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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a guide with some pictures of how I switched the incandescent bulb illuminating the ashtray to a blue LED. Ever since I removed the ashtray insert, I've been bothered by the glare from the yellow bulb every time I open the compartment to open my garage or get change. Why didn't I just stick the red filter back over the light? Since the ashtray light is always on (along with the glovebox light) when the parking lights are on, and I hate wasting electricity, I wanted to exchange the inefficient bulb for a low power LED (which is why I changed the bulb in the glovebox too). Plus, I wanted blue light, and didn't want to find a blue filter that would fit.

Here's what it takes:
I got a #74 (aka T5, 5mm) blue LED from warden-jp2002 on ebay. krupky says a #24 (or T6.5mm) bulb also fits (http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=66782.msg1147001#msg1147001, and the bulb he used is probably brighter than what I got, but since I just wanted accent lighting I stuck with the #74.

Here's a comparison of the stock bulb with the #74:


Rather than repeat something that's already been done well, let me direct you to rsquared's excellent guide (http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=39096.0) on how to remove the ashtray/lighter compartment. Start from step 9 and proceed through step 15, where you remove one small screw (be careful that you don't drop it down your shift gear linkage! :shock:) to take off the white "Y-wing fighter" shaped piece holding the ashtray bulb.


The bulb is a bit hard to get out, and rsquared used pliers to yank the entire socket out, but I used a pair of needle-nosed pliers wrapped in cloth to gently pull the stock bulb out and replace it with the LED.


Make sure the LED lights up before putting everything back! Yay, it's blue!


Reattach the white piece to the ashtray/lighter compartment and screw it on. Reverse the steps to reinstall the compartment and restore your center pieces back to their proper place. Then turn on your lights and enjoy the nice contrast with the red instrument lights.


Also matches well with a blue glovebox LED:


Now you're saving energy and styling at the same time! 8)
One unexpected bonus: the slight creaking noise that I've been hearing from my center console is now gone! :D
 

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Looks good! I'm probably going to do the same, since that yellow bulb seriously clashes with the rest of the lighting.

I'm surprised nobody's flamed you yet for mentioning that part of your intentions were to save power on a teeny little bulb :lol:
 

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OMG, thank you! I hate the red light, and I just happen to have a couple of blue LEDs sitting around.

The ashtray and glovebox take the same type of bulb as the map lights up front, right? If so, I'm in luck, I'll just put my extra blues in the there.
 

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[quote author=colorblindtyler link=topic=67471.msg1160724#msg1160724 date=1169400779]
The ashtray and glovebox take the same type of bulb as the map lights up front, right?
[/quote]

Nope, the map lights use size 194 LEDs. (same as the license plate lights)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
[quote author=colorblindtyler link=topic=67471.msg1160724#msg1160724 date=1169400779]
The ashtray and glovebox take the same type of bulb as the map lights up front, right? If so, I'm in luck, I'll just put my extra blues in the there.
[/quote]

The glove box LED is a 194 like the maplights and license plate lights, but the ashtray bulb is a #74 5mm base (what I used) or a #24 6.5mm base (what krupky used).
 

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Well, if they were for your maplights, they're probably a size 194. If they are in fact the maplight-size bulbs, is there any chance you'd be willing to sell one? I've been meaning to do my glovebox for awhile as well. :)
 

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Wouldn't it be easier to buy one online somewhere? It'll only be a matter of a few bucks. I might throw my spare in the back for the license plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The e-bay store that I got my LEDs from has great prices and reasonably quick shipping (took one week to go from Hong Kong to CA).
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2pcs-161-168-194-4-LED-Spark-Blue-Wedge-Bulb_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33713QQihZ010QQitemZ200070052487QQtcZphoto

I got the 4 LED 194 wedge bulbs ($3/pair, plus $1.80 shipping worldwide) instead of the 6 LEDs because I didn't want it to be too bright. Also, the color matches well with the blue accent around the gauges. Here's a comparison between the #74 bulbs for the ashtray and the 194 bulbs for the glove box.
 

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[quote author=colorblindtyler link=topic=67471.msg1160835#msg1160835 date=1169404275]
Wouldn't it be easier to buy one online somewhere? It'll only be a matter of a few bucks. I might throw my spare in the back for the license plate.
[/quote]

Yeah, I just figured if you had no use for them, you'd sell one cheap--I know that's how I get rid of all my accumulated junk when it reaches critical mass!
 

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[quote author=krupky link=topic=67471.msg1160910#msg1160910 date=1169406630]
http://www.autolumination.com/ has great pricing as well - i've ordered a few things from them with great success!
[/quote]

This sight is great they got every kind of buld you could want. I order all my bulbs from them.
 

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Sweet, I think I'll make my own bulb with the LEDS that I have sitting around one of these day. Thanks
 

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Just replaced my ashtray bulb as well (autolumination). I also removed the red plastic piece from the ashtray and replaced it with clear plastic. I traced the red plastic onto a piece of plastic packaging (the kind that is a pain to open) and then slipped it in with a few dots of crazyglue. I figured somehow something from the ashtray would end up in there.

After I opened things up... has anyone noticed what a POS the cup holders are. I THOUGHT they were enclosed. Spill your coffee in there and it's all over the shift electronics and everything. Has anyone found a good fix for this? ...other than of course not spilling anything...

Thanks for the writeup!

Pasta
 

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Discussion Starter #17
[quote author=pastaman link=topic=67471.msg1171809#msg1171809 date=1169926177]
Just replaced my ashtray bulb as well (autolumination). I also removed the red plastic piece from the ashtray and replaced it with clear plastic. I traced the red plastic onto a piece of plastic packaging (the kind that is a pain to open) and then slipped it in with a few dots of crazyglue. I figured somehow something from the ashtray would end up in there.
[/quote]

That's a good idea to protect anything from flying up there if you're still using the ashtray. And thanks for the heads-up on the open cup holders; I didn't notice it when I pulled them up.
 

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[quote author=pastaman link=topic=67471.msg1171809#msg1171809 date=1169926177]
Just replaced my ashtray bulb as well (autolumination). I also removed the red plastic piece from the ashtray and replaced it with clear plastic. I traced the red plastic onto a piece of plastic packaging (the kind that is a pain to open) and then slipped it in with a few dots of crazyglue. I figured somehow something from the ashtray would end up in there.

After I opened things up... has anyone noticed what a POS the cup holders are. I THOUGHT they were enclosed. Spill your coffee in there and it's all over the shift electronics and everything. Has anyone found a good fix for this? ...other than of course not spilling anything...

Thanks for the writeup!

Pasta
[/quote]

I was in there installing some BLUE led's in my Cup holders a while back and I used this black type Putty stuff in order to secure the LED's in place and I used it to cover the holes so leaks aren't an issue anymore.

I also scrunched up some Kleenex and put them at the bottom of each cup holder because my cups seem to maintain moisture and I'm tired of having little water rings so it just gets on the Kleenex, and it also reflects the blue led's at a night a lot better.
 

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Hey kendalf I'm not sure if you want to modify your walk through or what not.

But I went out and bought just about every LED i could find. ( one of them being that super star from autolumination I think it was. ( it only fit's if you sand the F out of it ) It has a much wider base then all of the LED's I have.

( also to anyone who's interested in doing this, check out the Psychedelic LED from Autolumination.com it changes to 6 different colors, and that's what I currently have in my ashtray right now and it looks awesome. ;)
 
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