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MOD - LED Bed Lighting Connected to Cargo Light / Bed Light Circuit

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016-2023)' started by Quicksander17, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Jan 26, 2018 at 8:35 PM
    #1
    Quicksander17

    Quicksander17 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have been looking to install some LED strips under my cargo bed rail system and am wondering if anyone has had any luck wiring lights into the 3rd brake light cargo light circuit?

    I have seen multiple mods that have strip power wired all the way to the battery with waterproof switches in the bed but I would rather have them wired directly into either the third brake light cargo light circuit or into the interior cab cargo light switch so the lighting system comes on with the factory cargo light.
    This is the only video I have been able to find with the circuit to the cargo/bed light:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofB834nEVkw
    (see pic below of tapping into wiring harness by driver's door)

    *I'm hoping I can find someone who knows the wiring diagram to that third brake light / cargo light to tap into it either in the tail lights, towing harness or inside the cab, closer to the bed.. Definitely don't want to have to remove the rear seat headliner to tap into the third brake light.
    Also wondering if that circuit is 12V, assuming it is.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as I am sure there are a ton of us that would add this upgrade for even greater bed lighting.

    Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 8.33.07 PM.jpg
     
    xsf18cdf and Superman like this.
  2. Jan 26, 2018 at 8:52 PM
    #2
    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN

    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN Well-Known Member

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    Yep. You gotta use that search feature. Look at @Corneeeeelius thread on this
     
  3. Jan 26, 2018 at 11:35 PM
    #3
    mrkabc

    mrkabc Mall Crawler with a Locker

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    Wow that was helpful. :der:

    (Asked this same question 2 weeks ago and got very similar useless "use the search function" answers )

    Good luck OP, I have sub'd your thread in hopes that someone will actually answer with constructive information.
     
  4. Jan 26, 2018 at 11:47 PM
    #4
    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN

    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN Well-Known Member

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    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...ights-to-factory-switch.463241/#post-16848757
    Okay man. I linked the thread creator's name so you could find it, but since you aren't willing to click on it, here you go. Direct link.

    The search function is very useful, and it helps keep threads from being repeated.
     
  5. Jan 27, 2018 at 12:27 AM
    #5
    mrkabc

    mrkabc Mall Crawler with a Locker

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    Appreciate the link, that's helpful.

    Disagree with the usefulness of the search function though (this isn't me starting a pissing contest).

    I installed the "factory" bed lights and want to run them off the OEM cab light switch like the OP. The directions state to tap in to a green wire and ground to a black and white wire with a picture very similar to OP's above.

    Searching here didn't reveal ANY good info on where the elusive green wire actually is, and the ground plug contains quite a few black and white wires. Pulling the kick panel revealed lots of white plugs and green wires and I didn't want to be like another member here burning up a lot of green wire insulation to probe which wire was the real one. He failed, BTW. Found that thread using search as well. But... the vaunted search Never. Showed. Me. Which. Wire. Was. The. Right. One.

    My lights still don't work and I'm about ready to just order a switch and wire directly to 12v. I'm afraid to try Cornelius' blue wire solution since it doesn't go through a relay and I don't want to blow out the computer like the map/dome light LED guys.

    So... long story short... help is appreciated, useless search... Not so much.
     
    synaps3 and Kheiron like this.
  6. Jan 27, 2018 at 12:45 AM
    #6
    Quicksander17

    Quicksander17 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the direct link. Saves time searching through any/all the posts Cornelius has.

    *To make this work, we should be able to:
    1.) Combine the aftermarket 12V truck bed light's Positive (+) wires to an 7.5-10 Amp "Add a Circuit" as pictured below into an available fuse slot in the driver's fuse box:
    Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 1.00.12 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 12.53.59 AM.jpg
    -----

    2.) And then combine the auxiliary bed light's the Negative (-) wiring and tap into the Blue wire behind the factory cargo light rocker switch.
    20161101_134638.jpg
    blue tap.jpg

    Found another thread identifying this as correct:https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/help-identifying-illumination-wire-on-cargo-light-switch.458634/
    -

    Anyone else do this same method? Seems to be the cleanest so all bed lights work with cargo light automatically or by manual switching on or off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN likes this.
  7. Jan 27, 2018 at 12:54 AM
    #7
    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN

    Taco_Tues_3rdGEN Well-Known Member

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    The blue wire is found on the wire harness that connects to the cargo light. That is want you ground to. You run your positive wires to the fuse box using an add a fuse.

    I understand your concern about not wanting to tap the wire and wanting to use a relay. In the thread, there are wiring diagrams that show how to wire up a relay harness. I'm sure you would be just fine if you went that route.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  8. Feb 7, 2018 at 12:07 AM
    #8
    mrkabc

    mrkabc Mall Crawler with a Locker

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    OK, I have located the correct wiring per the "OEM" instructions. No need to pull the OEM cargo light switch or use any fuse box wire taps. Also, since the bed lights are being run off the OEM relay, you aren't in any danger of frying the switch.

