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Ludimus Catacus
1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

This looks fantastic in person. I get lots of comments on it. Blue for the gauges is the best in my opinion. Also, having white or silver gauge bezels adds a nice effect.

Alright, listen up. This thread is my opinion on how this conversion should be done. In my eyes, this is the only way to do this. There are other ways, but they are super sketchy. This way ensures complete satisfaction and reversibility. If you think there is a better way to do this...I don't care.

Moving on. To do this mod you must remove the cruise control cluster, gauge cluster, and climate control cluster as well as the housings for other various lights. All of this is pretty straightforward and simple. I was able to do everything without previous knowledge of how to do it and I had no issues.

I apologize for not having pictures of everything, but I wasn't planning on making a tutorial at the time. I should have pictures of the important stuff, however. And really, most things are self-explanatory so it's not a big deal.

OK, on to the good stuff.

What to Order
All the lights were ordered from I had a good experience with them. I am in the process of RMAing some lights I didn't need and it's going well. I have no trouble recommending them. I guess you could also go to, but their site scares me and I don't want to explain how to navigate it.

These are all the lights you need to convert every interior light on a 5th Gen Prelude. Some you may not need or care to change. For example, manual owners don't need to change the auto shifter light (duh). And some of you may not care about the trunk or lincense plate light, but us purists do, so I put it on there. The numbers and stuff will make sense once you get to the site.

I have experienced issues with the surface mount type LEDs from AutoLumination. I recommend only buying bulbs that use regular LEDs. While they may not be as bright (the difference probably isn't THAT noticeable), they should last longer.

Dash Backlight: #74 Tripower 3 LED bulb + twist lock bases (4)

Dash Indicators: #74 Tripower 3 LED bulb + twist lock bases (however many you want to change, I believe I did five)

Cruise Control, etc. Backlight: #74 NeoWedge Type A (3)

CC Indicate: #74 NeoWedge Type A (1)

Climate Backlight: #74 NeoWedge Type B (3)

Climate Indicators: regular LEDs from RadioShack, eBay, etc. (5 of one color, 3 of another)

Coin Tray, Auto Gear Shift: #74 not the TriPower (2)

Window and Emergency Backlight: #74 NeoWedge Type A (3)

Overhead, Trunk, License Plate: #194, I used the 5 wedge matrix, but it doesn't really matter. (5)

Now for some work.

One day a man will come knocking at your door. He will will have a bundle of lights in his hands which he will give you. Thank him and quickly run out to your car with a handle full of tools.

Tools you will need:

* Long Phillips head screw driver (preferably with a magnetic tip)
* Long standard head screw driver
* Pliers, probably needle nosed
* Soldering iron (leave this inside)
* Solder (keep it with the soldering iron)
* Bench grinder or Dremel tool
* maybe some other assorted stuff for prying, holding, etc.

Cruise Control Cluster
First thing to do is remove the cruise control cluster. There are two clips on each side that must be pushed in while trying to pull the cluster out. Honestly, I never found a good way to do this. I just shoved by flathead screwdriver in there and jiggled it around until I could pull one side out, then I did the other. A manual may have a better way to do it.

Notice the two clips on the side of the cluster. There are two more on the other side. All four must be pressed to to remove the cluster.

After you get the cluster out, remove the three plugs. They only go in one way, so no need to remember which one goes where. Take this inside and remove the three switches by taking out the two screws for each switch. Then you will see the gray lights that you must twist counterclockwise to remove. Take them out and put in the new ones (NeoWedge Type As, remember to make the CC indicate different from the backlights) . Plug them back in and check to make sure the lights all work. The key with have to be in the ON position to get the cruise indicator to work. If they do not lightup, twist them out, rotate 180 degrees and try again. Should work now.

Put the switches back in. Then what I did was bend the clips out a little bit to ensure a tight fit. Plug the switches in, then pop the cluster back in. NEXT!

Gauge Cluster
This is the part that will make the biggest difference in changing the appearance of the dash. Choose the colors for this carefully. I went with blue and it looks great. The needles become purple and wow! Red can look good and green might too. White could look good, but it may still be amber from the gauge filter. I have a feeling it would work though and look pretty sexy.

On the indicators, you cannot change the color of the red indicators (seatbelt, trunk, open door, etc.) as far as I know. I tried blue and UV LEDs and neither one could power through the filter. Also, the check engine and cruise control lights apparently have some voltage all the time so with blue and UV lights they are always on. Kinda stupid, but you shouldn't see those much anyway so it's no big deal to just leave them yellow and green, respectively.

For us poor souls with automatics, the gear indicator lights can be changed by soldering in LEDs with a resistor, but it would be a huge pain to do so. If you feel you have exceptional skills with electronics then go for it, it can be done. I left it alone, however, and it doesn't look too bad as is.

