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Automatic cubbyhole LED lighting

10263 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  lockdown36
UPDATED VIDEO AT END OF GUIDE! Just thought I'd share my mod. I hope it may inspire some of you to try something, too. :)


Before you can begin, you'll need to remove "the cubby" from its home in your dash. Since writing up these steps would be redundant to ebumdude's copies of Crutchfield's Mastersheet, I decided instead to make a video showing you how to remove the cubby as well as addressing some issues you may encounter during the removal process.


NOTE: In case the content here ever "breaks," this can be found at http://mc3w.com/!/lqc/, too.

Now that you have the cubby free from your car, you can get a better idea of how you will run your wires, where to mount the LED's, etc. I have a bunch of spare LED's on hand, so the following includes the steps I took to make my own LED strip for this application, but you can purchase one from a retailer and achieve similar results.

Looking inside, you'll notice that the top of the cubby is curved as well as having a beveled area running along the middle from front to back. If you're using a flat LED strip, mounting them in this direction would probably work best.


The beveled center worried me a bit, but the curved surface was looking to be a bigger hurdle until I looked over at my trash can and saw the packaging material for my just-installed LOC. Perfect!


Cut and trimmed to fit as well marked locations for LEDs mounting holes


Using a screwdriver roughly the same size (diameter) as the LED's, in this case 3mm, and a butane torch, make the holes and then trime off any remaining plastic so that you have a nice, clean mounting location.


Now to wire up the LED' s to work with the car's 13.4v. To keep them from burning out, we'll need to include resistors to the circuit, and to figure out which resistors you'll need, head over to http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz. Just enter the appropriate values into the calculator, and it will generate a wiring diagram (or more) that shows what resistor(s) to use, and how to properly connect them to the LED's. Once you've got it wired up, be sure to test the circuit before doing any (semi-)permanent mounting. If you have a breadboard, this would be a good time to use it, since you can lay out your LED array without soldering. If everything checks out, the LED array is ready for mounting to the base...but before all that, it's off to paint.



After painting, I simply used a clear silicone adhesive to mount my LED array to the base. I chose this because it will keep them on there quite well, I won't have to worry about short circuits, and...well...it's just what I happened to have.


You really can just any adhesive you want, but if you do use something like silicone, remember that you'll need to give it some time to cure. I chose to do a test mounting inside the cubby while I was waiting for the silicone to cure. This also assured me that I didn't mess anything up during the application of the silicone.

...and a few hours later, the silicone is now stable enough (24hrs is recommended for a full cure) for me to install the cubby back in the car. Below is a photo of the final product. The video below it shows the LED's in action.



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· Jack-o'all-Trades
2011 Camry Hybrid
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
You can tap into the 12v lines for either cig lighter. If you want the LED's to be tied in with your dimmer, use the 12v from either the radio (see ebumdude's thread for info on removing it) or from the bulb near the shifter (AT only?).

Full size photos and more at http://mc3w.com/!/lqc
 

· Jack-o'all-Trades
2011 Camry Hybrid
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Pretty innovative!! But what if you want the door open but the light off?
Thanks, and that's a good question. I have a switch for the line that will feed power to the LEDs as well as the other panel lighting mods I will be doing. It will be installed where the 2nd cigarette lighter socket in the center console is. The power source is actually coming from the interior illumination supply (via the shifter light), so dimming functionality will also remain intact.
 

· Jack-o'all-Trades
2011 Camry Hybrid
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, y'all. I got tired of having to grab a flashlight whenever someone wanted to plug in their device and it became a version of "use your finger to find the hole" for the AUX input.

DIY coming up in a few. :)

Whats the point of having it turn off when you close the lid? With the lid closed, you wont know or see if its on or off right?
For most people, the main reason would be for bulb life, particularly those, myself included, who travel a lot each day in their car.

As for my own "main reason," I'm rather particular about my interior lighting. In fact, I usually drive with all my instrument lights turned off at night. I'm not sure about other models with the cubby, but if I didn't have the lights turn off with the lid closed, some of the light would leak out.

Also, unlike the mods on previous cars I've owned, I'm trying to keep most of mine as OEM-ish as possible. A light leakage would be be so "cheap" to me, personally. Yes, I know...the wifey reminds me often -- I can be neurotic, but hey, to each their own, eh. :thumbsup:
 

· Jack-o'all-Trades
2011 Camry Hybrid
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sorry for the delay. Real life got in the way, and when you get news that you've been laid off...well...anyway, posting the DIY (copy/pasting FTW) as you're reading this...


Nice work!:thumbsup:

I kinda did the same thing with all blue LEDs and I connected them to a blue light up switch on the panel to the left of the steering wheel.
Thanks!

Nice job on the lights. I almost did what you did, but I realized I'm not 21 anymore :facepalm: Oh where does the time go...? (lol)

I wonder who'll be first to recognize the cheesy soundtrack. :p
 

· Jack-o'all-Trades
2011 Camry Hybrid
Joined
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
no, no. I didn't mean it in any foul way towards you at all bud. I just meant me and how I'm changing things up now that I'm approaching my "deadline," so to speak. Trust me, I'm diggin' the lights...maybe if I had coilovers and some dubs I'd have gone that route, but money just seems to keep going somewhere else these days. :headbang:

in any case, i'm sorry if that came across the wrong way. i hadn't meant it to. :facepalm:
 

· Workin' on it.
2007 Camry SE V6
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493 Posts
No offense taken man...just giving you a hard time.:chug:

Nice DIY. I am posting one myself right now on headlights in my thread. I blacked them out and added internal LEDs plus got rid of the amber reflector...looks sick!
 

· Jack-o'all-Trades
2011 Camry Hybrid
Joined
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No offense taken man...just giving you a hard time.:chug:

Nice DIY. I am posting one myself right now on headlights in my thread. I blacked them out and added internal LEDs plus got rid of the amber reflector...looks sick!
Perfect! I was just about to bite the bullet and open mine up without a spare, too! :D
Hopefully your DIY will answer some Q's I have. :clap::clap::clap:
 
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