DIY "Big Rig ICE" Courtesy Lights/Puddle Lights - $15.00 or less
For those who want courtesy/puddle lights but dont want to spend hundreds of dollars on aftermarket kits or custom mirrors this is another option for you. Its DIY, its easy, its cheap, and it looks great. As always this is an at-your-own-risk project. Im only showing you how I made this work.
Okay, to start you'll need waterproof LED strip, adhesion promoter, plastidip, wire, wire loom, wire strippers, and barrel connectors. I got the LED strip on eBay for less than $10.00 and had everything else laying around the shop. I did find wire loom on ebay for 4.99 and free shipping in case you need it.
Here is a pic of the LED strip I prepared by soldering wire onto it and wrapped in the wire loom.
IMG_1130 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1131 by zxsix, on Flickr
I started by running a wire from my center dome light, under the headliner, down the A pillar and under the dash. An easy way to do this is take off the dome light cover and remove the overhead console for access. Its probably about a foot between the dome light and console so its easy to feed the wire through. From there, you can run the wire across the front of the headliner and down the A pillar.
Once I got the wire under the dash I ran it through the firewall where I spliced another wire together and ran it to each side of the truck. I ran the wire behind each wheel well and tucked it behind the mud flap to the mounting surface.
I should also mention that I chose the center dome light as the power source because the only time that ever goes on it when the doors open or when I unlock the door, which is when I want the courtesy lights to go on. Also, it will fade out when shutting off which means so will the courtesy lights, which looks great!
IMG_1135 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1134 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1139 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1137 by zxsix, on Flickr
Once I had my power source in place on either side I cleaned and dried the mounting surface and sprayed with adhesion promoter. I chose to put the LED strip directly under the doors and above the step rail.
IMG_1138 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1136 by zxsix, on Flickr
Next I peeled the backing off the LED strip and mounted it to the truck.
IMG_1142 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1143 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1146 by zxsix, on Flickr
Once the LED strip was mounted its time to camouflage it. I chose to spray with plastidip because its black and adds strength to it so it will not fall off.
IMG_1149 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1160 by zxsix, on Flickr
The last step is cleaning off the LEDs. If youve ever used plastidip you know how easy it is to remove. So I took a toothpick and simply removed the plastidip from each LED.
IMG_1157 by zxsix, on Flickr
The finished product is amazing. Its stealth and lights up very nicely!
IMG_1128 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1126 by zxsix, on Flickr
I love how they came out. When I hit the unlock button on my key fob or open any of the doors they turn on and when they shut off they fade out with the theater style lighting inside the truck.
Good luck to anyone who takes on this project and if you have any questions let me know.
Its still daylight out at the moment so when the sun goes down Ill upload more pics of the lights at night.
Excellent post. Thanks for taking the time to explain how to do this mod.
Excellent DIY mod and write up. Reps for the show & tell.
WOW.....That looks great.....Nicely done.....
Very sharp indeed...congrats!
night time pictures want to see how good it looks
That's nifty, any pics of it at night and how bright/well it lights up the ground?
Here are some pics I took from my phone of what it looks like at night. I would have gotten these up sooner but my fiance and I were in a car accident shortly after I posted this. We are both okay, thank God, and her car is getting fixed.
Here are the pics:
IMG_1186 by zxsix, on Flickr
IMG_1187 by zxsix, on Flickr
Woah, looks awesome dude!!
those are awesome. Do you possibly have the link to the ones you got? I was looking on ebay but the strips i seen have clusters of three leds and don't look uniform like yours.
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