Mini M easy lock light mod to change from blue to green using yellow vinyl headlight film

SunshineRag_DT

18 Oct 2021, 00:21

[Just posted this on reddit r/modelm but also thought to make a quick detailed guide here.]
Introduction
After getting my Mini M like most people I disliked the the blue lock lights. After finding out that these are on the membrane and there is no easy way to change I figured this was hopeless, or at least more pain than I wanted. But then it hit me, I dont have to change the leds, I only need to change their color. I figured I could use a partial yellow filter to remove most of the blue but pass greens and yellows.

Using Headlight Film to Change the LED Color
I looked for some plastic filters but didn't want to do these as I would have to glue something to the membrane. After a bit I found vinyl headlight films which will self adhere but can be removed if needed. These films are available on Amazon and other places for less than $10. After a bit of thought I chose a "lime" color film to pass greens and remove more blues than a green film. I think a pure yellow film may work also if it is just tinting film, but a straight green film will just go to blue/green.
20211016_220504 - Copy.jpg
20211016_220504 - Copy.jpg (3.37 MiB) Viewed 410 times

Modifying the Lock Lights
I cut the films into 3 strips about 3in x 1/2in. After some trial and error I found that I needed to stack the three strips to get a full green, less than 3 it was still too blue, more didn't matter. Maybe with pure yellow film you might need less. The film has 2 coverings, one side is non adhesive with a scratch covering and the other covers the adhesive side.
20211016_221021 - Copy.jpg
20211016_221021 - Copy.jpg (3.06 MiB) Viewed 410 times

I removed the scratch protection side from all of them, then stacked them on each other removing the adhesive side and placing them on the membrane over the leds. Later I actually cut them into smaller 1/2in squares to eliminate some light bleed across the strip, but that seems to be an issue with the case design an not the film, squares might help a little bit so light does not travel in the film but not sure. Put some electrical tape between for good measure. The case has alot of space between the membrane and the lock lenses and is not well baffled so I think you will get light bleed no matter what.
20211016_223810 - Copy.jpg
20211016_223810 - Copy.jpg (2.68 MiB) Viewed 410 times
How does it look?
Below is how it turned out. I like the green and it is a touch dimmer than the piercing blue. The slight color bleed is there but I am ok with it, it was there with the blue also. Overall I am satisfied with the mod and it is fairly simple and non destructive so easy to try and change if you don't like. Let me know what you think.
20211016_223901 - Copy.jpg
20211016_223901 - Copy.jpg (2.38 MiB) Viewed 410 times
Last edited by SunshineRag_DT on 18 Oct 2021, 00:33, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
wobbled

18 Oct 2021, 00:29

And no need to solder - Genius!
Though I'd probably stick with the stock blues myself, I see green LEDs too often and the blue is a nice change.

User avatar
zrrion

18 Oct 2021, 03:37

What's up with your scroll lock key? It looks like it has an led window

User avatar
0100010

18 Oct 2021, 04:43

If you make 3 seperate stacks of film vs one, with more black tape between, you'd get less light bleed.

SunshineRag_DT

18 Oct 2021, 05:35

zrrion wrote:
18 Oct 2021, 03:37
What's up with your scroll lock key? It looks like it has an led window
You noticed that, good eye. ;) I will be posting a surprise in keyboards shortly.

SunshineRag_DT

18 Oct 2021, 18:22

0100010 wrote:
18 Oct 2021, 04:43
If you make 3 seperate stacks of film vs one, with more black tape between, you'd get less light bleed.
Yes I mentioned that but probably did not make it clear that making 3 squares of 1/2in x 1/2in helped a little to eliminate light travel in the strip. But I think some of the bleed is just that the lock lenses on the case dont baffle the glare from the other leds very well.

Post Reply

Return to “Workshop”