DIY Rock Lights - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 139 Old 07-15-2013, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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Several folks asked for a write up on this so here it is:

After several wheeling trips that had some sort of hold up where I ended up wheeling in the dark I decided that I needed to add some rock lights, but the price tag on the pre-made kits was a little ridiculous.

After a little searching on Ebay and Amazon I came across these for $18.20 and decided to give them a try: Link to Ebay

There are 20 4-LED pods included in the string but they are only a couple inches apart so I had to extend the wiring. I ended up only using 18 pods.

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To begin with I wanted to point out that the correct way of doing this would be to solder the connections for all the extensions, but I didn't have enough heat shrink on hand so I just used butt connectors. If it ever shorts out or pulls apart then I will go back through and re-do it.

I started by installing the relay and switch that would power the lights. Relay setup is pretty straight forward but can be confusing if you have never done it before. Here is a diagram that explains the wiring.

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The relay used is a standard 5 pin 30amp SPDT relay. They look like this:

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I located the relay above the ECU due to the easy access to the battery and close access to the front fender.

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There is a very convenient hole through the fender to pass the power wire through.

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The pods all have pass through power and ground so it makes it quite easy to daisy chain them all the way around the Jeep. The string started in the passenger front fender and is daisy chained all the way around the Jeep. As you can see the first pod is grounded and as you will see in the next photos the ground is simply daisy chained all the way around along with the power. All pods are mounted with self tapping screws with appropriately sized pre-drilled holes:

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First Pod (w/ground):

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The rest of the photos are from the drivers side, but you get the idea. I chose locations that would be fairly protected.

Front wheel well locations (be carefull when drilling the mounting holes on both front fenders, the washer bottle and the fuse block could easily be drilled into if you are not careful):

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To be continued...

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post #2 of 139 Old 07-15-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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The next mounting locations are the side body mounts.

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The third body mount along the side does not have enough room for the pod so I mounted it to the body itself right before the rear fender well.

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Since the inner fender on the rear wheel well is made of plastic I chose to mount the next pod on the frame after the turn down past the rear axel.

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The next pods are mounted on the rear cross member.

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The final pods are installed up front on the center body mount bracket.

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Hopefully this is painfully clear at this point, but incase the picture order was confusing the wiring runs from the front fender all the way around the back of the Jeep all the way to last two on the radiator support. I mounted the switch in the stock switch panel and used the ignition power from the radio harness to power the switch so that I had to have the Jeep on to use the lights.

Here are some pics of the final light output:

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P.S. Yes I know I have some rust issues to deal with... Hopefully this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
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post #3 of 139 Old 07-15-2013, 11:25 PM
h1driver
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Absolutely amazing- Any idea what kid of amp draw you're looking at? I understand that L.E.D. Lights have a very low draw...but 18 2x2s might add up (in my 'not smart about LEDs mind').

What kind of investment in time did you make??


Regardless...good job! Thanks for the write-up

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post #4 of 139 Old 07-15-2013, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h1driver
Absolutely amazing- Any idea what kid of amp draw you're looking at? I understand that L.E.D. Lights have a very low draw...but 18 2x2s might add up (in my 'not smart about LEDs mind').

What kind of investment in time did you make??

Regardless...good job! Thanks for the write-up
Lol, I knew someone was going to ask that. Let me grab my multimeter...

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
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post #5 of 139 Old 07-15-2013, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 686keydragon

Lol, I knew someone was going to ask that. Let me grab my multimeter...

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
1.53 amps


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2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
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post #6 of 139 Old 07-15-2013, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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And to answer your question on timing... about 3 hours including being very indecisive on mounting locations (lots of over thinking how i thought the output would end up and ensuring they were protected a bit) and a trip to the store to pick up more wire.

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
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post #7 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 08:46 AM
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Looks good. Although mounting locations on the frame probably aren't the best.(underside)

Also, is it possible to just run a power all around the jeep and tap into it? Then just ground the two grounds into one and then to the frame?

I think I may do it this way, I had rock lights before but they were not LED, so it was kinda temporary
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post #8 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJeeper09
Looks good. Although mounting locations on the frame probably aren't the best.(underside)

Also, is it possible to just run a power all around the jeep and tap into it? Then just ground the two grounds into one and then to the frame?

I think I may do it this way, I had rock lights before but they were not LED, so it was kinda temporary
Actually, running just one power wire around the Jeep and using splice connectors would have been much simpler and would have significantly less fail points. You only need to power and ground one side of each pod to light the 4 LED's so you wouldn't need to wire the grounds together on each pod.

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
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post #9 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for the write up. Looks good. Adding this to my build list.

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post #10 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 686keydragon View Post
Actually, running just one power wire around the Jeep and using splice connectors would have been much simpler and would have significantly less fail points. You only need to power and ground one side of each pod to light the 4 LED's so you wouldn't need to wire the grounds together on each pod.
Definitely on my build list... Is the pic below kinda what you are talking about??



If so- What would you do with the 'dead-ends'??? The pigtails that don't get used... Would you just put something (electrical tape, shrink wrap, etc) on to keep them from contacting the frame and grounding out??

Please forgive the probably very basic questions, as I am not smart when it comes to wiring and such.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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post #11 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h1driver

Definitely on my build list... Is the pic below kinda what you are talking about??



If so- What would you do with the 'dead-ends'??? The pigtails that don't get used... Would you just put something (electrical tape, shrink wrap, etc) on to keep them from contacting the frame and grounding out??

Please forgive the probably very basic questions, as I am not smart when it comes to wiring and such.
Essentially yes, but you don't need to wire the grounds together like that you can just ground each pod separately. For my last pod up front I just trimmed the wires as close to the pod as possible. They don't stick out at all so they shouldn't short out.

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post #12 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 01:59 PM
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Nice install and write-up.

I used the same lights for mine. I was replacing the 4 55w halogens that were installed on the Jeep for several years so I was able to use the existing power leads and start mounting lights. I just kept mine in strings of 5 (though I did have to extend 1 place on each side to get around the body mount) and did 5 on each side, 5 in front, and 5 in back.

I never really understood adding lights in the wheel wells. All It does it light up in the back of the tire.
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post #13 of 139 Old 07-16-2013, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
686keydragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgredjeep
Nice install and write-up.

I used the same lights for mine. I was replacing the 4 55w halogens that were installed on the Jeep for several years so I was able to use the existing power leads and start mounting lights. I just kept mine in strings of 5 (though I did have to extend 1 place on each side to get around the body mount) and did 5 on each side, 5 in front, and 5 in back.

I never really understood adding lights in the wheel wells. All It does it light up in the back of the tire.
Well my reason for putting them in the front wheel wells was to try to get some light out to the sides. I mounted them where they angle more outward than down and they are above the tire. It does seem to work fairly well (it is hard to tell from the side view, but look at the pattern on the front view compared to the back view), but I have yet to try it on a trail so we will see how I like them in the real world. On the plus side, I really like the way it looks with them mounted there... (Childish I know )

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post #14 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 10:11 AM
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Here's what I got w/ the groups of 5 on each side. There are more pics of my install in the build thread in my sig. Nothing wrong w/ liking the way something looks. lol

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post #15 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 05:05 PM
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Nice

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