1500 LED Conversions
Box Automatic Interior lights mod
IS NOT A SIMPLE PLUG-IN REPLACEMENT LAMP CONVERSION, IT IS A
PROJECT. (A fairly simple one though.)
This is a new installation project to add interior lighting to
the rear box of most any bike. It does not replace any existing
lighting. It uses a flexible waterproof strip of LED's
encapsulated in a clear rubber like material and the parts are attached
to a flexible mylar circuit board iniside. The project uses
adhesives to mount the LED strip along with some doublesided 3M foam
mounting athesive in places. It also uses a special magnetic reed
switch to power the LED array when the lid is opened. This switch
can also be used to remotely indicate open door status and signal alarm
systems if desired. We will not address the latter two options in
this installation. Also, some consideration might be applied to
having an override switch in case the user desires to have the light
off but the door open or to disable the feature all togehter.
That portion will be added at a later time.
Please forgive the quality of some of the pictures and the incomplete
clean up and other issues. They will be updated later once I get
a chance to finish the project up and add the override switch. In
any case, you should have NO problems completing this project in an
afternoon and an overnight adhesive curing time. You can always
append the features to your installation when I get them done myself
Here is a shot of what the interior light bar will look like when
finsihed. It's a shitty one but you get the idea.
The parts I used are shown below and as I said the LED strip came from
superbrightLEDs.com, but any supplier is fine.:
- Total cost for this additioin
is $16.94 not including shipping (1 ea @ $10.95,
strip and 1 ea Normally open magnetic alarm switch @ $5.99)
plus supples. Supplies being
adhesive, double-sided foam tape and electrical terminals and ty-wraps.
- Current draw for the strip lamp is about 40ma @ 12v.
They are waterproof but that is just a bonus since we will be inside
the box.. I got and love the
Warm White. It's color is VERY much like
The Cool white looks like a shop lite flourescent to me.
Plus one of these... Normally Open magnetic alarm switch. Note:
IT MUST BE NORMALLY OPEN TYPE.
You can get the magnetic switch at: http://www.smarthome.com/7040.html
Other supply items are:
3M double stick foam mounting tape or squares. (Don't use
and this stuff:
Got it at Lowes for $3.99 and it's pretty amazing stuff. It is
what we will bond the LED strip to the inside top of the ABS Honda box
Getting ready for the install
Now that you
have the LED bar in your choice of color and one of the Normally Open
100ma alarm switches lets do some prep.
First and always TEST THE LED ARRAY. You don't want to find out
you can't return a defect as shown below. LED 3 is very weak.
That one is going back. Good thing I have 10 more of them. hehe.
Now time to decide where to mount the strip. In my case it will
go just under the upper set of screws holding the trunk handle
on. See the next picture.
It could go along either of the two lips but I didn't want the LED bar
to be too close to the trunk lid seal gasket so I chose the upper ridge.
The plan is to use a strip of double stick foam tap along the led edge
and to use the adhesive to hold the bottom and outer side to the ABS
This will give me a nice solid but still flexible mount and the foam
tape will help to hold it all in place while the adhesive dries.
So first thing is to see where it will go and how much surface I have
to adhere with.
Since the LEDs are marked for color with colored dots, they make a
great location to pen a line even with the top of the lid ridge so I
know the seating depth.
Yellow white is the Warm White designation where just a white label
would be a Cool White designation.
Now to measure it and we know how wide to cut the foam tape strip for
the side. Looks like .200" or just under 1/4"
Now I use the locked setting on the dial calipers to mark a scribe dent
line on the backing of the foam tape as a guide.
Simply cut it along the dent line.
And apply it to the rear most edge of the side of the LED strip
that will be facing the back of the bike and the bar it will stick
Remember it's hanging up side down and I wanted wires out the left side
in my case.
Part 2, Prep is done, ready
for some fun...
The adhesive is a contact adhesive. You apply
adhesive to both mating surfaces and wait 5 minutes before sticking
Also remember that this doesn't have to be substantially thick and try
to keep the adhesive off of the tape as much as possible.
I used the dial calipers to clamp down on the LEDs at the end of the
strip to hold everything in place for gluing. Not actually taking
a measurement here.
Cut the tip at an anble at the last section and get ready to
Here is the URL on the adhesive product: http://www.jasco-help.com/products/other/01/index.html
Make a nice low bead, just enough to cover the surface while avoiding
the tape as much as possible. Then when done, leave it aside to
cure the 5 minutes while you do the mating side in the bike lid.
Before you do any gluing here, put down some plastic to catch the drips
which you WILL have before you add glue to the lid.
At this end you want to use the tip of the angle you cut to ensure you
don't get any glue along the ridge you want to stick the double stick
tape to when you seat the LED strip.
Run the thin bead and get out of the way. As I said it will drip
while waiting the 5 minute cure time.
