During my 1,200+ mile road trip from Florida to Ohio last weekend I came to realize the interior of my car isn’t just black, it is dark. Very dark! Without the premium upgrade package to offer ambient lighting, I took to Amazon to add a little illumination myself. And lucky for me, it barely cost a thing!
Plenty of Tesla owners have the Premium Upgrade Package (PUP) which adds a slew of features, most notable here being the ambient interior lighting. Since my used/CPO Model X didn’t come with that package it was up to me to figure out a way to add lighting to the place(s) that mattered most. After dropping an item or two in my front storage cubby on my trip, that became my top priority for lighting.
SIDEBAR: Down the road I could see adding footwell lighting, especially in the 2nd row for my daughter. Since the LED outlets are already illuminated, that is really the only other place I see a future possible desire for added interior lighting while driving.
Having already upgraded all the interior and door jamb lights to LED products from Abstract Ocean, I turned my focus to the front storage console. Scouring Amazon for a product that had decent reviews and a low cost of entry, I came across the ONEVER Flexible LED Strip.
Although I have a great local car audio shop that does lighting projects, my goal here was something that was easy to install myself, without taking the car apart, and easily reversible. If you’re looking for a more professional option, visit your look car stereo/audio shop, as most of them offer products like this too. But if you have ~$10 and a spare 15 minutes in your life, this is a great route to go.
Click the images above for larger view of my installation photos!
Installation of this product is exceptionally easy. If you’ve ever installed the Quick Connection Phone Dock that Tesla offers, then you’re already an expert!
Using the photos above as an aid, here are the steps:
- Flip open the rear center cubby compartment to gain access to the USB ports.
- Temporarily remove the rubber bottom tray for added access.
- Route the cable from the ONEVER Flexible LED Strip through the provided cable channel (it will fit alongside of the factory cable just fine, as shown in my photo)
- Route the LED end of the strip down under the phone dock area using the provided opening (same as the phone dock uses).
- Pull the LED end of the cable carefully towards the front of the vehicle (Hint: it may be easier to partially close the phone flip lid with one hand, and reach the other underneath to grab the strip).
- If you haven’t already, remove the cup holder halves from the front console.
- Remove the big thick bottom rubber mat from the forward section of the Integrated Center Console. (Hint: If you don’t want to remove it fully, you can actually just flip it up on it’s side in order to achieve the next step).
- Route the ONEVER Flexible LED Strip where the rubber mat had been sitting, then replace the mat back into the console. (See photo) The mat will still sit more than flat enough, though if you really wanted to get adventurous you could trip some of the underside of the rubber mat to create a channel for the cable. 🙂
- Peel off the backing from the ONEVER Flexible LED Strip and press it firmly onto the plastic underside of the slider drawer. Note that the adhesive doesn’t stick to the felt walls of the console, so you’ll likely want to copy my adhesion location. ***
- If you haven’t already, plug in the USB end of the strip and test that the light strip works. If you placed the strip carefully it should not cause any distraction when driving, but will add a great amount of light to the front console.
*** Because it can prove difficult to see what you’re doing on the underside of the console, I’ve included this video to show you what it looks like there for you benefit. See here:
Because the USB outlets are only provided power from the vehicle when it is on you won’t have to worry about these lights causing excessive battery drain when you aren’t driving. Keep in mind that even when your headlights aren’t on, there is still power to the USB outlet. The Flexible LED Strip likely draws less power than your cell phone would plugged into the same USB port.
Voila! For just peanuts you’ve added some ambient LED lighting to your Tesla! There are other options beyond ONEVER Flexible LED Strip, so feel free to scour Amazon. Next up I’ll be blogging about my Tesla-specific dash camera, and more!