Can You Help Me With My FlexLight LED Strip Project?

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  1. #1
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    Can You Help Me With My FlexLight LED Strip Project?

    Hey Folks, I'm trying to install one of your FlexLight LED Strips into my 2018 Subaru Crosstrek and I've run into a problem that I don't know how to solve.

    First of all, the wire that came with the FlexLight kit was not long enough for my car. So, after talking on the phone with one of your guys, I went out and bought an extra three feet of 20AWG 300V wire to splice into your kit. That was no problem. I simply spliced the RED (+) wire from your kit to the YELLOW (+) wire of the extra length that I purchased and the BLACK (-) wire from your kit to the BLACK (-) wire of the extension. It was so simple even I could do it.

    Now comes the problem. When I removed the protective wrapping from the Subaru wires that run to the Crosstrek's trunk light, I discovered - much to my dismay - that one wire is PINK and the other wire is GREEN. How do I determine which wire is positive and which wire is negative?

    My goal is to splice the LED Strip wiring into the Trunk Light wiring in such a manner that they both operate when the lift gate is opened or the switch is thrown. It should be simple; but, it's not for a novice like me. So, how do I figure out whether the PINK or the GREEN wire is positive? I really don't want to screw up my first big electrical adventure.

    Thanks so much for your help !!!

    Gerry ...

    P.S. I guess I should also mention that I replaced the OEM trunk/cargo area light with one of your 194 LED bulbs. And, as I mentioned above, I want to ensure that my splice enables both the LED bulb and the LED strip to function at the same time.

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  3. #2
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    If you have a digital multi-meter it's a simple task. Put it on DC volt mode and place the red to the pink and the black to the green. If it displays 12 volts then the pink is positive. If it displays -12 volts, then green is positive and pink is negative. If you do not have a DMM then this leaves you with one option. Hook the red to pink and the black to green. If it lights then pink is positive, if it does not light the switch the wires. Most LEDs can handle reverse polarity without damage.

  4. #3
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    Thanks, Gonzo! I'll pick up a digital multi-meter tomorrow and give it a try. I appreciate the advice!

    Gerry

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  6. #4
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    Hey, Gonzo, I can't thank you enough! Based on your advice, I did a search on Google and in YouTube and found all sorts of stuff that was right in line with what you told me to do. Now I can't wait to get back into the garage tomorrow and finish up my project.

    I learned a lot tonight, thanks to you! I owe you one, that's for sure! ... ...

    Gerry

  7. #5
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    Hey Colonel C,

    Did you end up installing the light strip? How's the new light output in the rear?

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SycsFinest View Post
    Hey Colonel C, Did you end up installing the light strip? How's the new light output in the rear?
    I did and it's fantastic! I couldn't be happier! ...

    This was my first ever attempt doing any electrical on one of my cars - other than changing a plug-and-play light bulb - so, I had a number of misfires before I hit upon my final solution. In the end, though, I got both the cargo area light and the light strip to operate together off the OEM switch. It was so simple that I was truly embarrassed that I hadn't figured it out from the start. Anyway, here's what I did.

    1. I took out all the upholstery that this guy did in his video (https://youtu.be/YWySXwKY-F8). All very straight forward.

    2. I planned on putting the light strip on the tailgate, just as in the video, but I discovered two things. (1) Diode Dynamics gives you three feet of wire to work with and this placement requires between three and four feet to complete. So I ended up splicing on three more feet of wire just to be safe. (2) Then I discovered that putting the light strip on the tailgate didn't illuminate the cargo area nearly as well as I expected. DARN! (Or words to that effect)

    3. On my next series of missteps, I at least did one thing correctly. I relocated the light strip to the very back edge of the ceiling headliner. Since I had already used the light strip adhesive once attaching it to the tail gate, I had to use some half-inch molding tape to attach the light strip to the headliner and it worked perfectly.

    4. By running the wire from the headliner to the switch, instead of from the tailgate, I discovered that four feet of wire was more than enough to accomplish what I wanted to do. I didn't need six feet of wire after all, even with my amateurish skills.

    5. Then after several botched attempts, I figured out how to solder the light strip wires to the OEM switch to enable the cargo area light and the light strip to operate in unison. And now, every inch of the cargo area is bathed in beautiful, cool white light.

    And, I am a happy camper! I didn't fry the electrical system in my brand new 2018 Crosstrek.

    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?

    Gerry

  9. #7
    Site Sponsor Diode Dynamics's Avatar
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    Gerry,

    My apologies for not seeing this thread sooner! I'm glad to see you got it setup the way you wanted.

    For whatever reason, we don't receive notifications when posts are made on this forum. With over 150 forum sponsored accounts it can be extremely difficult to keep track of.

    Our offices are open from 9am-5pm M-F CST should you need any troubleshooting help in the future: (314) 205-3033

    Thank you for your support!

    Nick C.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diode Dynamics View Post
    Gerry, our offices are open from 9am-5pm M-F CST should you need any troubleshooting help in the future: (314) 205-3033. Thank you for your support! Nick C.
    Thank you, Nick C! I'm very happy with the way my FlexLight LED Strip project turned out. And, I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the trial-and-error method that I went through to get everything hooked up properly.

    I'm betting that your folks could have had this entire project completed - from start to finish - in less than 30 minutes. However, being the amateur electrical engineer that I am - make that the stumblebum electrical engineer that I am - it took me three days of on-and-off work to successfully cross the finish line. But I loved the challenge of it all! What fun is it if you already know what you're doing?

    My thanks to you and the entire crew for lighting the way!

    Gerry

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