So, first remove the two screws at the top of the cluster bezel. Then pull the bottom straight out. There are two clips holding it in. It may seem tough, but as long as you pull from the bottom, there shouldn't be an issue.

Then you will have this:

Take out those four screws and pull the cluster out. Then unclip all four plugs (there may only three for manuals, but I don't know, I don't have one.) Remember were the blue ones go, I think they are the same size.

OK, now turn the whole dealie over and you will see this:

This lights boxed in red are the backlights for the gauges. The one in blue is for low fuel light. While it looks like a backlight, they are trying to trick you. Just leave it alone.

Twist out the four backlights and twist in the TriPower Bulbs. This would also be a good time to change out any indicator lights that you want. Here is a guide to the lights you can change:

1) Turn signals (2 of them)
2) High Beam Indicator
3) Immobilizer Annoyance Light
4) ABS Light

After all these lights are changed, plug the cluster back in (all of the plugs) and turn on the parking lights. It's best to do this in a dark garage or with a thick blanket cover your head and the gauages. Turn on the parking lights and see if all the lights are all on. If some are not, rotate them 180 degrees and you should be good. To test the indicator lights, turn the key to the ON position and they will illuminate for a few seconds. If some are not lit, you know what to do.

Reinstallation is quite honestly just the reverse of taking the gauge cluster out.

Climate Control

OK, this will be the most involved of all the clusters. To change the indicator lights, you must make some custom LEDS and desolder and solder in the new LEDs. Changing the backlighting is the same as the rest of the clusters, however. So here...we...GO!

First thing to do is pop the bezel around the climate control and stereo off. Do this the same way you do any other panel, slide in a screw driver and pry it off. Carefully.... Then you will have this:

There are four screws for the stereo, take those out and unplug the stereo. The shifter will have to be back as far as possible to get it out, so manuals put it in 2nd, 4th, or Reverse, autos put it in 1st.

Then take the four screws on the climate cluster out and pull the cluster out. Unplug the two plugs for the cluster. Now this is where it gets tricky cause I don't have pictures of everything...

You also need to remove the temperature control cable. You should be able to see how that is done, it's not to hard, it's just at a weird angle. There are plenty of guides on how to get it out too.

OK, now that the cluster is out, go inside and disassemble it. First thing to do is remove the stock lights. There are two on top:

And one in back. Also on the back, remove the three screws holding the whole dealie together.

The light is just above the middle screw. Remember, to get these out, just turn them counterclockwise and pull them out.

With those screws out, the fan regulator will come out. Just set it aside. You will need to plug it in later to check the A/C light.

Now, to pull the face of, pop the sliders off. Just use a screwdriver on the underside to pry them off. They should come of pretty smoothly. Now unclip the face. This can be tricky and kind of annoying, but just unclip one clip on the outside and work to the middle while pulling the face off. There are six clips, three on top and three on bottom.

There are three more on the other side.

Now the face should pull straight out with a circuit board. Before pulling this all the way out, you must pull the face off of the switches on the circuit board. Hold the circuit board and pull the face at angle. There may be some weird noises, but it's OK, just keep pulling. Now before the circuit board can come out, there is a very small board that holds one of the lights. It must be unscrewed first.

Your project won't look like this yet, but that small board is the one to be unscrewed.

OK, after that is done, you can remove the entire board. Once it is out, You will see eight black, squarish dealies sticking off the board. These hold the indicator LEDs. There will be two clear plastic pieces on the board, unscrew these and set them aside. Now to remove those black dealies.

There are four clips that hold each dealie in and the LED is soldered to the board. To remove them, desolder the LED while working the clips off. It can be tricky, but it just takes time. Now you will have this:

Once those are out, bend the LED leads straight and push them out of the black dealie. Now you'll notice the LEDs don't look normal. They are flat on two sides. Regular LEDs will not fit and so you have to doing some modding. There are two ways to do this. Either bore out the whole in the black dealier to fit regular LEDs or make the new LED light the stock ones. I opted for the latter.

The best we to do this is to grind the LEDs down with a bench grinder. You might also be able to use a Dremel or a similar tool. You want the LEDs to look like this:

Now, you might be able to buy these LEDs somewhere, but I don't know where.

Use the stock LEDs as a guide. Once they are the right size, put them into the black dealies. In between the clips there is a + sign on the left side, put the positive lead of the LED through that hole. Bend the leads at a 90 degree andle and solder them back in and make sure the clips are tight. Then cut the extra lead off. This can also be tricky, but it is really pretty straightforward.

Once all the black dealies are reattached, take the circuit board out the car and plug both clips in. (Including the fan regulator. You need the fan to be on to make the A/C light come on.) Test all the lights to make sure they work. If some do not, the LEDs were put in wrong or your climate control is ruined (not sure how that would happen....)

