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New illumination for Avanti trunk...

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I've always felt the trunk light in an Avanti left something to be desired...it only illuminated one side of the trunk and if it had any age, the protective lens over the bulb has usually become frosted or a milky white in appearance, diluting the light even more. I also didn't like leaving the light burning for extended periods at car shows when the trunk is required to be left open. Today's technology has provided an alternative.

I thought the LED light strips used by so many people driving custom cars could be adapted for trunk lights easily...and they can. They come in various lengths and colors. I chose white lights for practical reasons...blue and red wouldn't do for my purposes...especially since my trunk has black carpeting. My '70 Avanti has the rear window defogger taking up a lot of space in the middle so a long LED strip wouldn't work, so I chose two 5" light strips...one for each side of the defogger motor.

The two LED strips have adhesive on their back with a peel away cover. The fiberboard that makes up the car's rear deck doesn't make for a good surface for the strips to adhere to, I also added some contact cement on them and positioned them on each side of the defogger motor. I ran the wiring along with the defogger wiring and wrapped a nylon tie around them to keep the in place. I disconnected the 12V power lead from the stock trunk light and tied the hot leads for the LED strips to the hot line. I connected the ground leads to the mercury switch that makes and breaks ground for the trunk light. I replaced the stock trunk light where it belongs, but it it's no longer connected. The LED lights work just fine...they distribute the light evenly throughout the trunk, rather than just on one side. They make for less electrical draw and heat. If it wasn't for the defogger motor in the way I could have used an 18" or 24" LED strip which could provide even more light.

I can always add two more 5" strips and tie them in if I feel I need more light in the trunk but I don't believe it will be necessary. I'm also considering doing the same thing in the glove box.

Depending on where one buys the LED strips (I got mine at Pep Boys), it was less than a $25 investment for better lighting in the trunk. It was maybe an hour's worth of work, and I work slow.

Here are the photos I took before the installation, the light strips as they come packaged, and after they were installed.






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