them from fuse box)
  • Last but not least, 6″ length Zip ties (wire ties) or similar


When you already have your tools and supplies, you need to plan on wiring your controller to a +12v power source and the ground. You need to mount your light strips and the test and verify operation as well. In most cases, it is not that hard to install your strip lights. These lights are small in terms of power usage. You don’t need to plug it directly to your battery. It only needs to be hardwired into an accessory wire, which is already a +12v power supply that can be switched off and on together with the ignition.

There are also options in hardwiring your strip lights. If you have bought strip lights with a cigarette socket adapter, you can cut the cigarette plug adapter. Then attach the +12v wire to ACC wiring connection. In case a light strip with a direct +12v connection is not available.

Locating Your Wiring Connections

Normally, these accessory wires are easily found in your cigarette lighter socket, or at your vehicle’s interior fuse box. The most common or usually the first option of these wires are behind your car stereo. 

You can find a +12v ACC wire based on their colors, or you can test wire them using your multimeter or digital test meter. Since not all wirings have a +12v and other wires like signal lines, have below +12v, especially modern cars. Remove the radio with the ignition in the ACC position, then check the wiring until you can find the +12v wire. Again, test the wiring by turning off the ignition; this is to decide which are suitable. However, a simple test light will not give you the exact voltage, and this could cause potential vehicular problems. Thus, this could accidentally lead to using lower-voltage wiring, which will affect the LED lights.

One option is your car’s fuse box. With the help of your car’s owner’s manual, you can check which fuse is used for. Usually, you can find your fuse box under your dashboard or at the lower left-hand side of your car’s interior. Most vehicles have a radio supply that you can use in tapping your wires using fuse box wiring adapters. Then, plug these adapters in place of the original fuse to connect the power wire. 

Connecting Your Wirings and Installing your LED Light Strips

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When you have found your suitable power supply, you can connect your LED power wire and ground the negative wire. You can connect your LED power wire with these options, soldering, crimp connectors, or ground connectors.

In installing your LED strip lights, usually, it comes with pcs in a set with a controller. Typically, you can set up your lights underneath your dashboard. Only showing its glow (facing down) and hiding the LED lights from visibility. Your controller should be placed at the driver’s side, slightly hidden under the dashboard. 

For the installation of the lights, you can have options on how to mount them. You can attach your lights in your factory bundle wirings using zip ties underneath your dashboard. You can also use velcro or super gel glue. Adhesive strips may not be good for a choice. Since later on, it will rip off after a long time due to heat exposure, accidentally kicked, and vibration. You can do the zip tie mounting of lights underneath the seats. It is a safer choice, and later on, it can be cut without leaving permanent damage to your car’s interior.

I hope this could help you in hooking up your LED light strips in your car. You have a lot of options in choosing your LED Light Strips. There are many LED Lights the market can offer, some are multi-colors, and some have sound sensors. The choice is yours, and your creativity is in your hands. 

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