April 11, 2019: Reverse Light Anytime Mod
The next day I did what I've always wanted to do to my Hilux but never got around to it, and that is install a switch to turn my reverse lights on.
The purpose for this is that 1) I usually setup my tent directly behind my truck, and 2) my tailgate serves as my camp (dinner) table. Because I've got those high powered 16 watt / 1000 lumen (each) LED backup lights (installed last June), I've been dying to get this done!
Installed a mini toggle switch here (up is on), hidden and readily accessible when the tail-gate is down and I'm enjoying an evening at camp
I didn't take any pictures of the install, but here is what you do:
1. Route a constant hot wire back to either one of your tail lights (fused, I am using a 7.5A but the draw for this setup is only 2.7A @ 12 vdc)
2. Add an inline switch anywhere on this hot wire you'd like
3. Tap the other end of the switch into either of your reverse light's red power wire
This works for both reverse lights because that same red wire is connected to both lights. So it doesn't matter which side light's red wire you tap into.
DONE!But there is an issue:
If your truck has a backup camera then I found an issue in that if your key is in the ACC or ON position, not in reverse, and you enable the switch, your back-up camera will turn on. This is because your reverse camera display unit "detects" that the transmission is in reverse and brings the camera screen. The only way to avoid this is to trace the red wire beyond between the cab and where it splits to both reverse lights, and install a diode to prevent voltage going back up-stream.This issue doesn't apply to my needs:
My purpose for this is that I used to do the following when I got to camp: Park the truck, engine off, then switch key to ON position and shift into reverse. Lights come on. So instead, now I can leave the lights on for many, many hours (for sure they could be left on overnight without any problem) without having to have the key in the ignition!!Click here to view the FSM Reverse Light circuit for reference
(PDF). There are two versions for Manual & Automatic. Trace the red wire from the top of Page 2 back to Page 1. This is the circuit we are injecting power to. The reverse camera part of the circuit is not shown in this diagram.
Reverse lights in action with keys not in the ignition! LED Campground lighting for days!!