Toyota Tundra Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In my other post I explained a simple mod that I came up with to light up my truck bed once the BAKflip cover is installed. I wanted to get it done this week since my cover should arrive any day now. Well I just finished it tonight and it turned out better than I thought.

I ended up removing the left rear tail light (driver side) and splicing the bed light straight into the running light feed so that it will come on whenever the headlights or running lights are on and the tailgate is open. I used a normally-closed momentary switch from Radio Shack and it works like a charm.

If anyone wants to do this and has questions then reply or PM me. It is very easy and should only take an hour or so but I can help if you get stuck.








 

·
Jedi Ninja in Training
Joined
·
8,309 Posts
Looks nice and functional. So you mounted a pressure switch, so when the gate is shut it is off?
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Looks nice and functional. So you mounted a pressure switch, so when the gate is shut it is off?
Right. I could have installed a manual switch but I figured it would be best to go with the automatic pressure switch since my hands are probably going to be full when I am loading or unloading the bed. At first I used a pin switch like the kind they use on car alarms to protect your hood or trunk, but then I found a smaller switch from Radio Shack which was only $1 so I used it instead.

One pole of the switch is soldered to a short 2" wire and I wrapped the loose end around a lock washer on the back of the switch to supply a ground. The fog light's ground wire is soldered to the other pole of the switch. With a normally closed switch it only completes the circuit when the tailgate is open.
 

·
Deliciously Blunt
Joined
·
5,667 Posts
Can you swivel the light to shine out your rear end (pun intended) if there's work to be done behind your truck at night....like working on a hitch, or trailer or something? That would be cool if it could double as a work light.:tu:
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Can you swivel the light to shine out your rear end (pun intended) if there's work to be done behind your truck at night....like working on a hitch, or trailer or something? That would be cool if it could double as a work light.:tu:
Yep. The mounting bracket for the fog light can be rotated 360 degrees and the light itself can be tilted about 120 degrees within the bracket. I snugged the bolts up just enough to hold it firmly in place while driving but I can still adjust it to point it in any direction when needed. I left some slack in the wire but not a lot - didn't want it to hang loose or snag on things. It would look really cool with an American flag mounted in the bed and the spotlight shining up on it at night... ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Good idea but I would be afraid of it getting ripped/broken off. Maybe flush mount it?
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Good idea but I would be afraid of it getting ripped/broken off. Maybe flush mount it?
I thought about that, but the light is small and is mostly protected by the bed lip and deck rail above and the tail light section in the back. Something could slide in the bed and break it but it would have to be a heavy item since the mounting bracket is solid metal and the mounting bolt is strong. Plus the light would most likely just swivel in place since it is loose enough to be adjusted by hand but tight enough to stay in place while driving. And don't forget that I will have my bed lid on soon.

If the light itself breaks then it is cheap enough to replace at only $7.50, and I already have a spare sitting in the garage since I didn't use the other fog light from the set yet.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Hey, I'm just wondering if you considered installing rope lighting under the rails. That may be a way to provide a more complete illumination for the whole bed, though I'm not sure if the power requirements would have been too much for this type of application.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
I thought about that, but the light is small and is mostly protected by the bed lip and deck rail above and the tail light section in the back. Something could slide in the bed and break it but it would have to be a heavy item since the mounting bracket is solid metal and the mounting bolt is strong. Plus the light would most likely just swivel in place since it is loose enough to be adjusted by hand but tight enough to stay in place while driving. And don't forget that I will have my bed lid on soon.

