Auxiliary dome light install

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Apr 14, 2017
I’ve always wished my reading lights would turn on when the dome lights turn on—seems like having all the lights way back in the 2nd row is suboptimal.

Then I got a Raingler attic rack. Then I put coats in it and thought “Well, that completely obscures the already suboptimal lighting….”

So I started scheming on ways to get more light. Here’s where I landed.

Stuff needed:

1. A light. I used the 9 LED one--they have a 15 LED one that's the same dimensions.

2. Heavy duty adhesive-backed Velcro--I have a giant roll of this stuff. For this project, you only need the pokey strip, not the fuzzy strip, as that function is fulfilled by the headliner.

3) Wire. I used this: 20 Gauge 2 Conductor Electrical... Amazon product

4) Wire strippers. I used these: Klein Tools 11055 Wire Cutter and... Amazon product

5) P2 screwdriver

Open up the dome light/dvd housing (5 T10 screws, three of which hide under little rubber hats in the area revealed when the screen folds down, and two of which are hiding under the dome light lens--pic below doesn't show the two screws closest to the leading edge of the DVD player) then pull down on the dome light switch to pop it off, then pull down on the housing and you’re done) On mine there are three wires—red, black, and green leading to the dome light switch. I did some multimetering and determined that red is 12V, and green is a switched ground.


(Pull fuse 56 in the passenger fuse panel.)

Remove a 1/4” ish bit of insulation from the red and green wires, poke a gap into the exposed wired, and insert new wire ends into those holes—twist and tape.


Run the wires, using a coat hanger, after removing the driver’s side middle row grab handle to free up some space, out to the side of the headliner, then around the A/C vent and then up to the A-pillar, being careful to tuck the wire up in the headliner far enough that it won’t interfere with the side curtain airbag.



Then up above the front of the windshield to the reading night/sunglasses holder console—one P2 screw and pull down. Connect wires to LED pigtails. Route wires to front edge of console. Stick light to headliner using Velcro (I got the idea from my morale patches), close as you can to where the housing will go to minimize unsightly exposed wires.



Click housing back into place. Replace fuse. Test! Once the switch on the light is in the "on" position, the light comes on/off with the dome lights--so nice to be able to see the freaking front seat area when I unlock the doors.


Button up dome light housing, and you're done.
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one more shot showing the wires and the housing….
PS—with LEDs in place of all incandescent interior bulbs, this will draw way, way less than OEM interior lights, even once I add another aux light on the rear hatch. All should be perfectly happy on this circuit.
Yeah, not a retina-scorcher, but it is exactly 176 more lumens than the front seat area had before. It’s plenty bright, even on the dim setting, imho—at least as bright as the dome light itself (with LeDs), and positioned to compliment the light from the 2nd row.

Just installed today, but doesn’t seem like I’ll even need even the 176--it's plenty easy to see even on dim (75 lumens or something?). Will post back here if I decide it’s just too dim.

NL also makes a 15-LED light with the same footprint that has 350, for anyone who thinks they’d be groping their way forward with this one.

On dim:
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Well put together guide. Thanks for sharing.

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