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how to wire bed lamps:

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by jefferson, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. May 12, 2010 at 11:11 AM
    #141
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    San Diego (North Park!), CA
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    05 PreRunner SR5
    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    thanks guys. I used them last night loading my surf board in after dark and will probably use them again tonight when i do the same thing (san diego living = rough) ;)
     
  2. May 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM
    #142
    SampleFool

    SampleFool Three Percenter

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    How can you find out the amount of amps being pulled by wattage lights?
     
  3. May 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM
    #143
    xJuice

    xJuice My spoon is too Big!

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    Watts = Volts x Amps
     
  4. May 14, 2010 at 5:46 PM
    #144
    SampleFool

    SampleFool Three Percenter

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    thank you my friend, ok now for some more the switch that came with the lights has 10a and 250v on the side which means the switch is good for 10 amps, my lights are 55 watts, so I am running a series circuit with both lights which will be around 9 amps one light a piece is 4.58, would that be pushing the switch for long periods of time?
     
  5. May 17, 2010 at 12:49 PM
    #145
    SampleFool

    SampleFool Three Percenter

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    Any one know?
     
  6. May 17, 2010 at 12:59 PM
    #146
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    05 PreRunner SR5
    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    It should be fine. BUT if you want to be sure, go here and buy a switch for the dash that will work for sure.
     
  7. May 17, 2010 at 7:54 PM
    #147
    SampleFool

    SampleFool Three Percenter

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    Got that in for another project but didnt relize it was good for 20, thanks man for the tip.
     
  8. May 17, 2010 at 7:59 PM
    #148
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    San Diego (North Park!), CA
    Vehicle:
    05 PreRunner SR5
    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    no prob. they work great and look perfect too
     
  9. Jun 7, 2010 at 4:11 PM
    #149
    brow

    brow Well-Known Member

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    FINALLY got my switches in the mail, and now I have something to do this week. I will be changing this mod a little bit, plan on running two switches, one in the bed and one in the cab and also an indicator light in the cab to let me know that they are on. These switches were a pain in the butt to find (SPDT on/on), and i realized I couldnt run lighted switches this way, hence the need for the indicator light.

    I'll post more when I get it completed... step one is getting those damn upper blanks out of my truck
     
  10. Jun 7, 2010 at 4:13 PM
    #150
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    yes ive seen members do it this way - and when i'm not lazy i'll do the same ;)

    I wrote it so anyone with a limited knowledge of wiring could complete the mod.

    please post pics of your progress! :D
     
  11. Jul 6, 2010 at 10:26 PM
    #151
    larryde09

    larryde09 Well-Known Member

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    Current: DR750S-2CH Dash Cam, USB Fast Charger in stock blank, Hondo Garage phone mount Previous: 2006 Black 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4 Access Cab - K&N Cold Air Intake, Modified 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, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box, Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    I wanted to install bed lights, and the OP gave me a great idea for a cheap option instead of an expensive LED solution... you can't beat the $12 Harbor Freight special, especially when I had a ton of 20% off coupons to use.

    I'm an electrical guy, so I did a few different things with my wiring. Here's some more info... (Note: this is for reference purposes only, I take no responsibility if you burn your truck down)

    This is what the passenger side light looks like intalled.
    [​IMG]

    This shows how the wires and holes were situated in the pockets. Placing the connectors inside the pocket prevents the wires from accidentally being pulled into the bed as well as making it easy to replace the light bulbs.
    [​IMG]

    Just like the OP, this shows the foglight bolt and wires coming through the back into the fender.
    [​IMG]
    Just like the OP, I tried the grounds located inside the bed on top of the wheel wells. And just like the OP, the lights didn't work due to these crappy grounds...see the next pic for my solution.
    [​IMG]

    Therefore, I ran a longer wire to the good ground contact located behind the tail light. Be sure to solder (or crimp if you prefer) the wires well and use heat shrink wrap to ensure a good tight weather proof seal. Here you can see the wire "conduit" that I used to protect the wires from scraping against sharp edges and shorting. Since the ground wire is pulled out of the conduit, I used a small amount of heat shrink wrap and electrical tape to secure it and add some durability. The power wire continues down underneath the bumper and goes up behind the driver's side tail light to connect to the switch in the future.
    [​IMG]

    I chose not to bother with a relay, just ensure that the switch you choose is rated for at leats 15A. I also want the lights to work at any time, so the power will come directly from the battery. I also chose to use one single wire instead of splicing pieces of wire together...this is safer since the wire will be run near gas lines, and any splice in the wire introduces a possible spark if not done properly. Note: to make installation easier in future steps, run at least 10 ft of wire through conduit first. Leave a number of feet of wire outside of the conduit to continue through the cab, through the firewall, and on to the battery. The 10 ft worth of wire will run along the stock wire harness that contains the tail lights. This will be described in later steps.

