How to Install LED Bed Lights (Fun DIY Project)

How to Install LED Bed Lights (Fun DIY Project)


Hey guys, ChrisFix here And today I’m gonna show you how to install LED lights like these in your truck bed. That way when you open up the tailgate Everything lights up and you can see it. Now I know not everyone has a pickup truck So don’t worry. You could use this guide to install the exact same LED lights anywhere in your car or truck like underneath your hood So when you pop the hood open it lights up under here and you could work on it. And in order to show you how well this install works: Let’s shut the lights. [clap] Okay. Now with the under hood lights, I have it setup So you click a button and when you click that button, look at that. That looks so good Now you can easily work under the hood. No problem at all Come back over here to shut it off and you are good to go now with the truck bed All you have to do is open the tailgate and voila check that out You can see everything you need to get to in your truck bed And then all you have to do is close it and it shuts off [clap] But since I already did this on my truck, we need to install bed lights on a different truck a Ford Raptor But not just any Ford Raptor – I’m Jakub
– I’m Yuri And we’re ChrisFixin’ my truck These are my friends and fellow youtubers Jakub and Yuri from the YouTube channel The Straight Pipes and they drove all the way from Canada So we can install some bed lights and make an awesome video to show you guys how it’s done Let’s get started Now the goal for this project is for it to be fun and simple We’re gonna be doing this at home in our driveway with common products and tools Actually, this is all you’re gonna need it’s gonna cost you less than $30 Let me show you what you need. So we’re gonna be using a fuse because you always want to fuse your projects We’re gonna be using an on/off switch so we could turn the lights on and off. Here’s a magnetic on-and-off switch So when you close the bed, it’s off when you open the bed it’s on And then we have some white LEDs again common hand tools with a wire strippers I’m gonna need a multimeter, soldering gun. We have 14 gauge wire Always put your wire in a wir e protector and then I have random connectors just in case you might need them They’re inexpensive as well I’m going to link all this stuff in the description so you could easily find it if you see something you want to use It’ll be linked below As always Put on your safety glasses before we begin And the most important thing to do is to write out a wiring diagram So you want to make sure that you have everything all set up We know we’re going from the front where the battery is We’re running a power wire to the tailgate And then we know how we’re gonna run our LED lights So these are our LED lights around here in the bed And then we have our switch which is right here which goes to the magnetic switch which goes to the ground. This will make a lot more sense once we get started Now, I don’t want you guys who don’t know how to wire stuff to get discouraged This is very very simple. If you don’t know how to wire something in like an LED light do not worry It is very easy All you have to do is remember the red wire here is the positive wire that goes to the positive wire on the battery That’s going to give you your power So you’re going to run a wire to this from your battery the black wire which is this right here. That is your ground You’re gonna just tighten that to some point on the car that is bare metal. It’s called a chassis ground So any bare metal piece and by bare metal, it means it’s not painted You’re gonna just make sure that connects to that bare metal piece And just to give you a good real-life example We have the positive wire connected to the positive side of the battery And then if you get the negative side and attach it to a chassis ground Boom you have light now if you want you could put a switch in here So the switch basically does this It connects it to turn the light on and disconnects it to turn it off That’s all that is happening. It’s that simple. All right so the first thing we need to do is figure out where we’re gonna install the bed lights Now I spoke with the owner Jakub and he asked me to do a clean install An install where you can’t even tell there’s aftermarket lights in here So the idea is to do it very similarly to the way I did it with my truck So we’re gonna hide the LED lights underneath the bed rails Now, we’ll be using a ribbon LED and this is a 5630 LED so it’s very bright It’s a white color and on the back it has double-sided tape So this is gonna fit right up in here very nicely We have a painted surface the double-sided tape will stick to And that looks perfect right there And now that we know where we’re gonna put the LED lights Next, you want to lay them out in about the same area so you know you have enough This is 16 feet worth of LED lights And as you can see as we make our way around the truck bed We have just enough LED lighting to make it around this wide five and a half foot bed So now that we know where we’re gonna place the lights and that we have enough. Let’s install the lights But before you attach the lights It’s very important to get isopropyl alcohol And clean the surface you’re applying the lights to If you don’t clean the surface the lights will not stick So don’t skip this step Now we could take the LED light Peel off the