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Kia
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After installing a set of LED trunk lights in my R32 I thought I’d do the same to the Optima, even though its stock lighting was MUCH better than in the VW. Looking at the mounting locations under the back deck it appeared the same 50cm water resistant strip I bought previously would fit perfectly.

Parts
WFLS-NW30-BK Weatherproof LED Flexible Light Strip, 50cm, Natural White
22-18 AWG 1/4in Male Push On Connector (Qty = 2)
Wire loom or heat shrink (optional)
Tie-wrap (optional)

Tools: Wire stripper/crimp tool, multimeter (optional)
Time: 15-30 minutes
Cost: $18.34

Installation
  • Remove stock trunk light and disconnect power cable.
  • Crimp on both ¼” male connectors to LED pigtail wiring. If you use the ones from Superbrightleds.com you’ll need to trim away the plastic from the connector (not the crimp part) in order for it to fit into the stock wiring harness. Note: I used some I had from Radio Shack that didn't have the plastic cover over the connector.
  • Route wires through back deck to stock power source. Pay attention to wiring polarity and check with a voltage meter if you are not sure.
  • Remove the paper from the adhesive 3M tape on the LED strip and press firmly to underside of deck.
  • Tuck wires and tie wrap if necessary. Re-install stock truck light back into original location for safe keeping.
  • Marvel at your work and the glow of LED lights!

Notes:
the pigtail wire that comes with the LEDs is just long enough to the stock wiring harness so be careful how you route your cable and where you stick the LEDs. The LEDs I chose were 3528s but they have 5050 that should work. The reason I didn't chose the 5050s was that the 3528 were more than bright enough, I like the black circuit look, and most importantly they're incased in a rubber coating which not only makes them water resistant but is pretty tough. You could probably whack it with a hammer and it would survive. I used a piece of heatshrink to protect the wires from rubbing against the metal edges in the trunk but wire loom or electrical tape would work fine. Not shown but I want to secure the wire with a tie-wrap for good measure.

The pictures were taken this evening around 6:30pm. It wasn't completely dark outside but the trunk shot is a good representation of how bright they are. Blows the stock light away. Probably the easiest and cheapest upgrade I've done and one of the most useful. Enjoy!!














 

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2012 Kia Optima
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418 Posts
I like it good idea I'd do it if I actually had space but I have 2 12's back there


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2012 Optima SX SX
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587 Posts
I like it! Very bright and useful. You linked the male connector twice though instead of linking the LED strip.
 

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798 Posts
Great idea. Even with a led bulb replacement the trunk lighting is bad.
 

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110 Posts
looks good. I never even thought about replacing the stock bulbs in the trunk with LEDs...hmn.....does anyone know what bulb they use?

also, as an aside, I wonder if those speaker mounts could be mounted to the LX base model Optimas to give the car a better sound.....
 

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Former Administrator
2011 K5 Turbo
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6,926 Posts
Nice work. I think I may do this, seeing as it's actually worth the effort. You'd thank yourself the next time you got a flat at night on the side of a highway. :lol: If nothing else, it would make a great signal beacon for Kia Roadside Assistance.
 

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2012 Optima SX SX
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587 Posts
I did mine but in red. I got mine from DiodeDynamics for free with all the diode points I had. I also have the regular trunk light housing still powered and have a red LED festoon bulb in there.
Here's the pictures:

 
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