    Instead of trying to run the wire near moving parts, gas lines, suspension parts, etc, I chose to run the wire through the cab. This is where the wire will be run from the pass-through under the seat to the firewall.
    [​IMG]


    This is the pass-through rubber grommet in the floor board located under the driver's seat.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the underside of the floor pass-through. I decided it was easiest to just cut a little hole in the grommet and pass the wire through. You could use a little RTV (silocone sealant) to ensure a seal and strong hold.
    [​IMG]


    Here's the wire secured in some conduit. As previously mentioned, run this wire along the stock harness all the way back to the tail lights. Secure it so that it doesn't move and stays away from the gas lines.

    [​IMG]

    Wire pulled into the cab via under the seat.
    [​IMG]

    I ran the wire through a small piece of conduit and ran it along the stock wires.
    [​IMG]

    This is where the stock harness passes through the firewall near the clutch pedal. The top "wire" is the hood pop cable and there is an unused pass-through on the bottom that can be used. Simply cut the rubber cover off to open the tube on the engine compartment side...in this pic you can see where I previously ran my foglight switch wires through this hole.

    [​IMG]

    This is the other side of the firewall.
    [​IMG]


    WARNING! - This next step should actually be done last, or leave it disconnected from the battery until the very end!

    I decided not to use the wire and fuse supplied in the harbor freight package. Using the fuse block in the pic (found at any auto parts store) lets me clean up the wires and allows for future expansion. I reran my fog lights through the 20A fuse, and the 15A is for the bed lights. The wire connected to the battery is 10 gauge and will handle both loads, but may need to be increased if I add more accessories in the future (check out my "electronics basics and reference" post for more wiring info - link in my signature). I actually got this piece of wire from Lowes, so there's no nead to spend a lot of money from an electronics part supplier.

    [​IMG]


    This is where I drilled a hole for the switch. It's facing forward so that it won't be easily noticed or be a terrible eye sore if I ever trade the truck in.

    [​IMG]

    This is the backside of the switch hole. The metal support will provide some safety for the switch and wires and prevents rubbing that may accidentally cause a short.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the switch all wired up. I wanted to use a toggle switch with a protective cover to prevent it from accidentally being turned on. Instead of getting one at an car parts store for $10, Harbor Freight had one for $5. I suggest protecting each lug with heat shrink wrap. This is a simple single-pole-single-throw on/off switch...the middle lug is power, the right lug goes to the lights and the left lug goes to ground for the internal inidcator LED.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the completed wiring routing at the driver's side tail light. The switch is tucked up behind the support piece and you can see where the one conduit runs through the fender to the driver's side light and the other conduit runs down and underneath the bumper to the passenger side tail light where it is run to the passenger side light. The third conduit also runs down under the bumper and is the battery wire.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the switch installed (in the on position). The cover protects the switch of unintentionally turning on.
    [​IMG]

    What they look like in the dark. Like the OP mentioned, they can be turned to shine more light to the back for tailgating.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the info and idea...hopefully this is useful or provides info for other mods. These ideas can extend to power supplies in the bed or running board lights. I left enough slack in the wire in the cab because I plan to install a "consent" switch. This will act as a master switch to override the switch found in the bed. I'll probably also add an indicator LED in the cab.
     
  12. Jul 14, 2010 at 6:02 PM
    #152
    JLink

    JLink Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. I used some lights I found at walmart in the RV section. they are basically aftermarket lights that people might mount on the ceiling of their camper. Fit PERFECTLY in the 2 bed pockets, and put out just the right amount of light. Enough to see but not enoough to blind you. I used the same grounding locations you showed (inside of the fender) but I found that it was not a good enough ground and caused my lights to work less than half the time. I piggy backed another wire from that bolt to another chassis ground and now they work great. I have them wired to a pin switch for the tail gate, but i have a toggle switch in a pocket to switch them between "on" and "on when tailgate is down". to make it even better, the lights each have on/off push buttons on them, so if my tailgate is down but i want the lights off, i just turn them off at each light.
     
