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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I've been really enjoying my 2019 Crosstrek Limited with LED interior upgrade but the lighting in the trunk was both not upgraded to an LED bulb and even after upgrading the bulb was still woefully under powered and in a particularly poor position.

Like I said the first thing I thought to do was replace the existing halogen bulb with an LED alternative. I turned to the retrofit source for LEDs and grabbed a profile performance LED bulb. I love the way it looked in a similar color tempature to the other LED bulbs in the interior but the light wasnt nearly as useful as I would hope. With the bulb being placed on the side of the trunk space about 8 inches from the bottom of the cargo tray, the light is always flowing from an acute angle across what your working on and gets easily blocked by tool boxes, cases and bags. so I set out to find an alternative.

I decided I needed to add additional lighting but I have a set of parameters. NO permanent modifications to the interior, no increase in load over stock lighting ( t10 bulbs at 10w ) and add useful light without intruding on the space. Im realtivly competent with interior modification and I was certified in 12-24v automotive electronics but I did not intend to go in cutting and fiberglassing and carpeting interior parts so I decided on an interior lighting solution for just the driver side of the cargo area. I settled on a COB led panel thats 170mm long and produces a claimed 550 lumens. Lumens are often over claimed and usually way under performing but even if it added 300 lumens in the trunk that would be an noticeable improvement over the stock solution.

During my install I decided to keep the T10 LED solution I installed and used the long soldered leads as a soldering pad to attach the COB led panel to. I tested the outputs from the stock trunk LED lamp and determined the 12v hot from the ground, soldered up the panel to the T10 LED and tossed it in the housing, quick swab down and attached the panel with double sided foam tape. I gotta say for such a simple modification this thing is excellent. The light is very bright ( might be up in the 300-400 lumen range ) and the color is great. With the panel mounted under the trim on the drivers side the light is both very bright and not in your eyes when your standing over the trunk. All that benefit and it only draws .25a at 12v so the combined total draw is lower than the stock halogen bulb that was there.

heres a few photos of the setup and install. If anyone has questions please dont hesitate to ask.

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Here is the lighting after the install

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This is the way I soldered the leads to the T10 LED bulb

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This is where I double sided taped the LED COB panel to the drivers side trim
 

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NO permanent modifications to the interior, no increase in load over stock lighting ( t10 bulbs at 10w ) and add useful light without intruding on the space.
Great idea soldering to the LED, I don't like cutting into wiring harnesses if not necessary. I'll probably use your idea here, but I think I'm going to place the second fixture just inside the hatch on the ceiling. There are three "button-type" fasteners at that location and I'll run the wiring up the corner post. This all depends on if I can determine how to remove the plastic panels.

Do you have info or a link for the light panel that you used?

FYI: For others that might solder to an LED...don't use more heat than necessary. You can easily "fry" the circuitry.
 

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I like this approach. Was this COB led panel part of a pair that can be used as running lights? I'm thinking one of these on each side of the trunk area might be pretty amazing for trunk illumination (or maybe overkill?)!
There's no such thing as overkill, if that's what you want or need!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The OPT7 unit you posted is the exact one I grabbed on amazon. I dont know if there is anything special about them in particular but I have used the brand in the past for other LED projects and I like their overall fit and finish.

My long term plan would be to use 2 but this was a no cutting, no drilling, and no trimming solution that also didnt require me to extend the wires. The total install time was less than 10 minutes with a portable soldering iron (TS100)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks,

Im always cautious cutting up the factory harnesses. Im proficient with a soldering iron but its still a bit uncomfortable especially on a car thats only a few months old. This way if I decide I want more or different LEDs I can always just pull the T10 LED bulb out and swap it over to another.

IndyScan posted the link earlier but here it is again just in case - https://www.amazon.com/OPT7-Nova-Plasma-Light-Bars/dp/B00NQHZ0WC?tag=subaruxvforumconvert-20

Oh and good call, With a little flux and electronics 63-37 33/44 .5mm kester solder the joints only took about 2 seconds to heat, attach and cool. They are pretty resilient but the wiring that came on the COB panel with probablly the weakest link. Depending on how I like this install I might just replace the wiring with some quality 24 gauge silicone wire but thats for a future install.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Overkill - adjective -a word used by someone who doesnt see the use case but still wants to add their opinion.

