Holiday Wreath
for my Nissan Leaf

December 10, 2013

Mark D Larsen

Batteries Included
(click to enlarge)

For the last couple of years I have wanted to decorate my Leaf for Christmas so that passersby would notice it and perhaps ask me about the benefits of driving an electric car. Because the charging lid on the nose boasts a round Nissan logo, it seemed to me that it was practically begging to sport a lighted wreath for the holiday season. I took several measurements of the logo and lid, the latter both closed and open, to figure out the approximate dimensions.

A few weeks ago, I finally found an artificial wreath on Amazon that seemed to be just the right size. The inner diameter looked large enough to frame the logo, and the outer diameter small enough to allow the lid to still open wide when plugging in. The next step was to find some 12V LED Christmas lights for the wreath, like this this 20-light string.

When I set about installing these items, I discovered that, when you open the Leaf’s front door, there is actually a tiny hole at the top of the doorframe that opens into the motor compartment. I decided to use that gap to string the connecting cable to the front of the vehicle. However, I had to slightly flatten off two sides of the round connector on the wire with my dremel to get it to fit through that gap. You can see the green cord strung through the hole in the photo below on the left.

String Me Up
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Bungee Jumping
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It was a cinch to string the connecting wire along the side and front of the motor compartment to where the hood and charging lid meet. Above on the right, you can see how I secured the decoration with a mini bungee cord, hooked to the top and bottom of the wreath's frame, then strung underneath the lid and through its catch to keep it in the center. I also wound any extra cable around the bungee and plugged the two ends together underneath, safe and secure.

When I had everything mounted and plugged in, and started the Leaf, I noticed that three of the LED lights were not working. I shrugged off that problem as something I could live with, since there were still plenty of lights around the wreath. However, I did send an e-mail to the seller, with a photo attached, to recommend that, in the future, they always check their strings before shipping them. To my surprise —and delight— they immediately sent me a new string free-of-charge! I swapped the first set with the new one and all 20 lights now glow brightly. I have to commend Environmental Lights for such excellent customer support, and promised that I would highly recommend them in this post.

The wreath works like a charm. I simply leave it plugged into the 12V outlet so that whenever I start the Leaf it automatically lights up. I have to admit that the project turned out even better than I had imagined, almost as though it is a custom accessory that the automaker makes specifically for the vehicle. After all, like the Leaf itself, the wreath runs on electricity!

Fed up with his reindeers’ tailpipe emissions, Santa now sings:
I’ll Be Ohm for Christmas

(click to enlarge)