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Is there a setting that will turn off interior lights left on in the back by my kids?!
 

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No there is not currently.
 

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That would be a nice feature. I have a related question. Is there a way the driver can turn all the interior lights on? I found the "door/off" switch but no "door/off/on" setting. Seems bizarre for a family vehicle to not have this feature in a car pushing $50k.
 

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No way for driver to turn on all lights, unless driver opens a door a bit.

There is a also no way to turn off 2nd and 3rd row reading lights.

A very strange light design for $45k car.

I opened issue with Subaru on inability to turn off lights.
 

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Terrible Design

I just bought an Ascent yesterday. Generally, I am loving it, but this lighting design is terrible. When you are in the cargo area you can't see anything... and if you happen to have a few things in the back, the crappy little cargo light will just get covered up and you REALLY won't be able to see. I really hope Subaru can find a fix for this.... but I assume it means that us people who bought the first generation one's are stuck with terrible interior lighting design. Bummer.
 

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I literally emailed my dealer and asked if they forgot it on my Ascent in manufacturing. He told me about the little light, this is ridiculous.
 

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My rear cargo area light is a LED flashlight I keep in the 3rd row cup holder. Not having a decent light back there on a car this nice is a pretty major oversite.
 

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All good points. Typically, every car has had an "ALL ON" light button somewhere. Many times, it's a detent at the end of the variable dashboard light intensity knob. Sometimes it's on the ON/OFF light switch on the ceiling light control, but always somewhere in the controls.

Ascent doesn't have an "ALL ON" light function hidden somewhere? Can the Japanese designers see in the dark? Why have lights at all if they are just for show? These are not functional.

Coupled with the truly pitiful cargo area lighting, the Subaru department in charge of interior lighting design should be fired. The LED interior lighting is very nice. The LED headlights are nothing short of phenomenal. But after the liftgate opens, that cargo area was obviously designed by and for the blind as one must feel everything with your hands to know what's there. This is an embarrassment in a car that is supposed to be the flagship for the entire line. (No wonder an aftermarket tailgate light insert to improve function was released just a month or so after the car was released, it's an obvious and serious design shortcoming.)

My question is after almost 50 years of building automobiles for the American market, how do you manage to design and put in such horrible cargo area illumination? The cutsie low-level LED highlight illumination in the lower dashboard and doors has no function but gives the appearance of more room in the passenger compartment. But in the cargo area, where you need some good light to actually see what's there, lighting was an afterthought? The glove compartment in my 1962 Pontiac had more lighting that the entire back of the Subaru Ascent.

I understand that early adopters are essentially beta testers for new vehicles. I hope someone is listening.
 

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I have been contemplating fixes for various deficiencies of the Ascent, this being one of them. I believe I have a solution, although unproven still (I haven’t metered the fusefor voltage when lights on and off, but it’s on my list of things to do). My idea is to add an ON-OFF-ON switch to the light circuit. In another subject regarding light fuses, someone identified the BACKUP fuse under the driver side dash as the one controlling the interior lights as well as some other functions. My plan is to remove the pin that supplies power and add the switch There as one of the ON supplies and jump another wire that supplies constant voltage regardless if the car is on or off or if the doors are open or closed to the other ON. If I’m wrong regarding the fusethen I’ll have to look at the wiring and backtrack the ground (meaning this is another switched ground like the fog light switch. If someone comprehends what I just explained and has the time, please test this and let us know your findings. Also, for people that do not have the ventilated front seats, I thought the empty tab next to the front heat seater button may be a good placefor the switch, or possibly one of the empty tabs to the left of the steering wheel. The second option having to run less wiring through the consoles.
 

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I figure it might be easier just to fake having a door open
Not sure what side effects might be problematic but it's easy enough to tap into the door sensor that it might be worth a go
 

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Opening door is not a viable solution. When it’s heavy rain (very often in Seattle) or snow ( often in the mountain ski areas here), opening door even for a short while gets entire door panel with windows controls wet.
 

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I think what CDN means is tapping into the wires of the door closed switch that is on the rear of the door frame. If that is what you meant then I would first start with checking what the positive and negative wires are also connected to. Subaru chains many of their components together, like the headlights are connected to the fog lights, DRL and half of the interior display lights. By toggling the door closed circuit, you may accidentally turn off something else as well. Not to mention shorting that circuit accidentally could potentially render all connected systems inoperable.
 

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+1 for the lack of a mechanism to easily turn on all interior lights as a *MAJOR* fail. This is my biggest gripe with the car.

And it's also a safety issue. Any night-time encounter with Law Enforcement one should turn on your interior lights to give the LEO one less thing to worry about. Get pulled over at 1AM in the mountains by a deputy who knows his/her backup is maybe 30+ minutes away, the "crack the door" to turn on all interior lights move is not helpful. Being able to flick on all interior lights when you turn off your vehicle is the right move.

Let's save the abysmal cargo area lighting for another day. But I'm velcro'ing a couple battery powered high intensity LED closet lights up in the back. But, overall we are very happy with our purchase.
 

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I have been contemplating fixes for various deficiencies of the Ascent, this being one of them. I believe I have a solution, although unproven still (I haven’t metered the fusefor voltage when lights on and off, but it’s on my list of things to do). My idea is to add an ON-OFF-ON switch to the light circuit. In another subject regarding light fuses, someone identified the BACKUP fuse under the driver side dash as the one controlling the interior lights as well as some other functions. My plan is to remove the pin that supplies power and add the switch There as one of the ON supplies and jump another wire that supplies constant voltage regardless if the car is on or off or if the doors are open or closed to the other ON. If I’m wrong regarding the fusethen I’ll have to look at the wiring and backtrack the ground (meaning this is another switched ground like the fog light switch. If someone comprehends what I just explained and has the time, please test this and let us know your findings. Also, for people that do not have the ventilated front seats, I thought the empty tab next to the front heat seater button may be a good placefor the switch, or possibly one of the empty tabs to the left of the steering wheel. The second option having to run less wiring through the consoles.
I don't think what you've proposed will work. Assuming the whole thing is a circuit and the door being closed breaks the circuit adding power to one side won't work since there still won't be a complete circuit.

It's late and I'm tired so I may be wrong.
 

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Not sure if this is a 2021 thing or not, but the rear reading lights can be controlled by a button near the driver's left knee. My oldest discovered he could turn on his light, and I was able to turn all on then his off by hitting the button twice.
 
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