Post-SEMA Show Effect
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The SEMA Effect

Thanks to SEMA, I am now a grown man with blue LED lights in the footwells of my vehicle.


Jason Stahl has 28 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 16 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

I’ve coined a new term: the “SEMA effect.” What is the SEMA effect? It’s an uncontrollable urge, after attending the SEMA Show, to trick up your ride.

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I fell victim to this effect recently – a full 10 months after the 2013 SEMA Show. I guess that goes to show how long this affliction can last. What did I do? I installed LED lights in the footwells of my ’09 Honda Civic. That’s right – bright, glowing lights of a variety of colors that can be set in a variety of different modes, including one that blinks in time with your music.

Oh, I’ve had to endure comments like, “What are you, 13?” and, “You men are all the same!” But you know what? I like them. They’re cool! And when I set them on blue, which matches the lights on my dashboard, they’re actually pretty tasteful and – dare I say it – classy. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but at least I didn’t put them underneath the car or something.


The lights now are in addition to my modified tailpipe. And I shall do no more customizing of my car. Promise. OK, maybe a small, subtle spoiler at some point, NOT one of those garish batwings I’ve seen!

One of my co-workers brought up a good point when he said, “Hey, man, you might think about turning them off at night. Otherwise, you’ll be a cop magnet!” Gosh, I never thought of that. In fact, when I initially bought the Civic, I figured since it was gray and one of the most common vehicles on the road that I would become invisible to the fuzz. In fact, not long after I bought it, I was heading down the highway and nearly panicked when I saw a cop barreling up from behind me. When he drifted past me, I thought, “By God, it’s true! I really do have Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility!”


And here I am attracting undue attention now. Tsk, tsk. When they pull me over, I’ll just say I fell victim to the SEMA effect.

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