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Technical Dome light? Courtesy lights? Any pics to share?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by radarsonwheels, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    88BA5BB7-67AA-4425-B838-0B126387FAE9.jpeg A16AE93F-8593-44C6-9C3F-E3F2F8DDF85E.jpeg 47A9D21B-D431-4D50-8A72-BD31F386E86F.jpeg Howdy Hambers

    I got my headliner sort of planned out now- diamond stitched black vinyl/foam over 1/8” ABS, pop in style since my 54 dodge truck has an inside flange around the lid.

    I have kind of a hotrod theme, businesslike with some simple custom and handmade touches.

    I have to plan ahead and wire up the headliner for a dome light- only had her running a couple months now with some growing pains (shattered a trans- too much power hee hee!) but I can already tell I want to use the truck a lot.

    I want simple and functional but it’s gotta look right. I like those chrome boat navigation lights with red & green lenses but I’d have to make a clear lense. I wouldn’t mind a little art deco flavor if it’s simple and a legit old piece. Nothing on ebay is jumping out at me.

    Also it might be too fancy for my junk but courtesy lights that shine in the footwells might be awesome or maybe total overkill.

    I never wired interior lights from scratch before- I’m thinking a switch on the dash and also a seperate relay to turn it on when the doors are open? Those door plunger switches usually just ground out right? So the relay gets constant power and the dash switch gets ignition power and that way it can’t drain the battery unless the door gets left open?

    I’d love to hear opinions of my plans- maybe I’m missing the easiest/most elegent way to wire it up, & the footwell option- skip it?

    And I would really love to see pics of anybody’s interior lights and let me know if they work great or why you hate them (location? Style? Function?)

    Pics of the truck so you see what I’m trying to do or how stylistically confused I am already.

    Thanks!

    Radar
     
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  2. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,558

    BJR
    Member

    I take a dim view of dome lights.:p
     
  3. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    Yeah I know it’s a hotrod stop putting stuff in it you’re making it slower...

    I have a mild 512 mopar low deck in it- stump puller with decent hp. I can afford the ponies to have a little luxury in a street build. And I drive to work in it a lot so I always have groceries, shop supplies, stuff in there that I wanna see. No AC or FM radio but some light would be nice and it’s gotta be cool but not stick out.
     
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  4. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,473

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Repro ones made for Advance Design Chevys are pretty cheap, have glass lenses and an on/off switch on them as a bonus. The courtesy lights under the dash are pretty useful, like when you drop a doobie and don't want it to burn your carpet or floor mat.
     
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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,738

    squirrel
    Member

    The trick to dome lights is a dual contact bulb, there bulb base is not connected to the filament. So one wire goes to power, the other goes to the dome light switch, which grounds it when you want the light on (either a toggle switch, part of the headlight switch, or a door jamb switch).

    Orange wire to power, white wire to switches. If you can stand having a Chevy part in your Mopar. (but I expect you've priced repop Dodge parts, which is why you made so much stuff yourself!)

    My 51 hudson has 5 courtesy lights, with 4 separate switched circuits to power them. It's really spiffy!

    https://www.cmwtrucks.com/product/55-59-chevy-gmc-truck-dome-light-assembly-chrome-base/
     
  6. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 896

    Black_Sheep
    Member

    I put under dash courtesy lights in my '58 to complement the stock dome light. I converted the dome and courtesy lights to LED and wired everything up with door switches and a relay so they could also be operated by the headlight switch. IMG_2371.JPG

    mad_electrical_reverse_relays.jpg
     
  7. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 1,590

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    My 32 has a nifty glass lens with a chrome bezel from a 68 Caprice , my old Power Wagon has LED dome and under dash , it’s near operating room conditions in there . LED is the answer no power draw and huge amounts of light
     
  8. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,136

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Mine is a roadster, thus no dome light but I did install floor lights like @Black_Sheep did above. I added mine to the radio box I built to hold my front dual coil speaker and blue tooth amp. The lights were marine stuff and had 2 wire connections, other than that they resembled heavy duty license plate markers with a half dome lens. Door jam switches toggle the ground. Visible from this angle only.
    upload_2019-6-19_21-59-5.png
     
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  9. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    I wasn’t sure if light emitting diode was a string of curse words around here but it’s hard not to consider throwing some of them in a vintage glass/steel fixture. And veery tempting to put some under the dash where nobody will ever know!

    I don’t have a problem with 1156s though. Maybe I’ll crawl the boneyard and try to cobble something up that looks convincing.

