LED Under hood lighting for Dodge Ram Trucks
I wanted more light under the hood when I am working there or when I was just checking oil or other fluid levels etc.
I decided to try installing some LED lights to see if this would improve the situation. Since this was to be an experiment to see if it could improve things and if I would like it I didn't want to spend a lot of money to start with.
I checked around for various light options and looked at how they could be mounted. I liked the idea of using a small multibulb bar setup because I could tuck it in an area that wouldn't come in contact with the body or engine when I closed the hood. My thinking was that if I installed 2 of these lights I could focus the out put on each side of the engine bay.
I finally opted for a small 6 bulb (6w) bar that was sold by Super Bright Led. The output was rated at 600 lumens for each light assembly and came with its own ss mounting bracket and hardware and sold for $19.95 for a pair of lights. This would give me 1200 lumens under the hood.
The assembly was small enough that I could mount it on the front lip of the hood (just on the backside of the grill) and I could close the hood and the lights would easily clear the radiator support cross member and when the hood was open the lights would be up high and out of the way and give a good unobstructed light input into the bay area.
So I marked the install location and mounted the brakets for the light assembly.
When I installed the light assembly in its bracket I then adjusted the swivel location so the light pointed directly into the center of the engine bay. The swivel feature also allows the light to be adjusted or re-aimed as needed. Checking the closure of the hood verified that everything cleared with inches to spare.
I wanted to have the lights operate just like the stock underhood light (open the hood and the light comes on and close the hood and the light goes out). Keep it simple with no additional wiring or switches. This dictated that I would just connect my wiring to the stock underhood light.
After removing the stock light assembly I drilled 2 small holes in the plastic housing for a place to have the 18ga wiring enter into the assembly and connect to the existing light setup. I decided to solder my leads onto the existing brass tangs built into the stock light assembly.
After soldering the leads in place I then installed a 1/4" wire loom covering to keep these new wires from be abraded of scuffed when they were finally installed inside the hood stiiffening bracket. This bracket proved a natural channel for the wire to be housed in and it led to the front of the hood near where I had mounted my LED light assemblies.
After I hooked everything up I replaced the IOD fuse to check if the lights worked as I had hoped for. They did and here is a picture of the assembly lighted. It was a little hard to get a picture of the lights on because they over powered the eye sensor on the camera so I had to point the camera away from the lights so I could take a picture. Of course when you do that you can't see how bright the lights are. But it will give you an idea of the finished set up with the wires tir wrapped up out of the way. I also placed plug-in barrel connectors on my connections to the LED lights so if I decide to use a different light then I don't have to cut wire or run new wiring.
Here is a picture of the underhood light that is put out by these LED assemblies. This is no flash and the time is at dusk. This is a big improvement (over the weak stock light) and I have light enough to even easily read a paper by.