DIY HOW TO: LED Strip Bed Lights
Ever wish you had more light in your bed when looking for something at night? Well here is a simple, extremely bright, and relatively cheap solution!
These are the LED Rigid Bars in Cool White that I am currently selling. Please check out my thread for more information :D:
3x Pair of Cool White 10" Rigid LED Bars (You can use two pairs for less light)(Sold by Me)
2x 12v/Ground 6' Connector (Sold by Me)
2x Bar-to-Bar 1' Connector (Sold by Me)
1x Bar-to-Bar 5' Connector (If using 5 or more Rigid Bars) (Sold by Me)
Waterproof Clear Silicone
Zip Ties (At Least 4 Inches)
1" Zip Tie Square Mounts
Black Conduit (The smallest you can find)
Single Throw Single Pole Switch of Your Choosing
~20' of Wiring (Recommended Solid Copper not Stranded)
Black Electrical Tape
* Recommended Wire Hanger if you are using an aftermarket fusebox
* Fuse Tap (Add-A-Circut) If you do not have an aftermarket fusebox
Prices for my products:
3x Cool White Rigid Bars @ $29.98 = $84.94
2x 5' Bar-to-Bar Connectors @ $8.99 = $17.98
3x 1' Bar-to-Bar Connectors @ $6.99 = $20.97
1x 12v/Gnd Wire @ $8.99 = $8.99
Shipping and Handling (Flat-Rate Lower 48 US)= $10.95
Connect the Bar-to-Bar Connectors and the 12V/Ground connector in the set up that you want. I have it with two bars on each side of the bed and two at the front. So in my set up on the driver's side and the front I connected a 12v/Ground connector to a Light, then to a 1' Bar-to-Bar connector then to another Light to a 5' connector to another Light to another 1' connector to another Light. And the passenger side is just 12v/Ground to a Light to a 1' Bar-to-Bar Connector to another Light... So:
In these pictures I did not use a 12v/Ground connector because I did not have them in at the time of the start of this installation. I used a 5' Bar-to-Bar connector and cut of one end.
Here is my passenger side (the wire with the twist-tie is where you should just use the 12v/Ground connector):
Pull out all the connections a tiny bit so they are not completely inside:
Apply silicone around the space in between the connections and then push the connections together so the silicone looks like so:
Apply silicone in the holes around the wires on the Connectors:
Leave the Lights and Connectors to dry:
Remove the driver side tail light by un-bolting the bolts on the side of the tail lights (there will look like there is 3 bolts holding on to it but it will only be the one on the top and the lower one on the 2 that are close to each other at the bottom). And remove the bulbs and connections allowing you to place the tail light in your desired place without scratching your truck or the tail light:
Decide on a place to mount your switch and drill a hole:
Start running the wires from the tail light. I recommend not cutting the wire yet and leaving it on the spool so you have as much as you need. Just follow the black conduit (the pipe-looking object that holds all the wires) of your tail lights to under the driver's seat. This is where a solid copper wire is easier then a stranded because you can bend the wire into the angle that you need to push it through some areas and it will keep it's shape and not be weak like a stranded wire. You can pull it through where you can get enough grip on the wire while unspooling it from the tail light so you don't have to cut the wire yet and can get the right amount.
Once you get under the driver's seat you should see the conduit split with one end going up into the cab under the driver's seat. Now pull apart the door sill of the driver side (just pry it up) and the kick panel by pulling up the foot rest and unscrewing the hand screw behind the kick panel:
(Before you do this read this post by caribe makaira: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lighting/154477-diy-how-led-strip-bed-lights.html#post3108230 and http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lighting/154477-diy-how-led-strip-bed-lights.html#post3108146)
Go back under the truck and you can push this rubber boot to the side a little bit and push the wire through and grab it from under the driver's seat's carpet, pulling it out:
Step 11(If using a fuse tap):
If you are using a fuse tap, pull out your change holder and you will see an internal fuse box behind it. Using the back of the change holder as a reference, pull out the illumination fuse (in theory you can use any fuse) and insert this into the top slot of the fuse tap, insert a small amp fuse into the bottom slot (3A-5A) and slide the fuse tap into the slot of the original fuse. Then connect the wire that you ran from the tail light to the wire on the fuse tap by stripping the wire from the tail light, sliding it into the blue connector and crimping the connection.
Step 11 (If Using An Aftermarket Fusebox):
Run the wire up where the kick panel would be and push it through the rubber boot that you can see a black conduit going through. I recommend using a wire hanger that you bend a small hook on one end and hooking it onto the wire and pushing the other end through the boot, pulling it through from inside the engine bay. Then connect this wire to the positive output of your aftermarket fusebox (remember to insert a fuse into the appropriate slot):
Now that you have all the wire ran through to your power source, you can go back under the truck, and zip-tieing it to the conduit that you ran it with where ever you can, keeping them as close as possible. Once you have it secure enough, go back to the spool and now you can cut the wire, but leave enough to reach your switch and maybe another foot or two longer just in case.
Connect this wire with your choice of connection to the source slot on your switch. I used a female end connector crimped onto my wire. Then connect another ~3' wire to the power slot on your switch:
Mount the switch using what the switch has to offer:
Once the silicone has dried on the lights (mine said 3 hours). Apply molding tape down the backs of the lights. Clean where you plan on mounting them with rubbing alcohol, and mount them under the bedrails of your truck or in your desired location keeping in mind where you plan on running the wires from the lights. I had both of the 12v/Ground connectors closest to the tailgate. Make sure you have them in the same location on both sides.
Take the 12v wire from the 12v/Ground connector of both sides and connect this to the wire that you had connected to the power slot of your switch. I used BUTT SPLICES NOT QUICK SPLICES!!! I ran them through the small hole between the bed sides and the plastic piece on top, and from the passanger side I ran it through the same hole (take of the tail light) and down below the tailgate to the other tail light area:
Connect the ground wire to a ground on the truck's body/chassis. I used the bolt that you see on the left in this picture:
Use the black conduit to wrap around the wires in the bed and wrap black electrical tape around the conduit where you think it needs it. Then tape the zip-tie mounts where you think you need it and zip-tie the conduit to these mounts:
How Mine Looks:
VS 500W Halogen Lamp
As you can see, my lights wash out the halogen under where my camper shell is :D
Enjoy:cool:, check out my group buy thread:
Nice, now I have to buy them.
Edit: Edited OP to reference your post. Thank you again!
dang, sharp. How much are the lights?
nvm found the link at the top
Same size is excellent. Pass wire thru hole in plug then install plug back. Don't try to run wire while plug is in the cab floor or drill the plug installed either. Since it's rubber when it's installed it'll pinch the wire, sealing and keeping it in place. If you go a little over, seal with silicon.
Nice write-up. Even if I already have the "cheap 20$ bed light mod already done, I might add a few of strips also. It would be pretty easy since all my wiring is already passed.
subbed for future fundage
awesome thread and install.
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