Portable LED Glove Box Illuminator




Introduction: Portable LED Glove Box Illuminator

Here is a little battery powered portable glove box light. You can position it on the inside of your glove box using Velcro or other brand hook and loop, so when you open the glove box, the door switch will turn on the light, and when you close the glove box, the light will turn off. (or does it? hmm..kinda like the fridge...)

When you need to light the back seat, the floor board, under the hood, around the car, or anywhere else, just unstick it from your glove box and carry work it like that!!

Or if you cannot find a good placement to be able to use the door switch in your glove box, don't add the pushbutton at all, just use the on/off switch on the box as you need it!

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools

Here is what I used to make my portable glove box light. You can use different batteries, voltages, battery boxes, depending on what kind of leds you will be using. I had a 12v led strip, so i used a setup for about 11.1 volts, using rechargeable batteries.

Materials I used:
-Battery holder- 4battery box w/ on/off switch so that I can use 3 batteries in series
-Batteries- 3x 3.7v rechargeable batteries and charger
-Led light- 12V cob
-Universal door switch (normally closed contact, turns off when pushed in)
-Velcro strips
-little bit of extra wire and solder (not pictured)

-Drill (or something to cut a hole out of the plastic battery holder)
-soldering iron
-Wire cutters/strippers

Step 2: Step 2. Modify Battery Holder

First thing to do is to rewire the battery box to only use 3 batteries in series.

Completely remove the single metal tab and wire that would be at the (+) end of the fourth battery. This is where your door switch hole will be made.

Break off the metal tab that would connect the negative(-) side of the fourth battery, and solder a wire to the positive(+) end of where the third battery will go.

Step 3: Step 3. Make Hole for Door Switch

Skip if not using door switch.

I used my soldering iron to make this hole, which i do not recommend, but I was lazy. You have to clean up the melted plastic on the iron plus it stinks really bad, and you could burn yourself.

So if you have a small vice you can set the case on and then drill a hole just big enough to fit the switch in. Keep in mind that you may have to modify the box lid slightly to make it fit over the hole. just a little trimming away.

Step 4: Step 4. Add Door Switch

This step is only if you're going to use the automatic door switch. If you cannot, or do not want to use this and just use the on/off switch on the box, just make sure both your positive and negative wires end up inside the box and skip the rest of this step.

Install the switch, keeping one nut outside the box, and one inside, so you can make adjustments.

Solder the red wire coming from the (+) side of the battery box to one contact side of the door switch(flat piece).

Solder another red wire to the other contact side of the door switch(threaded piece).

Note: you may use lugs and connecters instead if you have them. putting a ring lung on the threaded part of the switch in between nuts would work, and putting a female quick connect on the flat end would also do it.

Step 5: Step 5. Add LED

You will be mounting the LED on the bottom of this box now.

Make a small hole in the box to pass LED wire through to the inside.

My LED has 3M backing on it, so remove the backing, pass the wires into the box, and stick the LED in place.

Connect the wires on the inside of the box. red to red, black to black.

Next I will show you a better diagram of how it should work.

Step 6: Step 6. Diagram

Step 7: Step 7. Add Hook and Loop and Mount to Glove Box

Put three (3.7 volt) batteries in the box and put the battery box cover back on.

Put one side of the velcro to the battery cover side of the box, and the opposite side of the velcro to the inside of the glove box.

If you installed the door switch on your portable light, make sure you mount the velcro to where the switch will be positioned to be pushed in when the glove box door closes.

If you didnt use the door switch option, just put the velcro wherever you like inside the glove box.

Now you have a portable light that you can keep in your glove box and/or carry with you wherever you go.

Note: Some LEDs will have to dissipate more heat than others. make sure your light does not stay on accidentally for a very long time. If in doubt of the auto switch feature, do not use the auto door switch, just make it simple by using the on/off switch.

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    8 years ago

    Personaly I have noticed that most new cars have glovebox lights but if your using this as an extra light or for an older car then it's a great idea. Also why did you go with the 12 v led light? Great instructable.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I went with the 12v led because that I have quite a few 12v leds. I make lots of projects using 12v leds around the house and outside, on my car, etc., so I just used one that I had around, and I also already had the batteries since I use them in my flashlights. Thanks for the comment! :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I appreciate the comments. This was my first little instructable. I found this site very helpful with lots of neat ideas, so I figured I should contribute!!

    Awesome, this would be so helpful in old cars. Can't count the number of times I've scrounged around in a dark glovebox only to eventually give up and turn on the car. *sigh* such a waste. Thanks for sharing!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great project for people that have older cars like one of mine. This would be great for my old VW bug! I love that you thought to use the extra space in your battery holder for your switch. I'm excited to see more like this in the future.