After the 5 minute cure times, you are ready to join the gluing
surfaces. Make sure you have it centered and try to get the
double stick side to stick as you press the gluing surfaces together.
If you did it right, the double stick tape will hold it all
together. I added a piece of scotch tape across the strip to the
lid front to back to keep the middle from sagging in case the double
stick let loose for some reason.
I always hate to come back and find that sagging occured before the
drying finished. Looks pretty nice, eh?
As I was saying, I either had a little movement or I never got the near
side seated peoperly. No matter, it will work just as well that
Ok, now while that dries overnight, we need to mount our magnetic
switch and magnet as well as route the wiring from the LED to the
switch and power.
Here is the switch...
Remember that strip of double stick foam tape we cut the slit down for
the LED array? Well now we are ready to use the rest of it.
Stick the bottom of the magnet portion on the end of the strip and cut
it off flush at the end.
Do the same for the switch assembly but this time we also need it on
the side opposite it's terminal screws.
When you are done, we are ready to find where we want these.
It is not my intent to stay with the foam tape permanently but it is
ideal for positioning and relocation until you find where you want to
be with both parts.
Even so, you will probably never need more if you used the 3M stuff I
insist on using.
I chose the left side for everything because that is where I mounted my
main power terminal when I did my safe aux power mod on this bike.
Also that is where my amp and equalizer and holes for the new speaker
wire enter the box so it is a pretty easy choice for me.
Also, I want my LED illumination system to light whenever I open the
box lid, even with the key off, so I wanted that powered all the
time just like your car door light is.
All of that is available to me on the left side terminal strip.
If you have not done my safe aux power mod, you will need to find a
power source you can use.
This strip draws so little energy, you can hook it anyplace you have
the kind of power you want. to use, such as always on or switched with
This part should be flush at the top with the edge of the box it is
mounted to. Also once I make this permanent, I will add a strip
of double stick tape under the lip of the box, aligned even with the
tape I already have on the bottom of the switch and stick a small
platform of fiberglas to the bottom with a small amount of extra
material sticking out out so I have a place to mount an override switch
right there too. But for now, just stick the switch on using only
the side foam tape..
Now we have to determine mechanically the ideal opposite lid spot for
the magnet. The magnet should sit back about 1/8" (.125")
because the lid sits down in the rubber seal lower than the top edge of
Guess where that mating position should be and don't worry about where
the double stick tape ends up for now. After we find the
position, we will mark it and remount it more permanently.
Now while almost closing the lid, look through the box from the far
side to guage the alighnment and distance of the two parts.
I found it useful to go ahead and temporarily power the LED strip for
light inside the box for interior light.
If you have the pieces too close and you close the lid, the magnet side
will break free of the sticking point because the surface there is not
as smooth as it is on the box rim that the switch half is attached to.
Just re-position it again until you get it right. Now route the
wiring from the LED array. Start with a trip over to where the
outside light bar wiring comes in and use the cable clamps to feed your
Be sure to get your new wire between the existing wire and the plastic
coated outer or back side of the wire guides. That way you wont
have to worry about the metal rubbing throught our small wires.
When I am done, I'll secure the loose wiring between the light bar and
the first wiring clamp. I will follow the ridge that the LED bar
is attached to.
Further down I continue that apporach. Note the magnet on the
left of the lid in position.
At the bottom we follow the other wires through except in my case
I drop below the hinge and share a hole that was drilled for the
new speaker/amp system.
But you can make a small hole there with a drill if you need to from
the inside of the box. It won't leak water there because it's
behind the speaker support pod.
Nothing left to do but make the hookups and test the thing.
Your power supply raw (or switched) +12v power goes to one of the two
terminals on the alarm switch (doesn't matter which one).
Your LED + wire (copper colored) goes to the other alarm switch
Your LED - wire (silver colored) goes to the bike's ground someplace
(your choice). My safe aux power mod has both + and ground
available front and rear.
Next you test by hooking a voltmeter to the same terminals your LED +
and ground wires went. Then with the meter set to more than +15v
DC and on the outside so you can see the readings, slowly close the lid
on the meter probe wires. I use alagator clip leads for this since they
are much smaller than meter probes.
The voltage should be at +12v dc when the lid is lifted more than shown
in the picture below and 0Vdc when the lid is closed more than shown
The reason you have to do this is because if you don't have the LED bar
shutting off when the lid closes, you will run slowly down your battery.
It is the refrigerator light thing again.
This is one big reason why, later, I will add an indicator LED outside
the box and an override cutoff switch inside the box in the near future.
Here is what it will look like after dark when you get into the back
Works for me.
Oh, by the way, in the dark, you can the light leaking out the backof
the box just before the lid closes shining on the ground as the
light turns on and off so you can tell it's working right without using
Have fun kids. I try to.
As usual, let me know if you have any better suggestions or problems
mod project. I'd love to hear it.
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