DIY Interior Lighting Additions - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Interior Lighting Additions

I have a "plain Jane" Pilot EX 2WD that I love dearly. But ever since I bought it, I wish it had more courtesy lighting. After seeing posts that folks like 104873 and cvsy24 made about adding rear door lights and illuminating the rear door Pilot Sill Accessory, as well as all the LED light changeover people are doing, I got inspired. The basic problem with an EX is that Honda does not install the wiring harnesses for all the extra courtesy lights typically found on the Touring and Elite models. So to find a power source I ordered two of the wire harness for the Illuminated Door Sill Trim kit (without the Pilot sill) and used that harness to plug into the 2-pin wires on both sides of the Pilot that are intended for the Illuminated Door Sill Trim kit and Illuminated Running Board Lights kit. Those 2-pin wires already on the Pilot are on such a short connection or else hidden so high up inside the dash that the accessory wiring harness is just about the only feasible way to use them. So that's what I did. I ordered the Accessory wire harnesses, cutoff a couple of factory 2-pin connections and replaced them with a more universal connection fitting. Then I ran other wiring inside the interior and doors to extra LED light and LED strip lighting, and ended up hooking those wires up to the modified Accessory wire harness. In the end it all worked like a charm. Here you can see some pics of the 2-pin wire connection in the drivers side of the dash, how I altered the accessory wiring harness and the simple LED strip lights that I used a lot.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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For the front doors I simply ordered a new clear lens to replace the dummy red reflector Honda installs on the EX, and used the light socket behind the red reflector to install a new LED bulb. Finding a bulb that fit was a trick since I didn't have the factory light socket on the end of the door panel wire harness. Believe it or not, I ended up using trailer clearance bulb. It was crude, but fit like a glove. Accepted the 168/195 bulb sockets too. Then I routed new wire inside the door and used a trailer light connection to hook up the light bulb leads. Every time I made an electrical connection I tested the wiring and lights with a 9 volt battery to make sure every thing worked okay. I didn't want to wait until I was all done to discover something didn't work properly. Added an LED strip light to the bottom of the door for ground illumination during the night when the door is opened.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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For the rear doors I simply added an LED strip light to the bottom of the door panel so that it illuminated the ground when the door was open. The hard part was running power to the door. The factory installed wire harness for the door's power windows & locks terminates in a sealed plug-in connection at the frame, so it is impossible to use the rubber door boot between the frame & door to add any wiring. I ended up using the Illuminated Running Board floor grommet by the front seat and ran the new rear door light wire under the frame. Also added a pic of the front door after all the lighting was hooked so you can see what it looks like finished.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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For the interior of the Pilot I used the same bulb locations that Honda uses above the drivers and passenger's foot wells (but obviously had no factory lights in them on my EX). Again I used short LED strip lights. Also added a strip light to the rear of the center console to help with the 2nd row seats. I really liked how that particular one turned out when it's dark. So that's it. All the lights come on when the doors open and shut off about 30 seconds after the doors are closed. Big improvement
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 11:04 AM
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Nice DIY, didn't realize the EX didn't have any of these lights, including those door lights!

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2hondas2 View Post
For the rear doors I simply added an LED strip light to the bottom of the door panel so that it illuminated the ground when the door was open. The hard part was running power to the door. The factory installed wire harness for the door's power windows & locks terminates in a sealed plug-in connection at the frame, so it is impossible to use the rubber door boot between the frame & door to add any wiring. I ended up using the Illuminated Running Board floor grommet by the front seat and ran the new rear door light wire under the frame. Also added a pic of the front door after all the lighting was hooked so you can see what it looks like finished.
Looks great!
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2hondas2 View Post
I have a "plain Jane" Pilot EX 2WD that I love dearly. But ever since I bought it, I wish it had more courtesy lighting. After seeing posts that folks like 104873 and cvsy24 made about adding rear door lights and illuminating the rear door Pilot Sill Accessory, as well as all the LED light changeover people are doing, I got inspired. The basic problem with an EX is that Honda does not install the wiring harnesses for all the extra courtesy lights typically found on the Touring and Elite models. So to find a power source I ordered two of the wire harness for the Illuminated Door Sill Trim kit (without the Pilot sill) and used that harness to plug into the 2-pin wires on both sides of the Pilot that are intended for the Illuminated Door Sill Trim kit and Illuminated Running Board Lights kit. Those 2-pin wires already on the Pilot are on such a short connection or else hidden so high up inside the dash that the accessory wiring harness is just about the only feasible way to use them. So that's what I did. I ordered the Accessory wire harnesses, cutoff a couple of factory 2-pin connections and replaced them with a more universal connection fitting. Then I ran other wiring inside the interior and doors to extra LED light and LED strip lighting, and ended up hooking those wires up to the modified Accessory wire harness. In the end it all worked like a charm. Here you can see some pics of the 2-pin wire connection in the drivers side of the dash, how I altered the accessory wiring harness and the simple LED strip lights that I used a lot.
That looks so cool. Where and what led light strip did you buy..... I have the light running boards, but truthfully speaking its not that much light on the ground.... Thanks and good work!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Where and what led light strip did you buy.

