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Wolf Island Diver

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I’ve had @ORACLElights led light strips under the factory trail rail for years and I’m happy with those. However, they’re mostly covered by my molle panels, house battery, power tank, etc. I wanted more light in the middle of the bed. With my Diamondback Cover in place I can just run led light strips in the deep recessed sections of the clamshells, but I had some other requirements.
  1. Both red and white (cool or warm) lights
  2. Only red or no lighting in the bed upon opening the tailgate
  3. Convenient switch location
  4. One switch for all the lights
  5. Ability to easily replace bad led strips without touching the wiring harness
  6. Ability to add additional lights
  7. Ability to disconnect individual LED strips
  8. Ability to open clamshells without interfering with the wiring
  9. Ability to easily disconnect the wiring to remove the clamshells
  10. Still have access to white bed lights with all thcrap removed.

Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2886


I made a mounting plate for the 2 way switch that’s riveted to the rear lip of the rear clamshell and sits above its bottom edge so that nothing can hit it when sliding in or out of the bed yet is intuitively right at the fingertips when reaching into the underside of the cover. It’s also extremely unlikely to get bumped here.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2889

There’s 4 strips per clamshell; 2 white and 2 red. That’s plenty. Each connects to the 3 conductor harness with common coax plug type connectors. Everything is in heat shrink and wiring harness tape, and it all fits along the far side edge of the cover above the trail rail where nothing can hit it. Because the Diamondback Cover is deep (or tall) the wiring is well protected.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2899


Both a 2 conductor power cable from the switch and a 3 conductor harness bridge cable to the front clamshell curve under the pivoting edge of the rear clamshell and both have waterproof connectors so they can be disconnected. Both cables form generous loops but the clamshell moves down and away from the inside edge of the center section so this is required. The bridge cable forms a loop at the front clamshell as well. The cables all sit nicely behind my inverter/battery mount so nothing will snag on them. The LEDs are wired in parallel (as they should be) but this also means that the bridge cable can be disconnected to only run the rear clamshell lights if needed.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2900


I covered both stock bed lights in red Lamin-x. This way the there will never be bright white light in the bed without my turning it on. I’ve still got two Oracle led strips with their own switch wired to the truck so even if the Diamondback, house battery, etc is removed I can still have good white light when needed.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2898



The finished product:
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Wolf Island Diver

Wolf Island Diver

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Parts List and Cost:

Waterproof connectors: $12.99x 2
https://a.co/d/bc9wm4V

2 way switch: $7.95
https://a.co/d/cubjdXL

Waterproof LED Strips, 1 red reel and 1 “white” (bluish): $16.99 x 2
https://a.co/d/hAvi3as

2.1mm x 5.5mm connectors. I soldered these to the LED strips: $9.29
https://a.co/d/aB3Ggjv

12x12 aluminum sheet metal: $10 at Ace

I had the 2 and 3 conductor cable from other projects but it’s about $16-20 per roll. I also had the butt and ring connectors, solder, tape, shrink tube, adhesive promoter, zip tie mounts, etc.

Total Cost:

~ $90, but I’ve got lots of left over connectors, cable, etc. The only thing fully used was the switch and LED strips.

Edit:
Lamin-x: $21
https://a.co/d/4j4upKQ
 
Last edited:

amoyer_01

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Where did you wire them in to have power? I want to add additional lights besides the 2 stock ones but I don't like they only stay on for a few seconds.
 

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WILDHOBO

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I’ve had @ORACLElights led light strips under the factory trail rail for years and I’m happy with those. However, they’re mostly covered by my molle panels, house battery, power tank, etc. I wanted more light in the middle of the bed. With my Diamondback Cover in place I can just run led light strips in the deep recessed sections of the clamshells, but I had some other requirements.
  1. Both red and white (cool or warm) lights
  2. Only red or no lighting in the bed upon opening the tailgate
  3. Convenient switch location
  4. One switch for all the lights
  5. Ability to easily replace bad led strips without touching the wiring harness
  6. Ability to add additional lights
  7. Ability to disconnect individual LED strips
  8. Ability to open clamshells without interfering with the wiring
  9. Ability to easily disconnect the wiring to remove the clamshells
  10. Still have access to white bed lights with all thcrap removed.

Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890


I made a mounting plate for the 2 way switch that’s riveted to the rear lip of the rear clamshell and sits above its bottom edge so that nothing can hit it when sliding in or out of the bed yet is intuitively right at the fingertips when reaching into the underside of the cover. It’s also extremely unlikely to get bumped here.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890

There’s 4 strips per clamshell; 2 white and 2 red. That’s plenty. Each connects to the 3 conductor harness with common coax plug type connectors. Everything is in heat shrink and wiring harness tape, and it all fits along the far side edge of the cover above the trail rail where nothing can hit it. Because the Diamondback Cover is deep (or tall) the wiring is well protected.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890


Both a 2 conductor power cable from the switch and a 3 conductor harness bridge cable to the front clamshell curve under the pivoting edge of the rear clamshell and both have waterproof connectors so they can be disconnected. Both cables form generous loops but the clamshell moves down and away from the inside edge of the center section so this is required. The bridge cable forms a loop at the front clamshell as well. The cables all sit nicely behind my inverter/battery mount so nothing will snag on them. The LEDs are wired in parallel (as they should be) but this also means that the bridge cable can be disconnected to only run the rear clamshell lights if needed.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890


I covered both stock bed lights in red Lamin-x. This way the there will never be bright white light in the bed without my turning it on. I’ve still got two Oracle led strips with their own switch wired to the truck so even if the Diamondback, house battery, etc is removed I can still have good white light when needed.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890



The finished product:
VERY nicely done. Impressed.
 
