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      11-21-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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Simple LED Light Mod for Trunk

I can't take credit for this as I saw it on a friend's Z4 M Roadster more than a year ago, long before I had mine. I finally got around to tracking down the lights and installing them.

The trunk light in the Z4 M Roadster leaves a lot to be desired both in terms of location and in light output. There are LED replacement bulbs which can increase the illumination but there's still the problem of location, all the way over on the right hand side of the trunk. If you keep anything tall in the right "bin", say like a quart of oil in the BMW oil bag, it does a pretty good job of obscuring the light.

I bought this WFLS-x-WHT series Weatherproof High Power LED Flexible Light Strip - White Circuit from superbrightleds.com for $26.99. It's a 100cm (39.3") strip of Cool White LEDS encased in waterproof vinyl, with a self-adhesive strip on the back. This length only comes in Cool White and Warm White, I chose the Cool White for maximum brightness. The electrical connection is a 48.26cm (19") two-wire pigtail. The voltage range is 9-14.8V.

This is a perfect length to attach the pigtail to the trunk light with the LEDs spanning the entire width of the top lip of the trunk.

I pulled out the trunk light and there is a two-sided metal "cage" in which the bulb is secured. I just wrapped the bare leads around each side of the cage and twisted each one together. It appeared to be secure enough and I put the trunk light back in place.

I measured the light strip and marked the centerpoint. In the center of the trunk lip there is a hole so I aligned the centerpoint of the light strip with the hole and then just pressed the light strip into place on each side. The adhesive is quite strong although you can reposition it.

Here's some pics, although the lights are so bright the pictures didn't come out the greatest on my P&S camera. I may have to take some more pictures in the daylight and also might take one after the trunk light times out and turns off:

Pic taken with flash on:


Pic taken with flash off. I've squatted down behind the car so that the LEDs are visible. When standing behind the car the LEDs aren't visible. The LEDs also illuminate the back area of the trunk quite well but the camera doesn't show this well:


Here's a pic of the pigtail going into the trunk light:


Here's a pic taken with the camera pointing up under the trunk lip:


I bought two sets and plan on installing the second one on my wife's 335is Coupe.
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Last edited by SD Z4MR; 11-21-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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      11-21-2012, 12:58 AM   #2
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Nice idea. Yes, the trunk lighting leaves a lot to be desired. Especially when on a road trip and the trunk is full. I am going to mark this page. Thanks!
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      11-21-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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Looks good. You can throw a party in there now
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      11-21-2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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nice! i did the same too, one light at right side is really useless
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      11-21-2012, 03:51 AM   #5
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Good info thanks for sharing, also found they have a black strip. The black strip comes in natural white for 100cm. Not sure why the white strip doesn't come in natural white for the 100cm size.
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      11-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
Good info thanks for sharing, also found they have a black strip. The black strip comes in natural white for 100cm. Not sure why the white strip doesn't come in natural white for the 100cm size.
That's even better! I wish I'd found that first! Thanks for sharing that!
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      11-29-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
I can't take credit for this as I saw it on a friend's Z4 M Roadster more than a year ago, long before I had mine. I finally got around to tracking down the lights and installing them.

The trunk light in the Z4 M Roadster leaves a lot to be desired both in terms of location and in light output. There are peimar led lights replacement bulbs which can increase the illumination but there's still the problem of location, all the way over on the right hand side of the trunk. If you keep anything tall in the right "bin", say like a quart of oil in the BMW oil bag, it does a pretty good job of obscuring the light.


I bought this WFLS-x-WHT series Weatherproof High Power LED Flexible Light Strip - White Circuit from superbrightleds.com for $26.99. It's a 100cm (39.3") strip of Cool White LEDS encased in waterproof vinyl, with a self-adhesive strip on the back. This length only comes in Cool White and Warm White, I chose the Cool White for maximum brightness. The electrical connection is a 48.26cm (19") two-wire pigtail. The voltage range is 9-14.8V.

This is a perfect length to attach the pigtail to the trunk light with the LEDs spanning the entire width of the top lip of the trunk.

I pulled out the trunk light and there is a two-sided metal "cage" in which the bulb is secured. I just wrapped the bare leads around each side of the cage and twisted each one together. It appeared to be secure enough and I put the trunk light back in place.

I measured the light strip and marked the centerpoint. In the center of the trunk lip there is a hole so I aligned the centerpoint of the light strip with the hole and then just pressed the light strip into place on each side. The adhesive is quite strong although you can reposition it.

Here's some pics, although the lights are so bright the pictures didn't come out the greatest on my P&S camera. I may have to take some more pictures in the daylight and also might take one after the trunk light times out and turns off:

Pic taken with flash on:


Pic taken with flash off. I've squatted down behind the car so that the LEDs are visible. When standing behind the car the LEDs aren't visible. The LEDs also illuminate the back area of the trunk quite well but the camera doesn't show this well:


Here's a pic of the pigtail going into the trunk light:


Here's a pic taken with the camera pointing up under the trunk lip:


I bought two sets and plan on installing the second one on my wife's 335is Coupe.
Very nice job done. Unique idea but very effective.

