1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

DIY Running Board Lights / Ground Lights

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by larryde09, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    I take no responsibility if you hurt yourself or your truck, this is a reference only!

    After installing my step bars, I decided to wire up some running board lights that operate when the doors are open or unlocked (i.e. when the dome light is on). Thanks to Borderbrat for some reference material in this thread: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/technical-chat/4838-cheap-free-mods-18.html#post297835

    There are numerous lighting options, but I chose some cheap Harbor Freight LEDs since I had a bunch of coupons and they are advertised as being waterproof. We'll see how they hold up, but regardless, this approach is a good reference for just about anything, just be sure to use a relay if you use anything other than low-current LEDs.
    [​IMG]

    Before you begin, disconnect the battery. I wanted the lights to turn on and off with the dome light (i.e. whenever the doors are unlocked or opened), so the dome light wires are the obvious choice to tap. As previously mentioned, I chose a low-current LED solution, so I can directly power them off the stock power wire and ground wire...if you choose lamps or devices that draws higher current, be sure to use a relay!

    According to the stock wiring diagrams (available elsewhere on TW) and the Haynes manual, the power wire is a constantly powered 7.5A fused and is white, while the ground wire acts as the control line and is blue. The easiest place to locate them is the driver's side pillar.

    UPDATE: I inserted an inline 1A fuse to isolate the LEDs from the stock wiring. The 7.5A fuse for the dome light will not blow before the thin wires that come with the LEDs, the 1A fuse ensures that the LED's thinner wires can be safely isolated.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the tapped white power wire and the blue control wire. Be sure to tuck the wires back into the conduit and zip ties for strain relief.
    [​IMG]

    After running the wires down to the left kick panel, I ran a quick test to make sure I tapped the correct wires.
    [​IMG]

    I chose to run the passenger side wire through the cab instead of underneath the truck in order to avoid the exhaust and road hazards. The connection will be made near the left kick panel where I plan to insert an override switch and a 1A fuse to specifically protect against the LEDs and wires...the dome light 7.5A fuse will not blow if the LEDs or wires short out, so I want to protect the truck in the event my added circuit has a problem.

    I continued to run the wires underneath the door sill trim....
    [​IMG]

    then underneath the seat... (note: I just cut a small slit with an Xacto knife and run the wire through the grommet. You can also see the black wire I previously ran for my bed lights). The grey wire is a quality double insulation bundle, so it protects enough against scraping/shorting without conduit.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the completed driver side wiring. Be sure to properly connect the wires (solder is best) and protect them using plenty of heat shrink, conduit, and electrical tape.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't want to drill mounting holes into the truck, so I opted to use strong double sided trim tape (the stuff that holds your emblems on the truck). Be certain to clean the areas well with alcohol to promote a strong connection. Also, you'll need to wrap the conduit with electrical tape or else the double sided tape won't hold sufficiently. Note: in this pic you can see the grey wire running down from the grommet as well as both the front and rear lights. The unnecessary loop in the wire is because I didn't measure well enough and had to mount the excess somewhere.
    [​IMG]

    Next, the wire needs to be run from the driver's side to the passenger side. Here's a pic where it is run through a bracket and up out of the way of the steering and pedals. Be sure it is secured out of the way to prevent an accident.
    [​IMG]

    The wire is secured to an existing line (likely Air Conditioning wires or something), tucked underneath the rug, and sent underneath the center console.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the wire coming out the other side of the center console, passed over the right kick panel and under the door sill trim.
    [​IMG]

    Pull the wire taut and secure it...
    [​IMG]

    Then replace the rug and hide the wires...
    [​IMG]

    I poked a hole in the rubber blank on the passenger side and ran the wire through it. I then secured it and waterproofed the hole with silicone (black RTV).
    [​IMG]

    The passenger side lights are then wired and mounted the same as the driver's side.

    Here they are in the dark...
    [​IMG]

    Materials cost less than $30 and they work exactly as expected. They light up both the step bars and the ground quite nicely.

    UPDATE: I wired up another string under the hitch to illuminate the ground under the bed. This is good for safety, provides improved visability when at the rear of the truck, and for tailgating.
     
  2. SlurpeeBlueMetallic

    SlurpeeBlueMetallic FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Member:
    #18825
    Messages:
    1,666
    Gender:
    Male
    Subbed... and added to my list of things to do.