cover from the double-sided tape And let’s stick the lights where we want them to go And once you line it up Press down with some decent pressure so that it adheres to the surface completely And work your way around the truck bed And coming to the corner here I’m gonna tuck the lights right behind this plastic bed cover so it doesn’t budge Alright, and that worked beautifully But right now we’re coming up to this part which isn’t painted anymore. It’s actually a plastic bed liner It’s textured and it’s a little bit oily So you want to make sure you clean it really well with that isopropyl alcohol Before we try to stick this on And I’m talking about really well Because I have a feeling this might not stick With the double-sided tape that’s included on here If that’s the case. Don’t worry. I have a trick that we could use that’ll definitely work But right now let’s just try to get this to work. So clean this down really well And moment of truth. Let’s adhere this to the plastic bed cover and see if it sticks Now I don’t trust the double-sided tape on this plastic. It’s gonna probably fall off over time. It’s not holding on very well So let me show you a little trick So the trick to this is to use this VHB very high bonding tape, which is a really strong double-sided tape That’s way better than what the LED lights come with and all you need to do is stick it onto the plastic bed cover like so And already I could tell this is working way better Just make sure you press it down with a good amount of pressure and then we could peel off the protective Backing and line up our LED strip and press it on to the very high bonding tape like so and that is definitely not Coming off. So that’s nice and strong on there Now you could do that for the whole thing if you want But it’s not necessary on any of the painted parts. Just the tricky textured plastic parts So let’s continue to adhere the LED lights around the rest of the front of the bed And then let’s finish up along the driver’s side of the bed working our way to the rear of the truck Alright, so that is the end of our LED strip and I’m gonna just leave this right here But right now we have a complete LED strip all The way around the bed and that should light this up very nicely at night So what we’re gonna do now is I’m going to show you how we’re gonna set all this up with a switch With the magnetic switch and everything’s gonna go behind here So we need to take this off in order to take this off It’s very simple. There should be two screws. There should be one down here But there’s only one holding this in let’s unscrew that screw and get the taillight out And the X is behind our taillight makes it really convenient to run all our wires right here You can see this hole right here that hole is factory And that makes it awesome because I know the owner of the truck Doesn’t want me to drill any holes if I don’t have to So I’m gonna be able to put our switch right in that hole and it stays factory. That’s great It’s cool to make things work with what you have already the less holes You have to drill the better and besides that hole right there for our switch. We also have another hole right back here Which our wires could go right through for the LED lights So it’s very convenient to work with the holes that we already have built into the chassis So with our LED wires right back here now, we want to get our switch in place into that hole So with the switch we could take the wires off the back and we could unscrew the locking nut off the back and then We could fit the switch into the stock hole and this switch is a little too small for our hole So an easy fix is to get a washer that fits on the switch like that and Check it out. Now the switch fits into the hole nicely. So now we need to drill a hole in the bed liner So the switch could be accessed through that First you want to use a screw driver or a pick To push a small pilot hole into the plastic bed liner so we know exactly where we need to drill Now here’s the drill bit that we’re gonna be using This is called a Christmas tree bit because well It looks like a Christmas tree and it has different Sizes on here that you could drill to but we don’t want to go past our 5/8 of an inch size which is right there. That’s exactly the width of the outside of our switch So 16 millimeters or 5/8 of an inch, and since this spins really quickly It’s very easy to lose track of how deep the drill bit is So what I like to do is mark the bit with a nice bright color like this green So we know exactly how far to drill and we know we need to stop right there. Otherwise, it’s hard to tell and you could drill a hole That’s too big and that wouldn’t be good Now we could use our pilot hole to accurately drill into the plastic and Once the green is gone. We are deep enough so we are done Now we could test fit the switch Check it out this fits perfect So let’s add a washer to the back of the switch and Grab the lock nut and tighten it down Finally connect the wiring harness to the back. All right, so our switch is in there and check this out Look at how good that looks it’s flush in here. It looks completely stock. Look at that. That’s beautiful So what we’re gonna be doing is now we need to figure out how we’re gonna wire this up and The benefit is when you buy it online, It comes with a wiring diagram. So we have a switch that does light up So this is supposed to light up red, but the owner