Last edited by Aldcves; 11-30-2012 at 01:35 AM.
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      11-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #8
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Could also work under the hood, eh? Hmmmm
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      11-29-2012, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZStig View Post
Could also work under the hood, eh? Hmmmm
Little too much fast and furious!
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      11-30-2012, 12:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Little too much fast and furious!
that was exactly my impression of the trunk mod
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      11-30-2012, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCHMOUPE View Post
Little too much fast and furious!
I just did it to get more light in the trunk. It's not like I'm running the lights on the underbody or in the wheel wells.
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      11-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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My wife was putting her bags in the trunk last night for her drive to Florida today. I had to use a flashlight to see anything in the trunk because that dinky little light on the side was blocked. I'll be doing this mod when she gets back with my car.

I assume as long as I don't also run a strip along each side and under the wheel wells I won't be confused with the Fast and Furious crowd of ricers.

Last edited by GoGo Gadget; 12-01-2012 at 08:31 AM.
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      11-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
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Just ordered mine today

Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
Good info thanks for sharing, also found they have a black strip. The black strip comes in natural white for 100cm. Not sure why the white strip doesn't come in natural white for the 100cm size.
Great idea!

I also have a set of Jackpoint Jackstands under the Christmas Tree.

Steve
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      12-01-2012, 06:41 PM   #14
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I bought the LED strip about a year ago with the intend of doing the same, but simply forgot about it until I saw your post. Here it is on a coupe...only ran the strip half way. It is superbright and I have to keep reminding myself to "look away from the bright light" I had originally intended to mount it in the recess area for the "warning triangle", which wouldn't produce such a direct glare. But now that I have the "warning triangle" in place, had to settled for this alternate location.
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      12-06-2012, 04:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
Good info thanks for sharing, also found they have a black strip. The black strip comes in natural white for 100cm. Not sure why the white strip doesn't come in natural white for the 100cm size.
I returned the other white strip with the Cool White LEDs that I bought for my wife's car for a black strip with the Natural White LEDs and the result is much better. Much less of the "blue neon" effect, so I went ahead and ordered another black Natural White strip to replace the one that I already installed.

Great customer service. 30 day return policy and if you exchange for a different color they ship the replacement for free.
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      12-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #16
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I'm a cheap bastard.....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:L:OC:US:3160

I have an aftermarket LED setup now so if too warm I might need to try a "Natural white". I agree the "Cool"(7000K) is too blue. Just need to make sure the color is close to the interior now with my 5050 white LED's. Trick will be to find Natural white(4800K) on Ebay. These are around 2800k-3000k i bet. May be to yellow but for $8 it's a no loss.
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      12-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
I returned the other white strip with the Cool White LEDs that I bought for my wife's car for a black strip with the Natural White LEDs and the result is much better. Much less of the "blue neon" effect, so I went ahead and ordered another black Natural White strip to replace the one that I already installed.

Great customer service. 30 day return policy and if you exchange for a different color they ship the replacement for free.
Very cool. I'm going to try out the warm white, I kinda like the warmer light for my sepang car, since it's all earth tones (sepang brown seats, etc.). Already received it just waiting for a non-rainy day to install it. If I hate it, I'll return it and get natural white.
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      12-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #18
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This is great. I will be doing this soon.
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      03-15-2013, 02:53 PM   #19
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I'd think that the back of the trunk still needs more light. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe you can't attach one to the bottom of the softtop "tray" (w/e you call it) to get back there.

I added two "grille" lights to my E38 trunk because the BSW sub bow ruined the light. I then saw my buddy do this strip mod with his and started searching and found this thread.
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      03-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #20
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I went ahead and took two 24" strips (they came in a package like that) and placed one on the metal strip as above, but I took the other and placed it on the plastic beneath the latch, facing in to the trunk. My girlfriend says she likes all the light, even if it looks like the deli counter at the supermarket.
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      04-24-2013, 08:39 PM   #21
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Super simple, I like the instructions. I just added a fuse and used a very long roll to cover the entire top part from side to side. I used the stuff from the link below since its $20 for 16-ft.

It's enough light for now but if I ever want to go crazy I can add another strip to the adjustable shelf.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm currently doing the same mod to the underside of my hood, wired into the hood switch in case I ever need to pop it open at night.
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      04-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garto87 View Post
Super simple, I like the instructions. I just added a fuse and used a very long roll to cover the entire top part from side to side. I used the stuff from the link below since its $20 for 16-ft.

It's enough light for now but if I ever want to go crazy I can add another strip to the adjustable shelf.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm currently doing the same mod to the underside of my hood, wired into the hood switch in case I ever need to pop it open at night.
3k kelvin? that is like a household bulb :/
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