Backlighting on HVAC controls - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Backlighting on HVAC controls

Hi,

I have a 2007 Exige S. I bought it used.

The HVAC controls have never lit up, and I have found every year of Elise and Exige night shots showing this part lit up.

The dealer took the controls apart on my car and another 2007 and said the other car had bulbs, wires, things that would cause light. My car he said just had blank aluminum.

My car is base, no touring pack. The one he checked had touring, but I've seen base models lit up in pictures, in cars I believed to be stock.

So, do they all have the backlights and the assemblyman in hethel fell asleep and forgot mine, or is there some sort of touring/base climate control lighting delineation that has changed year to year.

thanks,

gm

2007 Exige S, LSD - Sold
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:34 PM
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I can't believe that a base model does not have the illumination of the HVAC console. Is your dimmer button turned up sufficiently, this is located on the right side of the steering column, hold it in to change intensity. The instrument panel backlight also connects to the HVAC illumination. BTW, the illumination is only on when you have your side (parking) lights on.
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Originally Posted by glacialmoraine View Post
Hi,

I have a 2007 Exige S. I bought it used.

The HVAC controls have never lit up, and I have found every year of Elise and Exige night shots showing this part lit up.

The dealer took the controls apart on my car and another 2007 and said the other car had bulbs, wires, things that would cause light. My car he said just had blank aluminum.

My car is base, no touring pack. The one he checked had touring, but I've seen base models lit up in pictures, in cars I believed to be stock.

So, do they all have the backlights and the assemblyman in hethel fell asleep and forgot mine, or is there some sort of touring/base climate control lighting delineation that has changed year to year.

thanks,

gm

Last edited by SirLotus; 03-16-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:49 PM
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Sounds like you don't have the wiring to do this. It is probably fairly easy to implement, just take a peak at a parts manual and see what harness and lighting bits you'd need. But, it will probably be quite expensive, maybe come up with your own solution? LEDs?

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by glacialmoraine View Post
The dealer took the controls apart on my car... My car he said just had blank aluminum.
If this is truly what was seen, I believe Pierce was distracted by Nigel's antics again and your car whizzed right past him without getting the HVAC back-lighting bits added. I have driven a base '07 at night (no sport, no touring) and the HVAC controls were illuminated .
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinAlexandria View Post
Sounds like you don't have the wiring to do this. It is probably fairly easy to implement, just take a peak at a parts manual and see what harness and lighting bits you'd need. But, it will probably be quite expensive, maybe come up with your own solution? LEDs?
The wiring should be there no matter what. The Elise has Exige specific wiring in it and vise versa because it is easier (I read that as cheaper) to wire all the cars the same. The Federal cars have wiring installed for the rear fog lamp but we have no rear fog lamp. So that wiring and harness should be there somewhere. It may be tucked somewhere not very visible, but it should be present.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:35 PM
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The Red/Orange wire is the illumination wire.
Michael
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 06:44 PM
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It doesn't use bulbs. It uses an electroluminescent panel, as does the tach/speedo.
The EL panel is glued to the aluminum plate, and a piece of plastic with the graphic overlay is glued to that.
The small black box is the inverter that steps up the voltage, and the ribbon cable connected to J1 leads to the EL panel itself.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 06:57 PM
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are the small divot lights on the knobs supposed to light up as well? I have an 07 exige with touring pack...the HVAC panel lights up but the small divots do not? Can't seem to find any night pics on here for comparison
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 07:31 PM
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The knobs on my 07 are solid aluminum. I'm thinking about trying to drill through the divots, fill with clear epoxy, and backlight.

Here's a better shot of the ribbon cable, with lights on, the faceplate is illuminated.

My guess is the inverter is bad on glacialmoraine's car. It can be checked with a voltmeter. I measured 136 volts AC at the J1 terminals.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great replies and pictures, I have forwarded a link to this thread to the tech at the local dealership. Apparently my car should light up!

gm

2007 Exige S, LSD - Sold
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 08:56 PM
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The knobs on my 07 are solid aluminum. I'm thinking about trying to drill through the divots, fill with clear epoxy, and backlight.

Here's a better shot of the ribbon cable, with lights on, the faceplate is illuminated.

My guess is the inverter is bad on glacialmoraine's car. It can be checked with a voltmeter. I measured 136 volts AC at the J1 terminals.
so your knobs do not light up either? I'm just confused because I remember someone saying theirs does light up...I have never seen it myself however.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 07:38 AM
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the knobs don't light.

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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the knobs don't light.
They do now...

Name:  Panel.jpg
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This part was fedexed from Lotus to my dealer today, they must have made a change, maybe for the 2011 MY? Looks like the EL has no mask behind the knob, and the dot is drilled all the way through and filled with clear plastic/epoxy.

I'm happy, not only does the hvac panel light, the knobs do too. Yay!

Should the AC compressor turn itself off every time the car or blower is turned off? i have to turn it back on all the time now.

take care,

gm

2007 Exige S, LSD - Sold

Last edited by tesprit; 03-18-2010 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Photo added
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 08:16 PM
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Sweet.
You don't have a part number for those knobs, do you?
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 08:53 PM
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...
Should the AC compressor turn itself off every time the car or blower is turned off? i have to turn it back on all the time now.
...
Yes - that is the correct functionality (even if it seems odd - )
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet.
You don't have a part number for those knobs, do you?
I think they were just sub-parts of the whole assembly, since my old knobs didn't glow they must have come attached to the new AC control panel?

If you take the knob off there is a glowing circle just smaller than the knob, it is not painted back there. Not sure if the older ones are like that or not...

take care,

gm

2007 Exige S, LSD - Sold
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 07:14 AM
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that looks awesome! why is the temp adjustment in blue? Does it become red if you move the knob into the red portion?

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

'07 Lotus Exige S310


WTC 2
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Does it become red if you move the knob into the red portion?
Yes, it changes to red. I think the colors are the way they are because the knobs are all the same, with a clear plastic piece. They just let the color behind shine through.

take care,

gm

2007 Exige S, LSD - Sold
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 10:36 AM
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Shocking!!! Mine does not light up too, and it has been that way since day one. I thought it was normal.

Good thing my warranty is still available.

07 Elise Phantom Black
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glacialmoraine View Post
I think they were just sub-parts of the whole assembly, since my old knobs didn't glow they must have come attached to the new AC control panel?

If you take the knob off there is a glowing circle just smaller than the knob, it is not painted back there. Not sure if the older ones are like that or not...

take care,

gm
It appears there are now two different knobs available as well as two different HVAC control panels according to this parts list: Lotus Garage - AC/Heater Driver Operated Controls My guess is that this replacement panel came with the new knobs that light up. It also appears that you can buy the knobs (new or old style) separately of the panel, but I have a feeling if you try to purchase the new lit knobs and attach them to the old panel, they will not light up.
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