doesn’t want it to light up at all So the lights for the switch are this black wire and the red wire So we could immediately remove those Don’t worry about those. Now we have two green wires One of the green wires has a black and green and then we have a white ground So the white ground we need and then the black and green and The green are the ones we have to figure out what we’re gonna be doing So with just the straight green when you press it That means it’s on and we don’t want that We want to be on all the time and we want to be off when you press it So to do that off When you press it is the green and black wire and if we come over here You could see we have the green and black wire Right here that we need We have our white ground wire and then the other wires that we don’t need Are all tied up and I’m gonna just move those off to the side since we don’t need them. So here’s the two wires that we need. We’re set here So now we could go and install our magnetic switch and I have it set up on a multimeter So I could show you guys how this is gonna work This right here is the magnetic switch and here is the other end Which is a magnet right now when these magnets are separated the circuit is closed. So it’s getting power The bed lights will be on so when this comes close the circuit will open and we won’t have power to the lights So you open the bed, you’ve got power you close the bed the power cuts off That’s exactly what we want And then we have the switch which cuts all power no matter what Just in case you leave your tailgate open because you have something big in it You won’t have the LED lights on So now we need to find the place to put these where when the tailgate is open Its separated and when it’s closed it’s closed and opens the circuit So we want the magnet that’s separated from the wire The one that doesn’t have wires attached to it to be on the tailgate Because this is what’s going to move back and forth We don’t want the wires to move back and forth constantly. It’ll wear out faster So this is going to go on the tailgate somewhere probably down here. So I’m thinking right down here. I’m just gonna place it right here for now not gonna stick it on with sticky tape Just use the magnetic force to hold it in place That looks perfect and since this spot is good We’re gonna use it for the magnet, but first clean it off with some isopropyl alcohol Then we could peel the backing off of the double-sided tape and stick it on there Now we have to get the other side with the wire connected and Place it over here somewhere so that we know it works So I’m gonna use some tape so that we could test it out instead of taking the double-sided tape off I’m just gonna estimate where it needs to be and I’m gonna say right about Here, so let’s try it out So when this multimeter goes to one that means there is an open circuit means there’s no power to the lights So we’re gonna close the bed That didn’t work So I actually noticed that we need to lift this up just a little bit and That’s why we do this trial and error with the tape because we know we need to lift it up a little bit Let’s actually put it right there ’cause that’s a nice flat surface When the bed closes That means we have no power to the lights beautiful that turned off and then when the bed opens This should move, the numbers should change now we have power to the lights and That’s exactly what we want to see so we want it right about there. It doesn’t have to be exactly perfect. But that’s good. So now before we stick this on clean it with some isopropyl alcohol So we have a good clean surface and we can peel the tape off and stick it on right there And if you notice the wire is pointing downwards That’s because right here is a gap and This could be snaked up through the gap to the taillights which is perfect Now instead of just running the wire up through here Because you’ll get a chafing effect and that’ll cut the wire over time You want to make sure that you use some type of wire protector Like a wire loom like this so run the wire through the loom So it’s protected and you see how the end of the wire protector gets frayed and Over time this will come apart Well a little trick with this is to use black tape or even better heat shrink Place it over the end and heat shrink it down just like that Now look at how much better this looks so Now we could run the protected wire through the slot in the bed up into the taillight Where the rest of the wires are now with this all set up The last thing we need to do is run a power wire so we could power our lights back here and in order to do That we need to go all the way to the front here all the way to the battery Which is located on the passenger side, and we’re going to tap into here So we’re going to go from the battery across the front of the car all the way down the side So now I’m gonna give this to Jacob we’re gonna test to see how long the wire is How much we need good you’re at the end and then you’re he’s gonna hold this right here And that is how much wire we’re gonna need So now let’s start our wiring so we could power our LED lights and it’s very simple We’re gonna start here at the positive terminal. We’re gonna disconnect this bolt right here Just like that and with this little kit I have we’re gonna grab a ring terminal like that and this should fit on the positive Terminal right here like that beautiful now before we wire this up You never