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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I just decided to mod my grill surround this weekend for a modest custom look. It is also so my friends will know my truck at night. I have a 2012 with the extra bit at the top. I added a dozen little LEDs, 6 on each side. I haven't wired them into the truck yet. I just tested them with a battery before I installed the accent piece back into the surround. The LEDs aren't really all that bright. I don't know why they look so bright in the pic, so ignore that. I doubt they will give off any real light, but they will certainly still be visible at a distance which is my goal.

I wanted to ask a few questions before I wired it to make sure I don't get myself into some trouble that someone else may have discovered already. I have two ideas for operating these. The first one is a simple set-up that just powers the LEDs when the truck is turned on. The second is to wire them with the DRLs so that they will act as an accompanying directional indicator.

I wanted to know if anyone here can tell me where the easiest and most reliable connection can be made for each set-up. Also wanted to know if either option is a bad idea for whatever reason.

1. Where do I tap in to configure the first option, where they come on with the truck? (like the DRLs, but without the turn signal function).

2. For the turn signal option, do I just splice into the DRLs' red wires? or is there a better, safer place to get the same result?

I am probably going to add a quick disconnect too, right behind the accent piece so I can easily add it to another surround if I buy a color keyed one or if I have to replace the grill for any other reason.

Thanks.

Chuck

 

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F&@k Y'all, I'm from Texas
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I don't know the specifics but many states have a law that you can only have 4 white lights on at any given time on the road. Hence the reason the fogs turn off when the high beams turn on. So you may want to check the legality of having white LEDs on the front.

That said, I have 8 lights on when my high beams are turned on. No ticket yet. *knock on wood*
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know the specifics but many states have a law that you can only have 4 white lights on at any given time on the road. Hence the reason the fogs turn off when the high beams turn on. So you may want to check the legality of having white LEDs on the front.

That said, I have 8 lights on when my high beams are turned on. No ticket yet. *knock on wood*
Thank you. I wasn't aware of that. Perhaps it would be wise to put a switch in the cab to turn them off in a hurry. I will keep this in mind too.
 

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What kind of LEDs did you use and how did you mount them? Pics? I like.

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you to Danoh and Dragos.

I'm glad you guys like it. I just used some flexible LEDs I bought at an auto parts store, but I've seen the same ones at Wal-Mart so I'm sure you can get them anywhere. If I remember the brand I'll let you know, but I think they are cheapo type LEDs so I didn't want to mount them permanently. I actually bought two packs just to have a back-up if they fail.

I just marked the back of the accent piece where I wanted the LEDs to go and drilled holes through it from the back. I used a brand new bit to minimize any ripping or other damage. Then I just used some clear RTV to mount the LED strips over the holes. The LEDs are mounted on the back side of the accent piece. There is about an 1/8" (3mm) deep area of free space back there to work within.

I don't have them wired up on the truck right now so pictures won't do any good. I can't hook the battery back up to it either because I coiled the wires up and taped them to the back of the accent piece before I snapped it back in. Once I figure out how I'm going to wire it I will take the surround back off, but I don't want to do that just to hook up a battery for a picture. Then I would have to do it all over again to coil everything back up to hide it. I will certainly take pictures once I have it wired though. Count on that. I just need to know if it's a bad idea to splice into the DRL wires or if there is a better way to wire these up. I'm open to suggestion here.

I won't be able to do this until sometime in the middle of April when I head back home to my tools. I'm 600 miles away right now living in a hotel, but I will be going back for a week in April. Expect some bumps of this thread around then if I haven't gotten any suggestions on a best wiring practice.

It's an easy mod if the wiring part doesn't prove to be an issue. It shouldn't, and I would have wired it to something if I had another day, but I had to get on the road early so I just tucked everything away for another time.

Thanks again for the compliments and I'll have pics as soon as I can.

Edit: I just did a quick search online and found the product I bought. Can't comment on its quality, but it was cheap and I am a big believer in "You get what you pay for" so they may be a poor product. The product is called Pilot Automotive Flexi-Lite.
 

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I wouldn't wire them to the DRL's just because I wouldnt want them always on & i'm sure it would reduce their life expectancy if they were always on.
I'd probably wire them to the head lights, so they turn on when you flick on your head lights. Either that or just wire them to a switch in the truck and you can turn them on at your convenience, just make sure that you are using a power source that switches off with the engine, such as the cigarette lighter on the left side of the console.
 

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first off,nice job on the lights.i have 2 small led's mounted behind my grille and connected to the drl circuit that i use as drl's (factory drl wire runs to the led's now) and haven't had any problems with them at all.most led's have like a 50K-60K hour life span so you shouldn't have any problem running them either with or as your drl's.most state laws say that drl's must dim or turn off once the headlights are turned on.i cut the wire at the turn signal module for the drl's and ran a new wire out to the engine bay (the drl wire supplies a ground) and ran the positive wire right to the battery.you can also put a switch in line if you use the wire from the turn signal module to turn them on and off as you please while the truck is running,i had the factory drl's setup like that in my 08 tundra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
first off,nice job on the lights.i have 2 small led's mounted behind my grille and connected to the drl circuit that i use as drl's (factory drl wire runs to the led's now) and haven't had any problems with them at all.most led's have like a 50K-60K hour life span so you shouldn't have any problem running them either with or as your drl's.most state laws say that drl's must dim or turn off once the headlights are turned on.i cut the wire at the turn signal module for the drl's and ran a new wire out to the engine bay (the drl wire supplies a ground) and ran the positive wire right to the battery.you can also put a switch in line if you use the wire from the turn signal module to turn them on and off as you please while the truck is running,i had the factory drl's setup like that in my 08 tundra.
Thank you for your help in this.