Im just kidding, I think its pleanty bright and if it were something in my visual filed (* rather than pointed down ) I think it would be too bright where it is.

Seeing as I have trim on boith sides that could hold lighting of this style I might just bite the bullet and run the wires into the panels they are currently on. Just a quick drill hole and extend the wires to run everything inside the panels and clean up the install even further. That said digging in the cargo area this morning in the underground parking structure was much nicer than normal even with just the single light.
 

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I think the Diode Dynamics light strip is the better way to go. Less work for a full light coverage.






Install album here.


https://imgur.com/a/kvEwq
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I considered a few top mounted solutions but running a wire outside the headliner right in view, even visible when your looking out the rear window isnt really in my wheelhouse. Maybe if it was tucked into the headliner and escaped through the headliner clips then it would be a better solution.

It may be brighter than the solutions i found and it looks like it uses the same location for power without the need for soldering. That said I dont know if pulling panels apart is "less work" than clicking 1 button on the soldering iron and touching the wires 2x.

I love the light output but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. That and the JSTs in that install are not my favorite by a long shot. I bet that looks excellent at night though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a quick update.

I got a chance to really test the interior LED pack yesterday night and it was excellent having that much light in the area to handle business. I fly racing drones and there was enough light back there to properly dissassemble and solder some small connections in the trunk before putting everything back together. Only downside is that I dont think it would work very well for a lefty just becausues of the direction the light comes from.

Another LED might be in my future but for now Im digging this one.
 

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I used the Diode Dynamics LED strip as well. It comes with an adapter that plugs into where the light bulb goes, so theres no need to splice into the factory loom. I ran the wires up into the headliner and mounted the led strip in an aluminum channel i bought off Amazon. I mounted the strip/channel onto headliner where the clips go by using small drywall anchors. It can be easily converted back to OEM.

2016-09-12_013721000_27EEB_iOS.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There was a post last August from negative pixels and the mod he did for rear cargo lighting. I prefer his solution personally and may implement it myself.

https://www.subaruxvforum.com/forum/lighting-electrical/169002-cheap-simple-cargo-hatch-led-lights.html
Ohhh, I really like those. Granted the time investment to pull the whole card off the hatch and run the wires is substantial but thats defenitly something to consider. If im going to take the time to tear all that aprt I might add something a bit more substantial in the same locations, Im thinking something like this maybe, If theres enough space back there.

https://www.amazon.com/SS-VISION-Backup-Driving-Lights/dp/B07GQNRH9C/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1545081835&sr=1-3-spons&keywords=surface+mount+led+pod&psc=1
 

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As a firefighter / EMS member, I store some of my gear in my trunk and the anemic factory light is definitely not enough. I just picked up a pair of Whelen Engineering 3" LED lights. They put out around 300 lumen each. I plan on installing them on the access panels to the reverse lights on the hatch. I'll post updates when I get them installed.

3" Round Super-LED® Lightheads - Whelen Engineering Automotive
 

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Yup...the rear cargo light is pretty wimpy...but lots of great DIY ideas here...I like the diode dynamics light strip...that’s my choice of fix
 

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I was able to install my Whelen LED compartment lights this week and I wanted to share with the group. I attached them to the access panel covers for the reverse lights. This is a perfect spot to angle the light output, plus run the wiring to the switch. I tapped the power for the switch from the factory trailer plug connection. I am very happy with the light output. I'll try to add a night time photo soon.

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IMG_4214.jpg
 

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I was able to install my Whelen LED compartment lights this week and I wanted to share with the group. I attached them to the access panel covers for the reverse lights. This is a perfect spot to angle the light output, plus run the wiring to the switch. I tapped the power for the switch from the factory trailer plug connection. I am very happy with the light output. I'll try to add a night time photo soon.

View attachment 285942

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View attachment 285946
Awesome!
 
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