Upgrade interior lighting with bright white LED

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Posted by gblotter ( on 08:56:00 11/18/12

I just finished a Saturday afternoon project of replacing all the interior courtesy lights with bright white LED bulbs (including dome lights, map lights, under-dash lights, glove box light, and door panel lights). If you are going to replace one bulb with LED, you really need to replace them all because the LED hue is completely different from traditional bulbs and it looks quite odd to have a mix of them.

These bright white LED bulbs really go well with the dark-blue interior of my Suburban. I think LED would look nice with a gray or black interior as well. For a beige or maroon interior, you might want to stay with the warmer hue of traditional bulbs.

These automotive LED bulbs are available from a few different online sources but they are somewhat expensive, so perhaps not for everyone.

The door panel bulbs were the only ones that were a little difficult to access. Fortunately I found that the the entire door panel does not need to be removed in order to replace the courtesy light bulb. Because the light housing is located near the bottom, you only need to pop out the lower clips of the door panel. It gives enough access to reach the wiring and bulb. This saves a lot of time and hassle because you definitely don't want to remove the entire door panel if you don't absolutely need to. I bought some replacement door panel clips before starting the job because a few clips invariably get brittle with age and snap. The door panel clips are common and can be purchased at the local parts store - no need to order from a dealer.

My 1995 Suburban still gets TLC from me and I enjoy doing little upgrades like this. With only 126K miles, I hope for many more years of great road trips.

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