Switch Panel Illumination
We have been driving a 2016 Thor Tuscany 45AT motorhome for six years. The switch panel (on the left, as you enter the coach) has always been a problem for us ... you just couldn't tell which switch did what (although two of the switches did have internal backlighting). We hung a small flashlight on a hook next to the panel and we'd use it to illuminate the switches to be sure that we activated the right one.
Recently I decided to find a better solution. I noticed that the plastic panels on either side of the switches would light up very nicely when a light source was placed behind them. The panels appeared to have been designed to be back-lighted, with labels on them adjacent to each switch.
I purchased two LED kits that were meant to be used with sewing machines, for extra illumination. The light strings had integral pushbuttons, a 70 inch length of cable with USB connectors for power and a twelve inch section of LED's (spaced 2 per inch). The kits also included small 120 VAC power adaptors with USB sockets. The LED devices were fairly inexpensive, purchased through Amazon Prime for approximately $14.00 per twin pack.
I bought some clear vinyl corner protector at an Ace Hardware, and applied some double-stick foam tape (automotive type) to one side of each segment cut to a length of thirteen inches. I pressed the corner protectors into position alongside the switch modules, so that the LED's illuminated the back side of the plastic panels (with the labels on them).
I then installed a new 120 VAC outlet inside of the cabinet and wired it up to a new duplex receptacle that I had used to replace the factory mounted receptacle on the rear wall of the same cabinet. The new outlet box was more suitable for splicing in the extra circuit to the new receptacle.
I plugged the USB power adaptors into the new receptacle and then routed the two cables so that the pushbuttons could be mounted on the outside of the cabinet for easy access. It was necessary to cut some small grooves into the cabinet side panel to let the wires pass through.
The pushbuttons can be used to dim the light from the LEDs. They do not need to be left ON all the time. It is a simple task to touch the buttons on the side of the panel to illuminate the labels. The intensity of the LEDs will return to the same value as they were the last time they were turned OFF. If brighter illumination is required, simply holding the pushbutton for a few seconds will ramp it up or down.
Several photographs are attached which will help you better understand the rambling descriptions above.