    Thanks for the wiring diagram

    Radar
     
  10. As long as you’re adding lights— I was recently thinking about adding an under hood one. The one I have would need to be hidden or maybe a quick disconnect plug because it’s ugly as sin, but I grabbed one out of a Chevy pickup that has a reel and you can pull it out about 10 or 12 feet and the pretend you’ve got a lunker on the hook and reel it back in. Pretty darn handy when you’re out and about and need to check something.
    Not exactly your topic but it reminded me so there it is..


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  11. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    3D12D1F2-BF35-4BC8-8132-62AD238DD429.jpeg Found a 12v repop of a ‘28 ford dome light. Like you said- especially with mopar you gotta make stuff yourself or make stuff work that’s not exactly correct- unless you start with a really good vehicle. Mine was well loved but not a good restoration candidate. I don’t love ordering catalog parts but whatever.

    I also ordered a couple small LED strips to hide under the bottom lip of the dash, and some push peg ground switches for the doorjams too. I have some bosch relays around here somewhere and a few circuits un-used in my fusebox so it shouldn’t be too bad.

    Dunno if I’m gonna run it as is or blast the chrome off and paint it black. A touch more brightwork might look good with the door handles and chrome gauge bezels.

    Thanks again for all the pics and info
    Radar
     
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  12. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 493

    Early Ironman
    Member

    Have the same dome light in my 41. I like it a lot.


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  13. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 493

    Early Ironman
    Member

    [​IMG]
    You might also consider a reverse light in your license plate frame. Not just for better visibility, but to let someone you can’t see know that your backing up.
    Your B&M shifter should have the reverse light switch already in it.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  14. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,089

    rudestude
    Member

    Here's a few that I have collected. I like the one's that have the Art Deco period look to them. 20190413_135701.jpeg 20190413_135744.jpeg 20190413_135750.jpeg 20190413_135753.jpeg 20190413_135801.jpeg 20190413_135809.jpeg 20190413_135725.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-T387V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  15. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 582

    Boryca
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Detroit

    I've been thinking about a dome light too, glad to see someone else has the thought. I don't need under-dash lights though, my stock '35 Ford has 2 bulbs on the speedo that aren't shielded, so when they're on, you've got floor lights. :D I do need a rheostat though...

    @rudestude - any make/model on those, or were they estate sale box items?
     
  16. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,089

    rudestude
    Member

    They are just some that I have collected through the years, when I was a kid my brother and I would find old cars sitting in the woods or back in land fills or down in canyons along the back roads and we would always grab what ever we could pull off and carry. I always went for all the lights , because of the glass lenses, any accessories, hood ornaments, plates, chrome trim ,hub caps what ever we could load on our bicycles, and I still have boxes full of stuff from them days of collecting.
    I don't recall what they are from , some are from early 50's Chevys I believe.

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  17. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,222

    atch
    Member

    These don't look quite as vintage as the ones pictured above by rudestude. These are Mustang/Capri lights that are kind of art deco looking; from late 80's to early 90's:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The ones shown here are map light only, but they also came with dome light map light combinations. I wasn't able to download any pix but this link shows them.

    The map light comes on when you pull it down out of its "nest" and with swivels in two directions can shine just about anywhere in the cab.

    The dome light part can be wired any way you like. Such as when the door opens or when you turn the headlight switch all the way or whatever.

    b-t-w; I really like the one in rudestude's 5th picture.
     
  18. Here is what I did, but ya might not like it.
    I glued jute padding to the roof and then glued aluminum foil to the jute padding and then stuck strips of LED lighting in the center between each support of the perforated headliner. You will see it at about the 35 second mark.

    https://49fordcoupe.smugmug.com/The-Interior/i-V4fQLsK/A
     
  19. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 1,944

    Dirk35
    Member

    I used a repo stock dome light for a 1949 Ford Pickup, in my 1949 Ford Pickup, and wired it kinda like Black_Sheep did to the little door jam switches. I also added a under dash light to come on with the dome light.
    Interior light.jpg

    1949 Ford PU Brake Light inside.JPG

    Dome Light switch.jpg

    My dome light looks pitted in the picture, but that's just dust and my crummy old quality phone making it look like that.

    For under the dash, I used a Attwood LED light (think that's the brand name). Pretty sure I got a bag of 10 of them off Amazon for like $20-30 or so. They were pretty cheap. Its hidden under the dash, but I only put one in the center. I really like how Black_Sheep put one on each side under the dash, I might change mine. I wouldn't put the little LED light where they could seen, you need a proper light with a bezel to look "right".

    LED Light.jpg

    Here is a link to Mac's and Dennis Carpenter Interior repo lights. Pick one that fits the style of your build. The repo ones are relatively cheap and look good, not sure why anyone would use an old pitted bezel and yellow'ed lens unless they just had a have a certain style that isn't being reproduced.

