Interior Lights Wiring with Door Switches

This weekend I tackled the dome and interior lighting inside the bus. These had worked previously but I had never hooked them back up after I got it back from paint.

Here are what my goals were:
  • Lights are always able to be switched on regardless of key in the ignition
  • Driver, Passenger and Slider will turn lights on upon open. 
  • Manual switch to turn lights on from drivers seat. 
  • Support each dome light being able to be turned off and on. 
  • Add under dash lights. 
  • Run off of auxiliary battery

I looked around and couldn’t find a diagram of the Bus Dome lights. I created this diagram:

Bus Dome Light Diagram

I bought door switches (306-169) and rubber surrounds  from Mid America Motorworks. I installed them on the Driver, Passenger and Slider door. They ground out when the door is opened, hence turning the light on.

Here is a picture of the door switch on the Driver side:
Door Switch

I had purchased the Dome Lights a while back. MAM has those too (383-877)
Dome Light
Basically this was all pretty easy. I guess the “A-Ha” moment was when I figured out in order to do multiple switches, you were switching the Ground and not the power. Once I figured out that, it became a matter of running wires through the channel. I got lucky a couple times and wire veered through the hole.

After I got the dome lights in place, I decided I wanted to put lights under the dash. I had some 12v small LEDs that I got from and hooked those up. There are two support braces that go from the front wall to the dash. They support the Emergency Brake Lever. I placed two of these LEDs on either bar. One points down and one points to the respective side. Wired them up and went from there.

Here’s a Picture of the installed and ON lights.
Under dash LEDs.

The light is AWESOME. So happy with this. When I get in the car I can see the floor. It’s awesome. Also, I’m planning on getting some under dash trays. This will help significantly when finding things at night.

Another thing I added was a little Pull switch on the dash next to the headlight switch.

New interior lights switch

My dad informed me that VW put pre-cut holes in the metal for additional switches. I found one, used a razor to cut out the fabric and wha-la!  Basically this makes it so you can turn on the lights when you’re in and the doors are closed. The only thing I may do is put in an override switch for the lights under the dash. The overhead dome lights have a toggle to turn them off manually (say if the door is open and you’re sleeping). Right now, I think a good addition would be a way that turned them on manually. Like if you’re driving at night and needed to see a tray.

For my Dome lights, I just ordered one of these each from


I don’t know why I’m all about the LEDs. I think because I’m trying to conserve Electricity and these are so efficient, they don’t burn out AND they’re not really affected by vibration.

That’s about it. I have to get some more pics up here to finish out this post. I’ll take them tonight on my way home.


7 thoughts on “Interior Lights Wiring with Door Switches

  1. Cool under dash lights!
    I'll need to try that 😉

    The LED for the dome light is also a great idea! I'm wondering how much brighter – Let me know how that goes!



  2. Excellent article sir
    I’m in the middle of restoring a 78 westy and your article was just what I was looking for

  3. First of all, let me congratulate you for the amazing work you’ve done.
    I was wondering if you can tell me the size if the hole for your dome light. I bought one at a local shop and it seems to be too small. I own a VW Bus 1975.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    kind regards

    1. Here is a link to the dome light that was stock for a vw bus.

      You may have bought a dome light for a Bug which is quite a bit smaller. I don’t know what the dimensions of the dome light cut out are. When I get a chance to go out to the bus, I’ll do that and let you know.


      1. Thank you very much Casey. I got it from another vendor, but that is exactly the part number I was looking for. Perfect fit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *