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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
14yrs dealing with the poor cargo area lighting at night finally put to rest. Figured I'd share as I found it much easier to do and even within my normal mod standards.
1. Had to do minimal modification to any body panel, plastic, etc.
2. Make use of existing light for a power connection and possibly a switch
3. Bonus, do this without buying anything new (scavenge parts from my workbench and other projects)

Pretty straight forward. Basically the top middle trim paneling pops down easily, you really only need to loosen the left 3 or 4 body panel connectors. Just pull down gently and they will pop right out. I stopped around the middle rear seatbelt area.

Gently pull the rubber weather seal off the left side of the hatch, near where the lift strut is. It is just pressure fit on there and will pop back on easily later.

Pull out the existing light assembly to give a little more room for access though I ultimately used a glow rod to help fish the wire down and behind the light assembly area.

Wiring was really straight forward, so much so I didn't bother taking a picture. Essentially use your meter at the 2 small tab connections where the factory light is connected. I believe on mine the outer most pin was positive and the middle was negative, but ONLY when the switch was toggled to turn off the stock light. This was a bonus for me as I wouldn't need the extra light all the time so why not make it a toggle.

I ended up using 1 of the leftover undercabinet LED lights I put into our kitchen. EShine is the brand. I may swap it out for a daylight color but for now, the 3000k will suffice. These are 12" long, about 1/4" tall, and maybe 5/8" wide. These are also a gray/silver and black color combo which matches the stone gray interior. These lights are 12v and use a small barrel connector.

I used 2 small scraps of metal as a brace that locks down under the middle trim paneling. I think these were from some recessed lights that had some adapters for 5" cans. The lights had 3m double-sided tape which I used but I also ended up putting in 2 small screws since the tape wasn't liking the summer heat. To prevent the screws from digging into the headliner I cut all but 1/8" of the thread and hot glued the plastic insert which normally would go on the front of the light to hide the screws.

Rectangle Automotive exterior Bumper Gadget Fluorescent lamp

Rectangle Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Font


The metal catches under the rear trim panel and when you press that up it locks the entire thing into place.
The wire is just tucked behind the panel, routed up from the existing cargo light area.
Hood Fixture Automotive design Automotive exterior Rim


Lastly the results. This was at dusk, maybe 8pm so it wasn't entirely dark but enough you can see the difference.
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Head restraint Personal luxury car

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design Car seat cover
 

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2006 LE
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Thanks for sharing!!
 

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2009 Sienna LE
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195 Posts
Yes, agreed. And thanks for all of the details. I realized that I have a good bit of LED strip lighting laying around if I ever want to do this. I love how you tied it in to the cargo light switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, agreed. And thanks for all of the details. I realized that I have a good bit of LED strip lighting laying around if I ever want to do this. I love how you tied it in to the cargo light switch.
Honestly I sort of wanted them both to synchronize toggle but that would have required a bit of changing some wires on the light module. Since the switch merely interrupts either the positive or negative connection and forces it to the other switch solder tab point which turned out to be a nice touch of toggling between the two lights. The switch has 3 solder connections but 1 of those didn't have anything connected and I couldn't detect any voltage despite the switch selection.

As with the base light, everything on there will turn off if you toggle the door light switch on the dash.

Turns out I could swap this out with a daylight version if I wanted. The one in the picture is a 3000k. Found just the 6000k bulb assembly which isn't overly pricey. https://www.amazon.com/EShine-Under-Cabinet-Lighting-Panel/dp/B01K17MHTS/qid=1655766376&sr=8-6
 
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