LED Bedlight Wiring

Tellsch

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Hey Guys,
I recently installed aftermarket bed lights and they work great. I wired constant power to a switch and then to the positive of the lights. Everything is good and works as expected. After using it for a few weeks, I realized it would be really nice if the LEDs came on automatically when the tailgate opens. I dont want to mess with a tilt or pin switch on the tailgate.

I have two wiring questions:

1. Can I wire the white wire/tan tracer directly to the side of the switch that connects to positive of LEDs? That way when the white wire/tan tracer is live (cargo light), the lights will go on. If that wire is off, I can still turn the switch on to turn the lights on. I would think normal opoeation it would be ok. But what if the OEM cargo light was on and I accidentally turned on the bed light switch as well? Would that mess with the white/tan wire at all (will it turn the cargo light indicator on in the dash? will it mess with the cargo light switch in the cab? etc).

2. The safer option, but a bit more work, I believe I can introduce a 5 pin SPDT relay setup like below:
Pin 85 - Ground
Pin 30 - Constant 12V
Pin 86 - White Wire/Tan Tracer (trigger)
Pin 87a - Hot when no trigger is present - this would go to the switch which would then be connected to the positive of LEDs. This would allow the switch to work with the cargo light off.
Pin 87 - Hot when trigger is present - this would go to the positive of the LEDs. This would allow the bed lights to go on when the tailgate opens/cargo light on.

I have only used SPST relays before - can someone check that I have that setup properly? I attached a drawing as it is hard to follow by just describing.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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Damion

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Personally, I would tap into the bed light wire for a trigger and diode isolate that wire from your constant wire. Search for my thread " cheaper alternative to OEM bed lights " I say which wire in the rear drivers side threshold is the rear cargo light wire. They will come on whenever the tailgate is open.
 

Tellsch

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I thought about doing the diode method as well. I ultimately decided against it because I have all the wiring already bundled up in the taillight housing. Using a relay, I don't have to worry about overloading the white/tan wire (which will be the trigger) as all of the power will be coming from the constant 12v.

If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have just run it direct off of white/tan and been done with it. It will be nice having the switch, but TBD on how often I will actually use it. I will say, only having the switch is not ideal. It will be really nice when the lights go on automatically when you open the tailgate.
 

Tellsch

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To anyone following, using the diagram I made with the SPDT relay worked perfectly. I can turn on the lights whenever I want via the switch in the bed or they come on automatically anytime the cargo light goes on (unlock, tailgate open, etc). The nice thing is after the 1.5 minute timer the cargo light is on, I can turn the switch on to have the lights come on for longer. The OEM cargo light switch in the dash also works perfectly.

Tapping the white/tan in the cab and running the wire to the taillight was the biggest pain, but not terrible. Just time consuming.

Finally can put this project to bed!
 

Atlantic Blue

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To anyone following, using the diagram I made with the SPDT relay worked perfectly. I can turn on the lights whenever I want via the switch in the bed or they come on automatically anytime the cargo light goes on (unlock, tailgate open, etc). The nice thing is after the 1.5 minute timer the cargo light is on, I can turn the switch on to have the lights come on for longer. The OEM cargo light switch in the dash also works perfectly.

Tapping the white/tan in the cab and running the wire to the taillight was the biggest pain, but not terrible. Just time consuming.

Finally can put this project to bed!
Pictures? Video?
 

TX_Phil

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To anyone following, using the diagram I made with the SPDT relay worked perfectly. I can turn on the lights whenever I want via the switch in the bed or they come on automatically anytime the cargo light goes on (unlock, tailgate open, etc). The nice thing is after the 1.5 minute timer the cargo light is on, I can turn the switch on to have the lights come on for longer. The OEM cargo light switch in the dash also works perfectly.

Tapping the white/tan in the cab and running the wire to the taillight was the biggest pain, but not terrible. Just time consuming.

Finally can put this project to bed!
Thanks for taking the time to document this. I plan to add some LEDs (non-mopar) and what you describe sounds exactly like what I want to do. Manual ON, Manual OFF or work in conjunction with cargo bed lights.
 

Tellsch

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Thanks for taking the time to document this. I plan to add some LEDs (non-mopar) and what you describe sounds exactly like what I want to do. Manual ON, Manual OFF or work in conjunction with cargo bed lights.
You are welcome, still working great! Having the lights come on when the tailgate opens is a lifesaver!
 