If the light itself breaks then it is cheap enough to replace at only $7.50, and I already have a spare sitting in the garage since I didn't use the other fog light from the set yet.
Makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Hey, I'm just wondering if you considered installing rope lighting under the rails. That may be a way to provide a more complete illumination for the whole bed, though I'm not sure if the power requirements would have been too much for this type of application.
If one were to use a LED setup it would produce a decent amount of light while using a low draw on current and the lifespan would probably outlast the truck as limited as it would be used.
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I did consider rope lights but decided against them for the following reasons:
  • more work to install / remove
  • more difficult to clean
  • good 12V rope lights are not as cheap or easy to find
  • might get in the way of cargo, tie downs, or bed cover clamps
  • they would only shine downward, not out into the center of the bed
  • could not be adjusted to shine up or out of the bed
  • more current drain unless LED rope lights were available, and good LED rope lights cost more
  • might look cheap like some kind of fancy curio cabinet
  • harder to replace parts if needed
  • the existing fog light install was cheap, quick, easy, and functions as well or better, so why bother?
To each his own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
I did consider rope lights but decided against them for the following reasons:
  • more work to install / remove
  • more difficult to clean
  • good 12V rope lights are not as cheap or easy to find
  • might get in the way of cargo, tie downs, or bed cover clamps
  • they would only shine downward, not out into the center of the bed
  • could not be adjusted to shine up or out of the bed
  • more current drain unless LED rope lights were available, and good LED rope lights cost more
  • might look cheap like some kind of fancy curio cabinet
  • harder to replace parts if needed
  • the existing fog light install was cheap, quick, easy, and functions as well or better, so why bother?
To each his own.
My comment was more towards the post about doing and under rail system.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
I did consider rope lights but decided against them for the following reasons:
  • more work to install / remove
  • more difficult to clean
  • good 12V rope lights are not as cheap or easy to find
  • might get in the way of cargo, tie downs, or bed cover clamps
  • they would only shine downward, not out into the center of the bed
  • could not be adjusted to shine up or out of the bed
  • more current drain unless LED rope lights were available, and good LED rope lights cost more
  • might look cheap like some kind of fancy curio cabinet
  • harder to replace parts if needed
  • the existing fog light install was cheap, quick, easy, and functions as well or better, so why bother?
To each his own.
If I'm not mistaken they were not too expensive. The only problem is that typically you have to buy a whole roll. I saw a 150' roll for ~$150 so that is about $1/ft. That is for 12V power source.
I don't think that it will be difficult to install under the track or look cheap (most look pretty good as long as the color isn't tacky). As far as adjustment, correct, it can not be adjusted much, but I guarantee that it will light up the entire bed. You won't have any "dead" spots and combined with the bed light on the top of the back of the cab, you should have a pretty good view of what's in the bed.
Maybe a group buy is in order? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I have been trying to locate a light fixture so I could suggest an alternative, but so far haven't found it - maybe someone else can.

My two previous GM pickups had an underhood light that would work nicely as a bed light. It has it's own switch, and the light itself is attached to a 25' cord that winds up on a reel in the fixture. The light has a magnetic base so you can stick it anywhere on the body if you un-reel it. (Handy for those impromptu tire changes along a dark roadside.)

The whole fixture is about 4" x 6" x 1 1/2", and the portable light portion is about 2" in diameter and 1 1/2" tall (measured away from the magnetic base). It mounted to the fender liner under the hood in my GM, but you could easily mount it to the inside of the bed sidewall back by a taillight, and tap the taillight or license plate light for power.
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I agree the only way to install rope light would be to tuck it up under the bed rail. The points that I made above were based on this assumption.

$150 for a roll of rope light is not too much compared to the price of other truck mods but it is still 20 times more than the $7.50 that I paid for a single fog light.

If someone finds a cheap source for 12V DC LED rope light then I might be interested but I would want to see some pictures of an install first before investing more time or money to replace the simple fog light. I would not want to use rope with conventional bulbs.

Although my pictures don't show it too well the fog light is actually quite bright and it illuminates the entire bed with ease. I took the photos under pitch black condition with no other lights around and it was bright enough to light up the surrounding area around the bed well enough for me to see small items on the ground. I also like being able to angle the light out the back of the bed or up in the air if needed. This would come in handy when loading or launching a boat, jumping another vehicle, signaling other traffic, lighting up a campsite or field behind the truck, etc. Not as nice as a full rack of spotlights above the cab but for $7.50 it is very versatile and well worth the cost.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top