    Nice!
     
  3. stormyday

    stormyday Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Member:
    #14641
    Messages:
    146
    Gender:
    Male
    Morganton, NC
    Vehicle:
    14 Taco Double Cab Pre-Runner
    I have the LED just not enough detail to do it. I do now. I am going to put the in the bed and underneath so I can see both at night.
     
  4. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Yeah, I thought about extending the wires out to the back to illuminate the ground near under the bed, would look pretty cool. Check out my bed lights write-up which I did as an extension to the "bed pocket lights" mod...it has some great info regarding where/how to run wires to the back of the truck.
     
  5. hookedontronics

    hookedontronics Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Member:
    #28863
    Messages:
    2,791
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jake
    Glenville, NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 DC Off Road 4x4
    Icon extended travel 3.5" front coilovers, DSM UCAs, TSB leaf pack w/ wheelers AAL, All Pro U-bolt flip kit, Walker Evans 2.0 rear shocks, 18" XD Monster rims, Nitto trail grappler 285/65R18 Tires, Color matched grill, Grillcraft, Kragen HIDs, Carling switches, my bed light mod, diff drop, Alpine IVA-W505, JL Audio C5 componets and coaxials, JL 300/4 and 250/1 amps and JL stealthbox, wheathertechs, avs vent visors, toyota bed x-tender, alcantara center console cover and door pocket covers, console vault, color matched mirrors, heated mirrors, etc etc etc
    looks great, however i wouldn't recommend those led strips. they burn out like crazy. I had them on a wrx
     
  6. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Thanks for the heads-up...I figured they'd probably die quickly, but it was a cheap little mod. I'll post a note here when they die ;) Either way, the wiring idea is the same.
     
  7. borderbrat

    borderbrat Watching Chris4x4 o.O

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Member:
    #3480
    Messages:
    2,504
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jeremy
    Victoria BC, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2008, Black sand pearl, SR5, 4X4
    PIAA fogs, led "puddle" lights, bed lights, in cab 115V, Toyota Devil emblem, Randy Ellis light bar with Hella Black Magics, OME 885 and Dakar leaf springs OME shock all round, 2.5 Gal OBA system with air horns, iPod adapter, scangauge on blend mount, magnaflow catback, bike fork mounts, tinted 2009 tails.
    :woot: looks good. My cheap underglow died a while ago In between houses mooching of the GF so i haven't had time to work on redoing this project. I'm using higher quality marine LED strips for under the doors and I still need to get a good set of LED fogs that I'm going to point backwards into the bed. http://www.shopatron.com/products/p...ht/part_number=19156/353.0.1.1.10544.0.0.0.0? or http://www.myhellalights.com/index....ning-lights/universal-daytime-running-lights/
     
  8. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Thanks, I'll keep these in mind if/when mine die. I didn't have much money for DIY stuff, so these $7 lights worked great...but I'll upgrade in the future if necessary. I might switch to white light as well.
     
  9. lilgerber

    lilgerber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Member:
    #10974
    Messages:
    435
    Gender:
    Male
    fresno ca
    Vehicle:
    06 4x4 speedway blue
    flowmaster40,vloant intake,king coilovers,TC UCA's,3inch lift,billet grill,chrome handles,stero system.motometals 951 285/17/70
    nice, great idea i want to do this once i mount my sliders and get some white leds.
     
  10. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Update: I added a string under at the rear of the bed (at the hitch) and inserted an inline 1A fuse to isolate the thin wires that come with the LEDs.
     
  11. btuner

    btuner <<<<>>>>

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Member:
    #47017
    Messages:
    982
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    Hendersonville NC
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner SR5
    Stage III TRD Badge
    When I split open the conduit there are like 5 white wires, Which one did you use? The white one that was next to the blue wire had a purple line through it and it didn't seem to power the leds. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  12. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Welcome to TW!

    After reviewing the schematic, there are 5 wires that I can identify: 2 whites, 2 white/black, and 1 blue. I'm not sure what any other colors might be...they could be for an auto dimming rearview mirror, compass, or temperature sensor if you have one.

