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Thanks guys. I kinda like the ones they sell that are modular, it would make it easy to get the light on the other side using the extension cord. They are also cheaper.
 

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Stitch, I did zip tie mine on, but there is also some sticky on the back.

Red dragon, you should paint yours in black so that it doesn't stick out so much against the dark background.

IMO this is a must do mod. The stock light is next to useless and the amount of light that 2 LED strips put out is awesome. I'm surprised none of the ppl in my car club have done this yet. They all ask if it came with the 2010and are impressed with the amount of light. Gotta love mods that look great and are functional.
 

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Thanks guys for everything you posted on this, and to you, StitcH, for the original write-up. To be honest, I didn't even think about changing this until I saw the thread; guess I haven't had to open my hatch too much at night yet. :smiley:

I decided to mount my LEDs inside the vents on both sides and discretely run my wiring around the side panels and under the carpet. It turned out pretty well, I think. If you're interested, see my write-up: Another LED Hatch Lights writeup (2x LED bars, mounted in vents)
 

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I wasn't gonna do this until I saw the dummy bulbs. I didn't wanna hack my shit up. I will prob. just put one LED strip in on the side where the light is already for some added light...good work everybody!
 

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I wasn't gonna do this until I saw the dummy bulbs. I didn't wanna hack my shit up. I will prob. just put one LED strip in on the side where the light is already for some added light...good work everybody!
You don't hack it up without the dummy bulbs. You can attached the wires to some alligator clip ends to clip on the the metal from the light housing or just solder right onto the metal in the housing. Solder is super easy to add and remove so you're not destroying or hacking into anything really.
 

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The difference is like night and day. Shot both pictures with the same exact exposure so there's no exposure bias. Took me about two hours doing prep, running back in the house for various things, fit, photographing, soldering, heatshrinking, stripping wire, mounting the LED strips, taking apart the hatch and putting it all back together. Totally awesome!

 

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Street Unit - Ninja Killa
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wanna do mine too?
 

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Discussion Starter #71
The difference is like night and day. Shot both pictures with the same exact exposure so there's no exposure bias. Took me about two hours doing prep, running back in the house for various things, fit, photographing, soldering, heatshrinking, stripping wire, mounting the LED strips, taking apart the hatch and putting it all back together. Totally awesome!
Looks awesome, catch. You use the same strips as I did?

Any pics of how you mounted the strips?
 

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Looks awesome, catch. You use the same strips as I did?

Any pics of how you mounted the strips?
Yeah, I used the tri-chip led strips. No pics of how I mounted, I just used twist ties for now til I can go get some of the super small zip ties. I tried feeding some slightly larger zip ties in but it would've been almost impossible to feed it through the vent holes without taking it off. No luck bending the ziptie into a hook and have it hold long enough to feed through.
 

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Hey Catch did you use the wires from the right side where the small light is to run the leds on both sides?
 

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Hey Catch did you use the wires from the right side where the small light is to run the leds on both sides?
Just like Stitch's instructions, I used the dummy festoon bulb, so the original factory harness is untouched. It looks like the one in the middle:



This allows me to use the switch as well to turn off the lights when I have my hatch opened for prolonged periods during the day. I ran 20 gauge wire (22 AWG would be ideal) along where the insulation material surrounding the jack and behind the plastic where the trunk latches so even with the spare tire removed you don't see any wire. Merged both the left and right into one lead, then soldered to the dummy festoon wires.
 

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Kambo
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So where did you mount the LED strips? I have a 12" set just sitting around.
 

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This was one project that I just finished in the past week or so and figured that I would thrown in my 2 cents. I chose to use 12" LED strips (Pair for $15 shipped off of eBay) and mount them under the vents, hidden from view.

Here is what I did:
1. Remove the vent panels. There is a screw under the bag hanger near the rear of the vehicle. There is one push button clip at the top by the rear seat. There is one additional push button tab that needs to be removed, however, this one is located about two inches below the trim next to the rear seat. In order to get to this one, you need to pry this piece toward the center of the vehicle to unclip it. This one is tricky to remove, even trickier to reinstall without dropping it.

2. Took the vents and trimmed off of a little of the inside triangular plastic supports, that sit between the mounting clips and the vent.

3. I chose to cut a piece of angled wood to sit on those mounting tab with the top portion of the piece parallel to the vents, with about .25" gap (enough for the LED strip to mount between).

4. Painted the wood strips black.

5. Used heat shrink tubing, wrapped it around the wood and LED strip to adhere the strip to the wood.

6. I mounted the wood strips inside the vents by using glass retaining clips on the bottom of the wood to sandwich the clip to the inside of the mounting tabs. I know that this is difficult to explain. You could also hot melt glue as well. I'm sure this would work.

7. As for wiring, I spliced into the stock wiring for the hatch light, which is automatically switched on when the hatch is closed. I chose to keep the stock light functional (did not install a dummy bulb).

They are much brighter than the stock bulb and about twice as bright as the upgraded LED bulb that I switch in before this mod was done. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know.

Tom
 

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This was one project that I just finished in the past week or so and figured that I would thrown in my 2 cents. I chose to use 12" LED strips (Pair for $15 shipped off of eBay) and mount them under the vents, hidden from view.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know.

Tom
I really love what you have done. Do you have the name of the Ebay seller you purchased these from? Thanks
 

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I really love what you have done. Do you have the name of the Ebay seller you purchased these from? Thanks
Thanks Trixster, but if it wasn't for all the other ideas and contributors, I would have never thought to do it. Just trying to throw out another approach.

As for the seller (eBay id: kimke-wei-usa), they had a bunch of different products. I purchased the strips that have 5 groups of 3 LEDs. I did notice that they had strips with the LEDs evenly spaced along it, but not until after I already made the purchase. Not sure if it would have made much of a difference, but the large spaces did allow me to use the heat shrink to adhere the strip to the wood. They do have adhesive backs, but didn't want to chance those falling off during the hot summer days.

Let me know if you have any other questions...

Tom
 
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