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Aux. Backup lights

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jonw440, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. jonw440

    jonw440 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I know this has been asked before, but I'm looking for more opinions. I want to add more light when I backing up. My 01 Ram has the 7 pin trailer wiring so adding lights to the reverse circuit is easy. Do I want "Flood", "Driving" or "fog" lights? I heard and read about the tractor lights but I don't like the round look. I am leaning toward rectangle lights. KC makes the "517" reverse light kit but I think I want something that shoots further out. But also to the side. Any more ideas? Would cheap driving lights from Walmart do the job? Or do I have to get $$$$$ Piaa or Hella or KC?
  2. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I wouldn't use driving lights. They are more like a spot light. It goes far, but is not spread out. I would go with a flood, fog, or trapezoid pattern. They will give you a more broad area of lighting. I don't think they really need to go far.

    I just used the cheapy tractor lights. Cheap and easy to replace. They also have rectangular ones.

    I wouldn't want to pay too much for a pair, especially if they are mounted below the bumper. They can break off easily.
  3. kawdude

    kawdude Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    i use cheapie driving lights on my truck but a word of caution, if ya put them under the bumper you will eventually back into a snowbank and break em off.

    Mount them in your stakepocket in one of those stake pocket tie downs then ya can rip it off when ya want it gone, no holes.

    Also if you use driving lights they are quite bright so ya might want to shut them off when backing into a street or on a street.

    I use KC daylighters when i'm plowing forward and driving lights when backing, constantly switching between.
  4. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Forgot to attatch the pic.

    I wanted to mount it higher, but the dumper kinda gets in the way. I'm sure they will break off in no time, but i've got a spare. Also, the housing is made of rubber, so it's somewhat flexible.

    One more thing, I decided to put them on a switch instead of tapping into the reverse wire. This way, if I am unloading something, I can turn them on when not in reverse.

  5. cntryboymc

    cntryboymc Member
    Messages: 53

    nice truck as i said before ryan!i was considering a light bar rack for my truck mounted behind the cab.this would include my flashing light and i was thinking about putting flood lights facing toward the rear also on it.has anyone seen a set up like this available commercially?i would prefer an aluminum one.
  6. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I have a similar setup Cntry- But mine is made of steel. I also used the rubber tractor ligths.

  7. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    I have the White Knight back up lights, that mount on your rear hitch. I know that they are not cheap, but they look great, and work great at night. I wired mine to a switch in the cab, so I can turn them on and off whenever I want to. I have not had a problem with breakage on them, finally cracked a lense after a year hooking up to my trailer.

  8. PreFabber

    PreFabber Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 36

    If you do decide to tap into your reverse lights. If you go with halogen lights, they will blow your fuse. This can be remedied by putting a bigger fuse in, but the wiring for those lights are not designed for that kind of load. Personally i would run a whole new line with a separate switch and fuse. That's what i did with my truck that is very similar to yours. Sorry, i don't have any pics. If you do go with this solution, make sure you use a heavy enough gauge wire to sustain the load of halogens. I used halogens, and love them for the mini salt spreader on the back too.
  9. EZSnow

    EZSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    here's my idea...
    I have some cheapo halogen fogs. I'll mount them up in front of the rear bumper behind the quarters. I plan on mounting them up closer to the floor of the bed and pointing them more down than back. Even on black pavement the indirect light is enough for me to see behind me, in the sideviews, through my very dark tint. (in testing) Power will be through a relay. A three-position switch will 1) full-time on, 2) off, 3) reverse-light trigger.

    I'll post pics when I have the time to get it done.
  10. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    You actually could have them work in both functions. All you need is a single pole, double throw ON/OFF/ON toggle switch and another length of wire. The SPDT switch should have 3 terminals, and usually the center terminal is the "common." Use that terminal for your backup lights output. For the 2nd terminal, connect it to the battery (or aftermarket fuse panel if any), just be sure it is fused. For the 3rd terminal, tap it into reverse wire.

    However, a good common sense would be to add a relay and use the reverse wire as "trigger" to activate the relay. You can tap the main power source for relay to the wire that is connected to the second terminal. Since it is alreay close there and fused, there is no need to run another wire to the battery.

    With the SPDT ON/OFF/ON switch, you can flip it to one position so when you shift to reverse, the light will come on. Flip it to another position and you have constant power to lights. :) :cool:
  11. Joe92GT

    Joe92GT Member
    Messages: 71

    I want as much light as possible, I have two of the tractor lights, and am also looking into getting a light rack, with 2 kc s pointed backwards and down. I leave the pivot slightly loose on the tractor lights, so when I hit a bank, they just rotate up.. every time I stop to clean off the winsheild and tool box, I double check the lights, and straiten if necessary.
  12. Adams plowing

    Adams plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 195

    Get the cheap ones this way when they break you and eventually they will if mounted around the bumper your not out much money and cheap to replace.
  13. Got Snow

    Got Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    i have a set of cheapy fog lights ($25) that i have mounted on my trailer hitch frame. the lights sit well behind and above the rear bumper. you cant see them from the rear, so they wont get smashed when you baak into something.

    they are pointed down and outward. they are wired directly into the factory reverse wire. i believe they are 55w halagen lamps. i've had no trouble with fuses.

    cheap quick easy install. the best improvement i've made to my truck. while they dont illuminate a football field behind you, they do however, light up quite brightly the area behind your rear tire.when your backing up, this is the exact spot you look at with your mirror.

    have fun
  14. Nova

    Nova Member
    Messages: 58

    My setup.

