Cup Holder Lighting

Discussion in 'Interior' started by Scrambler82, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    I have always wanted to light up the cup holders on my 03, well at least since I added the center console.
    I didn’t want the bright light setup of the ricers but I want some light.
    When Buggman asked for the measurements of the Cup Holder so he could get started on his LED Cup Holder Lighting Project I started thinking.

    Day One:

    So I asked a friend that owned a glass shop and he hooked me up with a ¼”, 12” x 24” piece of plexiglass for $5.
    GREAT Price, now I need an arm type hole cutters; may need to go to the Tool Store tomorrow.

    Also, I measured the bottom of the insert for the Cup Holders and came up with these measurements: Frt - 2.59” and Rear - 2.92”.
    I will attempt cutting the pucks tomorrow and then drill a centered hole with a drill not all the way through though, hopping this will spread some light.
    I will get the actual measurements when I have fit the pucks in place.

    Now I need a way to block some of the light, any ideas ?
    Paint, plastic glued in place, wonder what will hold up the best.
    Also, thinking on sealing the puck in place with silicone, any thing else that will work ?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
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  3. OP

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Second Day

    Cut a puck that fit the rear Cup Holder out of the ¼” Plexiglass.
    Drilled a center counter bore, actually used a ½” drill and only went in 3/16” so the hole is tapered from the drill point.
    Placed the LED and the Puck in the Cup Holder and turned on the power supply, NICE !
    The center was VERY brilliant, a little too brilliant but the best part is that the panel and especially the edge is glowing like a light pipe or fiber optics.
    With a 1” round disc placed over the center position of the LED all there is a glow, a little bright yet but I will increase the center disc to 2” to see if I can reduce the total glow.

    I didn’t get time to take pictures yet and I have only made the rear Cup Holder Light so I will get pictures tomorrow as I make and finish the front Cup Holder Lights, which is smaller.

    1) Plexiglass, I used ¼” but ⅜” will do just not thinner than ¼”.
    2) SMT LED Light Modules, set up for 12 volt already and they have a flat ribbon cable attached from the resistor to the LED allowing it to be placed under the plexiglass puck, sweet. (numbers tomorrow)

    The only problem was actually cutting the pucks, one so far, the circle cutter with the arm was not stable enough for plexiglass since I had to remove the center bit but I had two hole saws, one 3 ¼” and one 2 ¾”, I removed the center bit and used a drill press and it went well enough.
    The holes saws are a little over sized but after cutting the plexiglass the center of the hole was almost the correct size. Some sanding on the belt sander and the one I made fit.

    Tomorrow pictures and the finished product.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  4. OP

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Third Day

    Here are a few photos of the Cup Holder Lighting.

    Cutting out the pucks for the bottom of the cup holders.
    The centering drill bit in the Hole Saw was removed for this step but you need a drill press to keep things from moving around.

    The front (smaller) and rear pucks.

    The center counter bore.
    This was done with a 5/16” bit drilled in approximately 3/16” and then a ½” drill bit to open up the tapered edges, again only 3/16” in, not even the bits tip.
    The tapered edge was added to direct some of the light to the puck edges.

    The LED, notice the flat ribbon cable used, made it easy to keep things low and tight.… part number: 1-1659-481, Prewired Surface Mount LED in RED; you can chose your own color.

    The Cup Holder Mod for the wiring.
    This method will not be used on the finished product, plan is to drill the bottom center and then seal the puck with windshield sealer for waterproofing. I believe the center drilling on the puck may disappear depending on light direction without the center bore.
    Notice the heat shrink covering the resistor.

    First shot of LED in the dark, slight angle.

    Top View.

    Side View.

    Top View but with a 2” piece of Duck Tape over one of the LED Position.
    I think some black paint will be better and it will be tried tomorrow night along with froasting the top surface of the puck.

    So far so good, the LED that was chosen for the Cup Holder is a little too bright for my taste but with a little black out I think it will work
    I may contact Oznium to see if I can change the resistor, thinking a higher resistance setup will reduce the light.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  5. Hooligan

    Hooligan Rangerholic!!

    Looks good dude!
  6. buggman

    buggman Do not touch the trim!

    Nice work!

    You can use a 7805 voltage regulator to make an adjustable voltage circuit with a resistor & a pot so you can fine tune the voltage to control brightness.
    I thought I had a schematic for the circuit on my photobucket, but can't find it now... a quick google search will return tons of schematics of the circuit if you don't have one already though. :thumbsup:
  7. OP

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    What would the cost be to build one of these circuits or should I say what would it sell for ?

    I think a regulator is another idea that is probably the correct one, thanks and I will look into this further.
    P.C. had a good idea with the night shade.
  8. OP

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Made up four more, two small for the front and two large for the rear, drilled the counter bore and frosted the underside of the pucks.

    The night shade will not be dark enough to cover up the center where the LED is.
    I still need a DARK 1.5” circle for the rear and 1” circle for the front.
    Either a vinyl circle or black paint to completely block the center location.

    Actual measurements for the Pucks:
    Front = 2.56"
    Rear = 2.90”
    These are a little loose but if you use something like Windshield seal to lock then in place the slight undersize will not matter.

    Will get the last set of pictures once I have the center circle figured out.
  9. OP

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Got some regulators from Buggman.
    Hooked up temporarily.
    Cut the light down a lot but of course there is a little more heat with the regulators, have to get rid of the excess voltage somewhere.

    No pics yet on the regulated circuits but will get something together.
  10. Shawn

    Shawn Cranky old man

    Nice work! What other color leds do they offer? Maybe cut some circles out of sheet rubber(like for roofing). Spray adhesive or contact cement them to the pucks.
  11. OP

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    Good ideas Buggman…
    The regulators you sent cut the light output to an acceptable level.
    When they are in I will post but since I have the new house everything is on hold again !

    I noticed has some regulator also, they go “0” to 100% output and they are about $9, not too bad.

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