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My take on a more subtle LED cupholder mod

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by tasnowma, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Mar 1, 2013 at 5:34 AM
    #1
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So like everyone else, I feel like my two front cup holders are dark as hell at night. I have came up with an idea for a mod that will subtly illuminate the base of the cup holder while the entire bulb is completely invisible from all angles. I pretty much want to see blue, but not get blinded in anyway when I look down.

    I noticed the cup holder divider is hollow underneath for up to an inch in some areas. My plan is to line the interior of the bottom side of the divider with mirror board (reflective cardboard available at craft stores) to better reflect the light down and out. The 2 LEDs will be installed facing up (front center and back center of the divider) and thus the mirror board helps reflect the light.

    Thoughts on this - The divider sits just above the base of the cup holder, I think just enough to let enough light out (2 LEDs should be plenty). I mean sometimes I throw change in the there and the coins will slide from one end to the other, so I have almost an 1/8" of an inch to work with after everything is snapped into place. My plan is to give it more of a cascaded light on the bottoms of the cup holders, kind of like standing in a dark hallway outside a bedroom with a light on.

    I'm going to tackle this project tomorrow and hope it goes as planned. I hope enough light escapes and everything looks good when said and done. I will definitely upload some picture as soon as I get it going and will post night pictures tomorrow night to see the final product.

    Has anyone done this mode? I noticed one similar but little cuts were made on the divider and looked like the bulb was visible from the driver seat. Let me know some thoughts or ideas on this! Any feedback would be great and thanks for making me feel welcome here! Peace. Updates soon!

    ledcupholderidea_zpsf43ec6b8_10c226ac21f7a4ec07b156a6fc229f312a8502cf.jpg
     
  2. Mar 1, 2013 at 8:40 AM
    #2
    undecided

    undecided Well-Known Member

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    great concept! I would love to see the final product.
     
  3. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM
    #3
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well the LEDs came earlier than expected and I have the day off so I just tackled this mod. I went with oznium.com 5mm blue LEDs and damn man, they got here in like 2 days from Colorado?! Crazy and awesome.

    Anyway, tons of new step by step (day by daaayyy) pictures!!

    The lights
    IMG_1334_zps740ffcf9_a1aa92bfb88dc3b30ea094532f04f22b5b03139a.jpg
    Testing a couple on my off season motorcycle battery. Yay they work.
    IMG_1333_zps30be1fd4_f0b5e42e684714e12881cbf7e2c41f7752aefa5c.jpg
    Disassembled console
    IMG_1336_zps382c172a_2482febe0b6445017a8aa1e6bcf790395dffd355.jpg
    Trace divider with pencil and center your lights accordingly!
    IMG_1339_zpsca21cf4b_2ed43a7b33a849273f82b2003d0ac55022c02090.jpg
    Bulbs measures 3/16" wide
    IMG_1341_zps91810239_5f5f043e8b10f8ef5c3b4164d6270cf3371c9912.jpg
    Drill first with pilot bit
    IMG_1342_zpsb0f9af9c_5b68bf2f886688a02979e4aa0d9d6a82ee11bfb3.jpg
    Drill holes to 3/16" (I used an actual 3/16" bit and it worked perfect)
    IMG_1344_zps8655ef11_5ef20d0afe16d7f274c253ba378d7f27b809bc6e.jpg
    Nice and snug
    IMG_1345_zps872b39f1_96261833ec123037b0952a32fd322f38c709dbbd.jpg
    Bottom... SNUG!
    IMG_1346_zpsc15c8738_8319d882f64d7da88f155aadaa86ecb5fbbd19ca.jpg
    All clean!
    IMG_1355_zps1a17e281_01391de57897d804032b555ba733b12ff2013804.jpg
    Locate shifter bulb and turn and remove. Free green wires from clip.
    IMG_1356_zps3fd3a2b7_e59b62bf657733dc014c06dce78c095f7ec5f77d.jpg
    Expose wire!
    IMG_1358_zps55a614b1_7f9e6116ca033b3dae77958403dd24f386eee39b.jpg
    Testing bulbs! When connecting to the greens, it will only work one way, so connect and turn on head lights...blue? Good. Off? Switch em.
    IMG_1359_zps4e622ff1_ea6e0cd984c535437e6a20cdad7f3105aed7fae4.jpg
    Yup. Good to go.
    IMG_1360_zpsa65b2c37_ad596b1bf3f352b635ef32d3c37dd30f3873cd1f.jpg
    Tape your wires up (didn't get a picture) and feed them over towards the cup holder. I wrapped around this plastic ducting tube to secure them better in place.
    IMG_1361_zpsd2069144_fab6ea70dae1e467c1ad51a88a0c29a223db73fb.jpg
    Push the bulbs through the cup holder. A 3/16" hole was perfect for me. The bulbs are snug and I had to really push to get them to sit all the way in. No glue required.
    IMG_1363_zps31a90232_a0be06e93c665925b7ff499562c16d5782537776.jpg
    Turn key. We have light!
    IMG_1365_zpsbcba9b39_601e17ef932e029ac1df5d9838cc10a028762db7.jpg
    Install the divider. Because it's somewhat hollow underneath, it clears the bulbs fine. I still need to do the mirror board on the underside to better reflect the light because I don't think it will be bright enough without it.
    IMG_1366_zpsd64259ee_509eb8842bca55db732a53d206326dac928381a6.jpg
    All clean.
    IMG_1367_zps43222f0c_16802e718b28ad18f3ea94e6e457c17d31e79452.jpg

