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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back seeking insight on my 400. I see there is a dimmer control left of steering that in my case only dims the main gauge cluster. That leaves the upper dash buttons, the AC controls and the annoying start button full brightness at night which can be a bit of a distraction. Am I missing something? The same can be said of the Alpine system though it has it's own auto dim feature that doesn't do much. It's kind of a dangerous situation depending on ones level of night vision acuity. I've never experienced this in any other vehicles so I hope someone can point me to a solution. Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Back seeking insight on my 400. I see there is a dimmer control left of steering that in my case only dims the main gauge cluster. That leaves the upper dash buttons, the AC controls and the annoying start button full brightness at night which can be a bit of a distraction. Am I missing something? The same can be said of the Alpine system though it has it's own auto dim feature that doesn't do much. It's kind of a dangerous situation depending on ones level of night vision acuity. I've never experienced this in any other vehicles so I hope someone can point me to a solution. Thanks again
I'll answer this one myself. Digging into the manual it states those backlights should dim when the side lights (or headlights) are turned on. So now I have a few issues to resolve so it's off to Astin Martin/Lotus of Orlando on Christmas eve to have it looked over. Doubt they'll have enough time to fix my now 4 problems.
 

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On my Elise, the LED inside the start button burnt out. I replaced just the LED and found it was too bright and thus distracting. So I put a paper sticker on the LED. That seemed to cut the intensity to about half. Since it is inside of the start button it does not look like a DIY job. You might wish to try that.
 

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Your eyes do not adjust to red light (why used on sailboats, etc.) so any distraction likely just mental... I'd just get used to it. I hate temporary measures.
My hang up is the daytime reflection of the vent rings on the windshield. Why they made them silver is beyond me. I am hoping GRP makes a grey or carbon fiber slide on cover.
 

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The lights on my 17 400 do the same thing- the instrument cluster lights dim with the switch but everything else - the start button and the controls and the head unit all stay bright even when the headlights are on. Is there a fix for this?
 

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I went with a exotic fix to the Start button, I when to Wheelbadges.com and ordered a start button cover #433 Black/Red with font matched to the original. This filters out a lot of the back light.
 
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This is disappointing. So the start and instrument switches can't be dimmed at all or are mine just not dimming when the headlights are on? Interestingly in my car when they are lit white there is no effect of turning the headlights on but when they are on and lit red there is a dimming effect. Or perhaps my eyes just can't pick this up when they are white? I suppose the LEDs could be replaced with something that is red for on and another color for off that might be less distracting in the dark. But that still leaves the issue of the headunit screen that also doesn't dim. Yes, another one of those quirky Lotus features...
 

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But that still leaves the issue of the headunit screen that also doesn't dim. Yes, another one of those quirky Lotus features...
I think that's based on Lotus' choice of headunit models. Looking at the wiring diagrams for all the ICE options, none of them have the standard illumination input that most aftermarket headunits have. There's manual dimming options, but it definitely is more seamless if they're controlled by the dash illumination.
 

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I'm still not clear if the white instrument switch LEDs should dim when the headlights are on or not. All of the red LEDs that are on when the switches are active do dim when the headlights are on except for the one that indicates the doors are locked and the hazard warning light switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm still not clear if the white instrument switch LEDs should dim when the headlights are on or not. All of the red LEDs that are on when the switches are active do dim when the headlights are on except for the one that indicates the doors are locked and the hazard warning light switch.
It does seem like some cross wiring by Lotus. Certainly we would like to dim the bright white switches but don't need to dim the red lights as they little effect on night vision. It even specifies that all the heater panel switches should dim on page 53 of the owners manual. I've considering applying self adhesive headlight filter film but the domed nature of the switch faces would make for a sloppy install. I contacted Lotus USA concerning this and they're sending it up the line. I expect the best we'll get is a revision to the manual to match the defect.
 

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From the information I can find its not clear if the switch bulbs are replaceable. There is a fascia switch panel that costs $460...The VSI manual also only explains how to remove the switch panel and the wiring diagrams show the back lights as being integral to the switch. So the obvious fix of replacing the LEDs with ones that are less bright or have different on/off colors doesn't seem to be an option.
 

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You might be able to put a resistor inline with the switch backlight contacts on the PCB.
 

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You might be able to put a resistor inline with the switch backlight contacts on the PCB.
I could, but if the switch panel can't be disassembled I am reluctant to start messing with it in case I end up blowing one of the LEDs and the only option would then be to replace the entire panel. I think I will just have to live with the bright lights at night for now.
 
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