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2016 Explorer Hideaway Bulbs / LED's / Strobes

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorers - Tuning & Mods' started by NickyB, September 5, 2016.

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  1. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    Hey everyone, I've been unable to find anything regarding hideaway bulbs in a 2016 Explorer. I was looking to add the hideaways in the tail lights in 1 of 2 locations; I was hoping someone has drilled into these before and knows more of what to expect once going through the first layer of plastic.

    I've been looking at Feniex's Cannon 120 and Cannon 360 (same exact light, different internal reflector.)
    -http://www.feniex.com/cannon-120
    -http://www.feniex.com/cannon-360
    The 120 is meant to be viewed head on, meaning it would need to be drilled in from the back of the tail light assembly. The 360 is meant to be viewed from the side, so it would need to be drilled in from the side of the assembly.

    There is an open reflective area on the bottom of the tail light assembly below the brake light, it would need to go in from the side, or I could go head on from the directional area. I'd rather go in from the appearing open area at the bottom of the assembly, but am not sure if I will encounter a problem along the way (it seems as if there are a lot of screw supports in the area). It requires a 1.5 inch hole through the outside layer, and the cut through the reflector would need to be 1 inch.

    Also last question, on the LED brake light it has 3 wires going in. I could be wrong but I thought the middle only illuminated when the brake was pressed, I wasn't aware it was also a tail light? So what are the three wires if anyone knows. And what is the plastic tab that sticks out at the top?

    Thank you for your help.
    Nick
     
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  3. PDExplorer

    PDExplorer Member

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    Nick,

    I will be doing the same soon as well. Not sure if going with the 120 or 360 yet. However, the cannons are 3-mode lights. Meaning you can use them for turn signals or reverse lights. I havent seen hideaways yet installed in the turn signals of 16 explorers. Everyone seems to go in the reverse light. But i plan to not drill into the light in a new location, Im either going to utilize the turn signal or reverse bulb hole. This might be an option you can consider.

    Good luck
     
  4. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    The reverse light would be easiest but I live in a rural town where it is pretty dark so I was hoping to add additional reverse lighting and I've read going to LED bulbs causes a hyper flash and I don't know how to stop that; so I hadn't really considered that. I was hoping that bottom open slot would be an option but I believe it will be too small. Oh well. If you can, let me know what additional steps you had to take to install the Cannon's in place of the OEM bulb.

    Nick
     
  5. Crown XSport

    Crown XSport New Member

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    @NickyB - Just installed a set of LED reverse bulbs in my '16 Sport. No hyper flash, just a ton of light now! If you do experience hyper flash, adding in line resistors to the wiring will stop any hyper flash.
     
  6. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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    Hyperflash won't occur on a bulb that doesn't have a duty to flash--only for your turn signals. And @jmr061 has figured out how to turn off the turn signal flash via programming, too, if you went that route.
     
  7. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Just curious if you've checked how bright they are by standing behind the vehicle? Could they be 'blinding' to other motorists? The reason I ask is that my MKT has OEM LED reverse lights and in looking at the camera I can notice that while providing plenty of illumination, the main focus of the light seems to be directed in a downward direction about 15 - 20 feet behind the vehicle.

    Peter
     
  8. Crown XSport

    Crown XSport New Member

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    They're bright, more so than the OEM bulbs. I wouldn't say blinding and since your reverse bulbs aren't normally on very long, not too worried about how bright they are. The aftermarket LED bulbs seem to yield a slightly wider emission and throw light a greater distance. I'd also say that the majority of the light is also focused in a downward pattern versus straight back similar to that of you MKT.
     
  9. Advanced VS

    Advanced VS New Member

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    Go check out elightbars.org
     
  10. asull85

    asull85 The Storm Chaser Elite Explorer

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    I have Whelen Vertex's in my reverse lights. At least with my vehicle there was a specific location to drill the hole. I'm not sure if all the Explorers have them but my Interceptor does. There was only one layer in the housing so it was pretty easy to install. I even lucked out and didn't need to vacuum out any little plastic pieces out of the housing.
     
