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Hey Scotti

I bought a Kia Sorento back in December and it's a pretty good car and gets great gas mileage. It has had it's problems but little by little they are getting ironed out. One of drawbacks of the car is it's black interior is the lack of interior lights. It's scary trying to find you way around inside at night. There is a small console light but it does not do much and you can't see your hand in front of your face much less find something. In the first couple of weeks I used a flashlight. The dealer said there was an KIA  lighting kit which lit up everything including the cup holders and had a remote control to change the colors. This cost around $300. That seemed a little overkill so I opted for a couple of these LED lights found on Ebay for $8 a pair. I bought 2 pairs and with a little bit of research found the correct wires in the fuse box to tap into to make them work with the door switches. They did the trick. I can now see where my feet are  going when I get into my car at night without a flash light.

Now I am told the are illegal and i could get a ticket for altering the interior lighting of my car. Have you heard of such a thing?

9 Answers

I added led strips to my foot wells many times before in my Camaro show cars, never been an issue. I tied them into the lighting circuit that worked when the door opened/closed. As long as you're not driving with them on I don't see how anyone will ever know. But hey, have to find out in your state. I know you can get a ticket if you mess with the exterior lights and run the wrong color while driving. 


are your custom lights on all the time, or did you connect them to the courtesy lights for when you're getting in and out?

These come on with the doors opening and fade out to black when close the doors. They are white and only illuminate the foot wells only.

You just never know these days. Now they want cars to make a minimum amount of noise. Little old ladies are being wiped out by the thousands by these dreaded silent electric cars in grocery store parking lots. If some grandma is to senile to look both ways what make you think they will react to the sound of a car. They are probably hard of hearing anyway.

This is called revenue generation. Another excuse to give someone a ticket or as we like to call them a banana.
What do you call a car with upside down license plates , loud exhaust, bald tires and cellophane covering the broken windshield. ANS: A banana magnet.


Different places have different laws about lighting. I have had customers with custom cars who have gotten tickets for their interior lighting. However, these were colored lights and not just clear bulbs. It is unlikely anyone is going to say something to you for having a brighter interior. If it looks stock or like it could be stock, you should be fine. 


Kinda a myth. Not really though. There say nothing about the lighting in the car being on while driving. At least here in cali. That being said, it draws attention if you are driving with lights on in your car that are visible to the outside. Especially if it's a disco in there. You are more likely to get pulled over same as if your tint be jet black. Only difference is that too dark of a tint is illegal in some places.


You don't have interior lights? You don't like the ones over each door?


I forgot which model year you own, but this might be worth checking out:

Topic starter

The car is a 2021 Sorento with all black interior. Most likely because black ABS plastic is the cheapest most abundant plastic on earth. The floor mats are black, the trim is black you name it it's black. At night you are looking into inky blackness when you open the door. There is a light in the center of the headliner but it does not light up very much. When you open the doors you can just make out a silhouette of the console and shift handle. I want to see the brake pedal so I don't kick it when getting in. I bought some cheap LED lamp assemblies that put out a bright white light. They are sold as "universal courtesy lights". I positioned them behind the steering wheel and the glove box under the dash board. (Do they still call them dash boards? The manual calls them crash pads"). I hooked them up to light up when I open the doors. This way when you step into the car you see where to position your feet rather than feeling your way around. They do the job. Now somebody tells me it's illegal to alter the interior lights of a car in any way. Kia sells for $300 a lighting kit with multicolored lights, a remote control and includes lights for the cup holders as well as the foot wells. This is gross overkill. I just wanted plain utilitarian lights not a disco tech.

I know it's lame just don't tell my wife. Smile  

>Now somebody tells me it's illegal to alter the interior lights of a car in any way"

They are full of it. Custom RV's , conversion vans, etc. would all be illegal then.


not illegal

Topic starter

I talked to a police officer about this. The cops have a lot of discretion in this area. They can determine what would be considered a dangerous distraction. Just about anything that can be seen from outside the car is regulated. Wheel well , altered license plate and undercarriage lights can get you a ticket. Of course anything resembling a official vehicle lights like police ,fire or a emergency vehicle is prohibited. Inside the car anything that distracts the driver can be construed a violation. You could get a summons for having a stock mood light on while driving. The other thing to be considered is in the event of an accident. If some one is injured and your flashing disco lights were on it could turn an "no fault event" into a negligent act with depraved indifference toward human life. Just the presents of these kind of modifications could be used against you. As far as white foot well lights that turn on with the doors open he doubted if any cop would notice.