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Old 08-05-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
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Wiring suggestions for bed lights...

Thanks (and rep) to anyone who helps me complete this mod.

I am going to install LED rope lights in the bed of my truck. I know there are write-ups but I couldn't find one with the info I needed.

I want 2 rope lights (one on each side), a toggle switch in the cubby hole and a switch in the cab. But I'm not sure how to wire 2 switches?

Also, is there a hot in the bed of the truck that I can run to? That is preferred over running all the way to the battery.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veccster View Post
Thanks (and rep) to anyone who helps me complete this mod.

I am going to install LED rope lights in the bed of my truck. I know there are write-ups but I couldn't find one with the info I needed.

I want 2 rope lights (one on each side), a toggle switch in the cubby hole and a switch in the cab. But I'm not sure how to wire 2 switches?

Also, is there a hot in the bed of the truck that I can run to? That is preferred over running all the way to the battery.
Since the LEDs are fairly low amperage you could just run the power wire for them through the switches. I assume you want to turn the lights on with either switch so you'd want them in parallel. If you want both switches to be on before the lights will come on, put them in series (power to one switch, output for that switch becomes the input to the second switch. Output from the second switch becomes the power for the lights).

My explanation below is for parallel. You can run power from a small sized fuse tap on the accessories circuit (available in an auto parts electrical section). It'll require that the keys be in the car for the lights to turn on (prevents accidently leaving them on or kids playing with the cubby switch to turn them on). The power wire from the fuse tap will be split into two wires before going to the switches. After the split wire in your cab switch. Then on the other end of the cab switch, run the wire to the bed. Run the split power wires under the door jam track, under the carpet to the access port beneath the driver's seat, then back to the bed under the truck. The wire that was not connected to the cab switch gets connected to the cubby switch. The wire from the other end of the cubby switch gets spliced back into the cab switch wire and that wire goes to power the lights. I grounded my bedlights to a bolt behind the taillight assembly.


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Old 08-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
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That is EXACTLY what I needed!

However, if I wanted to turn the lights on w/out the keys in the ignition, is there a wire or another spot I can tap in?
I will use these when I come back from dirt bike riding or snowboarding and it would help to turn the lights on w/out digging out my keys. It would increase the risk of running down my battery but I may accept that risk - I'm not sure yet.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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the only way i know is strait from the positive batt. terminal.
pick up an inline 10 or 15 Amp fuse(depending on your light demand) from your local Auto shop or radio shack.(make sure it is for 12V Dc)
The thing you have to remember with running the switches in parallel is that you will be able to turn them on from any switch but both switches will need to be off in order to kill the power to the lights.
some thing to keep in mind.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:56 AM   #5
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Yeah, I figured the battery would be the only way to pick up a constant hot.

And I do know that the switches both need to be off to turn the lights off. That means I can't turn them on in the bed and off in the truck. Is there any way around that?

If not, the ability to turn them on with either switch is more important.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:45 AM   #6
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OK, after some more research, I think I may go a slightly different route. If I can find and use 3-pole switches, I can turn the lights on in the cubby and off in the cab. There will be no set direction on the switches for on and off but that is OK.

Here is what I came up with:



If SW1 is in position A and SW2 is in position B- no path for current and the lights are off. Now move SW1 to position B- current flows through SW1-B and SW2-B, turning the lights on. Now switch SW2 to A- no path for current, lights are off.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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how did that wiring work out for you cause I don't see how the first switch and can turn it on and the second one turn if off. It doesn't look that way to me?
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickyd View Post
how did that wiring work out for you cause I don't see how the first switch and can turn it on and the second one turn if off. It doesn't look that way to me?
I just got the second strip of lights off ebay this week. Going to the beach next week and plan to install the following week. I have just been planning where everything will go.

As for the wiring...it will work. If SW1 is on A and SW2 is on B, the circuit is open and lights are off. If EITHER SW1 or SW2 is switched (both A or both B), the circuit will close and the lights go on. I had to use 3-pole switches.

I am real excited about this setup because I can turn them on in the bed and turn them off when I enter the cab - or vice versa. I'll be sure to follow up with some pictures once the installation is complete.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:28 AM   #9
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cool man cant wait to see the pictures
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:04 AM   #10
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That should work just fine.
looks good. cant wait to see pics
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:45 PM   #11
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I would say take the time and write this up.
Fully document your install...

it sounds cool...

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Old 09-15-2009, 06:59 PM   #12
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Just curious, could you get power from one of the trailer wires behind the bumper?
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totmacher View Post
Just curious, could you get power from one of the trailer wires behind the bumper?

I have asked around and I believe the only power wire in the trailer harness is switched (meaning it is only on when the keys are turned to ACC or ON). I need to turn the lights on without the keys in the ignition.
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veccster View Post
As for the wiring...it will work. If SW1 is on A and SW2 is on B, the circuit is open and lights are off. If EITHER SW1 or SW2 is switched (both A or both B), the circuit will close and the lights go on. I had to use 3-pole switches.
3 way switches is what I think you mean. Having only 3 terminals. A 3 pole switch would have at least 6 terminals. 9 to do what you want. You'd still only use 3.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:07 PM   #15
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It is actually a single pole double throw (SPDT). It has an on-on operation.

Here is the switch I used:
http://www.newark.com/multicomp/r13-...tch/dp/03P2468


I also ordered a SPST to put lights under my hood. I only need one switch and want it in the cab.
Here is the SPST switch:
http://www.newark.com/multicomp/r13-234a-05-bb-0a/rocker-switch/dp/03P2467?Ntt=03P2467


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