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Make your own underhood light with Rock Light LEDs

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by tamer, May 23, 2020.

  1. May 23, 2020 at 5:12 PM
    #1
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    I used to have a strip LED on top of my hood wired down to a hood switch. This was sufficient but I wasn't super happy with the color temperature and I was always worried about the adhesive coming off and ending up in my radiator fan. I've noticed there are some highly priced kits using rock lights. As a DIYer I knew I could do better for less.

    I picked up a 4 pack of rock lights off Amazon for $30. I only needed two but I have some ideas of the other two. Two packs are available. Technically $15 for this project.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H7FGFCW/

    Next I got a pack of M5 well nuts. These mount into a hole and expand when you tighten. These are perfect for the drain holes in the hood. I paid $12.99 for a pack of 25, I guess they are up to $16.99 now. Only needed two. $1.04
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040D2P7E/

    Next I got a stainless M5 SHCS. You need one that's just about as long as the bolt through the light and the length of the well nut. This one is M5 x 18mm.hoodlight-01.jpg

    Start the well nut on the light but do not tighten, just flush it up with the light.
    hoodlight-02.jpg

    Insert the well nut into the hole, orient it the way you want the cable exit.
    hoodlight-03.jpg

    Hold pressure against the well nut and tighten the screw until tight. This is where you need to be very careful that your screw isn't so long that it crashes into your hood.
    hoodlight-04.jpg

    Wire up the rest of the system as all the other under hood light how-tos show. Red wire goes to the battery and the ground goes to the switch on the chassis down by the headlight.
    hoodlight-05.jpg


    The only negative with this is that the lights don't point straight down. However I am 3D printing a little bracket that will mount the lights pointing straight down. And the bracket will mount into the drain hole on the hood instead of the the rock light. I will update with photos once I finish the mounts.

    Mount:


    Light distribution is pretty good considering half the light is pointing out instead of down. Excited to see how it looks with the brackets.


    Update 05-29-2020
    Ok was able to test out the first prototype brackets today, they work great! The material will be fine, but I’ll update in a week. I should have 10 sets of the universal mount next week sometime if anyone wants a pair. Just hit me up.

    I will get a night shot later tonight, but light distribution should be much better with the lights pointing down.






    Night shots:



    And before the angled down brackets you can see the lights are basically shining in your eyes:


    These lights are much brighter and much truer color than the LED strip light I had before.

    If you are interested in the brackets, I have a universal design that mounts the Rigid/Amazon light or the KC Cyclone. Price is $26 shipped for a pair. Let me know if you're interested and I'll add you to the list:

    1) @Taco-Obsessed PAID
    2) @2012TacomaGuy PAID
    3) @GonzoQuick PAID
    4) @boogie3478 PAID
    5) @Sideways1 2x PAID
    6) ^ #2 for Sideways1 PAID
    7) @304_Taco (3rd Gen) PAID
    8) @sliderule01 (3rd Gen) PAID
    9) @Shayde PAID
    10) @LC7 PAID

    Second batch:
    11) @siniquezu PAID
    12) @Hemlock76 PAID
    13) @Rooster OG (3rd Gen) PAID
    14) @DarthR2D2 (3rd Gen) PAID
    15) @Gus87 (3rd Gen) PAID
    16) @PitCh0w (3rd Gen) PAID
    17) @woodsman117 2x PAID
    18) ^ # 2 for woodsman117 PAID
    19) @sbl23 (3rd Gen) PAID
    20) @dwillhere1 (3rd Gen) PAID
    21) @Shadowhunter PAID
    22) @TheCubicleDaydreamer (3rd Gen) PAID
    23) @fishing4boulders (3rd Gen) PAID
    24) @norvegicus PAID
    25) Local Sale.

