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Few Strobe Install Questions..

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by Dan85, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Hey guys, we will probably be installing our first "test" strobe kit very shortly and if all goes well, we will most likely do up our two loaders and other four trucks. Since this is our first install, I had a few questions for you pros.

    The products we are using are STAR LDK 312 LED [spherical] Strobe units; 2 in front, 2 in rear.


    1. Strobes in the clear portion of the rear tail light or behind the red?

    The trucks were are installing them on are all late model Fords. The 08+ pickups have very small reverse light lens and the bulb requires a 1' hole; any suggestions on which side to mount them? Or should we just install them behind the red brake light lens? Seems awfully tight.

    The dump trucks have those small rectangular reverse/brake light configurations without much room either, anyone have any suggestions for those?

    Like this, but not LED.

    2. What type of relay to use?

    The units draw 0.5A for each head, so 2.0A for the whole truck. Seems like almost any relay should handle that?

    3. Signal Source for relay; always hot or key-on only?

    Do you guys wire your lights up to be on all the time or only when the key is to accessory/on?

    4. Signal Source Connection

    I have seen add a fuse and T-Taps used, is there a better/preferred method?

    5. Switches

    I was planning on running 1 switch to turn the strobes on/off, 1 momentary(?) switch for pattern changes, and 1 switch for an accessory work light - Should I find a switch box or do you guys just use switches from an auto parts store? Any good brands or brands to stay away from?

    Thanks in advance guys!
  2. JLsDmax

    JLsDmax Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    i think strobes in red brake lights are drowned out when the brakes are applied, i think the clear portion of the light flashes brighter. I wired my strobes to be always hot with an inline fuse right from my aux battery to the strobe control box
  3. JTK324

    JTK324 Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I did a 4 strobe stl kit and I put them in the brake lights and they are super bright jus be careful that they don't look like thee flashing red and I have mind wired in to be able to run at any point key on or off I also put and alternator kick on so if I am running just the Strobes with the truck off and I'm draining the battery it kills power
  4. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Thanks for the feedback guys. We went ahead with the install today.

    After talking with a couple of people, we decided to just run the lights straight off the battery instead of through a relay, since 2 amps wasn't a huge draw. We also fit the strobe into the reverse light housing on the 350. It was tight and required a little trimming, but it fit. The flasher unit for the rear is mounted inside the bed, behind the brake light assembly. The main power bus will run along the chassis and we will tie in an auxiliary work light.

    For the front, it was recommended that we install the front strobe in the lower portion of the headlight for the front lights. (Signal light on top, amber reflector, driving lights on bottom)

    Most likely we will purchase OEM upfitter switches and install them. Anyone have any experience with that? Until then, I made a switch plate I will use in the mean time.

    Also, we opted to run our front and rear strobes independently from one an other. None of us are sure how much "flash back" off our white plows we'll get, so we decided to have the option to turn the fronts off. Most likely will not run a momentary switch to change the pattern either. We cycled through the 20 and the alternating quintflash was the only appealing one. Plus I couldn't find any reasonable momentary switches at the auto store.

    As for our loaders and dump trucks that lack a spot to put the rear strobes, I suggested buying a set of cheap fog lights and replacing the OEM bulb with the strobe unit; that way you have a sealed unit and don't have to shoe-horn the bulb into the OEM brake light assembly.

    Here is a picture of the switch plate:

    Here is the aux. light I picked up. It's the same type they use on tractor and trailers. It's not super bright, so it may get swapped out in the future. But it will be nice not to have to fuel equipment in the middle of the night with only the cargo light!

  5. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 573

  6. Cmbrsum

    Cmbrsum Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    Do these LED lights have to be mounted inside light assemblies? do they make any of these that are waterproof that can be mounted in holds in the rear bumper?
  7. JTK324

    JTK324 Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Yes they do some of them have the flange like trailer/ dump truck clearance lutes but they also make the ones that just bolt on to the bumped like the whelan tir6 and with the tir6 there is only three holes screw wire screw pretty easy
  8. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Thanks Stroked. I was also thinking about just putting the switches in without any of the OEM wiring and just running our own stuff if the install became too involved. We tried to have the local Ford dealer install the OEM trailer brake controller last summer and it went from "2 hours, and about $200" to 2 days and over $500. We gave up and had an aftermarket controller installed.

    So judging from that, I wasn't sure how well the switches would go in. Anyways, the boss actually really liked the switch panel I made, so we're just going with that. It will mount over the dash pocked where the switches/brake should be.
  9. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Finally got everything wired up and installed. However, for the double lenses on the Super Duty headlights, how do you guys mount the light flush on the interior lens? Do you just RTV or silicone it in place?

    You can see in the picture it doesn't sit flush with the silver interior housing and as a result it's no where near as bright as the rear. Also, do you guys install in the top or lower lights? We called tech support and their suggestion was the bottom, but I'm really thinking we should have put it in the top as it'll be more visible over the plow.


    Mounted off to the side, by the tailgate and the flasher unit is mounted behind the brake light. Seems like if you're having trouble fitting the strobe, you could actually drill a new hole for the reverse bulb off to the side, since it's smaller, and put the strobe in it's place.


  10. Strobesnmore

    Strobesnmore Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    Just a couple things, the lights you have are LEDs and not Strobes. The 2 lights operate on completely different systems power consumption, etc... The lights you have draw very little power and a relay is not required. Just run the power to a switch, ground the main flasher, and the only thing left to decide is if you want to be able to adjust the flash pattern from the front of the vehicle. If so you will need a flash pattern switch. Other than that the LEDs are pretty simple to wire up.
  11. Toolin Customs

    Toolin Customs Member
    from Md
    Messages: 48

    For your work body trucks Instead of buying lights and replacing bulbs, look into the sound off surface mount stuff like the predator or ghost, Simple cheap and effective. Let me know if you have any questions.
  12. sargex595

    sargex595 Member
    Messages: 33

    Momentary switch

    What is a good switch to use for a momentary switch to change between flash patterns?

  13. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Difference between the two noted, thanks Strobe Guy

    Thanks Toolin, I will definitely check that out. The boss was looking for something along those lines, but I didn't know what companies offered those type of lights.

    Sargex, my boss didn't want a momentary to change the lights, he didn't want people changing the patterns, so we just wire-nutted the wire off. I would expect that any momentary would work, it just has to go to ground for a second to change the pattern. The directions just say to touch the wire to a ground to change it if need be.
  14. skferreri

    skferreri Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    Need some videos of that set up........
  15. Toolin Customs

    Toolin Customs Member
    from Md
    Messages: 48

    no problem, I was trying to find a switch that I,ve used before but I couldnt find it. I had found a single toggle switch that in the down position was off, middle was on, and all the way up was a momentary disconnect. kind of like a single pole double throw, just wired a bit differntly. Glad to hear your install went well. Post some pics if you get a chance.