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Overhead Console Illuminated Buttons - Plan B

3947 Views 23 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  AutoMatters
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Enjoy.
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BUTTON LAMP Adhesive LEDs Light Package - Lightweight, Ultra Small, Ultra Bright LED Utility Lights - 6 Pack (BL-6885)
by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721NYMJN/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_ToZ1Db467Y0J6


View attachment 177541 View attachment 177542
I am going to order a pack of similar mini LED lights from Amazon and try them, except I will be ordering "LUXPRO Waterproof Micro LED Puck Lights" instead, plus a pack of CR2032 batteries. This brand of light has an easy-to-use, push on/push off button, and the batteries can be replaced simply by unscrewing the top from the base.
Thank you for this simple, inexpensive suggestion that does not require modifying the RAV4 Prime.
Jan
 

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They look Nice...
Same idea, good luck
I received the lights from Amazon today and installed one. The pushbutton is convenient and the button assembly seems solid. I like that the CR2032 batteries are easily replaceable. Attached are photos of how I installed it. I used a 1-1/4" (OD) x about 2-1/4" long piece of stiff, heavy-duty black heat shrink tubing with a thin layer of glue inside to fit over the LED light assembly and direct the light up towards the overhead switches and buttons on the mirror, while keeping the direct light out of my face. It is easy to find the switch by feel to turn it on at night. The only slightly tricky part will be when the batteries need to be replaced. In order to keep the circuit board properly aligned with where the pushbutton is, the board has to be held in place until it is flush with the base, that is held on the the cup holder assembly by double-side tape. It is important to leave just enough space behind the heat shrink tubing so that it does not rub up against the side of the cupholder assembly. Not leaving a bit of space would make it very difficult to screw the top part of the button back on to the base. Position the light with the LED bulb closet to the driver. Since the heat shrink tubing fits tightly over the light assembly, it is easy to just turn the heat shrink tubing to unscrew the light to change the batteries.
I had to reposition the switch a few times as I figured out the best way to attach it, but the adhesive is still pretty sticky.

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^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 thought 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.
I received the lights from Amazon today and installed one. The pushbutton is convenient and the button assembly seems solid. I like that the CR2032 batteries are easily replaceable. Attached are photos of how I installed it. I used a 1-1/4" (OD) x about 2-1/4" long piece of stiff, heavy-duty black heat shrink tubing with a thin layer of glue inside to fit over the LED light assembly and direct the light up towards the overhead switches and buttons on the mirror, while keeping the direct light out of my face. It is easy to find the switch by feel to turn it on at night. The only slightly tricky part will be when the batteries need to be replaced. In order to keep the circuit board properly aligned with where the pushbutton is, the board has to be held in place until it is flush with the base, that is held on the the cup holder assembly by double-side tape. It is important to leave just enough space behind the heat shrink tubing so that it does not rub up against the side of the cupholder assembly. Not leaving a bit of space would make it very difficult to screw the top part of the button back on to the base. Position the light with the LED bulb closet to the driver. Since the heat shrink tubing fits tightly over the light assembly, it is easy to just turn the heat shrink tubing to unscrew the light to change the batteries.
I had to reposition the switch a few times as I figured out the best way to attach it, but the adhesive is still pretty sticky.

They look Nice...
Same idea, good luck
To add to my reply, thank you for giving me this idea. On Amazon I was able to find a different LED button light that has a push-button switch, has easily replaceable batteries and fits on an out-of-the-way, flat place on the RAV4's center console.
This push-button LED uplight setup is also helpful when I am safely stopped at night and am looking for one of the many switches on the overhead console — like when I want to open, close or tilt the sunroof. There are a lot of switches up there! It really helps to be able to clearly see the icons on the buttons at night.
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By the way, the heat shrink tubing sits on the flat, horizontal surround for the dual cupholder, in an out-of-the way place. It just barely sticks up higher than the surrounding console (it needs to be that tall to shield the driver's eyes from directly being able to see the brightly lit LED).
Jan
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