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LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch

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Old 07-23-2011, 12:08 AM   #1
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LED Bed Lights That Turn On When Gate Is Opened With Dash Control Switch

Okay, I know this was done before, but I thought I'd post how I did mine. The LEDs light up whenever the tailgate is opened, and there is a switch in the dash that operates like the dome light switch. I flip the switch up, and the LEDs come on independant of the tailgate position. The centre position keeps the LEDs off at all times. Flip the switch down, and the LEDs turn on whenever the tailgate is opened. There is also a pilot light on the switch that that lights whenever the LEDs are on. Here's the basic circuit.


The schematic does not show the pilot light, and only one LED strip, but the second LED and the pilot light are wired in parallel to the first LED strip.

I found a 12 V source in the main fuse box under the hood. It's circled in red in the picture.




I connected an in-line fuse holder to it. I didn't insert a fuse until I was completely finished. I used a crimp-on spade connector. I left the fuse holder inside the fuse box and fished the wire from the fuse box out of a hole drilled in the side of the fuse box.



I then soldered a wire to the wire from the fuse holder, and used heat shrink to wrap it up.


I found a plug in the firewall right behind the brake master cylinder.





I pulled out the plug, replaced it with a gommet and fished the wire from the fuse holder inside the cab.

I covered up the wire with plastic wire loom.




I left the wire in the cab, and proceeded to work in the box. I removed the two cubby holes from both sides of the box.

I tried pulling up and out as suggested by others here on TW, but still broke the bottom 2 clips on both cubby boxes. I noticed the boxes were also held in by double sided foam mounting tape, so when I later reinstalled them, that's what I used. The picture below shows one of the broken clips.

I used two flexible, weather proof, self adhesive LED strips I found at a local electronics store. The LED strips are rated 12 V.

I stuck the strip under the box rails on each side. The picture below was taken after I hadfinished the install, so the LEDs were on.

I then fished a pair of wires from the right cubby hole to the left cubby holen and another pair from the left cubby hole to the cab. At the left cubby hole, I crimpped the two pairs of wires together in a parallel circuit fashion to spade connectors. I used a female connector for the positive, and a male connector for the negative.


I routed the wire into the cab through a rubber gromet under the driver's seat.

I wrapped it up in wire loom, and tie-wrapped it to the frame.

I installed a pin switch at the back of the box which will be pressed when the tailgate closes. I ran the wire to the cab in a similar manner.

In the cab, the wires from the box ran under the carpet, under the door sill, behind the kick panel to the dash. I crimpped the positive wire from the LEDs and the positive wire from the fuse box together using a female connector, and connected the two wires to the rocker switch terminal for the pilot lamp. I then connected the negative wire from the LEDs to the common terminal of the switch. I connected the up terminal (the terminal that is connected to the common terminal when the switch is in the up position) to a ground on the body of the truck, and I connected the down terminal to the wire from the pin switch.

I installed the switch in one of the blank spaces on the dash. I got the switch at a local auto parts store. I had to use a dremel tool to trim the hole in the dash to make the switch fit.

I put a 7.5 A fuse into the fuse holder, and now, I have cargo lights that operates when the tailgate is down, or when I switch them on from the switch in the cab.


Attached Thumbnails
LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00102-20110714-1743.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00097-20110714-1659-circle.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00098-20110714-1721.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-firewall.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00100-20110714-1731.jpg  

LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00108-20110714-2000.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00109-20110714-2000.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00110-20110714-2027.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00112-20110714-2028.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00116-20110714-2112.jpg  

LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00124-20110715-2303.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00123-20110715-2302.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00117-20110714-2133.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00119-20110714-2145.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00122-20110715-2236.jpg  

LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-switch.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00121-20110715-2236.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00129-20110715-2328.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-img00130-20110715-2329.jpg   LED Bed Lights With Dash Control Switch-bed-lights.png  

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Old 07-23-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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Okay, I finally finished my write-up with lots of pictures on installing LED bed lights. I know it was done before, but I thought I'd show how I did it so the lights come on when the gate is opened, and is also controlled by a switch on the dash. What do you guys think?
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:04 PM   #3
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Very nice write up, easy to understand and great pictures.
One question I have, is the 12V source you found hot all the time, even when the key is not in the ignition. Or when is it hot?
Thanks, Bill
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:08 PM   #4
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Very nicely done! Great write-up.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Ky View Post
Very nice write up, easy to understand and great pictures.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Ky View Post
One question I have, is the 12V source you found hot all the time, even when the key is not in the ignition. Or when is it hot?
Thanks, Bill
Yes, it is hot all the time, even when the key is not in the ignition.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Nicely Done!

Where did you find the pin switch for the tailgate? And which parts store for the cab switch?
Really like your detail in this write-up. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalded_Dawg View Post
Where did you find the pin switch for the tailgate? And which parts store for the cab switch?
Really like your detail in this write-up. Thanks!
The rocker switch was purchased at Princess Auto. It's a store in Western Canada, and it sells all sorts of cheap hardware. The rocker switch cost $2, and was the last one on the shelf. The pin switch was from an audio shop that installs alarm systems. Sorry I can't help you any more on the source of the parts. They were parts I sort of stumbled upon. I'm sure you can search eBay for switches. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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scooter, great write up, thanks for posting. I plan on doing this soon!
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2chains View Post
scooter, great write up, thanks for posting. I plan on doing this soon!
Thanks! No more moping around in the dark. I used to keep a flashlight in one of the cubby holes in the box, until the batteries froze in the winter. Good luck with the mod, and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:07 AM   #11
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Question schematic error?





Wouldn't you want the tailgate pin switch to be on the 'tailgate' branch of the circuit to ground off of the SPDT switch?
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #14
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iclim.Brock View Post



Wouldn't you want the tailgate pin switch to be on the 'tailgate' branch of the circuit to ground off of the SPDT switch?
Thanks for pointing that out. It was a labeling error. I deleted the wrong schematic, and replaced it with the correct one. Good call!
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:31 PM   #17
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great write up....I just bought led strips for the bed of my truck and this helps big time in hooking them up.....Thanks.....
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
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on my to do list
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:53 PM   #19
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thanks for the great write up
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:36 AM   #20
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This is why I LOVE this forum. I decided that I wanted lights in my bed, under the cap, BUT I wanted them on a pin switch to come on with the gate open, OR on /off from the cab.

Search

BOOM

EXACTLY what I want to do. Detailed install WITH pics.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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