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Wolf Island Diver

Wolf Island Diver

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Where did you wire them in to have power? I want to add additional lights besides the 2 stock ones but I don't like they only stay on for a few seconds.
I have a fuse block mounted to my electrical panel in the back that's wired to my LifePO house battery.

https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/forum/threads/renogy-lifepo-house-dual-battery-install.71866/

You could run this off of the starting battery by running a line up along the frame rail or tap the rear light clusters. I added up amp draw of these LED strips a while back for my awning lighting project. It’s very low. I still have a port that’s wired to the starting battery in the bed that I ran the 5 awning light strips off of without any issue for over a year. I’ve since migrated everything to the LifePO, so the starting battery is always preserved, especially as I’ve added more lighting, inverter loads, sink pump, etc. I can better manage and monitor the state of my Renogy system than the convoluted truck electrical system. You could also easily solder in a plug to run this off of a portable power unit like a Goal Zero. That’s how I powered all my stuff before building the Renogy system and I’ve made adapter plugs to I could still unplug this from the house battery and plug into a GZ if needed. If you don’t mind having a Lithium system in your vehicle all the time taking up space it’s a more cost effective solution than a portable unit.
 
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Wolf Island Diver

Wolf Island Diver

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If you don’t have lots of stuff along the sides of the bed and have an open bed or soft tonneau and not something like the Diamondback or don’t want something as complex as what I’ve done, and just want to add more lighting, I would just go with the @ORACLElights system.

https://www.oraclelights.com/products/oracle-truck-bed-led-cargo-light-60-pair-w-switch

This system is easy to install, tapping into the rear lights power wires. I installed them along the trail rails several years ago. I still have these in the truck and they’ll still be in place even if I remove the overlanding stuff and house battery. They’re plenty bright for most peoples needs. For me I just had too much stuff mounted along the sides, e.g., PowerTank, molle panels and all my house battery crap, I wanted more light and the ability to switch between red and white. The Diamondback LED light strip is small and battery operated which I didn’t want although it may meet some people’s needs especially if they just need a simple additional light going across the rear.
 

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Nice work
 

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Is that a Diamond back cover? What fridge are you running, it looks like it fits under the cover pretty well?
 

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Wolf Island Diver

Wolf Island Diver

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I’ve had @ORACLElights led light strips under the factory trail rail for years and I’m happy with those. However, they’re mostly covered by my molle panels, house battery, power tank, etc. I wanted more light in the middle of the bed. With my Diamondback Cover in place I can just run led light strips in the deep recessed sections of the clamshells, but I had some other requirements.
  1. Both red and white (cool or warm) lights
  2. Only red or no lighting in the bed upon opening the tailgate
  3. Convenient switch location
  4. One switch for all the lights
  5. Ability to easily replace bad led strips without touching the wiring harness
  6. Ability to add additional lights
  7. Ability to disconnect individual LED strips
  8. Ability to open clamshells without interfering with the wiring
  9. Ability to easily disconnect the wiring to remove the clamshells
  10. Still have access to white bed lights with all thcrap removed.

Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890


I made a mounting plate for the 2 way switch that’s riveted to the rear lip of the rear clamshell and sits above its bottom edge so that nothing can hit it when sliding in or out of the bed yet is intuitively right at the fingertips when reaching into the underside of the cover. It’s also extremely unlikely to get bumped here.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890

There’s 4 strips per clamshell; 2 white and 2 red. That’s plenty. Each connects to the 3 conductor harness with common coax plug type connectors. Everything is in heat shrink and wiring harness tape, and it all fits along the far side edge of the cover above the trail rail where nothing can hit it. Because the Diamondback Cover is deep (or tall) the wiring is well protected.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890


Both a 2 conductor power cable from the switch and a 3 conductor harness bridge cable to the front clamshell curve under the pivoting edge of the rear clamshell and both have waterproof connectors so they can be disconnected. Both cables form generous loops but the clamshell moves down and away from the inside edge of the center section so this is required. The bridge cable forms a loop at the front clamshell as well. The cables all sit nicely behind my inverter/battery mount so nothing will snag on them. The LEDs are wired in parallel (as they should be) but this also means that the bridge cable can be disconnected to only run the rear clamshell lights if needed.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890


I covered both stock bed lights in red Lamin-x. This way the there will never be bright white light in the bed without my turning it on. I’ve still got two Oracle led strips with their own switch wired to the truck so even if the Diamondback, house battery, etc is removed I can still have good white light when needed.
Jeep Gladiator Enhanced Bed Lighting Project IMG_2890



The finished product:
Why do people constantly keep coming up with new ideas? I'm running out of money. That Jeep is better lit than some nightclubs I have been too.
LOL. Very very nice!! Thanks for sharing.
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