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Great LED Rear Dome Light Upgrade for Gen6

2580 Views 44 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  chvvkumar
Big thanks to these forums. I found an old thread that suggested a $14 LED bulb to replace the conventional old-style bulb in the rear dome in my 2020 Outback Limited XT. This thing works like a champ and only required swapping bulbs, nothing else. Easy. It comes in a two-pack and I’m giving the spare to a friend who has a 2022 OB. This particular friend had the conventional bulb drain her battery twice because she didn’t realize the rear dome was left on. That will never be a problem with this sucker. It is bright and matches the color temperature of all the other interior lights. Anyway, it’s an inexpensive upgrade and easy install I recommend, thanks to the recommendations of this website. Below is a link to the product on Amazon and a pic of my well-illuminated cargo area. Thanks, again!
Car Automotive lighting Hood Vehicle Automotive tire


iBrightstar Newest 9-30V Super Bright Error Free 921 T15 912 W16W LED Bulbs with Projector Replacement for Back Up Reverse Lights, Truck Cargo Lights, 3rd Brake Lights, Xenon White https://a.co/d/15Qd8bG
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2022 Outback Touring 2.5
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@HKshooter "Bulbs work well, I'm tempted to get a set for the reverse lights." You should have an extra bulb, right? Put it in one of the reverse lights and take a look - you'll be even more surprised! Then go buy another two-pack!
Can you use the same LED bulb for the cargo as for the reversing lights? That'd be very useful as I've sourced the reverse led bulbs here and could just get another couple for the cargo area

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2023 Outback Onyx XT
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3,994 Posts
Can you use the same LED bulb for the cargo as for the reversing lights? That'd be very useful as I've sourced the reverse led bulbs here and could just get another couple for the cargo area

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Yeah on model years before 2023, the reverse lights and the cargo area use the same bulbs. You'll need three, two for the reverse and one for cargo light. I originally bought the iBrightstar LEDs linked in this thread back in 2020 and they were still going strong.
 

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2022 Outback Wilderness
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63 Posts
Yeah on model years before 2023, the reverse lights and the cargo area use the same bulbs. You'll need three, two for the reverse and one for cargo light. I originally bought the iBrightstar LEDs linked in this thread back in 2020 and they were still going strong.
@chvvkumar "reverse lights" are "backup lights", right? Glad to know it's the same LED. Will give this a go. Thank you!
 

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2022 Outback Wilderness
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63 Posts
Hmm I should check all our interior lights as the OEM LED light upgrade package was one of the things we splurged for when we got our 2022 OBW.
Our 2022 OBW also had LED light upgrade package. Did not include cargo light, vanity mirror lights (never use anyway) or apparently backup lights. Cargo lighting vastly improved with LED. Will know on backup lights next week when bulbs arrive. Thankfully the backup lights are way easier to access than the rear turn signals!
 

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2022 Touring XT Autumn Green Metallic
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35 Posts
As soon as I saw the first post I ordered the same bulb. What a great and cheap upgrade. Took all of 60 seconds. If anyone thinks you might like this upgrade just do it. Big improvement. My wife has an ascent and the tiny little light on the side of the cargo area on the ascent must have been about 3 lumen🙄. I used the 2nd bulb from the pack to upgrade her cargo area too—it just barely fit on the ascent but it worked.
 

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2022 Outback Touring 2.5
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90 Posts
Yeah on model years before 2023, the reverse lights and the cargo area use the same bulbs. You'll need three, two for the reverse and one for cargo light. I originally bought the iBrightstar LEDs linked in this thread back in 2020 and they were still going strong.
Aah, just checked and my cargo area light (UK 2022 touring) has this fitting. Looks like it already has 2 LED bulbs.
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2022 Outback Limited XT
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912 Posts
@HKshooter "Bulbs work well, I'm tempted to get a set for the reverse lights." You should have an extra bulb, right? Put it in one of the reverse lights and take a look - you'll be even more surprised! Then go buy another two-pack!
No, I put the second bulb in my wife's car's cargo light. We have his and hers 2022 OB Limited cars.
I did just order a second set for my reverse lights.
 

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2022 Outback Premium 2.5
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822 Posts
I ordered the LEDs that Z-Town recommended in the first post in this thread and I’ll add to the comments saying these are a worthwhile purchase and easy to install. Cargo light takes about 30 seconds, BU lights a few minutes longer, but still easy. Very bright!
 

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2022 Outback Limited XT
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912 Posts
Just installed these. Tips, the plastic panel you must remove to access the socket seems tricky, like you may break it. A flat screw driver on the slot then pry up the middle. This will unlock the center hook. Hold the opening open with a finger and slide the screw driver to either side where you'll find the next hook. Push the screw driver in to unlock the hook while prying up that spot. It will unlock, then move to the corner and do the same. Repeat on the other side. Once the hooks along the slotted side are loose the panel will hinge open and fall out.

