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Old 12-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
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DIY Motion activated storage cubby lights

EDIT:Video here.

I get tired of fumbling around in the storage cubbies for my phone or garage door opener. The overhead light doesn't help much either, so I decided to make some hand activated LED lights that go inside the cubbies.
When you stick your hand in there, you interrupt an IR beam that activates an led.

This circuit works perfectly and never draws more than 50mA. All values listed are pretty flexible, but let me know what you find and I can let you know if it will work and what value resistors will give you the best operation.
This requires only 5 components and all can be found at RadioShack. If you can solder a resistor to an LED, you can do this easily.

EDIT: Schecmatics added

IR emitter and detector - http://www.radioshack.com/radioshack-infrared-led-emitter-and-detector
White LEDs - http://www.radioshack.com/5mm-high-brightness-white-led-2-pack
LED resistor calculator for the IR emitter and white LEDs - LED Resistor Calculator



D1 - IR Emitter, 1.3V, 150mA
(1.2-2V, 25-150mA [Any emitter out of an old TV remote will work])

Q1 - IR Detector, C-E voltage 70V, E-C voltage 5V, light current 20-50mA
(make sure the bandwidth range matches D1, ex. 750-980nm [any IR detector from RadioShack will work, but just buy a $2-$3 matched emitter/detector set for D1/Q1 there])

D2, 3, 4 - LEDs, White , 3V, 20-40mA (or any color you want)

R1 - 470 ohm 1 watt resistor
(330-680 ohm, set to D1's required voltage drop [1.2-2V])

R2 - 1000 ohm, 1/2 watt resistor
(330-4700 ohm)
{This value determines both the allowable distance between emitter and detector and LED brightness}
a) Higher value = gap between emitter and detector can be greater, but LEDs will be dimmer;
b) Lower value = gap between emitter and detector will be smaller, but LEDs will be brighter. Do not go below 330 ohms.

Total current draw = 22mA (light off), 18mA (light on).


The below picture is correct. Pay attention to the color bands on the resistors and the orientation of the IR emitter, IR detector and LEDs.
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Last edited by particlewave; 05-22-2018 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Soldering and such...

EDIT: this project is just 2 simple circuits.
•Circuit 1 is just an infrared light emitting diode (LED) and a single voltage drop resistor.
•Circuit 2 is a regular LED for lighting (can be any color you want) and it's voltage drop resistor. The LED is bypassed by the DETECTOR when infrared light is present. It's that simple

.................................................. ......................

Circuit 1 - IR Emitter
• D1 - 1.2-2V, 25-100mA (wavelength must match the detector that you choose)
• R1 - 470 Ohm, 1 Watt resistor
Simply solder a resistor to either leg of the emitter and wires to both the resistor and the other leg. Just make sure to keep them straight. The anode is (+) and the cathode is (-)**. Cover the resistor and connections with shrink tubing. Make sure you keep your wires straight.

**[You can get this info from the package, but you can also tell by looking; the anode leg is longer and if you can see inside the emitter (a clear emitter from an old tv remote, for example), the (-) cathode is the side that is connected to what looks like a tiny satellite dish and the anode (+) is connected to a tiny wire that runs to the center of the tiny dish.]

Cut grooves for wires...EDIT:If you keep the wiring and components tucked forward and below the edge of the shelfs lip like I have here, no modification to the dash frame slot is needed because there is a space created there when the shelf is fully inserted.


.................................................. ............................

Circuit 2 - Lighting LED
• D2, 3, 4 - LEDs of YOUR choosing
• R2 - Resistor (Value depends on D2, 3, 4)

• Q1 - IR Detector, 3-5V, 30-100mA.
(Collector is connected directly to the (+) Anode of the lighting LEDs)


***All (-)Grounds are common.
Solder in main power wires for (+) and (-) and power from a switched source (stereo or dash lights). Solder in an in-line 1A fuse for safety.
I connected mine to the ring light on the cig lighter. This way, the circuit is only active when the dash lights are on.
Since the circuit only draws 22mA, it's not going to affect what you wire it in to.
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Last edited by particlewave; 07-03-2017 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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Fitted...



The IR beam is offset slightly to the right, and the LED shines from the upper left corner to the lower right corner for maximum light distribution.
I experimented with several different set ups and settled on this because when I put my hand in the cubby, I don't want my hand to block the light and I want to be able to see into it as well.
So, with my hand off to the right the light coming from the left, this allows me to activate the light while still having a clear view of what's inside

The light doesn't show up well here, but I'll get some good pics when I put it back in.

Last edited by particlewave; 12-17-2013 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
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Disregard......

Last edited by particlewave; 12-17-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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I'm still toying with circuit values, but if anyone is interested, I can post directions.

Last edited by particlewave; 12-18-2013 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:59 PM   #6
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Won't anything you place in the cubby activate the light as well?
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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That is why the sensor is all the way out on the edge
If you block the IR light beam, yes. Personally not a problem since I never have anything that large in there.

I'm just doing the top one for now to see how I like it.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:10 PM   #8
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Haha brilliant, in all senses

I'm a huge fan of your DIYs Charles, keep them coming!
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #9
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Thanks Fred

Schematics added to first post. Video coming soon...
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Old 12-20-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
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Brilliant +1. Please post the schematics when you get it worked out.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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Some pictures before reinstalling.
Excuse the workbench...it's a workbench





This doesn't show up well in pictures, but the nice even glow made a huge difference!

Last edited by particlewave; 12-20-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing Charles.

And they sell rubber mats for cheap these days.... for your workbench's topper

(I had to find something to complain about hehe)
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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Here it is installed

Is it just me or do all of my pictures look pixelated?


Last edited by particlewave; 12-22-2013 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #14
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Done, installed, works awesomely, and video added to first post.

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Old 12-23-2013, 07:40 AM   #15
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Great idea and install! The dark pictures have some grain because of the low light but the other pictures look normal to me
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #16
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This is too cool. You need to sell kits before someone else patents it and sues you. This is the type of thing that becomes an option and then standard equipment in a few years. Way to go.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:01 PM   #17
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^ I was just about to say the same. Possibly something that we'll see in every vehicle's compartments in a few years. Again, brilliant
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:52 PM   #18
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So, I was driving the Boxster the other night for the first time in a while and reached into the storage bin for my garage door opener, expecting to fumble around searching for it blindly, when the light came on automatically!

I had seriously forgotten all about this mod and love how flawlessly it still works. This is really a must have (yes, I am patting myself on the back ).
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:56 PM   #19
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I would do this mod if I had a cubby! Seriously, I think you need to drive more, you are working too hard
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
I would do this mod if I had a cubby! Seriously, I think you need to drive more, you are working too hard
I think you could a]have substituted "chubby" for "cubby" in your statement. Obviously OP has a serious chubby for his ride, lol
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