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Best LED Lights for Your Car Interior: Add a Personal Touch to Your Ride

Car Bibles logo Car Bibles 9/27/2021 Peter Nelson
LED lights for your car Interior - luxury feel © Provided by Car Bibles LED lights for your car Interior - luxury feel

While we often focus on the practicality and safety of our beloved vehicles, sometimes it's also important for us to make them our own. And when it's an aspect that gives our cars a more club-like, luxury feel, we have to ask “heck, why not?” One of the best, underrated ways to spiff your interior up is through some LED lighting as they not only add some class but also have less of a draw on your car's electrical system. We’ve thoroughly researched some of the best LED lights for your car's interior based on performance, style, and color variety. By the time you finish moving down the list, you're sure to find something that'll pique your interest, and add that personal touch, and class, to your ride.

We assembled this list based on examining nearly twenty popular LED lighting kits. We've also got some substantial experience in aftermarket modification, as well as knowing what sort of stylish LED lighting options are available in the new car market, direct from automakers.

Our main criteria for our selections were price, options, brightness adjustability, color mode customizability, ease of installation, quality of construction, as well as how clean of an install one can achieve. If a product possessed a particular option that stood out from the others, such as the included rechargeable battery in the Speclux Car Interior Light kit, we definitely took a closer look, too.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Adding an LED lighting kit to your car might not be essential to its operation, but it is a fun and inexpensive way to customize it. Plus, it's much easier, and often much cheaper, to install than other personalization methods. These include swapping in sportier seats, re-doing the headliner, completely changing up the dashboard, and more.

Create the perfect blend of different color options © Provided by Car Bibles Create the perfect blend of different color options

However, there are some factors to keep in mind so you know what you’re looking for and select the best option for your needs. 

What to Consider When Buying LED Lights For Your Car's Interior

There are two types of LED lights to choose from and the choice is purely down to your budget or how much light you’re hoping for: LED strips and LED tubes. You should also consider the durability you’re looking for, as some light strips are longer-lasting and made with additional features.

LED strips are the most common types of LED lights for a car’s interior. These products come equipped with numerous tiny LEDs throughout the strip’s entire length and you’ll also have a wide selection of lengths and widths to choose from.

LED strips have a single-color or multi-color mode, and you can switch between the two quite easily, or adjust the brightness, via either a wired, remote, or app-based controller. Some strips allow you to synchronize the tempo to suit your music.

These lights will jump to the beat, transition, and boost your ride's overall ambiance © Provided by Car Bibles These lights will jump to the beat, transition, and boost your ride's overall ambiance

LED tubes appear similar to LED strips, though they are a rounder shape and the light expands around the entire tube for a brighter effect. For this reason, they stick out farther than strips, which can make them an inconvenience to some passengers. They’re also more difficult to stick down to a surface due to their protruding shape. Tubes also come with features such as synchronizing the speed to your music’s tempo, and typically come with a remote control so you can customize your color choice. 

This system is a good, all-around option for those who want simplicity and good value © Provided by Car Bibles This system is a good, all-around option for those who want simplicity and good value

LED lights are mainly purchased for a fun factor, so it’s essential they have the displays and colors you’re hoping for. But there’s also some boring stuff they must cover, including installation and power supply so they work accordingly in your car. Once you’ve matched up these features to your chosen product, you can feel more confident in making a purchase.

If you’re adding lights to your car’s interior, the product will require a power supply, which can affect your car battery’s life and performance. From our selections above, you’ll discover that the most common supply is through the 12V adapter/cigarette lighter, so ensure this is in full working order before making a purchase.

You should also consider the LED light’s voltage and check that they’re not too powerful for your car’s battery. On average, the smarter car LED strip lights will operate at 12 volts. Though there are some smaller measures, they're rare. You should also look for lengthy wires (or wireless options) that can cover the entire space you need inside of your car.

Car LED strip lights should take less than half an hour to install and will come with double-sided tape or velcro on the back of the lights. This way, you can quickly secure them to different materials in your car. Consider if the strips are flexible so you can move them around corners and adjust them to the spaces you wish.

A weak adhesive can make the installation process lengthy, frustrating, or just unsuccessful, so look at customer reviews before making a purchase. If your product comes with a remote control, this should be self-explanatory and have the different modes, settings, and lights clearly labeled so you won’t spend too much time setting up your lighting system.

This lighting kit isn't as bright as the others, but that might be all that you want © Provided by Car Bibles This lighting kit isn't as bright as the others, but that might be all that you want

These are the most important features of the LED lights since you’re purchasing them to add color to your car. Most will have a minimum of four colors — the primary ones — but some products have additional colors to choose from. You may also have various settings to choose from, so you can create a multicolor effect to create a customized shade. 

To make your car’s interior more exciting, LED lights often have various modes, including solid, flashing, and more. It’s also common that the lights adjust to your music’s tempo, bass, and volume. This way, the lighting matches your music’s mood and the ambiance within the car.

Before purchasing LED lights for your car’s interior, consider the number of strips you need according to your vehicle’s size. Most light kits include four pieces, although more expensive options provide more.

Look for advanced features such as sensors so the lights automatically switch on when the sun goes down and your music plays, or when you open your car door. Some LED strips come with a sound-activated function, whereas others are simpler with a remote control or Bluetooth app to control the settings.

You may also wish to consider the number of LED lights in each strip. Opt for a minimum of 30, otherwise, they won’t shine super bright. If you have more than 50 LED lights per strip, they’ll be ultra-bright and glow in the dark.

Consider the light strips' thickness. Thin strips are great for sneaking into thin cracks, whereas thicker strips cover a larger surface area.Consider different timing settings, so you can have quicker or slower tempos, depending on your mood.Strongly consider certain safety features, such as automatic shut-off to prevent draining your battery, and waterproof and shockproof strips to remain durable.

After following the steps above to determine the best LED lights for you, there are still some factors to consider regarding maintenance, installation, and size. Here are several questions that you may want to ask yourself while perusing the products we've highlighted.

Q: What length of wire do I need? We recommend wires at three feet long, though this depends on how much coverage you’re looking for. Shorter wires can limit your coverage, whereas longer wires can be difficult to hide. Consider your vehicle’s size and choose accordingly. Q: Does the weight of the lights matter? Yes. Heavy, bulky strips are more prone to falling off surfaces while you turn around. However, strips with more LED lights will be brighter but heavier. As such, they should be equipped with strong adhesive tape to prevent it from falling off. Q: Do the lights have to be water-resistant? If you only intend to apply the lights inside of your car, not necessarily. However, some users prefer this additional safety feature in case of spilled drinks, rain seeping in from an open window, etc.

This kit has everything you need to extensively customize your car's interior © Provided by Car Bibles This kit has everything you need to extensively customize your car's interior

All things considered, LED lighting kits are a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to change up the look of your car's interior. They're an excellent way to personalize your driving experience and are worth trying out. The OPT7 Bluetooth LED Lights Kit is a great option if you’re looking for multiple lighting modes and a custom fit.

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