want to connect your wire that’s going to the LEDs directly to the battery. That is a bad idea You need a fuse in between otherwise if something shorts out you could start a fire and that wouldn’t be good So always use something like this. This is an inline fuse So if anything happens the fuse will blow and we don’t have to worry about a fire So let’s get our heat shrink on here and I always forget to add the heat shrink, so don’t forget it then Let’s put our ring terminal on here. And finally we could crimp it down nice and tight for a good solid connection Then I like to add some silicone paste onto the end which will make the connection waterproof and Prevent corrosion then slide the heat shrink over it like that and use a heat gun to shrink it down onto the wire and terminal Now we could go and install this onto the positive terminal here So hand tighten the nut on to the terminal snug it up and then place the rubber insulator over the terminal now We don’t have to remove the battery cable and we could do this because there’s no fuse in here since there’s no fuse the circuit Is open and we could touch the other end to the ground and it won’t ground out. So keep the fuse out The fuse is the last thing we’re gonna install now we’re going to connect our fused end wire to our wire We’re running to the back of the truck and let me show you how to properly do that and to make this easier There’s something called helping hands that hold the wires in place and it just makes your job so much Easier because you don’t have to fumble around trying to keep the wires close to each other Now there’s two different ways. We could connect these wires the first way is to use a butt connector that crimps it’ll crimp down and then you could heat shrink it and I’m gonna be Showing you how to do that here. Just so you can see how this way works The other method is to use a soldering gun and some solder and put these wires together that way that’s also a good way to do it and that’ll be the second method and I’ll show you that method as well and Both of these methods are okay to use It depends what you want to do and what access you have to different tools now with these crimp-on butt connectors You have a split down the middle. So you want to trim the copper part of the wire? So it reaches just up to the split now we could push the wire into the crimp like so and on the wire crimpers you want to use the Insulated part of the crimpers not the non Insulated the insulated part will prevent the heat shrink from getting damaged when you crimp it down So with the insulated part of the crimpers crimp down pretty hard So we have a good secure connection and when you’re done always test the connection by trying to pull it apart Now do the same thing to the other side? Push the wire in crimp it and test it good now we could use the heat gun to shrink the heat shrink down onto the wires and make a Waterproof connection like that and now we can run our wiring to the back of the truck But before you run any wires You don’t want to run it bare like this because if it rubs against any metal It could shape and then you could have a short and it’ll blow your fuse So what you want to do you want to use some type of wire shielding? So something that’s made of plastic or rubber that’ll protect the wires so this has a split in it like that and you slip the wire right into the split and You feed the wire into the wire loom until the entire wire is protected Then you could grab the black electrical tape and tape the end by the fuse so it doesn’t move. All right So with our wire completely protected and shielded now We could run this to the back of the truck and it’s actually gonna be pretty simple because we have our factory wiring harness Right here, which has the wires that go to the tailgate? So we’re just gonna follow this but if you don’t have this you on just make sure you don’t go near any hot exhaust pipes anything that moves like a driveshaft or your Suspension and you’re gonna want to use plenty of zip ties so that you don’t have to worry about this come and loose So let’s get started. You want to make this look real good? You want to tuck it in and make it look factory and that’s what we’re gonna do right now So we’ll start by tucking it under the factory wiring harness up here. So it’s out of the way next We’re gonna follow the factory harness down under the airbox and coolant overflow tank and bring it up by the brake master cylinder So our wire now goes under both the airbox and the coolant overflow tank and comes up right over here next we’re gonna snake it above the fender liner to the underside of the truck and at the underside of the truck just follow the factory wiring harness and it’s a good idea to secure the Wire with a zip tie to the factory harness, so it doesn’t hang down or come loose So I think you get it by now continue to follow the factory Arnis to the rear where the taillight is and zip-tie the new harness to the factory harness So it’s out of the way of all the moving parts So we went up and over the axle right next to the frame all the way back behind the tire around Through the frame rail here And now this is gonna get fished right up through that hole and that goes directly to the taillight and this is where having those safety glasses on will prevent that falling dirt from getting into your eyes Now if you just dig into our taillight and grab our power wire that we