As some of you may know, we recently added the interior ambient lighting kit for 9-3 SS/SC/CV to our catalog, a link to that product can be found here. At the end of last summer, I decided to use my 9-3 Sport Sedan (see our Long Term Project blog series) as a guinea pig for fitting this kit. I had read several people’s comments and concerns about it being too bright and distracting, so there was a little fear in my mind that I was not gonna be happy with the kit once I had fitted it. As it would turn out, I was very pleased not just with the end result but also the installation process was quick and painless too.
The installation took roughly 45 minutes from start to finish and required a T25 screwdriver, a battery powered drill with a 25mm drill bit and a handful of zip ties. Fitting the LED lights required removing the front outer kick panels and (following the directions) measuring/drilling the holes for the LEDs to be mounted. Once the holes were drilled and the LEDs fitted in place, it was time to run the wiring harness. This meant removing the upper kick panels along the base of the dashboard and I found it helpful to remove the center console storage space and climate control panel. I chose to run the harness for the LEDs in parallel to the existing wiring for other components in the car and secured them using the supplied zip ties.
With everything plugged in, secured and the interior panels refitted, it was time to see how it worked… Overall, I was pleased with the consistency of the green ‘under glow’ effect and how well it matched the instrument panel and switch lighting. After playing with the buttons for a few minutes, I found that the brightness could be controlled via the dash rheostat switch as well as via the Night Panel button which dimmed the LEDs down to their lowest setting. Additionally I can report that you can power it on or off via the headlight switch and (if your car is so equipped with the automatic lighting feature) they will turn on when it becomes dark enough for the solar sensor to trigger your headlights. Below you will find a video from our newly established YouTube channel that details the various features of the kit.