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ChasWG 02-14-2011 05:55 PM

My Interior Illumination mod - Lighted Cup Holders
I've looked at the Subaru factory option for the Interior Illumination kit that sells for $175. I don't care for the price nor the blue lights above the feet area. I do like the blue cup holder lights and the front cubbie hole are in front of the shifter.

So instead of buying the factory kit, I did my own and put it in the same spots that the factory designed in the cup holder lights.

At the bottom of this thread there is a full set of diagrams that shows how to remove the center arm rest/console box.

The first this you need to do is pull the center section of the console by removing the rubber mat in the forward cubbie hole in front of the shifter.

Then pull the shifter.

Pull up the center section of the console and disconnect the wires. There are three plugs that need to be released to pull the whole section out and fully release it from the console base.

There's all sorts of room under this part for a bunch of stuff. There is also power here too from the 12V power supply in the console box.

The cup holder sepperates from the main section by pulling the 4 screws that hold it in place. There is a rubber edge liner that runs around the top of this cup holder.

Peel back one of the edges that covers the factory light mounting area and this is where I inserted my LEDs that I got from the local auto parts store. They sell them in packs of 3 for doing just this sort of thing.

The lights I bought fit perfectly into the factory spot with only a small amount of modification needed to make them fit. Once the cup holder is screwed back in place, these lights won't move. They weren't moving before I screwed the cup hold down either. A nice snug fit.

I ran the wires to the back of the cup holder and taped the wires down so they wouldn't come loose or get snagged, then screwed the cup holder back to the main section.

With the wires held toward the back, they are right above the power supply. I simply pulled the plug, inserted the wires into the plug ends (red to the hot center pin of the outlet and black to the outer ground ring and fit the plug back onto the power outlet. The wires were very secure and solidly mounted. I also left the wires fairly long so as to give myself room to manipulate the console cover.

ChasWG 02-14-2011 06:02 PM

So when it's all reassembled it looks like this:

These shots were taken durning the day time and I still think they were pretty bright. This was a very easy mod to do. I still want to do the light for the forward cubbie hole, but I'm not sure how to get there yet. But I'll figure that out too!

A special THANKS goes out to member fezzik for the info on how to access this area.

EDIT: I added a small wiring harness that taps power from the heated seat illumination wires. And now the lights come on with the rest of the interior lights.

max6spd 02-14-2011 06:09 PM

very nice. good work.

SubaruTim 02-14-2011 06:32 PM

I like it!

ChasWG 02-14-2011 06:40 PM

Here's one more shot. Sorry for the blur, this was a very long, hand held exposure, 0.8 seconds @ f2.8 and ISO 1000. I think that's pretty good shot for almost one whole second of an open shutter. ;)


Oh, BTW, this whole thing cost me about and hour and a half and $5.99 for the LEDs from the local auto store.

rakapur 02-14-2011 06:46 PM

looks good, i will be doing that along with some LED strips under the dash.

thanks for the pictures they gonna help

todd3.6 02-14-2011 07:15 PM

I went with red LEDs for the cup holder area and under the dash. I haven't installed the cup holder LEDs yet, but under the dash I simply used red LED marker lights.

Red light doesn't affect your night vision.

Magic Marker 02-14-2011 07:26 PM

That's an awesome job. I may want to tackle this in the spring.

minuccims 02-14-2011 07:35 PM

Great write up! I also thought about the blue lights since they match the blue led mood lighting from the map light area.

Wasn't thinking about red but that would also go with the heated seat controls. Todd, please hurry up and post picts. Sway me!

ChasWG 02-14-2011 08:29 PM

I used the blue lights for two reasons. 1) Yes the down light that came with the car is blue to start with. So I wanted to match that and that's what the factory kit is as well. 2) I had Red down lights in my former A6 and wanted to do something different from that car. Yes the red is cool too and it doen't effect your night vision, but I think that the output of these lights is so small and none of them are directed at your eyes squarely, so your night vision should remain the same.

And blue is Techie Cool! ;)

Also, I dug into the blue down light installed in the dome light area and removed the factory Neutral Density filter that sits right in front of the Blue LED. The light now actually lets you see things in that area. Before it was just a dim, faint blue glow.

Kenpachi 02-14-2011 08:52 PM

Based on the pics, it looks like you removed the clear plastic halo ring that distributes the light around the outside edge of the cup holder rim. Assuming this isn't just an optical illusion, were you forced to remove the ring to make the auto store LEDs fit or did you simply remove it because you prefer the look?

ChasWG 02-14-2011 09:01 PM

I didn't remove anything. I wish there was a clear ring in that channel that runs around the cup holders. That is probably part of the factory light kit. It would help diffuse the light and help spread it around more evenly.

Jsmith 02-14-2011 09:25 PM

This thread actually inspired me to do this tonight, I ran to autozone and bought an $8 LED kit. The clear plastic ring is not part of the factory light kit because I have it. Very easy install, Thanks ChasWS for idea.

Magic Marker 02-14-2011 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by Jsmith (Post 3276207)
This thread actually inspired me to do this tonight, I ran to autozone and bought an $8 LED kit. The clear plastic ring is not part of the factory light kit because I have it. Very easy install, Thanks ChasWS for idea.

So your cupholder already has the clear plastic ring?

BAC5.2 02-14-2011 10:57 PM

Looks like it was deleted in the 2011's.

Probably has a separate part number...

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