Wiring up all the lights in your truck canopy will allow you to easily see around your truck bed in low-light conditions. The simplest way to achieve this is to wire the dome light directly to your truck's battery. The light will not be controlled by the truck's ignition, but you will be able to use the light even when the truck is turned off. Installation requires only a few tools and an understanding of a basic light circuit.
Things You'll Need
- Truck canopy with dome light
- Electrical wiring rated for 12V car use
- 12V fuse and fuse holder
- Wire cutters
- Soldering iron and solder
- Zip ties
Install the truck canopy on the bed of your truck as instructed in the directions included with your cap. Be sure to securely seal the cap with weather stripping and make the lighting wires easily accessible.
Route the positive and negative connecting wires for the dome light to the engine block of your truck. Make sure the wires are the proper length to reach the truck's battery. To completely conceal the wire you may need to drill a hole through the bed of your truck and run the wire underneath the chassis. Many truck models have an access hole for this purpose located near one of the taillights toward the back of the truck bed. You will then be able to run the dome light wires along the same path as your car's other electrical wires. Use zip ties to secure the wire to the underside of the truck.
Disconnect the truck's battery so that you may safely install the lighting wires.
Cut the positive connecting wire at a point inside the engine block. Install an inline fuse rated for 12 volts of DC current by connecting the cut ends of the wire to each end of the fuse, restoring the current path. A fuse holder will make installation easier by allowing you to clip the wires directly onto the fuse, and will also allow you to change the fuse if it blows out. If you do not have access to a fuse holder, simply solder the bare ends of the cut wire to the ends of the fuse.
Ground the negative wire from the dome light to the chassis or by connecting it directly to the negative terminal of the battery.
Connect the positive wire to the positive terminal of the battery, then reconnect the battery.
Power on the truck and check that the light functions. If it doesn't, then test the bulb and check that all wiring is connected properly.
Tips & Warnings
- Install an on/off switch in line with the positive wire from the light to allow you to control the light and conserve battery power.
- Be sure to have the truck completely off with the battery disconnected to avoid electrical shock when working on the lighting system of your truck.
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