Big Sur Auto Cargo Area LED Panel Kit

2019 CX-5 Signature (previously 2016 CX-5 GT)
Apologies if this product already has an existing threadI searched but didnt seem to find one.

If like me you prefer not cutting into the vehicle for a custom cargo area LED light upgrade, there are now at least two prefab products available.

I installed one of these LED panel cargo light kits this week, and am very happy with it. In both kits, the light panels snap into two existing spaces on the cargo hatch door trim in place of the blank OEM trim. I prefer the design of this first linked one, so that's the one I purchased and installed: (commissions earned)

I felt I didnt need the individual switches on the other similar product from MIT, and just dont feel it is visually as nice looking: (commissions earned)

Here is a somewhat helpful (if at times overly long in the wiring portionsskip forward!) installation video on a 2014 CX-5 for the Big Sur product IMG_0211.JPG IMG_0204.JPG IMG_0205.JPG IMG_0208.JPG IMG_0209.JPG :

Whats nice is that for at least the 2016 MY, no need to run the wiring up into the car, as our OEM cargo light is on the hatch itself instead of the inner cargo area side trim. The associated trim removal is pretty easy, and just with the need to disconnect the OEM light connector. The hardest part for me was the removal of the hand pull cup. Just wasnt clear how to get it out at first (it snaps out with more force than I expected, but it doesnt feel like it is going to release). Unlike some other areas of the car, the re-installation of the trim is straightforward and there are no tricky fitments to deal with.

The kit I purchased came with two lengthy wiring harnesses (necessary for the earlier model years with the inside light), a Y-shaped one and a straight piece with an in-line fuse that connects to the first. To avoid potential rattling from excess wire and a lot of cable ties, I hand measured the distance I needed to cover from where the Y harness connects to the LED panels, and then from that center spot to the location of the OEM light module on the door. I shortened the Y-piece (which removed the connector), and then also cut down the straight wiring to a rather short portion to include the fuse. I then spliced those two together, and used enough cable ties to secure the wiring to the existing looms.

While the trim was off, I popped out the OEM light module, and removed the blank panels which the LED kit would replace. I then reinstalled the trim after the kit wiring was in place, letting the new LED panel connectors dangle through the openings and the bare wire end hang through the OEM light trim opening. After the trim was back securely, I connected the new LED panels and snapped them into place, and then pushed the bare wiring ends through the slots on the OEM light module (twisted them together temporarily to avoid them pulling out again) and reinstalled the OEM light assembly.

While I already had a LED bulb in the OEM cargo light, I didnt want to chance stressing the rear BCM, so I removed that LED bulband the Amazon kit product listing notes the removal of the OEM cargo bulb as recommended. I also didnt want to futz with the wiring, so instead of using vampire taps I purchased a Festoon adapter from Amazon to which I wired the end of the kit harness. Hard to find those adapters sold individually, so I just bought a cheap (<$7) LED light kit that included the adapter.

Long story short, the panels are a perfect, flush fit as you can see from the photos, and the lighting level is much improved in the cargo area during the evening/night (see photo with beach chair). Also, given the placement to the outer edges, anyone standing there is less likely to block the light than from the more center-located 2016 OEM hatch light.

The only thing Im a bit meh on is the fact you can see the individual LED bulbs quite clearly through the smoked transparent plastic when off, and more obviously when on. Id love to find a diffusing film or a way to frost the plastic to make that a bit less obvious, and to also perhaps diffuse the light a bit more when turned on. Oh, reminds me--you may need to adjust the panel's wiring after installation if ends up visible through the non-backed portion of the light panel. I had to do that on one side.
2019 CX-5 Signature (previously 2016 CX-5 GT)
Wow, your saying that pic of the beach chair is in a dark garage, with no flash or other lights on? If so, dang! That's impressive.

Yes, but photo was taken with a newer iPhone camera so that's also going to make it look "brighter" than the actual human eye. Here's another one with nothing in the trunk and no lights on with the garage door shut, but same caveat.


Regardless, still much more light than the 2016 OEM light, and even after I replaced that bulb with a SuperLED bright white one.