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LED Under Hood

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by TTU19, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Oct 5, 2016 at 11:40 AM
    #1
    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    I want to wire some LEDs under my hood and around the engine bay to light it up when needed and on a weather proof rocker switch under the hood. I wanted to ask just a few questions though from those who know more about wiring and which LEDs to use.

    LEDs: I think the roll up LEDs would probably be best since I can cut them to fit and will stick to just about any surface. I've never used these types of lights though. Would you use anything different?

    [​IMG]
    Then I'll probably use these solderless connectors:

    [​IMG]

    Wiring: If I understand this correctly, I run the positive from the LEDs to the ACC on the rocker switch. The Negative I'd just ground somewhere to an existing bolt, or create my own for a ground. The Power from the switch would run to the battery, or tap into a fuse, while the Negative/Ground would just connect to a screw. Can it be the same screw as the LED negative or does it need to be at a different location?

    If I run the Power from the switch directly to the battery, it would technically always be powered, correct? I don't want to have to turn on the truck to use it.

    If you have any other recommendations, please let me know. I'm trying to get all my supplies together that I'll need and ready to install. Thanks..!
     
  2. Oct 5, 2016 at 12:02 PM
    #2
    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Also, I've seen a lot of diagrams that use a Relay, what would be the purpose in that?

    Sorry, ha. Newb!
     
  3. Oct 5, 2016 at 12:03 PM
    #3
    Bannock452

    Bannock452 New Member

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    Sub'd for this one. Seems like your on the right track to me! Look forward to seeing your results!
     
  4. Oct 5, 2016 at 12:42 PM
    #4
    TNTundra08

    TNTundra08 New Member

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    While I am no expert. This is how I wired up two led lights for my truck and haven't had any issues for almost two years.

    For the wiring hardness and lights. Yeah, all my grounds I hooked to the same bolt, I wired my light bars straight to the battery so I can use them even without the key. For what you want that's the route I would go then you don't have to keep your key on "on" or "acc" and can still use them.

    I was told LEDs don't draw that much power so you shouldn't have to worry about draining your battery while working in the bay (assuming that's the need)

    Example: I also changed all my interior lights to LED and left them all on for 3 straight days by accident when I went out of town and the truck didn't even hiccup to start up.

    I'm sure someone with more electrical knowledge will chime in but just to get ya started (with hopefully accurate info) I was letting you know what I did
     
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  5. Oct 5, 2016 at 12:43 PM
    #5
    TNTundra08

    TNTundra08 New Member

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    And when I say "wired the light bars straight to my battery". I had a wiring harness and relay that hooked from the lights to the harness then straight to the battery. Instead of supplying power through a fuse tap that turns off when the truck it off
     
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  6. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:08 PM
    #6
    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, I'll put a small fuse in-line to the battery just to be safe, but I think that's the best way to go.

    @RowdyRon posted this photo of what he did, and is exactly what I want to do. Pop the hood and flip the switch for instant lights.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:15 PM
    #7
    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    Wes, I would be careful using strip LED's under the hood. They are not known for having real good adhesive on them and could let go. The heat generated by the engine could make the ability for them to stick even worse. I would get some kind of bolt LED's or perhaps rock LED's that bolt on for my under hood lighting. The waterproof rocker light switch I used is a 3-terminal switch - a + terminal, an "A" (accessory) terminal, and a ground terminal. I ran a fused hot wire from my under hood fuse box with an add a circuit tap to the positive terminal on the switch, ran the positive wires from the lights to the "A" (accessory) terminal on the light switch, ran the negative wires from the lights to a ground point, and ran a ground from the light switch to a ground point. You can use insulated spade connectors to make your connections to the light switch. Hope all that makes sense...
     
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  8. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:21 PM
    #8
    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Yes, that all makes sense in order to hook them up. I also didn't think about the heat and such could result in the lights not sticking. Hummm... I had originally thought to put a light on the hood, so overhead. Then somewhere on each side of the engine bay. Wire all 3 together and then to the switch and grounds.
     