    The connections for the 5 wires I can identify are as follows:
    1. The two white wires are tied together and are the power wires for both the room lamp and map lamps, fused @ 7.5A. Either one of these wires is suitable for powering the LEDs. Warning: do not power anything other than low power LEDs or you could blow the fuse or worse. Also, I recommend using a smaller inline fuse (i.e. 1A) to isolate the LEDs because the 7.5A fuse won't protect the thin frail wires that typically come with the LEDs (see my OP for more info). Matter of fact, you can provide power right from the battery (fused of course)...it is the blue wire that's important.

    2. One of the white/black wires (this means it is a white wire with a black stripe down it) is the switched ground wire for the room lamp.

    3. The other white/black wire is the switched ground for the map lamps.

    4. The blue wire is the switched ground for the open door which turns on the room lamp. This is the wire you'll tap for the LED grounds which actually activates them. See my "Electronics Basics" post for info about switched ground circuits (link in my signature).

    On a final note, make sure you have the proper power and ground wires from the LEDs. Try connecting a 9V battery to them to make sure they work and you've got the wires right.

    Hopefully this helps.
     
  13. btuner

    btuner <<<<>>>>

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Member:
    #47017
    Messages:
    982
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    Hendersonville NC
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner SR5
    Stage III TRD Badge
    Thanks! I just tapped the fuse box for the power and then grounded to the blue wire in the pillar, works great! Everything comes on when I unlock the car or open the door. I have a white LED module http://www.oznium.com/led-modules in the bed that lights up the whole bed, and I have 4 amber superflux LEDs http://www.oznium.com/prewired-superflux in the bottom of the back bumper lighting up the ground below the tailgate.
     
  14. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Glad it worked out for you, you'll have to post a pic. I also put a light string underneath my hitch, I'll have to post an updated pic.
     
  15. btuner

    btuner <<<<>>>>

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Member:
    #47017
    Messages:
    982
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    Hendersonville NC
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner SR5
    Stage III TRD Badge
    Bed light and under tailgate lights that come on when ever you unlock the truck or have the door open
    [​IMG]
     
  16. larryde09

    larryde09 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Member:
    #39759
    Messages:
    561
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Larry
    Rochester, NY
    Vehicle:
    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    Nice work, looks good!
     
  17. Kms254

    Kms254 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Member:
    #57594
    Messages:
    69
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Madison, Ms
    Vehicle:
    2011 SR5 Tacoma TSS
    Overhead Compass/Temp, TRD Sport Suspension, 3000K HID's in fog lights
    I know this is a bit old, but I am looking at wiring some LED's off the dome light. I get that the white wire is power and one white/black is switched ground and blue is door(controlled) ground. From my understanding of it these LED's only open up when the door light is activated(unlock/lock/door-open). It seems that you are wiring the LED's in parallel to the dome light.

    Would there be a way to wire the LED's so that it will continue to maintain this functionality along with coming on when the dome light switch is switched to on?

    Thanks ahead of time!
     
  18. caribe makaira

    caribe makaira Lurker No More

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Member:
    #51121
    Messages:
    477
    Gender:
    Male
    Caribbean, Puerto Rico
    Vehicle:
    05 PreRunner TRD Offroad
    Hood Struts, My version Fogs always ON, Map & Overhead Light Mod,
    Tie the LED ground to the overhead light switch ground. So the LED will do whatever the overhead light does.
     
  19. Kms254

    Kms254 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Member:
    #57594
    Messages:
    69
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Madison, Ms
    Vehicle:
    2011 SR5 Tacoma TSS
    Overhead Compass/Temp, TRD Sport Suspension, 3000K HID's in fog lights
    If you tie the power to the constant power that comes into the light and the ground into the light switches ground(which is always grounded the lights will always be on. I Guess I could find some way to run it from either side of the terminals that hold the light bulb and run it that way...
     
  20. caribe makaira

    caribe makaira Lurker No More

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Member:
    #51121
    Messages:
    477
    Gender:
    Male
    Caribbean, Puerto Rico
    Vehicle:
    05 PreRunner TRD Offroad
    Hood Struts, My version Fogs always ON, Map & Overhead Light Mod,
    Read again, (it's a parallel circuit your gonna install) tie the ground to the overhhead lamp SWITCH. Not the ground wire.(s) The LED's will behaive like the overhead lamp.(Door, ON, OFF)...

    Maybe you shouldn't play with electrticity...
     
To Top