Walmart ! Bought a basic two pack of 12 inch strips for $19 and cut each one in half, which was enough for all 4 doors. Put a 6 inch strip under each door. A full 12 inches of LED lights was WAY too much light for my taste. Only used a 3 inch piece for the front foot well lights. Soldered the cut pieces with new wires, sealed the soldered joint with a touch of silicone and then covered the soldered/silicone end with heat shrink insulation tubing and/or electrical tape. Check polarity of the new wires with a 9 volt battery and presto you're done. I learned how watching strip lighting vids on YouTube. No joke.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 08:26 PM
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I wonder if they have white... something less blue
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:25 AM
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I just order 4 of these from superbrightleds. They are my go to for leds. Great customer service and warranty. I installed it above the 2nd row floor vents. I tapped into the center console storage light. For the fronts I tapped into the glove box light.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ight-black/25/
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 11:14 AM
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For the front doors I simply ordered a new clear lens to replace the dummy red reflector Honda installs on the EX, and used the light socket behind the red reflector to install a new LED bulb. Finding a bulb that fit was a trick since I didn't have the factory light socket on the end of the door panel wire harness. Believe it or not, I ended up using trailer clearance bulb. It was crude, but fit like a glove. Accepted the 168/195 bulb sockets too. Then I routed new wire inside the door and used a trailer light connection to hook up the light bulb leads. Every time I made an electrical connection I tested the wiring and lights with a 9 volt battery to make sure every thing worked okay. I didn't want to wait until I was all done to discover something didn't work properly. Added an LED strip light to the bottom of the door for ground illumination during the night when the door is opened.
Thanks for the post. I have an ex-l and didn't realize that it has a reflector instead of light. Very Creative on your end.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 08:07 AM
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Nicely done. Great job, awesome outcome and thanks for the contribution!

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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I just order 4 of these from superbrightleds. They are my go to for leds.

Shoot, I was looking for something like these mini's in the beginning but never found them. I like them better than what I used. Thanks for the link. Looking for an under-hood light now, so I sent superbrightleds an email to see what they have that tolerates heat before I just go an buy something this time.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:58 PM
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DIY Interior Lighting Additions

You did a great job!! Thank you for sharing this. I'm looking to add some lighting too in the foot wells. Going to use ATM mini add-a-fuse and a toggle switch maybe. I really want to try adding lights to the door, but im scared to death to take the door panels off. No guts... no glory >.< going to analyze your post more thoroughly. Im sure I'll have questions. =D thank you again...


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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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I really want to try adding lights to the door, but im scared to death to take the door panels off.

Yes, I found it very intimidating to do the first time as well, but it is fairly easy actually. I read this Paul guy a lot, as well as YouTube "how to" car videos as well


Honda Pilot Interior Door Panels Removal Guide - 2009 To 2015 Model Years - Picture Illustrated Automotive Maintenance DIY Instructions


'16 is very similar, except I did not bother taking off the sail panel and the whole door handle mechanism snaps off from the inside without bothering to remove the metal cables. Worse part is breaking one of those plastic snap-in clips, but the local dealer always seems to have a cheap supply.
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