Toyota RAV4 Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

· Registered
2021 Rav4 Prime max trim
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I’m waiting for my expensive 2022 R4Prime overhead console (OC) part with back-lit buttons (Plan A), I wanted to share my cheap plan B solution.

I had given up trying to get light behind the OC buttons, because then what? Cut/drill a hole in the button surface? That means external light source, mounted to illuminate OC buttons, but not interfere in driver’s vision. The solution was a laser pointer parking assist device that I had my eye on for a while. Laser light is easier to put on the OC buttons, than LED/Incandescent (focused?) light. I ordered some items for my R4Prime on AliExpress where I can find such good prices that I don’t care when/if they arrive. The laser pointer was battery powered (AC adaptor for garage install), had motion sensor and easy ‘install’ with double stick tape, opposite rear air vents. It is a lot of fun to watch family and friends motion-trigger the red-dots and try to trace them to their source, or dive for cover yelling SNIPER (in R4Prime and around house). When my dogs readjust the aim, I get to have fun determining the 3-D pool shot (reflections off glass) that put a red dot on my gas pedal (or other weird spot). I was super happy with the motion detection triggering on hand movement towards the buttons. I’m finally able to reach up, see (two) buttons that I can easily get a finger on, and hopefully fumble to non-lit buttons.
Photograph Light Product Black Font
Rectangle Font Circle Parallel Number
Textile Gadget Jewellery Cable Wire
Circuit component Automotive lighting Rectangle Gadget Electronic component
Click to enlarge.

Here is a good representation of how it looks. In total dark, pics just show 2 red dots that you fingers can find.
Automotive lighting Entertainment Window Gas Tints and shades


Split rear seat is folded down for the dogs, and they will brush up agains laser pointer located opposite the rear vents. Easy enough to put back and realign.
Automotive tire Hood Tread Grey Road surface


The Good:
It is non-destructive and cheap.
Very easy install behind driver so you don’t see laser source.
Motion detection is very sensitive and triggers on hand motion reaching for buttons.
Red dots are not distracting and go off if there is no motion to trigger it.

The Bad;
It’s prone to jostling by rear passengers, requiring realignment.
I suspect people will make fun of it. I always suspect character flaws or trauma in authors of negative comments. See what I did there :ROFLMAO:

My finger tip lights up when it is on the button. That might freak somebody out, especially if it is their finger.
Automotive lighting Purple Pink Violet Music


Enjoy.
 

· Registered
2021 RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red
Joined
·
374 Posts
@Chazz8 - That's a very innovative solution to the dark overhead console buttons. Once in a while though I have back seat passengers and one in particular would have too much fun with the laser pointers. :)

The first part of my Plan B is working well, the stick on glow-in-the-dark rubber dots are staying in place, so I don't think that I'll have to replace them regularly.
Vehicle Automotive design Gadget Personal luxury car Automotive mirror

Step 2 will be mounting the UV led to shine on the overhead console, but not be in the line of sight of the driver and the passenger. I have a good location in mind (right in front of the armrest storage compartment) but need to get access to that area. I've seen a lot of videos about gaining access to parts of the dashboard, but none for the storage compartment. Have you run across any postings or videos where someone had removed this area?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
@Chazz8 Very creative, lol. I actually had a similar idea after seeing someone put GITD stickers on their buttons. If you could get some UV light in the cabin, those stickers will light up all the time. Same thing can also be achieved with tritium marker tubes, heh. Disclaimer: This is just a random thought based on some fun I had with a UV flashlight, and I don't suggest it due to possible damage UV can do to eyesight etc.
 

· Registered
2021 RAV4 Prime XSE in Magnetic Gray
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
@Chazz8 Very creative, lol. I actually had a similar idea after seeing someone put GITD stickers on their buttons. If you could get some UV light in the cabin, those stickers will light up all the time. Same thing can also be achieved with tritium marker tubes, heh. Disclaimer: This is just a random thought based on some fun I had with a UV flashlight, and I don't suggest it due to possible damage UV can do to eyesight etc.
Oooo I like this idea. Get a blacklight then go nuts with multicolored highlighters on your dash, doors, buttons, etc. It reminds me of a party from college that… well nevermind, I shouldn't go into detail.

Colorfulness Purple Visual effect lighting Font Magenta
 

· Registered
2021 Rav4 Prime max trim
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Darn, I just removed most of my glow-in-the-dark stickers from the OC. They did not work for illumination buttons, but still gave a Tron vibe. Now I wish I could have lit them up with uv.:mad:
 
  • Like
Reactions: SRVMP14

· Registered
2021 RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red
Joined
·
374 Posts
If it works for me, I'll let you know and I can send you an assortment of dots. The pack came with something like a hundred of the smaller size, and I don't think I'll be needing that many. :)
 

· Registered
2021 Rav4 Prime max trim
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got sheets of stickers left over. Stickers will fail you when you need them the most (in the dark). They can look cool though (think Tron). I can only approve glow-in-the-dark stickers for looks. Plan B (any plan B not stickers) is the low cost way to go.
 