B.Ras

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Hey Guys,
I recently installed aftermarket bed lights and they work great. I wired constant power to a switch and then to the positive of the lights. Everything is good and works as expected. After using it for a few weeks, I realized it would be really nice if the LEDs came on automatically when the tailgate opens. I dont want to mess with a tilt or pin switch on the tailgate.

I have two wiring questions:

1. Can I wire the white wire/tan tracer directly to the side of the switch that connects to positive of LEDs? That way when the white wire/tan tracer is live (cargo light), the lights will go on. If that wire is off, I can still turn the switch on to turn the lights on. I would think normal opoeation it would be ok. But what if the OEM cargo light was on and I accidentally turned on the bed light switch as well? Would that mess with the white/tan wire at all (will it turn the cargo light indicator on in the dash? will it mess with the cargo light switch in the cab? etc).

2. The safer option, but a bit more work, I believe I can introduce a 5 pin SPDT relay setup like below:
Pin 85 - Ground
Pin 30 - Constant 12V
Pin 86 - White Wire/Tan Tracer (trigger)
Pin 87a - Hot when no trigger is present - this would go to the switch which would then be connected to the positive of LEDs. This would allow the switch to work with the cargo light off.
Pin 87 - Hot when trigger is present - this would go to the positive of the LEDs. This would allow the bed lights to go on when the tailgate opens/cargo light on.

I have only used SPST relays before - can someone check that I have that setup properly? I attached a drawing as it is hard to follow by just describing.

Thanks,
Brian
This is the method I went with a few months ago on my lone star 1500. Worked as shown in the video with the interior switch, doors open and button on the bed light. No issues.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

nytmare

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I've researched this a lot and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I have the two factory LED lights in the back of the bed that have the on/off push button switch on the driver side bed wall. If I want to add two LED strips down each side of the bed for extra lighting, is there any reason I shouldn't tap into the wires behind either one of the two existing lights? I'd imagine the two additional LED strips would then have the same functionality that the original lights have. Am I off base here? Has anyone here done this? I'm not interested in running wires under the truck and into the engine compartment, or tapping into a break light, or plugging into the bed trailer plug connectors. Or... they'd at least be my last resort. Thanks.
 

Damion

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You should be able to tap into the factory harness to add extra lights, LED don't draw very much current
 

Snwjnky

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I've researched this a lot and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I have the two factory LED lights in the back of the bed that have the on/off push button switch on the driver side bed wall. If I want to add two LED strips down each side of the bed for extra lighting, is there any reason I shouldn't tap into the wires behind either one of the two existing lights? I'd imagine the two additional LED strips would then have the same functionality that the original lights have. Am I off base here? Has anyone here done this? I'm not interested in running wires under the truck and into the engine compartment, or tapping into a break light, or plugging into the bed trailer plug connectors. Or... they'd at least be my last resort. Thanks.
I'm watching for the same answer.
The lights I have draw 4 amps.
Anyone know what the amp draw the circuit for the factory lights is wired for? Which fuse, which box?
 

nytmare

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I'm watching for the same answer.
The lights I have draw 4 amps.
Anyone know what the amp draw the circuit for the factory lights is wired for? Which fuse, which box?
There's a guy over on the Heavy Duty forum (sister to this group/forum) who did exactly this. He took his truck to a shop and they wired two LED strips directly into the backside of the driver side factory light housing. They looped the wired over the top and into the rear side of the housing (closest to the tailgate). I've not pulled mine to check it out, but I assume they did that 'cause the wires were easier to access from that side. Will find out when I do mine or confirm if someone gets around to doing it before me.
 

Damion

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I'm watching for the same answer.
The lights I have draw 4 amps.
Anyone know what the amp draw the circuit for the factory lights is wired for? Which fuse, which box?
4A is a lot of draw for a LED setup...
 

FrankieG

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Just checking back to see if anyone had luck wiring in additional LED strips to the factory lights.
Thanks for any info. Looking for a new project while stuck at home.
 

Partime43

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Pretty cool ideas you guys have. I though wired to the trailer plug (marker lights) and drilled two 3/4 inch holes for LED lights and a weather proof toogle switch into the plastic covers where the factory lights would have been. They acutal work pretty well I can see the whole brd at night.
 
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