    Third batch:
    26) @TeXanTRD PAID
    27) @Crow Horse PAID
    28) ^ # 2 for Crow Horse PAID
    29) @RedTaco68 PAID
    30) @Unchained 5150 PAID
    31) @kaijac03 PAID
    32) @dk_crew PAID
    33) @TheTacoAbides PAID
    34) @deanosaurus PAID
    35) @telemonta PAID
    36) @Unaverage_Taco PAID
    37) @Khoadattran PAID
    38) @NavyDiver72 PAID
    39) @LMarshall73 PAID
    40) @GaryLaurenLogan PAID
    41) @Tacodog PAID
    42) @skylerSurf PAID
    43) @rangergs007 PAID
    44) @taco lover 65 PAID
    45) @Nubes PAID
    46) @Josuetobar PAID

    Fourth batch (pre-pay):
    47) @lizoid PAID
    48) ^ # 2 for lizoid PAID
    49) @Just84 PAID
    50) @deputyduy21 PAID
    51) @Puppypunter PAID
    52) @Fergmyster PAID
    53) @CO MTN Steve PAID
    54) @Glockster22 PAID
    55) @TacoSherm PAID
    56) @Roofy PAID
    57) @myTacoma.27 PAID
    58) @vorkuta775 PAID
    59) @ebrown82 PAID
    60) @MICA 808 PAID
    61) @Emanresu PAID
    62) @dtwomou PAID
    63) @WifesTaco PAID
    64) @mac84 PAID
    65) @VicNic3 PAID
    66) @cemented PAID
    67) @HandOfGod PAID
    68) @KingTaco81 PAID
    69) @Airborne22 PAID
    70) @Erikerowley PAID
    71) @6seven1 PAID
    72) @Skatinfool PAID
    73) @2010TxTaco PAID
    74) @Noeltrd59 PAID
    76) @Landpirate PAID
    77) ^ # 2 for Landpirate PAID
    78) ^ # 3 for Landpirate PAID


    Waitlist (not sure if next batch happening):
    79) @jarebear74
    80) @JasonLee
    81) ^ # 2 for JasonLee
    82) @BuzzMor
    83) @Midship909
    84) @ianGP
    85) @sf.larry
    86) @Sl3ven
    87) @Salty_Dog
    88) @TacomaOH
    89) @Yamahafast
    90) @Cbaxter617
    91) @Squirrel13
    92) @79CHKCHK
    93) @dmrivera78
    94) ^ # 2 for dmrivera78
    95) Jason (email)
    96) @#NEVERGIVEUP
    97) @audiopudding
    98) @TacO1O
    99) @elmontemike
    100) @Uthmoelleri
    101) @FastEddy59
    102) @daveeasa
    103) Robert (email)
    104) @Taco? Who knows
    105) @lizoid
    106) ^ # 2 for lizoid
    107) @mac84 (Single Bracket only)
    108) @Dr3w
    109) @TacoBlacko12
    110) @rb9228
    111) @Jahjahsoljah
    112) @25TacomaDCab25
    113) @Gunerbey
    114) @Tacoma_702
    115) @BlkTaco20
    116) @esgar18
    117) @LitFuse
    118) @big42mac
    119) @shleppy
    120) @Chuy21
    121) Charles (email)
    122) @flatt-taco15
    123) @tmzphoto
    124) @Camel89
    125) @Sirnick88
    126) @taco_OnTheMove
    127) @pearing


    Universal Mount:
    Universal Mount.jpg

    Update 06-04-2020:
    Alright, the new universal brackets are ready to ship! These work with the KC Cyclone or the Amazon/rigid lights. $26 shipped will get you a pair of brackets and mounting hardware. I have 10 pairs.

    PM me for PayPal info.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  2. May 23, 2020 at 6:58 PM
    #2
    2012TacomaGuy

    2012TacomaGuy Well-Known Member

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    Dang! Looks good! I'm interested in how those 3D brackets turn out. This may be something I do as I'm sick of working on the truck with a headlamp on
     
    tamer [OP] and Biscuits like this.
  3. May 23, 2020 at 8:39 PM
    #3
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    ^I’ll keep you posted, probably another week or so.

    light distribution is pretty good considering half the light is pointing out instead of down. Excited to see how it looks with the brackets.
    D9E9ACBE-AD8F-4981-BF6E-6B66AFCD7BF8.jpg
     
    digdug1, 2012TacomaGuy and Biscuits like this.
  4. May 23, 2020 at 10:09 PM
    #4
    mikkydee

    mikkydee My Taco 2007 DCLB 4x4 Man Truck

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    6" lift, 20 " inch rims, 34" tires, billet grill, aftermarket fender flares, custom rear bumper, DVd player with backup camera, all LED lights
    very nice. where exactly did you mount the switch?
     
