A large portion of what I've done to my vehicle involves lighting. I've always found it odd how the top end models of Saturn's had better gauge layouts and lighting options than the CR-V. Both my L300 and ION3 had automatic headlights, DRLs and sufficient cabin lighting.

Front Lighting

Direct OE replacement Hella H4 with amber center lights. Being that bulbs dim over their life and what I was spending on "better" bulbs, I've decided that the brightness of new Hellas is consistent enough for me, and I'll change them out every 30,000 miles (a little over a year for me). It will certainly be cheaper at $6/each.

I had a devil of a time with bulbs blowing in the CR-V. At first it seemed like it was because I was using +20% or silverstar bulbs, but I've narrowed it down to voltage issues. After I had the ELD (under-hood fuse box in short) and an O2 sensor swapped out for a CEL that came on, I was going through bulbs every 2-3 months and my MPG was solidly 2-3 less than it had been. Through after a period of time, I found out it was normal for a Honda to run above 14v when charging, but cycle down to 12v at normal intervals; the CR-V was NOT doing this. I did an ECU reset and idle learn process, and both problems seemed to vanish.


Automatic Headlights:

Directed Electronics 545T Nite-Lite System


Stock cap drilled and sensor glued in:

The automatic headlights disengage with the Parking Brake, and a manual kill switch for this and the DRL system is located where the OE heated seat button would go.

Expanding on this, I have recently added another relay with a PAC TR-7 to switch the headlights on when the ignition is killed for 90 seconds


Daytime Running Lights:

I am pleased to say that these cycle off with the headlights; in conjunction with the Nite-Lite system (above), another driver should not see these after dark. Notice the glare difference from the headlights (above) and fog lights (below).

I used the "OE Fit" fog lights as DRLs. Several failed attempts at rewiring the H4 bulbs made me nervous, so I settled with filling the blank area with DRLs. The problem is that the lights are completely worthless at night or for fog because of stray light. I've wired them on the 87a pin of a relay to the headlights so they no longer come on - I did have to put a diode protecting the headlights from being driven by the relay, which makes sense, but still seems odd.

I hope to drop these to 8volts in the near future; you can see a photoshopped comparison I did of the beam lay on the wall here and here. These are obviously enhanced, but there's no question that they are throwing unintended light at oncoming traffic, so I wanted to ensure that they weren't on after dark.


Fog Lights:

I got caught in some bad fog (on roads I knew well) and this got me reading up on fog lights. I got a set of Hella Micro DE (Halogen; the Xenon lights are actually driving lights) and installed them below the bumper.

They are exceptionally sharp and great for driving in parking lots at night. They will operate independently of all other lighting, in preparation for the worst possible fog.


Rear Lighting

2005-2006 Tail Lights:

Just for looks, I decided to upgrade to the clear tail directional indicators in the rear. The set I purchased already had the bottom sockets bored out, so I was able to use them for additional lighting.

Rear DRLs:

The downside of Daytime Running Lights is that you're not protected in the rear. This is why it's still the law to turn headlights on with wipers and after dusk in most states. I added a rear DRL at the bottom, that runs at 5w.

Auxiliary Signals:

I used the "high" (21w) setting for the bottom light to daughter the upper signal. This came after realizing that the upper signals on the new tail lights are harder to see in bright daylight.


Flashing Center Brake Light:

Our L300 had this feature that, when you press the brakes, the side tail lights come on, but the rear center brake light flashes 4 times, then stays red. This seemed like a good safety feature, so I added it to the CR-V as well. You can see the page (with video clip) here.


Other Exterior Lighting

Integra (JDM/EDM) style amber side signals:


Interior Lighting

Maps Activate With Door:

This was one of my first mods; I did a write up on it in PDF form . . . and then this week I added a homelink console that has a default wire for that, so I popped it in and was good to go.


LED Changeover:

When I got the first overhead DVD, I decided I needed to match the cool-white dome color and started on a trek that cost men many hundreds of thousands of dollars (in shipping) to get bright enough LEDs. When I switched out for the regular overhead monitor, I was already into it, so I just finished up.

I have a festoon LED in the rear dome, and glove box, a plug-in wedge in the ashtray/change drawer; two super bright LEDs in the maps in the front, and then . . . well, there's the Aux LED lighting. I didn't anticipate the low-light glove box shot being so cool:

Auxiliary LED lighting:


Black floors in Hondas EAT LIGHT. You can drop a screw in plain sight, but won't find it without a flashlight, even with REALLY GOOD eyes. All-included, I have 9 3-led clusters wired up in the CR-V. I started with the rear footwells, pointing inwards, just behind the lowermost anchor point for the front seatbelts.

Later, I added 3 on the front M/T console, one pointing back, then one in each front footwell pointing outwards. These are all keyed off of the primary dome lighting. At first I was using a relay to "play nice" but the dim function wasn't working right, so they're all drawing off the same circuit. The draw is still lower than the original incandescent dome light, so all is well.

Finally, I have 4 of these clusters in the cargo bay, under the cover. They are pointing inwards, 2 on each side, and they're tied into the rear dome door feature.


One Last Dome Trick:

The rear dome activates when either the front doors are opened, or the rear hatch. Using diodes, the front door logic is not kicked off, and the lower cargo lights are not triggered by the front door logic.


Red Console Lighting:

I have more money tied up in this farking project than tires! What a pain in the ass Honda, way to drop the ball!

With all the bitching and moaning done, the console lights are red, done with professional quality gels, so they're not as bright as I'd really like.

The "Auto" window (right) button's light WAS resoldered to a red LED, so it looks great.

Even my current cluster was done laparoscopically with the red gels.

Did I mention this was a colossal pain in the ass?

Shamelessly, I'll add the Avic-D3 under my "red console" section . .