2013 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.

LED Backlit Dash Switches

Sometimes at night in the woods or out in the boonies where it's very dark I have trouble knowing exactly where the dash switches are. To make them easier to find at night, I installed 3mm LEDs in them to backlight them.

(They aren't that bright in real life.  My camera is built for low light so it makes them brighter in the picture than they are in real life.)

For a few years BMW made the hazard switch with a little bulb in it that would flash in unison with the hazard lights. As a legacy of this, all BMW switches of this style have a little socket for that bulb in them:

The ABS and hazard switches both have translucent red graphic inserts in them so they make excellent candidates for backlighting with a red LED. Since I wanted the switches to just glow a little, not shine and be distracting, I chose to use 3mm diffused red 12V LEDs that can be purchased from electronics websites like Mouser and Newark:

I drilled a tiny hole in each side of the little socket and inserted an LED:

Then I soldered a wire to each terminal (the longer one is always positive on polarized LEDs), clipped off the excess LED terminal wires and took a blurry picture of it:

The LED's terminal wires are fairly brittle and break easily if subjected to repeated bending so I filled up the lower back half of the switch with epoxy to keep them from bending and breaking:

When I re-installed them on the bike I tapped them into the parking light circuit (gray/white wire) to power them.

Heated Grip Switch: From the factory, the graphic insert for the heated grip switch is solid black plastic and therefore can't be backlit as is.  To get around that you can swap in Part 61312305197 (a translucent orange switch insert) and install an amber LED behind it.

Here are the part numbers for the 3mm Lumex LEDs I used:







2013 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.