  9. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:23 PM
    #9
    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Guess it depends on the LEDs that I use, but what size fuse do you think would be needed? 15 amp should be good enough I'd think?
     
  10. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:23 PM
    #10
    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    Yes, there are a number of locations you can use to make it work. I may replace my bolt LED's with some off-road rock lights because they look to be a lot brighter than the bolt LED's. You may want to check them out on Ebay...just my $.02's...
     
  11. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:24 PM
    #11
    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, I'm on Superbrightleds.com right now putting all my supplies together. I'll see what else they have and go from there to check ebay and amazon.
     
  12. Oct 5, 2016 at 1:25 PM
    #12
    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    Depending on the wattage of your lights, you could probably make do with a 5 amp add a fuse. My two bolt LED's are only 10 watts each. 10 watts X 2 = 20 watts total divided by 12 volts = 1.67 amps.
     
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  13. Oct 5, 2016 at 2:40 PM
    #13
    dumbassdave

    dumbassdave New Member

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    If you used a 15 amp fuse, your wire would would probably melt (or make fire) before the fuse blew. A relay would be used when there is a high current that you wouldn't want going through your switch.

    As an example, on my Tacoma I had a light bar on a factory fog light switch. The switch triggered the relay and the power for the light goes through the $8 relay, not my $50 switch.

    With the LED light strips, I'd imagine that you wouldn't be hitting any current that would be a concern to run through a rocker switch, especially since the rocker switch is likely inexpensive.
     
  14. Oct 5, 2016 at 2:42 PM
    #14
    CJ21

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  15. Oct 5, 2016 at 2:43 PM
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    CJ21

    CJ21 CJ-21

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    Check that out that's a lot better than the LED strip light. They're very inexpensive on eBay . Is the LED light Bar.
     
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  16. Oct 5, 2016 at 2:44 PM
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    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    That makes sense, so maybe a 5 amp fuse? Like you said, with the little amount of power, there shouldn't be a worry, but just in case.
     
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  17. Oct 5, 2016 at 2:44 PM
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    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks, I'll check it out when I get home.
     
  18. Oct 5, 2016 at 2:52 PM
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    dumbassdave

    dumbassdave New Member

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    I'd think that 5 amp fuse would be fine. If you really wanted to you could look up what fuse you needed based on the length and gauge of wire you will be running. Personally, I'd just put in a 5 amp fuse.

    Could also make things a bit more interesting and put in a mercury switch so that it turns the light on when you open the hood! I used one on my Tacoma glove box with an LED strip. I found the switch on Amazon.com for about $10.
     
  19. Oct 5, 2016 at 3:04 PM
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    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    I have really thought about underhood lights and almost pulled the trigger then I realized I have a Toyota and I will always be in the garage when I need to look under my engine. I won't ever be left stranded with a repair being needed on the side of the road. ;)
     
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  20. Oct 5, 2016 at 3:23 PM
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    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    You are quite the optimist, Brian!:thumbsup:
     
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  21. Oct 6, 2016 at 10:34 AM
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    Stumpjumper

    Stumpjumper New Member

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    +1, I tried them under my bed rails on my Tacoma. I ended up using 3M body molding tape. Then the lights burned out after about a year. I changed them out for 8" submersibles.
     
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  22. Oct 6, 2016 at 10:36 AM
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    TTU19

    TTU19 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Yeah, that's probably the route I'm going to go. Just gotta find them and figure how to mount them under the hood.
     
  23. Oct 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM
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    Stumpjumper

    Stumpjumper New Member

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    got mine on Amazon. They are made for marine applications. I find that things made for the marine environment are generally a little better
     
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  24. Oct 6, 2016 at 11:39 AM
    #24
    SuperSilverTundra

    SuperSilverTundra New Member

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    looks good
     
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