    Now we wait for darkness. In the meantime, I will go to the store and get some mirror board to cut out for underneath the divider to reflect the light back down. I will take pictures of that when I do it and upload those pictures and of course pictures of the final product when it gets dark out. Pics will be uploaded tonight. Will update again later. Thanks for watching, enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  4. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM
    #4
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    :popcorn:

    Ive seen a similar method but the person drilled a few small holes in the sides of the plastic divider to let some light escape from the sides of it.

    here are pics from my first cup holder led mod. I didnt want to clog your thread up with my pics so here is the link to my gallery.

    Granted the light will be a lot brighter this way.

    I got my leds from superbrightleds.com and they included LED holders (little black clips that hold them in place) and longer wire.
     
  5. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    #5
    undecided

    undecided Well-Known Member

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    I noticed the 3 holes below the AC controls are you adding LEDs there as well?
     
  6. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM
    #6
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Are those 3mm or 5mm led bulbs you used? The light looks good and I'm hoping 2 5mm bulbs hidden underneath will still work out. I kinda just wanted to avoid the direct beam look and being able to see the bulb. I want it more subtle but obviously visible. Won't know til it gets dark out.
     
  7. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM
    #7
    logcabinwc

    logcabinwc Well-Known Member

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    sub'd, want to see the final result! looks good and kudos to you!
     
  8. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM
    #8
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Haha, good eye! I bought my truck used and unfortunately the previous owner put 3 screws through the face to hold his satellite radio receiver. Kinda bums me out. But no I don't plan for LEDs there. The holes are all off centered and junk and I don't really know what to do to cover them up. Maybe a TRD decal or carbon fiber strip or something.
     
  9. Mar 1, 2013 at 10:52 AM
    #9
    undecided

    undecided Well-Known Member

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    That makes me mad for you :mad: I wouldnt have bought the truck just because of that. I try and be careful with mods that involve cutting /drilling. Once you start with the cutting tools, you have to be commited to make sure that part isnt coming out. Ever. just my .02
     
  10. Mar 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM
    #10
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    New pictures. This is the method I used to try and reflect some of that light back down. Also, at the end, a couple pictures of the finished product, with the LEDs on... though it's still pretty light outside.

    Went to Michael's craft store and bought a sheet of mirror board. $2.00
    IMG_1370_zps496ae9c2_3bc40a6223fb6adf5a51de70d5d95ec9dab763d0.jpg
    Get all necessary shit together! Scissors, pen, razor blade, tape.
    IMG_1372_zps77bf1c6d_268d6e566302df1967ae6f11449c22904003b0f5.jpg
    Trace.
    IMG_1373_zpsbb6e12bb_dc7c1d822318b6944167b9abef9459c354297e66.jpg
    Cut that bad larry out and tape it to the bottom of the divider.
    IMG_1374_zps358cadd3_7c7fcd1ff4c4f2c1d6ec0604b610ad9640368f40.jpg
    After taping it to the bottom with some scotch tape, I just followed the inside edge of the divider, slowly carving the mirror board into shape.
    IMG_1375_zps523dc0d2_5dd436777d35f861f3be33ec56c37dc32757723f.jpg
    All cut out.
    IMG_1377_zpseda2aa61_9637ab694b292f464253d7f065d389ad572c78fa.jpg
    Shiny.
    IMG_1378_zpsab65dc69_60cddd8d88e0895b269d7b8926671ceac7f86eeb.jpg
    Push it into place.
    IMG_1382_zpsd0646e28_9cc0aba7d25fc998a63cf298d0d1f4f0369ff37a.jpg
    Misc tools and junk.
    IMG_1386_zps3a97341e_6d51d7dd383b695450e66285c74818760f3629da.jpg
    Installed, lights off.
    IMG_1390_zpsbae2d85b_917ee763500c153f1362242b6374c516fa3ac439.jpg
    Installed, lights on.
    IMG_1391_zps0125fa21_a28eb843b9d154eaed57a183d06447ab8cb33cb3.jpg
    A little further back.
    IMG_1392_zps7a59446e_265c140af0ed5c0dc22836cd5b059b70155f2746.jpg

    It's not quite dark enough yet. When it's completely dark outside, I literally cannot see anything in the console area. I will get some real, final finished product pictures in a couple hours or so. The light seems really tame so far, but I do like the way it kind of lines the inside of the divider. What do you guys think?
     