    Those that Rudestude posted are really cool looking, as long as you could get the bezel to clean up. I like the glass lenses better than the plastic lenses, but that's what Ford originally used.

    https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_truck_late/electrical/lights/interior-lights.html?ea_a=&ea_bc=&ea_c=&ea_path=Store-Name:FPL/electrical_lights_interior-lights.html&p=3

    https://www.dennis-carpenter.com/trucks/lighting/dome-light/
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  20. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,692

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    I just don't like an old car with bluish-purplish harsh white LED lighting. If that doesn't bother you (or if you prefer that), then LEDs are the way to go for sure. They definitely run cooler and are much brighter than incandescent.

    Some of those glass lights above (might be parking lamps?) sure look good! In my Chrysler I used these repop dome lights because they look pretty close to what came in it without costing a fortune. They don't put out a ton of light, just enough to see what you're about to sit on. :)
    http://www.classicpartsusa.com/product/LG808_1955/1955_Truck_Parts
     
  21. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 1,944

    Dirk35
    Member

    Gotgas makes a good point. The overhead dome light is one of the small incandescent bulbs and its pretty yellow and not very bright. The LED light under the dash are pretty bright and really white.

    Something to keep in mind.
     
  22. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,780

    Dave Mc
    Member

    The rear quarter Courtesy Lamps in my 33 Fordor Convertible Sedan
    our pic`s 054 (320x240).jpg JelliPups5179 020.jpg JelliPups5179 016.jpg
     
  23. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,089

    rudestude
    Member

    Most all of the lights and lenses, and yes they are all glass, that I have been posting have been in my uncle's shop attic where I put them around 30 years ago , and forgot about them until he just recently reminded me of them , they will clean up ,I had them all wrapped in paper.its been fun but I got work to do, so I will leave you with some shots of s couple of things I pulled from a box next to my desk, there's probably 20 more boxes ,maybe I will dig some more out later.
    Sorry for the crappy pictures, bad lighting this time of day. 20190620_103743.jpeg 20190620_101649(0).jpeg 20190620_100950.jpeg 20190620_095857(0).jpeg

    Sent from my SM-T387V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  24. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    I am going to run that early ford 12v repop I ordered with small LED strips hidden under the bottom A43CAF64-2300-4FCD-9012-52189670C56B.jpeg of the dash to shine in the footwells.

    I still like my idea of running a relay and a dash mounted switch for them- I made a diagram.

    I just have to make the headliner and figure out where to put the light- it’ll need a hole thru the upholstered ABS and a little room above it to sit flush since it has a little depth. Probably central and 1/3 way back from the front.
     
  25. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 867

    goldmountain

    I'm using cheap LED license plate lights from Princess Auto. They don't draw much power so you really don't need to worry about leaving the doors open and draining the battery. Also, with the little power, a relay is overkill. They have two wires so grounding switches at the door jambs work. I have one on the header panel above the windshield, another above the rear window and two in the kickpanels. Lots of light. They don't have that retro art deco flavor but appeal to my cheap nature. IMG_1153.JPG
     
  26. Post a thread on your headliner construction, I have one identical to do one day


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  27. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    I was only using the relay as a switch to get triggered by the ground. That way I can make the door jam switches active with the key off and the dash switch active only with the key on.

    I guess I could run a constant hot to the lights and just run three ground switches- jams & dash. Doesn’t matter now- as long as I run two wires back to under the dash from each light I can set it up however I want. I can even get fancy with a three position switch- off, doors, on.
     
  28. radarsonwheels
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 132

    radarsonwheels
    Member
    from Philly

    I did put up a post about how to make my headliner where I talked about some ideas I had- I only come here to ask questions lately so if you’re calling me out I will step up.

    I’ll take a lot of pictures. Look for a tech how to thread soon from me and cross your fingers it goes smoothly and comes out decent looking. I’d hate to write a ‘how not to’ thread but maybe that would be just as helpful!
     
  29. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,059

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I've got one of those, don't even know where I got it. I'm going to bolt the light directly to the dash and do away with the hokey plastic bracket, I'll put in a small toggle to operate it.


    I was thinking of getting a couple of those that are round and plug into a hole. Would be great to put under the dash with the chrome half moon facing you so the light would go forward and not in your eyes.

    6o's Chrysler products had small hooded round courtesy lights that look good on door pillars or under the dash. I think some of them were used in consoles on Chargers and Road Runners.
     
  30. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 363

    Doublepumper
    Member

    Here's one I picked up from the e place and installed in the jailbar....I have no idea what it was originally out of, but I like it. If anybody can ID it I'd sure like to know.
    20190620_155130.jpg
     
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