How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

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jeffers
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How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

Post by jeffers » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:04 pm

My first howto.. be gentle! A very easy mod to provide better lighting in the boot. I have done this on my 2008 Z4 Coupe but it should be pretty much the same on all models.

What you need:
1 metre of 3528 or 5050 LED strip light. Waterproof ones can be had for as little as £1.39 online (eBay)
Small amount of wire. Whatever you have laying around
2 x Breadboard Jumper Wires. I had these from an old electronics project. Optional but makes things easier.

- Remove the light assembly from the boot by pushing down on the top and popping out
- Disconnect the cable and small connector from the main housing (a screwdriver helps).
- Test that your LED strip works before you continue - just poke the cables iinto the sockets on the connector. The side of the socket with the red cable is positive. Note that if you've had the boot open for a while the car will automatically turn the lights off after a while, just lock/unlock on the keyfob to turn back on.

Time to work on the LED strip:
- you need to connect the jumper cables to the fly leads coming off the LED strip. You can either solder or tape them up. I had a soldering iron handy so soldered and heatshrunk them
- if you're not using jumper cables then you could twist them straight and tin them with your iron. You get the idea - just so they can fit in the connector.

Result:
Image

Bonus bit for Coupe owners:
In the Z4C theres a plastic clip thing in the middle of the boot which the parcel shelf clips onto. Routing the LED strip around this would look a bit rubbish so I decided to cut the LED strip and put some cable between the 2 halves. The cable can run under the plastic clip without looking horrible. I dont know if this is required on the roadster but this was probably the most difficult bit. If you have the waterproof LED strip (probably best) then you chop off the silicone to expose the solder pads. Measure the cable and solder it to both halves of the LED strip. Remember to cut the strip exactly on the cut mark (usually every 3 LEDs) so you get solder pads on both sides of the cut and to connect both positive and both negative cables. This video gives you an idea of how to expose the solder pads:


You should end up with something like this:
Image

With your (almost) completed assembly, line it all up on the plastic strip thing in the boot and see if you have to trim any excess LED strip off the end. On my install it was slightly too long so I snipped off the last 3 LEDs. Now clean up the plastic strip in the boot and remove the self-adhesive on the LED strip. Stick it on and route the cables through the gap in the boot lining to where the light connector is.

Stick your soldered or jumper cables into the connector (red = live) and test it works before poking it back through the liner...
Image


Refit your old light and you too can be the envy of the local teenage population with your "sick" LEDs. Innit.
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Thanks to everyone in this thread for the ideas. I just documented it :)

Jeff

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Dale_B
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Re: How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

Post by Dale_B » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:12 pm

Easy enough cheap mod for those wanting additional lighting.

You'll not have trouble finding anything in there now :o

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Number5
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Re: How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

Post by Number5 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:21 pm

Very nice but a minor point,..
I'm not sure where the law would stand, showing that amount of white light to the rear when the tailgate is open.
I'm only guessing but I would suspect that most OEM lighting is positioned to illuminate the boot but not be seen directly by another vehicle from behind ???
Other than a reversing light, it is illegal to show a white light to the rear.
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jeffers
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Re: How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

Post by jeffers » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:58 pm

Number5 wrote:Very nice but a minor point,..
I'm not sure where the law would stand, showing that amount of white light to the rear when the tailgate is open.
I'm only guessing but I would suspect that most OEM lighting is positioned to illuminate the boot but not be seen directly by another vehicle from behind ???
Other than a reversing light, it is illegal to show a white light to the rear.
Oh, thats interesting. Didnt know about that!

I googled it and found this police site which also states that aftermarket exhausts are also illegal. :headbang:

I think it would take a very cheesed off copper to get done for it but I take your point.

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Number5
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Re: How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

Post by Number5 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:21 pm

jeffers wrote:I think it would take a very cheesed off copper to get done for it but I take your point.
Me too, I would hope that they had something better to do, but you can understand some blind old biddy driving down your near side one night when parked in a lay-bye, mistaking it for a set of on-coming headlights !!

Its a great install, but I would look to conceal it somewhere behind the lip or even one down each flank of the boot perhaps ?
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4) 2004 3.0SE. 5) 2005 2.5SE, 6) 2007 3.0si
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obewan
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Re: How to fit LED light strip in the boot (for cheap!)

Post by obewan » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:08 pm

Just received my LED's in the post
Got a set for the wife's daily as well (pitiful lighting in the boot)
Have taken note of the positioning advice above, so will look for alternatives
Thanks for the write up :thumbsup:
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