  11. Mar 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM
    #11
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Here we go. Finished product in the darkness.

    IMG_1399_zps68909428_42b91b1fece62a6522ccca66b3c860963e0e19e8.jpg

    IMG_1400_zps4399ba9a_eb50e60506c4497340e289b0c686f78d317d5949.jpg

    IMG_1401_zps4c848631_b2722a4efe0801d4f4245ccf19ca0ab7aa889dbb.jpg

    IMG_1402_zpscee32dbd_662a8fa483339d6f25aea7a6f37ffeb549186cf4.jpg

    IMG_1403_zps9488968b_0fc6a2d3ff6f40ce3f217ab861f594546ee24393.jpg

    IMG_1404_zps79b70337_3d69145058dfeec2bf33bc0b1f8a0ceced58c256.jpg

    IMG_1408_zps2e14143a_a81a928b462c6e1abde615ca429cf5853c0c2081.jpg

    IMG_1409_zps1f1c0b68_70c7cc1fe9cb0298d1b8e1be02127258167ab50d.jpg

    IMG_1410_zps023cee02_96fd5b7b8a537c6cf5a7efb8c16464056270387b.jpg

    IMG_1411_zps9dd2d7c4_b2daf8ae05989fc8b5affb7c9fcf5e697e421065.jpg

    IMG_1413_zps9ac00567_7e212f3de228fc33867b627020642c3ee9b7951b.jpg

    I think it came out pretty good. It's a bit brighter in person than what the pictures depict. Anyway, this idea came to me while checking out the other cup holder mods and looking around my own truck. I just wanted to be able to see my cup holders at night and not be blinded or see any kind of bulb. I think this looks pretty good for the time being and serves it's purpose quite nicely. Lemme know your thoughts on the mod and pictures and ask away if you have any questions. Thanks for checking my work out and sorry about the huge pictures!
     
  12. Mar 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM
    #12
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'd say it's only a bit brighter in person. You can kind of relate the amount of blue to the orange on the radio. Everything was at full brightness. So if the orange seems a little dim, then the blue will look a little less dim. Also, I should add that the mirror board in the divider tends to come loose going over bumps and stuff so I'm gonna have to super glue the edges into place so it stays put.

    I have not seen Venza interior in person so I'm not really sure how similar it would be, but this mod lighting I would say is very subtle in person and you can make out the rims of the cup holders just fine.

    It seems like orange lighting may be a bit less reflective and bright but I'm sure it would look great in person. Very subtle. Let me know if/when you install it and if you use this method, I'd like to see it.
     
  13. Mar 1, 2013 at 6:54 PM
    #13
    jbaird22

    jbaird22 Active Member

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    I like it. I may have to do that to mine. Subtle is much better than obnoxiously bright. I like how dim the light inside the truck is for driving st night, but dislike how its hard to see where cubbies and other things are.
     
  14. Mar 1, 2013 at 7:50 PM
    #14
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    looks great! now put a bottle of water in there and see if it will make it glow! haha
     
  15. Mar 1, 2013 at 7:51 PM
    #15
    esizzle777

    esizzle777 Son of Most High

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  16. Mar 1, 2013 at 8:04 PM
    #16
    totmacher

    totmacher Well-Known Member

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    Nice. Wish I had thought to do it that way.
    Same place I got power for mine.
    I just used 1 LED and cut a notch in the middle of the divider. The way it is in this pic was too bright so I just pulled the LED up into the hollow of the divider and turned it to shine downward.

    09-cup.jpg
    fin.jpg
     
  17. Mar 2, 2013 at 7:31 AM
    #17
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Haha I have one up there. If you missed it, then I guess that means it doesn't light up the bottle too well. :eek:
     
  18. Mar 2, 2013 at 7:38 AM
    #18
    tasnowma

    tasnowma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I thought about doing it this way, I figured I could get the best use of the light like that but didn't want to have to deal with the wires and moving the bulbs every time I needed to remove the divider or clean in there. I went with the mirror board cut out to reflect the light and try and avoid all that.
     
  19. Mar 2, 2013 at 8:27 AM
    #19
    esizzle777

    esizzle777 Son of Most High

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    Got me excited, just ordered LEDs going to try this next week!
     
  20. Mar 2, 2013 at 8:42 AM
    #20
    2chains

    2chains Well-Known Member

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    I like how this turned out, too bad i have 2010 w/new style cup dividers. I'm going to try and find pic of the Venza cupholder lighting...
     
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