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Half-Baked LED bedrail idea - need suggestions

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Xunal, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Feb 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM
    #1
    Xunal

    Xunal [OP] New Member

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    Greetings-

    I recently purchased and installed a Softopper top. I'm looking at some different ideas for lighting the interior (cargo box) and have an option to use the light for external applications as well.

    My current thought process involves using a generic light similar to this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Auxbeam-degr...TF8&qid=1486085474&sr=8-12&keywords=led+flood

    I'm considering installing it on a pivot mount designed to be along the bedrail (next to the tie down/canopy clamp, see attached picture). This way I can either use it to light the inside, or lift the side of the canopy and use it to light up the side of the truck (As a camp light, for example). Right now I'm thinking about having two lights, one on each side behind the cab so I can light up either side of the truck, ideally able to turn each side on/off independently.

    Unfortunately, I'm not the creative/fabricator type and have a few questions (as well as any general comments that might help point me in the right direction).

    1) How would I create a mount that installs in the bedrail?
    2) Any light that is powerful enough to light the outside of the truck (again, campsite for example) would be too bright for inside a canopy. I'd like to devise a way to have selectable brightness levels, and any light with that built in capability is likely outside of my budget.
    3) Switch would ideally be located in the bed of the truck. I've seen a few examples on other cargo bed installs here on TW (Seriously Toyota, why the hell not include a simple cargo box light factory?!), but nothing that has screamed to me "easy of install" for non-electrical (non-handy, even) individuals.


    Thanks for the help!


    IMG_20170202_173353.jpg IMG_20170202_172625.jpg
     
  2. Feb 2, 2017 at 6:04 PM
    #2
    Thesandaddict

    Thesandaddict The dude

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    For brackets just use a 90° clip, home depot sells em for like a dollar
     
  3. Feb 2, 2017 at 6:04 PM
    #3
    ChemDawg

    ChemDawg Well-Known Member

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  4. Feb 2, 2017 at 6:14 PM
    #4
    MDB Taco

    MDB Taco Well-Known Member

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    1) You wouldn't need much for a basic mount; essentially just a T-nut for attaching to bed rail, then a long piece of steel or something with a 90 degree bend on the top to mount the light, and a bolt to hold the bar to the T-nut. Of course, you can get as fancy as you want with it, but that's the gist of it.
    2) They make dimmers specifically for LED lights. You'll need one that is rated for LED and not just incandescent because of the resistance pattern of an LED. Example would be this one (have not used to keep looking for similar ones that could be better):12 Volt DC Dimmer for LED, Halogen, Incandescent - RV, Auto, Truck, Marine, and Strip Lighting - STANDARD SHAFT - BLACK https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C4UBMW8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_WA-Kyb3854TEP
    3) The dimmer can be your switch, or you can always wire an inline switch and mount it in the one of the little cubbies by the tailgate.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. Feb 2, 2017 at 6:37 PM
    #5
    Xunal

    Xunal [OP] New Member

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    Those are awesome! I'll hit that guy up. They look 3-D printed, I wonder if he can make one that has an extender on it so the light will be above the bed? Thanks!

    If he can't, I'll probably check out Home Depot like Sandaddict/MDB said and build my own.


    This demonstrates my ignorance, but I didn't know they made things like that for 12V systems. Which, looking now, is obvious. Huh. I could just get two of 'em, mount them in the cubbies like you mentioned! Seems like a pretty good solution.

    I think I might actually get 4 lights now, one in each corner.....run them to two different dimmers in the cubby holes.


    TW rocks.
     
    ChemDawg likes this.
  6. Feb 2, 2017 at 6:54 PM
    #6
    MDB Taco

    MDB Taco Well-Known Member

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    Regardless if you run two or four, I would suggest running a relay for it, as opposed to tapping power from somewhere back there, just to be safe.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2017 at 7:11 PM
    #7
    Xunal

    Xunal [OP] New Member

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    Good advice, I'm told. I have no idea how relays work, but I suppose that's why they made Google.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Feb 2, 2017 at 7:30 PM
    #8
    MDB Taco

    MDB Taco Well-Known Member

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    image.jpg
    Ignore the reverse tap part, as this was a diagram for my reverse lights. But the relay part is the same. If you search here, there's a write up about wiring aftermarket lights which details which posts to plug into which wires (i.e., each post by name).
     
    Xunal [OP] likes this.
  9. Feb 3, 2017 at 3:31 AM
    #9
    stump jumper

    stump jumper Well-Known Member

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    After my LED ribbons burned out after a year I went with 2 8" submersible marine lights. I will load some pics when I get to workTacoma bed lights.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  10. Feb 3, 2017 at 6:20 AM
    #10
    phum86

    phum86 Active Member

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    Different approach that would take more purchases, but I bought the LED strips that install under the rail brackets from the guy on TW and love them. Of course this would only light the bed but you could then install pods outside cab. Just a thought.
     
  11. Feb 3, 2017 at 7:18 AM
    #11
    ChemDawg

    ChemDawg Well-Known Member

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    I'm still running my $10 ebay ribbon lights 2 yrs +No issues..yet....:fingerscrossed:
     
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