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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've reached the point of having done most of the things I wanted to do to my new Rav. Now I'm doing things mostly for the fun of it, though I hope these things might be useful too. Here is a good example:

My glove box is now illuminated! I've been thinking about this for a month or so, and finally installed it today. I'm really pleased. The cool white LEDs in the glovebox match the other interior LEDs nicely (I swapped them out some weeks ago).

I went to a lot of trouble to do it right and achieve a decent look. I also wanted a switch to turn out the LEDs when the door was closed. I'm pretty happy with the results. The first three pics show the installation. Pic1 demonstrates that the LEDs are off when the door is closed. Pic2 is from the users perspective. Pic3 is a low angle view showing the row of little LEDs.

I considered several types of LEDs for the glovebox. The self-adhesive flexible strip gave me the level of brightness and the look I wanted. It illuminates the full width of the box, minimizing shadows and allowing you to find things easier.

The switch was trickier, or so I thought until I found a long-sensing-range reed switch. These things are tried and true....used as burgler alarm window switches and for industrial appliactions. The ones I have used in the past had a range of only about .25 inch. These new ones have powerful rare earth magnets that allow a sensing range of about 1 inch. Pic4 shows the installation kit, with the exception of the add-a-fuse and the wiring.

Here's the parts list:

Flexible strip LED from superbrightleds.com. Part number NFLS-CW3-CL. $8.00

Clamp on pigtail adapter from superbrightleds.com. Part number NFLS8-2CPTH. $.59

Reed Switch from Amazon.com. Philmore part number 30-10072. $11.00

Bussman Add-a fuse from Amazon.com. Part number BP/HHH-RP. $8.00 (Not shown in pic)

The fuse holder in the pic was not used.

Pic5 shows the circuit built on my kitchen table using a 12V power supply. I did this to verify the operation of the reed switch and to get an idea of the brightness and color of the LEDs. You can see me holding the reed switch magnet in the left hand side of the pic. My moving the magnet a little closer to the reed switch, the LEDs shut off.

Pic6 shows the flexible LED strip attached to its pigtail adapter. The strip is backed with 3M adhesive. It stuck tenaciously to the plastic panel on the Rav.

I located the reed switch on the left side of the glovebox. The magnet mounts to the moving box, and the switch to the dashboard. The magnet is actually on the outside of the glovebox, tucked far behind the front surface. It can't be easily seen. It's difficult to get a decent view of the switch installation, but I will attempt if anyone is interested.

I brought power over from the driver's side fuse panel. I used an Add-a-fuse to tap into the panel. Power wiring was easy since I was able to use a spare conductor that I ran through some split-tube loom when I had the dash apart for floor light kit wiring. I still have several spare conductors left. I've made it a habit to run spares on any wiring project in the hopes of not having to take the dash apart again.
 

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Nice job with the switch. I also added led lighting to my upper, lower glove boxes, and center console. I didn't use any switches, I just connected the leds to an illumination wire so now they are on when I turn on my headlights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice job with the switch. I also added led lighting to my upper, lower glove boxes, and center console. I didn't use any switches, I just connected the leds to an illumination wire so now they are on when I turn on my headlights.
Hey Veliksam, got any pics of your lighting? I'd really like to see that center console. Thanks.
 

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Hey, I'll take a picture tonight and post it up. Btw, I only used 3 LED's in the center console and it's super bright!
 
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I didn't use any switches or anything, I just connected all the LED's to illumination wires from nearby switches that illuminate when the headlights are turned on.
I don't care if the LED's are constantly on at night because I know they won't burn out anytime soon (LED's have a very long life) plus there is almost zero heat being produced from these LED strips.


Notice how bright with just 3 LED's



Here are the glove boxes, upper has 3 LED's and the lower one has 15 LED's.


 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Veliksam, is that a phone charger I see in the glove box?
 

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In the lower glove box I have an iPod/iPhone cable which is connected to my JVC HU and my iPod touch which sits in the lower glove box as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's a good idea. Love your console box lighting.
 
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Thanks for the info, very impressive and one very bad short coming on the RAV4 is the lack of lighting on crucial switches for finding at night. I can't quite figure our where to installed the magnets in relation to your posted pictures.
 

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Magnetic reed switches! Doh! I mounted the strip lights in the glove boxes last summer, but I couldn't figure out exactly where to stick the microswitch.

Thanks jmark59!
 

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Hi jmark59, the LED flexible strip from superbrightleds.com. (Part number NFLS-CW3-CL) is LED 3528. Is it bight enough? Will LED 5050 be better or even LED 5630?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Czgu. I would not suggest brighter LEDs. The ones I used are very bright. Of course, you might still want even more light. But these were seriously bright to my eyes.

Regards,
Jmark59
 

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How did you install the reed switch? Using 3M tape or screws? Do you have picture? The power you connected to constant 12V or ACC?
 
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