DIY – Mysterious LED Trunk Light Replacement


Okay, so I get the feeling I’ve mentioned it on here before, albeit a long, long time ago, in a land far far away (okay maybe not that last part) that I drive a Mazda 6. Specifically a 2006 Mazda 6 S. The S version for non U.S. and Canada readers is a version only we get here in the States or Canada with the 3.0 Ford V6 engine. Mine also has the 5 speed manual gearbox. Fun to drive is an understatement.

Today I discovered something at least just barely. My trunk light died. Most likely due to my trunk mysteriously not being shut all the way for at least an entire night the day before. At first I barely noticed and had to do a double take when opening my trunk. For those of you not familiar with a Mazda 6, the trunk light is not very effective. In the wise words of one Mazda6club forum member, “We have a light in our trunk?”. The standard size 74 or T5 wedge bulb is rated at a paltry 9 lumens. And all 9 lumens struggle to get out because the translucent bulb cover blocks at least another 30% of light.

A common solution for people who want enough light to fry retinas in their trunk is installing LED light strips. This is very effective, looks great, and is a simple matter of wiring the strip by splicing or using a 74 adapter. I don’t want to splice. I like the discreet factory look. What I did was purchase a 74 T5 wedge style LED bulb off of Amazon. I had heard before that some people didn’t have great success with LED bulbs. Cue Borat for great success.

It turns out he's still selling on Amazon!

But according to the specs of the one I found on Amazon, the new one is supposed to produce a whopping 45 lumens of light. Now at first I figured that this was outlandish. I have had interesting dealings with LED sellers on Amazon before. I once messaged a seller who was selling Osprey Talon table coasters and LED bulbs together if you want to talk about weird. I highly suspect he didn’t speak English as a first language either, but I finally got the information out of him that he didn’t sell bulbs in pairs. Anyway, 45 lumens if true, sure would be nice. And then I realized, it was a 3 way firing SMD LED. That meant that each LED was producing at 15 lumens, so maybe not so outlandish. Anyway, I think I clicked check out about half an hour before writing this, so hopefully the bulb will be here soon so I can have a field day with it.

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