    After you run the hot and ground wires into the cab, pull them into the drivers side kick panel. The ground wire can be attached to the screw directly above the common negative wiring plug using a ring tongue (no need for a wire tap):
    Wiring Help 1.jpg
    The elusive "green" hot wire that is coming off the relay for the cab lights is located in the white plug nearest the common ground plug (circled in the pic.)
    Wiring Help 2.jpg
    Pull the white plug out and flip it over. The switched wire to the cargo light is center light green(ish) wire in the middle of the bottom row (when plugged in, it is facing the floor of the truck). There is very little clearance here; it's best to cut away some of the electrical tape and use a wire tap once you get clearance. I don't recommend cutting/soldering/splicing this wire since it appears to be 24 gauge and somewhat fragile. The tap shown (included with the installation kit) does the trick just fine; and this is coming from someone that hates taps.

    Mount the tap and then plug your positive wire from the bed lights into the tap. At this point you can test your lights, they will run right off the cab light switch as intended! The final installation should look like this:
    Wiring Help 3.jpg
    You can now replace the kick panel and door trim molding. The final result:
    Wiring Help 4.jpg

    So this is it - success! Hopefully someone who has trouble finding the correct wiring due to cryptic instructions will benefit using this guide.

    Cheers all!
     
  9. Feb 7, 2018 at 12:43 AM
    #9
    QuicksandChili

    QuicksandChili Well-Known Member

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    Cool, Thanks
     
  10. Apr 13, 2018 at 1:46 PM
    #10
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    Looks good, thanks!
     
  11. Jan 6, 2019 at 4:30 PM
    #11
    Andyclemmer88

    Andyclemmer88 New Member

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    I just completed this install and everything works perfectly!!!!
     
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  12. Jan 6, 2019 at 4:37 PM
    #12
    mrkabc

    mrkabc Mall Crawler with a Locker

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    Glad we could help. Welcome to TW!! :thumbsup:
     
  13. Jan 6, 2019 at 4:54 PM
    #13
    Dragracer_Art

    Dragracer_Art Tundra for the win

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    My truck was already wired this way from SE Toyota. Bed lights come on with the cab light
     
  14. Jan 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    #14
    DFA1

    DFA1 Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up thanks
     
  15. Jan 12, 2019 at 3:37 PM
    #15
    TRD493

    TRD493 Well-Known Member

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    @mattgecko sells a kit with a on/off switch in the bed if the tailgate

    Edit: Damn, just realized how old this thread is! Whoops
     
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  16. Jan 12, 2019 at 3:47 PM
    #16
    mrkabc

    mrkabc Mall Crawler with a Locker

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    Still relevant even today! :thumbsup:
     
  17. Jan 12, 2019 at 6:14 PM
    #17
    Governor

    Governor Well-Known Member

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    thanks OP
     
  18. Jan 25, 2019 at 1:00 PM
    #18
    slowlane

    slowlane Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting the wiring instructions!! I've been wanting to make this my next project. With a softopper, the third brake light is useless and it's super dark at night in the topper. I've seen the mattgecko kit. But I'm looking to save some money and piece a kit together myself, if its cost advantageous. Well see.....

    Do you know what exactly I would need? My short list is:

    - Led lights
    - fuse
    - wire
    - wire taps
    - wire loom

    Am I missing something?
     
  19. Jan 25, 2019 at 11:15 PM
    #19
    mrkabc

    mrkabc Mall Crawler with a Locker

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    No, I don't think you are missing anything. Have you given thought as to how you would route the wires into the softopper? I would think that the MattGecko kit would suit your needs since the LED strips run under the rails and that should light up the bed pretty good without having wires dangle everywhere.

    I don't think you'd save too much money over Matt's kit - you could order LED strip(s) off eBay, but those are pretty low quality LEDs and you'll most likely encounter cold solder joints and shoddily constructed strips. (ask me how I know... wry smile) The OEM kit works well with my tonneau cover but I think for what you are wanting to do, I'd give Matt's stuff a serious look. Just my $0.02... good luck and let us know what you ended up doing!
     
  20. Jan 26, 2019 at 6:52 AM
    #20
    slowlane

    slowlane Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I've thought about mounting the LEDs on the softopper or at least anywhere above the truck bed. However, thought about if I wanted to fold/remove the topper and how the wires would make it less easier to fold/remove. So I'll probably mount the lights under bed side. I've seen pics of LEDs on the roof of the softopper. It does look pretty slick though.

    After a little bit of looking around the internet, mattgeckos price isn't bad. I think if I were to piece it myself, it would be cheaper. But not much cheaper. Also it's probably not worth the effort trying to piece together a kit that's made specifically for the shortbed and that's quality.

    Also finding your post is the only way I would want to wire bed lights. I prefer that all mods to the truck "look" oem. I'm assuming you haven't had any issues with your lights? Or wiring? Thanks!!
     
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