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Discussion Starter #1
I know this has been discussed before regarding the backup lights and the fact that the backup camera is absolutely useless at night. VLEDs has that license plate kit but it's not available and I saw where someone expressed concern over the amperage draw.

Being that I'm into custom fabrication, my thought was to build a license plate holder with integrated LEDs inside small reflectors. Sockets would be installed behind them and the lenses would be sealed.

My question lies in what bulbs or LEDs could be wired into the factory backup light wires, and how many could I run. I have LED towers in my wife's '10 Camry and the backup camera is awesome at night. I could certainly use 921s, but I'm wondering if there is a more efficient size. That said, a small LED strip or bar could be used as well, but again I'm just not familiar with the electrical side of things.

Any ideas?
 

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Well, if you want to improve the camera vision at night, what you need are just a few IR (infrared) led. Not sure how you would mount them but many dash cameras have ir led for better night footage.
 

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Well, if you want to improve the camera vision at night, what you need are just a few IR (infrared) led. Not sure how you would mount them but many dash cameras have ir led for better night footage.
Hmmm...I'll have to look into that. Something I'm considering is using a 10" Morimoto light bar and wiring that directly to the battery and using an inline switch to the dash, or inline relay to the backup lights for signal. I like the idea of them automatically turning on as backup lights, but I also like the idea of being able to turn them on if I happen to be doing something behind the vehicle if I'm out camping or hiking. I've sent an email to TRS to get their advice on the wiring. But I'll look into the IR LEDs. Thanks for the tip.
 

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I installed a LED bar a few years ago, right above the license plate and wired into the reverse lights. No issues and it still works perfect, but it's still a very mediocre picture even with the extra lighting. It's better than without the light but still isn't even close to the quality of every other vehicle I've owned with a backup cam.
 

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I installed a LED bar a few years ago, right above the license plate and wired into the reverse lights. No issues and it still works perfect, but it's still a very mediocre picture even with the extra lighting. It's better than without the light but still isn't even close to the quality of every other vehicle I've owned with a backup cam.
I've gone through that thread several times. That's really what prompted me to look further into this. Being the goon I am, I thought nah, some 921 LED towers will do the trick. Then I looked closer at the backup light and realized that the way it's pointed, no way in hell any type of high output bulb is going to fix the problem.

Something I thought of with the LED bar on top of the license plate is, it's vertically aligned with the backup camera lens, at least for the standard view, which is what I primarily use. I know with flashlights, holding the light just to the right of your eyes gives you some splatter if there's any humidity whereas holding it off-axis from your line of sight seems to work better. Same concept as fog lights. So I don't know if that has anything to do with it, or if the glare from the bar somehow makes it difficult to see.

The 10" Morimoto LED bar supposedly throws out ~3,600 lumens, which is pretty substantial. My idea is to rig it either under the bumper out of sight, or possibly try to fabricate a license plate frame that would hold it in place at the top or bottom without looking totally absurd. It could be done no problem, but making it look anything but silly is going to be the real challenge. I feel like 3,600 lumens would be sufficient to make the backup camera a little more useful. At 40 watts, it obviously needs a direct connection to the battery, but whether or not a relay could be wired into the backup lights is debatable. Of course, I don't mind switching it on manually if I need it at night, plus have the option to run it without being in reverse. If I could do both, would be neat, but that would require a lot of electrical knowledge that I just don't have.

I'm going to take my time with this one though as it would be a very effective mod. I'll probably swamp in 4TL-Rs for the low beams in the meantime. I'm all about lighting here. Lol.
 

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I've read all the posts in regards to the back up camera as well.

Yea, I've seen some guys here with LED's under the rear bumper or trailer lights. They don't look attractive. But they work. My wife is complaining that she can't see anything at all. Especially when I changed the license plate bulbs to LED with the white MDX it's even worst because of the rear white bumper reflection to the backup camera. All we can see is the white rear bumper and complete darkness.

I've seen people mentioning about these a "Gazer CAS84-L Car Rear-view Backup Camera License Plate Light Mount for Acura MDX/Acura RDX/Honda Accord VII/Honda Accord VI/Honda Pilot" on Amazon for $10. I personally don't see how we can mount these on my 2011 MDX. Anybody here used them before? *Sorry I can't post link due to my new account.

Sorry, not trying to high jack your thread. But I've subscribed your thread hopefully you can come up with a better looking alternative @PrismKing
 

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I've read all the posts in regards to the back up camera as well.

Yea, I've seen some guys here with LED's under the rear bumper or trailer lights. They don't look attractive. But they work. My wife is complaining that she can't see anything at all. Especially when I changed the license plate bulbs to LED with the white MDX it's even worst because of the rear white bumper reflection to the backup camera. All we can see is the white rear bumper and complete darkness.

I've seen people mentioning about these a "Gazer CAS84-L Car Rear-view Backup Camera License Plate Light Mount for Acura MDX/Acura RDX/Honda Accord VII/Honda Accord VI/Honda Pilot" on Amazon for $10. I personally don't see how we can mount these on my 2011 MDX. Anybody here used them before? *Sorry I can't post link due to my new account.

Sorry, not trying to high jack your thread. But I've subscribed your thread hopefully you can come up with a better looking alternative @PrismKing
The trailer lights are awful. My idea for under the bumper actually involves a cutout in the vinyl to make it look seamless, but would be effective. Would probably hide it behind some type of mesh film that would let most of the light thru, but would hide it fairly well. The other idea is to mount dual bars under the spoiler on either side of the third brake light, but I'd rather not. I've been staring at the back side of the vehicle trying to brainstorm ideas. I'll figure it out eventually. One of the guys from TRS confirmed that I could wire the Morimoto bars up to be signaled by the factory backup wires, but run a straight wire to the battery for power.
 

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I was looking as my '11 MDX last night as well. You know there is that cover on the bottom in the middle of the rear bumper. Since I can't post pictures or links, BUT what if you cut part of the cover off and add a Scion FRS reverse light? Have you seen the FRS reverse lights, they are on the bottom on the rear bumper. That would look pretty clean. Not sure if that will be bright enough. Sorry, just giving you more ideas. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was looking as my '11 MDX last night as well. You know there is that cover on the bottom in the middle of the rear bumper. Since I can't post pictures or links, BUT what if you cut part of the cover off and add a Scion FRS reverse light? Have you seen the FRS reverse lights, they are on the bottom on the rear bumper. That would look pretty clean. Not sure if that will be bright enough. Sorry, just giving you more ideas. =)
No it's definitely a start. I looked at it more closely and realized that piece is removable. No reason I couldn't do something with that. Thanks!
 
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