· Registered
2021 Rav4 Prime max trim
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, bump on a button is an ok Plan B. But when I need fast access to OC buttons, I don’t want to feel around. I want to see where my finger is going and be done. If I’m already frustrated, feeling around for a raised bumper (in frustrating conditions) can enrage 🤬👹☠

I’m sticking with my laser pointer Plan B until I can get power to 2022 OC backlit buttons (Plan A) in my 2021 Rav4Prime.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8AA

· Registered
2021 RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red
Joined
·
374 Posts
The next step in my Plan B was to determine if a UV LED could keep the glow-in-the-dark rubber dots (that I stuck on the map light buttons) energized enough to keep them glowing, but not illuminate the overhead console too much. I tried 3mm (200-300 mcd) and 5mm (300-400 mcd). Both kept the rubber dots energized to the point that they glowed about the same amount. However, the 5mm ones clearly illuminated the overhead console, which wasn't my goal, so I'm going to continue the project with the 3mm ones. I bought 12v LEDs so I'm hoping that the USB charging ports under the arm rest will be converting from 12v locally and won't be getting their 5v from somewhere else. Still need to try removing the panel holding the USB charging ports to see what wires are back there.

A side note, the plastic on the map light covers is slightly fluorescent so they glow a little bit on their own with the UV light. It's very subtle and gives a good reference to the location of the overhead console without illuminating the whole area.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
Yes, bump on a button is an ok Plan B. But when I need fast access to OC buttons, I don’t want to feel around. I want to see where my finger is going and be done. If I’m already frustrated, feeling around for a raised bumper (in frustrating conditions) can enrage 🤬👹☠

I’m sticking with my laser pointer Plan B until I can get power to 2022 OC backlit buttons (Plan A) in my 2021 Rav4Prime.
Chaz,

No illumination will help with the location of the heated steering wheel button. I cannot see another option better than silicone bumpers. The adhesive must be strong to take thousands of opening and closing of kitchen cabinet doors and I don’t have any trouble finding the bumper on the heated steering wheel button even with gloves.

Overhead Console:

While on the topic of the overhead console, why would you need an illuminated button to turn on a map light as the driver? I would think the driver should be looking at the road not a map.

The map light and visor light, I believe, should be for the passenger reading the map or checking out their face in the mirror not the driver who should be looking at the road.

I can see bumpers on the moon roof switches which I affixed on both my switches because that is a function as the driver I would access, but the driver in my opinion has no business turning a map light on while driving and for that reason I cannot see a reason to illuminate those buttons.

Russ
 

· Registered
2021 RAV4 Prime Supersonic Red
Joined
·
374 Posts
@RussC, this should be a matter of personal preference. Some people are satisfied with feeling around for controls and switches. Some such as yourself have even argued that switches should never be illuminated. I agree that a driver should not be using a map light while driving, which was very true last century, but I don't have any maps in my car. I can now be distracted by the GPS display just as much as I would have been with a map. One of my primary reasons for compensating for Toyota's shortcomings (they have put illuminated switches on their new cars after all) was so that I wouldn't be distracted feeling around, especially for a button that I don't use that often. Before you ask why I bothered putting a GITD bumper on the driver's side map light, it was purely for symmetry. I expect at some point in time a passenger is going to ask "Do you have a map light?" instead of hunting around for it I elected to put raised bumps on the switches to help me find them, or better yet, direct the passenger to the glowing dots. I used GITD bumps so that I could try Illuminating them with a dim UV light to maintain their level of glow. I have found a location for this light that will not be visible by the driver or any of the passengers.

I don't agree with some of your positions, but I do respect them. Please respect mine.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
@RussC, this should be a matter of personal preference. Some people are satisfied with feeling around for controls and switches. Some such as yourself have even argued that switches should never be illuminated. I agree that a driver should not be using a map light while driving, which was very true last century, but I don't have any maps in my car. I can now be distracted by the GPS display just as much as I would have been with a map. One of my primary reasons for compensating for Toyota's shortcomings (they have put illuminated switches on their new cars after all) was so that I wouldn't be distracted feeling around, especially for a button that I don't use that often. Before you ask why I bothered putting a GITD bumper on the driver's side map light, it was purely for symmetry. I expect at some point in time a passenger is going to ask "Do you have a map light?" instead of hunting around for it I elected to put raised bumps on the switches to help me find them, or better yet, direct the passenger to the glowing dots. I used GITD bumps so that I could try Illuminating them with a dim UV light to maintain their level of glow. I have found a location for this light that will not be visible by the driver or any of the passengers.

