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Discussion Starter #1
Since I bought my truck, I've been searching for a bed / cargo lighting set up that I liked. Nothing was really peaking my interest and I really didn't see the need to spend the kind of money that most of them cost, for such generic set ups that I didn't think looked that nice or where that effective. I decided to build my own set up using LED strips, planned it all out and started assembling the parts for it a couple weeks ago. I've had it all sitting for a while, but was still looking for a way to turn them on and off that I could live with. I was initially going to use a rocker switch inside the cab, but I thought that would be a little inconvenient at times, so I nixed it. Today out of mere chance, I found a door jamb switch that looked pretty promising on a car that was getting ready to be scrapped at my buddies tow yard. So I grabbed it and went to work on wiring the system tonight when I got home. All you Canadian boys should be proud of me; I wired the whole system tonight (after the sun went down) in 10* temps...:cool: My body ain't built for that **** though :( !!

The system consists of three 4' LED strips, one door jamb switch (plunger switch), some heat shrink tubing and about 40' of 18 gauge wire.
Details on the LED strips: SMD-5050 type, IP65 weather proof, strips are backed with 3M tape and each individual LED is rated at 12-14 lumen with 120* beam angle; there are 18 LED's per foot. I got these from an E-bay seller called Glow Hut. They custom cut them and wire them at any length you choose, so you can buy it by the foot and they'll solder the leads on for you. I just checked and the price was $15 per 4' strip, so it was $45 total, not $40 like I say in the below video. These LED's are no joke! They're bright as hell and honestly, I probably only needed two.

Here's the video of the system so far. I'm obviously not thrilled with the "junk yard" switch, I'll be ordering a new better switch. Otherwise it came out great.

 

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Turned out BA!! Might have to look into doing the same. How do the lights get power? Did you tap into the head/tail lights or straight to the batt? Great job man
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I got that switch off of a junk yard car, but ordered three different new ones yesterday to see which I like best. They were about $4-$6 each at Rock Auto.

The power comes right from the fuse box under the hood, constant on. The switch at the tailgate is hooked to ground so that the ground is what is switched. That way there's no concerns of the switch causing shorting issues if it fails or gets wet.

Ill post an update when the parts get here from Rock. I'll post up the part numbers as well. I still need to decide on where and what I'm going to use as an over ride switch.
 

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Fantastic OEM like setup. That's the ticket there. I'm waiting to do mine. Though I'm going to wait for warmer temps. I'm not found of cold hand tools and concrete when I have the choice. :) We'll have to beg and plead for some more pictures of the salent points at a later time for full documentation purposes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You got it, I'll post up more as soon as I get the new switches and I get temps above eleventy below...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, as always Rock Auto came through quick and cheap. The switch I chose to go with is part #1S3549, it's made by Airtex; this is a link to the exact part. This switch is much nicer looking and has a rubber coating all the way around it.

Here's what it looks like now.


I also chose the manual override switch that I'm gonna use, I picked it up at Radio Shack yesterday while browsing for some other stuff. here's a link to that it was about $4 and is nice and small, maybe the size of a dime. It should be real easy to hide somewhere under the rail or behind edge of the tailgate opening.

Anyone that's interested in doing this, I would highly suggest putting your switch about an inch or inch and half lower than I did. My mounting position was fine for the original switch I used, but this one's button is slightly higher which caused it to barely catch the edge of the latch opening on the tailgate. I also really only think you need two of these strips. If you really want the extra light, two 5' strips instead of 4' would be more than enough. The 4' strip on the cab side of the bed was overkill I think. Save yourself the $15 and try two, you can always add the third later if you think you need it.
 

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I'm jelly...turned out awesome.
 

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How did you wire up the manual override switch? Does it need to be in the on position for the tailgate switch to work or off position? I'm trying to figure out in my head how to wire it. Seems to be one would have to override the other, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The override will be wired BEFORE the jamb switch so that when its on, it allows the ground to be controlled by the jamb switch; when the over ride switch is off the position of the jamb switch won't matter since the ground will be cut at the over ride switch. It'll just be a small button hidden behind my bed rug that will be left on most of the time, but off when I need to drive around with the gate down. I'll post a bunch of photos with the wiring and all once this weather breaks a bit. We're getting another storm now...:mad::mad:
 
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok ok here's the part 2 I promised. This one shows the new switches and explains the wiring a little more in detail as requested.

 
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