  11. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    I wish all of the explorers had the same thing as the interceptor. The idea for me has faded for now but may think about it again someday in the future. Ill keep an eye on this though incase anyone else has some other ideas
     
  12. Sgt1411

    Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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    You can buy the PI Utility reverse light housing if you want.
     
  13. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    So, fortunately someone unfortunately broke one of my tail lights which gave the opportunity to drill into it without worrying about damaging a good lens. The tail lights are single layered which made this extraordinarily easy. I made two holes, one which was in the directional spot, and the other in the open bottom spot. I forgot to take a picture of the directional area but the light output is perfect on the bottom for the extra reverse lighting plus the strobe function I was looking for. I ended up purchasing the Feniex Cannon 360's because they will be drilled into the housing from the side. Hopefully this information will be useful for someone else.
     
  14. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    IMG_0093.JPG
    Red color in open bottom area of lens. So much light is being emmited and reflected it appears as if the brake light is on




    IMG_0094.JPG
    White light in same housing (dual colored bulb), this one doesnt appear as bright but that is only because the camera adjusted itself because it was being washed out








    IMG_0096.JPG
    This is the hole in the bottom area of the lens. Lens is turned to the side. The first hole I drilled was too high and too far forward to the front of the lens so the bulb wouldn't fit










    IMG_0097.JPG
    Up close photo looking into the empty lower lens










    IMG_0098.JPG
    Hole drilled into the directional area of the lens










    IMG_0099.JPG
    Whole view of the assembly with drilled in holes
     
  15. PDExplorer

    PDExplorer Member

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    Nice job @NickyB . I ended up doing the reverse bulb and the turn signals. I never thought I could get a light in that bottom area, especially a 360. Maybe ill consider that. I have dual color bulbs, so when the truck goes into reverse, all 4 hideaways flicker 3x and then steady burn white. I also have 9W LED reverse bulbs as well so my light output to the rear is amazing, and well as slightly to the side because of where I drilled into the reverse housing (same place as yours - you're going to get more 1/4 warning then rear).

    Before I hear the "you're going to blind other drivers", Im not worried about that since I don't drive on dark roads against traffic in reverse :dunno:. And ,my reverse lights are on for all of about 3 seconds. The only time other drivers really will see them is in a relatively lit parking lot.

    I pretty much spent weeks figuring out these housings and how the hideaways work in them, so if anyone has questions, feel free to message me.
     
  16. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    Sounds nice, throw some pics up when you have time. I just ordered two more Cannon 120's. I'm going to be swapping out the directional and placing the new cannon in its place. Now the whole "outer ring" is going to light up around the brake/tail light. Like you said, I don't drive in reverse and I don't think they are actually brighter than a headlight so I'm not worried about the output being too much. I was hesitant about ever trying to get into that bottom spot because like you said, wasn't sure if they would fit. But since I had a housing that was damaged I figured I would give it a try. Worst case is it didn't fit.
     
  17. PDExplorer

    PDExplorer Member

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    I had dual color Cannon 120s with Amber to dual function as a turn signal. However, I swapped them out for the Clear since I didn't like the way the amber looked, and also the 120s don't really "fill" the housing with color that well - They more or less over saturated where the bulb was and faded out thru the lens, and they were super bright straight back which could get annoying to others. Maybe a 360 would be better for a turn function, but again, they were dual purpose and mainly a warning light, so I needed the direct output of the 120.

    Just as an FYI, I had to drill the housing, opposite of my original plans. The cannons are too big to fit in the existing bulb holes without modifying the factory hole which I didn't want to do.

    Ill get pics or a video as soon as I can.
     
  18. MolonLabe

    MolonLabe New Member

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    Thanks for these awesome pictures...
     
  19. NickyB

    NickyB Member

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    Not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but 1 problem I have is that there is a really quick flash of the opposite color (I have the dual color) randomly at times; but only if the car is running. So in the back sometimes there is a really quick flash of white light, in the front red. Most of the time it isn't too noticeable, but it drives me crazy. I contacted Feniex and they said the firmware has a hard time knowing which color to fire off so that happens. I asked them if there was going to be a fix or replacement to those with the issue and never got a response back...
     

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