I don't agree with some of your positions, but I do respect them. Please respect mine.
I agree we can disagree. If you want illuminated buttons go for it. I am frugal and practical and it must make sense before I make a sizable purchase and illuminated map lights in my opinion based on safety does not make sense.

if others like yourself are concerned about symmetry that is fine. I have a wife who must have symmetry in her life.

I would suggest if you have a passenger looking for the map light as the driver I would suggest to flip down the visor. One poster suggested using the visor light over the map light and I must agree the light is brighter on the visor and if you leave the mirror door slide open the light will come on when you lower the visor.

For a lot of folks the visor is easy to locate in the dark especially the sometime annoying passenger. 😁

Russ 👍
 

· Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
While I’m waiting for my expensive 2022 R4Prime overhead console (OC) part with back-lit buttons (Plan A), I wanted to share my cheap plan B solution.

I had given up trying to get light behind the OC buttons, because then what? Cut/drill a hole in the button surface? That means external light source, mounted to illuminate OC buttons, but not interfere in driver’s vision. The solution was a laser pointer parking assist device that I had my eye on for a while. Laser light is easier to put on the OC buttons, than LED/Incandescent (focused?) light. I ordered some items for my R4Prime on AliExpress where I can find such good prices that I don’t care when/if they arrive. The laser pointer was battery powered (AC adaptor for garage install), had motion sensor and easy ‘install’ with double stick tape, opposite rear air vents. It is a lot of fun to watch family and friends motion-trigger the red-dots and try to trace them to their source, or dive for cover yelling SNIPER (in R4Prime and around house). When my dogs readjust the aim, I get to have fun determining the 3-D pool shot (reflections off glass) that put a red dot on my gas pedal (or other weird spot). I was super happy with the motion detection triggering on hand movement towards the buttons. I’m finally able to reach up, see (two) buttons that I can easily get a finger on, and hopefully fumble to non-lit buttons.
View attachment 177532 View attachment 177535 View attachment 177528 View attachment 177526 Click to enlarge.

Here is a good representation of how it looks. In total dark, pics just show 2 red dots that you fingers can find.
View attachment 177536

Split rear seat is folded down for the dogs, and they will brush up agains laser pointer located opposite the rear vents. Easy enough to put back and realign.
View attachment 177529

The Good:
It is non-destructive and cheap.
Very easy install behind driver so you don’t see laser source.
Motion detection is very sensitive and triggers on hand motion reaching for buttons.
Red dots are not distracting and go off if there is no motion to trigger it.

The Bad;
It’s prone to jostling by rear passengers, requiring realignment.
I suspect people will make fun of it. I always suspect character flaws or trauma in authors of negative comments. See what I did there :ROFLMAO:

My finger tip lights up when it is on the button. That might freak somebody out, especially if it is their finger.
View attachment 177537

Enjoy.
I commend your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. I wouldn't do it myself because anything to do with laser pointers makes me think I'm going to go blind, but that's just me. LOL
Jan
 

· Registered
2021 Rav4 Prime max trim
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
^Jan has a healthy fear of lasers, but this unit is made to shine on your car dashboard to show you when to stop parking and will not hurt anybody. (But could scare/provocative dangerously)

I’m only going to share this once, but this is my near fatal (can’t find) button scenario that happened to me (no pics);
Driving in unfamiliar area at dusk, approaching major city, following GPS, have moon roof open when, roadwork closed my exit, traffic congestion increases significantly, I’m trying to listen to GPS “recalculating”, and it starts raining.

I spent too much time trying to close my moonroof becuase I could not see the button at a glance, which was all I could spare in my efforts. I survived without incident (got sprinkled on), but the panic/fustration/helplessness I felt insured that I took steps to prevent that in the future. It was a long time coming, but when I reached for the overhead switch and the red dot appeared on it (detected motion), I felt happy/good.:p

I have to remove my laser pointer when my dogs are in the car as it sticks to back seat, just above floor bump in middle. I though of putting pointer on ceiling and have one pointer at button, and one pointer for targeting others. But we all know that nothing good can come from pointing red dots at people, so that is a no-go.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
827 Posts
Chazz.
Revisit my post #2..
For less than $10, the whole upper keypad will be illuminated.
I'm still using my original led for the last 3 years.
The battery has not failed yet.
The light is removable and causes no damage to the car.

FYI
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top