Powering Christmas Lights (1 Viewer)

cruzerDave

Land Shark Outfitters
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
1,231
Location
Bend, Oregon
 
I have 12V Christmas lights coming that I want to put on my new shiny rack, and am looking for the easiest/quickest way to power them up. This can be temporary and hacky it's all good, I just have no time for a proper long-term solution at the moment.

So what would you say is the easiest+quickest way to power these things when lights are on: power from a fuse in the engine bay (bonus points for pointing me toward the right fuse block;), or wire from the rear taillights off a bulb somehow? (truck is a 99 LC btw)

And for those interested these are the lights I bought & will let you know how they look:
Amazon.com: HAHOME Waterproof Led String Lights,33Ft 100 LEDs Indoor and Outdoor Starry Lights with Power Supply for Christmas Wedding and Party Decoration,RGB: Home Improvement
 

DirtDawg

"It'd be alot cooler if you did"
SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 28, 2013
Messages
2,060
Location
Denver, Colorado
 
Whenever I've run Christmas lights in the past it's always just been through the door to a 12v plug. The door seal still seals great for me and they power on/off with the vehicle.
 

Ramathorn15

Supporting Vendor
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
1,683
Location
ABQ NM
I just saw that you want to do it only when the lights are on. That's tougher. I would probably try to wire it from the trailer lights wiring harness if I were you (assuming you have one).
 

crikeymike

Exit Offroad - Dobinsons Specialist
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
842
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
 
 
 
I used battery powered xmas lights a few years back. Not so bright, but super easy to handle for the month that they were on/installed.

Maybe one of those little battery backup jump box things could power for them if you can't figure out a way to run the power into the car.

Another option is just run the wires down the gutter, by the windshield, and into the engine bay to the battery. Just tape it all down, it's not going to be on there for long.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Messages
1,284
 
I was wondering this too. I was also wondering the legality of this, I wouldn't think some asshat cop would pull me over because of Christmas lights on my rack but you never know.

Its really easy though to actually put the lights, cheap inverter from the back lighter socket and you can run the light wire from the top of the tailgate through the weather seal and rack channel, really easy and the wire will not get pinched.
 

Ramathorn15

Supporting Vendor
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
1,683
Location
ABQ NM
I was wondering this too. I was also wondering the legality of this, I wouldn't think some asshat cop would pull me over because of Christmas lights on my rack but you never know.

Its really easy though to actually put the lights, cheap inverter from the back lighter socket and you can run the light wire from the top of the tailgate through the weather seal and rack channel, really easy and the wire will not get pinched.
No need for an inverter with the lights he bought, but yeah, thats the easiest way.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
441
Location
Kirkwood, MO
 
I wanted a non wired way to run two spot lights on the back of my truck that I mounted where my spoiler used to attach. I bought an 8 battery holder from Amazon and some wire . I run it into the inside through the top of the back hatch. The battery pack with run one 18 watt LED auxiliary light for two and half hours. Christmas lights would run a very long time.
 

cruzerDave

Land Shark Outfitters
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
1,231
Location
Bend, Oregon
 
Thanks for all the comments & suggestions - some replies:
- understand ways to wire always on, was hoping on/off with headlights, like the trailer lighting idea but not the length and routing of the wires
- thanks for battery idea, love it in some scenarios but see above
- yes lights purchased specifically to avoid inverters, so 12v car + 12v lights = KISS
- hadn't thought about legality of this but dear Lord please don't let our society be at that point!

Can anyone comment on the right angle to remove the rear taillight assembly? I know 2 screws and pull, but Toyota has taught me over the years not to pull on their old plastic clips and connectors any way but the precisely correct way or el snappo and I have no idea what *right* angle to pull that sucker out. I'm asking because I think that is my shortest wiring, assuming I can slip a wire in between the bulb and socket, grab a ground from a bolt in the rear door frame, and away we go...
 

Ramathorn15

Supporting Vendor
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
1,683
Location
ABQ NM
Doesnt the 3rd only come on with the brakes though? Or is it always on with the lights and gets brighter with the brakes?
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
1,026
Location
Garner, NC
 
Can anyone comment on the right angle to remove the rear taillight assembly? I know 2 screws and pull, but Toyota has taught me over the years not to pull on their old plastic clips and connectors any way but the precisely correct way or el snappo and I have no idea what *right* angle to pull that sucker out. I'm asking because I think that is my shortest wiring, assuming I can slip a wire in between the bulb and socket, grab a ground from a bolt in the rear door frame, and away we go...
Undo the two screws and pull the taillight assembly out toward side of truck. The mounting clips are male/female "stab" type and will sound like something is breaking as they release. (Mine is also a 98.)

Have you thought about plugging the lights into the rear auxiliary plug? If you don't have the plugs wired for full time on, then the plug is only hot when the truck is on or running. I see trucks & cars running around my city with Christmas lights on during the day.
 

cruzerDave

Land Shark Outfitters
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
1,231
Location
Bend, Oregon
 
Have you ever struggled to get the right number of lights on each side of your rack?
Have you strung them on 3 of the sides only to realize you were 2' short on the final side?
Have you strung them around to only find you have 3 extra feet of lighting and have to coil them in one spot?
Do you have OCD?

If the answer to any of these questions is 'YES' then the attached spreadsheet is for you!!!

Simply enter the dimensions of your rack and the lit length of your string and presto-whammo-bingo-bongo through the magic of mathematics it gives you the precise length to coil your lights on each side of your rack!!!

Just mark each length with a piece of tape as indicated by the spreadsheet and adjust the coiled length on each side as you go.

No more cringing as you see your truck's reflection in the window of the car next to you! No more frostbite trying to put them on your truck in the middle of a 50yr blizzard!

Handy Dandy Rack Lighting Calculator.PNG


Get your copy here:
Land Shark Outfitters Handy Dandy Rack Lighting Calculator.xlsx

and Happy Holidays everyone!!!

(I really need to get back to work now...)

 

cruzerDave

Land Shark Outfitters
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
1,231
Location
Bend, Oregon
 
@jrmudder84 you win the Griswald Award! Spectacular;)

Undo the two screws and pull the taillight assembly out toward side of truck. The mounting clips are male/female "stab" type and will sound like something is breaking as they release. (Mine is also a 98.)
So just to make sure I have this right - on the outside driver side rear taillight assembly, looking from the rear, when I remove the 2 screws it wants to pivot on the leftmost edge of the housing, closest to the driver's door. You are saying to push/pull the assembly straight left, as in a line with the bumper, away from the truck? Or are you saying to pivot it on that left edge, like opening a door, until it pops loose?
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
1,026
Location
Garner, NC
 
Try not to pivot it too much, but yes, just pull to the side of the truck. I use a plastic trim tool to wedge between body and tail light to help assist. You will think it's going to break, but it will pull free.
 

cruzerDave

Land Shark Outfitters
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
1,231
Location
Bend, Oregon
 
My plans and spreadsheet did not take into account the reduction in ambition caused by 15 degree weather. I therefore ran them into the rear 12v socket and coiled them when and wherever my rapidly numbing fingers were able to.

Note, these have the semi stiff wire that allows you to twist them into place, which is good, but can kink, which is bad. Overall very pleased, except with the flashing, which i suspect is going to test the holiday spirit of the Bend Police Department...

2016-12-07_19_33_29.gif
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom