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Old 05-22-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
garyd9
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Luggage area lighting in hatchbacks

(Please pardon the lack of photo's - I'm trying to be as descriptive as possible)

In our hatchbacks, there are two interior lights for the luggage area immediately behind the upper area of the back seats. Both lights are... pathetic.

Opening the lights is very easy: there's a thin slot on the front edge of the lens that can be used to gently pry the lens out. The bulb holder is attached to the lens, and a wire (cable) with about 6 inches of slack is attached the bulb holder.

Actually, the bulbs inside aren't really that bad. They appear to be the same lights used in the puddle lights (if your vehicle has that option): simple 168/194 wedge style bulbs. If you replace the bulbs with brighter LED's, it increases the light, but not really by much.

The biggest problem with this arrangement is that there is NOTHING behind those bulbs to reflect the light towards the lens. In fact, the majority of the light from those bulbs is actually lighting up the empty space between the wall of your luggage area and the metal side of your car. (In other words, it's completely wasted.)

If you are going to spend the 30 seconds to replace the bulbs in there, bring some aluminum foil with you as well, and use it to create a pocket behind the bulb to reflect the light towards the lens (and into your luggage area.) The foil shouldn't actually touch the bulb, and should be wrapped in such a way that it's held in place when the lens is replaced in the car's trim.

(Be careful not to drop the aluminum foil "pocket" inside the trim of the car when putting everything back together!)

I wouldn't suggest doing this with the regular incandescent bulbs, however, as those things can get VERY hot. With LED's, it should be fine. I did it using these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009YKQR2C

Adding the aluminum foil "pocket" behind those LED's to reflect more light into the luggage area made a dramatic difference for me.

If you have the resources/time/ability, something much less fragile could be made. Even if made with a non-reflective material, it could always be lined with the same foil...


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Old 05-22-2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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The bulbs you linked are those the size we need for reaplcement in the hatch?
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
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I opted for a strip of 117 LED's instead




Hatch cover is still 100% completely removable.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoOff View Post
The bulbs you linked are those the size we need for reaplcement in the hatch?
There's some flexibility in there.. that specific bulb works, as should any 168 or 194 "wedge" style that isn't too long.

Being it's so easy to access the bulb, I'd suggest popping it open and taking a look at how much room is there.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyPilot View Post
I opted for a strip of 117 LED's instead




Hatch cover is still 100% completely removable.
Mind.... Blown. Awesome installation idea.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyPilot View Post
I opted for a strip of 117 LED's instead




Hatch cover is still 100% completely removable.
How did you get power to the LEDs?
Where did you buy the strip?
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aperson9923 View Post
How did you get power to the LEDs?
Where did you buy the strip?
I'm assuming he taped into the wiring behind those light panels.

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slo86GT View Post
Mind.... Blown. Awesome installation idea.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:10 PM   #9
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where did you get the led light strip from?
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AeR0_84 View Post
where did you get the led light strip from?
http://www.amazon.com/LEDwholesalers...dp/B002QQ48TK/

Something similar to these.
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