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2017 FXT CVT
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know there have been several threads describing possible ways to improve the lighting in the cargo area.

I combined a lift gate LED (29 diodes - 6000k) purchased on EBay (shipped from Taiwan - $36, arrived in 10 days - functions more as a "puddle" light for the hatch area) with four 30 cm LED flex light strips. The LED flex light strips were wired off the lift gate LED wiriing harness (T-Taps) and mounted on the D pillar trim (cut down to 20 cm each) and on the area above the window in the cargo area.

The install took about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Here are all of the parts I used:
Cargo LED - Diode Dynamics HP5 (cool white - 6000K)
E-Bay lift gate light - https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...H0.Xforester.TRS0&_nkw=forester&_sacat=140739 - There are many options out there. This one arrived in roughly 14 days. No issues with the install.
Four LED Flex strip lights - $15 (30 cm, 6000K - two cut down to 20 cm) - (Amazon - PryEU Daylight White 6000K LED Strip Lights 12V Waterproof for Auto Car Truck Boat Motorcycle Interior Lighting 12'' 30CM 3528 SMD UL Listed Pack of 4)
Solder-less T-Tap connectors - needed four, purchased a package of 12 for $10.50 (Amazon - Wire Connectors - Pack of 12 Low Voltage T Tap Wire Connectors T Type 2 Pin Solderless)

The LED strips blend well with the white interior trim and are positioned on the D pillar and inside the cargo window area so that the lights aren't shining in your eyes when your standing at the back of the car. I do wonder if the 3M tape on the flex lights will hold up over the summer as temperatures climb. If I have issues, I'm sure I can find a more roust adhesive that will work with the perforated trim surface. All of the LED's together have a draw of about 4 watts. The stock light they replaced was rated at 5 watts.

I did break a clip re-installing the trim (I found reinstalling to be a bit more of a challenge than removing the trim as alignment of the clips is key - luckily many Subaru clips are very similar and I had a replacement on hand). As you can see in the pictures, the lighting is more than adequate for clearly seeing detail with the back seats upright or folded forward.

The lights come on when the hatch is opened and turn off after 5-10 minutes (not sure if this is a setting that can be changed).
 

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Registered
2017 FXT CVT
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

The manual states that all interior lights can be programmed to turn off at 10,20 or 30 seconds (the default being 30 seconds) after the door closes (via the MFD) and that the lights are associated with various doors (cargo light doesn't go on when front or rear passenger doors open) and that if the "battery drain prevention function" is set to on, the cargo light turns off at approximately 20 minutes, even if the lift gate remains open. It also looks like the lights can be programmed to turn on when the alarm is triggered but the default for interior lights is "off" when the alarm is triggered. Everything and more that I wanted to know about my cargo lights.
 

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2014 Forester XT
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11 Posts
Wow this is awesome, I'll have to do this for mine. Surprising how lacking the lighting is in the cargo area..
 
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