The bulb socket turns counter clockwise to unlock about a quarter turn. Remove socket and pull out old bulb. Insert new bulb.
The LED is substantially longer than the old OEM bulb and this makes it hard to get the socket turned around to get inserted back into the housing. Be careful not to damage wires when doing this. There's a retainer clip for the wiring next to the socket. Removing the wire from this retainer will give you a little more room to work with.

Hinge the panel back into place while carefully aligning the hooks and slots. Cover panel simply snaps back in.
 

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Yes. Further up is a link to a $14 LED replacement. OEM is about $22. If you want the most lighting intensity for your effort, this is link to $25 Diode Dynamics 210 Lumens LED replacement: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HSNB7FF?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
@HKshooter "Bulbs work well, I'm tempted to get a set for the reverse lights." You should have an extra bulb, right? Put it in one of the reverse lights and take a look - you'll be even more surprised! Then go buy another two-pack!
Just installed these. Tips, the plastic panel you must remove to access the socket seems tricky, like you may break it. A flat screw driver on the slot then pry up the middle. This will unlock the center hook. Hold the opening open with a finger and slide the screw driver to either side where you'll find the next hook. Push the screw driver in to unlock the hook while prying up that spot. It will unlock, then move to the corner and do the same. Repeat on the other side. Once the hooks along the slotted side are loose the panel will hinge open and fall out.

The bulb socket turns counter clockwise to unlock about a quarter turn. Remove socket and pull out old bulb. Insert new bulb.
The LED is substantially longer than the old OEM bulb and this makes it hard to get the socket turned around to get inserted back into the housing. Be careful not to damage wires when doing this. There's a retainer clip for the wiring next to the socket. Removing the wire from this retainer will give you a little more room to work with.

Hinge the panel back into place while carefully aligning the hooks and slots. Cover panel simply snaps back in.
I used the Quote #1 DD bulbs for backup, for a much better and broader light pattern in the camera, but using the interior rearview mirror is still hard as the rear window is just too tinted.

When I changed mine, I did what HKShooter recommended and tried the LED in one and the old incandescent in the other. I also did that with a Sylvania Zevo LED. The Zevo was better than the 921 bulb, but the the DiodeDynamics is much better than the Zevo. The Sylvania Zevo LED, because of its design, created a rectangular beam that was very narrow. It was like the difference between a driving beam and a pencil beam front auxilliary light. The Zevos are perfect as maplights in my 1997 Ford Ranger.

The part about removing the old 921 backup bulb and inserting the new longer LED is dead on. Subaru has the wires TIGHTLY tied down with minimal slack and it was impossible to feed a bit of the wire for more slack without cutting the zip-ties. WIth the awkward positioning, cutting the ziptie risks cutting wire insulation. Fortunately, with very careful observation it will fit but just barely. I was concerned that if it rubbed the edge of hte socket going in, it might chip off one of the tiny LED chips. Once insde the housing it has lots of room.

For the rear cargo area I used the smaller DiodeDynamics HP5 LED that I used for the puddle lights. It is better than the stock 921 incandescent, but not blindingly bright to kill night vision. I also found that the cargo shade blocked the light but I used a small oval LED light that attached with velcro to the underside of the cargo cover rail. It uses a single AAA battery and you just push the lens to turn it on. Avoid a Duracell battery as the heat in a car will make the already leak-prone Duracells leak even faster. However, those small stick-on lights come in packs of 4, 6, or 12, so no big deal.
 

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2020 Abyss Blue Pearl OB XT
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413 Posts
Big thanks to these forums. I found an old thread that suggested a $14 LED bulb to replace the conventional old-style bulb in the rear dome in my 2020 Outback Limited XT. This thing works like a champ and only required swapping bulbs, nothing else. Easy. It comes in a two-pack and I’m giving the spare to a friend who has a 2022 OB. This particular friend had the conventional bulb drain her battery twice because she didn’t realize the rear dome was left on. That will never be a problem with this sucker. It is bright and matches the color temperature of all the other interior lights. Anyway, it’s an inexpensive upgrade and easy install I recommend, thanks to the recommendations of this website. Below is a link to the product on Amazon and a pic of my well-illuminated cargo area. Thanks, again!
View attachment 557998

iBrightstar Newest 9-30V Super Bright Error Free 921 T15 912 W16W LED Bulbs with Projector Replacement for Back Up Reverse Lights, Truck Cargo Lights, 3rd Brake Lights, Xenon White https://a.co/d/15Qd8bG
Might to try the led bulbs. Others talked about them three years ago, but sone said their curcuit board went haywire with the change?
 

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2017 Outback
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How do I know for sure that the bulb from the link will work in my 2017 Outback?
Also, just spent $50 for wipers from Subaru, and they're leaving streaks across my windshield. I can't return them.
Which wipers do you guys like?
Thanks!
 
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