2017 CX-5 cargo area LED strip mod

2017 CX-5 Touring
About 5 weeks now with my 2017 Touring CX-5 and loving it. One of the few things that have found disappointing is the cargo area illumination. Guess not alone given Big Sur cargo area LED panel kit reviewed here https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?123862821-Big-Sur-Auto-Cargo-Area-LED-Panel-Kit

As well as a couple of very nicely documented mods:
and I'm probably missing some other relevant ones.

As understand the Big Sur kit only fits models up to 2016, and given my CX-5 <1,500 miles and thus not ready to rip the gate or side trims, have been tinkering with the idea of enhancing the cargo area lightning at a low price and with the less effort possible. I just wrapped up a couple of hours installing a LED strip affixed to the bottom part of the tonneau cover I already had, powered via USB from the 2nd row center module (included with preferred package) and happy with what I'm seeing.

Cover is 34" wide, while LED strip is 59" long. Initially had thought to affix LED strip to the bottom of the cover the full 34" and bend it towards the front on both sides (hence each side getting 12.5" of dual LEDs -bottom and front of cover), while the center area would have had a single row 9" long (just in the bottom of the cover). However, bending the strip wasn't easy, increased thickness on the couple of turns on each side and stressed the areas near the turns hence challenging adhesive. After a couple of attempts ended up trimming the LED strip and just affixing 34" to the bottom of the cover.

  • LED strip, not installed & off CX-5 LED strip off.JPG
  • LED strip, not installed, bundled and on CX-5 LED strip bundled on.JPG
  • Cargo area with LEDs off CX-5 cargo - no light - hires.JPG
  • Cargo area with lift gate LED on (replaced standard bulb by LED, one of my very first attempts to enhance lightning) CX-5 cargo - lift gate LED hires.JPG
  • Cargo area with LED strip on CX-5 cargo - tonneau LED strip hires.JPG
The USB end of the strip is routed towards center seat, affixed to cover front with double sided tape. The power button is also affixed in front of the cover, just behind leftmost headrest. The USB extension is powered by the USB module on the center seat, routed the cable underneath upholstery towards top side of the seat and exits via the loop that releases center passenger backset. That way, if I'm folding the center seat or removing the tonneau cover, is just a matter of unplugging the USB connectors on top of the back seat and voil.

I realize not 100% ideal as won't lit up automatically upon opening the lift gate and need to remember to unplug the strip from the rest of the car if removing the cover or folding the center seat. But for less than $20 and a couple of hours work, I'm satisfied with the outcome. And yes, better remember to turn strip off when done, or could drain car's battery.


San Dimas CA
2014 CX-5 Touring
You could install a switch inline, that would cut the power, when the hatch is opened. The ones use for the hood, when installing an alarm system. Or, you could go fency, with a mercury switch.