Golf R Footlights

The factory footwell lights in the R are decent, single-LED units but kind of a yellowish hue. I replaced the footlights in the Passat TDI with red LEDs that matched the VW instrument lighting. I like the night vision practicality of red and found the effect aesthetically pleasing, so I repeated the change on the R with a set of red LEDs from deAutoLED. Thereupon I found that the red footwell lighting clashed with the R's blue lighting on the door sill, trim, dash and instrument lighting. Ugh.

I wasn't keen on the R's blue lighting from the beginning which is entirely the wrong end of the spectrum for shifting between outside darkness and inside light. But there is no way I'm going to the expense and hassle of changing everything over to normal-VW-red. So I opted for a set of color changing footwell LEDs that let me indecisively shuffle between red, blue, white…and 13 other colors at the touch of a remote control. I can control the brightness and they even have a few dopey color-changing special effects. I ended up leaving them on blue.

The tri-color LEDs are driven by a small microcontroller that manages color, brightness, animations and saves the state across power cycles. It takes a little longer for the controller to turn on than directly-controlled lights when the VW body control module (BCM) fades-in (PWM) the interior lights because it needs a minimum power threshold before it can boot. So you kinda loose that effect.

For whatever reason US-spec Golfs don't get rear footlights. ($40K but skimps on two lights. <shrug>) Fortunately Car-Systems in Poland has a simple plug-and-play rear footlight harness that solves the problem. It uses the VW connectors to plug inline to the front footlights. Run the harness behind the kick panels, under the front door sill, under the carpet and into the seat where the factory seat shell has a rectangular socket for the included LED light housings. It turns out detaching the seats to run the harness is quite easy if you have a triple-square bit set. I went ahead and installed a pair of the color-changing LED arrays for the rear footwells too.