    I got a good deal on the Backrack because the factory is about 30 mins. from me. So I went up there and got a "returns" unit. It was still in the original packaging.

    The Utility lights are from Canadian Tire and cost about $20 each.

    Last year I had the lights mounted to the hitch, under the bumper. So I don't know if having them higher up like this will be more effective, well shall see.

  15. Nova

    Nova Member
    Messages: 58

    Forgot the mention...

    I wired them to a SPDT switch, 30AMP relay, powered off the battery and the reverse lead-in comes from under the dash.

    This way I can have them come on in reverse only or have them on when the key in turned on because it's also wired to the fuse panel.
  16. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    Sort of lengthy but here goes:

    The problem with mounting aux. lights on a headache bar is they illuminate an area high up rather than low which helps to prevent glare and illuminating fog and snowy nights. You want the beam(s) to cast light with little affect from the peripheral offcast of the lamp... keep 'em low not high. It's also safer to other motorists, keeping the beam path lower and not up high where it can blind or confuse them.

    Consider this:
    Your '01 Ram's 7-pin Bargman connector can be easily disassembled to give a clean factory look to any wiring added to it rather than splicing into the harness at a given point. Better for resale too since it won't looked "hacked". Avoid those awful Scoth-lok splicers since they will ruin things over time. Here is a link to the pin-outs of that 7-pin connector: CLICK HERE

    Remove the connector assembly from the steel mount and notice how the rear of it can be removed via clips. It may look a bit weird at first but look carefully and you'll see how it comes apart. This will then expose the wire connections themselves. You can strip back no more than ¼" of insulation and solder your new wiring to the appropriate wire. Should be no more then three connections to be made- one for ground, one for 12vB+ and one for reverse light's relay trigger. Pre-tin the new wiring ends and then solder them to the Bargman connector or find someone that can effectively solder... it's worth it for reliability and integrity of the whole thing! Tape each connection point. Run the three wires through the rubber boot. Reassemble the connector and apply good electrical tape (Scotch 33 or 88 or similar that holds up to temps and moisture forever) along the harness to restore factory looks and maintain reliability. Remount the connector. If you wire a SPST toggle switch across the relay's contacts, you can then bypass the reverse circuit and use the lamp(s) as a work light operated manually. Just remember to turn off the switch or the light remains on all the time! This is handy for not having to place the truck in reverse w/ parking brake on!

    One other thing to consider is lamp quality as well. Better to have one good quality lamp with a properly designed lens and quality reflector than to have two crummy smaller lamps that still don't output the light as one good one would. Mounting to the hitch's frame is another good spot... tucked behind the bumper offers some protection rather than directly to the bumper itself. I removed the mounting bracket on mine, attached a stainless hose clamp and then wrapped it around the hitch frame.... super tight and no rusty metal to form. Also apply some silicone sealant to the point where wires enter the lamp housing. You can have a sealed lens assembly but salt and water will enter from the backside, ruining things. I used one rectangular lamp that I modded to run a 100w halogen module, then installed heavy guage wiring, and also teflon insulation near the bulb itself. Now I have an aux reverse light that is just short of being a supernova! ;)
  17. Got Snow

    Got Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    Roger Dodger,
    do you know if the wiring be the same for ford trucks?

    ps- excellent point about keeping the lights low. i dont have any problems with illuminating fog and snowy nights!
  18. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I mounted one aux light on the stake pocket. It keeps the light up and out of the way when backing up into banks. As mentioned above, I also wired my utilizing a relay to allow three position switching - On - Off - On in Reverse.

  19. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    I agree with Roger. We have halogen rear work lights in our Whelen light bar, and the light is too high. It glares off the bed of the truck, tool boxes, and snow in bed. Lower is better!
  20. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I have seven trucks and all have back up lights. After using all types of back up lights, cheap and ultra expensive. I would buy the light that give the best results regardless of price. You are purchasing this product to give better, clearer, vision in snowy nite time driving conditions, why settle for less than adaquate.

    I bought a set of piaa driving lamps 5 years ago and put them on my Jeep. These lights give of a slight amber hue, but man what a field of vision they provide! They cost me $300.00 bucks, well worth it im my opinion. No other light I have purchased since, has performed even close to the piaa's.

    So how many lights are you going to go through to find the ones you can live with, might be the question? I bought four sets of lights for my Sierra before I settled on good set of Hella spots. Wish I would of spent the extra money up front the first time around.

    Chuck B.