Can Mercedes add ambient lighting?


In this article, we will take a look at the ambient lighting system used in Mercedes Benz vehicles. And answer the questions: can we add ambient lighting to a Mercedes? And how to operate the ambient lights?

Can you add ambient lighting to a Mercedes?

Yes, it’s possible to add ambient lighting to the interior of Mercedes Benz cars. Various kits are also available to change the existing ambient lighting system from 3 colours to 64 colour ambient lighting systems. Ambient lighting comes as standard equipment in almost all of the models in the Mercedes Benz lineup of cars. The latest models have ambient lightning consisting of 64 colours.

The ambient lighting system in a Mercedes Benz car

The ambient lighting system uses an independent control unit connected to the vehicle’s electrical network. This control unit controls a series of led lights that can shine light through optical fibre strips concealed between interior panels and also on the door trims.

The number of LEDs present in the system can vary from 40 LEDs to up to 250 LEDs. The ambient lighting system uses a LIN signal to control the LEDs. There can be 9 Lin channels with each channel controlling groups of led lights located in different areas in the vehicle.

Local interface network or lin uses master and slave principle and communicates over a single electrical line, in this case, the control unit is master and all the LEDs acts as a slave, the rate of data transfer for LIN is up to 15 kbps, as transfer speed is not important for ambient lighting system LIN is favoured, it helps to keep the costs low as one single wire is required for communication.

Mercedes-Benz has started integrating intelligent comfort and safety functions in ambient lighting systems. As comfort and safety functions include driver assistance systems like blind spot assist, active brake assist, the LIN communication protocol can no longer be used. All the latest ambient lighting systems use CAN signals. This allows for faster response time and animated effects can be produced from the LEDs.

The brightness levels of the LEDs have also been significantly improved. The current level is at 200 candela, which is almost 10 times greater than older systems. Thus ambient lights can also be used to visually warn and alert the driver.

For example, Active Blind Spot Assist warns of an impending collision with red light animation. Also with the exit warning function of Active Blind Spot Assist, a red visual warning is given in the area of the door where the risk of colliding with traffic approaching from behind, including cyclists, has been identified if exiting the vehicle. While changing the temperature of climate control the LEDs change colour from blue to red to indicate the temperature is increasing and vice versa.

10 colour preset colours are also available which can be selected from the command menu or if MBUX is installed Hey Mercedes commands can also be used to select the desired colour. There is a dedicated tiny light under the rearview mirror which is used to illuminate control switches on the centre console. 

Adding ambient light to the interior of Mercedes Benz cars

Aftermarket kits are available to add ambient light to the interior of the vehicle. These consist of led strips that must be installed on the interior panels. The advantage of the aftermarket kits is it allows the customer freedom to customise the interior of the vehicle to his style. 

Since the LEDs are used for lighting they consume very less current and do not affect the main battery. Upgrade kits are also available if a customer wants to upgrade existing 3 colour ambient lights to a 64 colour lighting system. 

This mostly involves taking the interior panel apart and installing a new wiring harness for additional led. However, the upgraded LEDs use the same optic fibre tubes in the interior panels and the result is very clean since no additional parts are installed on the interior panels. Authorised accessories like existing lamps in the doors that project Mercedes Benz logs are also available at the authorised dealership. 

How to operate an ambient lighting system

The ambient lighting  can be operated as follows

  • Press the home button on your display screen
  • Go to vehicle settings
  • Click on light settings
  • Click on ambient light
  • select the desired colour
  • Preset colour options are also available in the same menu.

If the MBUX system is installed in the vehicle then voice commands like “ Hey Mercedes, change colour to ….”  can also be used to change the ambient lighting. To turn off the ambient lights, toggle the switch in the overhead panel which controls interior lights to off position.

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Mercedes-Benz provides ambient lighting as standard equipment, adding ambient light is not required. But, upgrade kits are present in the market if a customer wants to upgrade to 3 colour ambient lights. Installing additional ambient lights can distract the driver while driving at night.

FAQS Can Mercedes add ambient lighting?

Can Mercedes add ambient lighting?

Yes, it is possible to add 64 colour lighting by installing an upgrade kit and programming the ambient lighting control unit.

Can I add ambient lights to my car?

Plenty of ambient lighting kits can be installed in the vehicle. Adding ambient lights to the car is a complex and expensive job as various interior panels must be removed to install the lights.

Does the Mercedes c300 have ambient lighting?

The Mercedes C300 has a 64 colour ambient lighting system. But it does not have comfort and safety features integrated into ambient lights.

How do I turn on ambient lights?

Check the interior light switch in the overhead panel, it must be in the middle position to turn on ambient lights. The colour can be changed via the command menu.

Does the AMG line have ambient lighting?

Yes, all AMG line models come with ambient lighting as standard equipment.