snaked up here Beautiful. There we go So now we have all the wires that we need to wire this up completely and get a functioning bed light So let’s finish it up now taking a quick look at our schematic here. So we have the power Going to the red wire on our LED and then our black wire on the LED goes to the green wire on the switch Which goes to a black wire on the magnetic switch which goes to the ground? so let’s do the easiest one and that is the red wire which is coming from the battery goes to the red wire to the LED and that is this wire right here and this wire right here, and now we’re not gonna use a crimp connector Like I just did before we’re gonna solder these together. So let me show you how to do that So grab your helping hands and we want to place both red power wires into the helping hands so we could solder them and I almost forgot make sure you slide the heat shrink over one of the ends of the wire and Now we want to twist the thinner of the two wires around the thicker wire So we have a nice solid connection even without the solder and it should look something like this Now place the soldering gun at the bottom of the strands and place the solder at the top and we want to melt the solder Through the strands for the best connection if you guys want to learn more about soldering I have a really good in depth video that will walk you through everything I’ll link it in the description That way you could check it out and learn more now We could add our silicone grease to make a waterproof and corrosion free connection slide the heat shrink over and use a heat gun to shrink it and That is all there is to get in a good soldered connection like that waterproof has good conductivity and that’s good to go So now let’s go solder the rest of the wires so the last couple of wires we need to do we just did the red wire on the light now we need to get the black wire to the green wire on the switch So black wire to green wire like that So same process solder the wires together add the silicon and heat shrink it for a good seal All right so our green to our ground on our light is done now we have to go white which is the switch white to our Magnetic switch black either one works and we need to solder those two together and I think you get it by now Solder it silicon it heat shrink it beautiful and that is our last soldered connection Now the last thing we need to do we just soldered that right there. We need to do the ground So this wire from our magnetic switch is the last loose wire we have and this has to touch some bare metal So I looked around and right away. I saw right at this bowl is bare metal This is the end of the bolt that supports the tailgate and you always want a good clean connection for your ground So always sand it down, even if it looks like it’s good and clean now I have the exposed end of the wire doubled up and we’ll put it in the nut and Thread it to the bolt to squeeze the wire against the bolt just like that. All right, so we’re all done wiring this up We followed our diagram perfectly. We have our power wire going to the power on the lights We have our ground wire going to a switch going to another switch so we could turn it on and off if we want to And when the bed opens and closes it turns on and off as well the last thing to do let’s get this tail light in place Tighten that top screw by hand and snug it up with a ratchet to hold the light in place and don’t worry I found a screw that replaces the bottom missing screw as well and with the tail light in our switch in there’s one more thing to do let’s close this tail gate and go to the front of the truck and at the front of the truck the last thing to do is add our fuse now when You’re adding a fuse make sure you use a fuse that is a little bit higher than the amp load So the ant float on those lights is 5 amps. This is a 10 amp fuse That’s the next one up. If you want you could probably get away with using a 7.5 but 10 amps is perfect So just click this in Close that up and with that we are done so now normally I would go and test this out myself before I show Jacob because you know You want to make sure it works, but I feel like the excitement be a lot more if we waited for a night time So let’s make it nighttime. All right, Jacob. Here we go This is always the nerve-racking part because well I mean you wire everything out correctly like what you expect it to be but you don’t know if it’s actually gonna work and Here’s the moment of truth. Let’s shut off our lights Amazing look at that. That looks so good. That’s so bright Now you’re never gonna have a problem finding something in there at night now, let’s check out and make sure the button works Boom Wow close it up. Let’s see if it shuts off Good That’s amazing sweet and there we go We put the tonneau cover back on because that’s how he normally has his truck and look at that. That looks so good I just it’s so nice to be able to do something like this and get results like this It’s so rewarding and there you go. So thank you very much straight pipes for coming out here I’m glad I got to work on your truck. Got you some bed lights as always I hope the video was helpful if it was remember to give it a thumbs up If you’re not a subscriber Consider hitting that subscribe button and all the tools and products I used in this video are linked in the description. So check them out

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