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Interesting Idea for a Switch for Bed Lights

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Old 12-23-2015, 05:35 PM
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Interesting Idea for a Switch for Bed Lights

I will be installing LED bed lights and have read almost every post on the net about ideas for wiring the switch. I am leaning towards a power wire from the battery to a switch at the rear of the bed, The main concern folks have is forgetting to turn it off and killing the battery.

So I started looking for a switch with a timer and came across this device. http://www.wolstentech.com/products/timedelayrelay/tdr-mc.php It is a integrated relay and count down timer. Just toggle a momentary switch and the device will turn on the LEDs and start counting down. The timing is variable. If you toggle the switch again the timer will cancel and turn off the lights. I ordered one to see how it may work.

I also found a switch and timer module used for rear window defrosters. I thought about sourcing a junk yard switch but found out that the timing circuit in most cars is located in the computer or instrument cluster. Anyway, this device is all contained, counts down for 10 minutes, probably is cancelling, and even comes with a switch. This may be a better solution. https://www.frostfighter.com/thermas...r-controls.htm

Thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:47 PM
bayou barataria bayou barataria is offline
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That is a great find, I could use a couple of those on my work truck, the helpers are always leaving lights and battery charger on. Not a bad price also. Let us know how they work.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:50 PM
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Forgot to mention: the first device is rated 5 amp and the defroster switch is 20 amp.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:38 PM
kengarchow kengarchow is offline
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how about putting them on a trip switch like on the doors, so tail gate down lights on
tail gate up lights off
could also add a pilot light inside cab to tell u if u left tail gate open by accident
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kengarchow View Post
how about putting them on a trip switch like on the doors, so tail gate down lights on
tail gate up lights off
could also add a pilot light inside cab to tell u if u left tail gate open by accident
Sometimes I drive around with the tailgate down.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:43 PM
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I leave my bed lights on overnight all the time and never have an issue with killing the battery. They do not draw much power. I just put a switch in the rear left corner and that is the only way to turn them in and off
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MisterCMK View Post
I leave my bed lights on overnight all the time and never have an issue with killing the battery. They do not draw much power. I just put a switch in the rear left corner and that is the only way to turn them in and off
That was my plan, I even have the switch. But Mr. Murphy hates me and would love to kill my battery. I'm the guy that stuff happens to.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:55 AM
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Alternate Bed lights wiring

I have LED bed lights on my Crew Cab. I wired them into the cab step light connectors that were capped off under the truck. The connectors are on the outsides of the frame rails about 8 inches from the back of the cab.
Click the image to open in full size.

These connectors are energized and work with the cab lights. So if I open the doors or turn on the cab lights manually in the cab - my Bed Lights turn on. What's also great is that they also turn on when I unlock the truck using the key fob. Granted they only stay on for 30 seconds when activated this way, but it's come in handy when I just need to find something relatively quickly at night. If I need light longer I just need to hit the unlock on the key fob again...

My truck is an XLT with "Premium Package" - I don't know if the connectors are installed on XL versions.

Click the image to open in full size.

They automatically turn off with the rest of the lights - and it looks kind of cool because the dim to off.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightWingNutJob View Post
I have LED bed lights on my Crew Cab. I wired them into the cab step light connectors that were capped off under the truck. The connectors are on the outsides of the frame rails about 8 inches from the back of the cab.


These connectors are energized and work with the cab lights. So if I open the doors or turn on the cab lights manually in the cab - my Bed Lights turn on. What's also great is that they also turn on when I unlock the truck using the key fob. Granted they only stay on for 30 seconds when activated this way, but it's come in handy when I just need to find something relatively quickly at night. If I need light longer I just need to hit the unlock on the key fob again...

My truck is an XLT with "Premium Package" - I don't know if the connectors are installed on XL versions.
Yep. I have the connectors on my 2016 XLT and am using them for the cab step LEDs. Ford speaker wire plugs fit right into those connectors. I wanted a solution that eliminated the need to use the FOB or leave a door open.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCBS Smoker View Post
Sometimes I drive around with the tailgate down.
I'm also doing bed lights at the moment and what I want to do is get a switch for the negative so when the tailgates up the negative is disconnected and when it's down its on but inside the cab I'll have a button for the positive wire that will always be on but whenever you have to leave the tailgate open around town flip the switch off in the cab. Or for an easier way I was thinking wire it directly into the cargo lights and you can just hit the unlock button to turn it on for about a minute and if you need longer crack a door. If you come up with any other ideas be sure to tell me
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codyaye View Post
I'm also doing bed lights at the moment and what I want to do is get a switch for the negative so when the tailgates up the negative is disconnected and when it's down its on but inside the cab I'll have a button for the positive wire that will always be on but whenever you have to leave the tailgate open around town flip the switch off in the cab. Or for an easier way I was thinking wire it directly into the cargo lights and you can just hit the unlock button to turn it on for about a minute and if you need longer crack a door. If you come up with any other ideas be sure to tell me
I like both of those ideas.
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codyaye View Post
I'm also doing bed lights at the moment and what I want to do is get a switch for the negative so when the tailgates up the negative is disconnected and when it's down its on but inside the cab I'll have a button for the positive wire that will always be on but whenever you have to leave the tailgate open around town flip the switch off in the cab. Or for an easier way I was thinking wire it directly into the cargo lights and you can just hit the unlock button to turn it on for about a minute and if you need longer crack a door. If you come up with any other ideas be sure to tell me
You can pick up a basic pin switch at your local alarm shop for a couple of bucks, or they are readily available on line.
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codyaye View Post
I'm also doing bed lights at the moment and what I want to do is get a switch for the negative so when the tailgates up the negative is disconnected and when it's down its on but inside the cab I'll have a button for the positive wire that will always be on but whenever you have to leave the tailgate open around town flip the switch off in the cab. Or for an easier way I was thinking wire it directly into the cargo lights and you can just hit the unlock button to turn it on for about a minute and if you need longer crack a door. If you come up with any other ideas be sure to tell me
I considered these as well. Plunger switch plus an in-cab switch is over thinking the project in IMHO. A simple switch with time out near the tailgate solves the open tailgate issue. I don't want the aggravation of making the cab switch is "on" when I open the tailgate. I also don't want to crack a door to keep the light on. Good ideas though.
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2016 F250 2WD CC SB XLT 6.2 3.73 locker, Pscope mirrors, AirLift 5000 bags, LED interior, cab step and bed lights, LoPro QT tonneau cover, BedTred liner, BedTrek bed step,
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:37 PM
dwysywd dwysywd is offline
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wow...cool thread. i am planning on doing this over the winter, one of my many projects. I'm saving this one!
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCBS Smoker View Post
I considered these as well. Plunger switch plus an in-cab switch is over thinking the project in IMHO. A simple switch with time out near the tailgate solves the open tailgate issue. I don't want the aggravation of making the cab switch is "on" when I open the tailgate. I also don't want to crack a door to keep the light on. Good ideas though.
Yeah I can understand that. The cargo lights one is just an idea if you don't want to hook up and go get a switch and figure all that out, just to make things easy. I'm going with the tailgate switch because I rarely leave my tailgate open as is and if I do I have the switch in the cab. It's a bit of a hassle to do for sure but I think in the end it will be worth it. And thanks. Let me know if you got any other ideas, love to hear em!
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