  13. Jul 14, 2010 at 6:53 PM
    #153
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    San Diego (North Park!), CA
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    05 PreRunner SR5
    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired

    Thats awesome :) Anyway to modify this mod is welcomed as long as you dont die somehow from it. for me, the way i set it up works great. some others like it different. Nevertheless - it can be done with the tailgate done.
     
  14. Aug 11, 2010 at 4:50 PM
    #154
    cadzilla88

    cadzilla88 Member

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    Jefferson and larryde09

    Great write up both the original and modified versions. My lights just came in the mail today and I look forward to installing them this weekend.

    Thanks to you both

    Well I'm done with the install. I put the switch in the passengerside compartment. I have a BakFlip tonneau cover and use a Rubbermade storage bin in the bed of my truck so the drivers side built in bin is blocked. I grounded each light to one of the bolts where the metal strut attaches to the bottom of the bed side skirt right behind the cab on each side. I ran the positive lead up the passenge side wire harness then into the cab under the passenger seat thru the rubber gromet similar to larryde09. Then under the door trim and side kick panel, under the dash and thru the rubber gromet in the fire wall just like larryde09's too. I used the inline fuse but moved it to the end of the wire closest to the fuse box so that if there is a short the fuse will blow before all of the wire melts. (It's dumb that the light manufacturer put the fuse near the switch vs. the power supply). I put a spade connector on the end of the wire and plugged it into an unused hot tap in the engine compartment fuse box that I found using an electrical multimeter. Once again thanks for the great idea and great write up. You made my job easier.

    Ken
     
  15. Jan 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM
    #155
    killerken

    killerken Well-Known Member

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    Access LE Cover Toyota Factory Nerf Bars Dynolock Tail Gate Lock
    Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!!!

    I began installing my truck bed lights today. I hope to do the wiring tomorrow.
    I have one question. I was thinking of wiring these lights into my trailer hitch wiring. Has anyone done this?
    Does anyone see any problems with doing this?
    Does any one know which wires I would use at the trial hitch plug for power and ground?

    The Lights I am using are Street glow Optix LED Fog Lights that I picked up at a local auto pars store in the clearance rack for $15.00.
     
  16. Jan 1, 2011 at 10:01 PM
    #156
    Veccster

    Veccster bass turds

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    The trailer hitch only has switched power - meaning your bed lights would only have power if your key was turned to ACC or ON. They will not function otherwise.

    It's pretty simple to run it to the battery.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2011 at 10:16 PM
    #157
    Veccster

    Veccster bass turds

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    I've contributed before but wanted to update my recent addition.

    I used two stripes of LED lights tucked under the bed rails. These give a nice ambient light to the bed. I recently added a "pod" of LED lights at the end of the bed because that is where I need the most light.

    IMAG0097_42c4abc111592cb903e1fcc5af9465d50a30f60f.jpg

    IMG_6691_cdf1b05dea95e7a194879e42a6376ebc32435bf7.jpg

    IMG_7182_7291b6ef87a8ee57432a1a50681ce0d6b6ea9682.jpg

    And here is the switch. To do this, I removed the taillight and drilled a hole (using increasingly larger bits) until the switch fit in there. The storage bins are a poor place because you cannot quickly access them. This spot allows me to hit the switch quickly and without even looking in there.

    I also added a switch in the cab and wired on "3 poles". I can turn it on in the cab and off in the bed (or vice-versa). Its a great setup.

    IMAG0096_f9b53f22c600b20efe32529f213b00609a14c6ec.jpg

    th_MVI_6684_fb90bd4172d8fe3574659ae75a33d39cadefbca8.jpg
     
  18. Jan 2, 2011 at 4:32 AM
    #158
    killerken

    killerken Well-Known Member

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    Veccster,
    Thank your for the reccomendation.
     
  19. Jan 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM
    #159
    Just Because

    Just Because Member

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    subbed on this to.
     
  20. Feb 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM
    #160
    Tacozoid

    Tacozoid Well-Known Member

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    I've been planning this for a while. I think I am going with the 12 volt Hockey pucks from Home depot. A pair of Black ones and a hole saw and I have flush mounted lights in the useless box. I will post when done. BTW Nice job Dude.
     

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