  5. May 23, 2020 at 10:12 PM
    #5
    Taco-Obsessed

    Taco-Obsessed Wildlife Peeping Tom

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    Sub, for results of brackets
     
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  6. May 23, 2020 at 10:25 PM
    #6
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    Down by the headlight, I’ll have to find a link to this switch PN, bought them a couple years ago. The black wire goes to this switch, when the hood closes it opens the circuit.
    F33285BF-3DC0-45E2-A06B-869DEAF45E97.jpg
     
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  7. May 23, 2020 at 11:15 PM
    #7
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Go Hawks!
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  8. May 23, 2020 at 11:47 PM
    #8
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    Interesting, thanks. The rock lights I used look to be an almost exact copy of the rigid, at 1/10th the price. Not sure how light output compares. Not sure I want to spend 10 times more to find out!

    The KCs seem like a good alternative though. Although at this point I’m pretty happy with the output of these.
     
  9. May 24, 2020 at 10:54 AM
    #9
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    Does anyone have a KC Cyclone they can send me dimensions of? I'm going to draw up a mount for that one as well. I just need the overall diameter of the light and the size of the bolt used for mounting. Maybe @crashnburn80 ?

    Thanks.

    Edit: Nevermind, everything is on their website!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  10. May 24, 2020 at 11:12 AM
    #10
    Taco-Obsessed

    Taco-Obsessed Wildlife Peeping Tom

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    You going to sell these mounts? A little side hustle and TW pay it forward?

    I like this idea. I saw a post about someone doing this recently that I commented on (yours maybe?). I plan on running these with rock lights in the regular locations. Then add that hood switch like yours just to the hood ones. I like the idea of all rock lights being on giving light around the sides of the truck when the hood is open, but if driving off road with rock lights on when the hood is closed the hood lights would be off.
     
  11. May 24, 2020 at 11:28 AM
    #11
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    I have not decided yet. If there is enough interest I may sell them, but there isn't much margin and I'm not really looking to make money off TW. Would probably need 10 people for each flavor to make it feasible. I might just share the CAD design and let people order/print them themselves. They are pretty simple designs.

    Rigid/Amazon Mount:
    RigidMount.jpg

    KC Mount:
    KCMount.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  12. May 24, 2020 at 12:06 PM
    #12
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    Unfortunately there isn't much of a price break for 3D printing at quantity. But seems like I can get them made for about $15/ea, so $30/pair, then add a couple bucks for shipping. This would be my cost, no profit.

    If 10 people want to sign up I can make it happen. Won't matter which flavor you want as long as there are at least 10 orders total.

    Let me know if you're interested, I'll update the first post with usernames.
     
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  13. May 24, 2020 at 1:48 PM
    #13
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    How do you guys feel about a universal mount that could mount either light? This design is actually a little cheaper to build. Would be $25 shipped for a pair.

    Universal Mount.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  14. May 24, 2020 at 5:04 PM
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    Taco-Obsessed

    Taco-Obsessed Wildlife Peeping Tom

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    I'm in.
    Looking forward to your finished product and proof of concept.
     
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  15. May 24, 2020 at 5:13 PM
    #15
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    I'll add you to the list for now!
     
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  16. May 24, 2020 at 6:00 PM
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    2012TacomaGuy

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  17. May 24, 2020 at 6:18 PM
    #17
    Taco-Obsessed

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  18. May 25, 2020 at 12:07 AM
    #18
    buckwheeat

    buckwheeat Member

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    The engine bay heat has been a issue for me (and it not summer yet) so mounting locations make a slight difference but I’m still testing.
     
  19. May 25, 2020 at 2:01 AM
    #19
    Toytoa4life

    Toytoa4life Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up!
     
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  20. May 25, 2020 at 9:56 AM
    #20
    tamer

    tamer [OP] hamerworx.com

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    What issue is the heat causing? These are never running while the vehicle is operating, only parked with the hood open.
     

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