Now put the clear plastic pieces on. Slide the board back into the assembly and screw in the small board. Now clip the face back on and push the buttons hard to make sure the buttons are reclipped to the switches. Put the back screws on and put on the slider knobs.

Now you want to put in the new backlighting bulbs for the climate control (NeoWedge Type Bs). Plug everything in again and turn on the parking lights to make sure they work. If not, well, you know...

Now reinstall everything. It's basically the same as the removal, the control cable is a little tricky, but not bad.

I understand this section is a little difficult especially with my lack of pictures. Feel free to ask for any clarification on this.

Coin Tray and Auto Gear Selector
OK this part is kind of annoying. To get to both of these lights you must remove the center console. There are two screws up front on each side (one is behind the removable carpeted pane) and there are three in back on each side. After those are removed, you will have to pull the console up and back to remove it. The shift knob must be removed. It can be kind of hard to pull over the E-brake. I
haven't found a good way to do this, but just mess with it for a while it will come off.

Gear Selector
The light for the auto shifter will be on the plastic piece with the gear indicators on it (P, R, N, etc.) Pop this off (there are four clips, I believe, that hold it on) and the light will be on the right side when looking at the bottom. Twist this out the bulb holder and replace the light. Test it.

The light is right where those two wires go into the piece.

Coin Tray
The coin tray is pretty much the same. There are two wires that go to the bulb holder. Twist the whole thing out, replace it and twist it back in. I had some trouble with this, but with a little bit of force, it worked out.

Both of these lights use the #74 that aren't the Tri-Power. However, the gear selector may work better with a Tri-Power. Mine is a little dim.

Overhead Lights, Trunk, License Plate
These are by far the easiest lights to change. For these lights, you will need the #194 bulbs (which ever ones you chose, again I went with the 5 wedge matrix).

For the overhead lights, remove the plastic shield over the lights:

Stick a flathead screw driver where the red box is and turn it, then pull the plastic piece off. You will now see three lights. Pull them out and place the new lights in. Check to make sure they work, if not, rotate them and try again.

Be sure not to scrap the plastic around the plastic shield as I did. It looks bad and it's just another thing to fix.

For the trunk, open the truck look under the "roof" of the trunk for the light. It should be lit and easy to find. Pull the screen open and pull the light out. Put the new one in, test it, etc. In my opinion, it looks better with the plastic screen over the light off all the time, but it doesn't really matter. This doesn't warrant pictures.

License Plate
The license plate involves a little more work.

Remove these two screws and pull the assembly out. There should be plenty of slack, so you can get the assembly where it is comfortable. You should now see this:

Twist out the bulb (the thing with the wires on it) to get this:

Pull the bulb straight and replace with the new one. Turn the parking light on to test it. Reassembly is obvious.

Congratulations! You have now converted almost every light in the car to LEDs. There are only a few things left that can be done. The light for the ignition switch can be changed and once I get around to doing this, I will add it to this thread. You can also change the tailights to LEDs. Other than that there are no other lights to change. There are also two lights in the window switches. It was a god-awful experience changing those. I don't recommend any inexperienced people try this. I may add it to the thread...maybe...

One could add lights to the glove compartment or by the feet. That, however, is another thread for another time. I also recommend changing the color of the clock to match the lights. I did mine blue. I won't cover how to do that here, but it worth looking into. Also look into getting an aftermarket headunit that matches the new dash colors. I don't believe it is possible/worth it to change the stock lights, so just get a new one.

I hope this will assist people in converting their interior lights to LEDs. If there are any questions, post them below and I will do my best to answer them.


Ludimus Catacus
1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
And now for some eye candy. :)

Cruise Control Cluster


Climate Control

Full Dash

Overhead Lights

All Three Dome Lights On

License Plate Light (Notice the cool glow on the ground :headbang:)

A bit closer.

Trunk Light

And hey, why not?

Hope you enjoyed all that. Now go do this!

74 Posts
dat shit is hot... great job

Ludimus Catacus
1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's super easy to do, man. You could probably do everything in an hour if you had all the lights ready to go at once. The climate control may take a bit longer, though.

Ludimus Catacus
1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have seen white done before. Can't find the thread right now, but it does look good. It was not done the way I did it, but it did come through as pure white, not yellow or orange. I was originally planning on doing white backlighting in the gauge cluster, but I ordered my lights wrong. :-/

1,889 Posts
I have seen white done before. Can't find the thread right now, but it does look good. It was not done the way I did it, but it did come through as pure white, not yellow or orange. I was originally planning on doing white backlighting in the gauge cluster, but I ordered my lights wrong. :-/
so if i order the white lights, it should come out alright?

and the ones for the dash, are they the first ones on the top? having to order the twist lock bases separately?

Ludimus Catacus
1,975 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can't be 100% sure, but I would think it would. And if not, that site is good about RMAing lights.

Yes the dash lights are the first ones on the top of the #74 page and you must order the twist lock bases.
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