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How-To: Bed Lights Go On With Dome Light

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by mudthedoor, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Jan 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM
    #1
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    Bed Lights How-To



    MTD



    I really wanted bed lights that went on in a dimming fashion when i unlocked the truck or when the door was opened. I started this project as just somthing to do on a slow friday night, but it got to be a little longer because of the lack of tutorials out there on the topic, not that the ones avaiable didn't help, but there were some key things that I was left to figure out on my own. This is a simple and very stylish mod to do and I would recomend everyone do it, should be a facotry opition....​

    [​IMG]

    Materials:


    • Led Light strips (I used autozone brand)
    • 18 gauge wire​
    • Terminal connectors​
    • 3 amp In line fuse​
    • butt connectors​
    • wire tap​
    • nessecary tools​
    Summary:






    To do this project we are going to be tapping into only the ground for the overhead dome light. this is the control wire that give the lights the dimming affect when the door is opened. The power wire to the dome light is a constant 12v current and this is where i got confused. basically we will have to run the ground from the dome light to the bed lights to get the desired fading out of the lights that the dome light has. You will pull your 12v power to power the led strips directly from the battery though. This eliminates the draw from the dome lights power source. I know that led's are very low draw but its just to be safe. I had thought that I could use a relay to eliminate having to run 2 wires back to the lights but becasue of the changing voltages a relay makes a really annoying sound and doesn't work....:(






    Write Up:






    I started by removing the A Pillar on the drivers side. This is the easiest place to access the ground for the dome light. It is a dark blue wire just tap into that wire. After that i ran the wire down the pillar making sure to zip tie every wire back into place. Then I chose to run the wire out through the gromet going through the fire wall beacause i was going to have that in there. If you don't have a realy you can run the wire out through the gromet under the drivers seat avoiding the exhaust. ​






    [​IMG]
    Credit for pic: borderbrat
    [​IMG]








    Next I prepared the power wire I use a round terminal connector and put that on my acessory post of my battery and had a 3 amp inline fuse for the lights. ​






    [​IMG]






    I then ran that wire all the way along the fram withthe other wires/break lines to the drivers side cubby hole in the bed.​






    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]








    After this you can stick the stips up under the bed rails in your desired locations. Now that both the power wire and the ground are ran to the bed all that is left is to wire them to the lights and make it look pretty. What I did was I ran the wires under the bed rails and held them there with double sided auto tape idk how it is going to hold but it worked. ​






    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    After that just pretty it up and you are done!!!!!!!! :cool:



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jan 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM
    #2
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    bump for feed back
     
  3. Jan 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM
    #3
    SocalMGM

    SocalMGM Well-Known Member

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    Nice mod man

    I might have to do this, i have bed lights but theyre wired to a switch.
     
  4. Jan 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM
    #4
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    its really nice just having them be ready with out having to flip a switch
     
  5. Jan 24, 2012 at 9:43 AM
    #5
    Cobalt719

    Cobalt719 Well-Known Member

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    So do these come on when you flip the dome light switch to on as well?
     
  6. Jan 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM
    #6
    forana

    forana Well-Known Member

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    can you explain the wiring in more detail please? Pretend I'm dumb.

    The tapped wire is the ground for the LEDs? And it get power direct from battery?

    How come there are 4 wires coming out of the cubby hole? Again, pretend I'm dumb...
     
  7. Jan 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM
    #7
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    no just when the light comes on automatically


    There are 2 grounds for the leds the blue wire is the non constant one the one you want to tap into. The other would be a constant ground for when you turn on the light manually. I drew power directly from the battery to eliminate having to splice into two wires under the a pillar. The other two wire from the cubby hole are the wires for my HID off road lights on my light rack :D
     
  8. Mar 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM
    #8
    ser240z

    ser240z Well-Known Member

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    Nice write-up OP. I am thinking about doing this, but wanted to add a function to it, and this seemed like the best place to ask my question. Sorry to thread jack.

    I would like to add lights to my bed and engine compartment, but I would like them to come on with the dome light, and I would like a switch on both engine compartment and hard tonneau cover to also activate the lights in all three places.

    I've been thinking about this for a couple days now, but am not really sure if I got it. Maybe someone with more electrical experience can confirm it it's possible.

    I am assuming that the door switch is just a ground, so can I run the hood and tonneau switch to the door switch to ground all of them if one is opened, and follow the OP's write-up for wiring the lights? This should make the lights come on with the dome light and make all the lights come on when a door, hood, or cover is opened.

    Would there be a problem tapping that on line for the ground on all the lights? Would I need a relay somewhere in there and how would I wire it? Any other suggestions for accomplishing this task?

    Thanks for any help. Sorry again for thread-jacking, just seemed like an appropriate place. Mods feel free to move if necessary or requested.

    Scott
     
  9. Mar 10, 2012 at 8:28 AM
    #9
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    A relay in this case is a very bad idea. You can definitely just tap into the ground in the cab for all of the lights. If you want to independently switch these extra lights that you are going to be adding, all the switches need to do is "turn-on" a constant ground because the led's will be provided with a constant current. This means that the switching mechanism will be in the ground's line. If you do this though, whenever you manually switch the led's, your dome light will most likely come on because a constant curent is provided to that as well. If you have any more questions, just let me know. :D
     
  10. Mar 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM
    #10
    ser240z

    ser240z Well-Known Member

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    As I thought about this some more last night I realized that maybe I don't want them to turn on with the dome light, I just want them to turn on with the pin switches. I would like them tied to the door switches so that the alarm will sound if opened when armed.

    So I guess the question is; if I tap the door pin switch to the ground on the LEDs and tap that line to the pin switch on the hood or tonneau, would it work?

    Thanks
    Scott
     
  11. Mar 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM
    #11
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    No the wire I tap into in my tutorial is just the control wire for the dome light. The door switch is seprate and controls every thing else, dome light included. These are uncharted waters that youre sailing in here, but if you can figure out how to do this you sould do a write up on it for sure:D. One thing that you should worry about though is the possible back feed of current from the lights setting off the alarm and possibly not being able to shut it off... I doubt that would happen though with the proper wiring. If you want help on this we can work something out too just pm me. I have lots of experience with tinkering with wiring.
     
  12. May 5, 2012 at 1:06 PM
    #12
    Leggo

    Leggo slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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    a single pole double throw switch could allow either a dimming ground or a constant ground for the bed lights. YES?
     
  13. May 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM
    #13
    Leggo

    Leggo slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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    Did you mean to say there are two wires to ground the DOME light? the blue one being a non constant? What color is the constant ground for the dome light? I plan to use a spdt switch so I can light the bed anytime with a switch, or switch to a dimming mode like you suggest. thanx
     
  14. May 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM
    #14
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    I have no idea what color the constant is because I didn't use it. Id check a wiring daiagram thats how I found the non constant one.
     
  15. May 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM
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    Leggo

    Leggo slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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    I have found that the nonconstant ground for the dome light is in the 13 pin connector on the left hand side of the fuse box behind the dash/storage bin door. it is blue. it is easier to tap into it there I think.
     
  16. Feb 13, 2013 at 6:20 AM
    #16
    mudthedoor

    mudthedoor [OP] Sconnie

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    Probably the same one, just farther down into the harness. Good find! Any pics?
     
  17. Feb 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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    sandjunkie

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