Do you guys (here on the forums) use any wiring diagrams for the harness or some kind of schematic? How do you know which wires to use? I can check voltages and figure stuff out, but I like to be sure I know what I'm cutting before I cut it. Navy Avionics teaches that lesson pretty quick. Screw up a nose-to-tail harness for a big, fixed-wing and you pay much closer attention next time. Also, I don't really like splicing into another wire if I can avoid it somehow.

This is also my first electronically-controlled-everything vehicle. Putting fog/off-road lights on an 88 Blazer is a far cry from blindly cutting wires on this truck. I don't want to mess with anything that is going to talk to another thing unless I know what it's supposed to be saying. Wire harness or whole-truck schematics would be a huge help in this regard. Is that stuff available to consumers? Is there a service manual we can get somewhere which has this stuff in it?

Thanks again.
 

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well i can tell you that the small gray wire at the turn signal module is the ground circuit activation for the drl's.i don't have an available pic,but theres a few pics floating around on here that show the correct wire.most of the info for wiring anything i found on here with some searching,some members have been able to and were nice enough to put up schematics when they could.

and i know what you mean about the wiring,i worked on tractor trailers that eventually went to all computer controls just like our tundra's,gets expensive when you fry one of those things,lol.the dealer was always nice enough to cover it under warranty since they went through the same problems as the company i worked for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
well i can tell you that the small gray wire at the turn signal module is the ground circuit activation for the drl's.i don't have an available pic,but theres a few pics floating around on here that show the correct wire.most of the info for wiring anything i found on here with some searching,some members have been able to and were nice enough to put up schematics when they could.

and i know what you mean about the wiring,i worked on tractor trailers that eventually went to all computer controls just like our tundra's,gets expensive when you fry one of those things,lol.the dealer was always nice enough to cover it under warranty since they went through the same problems as the company i worked for.
Thank you for your help.

I will renew my search. I looked around earlier, but I am easily sidetracked. In my search for the correct wiring for my DRL LEDs I ended up wishlisting a bed rail set, a ramp/bed extender and bunch of electronics to remotely control my tailgate. Probably a few other things that caught my eye too. Never finished my original search. Focus! Remember to Focus! Too many cool mods and products out there.

Thanks again.
 

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I don't know the specifics but many states have a law that you can only have 4 white lights on at any given time on the road. Hence the reason the fogs turn off when the high beams turn on. So you may want to check the legality of having white LEDs on the front.
Are you sure about that? The whole idea behind fog lights is to help you see in foggy conditions as they are supposed to produce a thin, low beam of light that does not reflect off of the fog. When you turn your high beams on all they do is reflect off of the fog and reduce visibility so there is no practical reason to have fog lights and high beams on at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are you sure about that? The whole idea behind fog lights is to help you see in foggy conditions as they are supposed to produce a thin, low beam of light that does not reflect off of the fog. When you turn your high beams on all they do is reflect off of the fog and reduce visibility so there is no practical reason to have fog lights and high beams on at the same time.
I think you are misunderstanding the message put forth by Toxarch. The message is about his concern for my new LEDs being white and thereby violating the law by having 6 white lights being visible when only 4 are allowed. He mentions the high beams only to illustrate his point that manufacturers have already taken this into account by not allowing the fog lights to shine while the high beams are on which would create the same 6 light situation.

I appreciate your concern as well, but driving in the fog is not the main point being made there by Toxarch. Not trying to offend. Just trying to clarify.

Thanks.
 

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Most states say a minimum of 2 but not more than 4 headlights illuminated at once for cars and trucks. It really depends on how your state defines "headlight".

There's also height restrictions of headlights in most states. They have to be so far above the ground but not more than so far above the ground. If that's the case in your state, you could argue that lights on your hood in that location don't qualify under law as headlights since they are above the stated maximum height above ground.

Read up on your state and local laws about it. If in doubt, call your state patrol post and ask :)

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I think you are misunderstanding the message put forth by Toxarch. The message is about his concern for my new LEDs being white and thereby violating the law by having 6 white lights being visible when only 4 are allowed. He mentions the high beams only to illustrate his point that manufacturers have already taken this into account by not allowing the fog lights to shine while the high beams are on which would create the same 6 light situation.

I appreciate your concern as well, but driving in the fog is not the main point being made there by Toxarch. Not trying to offend. Just trying to clarify.

Thanks.
My point is that the mgfs are not shutting off the fogs while the high beams are on to comply with some law about how many lights you can have on at any given time but instead I am saying that having the fog lights on with the high beams on negates the ACTUAL purpose of the fog lights and that is why the mfgs shut them off when the high beams are on.

I don't take offense to anything posted...it's all just good discussion.
 
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